Christine wins another duel, this time despite Albert's (and Probst's) attempts to help Mikayla. Ozzy worries that if Savaii doesn't have the numbers going into the merge he has decided is coming up after the next challenge and Christine comes back into the game, then Savaii will be screwed. Because Christine hasn't made it clear enough that she hates Upolu and will flip to Savaii as soon as possible or anything. So he talks to Cochran about giving up the idol and intentionally going to Redemption if Savaii loses the next immunity challenge, so he can beat Christine and come back into the game on Savaii's side.
Back at Upolu, everyone is suddenly really, really, really Christian. Lead by Coach, they pray for everything – including the hidden idol. Even though Coach is the one who found it and kept that fact secret from half his tribe. Instead, he pretends to find it now and lets everyone in on it, just like Jesus would have done! If Jesus was a deceitful, self-righteous asshole. Upolu prays throughout the challenge, too, where four tribemates are blindfolded and have to maneuver through an obstacle course while connected to a long string. John is picked to connect the blindfolded tribemates to the string, yet somehow manages to mess that up and put Savaii behind. And then Jesus gives Upolu the win.
Except that it wasn't Jesus giving them the win at all, but Satan! For the "reward" is a truly awful Adam Sandler movie and some similarly awful-looking hot dogs. Savaii returns to camp, where a furious Ozzy has changed his mind about his plan to go to Redemption and wants John to go instead for being the reason why they lost. The tribe agrees, but the next morning, Ozzy has changed his mind yet again. At Tribal, Ozzy tells Probst all about his brilliant plan to be sent to Redemption and tell Christine and Upolu that John idoled him out. He gives his idol to John and sure enough, he's voted out. If the merge doesn't happen next week and/or if he can't beat Christine, then it's one of the stupidest decisions ever made on this show. Actually, even if the merge happens and he beats Christine, it's pretty stupid.
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Sorry I missed last week! School is a lot of work. So much, in fact, that this is going to be my last recap for a while ... more on that later, though.
Upolu return to camp. Edna, who has no right to be in this game, whines about how hard it is to see her name at every Tribal, then suddenly talks about how crazy Li'l Li'l Russell was yet again and how hopeful she is that he'll crazy himself out of the game before the tribe votes her out. Rick agrees, muttering to Coach that Li'l Li'l Russell is too volatile to take to a merge. Coach assures Rick that they'll "keep him under control," like, you haven't been able to do that yet, but keep being optimistic that you'll somehow make it happen. Ah, but it turns out that Coach has figured something out, as he interviews that he'll just take Li'l Li'l Russell out himself if the time comes, à la George shooting Lennie in Of Mice and Men (spoiler alert! Way to ruin it for all of us, Coach).
On Day 17, we head right into the Redemption Duel. John and Ozzy are watching for Savaii, while Albert and Sophie are in the audience for Upolu, because, it seems, the people who voted Mikayla out are too chicken-shit to face her now. Probst explains the challenge: each contestant must take apart a crate and use the planks to build a bridge, then solve a puzzle on the other side using some of those planks. And just in case Mikayla isn't the one in the lead the entire time, Probst will give her as many hints as possible in the hopes that Christine, of all people, doesn't pull a Matt and truly us all show how stupid the Redemption Island concept is.
Probst calls go, and Christine quickly figures out that she can just lift all the planks on one side of the crate in one fell swoop instead of taking them out one by one, thus saving herself some time. Probst makes sure to tell Mikayla about this, as does Albert. By the time Mikayla starts on the bridge, though, Christine is a few planks ahead of her. When Albert calls out more encouragement to Mikayla, Probst points out that Mikayla's former tribemates are helping her, but not Christine, who was also (briefly) on that tribe. Apparently, Probst has forgotten about how Christine flipped them off last time. I wish Christine would just take her last plank and smack Probst with it, but instead she puts it on the bridge to advance to the next round. Mikayla isn't far behind and makes quick work of taking her bridge apart, but Christine maintains her lead and starts the puzzle.