In something of a replay of last week, Troyzan and Jay the Model look around at the 6-4 women-men ratio and get very nervous. And basically when Tarzan has to tell you you're fucked and you missed your window about three tribal councils ago, you're in trouble.
The reward challenge is a Probst-less affair that involves throwing those slingshotty things that are basically a rope with two balls on it (oh, grow up) that you see people throw at people's legs in medieval movies. Whatever, so those have to be thrown at a statue. It's all very dynamic. The team of Troyzan, Tarzan, Jay, Alicia and Kat win and get a boozy reward.
Back at camp, Kim and her alliance talk about next steps and it's decided that Troy and Jay need to be the next to go. This makes Chelsea nervous because she made deals with them and she's is a woman of honor or whatever, and she ends up making the rest of her alliance think she's weak. Meanwhile, Jay wants to get rid of Alicia, because he really does want to make me fall in love with him.
At the immunity challenge, Chelsea outlasts the field in a "hold your arm up lest a bucket of goop tip over onto you" challenge, while the more secure competitors (Kim, Sabrina, Kat) bail in order to get food. (Also, not for nothing, but Jay steps down willingly for chicken and beer.) So if Troy was a little suspicious before, now he's a lot suspicious, and he starts to scramble. Troy wants to play his idol and try to get Kim out, while Jay goes back to Kim and says that with Troy playing his idol, maybe go for the sure thing and eliminate Alicia now and Troy later. Meanwhile, Kim was already looking to split the women's votes in order to guard against a hidden idol anyway because she is ON IT.
Tribal council sees Troy play the idol and four people get votes, but in the end, the women avoid the Troy problem all together and vote for Jay, who takes his headband, tank top and pouting lips out of my life forever.
Previously: Merge. Troy/Jay/Chelsea/Kim/Kat/Sabrina. Jonas. Mike? Mike! Kim/Chelsea/Sabrina/Kat/Alicia/Christina. Sigh, Troy/Jay.
The morning after Mike's ouster, Jay is stoking the fire (YEAH, he is) and captivating the women with talk of the dream he had last night, wherein he was shot. The girls wonder who shot him. "...Mike?" Sabrina asks... hopefully? Jay just kind of laughs, because given the conversation coming up next, I'm guessing the finger that pulled the trigger in Jay's dream was slender and French-manicured.
Troy and Tarzan are talking about the dire straits the menfolk find themselves in. Tarzan points out the 6-4 gender split and says, "They beat us at the game. We're gonna lose." Hate it when the crazy assholes are right. Troyzan is still under the Kim-planted impression that Mike was against them, as he tells Tarzan it's not like the men fell apart -- Mike was always voting with the women anyway. I officially have no problem with anyone snowing Tarzan, but ... Troy knows he's full of shit with that statement, right? He's certainly not telling Tarzan that he already has an immunity idol. Still, he interviews about how easily the women could decide to knock him and Jay -- the two most recent immunity-winners -- out of the game. He says if he gets a whiff that Kim and Chelsea are pulling a fast one, he can always use his immunity idol to change things up.
And, look, it's easy to laugh from this vantage point and laugh at Troyzan and Jay for seeing what was coming and still not being able to thwart it, but I'm not so sure it's the dumbest thing I've seen on this show. If we take away the part where Troy was so easily snowed by Kim last week re: Mike (which, granted, looks pretty stupid), their only indication that the women they're aligned with are going to turn on them is that there's a 6-4 gender split. It's just as likely that the women ARE with them and that freaking out about it and changing the plan (aligning with Tarzan and Leif, say) might queer a deal that was pretty advantageous to them. The reality is that Kim, Chelsea, and Sabrina have them totally snookered and they're doing a pretty good job of it. Should Troy and Jay have seen Mike's ouster as the elimination of a strong immunity threat and subsequently drew a line to themselves? Probably. But the women -- Kim especially -- are playing this whole thing rather well.
Tree Mail: the whole tribe treks out together to retrieve the message, which is joined by a chalkboard scoreboard and totem-pole-like apparatus they're supposed to bring back to their camp. They'll be performing the challenge from the comforts of home and without any host, because I guess Jeff Probst had to do a focus group for his new talk show or something. You guys, Jeff Probst is getting a talk show. For everybody who can't get enough of his inquisitive style at Tribal Councils. That's okay, though, because Troyzan takes it upon himself to be the de-facto challenge host while Jeff is away. Seriously though, this kind of read-your-own-instructions, do-the-challenge-in-your-backyard thing is soooo Big Brother. So I did a poor job of describing the challenge apparatus in the recaplet. Let me try to do better: it's kind of a totem pole with rungs? Like one central vertical pole with spindlier poles stuck through it horizontally. Each pole represents a score: 1-5 and the higher the spindle, the higher the score. The teams have to take this rope with balls tied to either end (sorry, it sounds porny but that's just what it is) and throw it at the pole, trying to wrap the balls around the pole and score. LOOK, YOU DESCRIBE IT. Winner gets a boat ride to a barbecue feast.