Surviving the All-Stars, Episode 10: Live By the Sword…
Lex saved Rob’s girlfriend last week – so that means Rob will save Lex this week, right? Well, Lex certainly thinks so. The question is whether Rob agrees. Of course, that question is answered right here.
So, this week we get to (potentially) find out if Lex, Kathy, and Shii Ann made a great move, or an incredibly stupid one last week. I initially thought it was pretty stupid, but upon further review of what several other RNO writers had to say, I had to think about it some more. If Lex knew the merge was coming (and he had to figure it was soon, at least if they were keeping the jury the same number of people), then even booting Amber would put his alliance down 5-4. Then he would have been the first one targeted in the coming Pagonging. On the other hand, maybe his alliance could have pulled one person over – for example, his old pal Tom. He apparently trusted Rob, and the key will be to find out if that trust was warranted. Personally, I don’t think so. Rob has shown himself to make and break promises easily. In the end, after careful consideration, I still think it was a bad move. Let’s find out.
Chapera, Day 25. Lex says getting rid of Jerri was horrible. But he cut her loose to keep Amber around as a favor for Rob. He is sure Rob will deliver – he’s good on his word. Oh my. I hear the gods of foreshadowing rumbling.
At Mogo Mogo, Jenna says everybody figures Amber is gone and it’s a somber mood – especially Rob. She says that not only was she his strong alliance, but they were really dating. Rob says he hopes she’s still there and has said some prayers – it would be great if Lex came through. He kind of stumbles around a bit and Tom says he’s never seen Rob so bad. It’s like when you wean a calf off its mom’s titty – it just wanders around for a few days. This, he says, is about the same.
But Rob quickly gets back into the swing of things when he is sitting with Alicia and she says you never know who you can trust as a good ally. Rob suggests a silent alliance. They will just cover their tracks and be ready. He promises that he’ll fight for her. She says she will never write his name down. They make various other promises to each other – and I suspect Alicia is serious while Rob… isn’t.
So now Rob has independent promises/alliances with Amber, Tom, Jenna, Rupert, Alicia, and Lex. Whoa.
And it’s already time for a challenge! The tribes come in and there is Amber. Rob is happy. Jenna squeals with delight. Amber smiles at ‘em.
It’s an individual reward challenge even though they are still in tribes. All nine will start on a platform in the water and dive down to retrieve a pot. Thing is, there are only seven. So the two who come up empty are out. Then they go down to five and then to three. The final three have to dive down and transport a heavy crate to the shore. First one there wins. What do they win? An immediate ride on a helicopter to a resort where they will get a shower, massage, facial, feast, etc. They will stay overnight and they will get to take two people from either tribe.
And they’re off – nine tribe members looking for seven pots. Shii Ann and Jenna come up empty. Back in the seven go. Tom and Amber fight over a pot and Tom gets it. Amber and Kathy are out, leaving only the guys and Alicia. And they’re back in again. This time, Tom is fighting with Rob for the pot, and comes out on the losing end. Rob, Rupert, and Lex head to the finals.
As they begin, it’s hard to tell who is doing well, but Rupert looks to be getting a lead as he carries the crate on his shoulder. Rob is still in it but is struggling. Rupert pushes through as Lex falls. Rupert wins! Jenna gives him a huge hug after cheering him on the whole way. He’d better pick her!
So, who is he going to take? Amber because she was gone for a day with the other tribe, and Jenna – who he’s been with the whole time. They get into the helicopter. Rupert says his baby will say that’s his daddy – the toughest dad in the world. Who then took two hot chicks on an overnight date!
They arrive at the resort island and Rupert says, “I’m in heaven with two goddesses.” Well, I’m sure his wife will love that. Into the hut they go, where find sandals, robes, etc. Rupert says he’s never had a reward ever in his Survivor history. Jenna is happy that they have deodorant, toothbrushes, makeup, etc. Amber says they’ll get pretty for Rupert tonight. Amber brushes her teeth while Rupert asks if it’s conditioner before shampoo or after. Then they get massages and facials. After this reward, Rupert says he can do the last 13 days standing on his head.
Time for dinner, and Amber & Jenna are all dolled up. Rupert says he wanted to kiss and hug them all over. If the previous stuff didn’t make her day already, I’m sure his wife will be just thrilled to hear that! Rupert says he has faith in Rob, Amber, Jenna, Tom, and himself. They are five strong and solid. They discuss it over dinner and Jenna seems into it, but Amber is… less so. She made a deal with Kathy and Lex, after all, but she couldn’t tell Rupert and Jenna that!
Back at camp, they get treemail. It looks like another competition dealing with survival skills. To Rob is sounds like reward, but he says that doesn’t make sense – they’ve never had two in a row. Yeah, well they’ve never had people who played the game before; they’ve never had three tribes; etc. So who knows, Rob!
