After going to Tribal twice in a row, Red is feeling that particular shade of blue previously reserved for Matsing. Denise is feeling frustrated after her 6th Tribal Council in a row, but our Munchkin of Muscle is still standing. Penner is genuinely surprised that Katie voted for him, & vows to keep his eyes & ears open from now on.
Yellow is having their coffee around the fire (you know, as Survivors do) & Mike notes that this day, Day 17, is when he fell into the fire in Season 2. As long as he stays alive for 3 more hours. 3 long, tense hours. Artis is shaking his head like he can't believe this guy is talking about this again. I think we all know he's actually trying to talk himself out of committing the perfect crime (anything involving an injury to Skupin).
|Yes, everyone would think it was an accident, but that doesn't make it right. Does it? DOES IT?|
Malcolm collects bets that Skupin will not survive for another 3 hours, as he says, "Dude, you've barely made it this far. Look at you."
|Let's look. Putting aside the scars on his head/face, his arms are now trying to detach themselves.|
Boats arrive at both the Yellow & Red camps with the news that the tribes are merging & they have 10 minutes to get their things & go to a new location. The tribes meet on a new beach & there is food to welcome them. They decide to toast to their new tribe with grapes or something, instead of the available wine or beer.
|Right behind you are grapes that are already fermented.|
Kent is now itching to get Penner out as he really, really, really doesn't want a returning player to win, if anyone missed hearing him say that the previous 20 times. Can you imagine how many times he has said it that didn't end up on air?
Lisa takes a sip of the wine & transforms into Rainbow Dash & now I would very much like to party with Lisa.
|Original Rainbow Dash, not that new freak with plastic hair you can't even brush.|
The merged tribe begins building a shelter, & Lisa lays out everyone's clothes to dry in the sun. She is shocked to find an Immunity Idol hidden in Malcolm's bag, wrapped in his swim trunks. Malcolm hadn't planned for this. "I thought an hour would be a safe amount of time to assume that people would be eating & drinking & getting to know each other...Apparently the estrogen kicked in & we had to have our frickin' clothes cleaned."
Malcolm takes her aside, doesn't say anything & looks at her. In other words, he pulls his cougar move. He lets The Hair down to do its thing. It blows in the ocean breeze, accentuating his cheekbones & framing his strong (yet oddly facial hair-free) jawline. What's a lady to do?
Lisa takes one glance at Malcolm's tousled waves & confesses in the sweetest way possible. "I didn't mean to. I promise I didn't mean to." She says this while looking gorgeous. Seriously, I don't know if anybody has ever had such glowing skin after being on an island for 17 days.
Lisa promises not to tell anybody, & Malcolm finds himself in a 3-way alliance with Denise & Lisa. He's not too hopeful about his chances against either one in a Final 3, but I'm sure he's quite comfortable between 2 experienced ladies. Get it, girls.
Penner knows who Lisa is, & they laugh because the young guys have no idea that she was a TV star. Again, I don't understand this, but that probably just means that at 34, I'm in with the older crowd already. At this very moment, Jeff Kent & his ego are sobbing into a baseball mitt because nobody recognized him except for Dawson, who just taunted him with it.
|Speaking of taunting, this school of fish later spells out P E N N E R.|
Penner & Skupin talk some more turkey, about Skupin & RC possibly siding with Red. "Skupin seems like a cool guy, so I gotta help him feel as comfortable as he can about slitting the throats of the people he's spent 17 days with." Just make sure you get the hell out of there when you hand him the knife.
Meanwhile, Jeff is chatting with Yellow about (what else?) getting rid of Penner. "I'll join any gang as long as I can get Penner out before I get out." What did Penner do to this guy? They decide the best thing to do is split the votes between Penner & RC. If Penner plays the idol, RC goes home - if he doesn't, everyone votes again, this time all for Penner.
At the Immunity Challenge, the individual Immunity Necklaces are revealed - one for a man, one for a woman. It is an endurance challenge - holding on to a rope suspending a bucket holding 25% of their weight in water. The man & woman who last the longest win Immunity. Hands get sweaty, buckets drop, leaving Denise & Carter with Immunity. It was really that uneventful. The only interesting moment was when Penner's bucket dropped.
Probst: "Penner is out of this challenge & in trouble at tonight's Tribal Council."
Penner: "Well, thank you."*
Probst: "Glad you're on the show, Jon."
Penner: "Thank you, buddy. Me too."
*Read: "Thanks so much for paying attention to my last Tribal Council comment about never wanting to give anyone the idea of voting for me. That's awesome."
Back at the camp, we see the new Tribe flag & the new name, Dangrayne. Without the usual spiel on how they came up with it, I can only assume they all like this Dan Gray guy located NorthEast of them. Or it's a play on the damn rain that's been plaguing them this season. Either way, it makes me think of gangrene, so there's our Merged Tribe name. Skupin probably has it anyway.
Penner gets reassurances from Jeff & Carter that they will vote for Pete with him, & Penner believes they mean it. Jeff also reassures Pete & Abi that they will stick to the 4-4 vote. Jeff says it's really up to him & who he decides to carry over. I say Jeff is an asshat & how did he get to be in charge?
Off to Tribal, where the most adorable lizard ever is busy being adorable.
Probst points out that Yellow is the first tribe ever to have avoided Tribal Council until the Merge, & Denise will eventually attend every single Tribal Council this season, either as a player or a jury member, now that the tribes are merged. That's crazy.
Abi-Maria & RC discuss the "betrayal" over the unburied Idol Clue. "It wasn't me." "And it wasn't me."
All of the voting possibilities are brought up, & Lisa points out that if someone switches allegiances now, they may not be the top dog, but they also wouldn't be the dog that's been kicked at the side of the road. Or perhaps, the puppy that Pete shot for escaping the backyard fence. He may be a monster, but of all the different guys Pete has been, "Guy that liked RC" has never been one of them, & he says this as he votes for her.
|And here's another adorable lizard. Look at that face. She knows things.|
All this talk about blindsides & possibilities (guided by Probst, of course) has made Penner less secure than he seemed earlier in Tribal. Probst leaves to get the votes, & from behind the Survivors comes a menacing whisper on the wind. They all turn with fear in their eyes, but it is Penner who understands that Probst doubled-back to give him a sign of impending doom. When it is time to play the idol, Penner takes that deal, & after a polite exchange with Probst, the votes are read.
None of the 5 votes for Penner count, & while Pete's name was written down twice, RC is voted out, & is the first member of the jury.
As the "Penner" votes were read, you could read the emotions on his face so clearly.
|Relief that he played the idol.|
|Sadness that he'd needed to play the idol.|
|Anger at the betrayal. And probably wanting to punch Jeff Kent, unless that's just me.|
Many thoughts after this episode. Why wouldn't Red stick with the guy who has the Idol, at least for a bit longer? How far could RC have gone if Abi-Maria had been sane? How jealous will Abi-Maria be when RC shows up freshly showered for Tribal Council? Why is Jeff Kent always chewing on grass? Can't wait for next week.