Surviving the All-Stars, Episode 14: Paranoia Will Destroy Ya
Everybody at camp is paranoid. But remember, just because youíre paranoid doesnít mean they arenít out to get you! Is Rupert out to get Rob? Is Tom? Is Rob out to get Tom and Rupert both? And who is Amber out to get? Itís a confusing mess of stabbing and backstabbing, but follow along as David leads us through it all.
The big question of tonight is this: Will the two duos join together for the easy vote and get rid of Big Tom? Or will one of the duos wise up and use Tom as a swing vote to break up the other duo? Personally? I think Tom is going. After all, people opposing Rob havenít exactly shown themselves to be strategic geniuses so far Ė why start now? Time to watch and find out if Iím right.
Day 34. Rupert and Tom are moving logs in the rain. Rupert says the weather is terrible, the shelter is pitiful and leaks, and all of them stink like rotten dogs. He says the challenges are going to be more physical and more mental, and everything will be more stressful. Camp life is getting hard and getting harder. Well, it sure sounds that way!
Rob says he is fed up of being with the same people Ė he doesnít want to hear their stories anymore. They are all drained, cranky, and tired, and all just want each other to shut up.
Tom says something to Rob that he canít understand (we canít either!). Rob just sort of nods while he voices over that for a brief time, he could understand Tom, but mostly he canít. Itís like Tom is not getting enough water or something, heís just mumbling. Indeed, it is pretty bad.
Jenna goes off to gather coconuts with Rupert. They crack them open and toast to victory over the coconut trees. Jenna tells Rupert that he has to win immunity next (nothing like riding coattails) and then they can vote off Rob. Rupert agrees. Unfortunately, Rupert looks over and guess who is standing right there? Well, yes, the previews kind of gave it all away, but there is an awkward silence as they notice Rob. Whoops! Rupert tries the classic move of changing the subject and tells Rob theyíve got to beat Big Tom, and then hands Rob a coconut. Ah, well, thatíll distract him. Good job.
Privately, Rupert says Jenna is already paranoid, and he doesnít need Rob paranoid too. ďParanoia will destroy ya,Ē he quotes.
Rob goes back to camp and tells Amber, ďWeíve got problems, big problems.Ē Right here in River City. Thatís Problems with a capital P that rhymes withÖ umÖ well, it doesnít really rhyme with anything related to this. So letís get back to what he was actually saying Ė that Rupert and Jenna have no intention of going to the Final Four with them. Amber asks if he confronted Rupert about it, but Rob says no. Privately, Amber says she was under the impression that strategy would be easier in the end, but she was completely wrong. Duh. She says Rob is worried that heís the next target, with her after that. But itís out of their control right now.
OK, let me just interject for a minute. There are still people who believe Amber is the brains of the operation, but I think that last statement rather kills that idea. The brains of the operation would not say itís out of their control. They would figure out something and do it.
Now that Iíve got that off my chest, itís time for the reward challenge. The five of them arrive and Chevy Colorado pickup waiting for them. This is the standard ďSecond ChanceĒ challenge, where they have different elements from previous challenges. Each step will eliminate one person. First, they have to go over balance beams, with the first four going to the next round. Then they go under a belly crawl to the sliding knife puzzle. The first three done with that move on to the game where they launch items into a basket using a see-saw set-up. The first two to get three items in go to the final round. There they need to go up a rope ladder, over a rope bridge, down a flying fox, grab a key, and run back to the finish. Obviously, the truck is the main prize. But they also get to drive to the beach for a drive-in movie theater and refreshments.
Before they begin, Probst notes a piece of Survivor trivia: Over the first seven seasons, the person who won the car has never won the game. And with that, theyíre off!
Rob scampers over the balance beam like he has all game. Rupert falls offÖ also like he has all game. As such, he is the last person and doesnít go on. In the next round, they all start even again, so Rob doesnít get to keep the big lead he got. Still, Rob is out of the belly crawl first and also the first to get the knife out. Amber is next. After a while, Tom is third.
In the next round, Amber hits her basket, first, putting her whole body into the jump while the guys just stomp on it. She gets her second and then third items quickly to move on. She might actually have an advantage in being forced to jump into it, as she didnít have to guess how much force to use. Rob tries the same technique and gets all three in quickly!
So itís the lovers going against each other in the final round. Rob gets an early lead going up the ladder and then across the bridge. A couple times, he almost falls off but holds onto the top rope to keep going. Down the flying fox he, um, flies. Amber is right behind. But he grabs the key and wins! Of course, he gets to take one person to the drive-in. Hmmm. Who would that be? Yeah, like there was even a choice. Amber.
Privately, Rob says that just because nobody who has won the car has won Survivor was not going to discourage him. He was going all-out.