The tribes arrive, as does the chopper. Probst points out that Amber got her nails done. Heh. Then he notes that they are on the former Saboga tribe beach. And it’s time for the game to change again. They are instructed to drop their buffs and they have to reach in for new buffs again. Rob pulls out… a blue one – yes, it’s the merge color, and the all get ‘em. A nice fake-out by Probst.
They will not be returning to their old tribes, but will live on Saboga beach. It’s a bit different from when they last left it. Strong tides and heavy storms wiped out the shelter. The timber is still there, the toolbox still there, and pots are scattered around. They need to find stuff, but they can rebuild it. They have the technology. They can make the world’s first bionic shelter. Da na na na… Wait. Sorry. Flashback there.
As a housewarming gift, they get two Hawaiian slings, a tarp, paints for their new flag, etc. They have to get to work.
Amber, Alicia, Jenna are trying to combine all three tribe names for their new tribe name. Eventually everybody comes up with Chaboga Mogo. Not bad.
Lex says it’s an exciting time now for a game player who just likes playing. (As opposed to a game player who doesn’t like playing? Then why would that person be called a “game player”? Sorry, I’m overanalyzing.) Lex comes right to Rob because he wants to be told he’s safe. Rob says he will do everything he can. I believe that’s code for, “You haven’t got a chance, pal, but I’m not going to say it to your face right now.” Indeed, Rob says privately that he can’t believe Lex actually fell for it! Lex tells Rob he won’t be happy if Rob sticks a knife in his back. Privately, Rob says it’s all a game, make no mistake about it, he’s playing the game! Sounds like the knife is being sharpened.
Rob talks to Amber about how happy he was to see her. He gets a big smile from her. Awww. He tells her they must get rid of Lex tomorrow. She asks why it can’t be Jenna or Rupert first – after all, she’s still here because of Lex. Rob tells her not to go soft on him! But Amber says she’s scared of the others targeting the two of them – there are too many plans, they will realize it all comes back to the two of them. Rob says as soon as Lex is gone, Tom won’t have a leg to stand on. He says it’s a game. Jenna, Rupert, and Tom will try stick a knife in his back, too, at some point. Privately, Amber says they have their work cut out for them – they have deals with Rupert and Jenna, Big Tom, and Lex and Kathy. And who knows what’s going on with Alicia. Hmmm, no mention of Shii Ann…
For now, it’s back to the platform in the water for another challenge – specifically, the first individual immunity challenge. Probst says now they will covet an immunity necklace rather than an idol. And this time they will test their skills in the water.
The first round will be holding their breath. They will be divided in groups of men and women, with the top two men moving on to the finals and the top two women doing likewise. The final round will be a race along a ladder on the sea floor, releasing buoys along the way. The first to release all 10 wins immunity. But wait, there’s more! They will run the final leg twice. First men, then women. Probst pulls the necklace off its hook and it turns out to be two different necklaces – one for a man, one for a woman.
So down they go! Alicia and Jenna are up fairly quickly, and then Shii Ann follows. Amber and Kathy move on. Rupert is up first for the guys – RUPERT?! Aquaman, as Rob calls him? What happened there? Tom is up, too, so Rob and Lex move on.
The women go first. They are dead even for the first three buoys and then Amber comes up for air. Kathy is up after four. Amber has five and six, and then back up for air. Kathy has five and then both are up, trying to catch their breath. They tie at sixth but Amber just can’t catch her breath as Kathy goes on for the ninth buoy. Amber is finally back down, but only makes it to number seven. Kathy burps loudly as Amber says the challenge sucks. Kathy goes back down and wins!
Now for the guys. They are about even for first three – but Rob loses his goggles. Up they go after they get five and are still tied. Lex is back down first and he gets ahead, seven to six. Both are back up trying to get air. Lex stays ahead one and just needs one more buoy to win. But no, for some reason he can’t get it. Rob ties it up and both head for the final buoy. Lex just can’t get it. Rob is down, he unties it and wins!
Back at camp, Lex tells Kathy he’s worried because they’ve been there a whole day and Rob hasn’t made a move to make him comfortable. Lex realizes he’s made a potentially game-ending blunder (no, really?) and may be about to pay for it.
As if sent by magic, Rob comes over to them. He says he appreciates what they did to save Amber. But… Oh, this can’t be good for Lex.
It isn’t. The “but” is that Rob claims his old tribe agreed to stay together as a group. Lex can’t believe what Rob is doing. Um, why not? It’s not like Rob has never lied before! But Lex says keeping Amber wasn’t a game or strategic decision, it was one brother to another. Well, then, I’d say that’s your own fault, really.
