Back at camp, Judd and Lydia have a chat, and Lydia muses that Danni sure did win immunity on the very day she needed it. She tells Judd that she's happy to give her vote if anyone needs it, and otherwise, she'll go quietly. Judd tells Lydia that nobody is safe. Lydia then goes off with Rafe and tells him just what she told Judd -- if anybody needs her vote, she's available. And then, Judd's voice drifts in from off-camera, sort of offhandedly, saying, "Oh, yeah, Lydia, I need you not to vote for me tonight." She and Rafe look up in surprise, and Judd comes over and says, more seriously, "I would appreciate if you didn't vote for me." This all gets highly uncomfortable as Judd tells Lydia that she asked him first whether he needed her vote, and now he's saying he does, and he wants her not to vote for him. Judd goes on to tell Steph that Lydia is ready to go. Judd reports how he told Lydia that it could be him, even though he knows it won't be. It's not quite clear to me whether Judd has any sense that anything is amiss -- he really did seem to be after Lydia to promise her vote, but on the other hand, when talking to Steph, he seemed to think he was safe. And...later events do not suggest he sensed peril here.
The group leaves for tribal council, and Judd says that he'll miss Lydia around camp, but adds, "One other person goes, I move up, so...no hard feelings." Nice of him to declare that other people have no hard feelings. He interviews that he's happy someone's leaving: "As long as it ain't me, man, I'll always have a smile on my face."
Tribal council. The group files in and sits. We bring in the jury -- Bobby Jon, Jamie, and Gary. Danni looks over at Gary affectionately. Jeff asks about the loved ones, and asks Steph how great it was to see Mike. Steph confirms that it was "really awesome." She says that Mike thought it was tough. Jeff asks Danni about the immunity challenge, and she grins as she explains that she was determined to get the advantage as soon as she saw it come up at the auction. She also adds that she's only cried twice -- when she got spaghetti, and when she got immunity. Hee. I notice that Steph, Lydia, and Cindy are all smiling as Danni is talking -- she certainly does seem to have earned less wrath from others than her fellow survivors. I would think that she, right now, is the person you do not want to face in an F2 situation unless you can get her to really alienate a lot of people between now and the end of the road.
Asked to reflect on how the voting becomes harder, Cindy says that you have to think in terms of who has what alliances, and about how that affects your game. Furthermore, whoever goes home is going to have a jury vote, so you have to think about that. Jeff asks Rafe about how things will be different with five people, and Rafe says that you have to follow your gut feeling about whom to trust, because only that will get you to the end. Blah blah blah, I've heard all of this before. Move along! Let's get rid of someone! Jeff asks Steph how important it is to control the way people are voted out, and Steph gives a surprisingly cogent response by saying that she thinks the most important thing is that, when you vote people off, you be able to explain yourself. I don't know if she and I would mean the same thing by this, but I've had this conversation with one of my Survivor pals many times -- that we wish someone would just get to F2 and explain their votes without apology. "You, I voted out because you weren't in my alliance. You, I heard from so-and-so, intended to vote out strong players, and I was afraid that would mean me." And so forth. Just vote strategically and then explain why you thought that vote was strategic. It might not work, but I'm surprised it's never even been tried, really. When you start apologizing for the personal implications of your vote, you implicitly accept that your vote is personal, you know? At any rate, that's Steph's thinking -- that you just need to be able to explain what you did.