In the final battle, Erik goes up against Frosti to eat a thousand-year-old egg -- a battle you'd think Frosti might win, based on past performances. But it doesn't happen. Instead, Erik aces him out by about half a second, and Zhan Hu wins immunity. So...that's not what was planned at all. Todd looks miserable. His plan! His wonderful, beautiful plan!
Fei Long, still Day 18. They return to camp, with Todd in the front of the line, and they look miserable. J-R tries to reassure Denise, telling her that her challenge food was definitely the worst. Since he didn't have to do anything, I'm not sure he knows what was the worst. Denise is feeling low, and she tells everyone how sorry she is. In an interview that she conducts under the gaze of a fairly creepy statue, Denise says with good humor that James was certainly trying like hell to go as slowly as he could so that she could take the round, but she just couldn't swallow the balut. Unsurprisingly, Todd spends his interview contemplating his "perfect plan" and "genius idea," and how it was utterly destroyed. He says, however, that they're trying to be upbeat and keep in mind that they can bounce "one of the old Zhan Hu" and "still have [their] numbers." Causing me to wonder again: if that's true, why did he give up something as valuable as the idol? Just to get rid of Jaime instead of Sherea? I just don't get it. The fact that he came up with a plan to create an outcome that was otherwise unlikely doesn't necessarily make that plan smart. In other words, manipulating the outcome doesn't necessarily mean you've manipulated it to your own benefit.
Todd, Amanda, and Denise have a little chat by the water well, in which they reassure themselves that when you add Courtney and James, they have a group of five, and Todd thinks Frosti will stay with them, so that's six. "We need him to trust us," Todd says. (Why? Because he knows about the idol? Which you don't have anymore?) Courtney wanders up to the discussion (saying she's also "coming to get water," complete with finger quotes, heh), and the four of them agree to boot Sherea, with Amanda using as supporting evidence the fact that Sherea has no friends. This would strike me as a reason to boot someone other than Sherea, not a reason to boot Sherea, but the little group seems settled on it.
But of course, as she thinks about it, Courtney starts to have doubts about voting off Sherea instead of, oh, say, just as a for-instance...her archenemy Jean-Robert. She goes to Sherea and reveals to her that Todd and Amanda are pushing to vote for Sherea, but Courtney, personally, is voting J-R. Courtney tells Sherea that she wouldn't boot anybody from the game who prefers her to J-R. Sherea interviews that she's clearly in trouble, but she thinks the people in Fei Long would be well served to look to each other as threats, and not just to her.
Todd, Amanda, and Frosti are splashing around in shallow water, with Courtney up on shore nearby. As they all reassure themselves that voting out Sherea is the thing to do, Courtney throws in, "Unless we vote for Jean-Robert." And what's her reasoning? "He hates me." That is not the best argument I've ever heard. Amanda says that it's better to stick with the original Fei Long, although she doesn't really say why. She also says that "it has to be Frosti or Sherea" right in front of Frosti, which I would think isn't necessarily wise. Why would she imply in front of him that she still sees the original tribes as the basic structure of the natural alliances? Courtney continues with the "he hates me" line of argument, saying that Jean-Robert would vote her out more quickly than Sherea would. Again, Courtney, you have to tell them why what you want them to do is better for them, not why it's better for you. Amanda tells her that eventually, it'll be "down to our people," but for the moment, it's "bigger picture." This is, like, a clash of two people whose strategy talk doesn't make any sense. Courtney somewhat bitchily points out that all the plotting and scheming and "big picture" talk is a little hollow, since Todd's genius plan for today didn't go so well. As she puts it -- and she's right -- "Now James has the immunity thing for no reason." Todd assures her he's "a little upset about that." Courtney tells Todd that "there's only so much planning you can do," which I think is a great point, if perhaps not the way she means it.