At the drive-in, there is a snack bar with drinks, candy, hot dogs, and the like. And the movie? Lord of the Flies, which host Jeff Probst describes as ďthe movie that sort of inspired this show.Ē Hmmm. Itís been quite a while since I read the book, but I believe kids die in it. Iím thinking thatís not a really great inspiration for a show, but okay.
Oh, Probst says thereís one more thing Ė a side benefit for Amber because she was picked to go with Rob. She gets a new car too! A Chevy Malibu Max, to be specific. She is freaking out. Amber says, ďYou just gave me a car!Ē He replies, ďYou earned it.Ē Awww. Ainít love grand?
Itís time for the movie. They cuddle under the blankets as Rob voices over that the time alone with Amber is unbelievable. For the first time, he didnít have to think about the game at all. She tells us that she was wondering about their first date after the game Ė would they go to the movies, get popcorn, and have Rob get her flowers? Well, they had their first date, they did go to the movies, they had popcorn, and he gave her a car instead of flowers!
But all is not quite 100% rosey. Rob tells us that Amber is very special to him, but heís not going to forfeit the million to anybody, including her.
Back at camp, Rupert hopes that they bring back food. Amber says itís rough coming back from a reward, plus she is coming back with a car! She had the choice of whether to tell them about it, but she felt holding back just wasnít her. Well, maybe, but it should have been her! She tells them and Rupert seems to be the only one who really responds, saying itís cool. Jenna and Tom are not looking so happy.
Privately, Rupert notes that they did indeed bring back some candy Ė which they split into five piles Ė yes, even one for themselves. Rupert hopes there is a Survivor hex that indeed keeps car winners from winning the game. Meanwhile, Rob and Amber make out after she says sheís a good Catholic girl. (Who poses for menís magazinesÖ)
Day 36. Rupert and Tom get logs, then Rupert says he will get fish. Rob and Amber are, of course, lying around. It makes Rupert crazy to watch Rob and Amber sit on their butts, then when a challenge comes up, they have amazing amounts of energy.
How crazy does it make him? Rupert tells Tom that if Tom doesnít win immunity, heís gone. And if he does win, he asks if Tom will get rid of the only worker on the tribe or go after Rob. Tom privately says everybody is trying to tell him what to do, but he has his own game that heís playing. He tells Rupert that they need to get Rob off or itís done.
Rob realizes that there is no guarantee that Tom will stay loyal. So he instigates Tom into starting a fight with Rupert. He tells Tom that Rupert says Tom wants to vote Rob out. Tom says no, thatís stupid Ė why would he change now? No, he insists, he wonít change alliances. Rob says he canít see why Rupert would say that if it werenít true. Tom says that Rupert has been truthful, but if he said that, heís lying Ė and Tom is not happy about it. Rob says heís been straight with Tom since Day 1 and encourages him to confront Rupert.
So Tom does! But when he suggests Rupert lied, Rupert turns the tables and asks if Tom did or did not say that. Repeatedly. Rob watches and grins, telling us privately that he wants them at each otherís throats so they wonít go after him and Amber. Tom asks why heíd want to go against Rob when he has an alliance with him that Rupert didnít even know he had. Rupert says of course he knew, Tom told him! All in all, I think Rupert comes out ahead in this debate. Well, scratch that. Rob is the one who really comes out ahead.
Rupert tells us that he knows Rob is playing the game hard, and this was all a ploy to make Rupert look bad. Thatís fine, he says, because he stood up and told Tomís whatís what. He adds that Tom has talked about getting rid of everybody behind everybodyís back, and now Rupert is the bad guy?
We jump immediately to the immunity challenge, which is a word search. They have to find the 17 past tribe names (which are listed Ė they donít have to remember them all). Then they use the leftover letters to spell out a final mystery word.
As they begin, Jenna quickly gets Pagong. This is different from her last time on Survivor, when she quickly got Pagonged. Rob, Amber, and Jenna each have four words. Rob is up to seven, so is Amber. Rupert and Tom are consistently two or so behind. Amber pulls ahead at 11. Amber still ahead at 13, 14, 15. Rob stays one behind. Jenna falls way behind and is now tied for last with Rupert at 12. Amber has all the names and is trying to unscramble the secret word. Rob and Tom have 15. As Amber still is struggling, Rob has 17 and immediately thinks he has the mystery word: Chaboga Mogo. He wins!
Afterwards, Rob says he is in a good position, but itís precarious. He holds power unless Rupert, Jenna, and Tom team up to vote off Amber. He doesnít know yet if they realize that or not, so heís just being a diplomat and listening to what they all have to say.
Tom congratulates him and apologizes for the earlier misunderstanding. Jeez. Rob gets Tom going, and then Tom apologizes?! Amber says Tom is scrambling Ė he knows that they are not 100% with him and heís the swing vote. Tom says he made a deal with them and if they want to break it, theyíll break it. But Tom wants to vote out Jenna, because her brain is better than Rupertís. I would quibble with that, I think.
