Jeff asks Ibrehem whether he's ever thought he wasn't cut out for the game, given how close he came to being out last time. Ibrehem says no, in fact, he's had his eyes opened to all the things he can do. Surprisingly enough. Jeff gets ready to stick it to James, telling him that according to the "you screwed us in the challenge" approach that James applied to Ibrehem last week, James would apparently go himself now. Unsurprisingly, James does not agree. Now, James thinks that basing your vote entirely on the challenge would be unfair. Now, he thinks you should consider "camp life" and "personality," as well as whether you "have personal feelings for this person." Um. Anyway, Jeff asks Steph how she feels about being part of the most pitiful tribe of all time -- one that is, in his words, "almost done." She says that she still wants to win one freaking immunity challenge, because it's way too embarrassing to be the first tribe not to win a single immunity. Seriously. Ten seasons, and you're going to be the worst tribe? Imagine that. That's got to hurt. It's like being the first person to ever accidentally pants yourself at the Tour de France.
Jeff asks Bobby Jon whether he trusts his tribe, and adorably, Bobby Jon says that he does. "If you don't trust them, you shouldn't be on a tribe with them," he insists. Jeff asks Steph if she trusts the three guys. "I do," she says with a smile. Jeff tries to foment a little more disharmony by bringing up the fact that Ibrehem, James, and Bobby Jon are all...from the south? And he wonders if Steph is afraid that they'll boot her because...she's a Yankee? I don't know. This part is stupid. The Civil War is over, Jeff! Steph says that she's paranoid all the time about being voted off, but she's done her very best, and that's all she can do.
See, this is why I love Steph possibly as much as any woman on this show, ever. Not only is she an very physically and mentally strong person -- I don't recall hearing her complain about the conditions, no matter how crappy they got -- but she has managed to make the fact that she's a woman among guys an utter non-issue. It's like, until Jeff brings up the fact that they're all guys except for her, you kind of forget. Because not only has she been such a ridiculous challenge ass-kicker that it would be absurd to vote her off on a challenge-usefulness theory over either James or Ibrehem, but she has never once leveraged one single shred of the sort of gender-war bullshit that you see women drag out on these shows all the time. She has never gone in search of big brothers, or daddies, or protectors, or flirt partners -- I only even know Steph is straight because I've seen her bio and the discussion of her boyfriend back home. I admire just about every single thing about the way she's played, and the way she's approached her position in the game, and I think she and Bobby Jon have put on a remarkable display of how you handle being on a completely sucky tribe without ever looking like a self-pitying weenie. She befriended Angie when it wasn't clear that that was the horse to bet on, she's resisted getting into personal beat-downs at almost every opportunity, she has tried like hellat every challenge that's been put to the team, and she doesn't seem to have a lick of spite or meanness about any of it. She is flat-out awesome, and while I don't think she has a chance in hell of winning, I think she and I should totally have drinks and discuss how much we freaking hate stupid people.