When the return from Tribal Council, Morgan starts working the Beauty tribe, knowing that otherwise she’s next. She calls out Jeremiah for pretending to be aligned with Brice and her, and then tells Alexis that Jeremiah wanted her out because she’s a threat like LJ, but he wanted to keep LJ around for challenges. Jeremiah might be seeing the downside of trying to play both sides.
The tribes get treemail about a Reward Challenge involving blindfolds (yay!) and the Brains tribe immediately starts practicing. Anyway, the blindfolded pairs have to collect five items, hoist them up to the caller, then collect a flag and bring it back to the caller. The first tribe to retrieve all five items and the flag win chickens -- the second-place tribe win eggs.
LJ and Jefra gather for the Beauty tribe and LJ clips his nuts at least five times, and every time it cracks me up. Despite those injuries, Beauty wins first place. Brawn remains one item behind pretty much the entire time, but Brains keeps it close by J’Tia sucking as usual. Her one job is hoisting one side of the platform and multiple times; she doesn’t do it well and the item slides off her side of the platform. And then in the end, when they have a huge time advantage, she can’t get their flag back on the platform, which gives Brawn enough time to get their flag back and up to the top, so Brawn wins second place in a huge come-from-behind victory.
Sarah starts strategizing and pitches Woo to take out Cliff if they get a chance, because he doesn’t need the money. Woo surprisingly agrees, even though Cliff is his BFF. Sarah takes it a step further and tries to get her alliance (Tony, Trish and Woo) to throw the challenge and take out Cliff, because they’re worried a merge to two tribes is coming soon and they won’t have the numbers any more.
The Immunity Challenge involves diving down to release five buoys, and then tossing the buoys into a basket. The Beauty tribe -- since they’re actually trying to win and don’t suck -- retrieves all of the buoys quickly. The Brains tribe is just terrible and the Brawn tribe has to work REALLY hard to make it look like they’re actually losing. The Beauty tribe wins before either of the other tribes have all their buoys. Spencer single-handedly gets the Brains tribe back into it by getting the last three buoys himself. J’Tia can’t even rebound Spencer’s missed shots in anything resembling an efficient fashion and Cliff, the former NBA star, is doing all of the shooting for the Brawn tribe. So Cliff of course foils the attempted intentional loss and wins second place for the Brawn tribe. That was pretty hilarious; the Brawn tribe was trying SO HARD to throw it and the Brains tribe is so awful that they lost anyway.
Tasha and Kass immediately decide that J’Tia is awful and she has to go, even though they initially wanted to get rid of Spencer. They decide to keep it a secret so that J’Tia doesn’t sabotage them again. So while they’re explaining to J’Tia why they’re voting out Spencer, Tasha seems to actually convince herself it’s a good idea. I mean, they have to keep Spencer if they even want a hope of winning a challenge. On the other hand, their tribe is so small at this point that they have to merge or mix-up at some point, and they think Spencer will go with someone else immediately while J’Tia will be loyal to the end.
At Tribal Council, they discuss the value of getting out someone who sucks at challenges versus getting out someone who hasn’t shown enough or the right kids of loyalty. While Spencer and J’Tia go back and forth, Kass and Tasha are trying to figure out what to do, which Probst points out. Spencer has a great point: J’Tia’s unpredictability could be as much as a liability as his alleged lack of loyalty. So who do they vote out? J’Tia. THANK FUCKING GOD. It was painful to watch her be so bad at this game. And I think it’s possible that Tasha and Kass have won Spencer’s loyalty by choosing him. For whatever that’s worth, given their small numbers.
Night 8. The Beauty tribe returns from voting out Brice. They all agree that it sucked and Alexis says it took a lot out of her. She might not be built for this game if a simple vote that was never really in doubt for her side took that much out of her. Morgan mopes, as she should, because she's clearly next on the block. She interviews that she's upset that Jeremiah jumped ship from her alliance, and now she just has to do what it takes to save herself.
I didn't think Morgan had any play here, and I thought even less that Morgan would be able to formulate a strategy, but I was wrong on both counts. In front of the whole tribe, Morgan asks Jeremiah why he changed his mind, when he approached her with the plan to vote out Alexis. Jeremiah mumbles something about being loyal to his original alliance, and being scared of Brice's social skills.
Jeremiah interviews that he was surprised Morgan called him out in front of everyone, but that's the game so he can't blame her, and he hopes he made the right call. That night, as they try to sleep, Morgan tells Alexis that she's sorry she voted for her, but she adds that Jeremiah wanted to get out LJ, but they decided they needed him for challenges, so they went for Alexis instead. Alexis interviews that she's skeptical of Morgan's claims, and yet they do have the ring of truth, so she's keeping an eye on Jeremiah now.
Day 9. The Brains tribe gets Treemail and figure out that the next challenge is going to be a food reward, and they'll be blindfolded. They immediately go out to a field and start practicing; it looks like they scattered sticks around and then Tasha yells out orders while the rest of them try to find the sticks. This does seem like one challenge where rehearsal will help. J'Tia interviews that she knows that she's the reason they're hungry, and that she's playing on borrowed time.
The tribes arrive for the Reward Challenge. I've missed Reward Challenges. Probst explains the rules. As usual, there is a caller on a platform. A pair of contestants, tied together and blindfolded, have to navigate the course and retrieve five items. As each item is retrieved, they have to put it on a platform and pull ropes evenly to haul the item up to the caller. Once the caller has all five items, the pair has to retrieve a flag and hoist that up to the caller to win. The winning tribe gets three egg-laying hens and a rooster. The second place tribe gets a dozen eggs. The third place tribe gets nothing.