Survivor
Ready To Bite The Apple

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Miss Alli: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Nobody's That Dumb!

Jeff asks who is pretty confident that it won't be them tonight. Everyone sits stony-faced. And then Erik slowly and sheepishly raises his hand, which is awesomely cute. Jeff's like, "So, even with a supposed five against two, nobody feels safe?" Everyone sits. Jeff asks what Peih-Gee thinks her odds are, as the only Zhan Hu sitting there without individual immunity. Peih-Gee says that she thinks her odds suck. She expects it will be she who leaves tonight.

Erik is not giving away immunity, and now, it is time to vote. Amanda is up first. She votes. Peih-Gee votes for Todd, calling it "insurance." Denise votes. James votes for Peih-Gee, going for the final "zinger" by saying, "You lost to win." She also...won immunity to win, but I guess we're not counting that. It's one more immunity victory than he has. Erik votes, and it's interesting to me that J-R throws him a wink as he passes. Todd votes for James, saying, "I hope this works."

So now, it's time for Jeff to tally the votes. AND WEEP. Jeff returns with the urn. "If anyone has a hidden immunity idol, now would be the time to play it," he says. The editing suggests that Todd screws up his face at this point, but...I have to think Todd has a better poker face than that. Jaime has a better poker face than that. I think that is a trick. James appears to glance at his bag, but he plays no idol. Todd smiles. First vote goes to Todd. Then James. Peih-Gee. Then James. The second vote is not good news for him at all, because if there's a vote for Todd and there are two votes for him, something is terribly wrong in the group of five. There's another for James, then another for James, and that, ladies and gentlemen, will be it. James covers his face in obvious self-loathing. Todd pulls his hat down over his face, and in my favorite shot of the episode, Frosti openly laughs hysterically, which is adorable, because he doesn't have a speck of meanness in him, so this is pure "Oooooooh, BURN!" in the best way. J-R and Jaime laugh, too, and Peih-Gee looks over long enough to share a chuckle with them. Hey, she's still probably doomed, but look what happened there: James left before she did, and Jaime -- ridiculed for her fake-idol moment -- certainly now knows that she's not the dumbest person of the season by any stretch. Which is dumber: playing an idol that isn't an idol, or failing to play either of TWO idols that ARE idols? I know the answer. I mean, look. You have two idols, you have to be willing to gamble a little to use them to their fullest advantage. But. Here, there are three tribal councils left where they're good, and you have two of them. All you have to do is successfully bluff one time. If he had said, "I'm going to play one tonight, just to make sure," they would never have voted for him, and he wouldn't have had to play it anyway. Bluffing won't work forever, but there's no way it wouldn't have worked once. It also would have worked to play it this week and scare them for next week, and bluff then. Saving them until genuinely, truly the last possible minute is not optimizing their value, any more than playing them in the first two tribal councils where you had them would have been. You've got to have a little finesse, or you're not even really playing. It's certainly not always dumb to gamble and not play it, but it was all kinds of dumb here.

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Survivor

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