Lex continues, saying he screwed up his own game plan to help Rob. Allow me to repeat: I’d say that’s your own fault, really. Lex says he would have come in with a numbers advantage (presumably his four and Tom) and helped Rob. Lex simply cannot believe this. His face is just wild-eyed as Rob calmly says he won’t screw over his team to help further Lex’s chances.
Lex says he was betrayed by a friend. Rob says he never gave his word to keep him – he said he would take care of him if he could, but he’s sorry he could not. He says that if Lex wants to put their friendship on the line, that’s up to him.
Kathy starts to tear up and says they would have taken him to final four and been proud to do so. So this is brutal. Rob agrees. Kathy says she should have listened to Lex, there are no friends in this game. True – and Lex should have listened to himself as well! Rob repeats that there is nothing he can do. Lex says there is, but Rob comes back by saying his only choice is to screw all the others. Lex can’t believe it. Kathy is talking at the same time and it’s a big mishmash of complaints and anger. Rob says he’s sorry they feel that way and walks off.
Kathy says Rob is a really nice kid, but something came out in Marquesas and is still here. She says it’s so sad. Lex says the knife is in his back. But Kathy wants to give Lex her immunity necklace – she doesn’t want to stay there. She says it’s not just a game, not when friends are involved. (Funny, I didn’t see her making that speech when Lex was voting off his friends.) So if she’s gone, okay. It’s better than coming back and cowering. She says it’s not worth it, she doesn’t want to be there. She doesn’t want Rob to get away with voting out Lex.
Time for Tribal Council. Probst points out that the person voted out tonight will be the first member of the jury – it will not only matter who is voted out, but how they are voted out. Lex looks meaningfully at Rob.
Probst begins with Rupert, asking if the game ratcheted up a notch today. Rupert says everything was tested – alliances, mental abilities, physical abilities. It was a very hard day. So, Probst wonders, is there more to the looks of despair and bags under their than just physical weakness? Yes. Can they get it back? Rupert say tomorrow is another day and Rob says that hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow. OK, I never thought I’d hear Rob quoting Annie! Ironically, as he says it, rain starts to fall. So much for that.
Lex is asked how much the game has changed in the last 24 hours. He says it has changed in a huge way for those who came from Chapera. Life has become more of a true game of survival and struggle. So, Probst notes, the eight people are not necessarily getting along? Jenna says there has been lots of arguing over alliances, game plans, and voting lines. The result was not what everybody wanted to hear. Amber says going back to camp will be very uncomfortable, but it’s a very important vote.
Rob has something to say. He knows they are playing a game, but he also knows that emotions and feelings are real. Regardless of what happens, he wants everybody to know that if he’s their friend, then he’s their friend. If after this is over they don’t want it to continue, then he can’t do anything about that. But to him, friendship is lasting. Rob looks right at Lex as he says all of this. Probst just wants give everybody a hug – they all look awful.
Will Rob or Kathy give up immunity? Not a chance for Rob. What about Kathy? She is… keeping it. Lex looks surprised, but I can’t believe he truly is. Certainly he knew this beforehand.
Time to vote. We see Lex vote for Amber, saying he can’t cast a vote for her little errand boy, so she’s going to have to do. Rob, of course, votes for Lex. He calls Lex “Buddy” and says he’s sorry about the vote and thanks him for keeping amber around. He also says he hopes they can get over this mess. Finally, Kathy votes for Amber and says she didn’t have to tell Kathy that Amber and Rob were bringing her to the final six – Kathy doesn’t like being lied to that big. (So I guess small lies are okay.)
Time to read the votes: Amber, Amber, Lex, Lex, Lex, Lex, Lex. No surprise here as Lex kisses Kathy goodbye and hugs Tom and a few others. Kathy cries.
In his final words, Lex says he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t disappointed. But he came in the wealthiest man in the world because of his family and friends, so everything else is just gravy. He’s rooting for Big Tom to win it all.
Next time, the players get some video glimpses of home and Kathy tries to stir things up with Tom and some others – Rob characterizes it as last-minute scrambling.
Time for some final thoughts on this episode. Obviously, Lex made the wrong move in keeping Amber. Would things have been any different had he gotten rid of her? Who knows. Rob would have been mad, but that also might have been a crack in his armor. I mean, we saw how he was stumbling around camp when he thought she was gone. Could he have pulled Big Tom over? Again, who knows – but it certainly couldn’t have ended up worse for Lex.
However, the biggest final thought is something I already mentioned in the recap itself, above. Lex, who sought to separate business from friendship for his whole time there – and even lectured Ethan about it – bitched and moaned about Rob using the same logic on him. Yes, there were a few differences. We didn’t see Lex ever promise Ethan anything and then go back on it, as Rob did to Lex. But still, the logic was the same – this is business, and friendship is friendship. Lex just appeared to not like it when he was on the receiving end. But as the saying goes: Live by the sword, die by the sword.