John then claims that the new Rotwos are part of the tribe, and that if there is a "traditional merge," he gives his "absolute word" that the former Rotus will go first. Still, he doesn't trust Rob, who looks bored and irritated. Rob promises that he won't "try to, like, swing to the other side," and then John also gives his word, but also must have the last word by adding, "And don't try to fuck me!" Rob and John shake on the pact, and they want Sean to shake on it, too. No one cares if Vecepia shakes, because they know she'll just do whatever she thinks will make them happy. Rob tells us that he thinks he convinced John "to a degree" that Rob is trustworthy and part of the team. He adds, "I want 'im to trust me. But he shouldn't." As they conclude this discussion ,and Rob walks off, he suddenly asks John, "Are you gay, dude?" John says, "Don't ask me that," but then he answers in the affirmative. In a confessional, John calls the question "very passive-aggressive," and is bothered because it was a "throwaway comment." He tells us he's thirty-six years old and has been out for a long time. He mockingly tells Rob, through the camera, "Thanks for outing me." He concludes that Rob is bothered because, "this thirty-six-year-old gay boy from Omaha is running the show and just whippin' his pants." And boy, was there a lot of homosexual subtext in that last segment. I hope Rob's friends give him a lot of grief for it. On second thought, I hope John's stupid friends give him a lot of grief as well.
We are still at Rotwo on Day 17, where the decomposing skull of some animal awaits us. A dirty-fingernailed Rob makes a fishing pole, and for the very first time ever tells us that the immunity challenge is critical because if they lose, he'll be voted off. He explains that Sean, Vecepia, and Tammy have to compete because they sat out in yesterday's challenge; he plans to be the fourth competitor, because if they lose, he wants to know that he gave his best effort. He warns us, "Don't count me out." He doesn't threaten to send someone after us, though, if we do count him out.
John poses on a rock as he voice-overs that his alliance had a conversation about who would be the next to go. John tells the others that Rob is "desperate to do something" with the other tribe, and that they'll "sit in a much better place" if they get rid of him before the merge. He calls Rob "a little bit dangerous," and points out that this might be their only opportunity to get rid of him. In a confessional, John tells us that his "gut" is "screaming" that it would be better to lose the challenge in order to eliminate Rob's threat. If my gut were screaming at me, I'd be more concerned. Anyway, Tammy tells John that she can't go into the challenge trying not to win. John says that she doesn't have to throw it -- she should just avoid doing anything extra to help the others if they fall behind. Which would still qualify as "throw[ing] it," I believe. He points out that a million dollars are at stake, and then tells us in a confessional that some battles are more important than others. Tammy hates the idea of competing in the challenge when the others don't want to win. John insists again that it will be better if Rob's "just gone." Tammy tells us in a confessional that she doesn't know what she'll do in the challenge.