Jenna says there is so much paranoia, but she trusted in their alliance with Amber and Rob, and it has held up since Day 12.
Rob isnít quite sure what he wants to do, though. He asks Amber if they should just flip a coin. Heís gone through it a million times in his mind and doesnít know which way to go. OK, Rob, hereís a hint: You use Tom as the swing vote and get rid of Rupert. There, that wasnít so difficult, was it? The problem, I guess, is that he doesnít know if he can trust Tom, who might switch to Rupert and Jenna and get rid of Amber. No wonder heís gone over it a million times.
Rob calls Tom over and asks to be honest. He then asks if Tom has or has not tried to mark him to get out of game. ďAbsolutely not.Ē Tom continues that Rob marks himself every time he wins challenges. Rob continues the inquisition by asking if Tom has gone to anybody to try to get Rob out. No. So what would happen if the get Jenna out tonight. Tom says Rob should tell him. Rob asks why. Tom says heís the swing vote, the pawn. Amber says no, there is no swing vote, theyíre a group. Tom says all Rupert and Jenna need is one, but why would he side with them? Rob says he doesnít know, and asks why Tom has been trying to get rid of him for last two weeks.
Tom says they sound like seventh graders here and wants to get past that. Fine, Rob says he doesnít care what happened in the past. If Tom vote with him, who will they vote off? Tom says he likes Rupert but it was a lowlife thing he did and it will take Tom a while to get over it. Jenna is a motor mouth and smarter. But Tom says Rob and Amber can make the decision, and heíll put down that vote. They agree.
Still, Amber says there is no decision they can be 100% sure about. Amber tells Rob theyíre so close, she can taste it. Rob assures her it will be okay. She thinks this will be the ugliest Tribal Council theyíve had yet.
So letís get to it! Probst begins by asking Rupert if itís peaceful at camp. No. Some alliances are being tested. Itís getting to the end, and five people want to be in the final two.
Amber is asked if she can sense the suspicion setting in. She says itís huge, and people are starting to really get nervous. Itís the most stressful time every Ė she can smell the money, itís so close. That gets a patented Shii Ann eyeroll from the jury box.
Jenna agrees with Amber, saying that with three days left, you donít care if you eat or sleep Ė the game is everything.
Probst asks Rob if itís inevitable that it will always come down to this. He says that in the end, some people are playing a bit harder than others. Some are scrambling, there is paranoia, some are caught in lies (Lex grimaces from the jury box). Did Rob notice people getting caught in lies? Rob did indeed, he claims.
So, Amber, what will you base your vote on? She says she is going completely with her gut for the first time Ė thatís the only thing she trusts now.
Probst asks Tom how insulted heíll feel if heís gone tonight? Tom mumbles something about ďEt tu, BruteĒ and says that even Jesus said it. Er. No. Iím pretty sure that was Caesar, not Jesus. But anyway, he says that if he were to be stabbed in the back, he doesnít have to live with it Ė they do. He gets to sit on the jury and decide if it was done fairly.
Jenna, would you be okay with leaving after 36 days? No. Itís not good enough. She came to win, and if she loses now, a lot of people lied, and thatís a big deal. Somehow, I doubt thereís any sympathy from the jury on that one.
Time to vote! We donít see any votes, but we hear Rob say the pony ride is over. ďYouíre welcome, for carrying you this far.Ē Well, they didnít need to show the vote. Tom is obviously gone Ė nobody could reasonably accuse Rupert of being carried by Rob. But we still have to tally the votes: Jenna, Tom, Tom, Tom. So, like I thought, tom is gone.
Probst gives his usual line, ďThe tribe has spoken.Ē Tom replied, ďI heard it.Ē He stops before going over bridge and looks meaningfully at Rob.
In Tomís final words, he says he has two knives in his back Ė from Rob and Amber. But heíll be on the jury. If they can live with it, he can live with it, and heís living with it fine. So farewell, fair-weather friend.
Well, that was rather unsurprising. Itís not necessarily what should have happened, but weíll hear about that plenty in the next couple days. I do wish we saw why Rupert and Jenna didnít use the opportunity to tell Tom that he was the next to go and bring him over. Maybe Robís plan to make them fight made it such that Rupert wouldnít trust Tom anymore, and Tom wouldnít trust Rupert. But it seems that Rob wasnít sure about just how well he succeeded with his plan to break them apart, to the point that he didnít feel he could trust Tom. Itís a bit unclear, unfortunately.
On Motherís Day, we will see the two-hour finale followed by the one-hour live reunion. Iíll be at both! The previews say there is a surprise so big, it will surprise everyone. Oooooh. Weíll only have to wait a few days to find out what it is. See you then!