But first, we need to talk about THE reward challenge that never were. I watched a clip of the Dream Team doing a practice run at this challenge. It is classic Survivor challenge. Isn't it fun to watch castaways wrestling each other in the mud trying to push a gigantic ball at the same time? Sounds like total chaos, right? Right. Only that that didn't happen. The veterans opted to talk it out instead. Tandang rallies to get Kalabaw's remaining supply of rice while Kalabaw wants to get some sandwiches. Good gamble? This is Survivor for god's sake! Why would you want to trade your only source of sustenance for one meal?! Carter was unhappy with the deal that Penner proposed but the latter got his wish anyway. Good thing they had those love letters at home to appease his decision with the rest of the tribe but that doesn't change the fact that it was a stupid move knowing that he couldn't bring home the food he promised.
And you know what's even funnier than the deal made? Artis blowing off steam and badmouthing Skupin thereafter. It was funny clip of him talking to Malcolm about trying to calm down so he can say things in a "calm manner". He is such a transparent person and highly negative, too. I don't think he can last that long with such negativity and his inability to keep the emotions in check. It is also a stark contrast to how well Malcolm is playing this game, socially speaking. He didn't say anything to Artis but just let him release his steam. By doing so, he did not further fuel Artis' animosity towards Skupin and he did not take sides during the process. Well played.
Onto the only real challenge for the night, the immunity challenge. Another classic. One person gets to use a giant catapult to launch a ball towards the air as the rest of the tribe attempt to catch one ball on their basket. Malcolm owned this challenge, no doubt. Three consecutive points. And those points end up being a game winner. Poor Carter. The lack of food at camp must have gotten the best of him. He can do nothing to catch up to Malcolm. Jeff said it best, he was "outmuscled and outmanuevered".
Another highlight at the immunity challenge was Jeff clearly picking on the two weakest girls from their respective tribes - Abi Maria and Katie. Probst reiterated that Abi only competed in 2 out of 8 challenges so far, and him using the word "ineffective" a gazillion times to describe Katie in the challenge. Wow.
Another favorite Carter moment for the night came down after the immunity challenge. Talking strategy with Jeff Kent with little food in your tummy must be really messing with your head. When Jonathan approached the other two guys at Kalabaw to discuss what their vote for the night was, he went on to throw the question back at Jonathan saying, and let me put the entire phrase here because it is too damn funny", "what do you think... Katie or Penner?" But what's funnier than that is when he retracted and said, "I mean Denise... Katie or Denise?" Well played Carter. The Survivor editors struck gold with this moment. And you, Carter, just earned your spot in the Survivor classic!
As for tribal council, I was expecting a blindside with Jonathan, just for the sake of it. I seriously thought it was going to happen, especially with those meaningful looks exchanged between Jeff Kent and Carter at tribal. But Katie reached the end of her Survivor journey. I am sad to see her go because I was hoping for her to go beyond her beauty queen persona. But in a game that is about survival of the fittest, her pledge of loyalty was not enough.
Next week, merge time! I can't be more excited because that means Malcolm and Denise are back in each other's arms. Ha! These two are going to kill it, hopefully. And if Malcolm can bring in Lisa, they have a solid three and it would be easy to swing votes to their favor.
What's your take on this episode? Are you looking forward to the big merge next week?