In the wake of the Jonas elimination, the women hold a 6-5 majority, which has Kim pondering her options (stay with the original women's alliance or her more recent Salani group?) and Troyzan and Jay the Model fretting that, among other things, Kim may be pondering her options. Jay hopes their next vote-out will be a girl, thus restoring the gender balance.
At the reward challenge, a giant waterslide and oversized puzzle cubes came into play, and the team of Mike, Kim, Leif, Christina, and Sabrina eke out a narrow victory, earning themselves an isolated getaway with all the 7Up they can drink. And while the Survivor rewards are mostly you-had-to-be there affairs, I totally get the appeal here, as I would probably go running into the ocean for a cold glass of 7Up right now. Anyway, on the reward, while Leif is pigging out loudly, Kim pulls Sabrina aside and they talk options. They decide that it's more advantageous to them to stick with the women alliance (more advantageous, maybe, but more boring TV, and if it means throwing Jay the Model over for Alicia, count me OUT). Their first target looks to be Mike, the biggest and the strongest of the guys (also the in-their-alliance-est of the guys, so voting him out would certainly make a statement).
Back at camp, Kat talks to the reward-losers about voting out Mike as well, which makes Troyzan privately wary about depleting the supply of dude on the island. But when the rewarded return to camp, it takes Kim about three seconds to convince Troyzan that Mike has been campaigning against him and that he should be next to go.
So suddenly, Mike needs to win immunity desperately, though he doesn't know it. But he chokes in the knot-untying part of the challenge, and then Jay the Model makes a most unlikely comeback in the puzzle round to take individual immunity. Which leaves Kim with a big decision (as far as the show is concerned, Kim is running the girls' alliance). She seems set on ditching Mike, until Chelsea makes the big blunder of asking Jay to vote for Mike in front of Alicia and Christina. Jay (rightly) assumes that letting the women who are ostensibly not in the Salani alliance listen in on strategic planning means there may not be a Salani alliance. Maybe go back to squabbling with Tarzan about stupid stuff, Chelsea. Kim gets word that Jay is twigged and manages to nimbly convince both Mike and Jay that they're all voting Christina, all while keeping the two of them from talking about how fishy Chelsea was being. Kim's good.
At Tribal Council, Jeff expends a whole lot of energy trying to harsh the tribe's good mood and underlining the fact that nobody thinks they're the one going home tonight. Jeff Probst gets more worked up over really standard gameplay than anybody I know. The breakdown of the TC votes is another point in Kim's favor, as far as I'm concerned: Mike and Tarzan vote for Christina, fine. Kim and her alliance vote for Mike. And then Alicia and Christina throw their votes to Tarzan, which gives the women plausible deniability that they're a solid bloc. Also, Kim managed to get Jay onboard with voting Mike, which is a conversation I really wish we'd seen. Anyway, later, Mike! You were pretty boring but not terrible!
Previously: Colton was probably the worst thing the show had foisted on the public since Elisabeth Hasselbeck (oh, calm down -- she's fine), but he was felled by the most heroic stomach bug of all time, so the show panicked and merged the tribes super early and thus the 12-person monstrosity voted Jonas out last week because... no reason, really. Also, Tarzan washed his poopy pants with Chelsea's non-poopy pants.
The Jonas vote-out was pretty standard, so there were no late-night rantings and ravings after tribal. The next morning, Troyzan and Jay the Model are beach-walking and talking strategy. I have to admit something right off the bat: I am, much to my surprise, really into Jay the Model. When the season started, he seemed a little dumb, a smidge stupid, perhaps a bit of a dim bulb. But as One World went on and almost all of my hatred was funneled into Colton and Alicia (with a bit held over for Tarzan), Jay started seeming like a better option. And while he's not going to be giving up his cushy gig wearing underpants for a living to go to grad school or anything, it turns out he has a decent grasp of what's happening in this game. Case in point: this talk with Troyzan, where they're appropriately wary of being on the shallow side of the gender imbalance. The show kind of plays it like it might be a sexist thing -- Jay's askeered of the powerful castrating women -- but considering the game started with gender-aligned teams, Jay's absolutely right to be worried that whatever original women's alliance there was would re-form now. Anyway, on the ominous note of a women's alliance (and after a generous shot of the boys' butts from the POV of, perhaps, one of the island's free-range chickens) we hit the credits.
After the break, we're back with Jay and Troyzan, who have reached the tree-mail tree and have re-tree-ved (sorry) a message in a bottle. Specifically a 7Up bottle. Troyzan, who's more of a wild man than I gave him credit for, is all, "Someone's havin' a party!" Because: 7Up! Also, Jay obligingly says "the un-cola" at least twice, which is hilarious to me because A) I love when reality TV people pitch the sponsors without even having to be asked, because they're that well-versed in TV, and B) hasn't "the un-cola" been 7Up's marketing pitch for at least ten years? Doesn't 7Up itself seem like an antiquated brand that we'll soon recall like we recall RC Cola or Tab? Didn't Sierra Mist totally cut 7Up off at the knees? Remember when those little red dot characters were everywhere? For this and other remembrances of pop commercials of yore, please visit my web site, YouGotTheRightOneBabyUhHuh.tumblr.com. Anyway, the tribe correctly guesses that the 7Up bottle means that the reward challenge will be for some 7Up. Guess Jay's not the only one who's smarter than he seems.