In the aftermath of Gary and Amy's decision to boot Brian last week, they're badly outnumbered at Yaxha and hoping for the best. They get the best of the reward challenge when their team outmummifies and out-unmummifies Nakum in a challenge that's quite delightful in its physical awkwardness. The teams even strain for dÃ©tente during a quick birthday party for Danni. But we're back in competitive mode during a puzzle-building immunity challenge. In spite of Steph's well-documented puzzle-related ineptitude, Nakum manages to get immunity, sending Yaxha to tribal council. While it briefly looks like Amy might manage a boot of Bobby Jon based on Farmer Beavis's oddball sense of honor, things work out just as it initially appears that they will, and Amy and her giant ankle are thrown right out of the tribe. And at the very end, Jeff spontaneously performs the merge by sending the rest of Yaxha off to Nakum's camp without further ado. Bobby Jon, Brandon, Danni, Gary, Judd, Steph, Jamie, Rafe, Lydia, Cindy. You'll notice that Bobby Jon and Steph, either of whom would have made a perfectly good free boot on the basis that they've been here before, are both making the merge. Very interesting, the minds of tribes.
Previously on Shoving A Ball, Wish You Were Here: Nakum found Margaret's attitude a downer, and didn't understand why she had to be so bummed about their naked plans to get rid of her. At the challenge, the tribes competed for a reward by pushing a giant ball around in some kind of dystopian salute to the gladiators of a gray and sports-less future. Amy's ankle got crunched again, but she soldiered on, leaving it to other members of her tribe to lose the challenge to Nakum after Bobby Jon went all krazy kookoopants on Jamie. Because both tribes were destined to spend the evening at tribal council, the only immunity challenge of the week involved the ball-victorious Nakumians, who carried out a fairly pedestrian individual competition won by Rafe, with an assist from (no, I swear) Judd. At the first of two tribal councils, Judd flipped his lid, went off on Margaret, scared the bejeezus out of half his tribe, but got his way anyway when Margaret was sent home. Boo! At the second tribal council, the generally happy Yaxha tribe fairly reluctantly got rid of Brian, in spite of his proven ability to bust a wedge. Boo! Eleven left -- who will go out next?
Credits. Update: I now find even still photos of Judd completely unsettling.
It is night, and the leaf-carrying ants are still marching. A mouse enjoys a late snack. The moon hangs. The mouse is menaced by...a spider, I think. It's brutal out here in the night-vision jungle. It is Night 15 at Nakum as the tribe returns to camp. Because Judd has been too gracious and not nearly megalomaniacal enough up to this point, he decides to crow about how grateful he is that Margaret was booted. He tells the group, "My bark ain't as big as my bite," and I'm...not sure that's what he intended to say, unless he wanted everyone to start sleeping with one eye open. Oh, and he's nervously scratching himself as he talks, which is always a sign that all is well, temperament-wise.
Judd interviews all about how Margaret was sent home because he couldn't take the way she kept pushing and pushing his buttons. By, you know, being a woman who was smart and not impressed by Judd in the slightest. He congratulates himself for having "a little outburst" that "put her in her place." Just as with Bobby Jon, I think he has no idea what it means to put someone in his or her place. There's an implication there of making the other person look bad, or making them feel chagrined, or something. All he did with Margaret was get his way with the vote, which he was going to get anyway. The "outburst" did absolutely nothing except make Judd look bad, prove that every single thing Margaret was saying about him was true, and probably make some of the tribe feel fairly guilty and reluctant about voting Margaret out. He gives a lecture to everybody else around the fire about how Margaret lost her "mom" role when the tribes shifted, and that this "just devastated her." If he thought that, then why was he such a dick to her? It makes no sense. Nothing Judd says about Margaret makes any sense. His fixation on her is just...odd.