Probst goes for Julie next, asking her if it isn't foolish to intentionally lose a tribemate when numbers are so important in this game. You know, except for all those seasons where having numbers actually hurt the majority alliance. While Krista and Stephanie smirk like they have anything to be proud of, Julie says that, personally, she'd like to go into the merge with as many people on her side as possible. Probst decides to ask Stephanie for her opinion, thereby opening an annoying can of worms. In the most condescending way possible, Stephanie says the majority of her tribe seems to have forgotten that they're playing Survivor, and that Li'l Russell has played this game before and can be an asset to all of them. Right, because Li'l Russell did so much for his tribe the other two times he played. Stephanie's argument might work with someone like Rob, who's been working really hard to gain his tribe's trust and be an asset (on the surface, anyway), but not Li'l Russell. Stephanie says if the other six people want to be best friends, that's fine for now, but they will end up stabbing each other in the back.
At this point, David interrupts to say something, but Stephanie keeps right on speaking, scolding him with "I'm still talking, mouth is still moving, THANK YOU." "Feisty!" David says. He probably wouldn't have said that if Stephanie was a man, so they both come off like assholes there. Stephanie continues that they need numbers going into the merge to take out the other tribe, and with only two people over the other tribe, throwing a challenge and losing a member is "not strategy. It's plain stupidity." And then she sits back and shrugs like she's awesome. Which she isn't, because snapping at people in your tribe who have a majority alliance against you and alienating all of them even more is not strategy. It's plain stupidity.
Li'l Russell grins, as well he should, since he doesn't have to do or say anything. His little puppet is doing it all for him. Probst informs Steve that an "incohesive group of nine is a much bigger advantage than a tight six" going into a merge. Um, no, it's not. Remember, Probst, when Li'l Russell went into a merge with a tight group of four against an incohesive group of eight? Or when J.T., Stephen, and Taj were a tight group of three against like seventeen people in that Brazil season? And they did just fine. Steve says losing "sucked," but he still will not admit to throwing the challenge. Why should he? He admitted it in his interviews; he just doesn't think it's wise to admit it openly or to Probst, which I totally understand. Stephanie smiles and shakes her head. Probst asks David if Steve is telling the truth and he truly got his "ass kicked by Rob." David says Rob beat him. "Really?" Stephanie snots. Ugh. SHUT UP. David tells her not to speak for him and trust that just because his hands weren't moving on the puzzle board doesn't mean that his mind wasn't working. "Okay. [giggle]," Stephanie says.