Isn't it horrible when things don't go according to plan? The "Stealth R Us" coalition experienced that firsthand on Wednesday's episode of Survivor, which featured the "craziest Tribal Council ever," according to host Jeff Probst. So what went down?
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The episode opened with Malcolm admitting that, at the last Tribal Council, "Just about everything I tried to do went wrong." But there was one silver lining: he managed to keep the fact that he had an immunity idol secret. And he kept up the ruse, even going as far as to tell his allies Reynold and Eddie that they should get up early the next morning to search the island for the remaining one. Dawn, meanwhile, was starting to lose it. She had a full-fledged breakdown after losing her retainer in the water, enlisting Brenda's help to find it and threatening to quit the game if she couldn't recover it. (It was pretty heartbreaking to see Dawn's embarrassment about missing her bottom teeth, even refusing to look at the camera head-on during interviews while her retainer was missing.) Luckily the rescue mission was a success.
For the obstacle course reward challenge, the contestants split into teams of five and the group consisting of Reynold, Dawn, Cochran, Erik and Phillip won lunch at a resort, including poolside margaritas and — hallelujah! — showers and bars of soap. (Though Phillip, to the annoyance of Erik, decided to forego the shower before skinny dipping in the pool, still coated in mud.) Even after that luxurious afternoon, Dawn said emotions and lack of sleep were starting to get to her, and started to voice concerns that she would be voted off. "She's totally a lunatic and she's losing her composure out here," Phillip said.
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But he wasn't the only one starting to raise an eyebrow at Dawn's behavior. Cochran also said he was getting a bit suspicious of her, and Andrea balked after Dawn had a near-breakdown when Andrea took a piece of coconut. "I honestly feel unstable," Dawn confessed to Cochran — who wondered if the tribe might have another Brandon Hantz on its hands. "We had one who flew over the cuckoo's nest this game ... and he's gone," he said. "But it seems like there might be another hummingbird zippin' over the cuckoo's nest, and her name's Dawn."
Dawn bounced back the next day after getting a full night's sleep, and the members of Stealth R Us (which, for those keeping track, now consists of Phillip, Cochran, Brenda, Sherri, Dawn, Erik and Andrea) regrouped decided to split the next vote 4-3 between Reynold and Malcolm in an attempt to flush out any potential idols. But their plan started to fall apart at the immunity challenge, which involved a lot of underwater activity, and which Phillip opted to sit out because of lingering trauma from a near-drowning incident when he was a boy. Reynold won immunity, meaning that he and Malcolm were both safe at Tribal Council.
Ahead of Council, Malcolm decided to spend the rest of the day looking for a second immunity idol so that he wouldn't have to play his first one. And he wasn't the only one thinking along those lines. Andrea and Dawn also fanned out to look for the idol. "I don't know why people sit around so much at camp," Dawn noted. "There's a million dollars."
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As luck would have it, Malcolm found the idol (in front of Dawn, Andrea and Eddie). But Stealth R Us decided to stick with its vote-splitting plan on the off-chance Malcolm wouldn't play the idol, but decided to target Eddie instead of Reynold. But then at Tribal Council — yay! Michael's back! — Malcolm caused jaws to hit the floor when he revealed not one but both of his hidden immunity idols, and gave the second one to Eddie in front of the stunned Stealth R Us members and a clearly impressed Michael. "This is rare when Tribal gets this crazy," Probst said.
Admitting that he realized the "Three Amigos" would still be outnumbered 6-3 the following morning, Malcolm let it be known that he, Reynold and Eddie would be voting for Phillip. "I don't need to go down a list of reasons why. Everyone knows in their heads," Malcolm said. "This is supposed to be a game and it's supposed to be fun. ... Phillip is the fun sponge. He sucks it all out."
But Phillip and Erik encouraged Stealth R Us to stick with the plan, pointing out that Malcolm and Eddie would have to actually play their idols to be safe, rather than just show them — and that it would be in the trio's best interest to hold on to at least one of them.
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So, what did Stealth R Us decide? Loyal to the end, they split the votes between Eddie and Malcolm (except for Erik, who voted for Phillip — perhaps in retaliation for the pool incident?). But it didn't matter. Both Eddie and Malcolm played their idols, and the trio wasn't lying about voting for Phillip, who was sent home with only three votes (since none of the votes for Malcolm or Eddie counted).
What do you think? Was this the "craziest Tribal Council ever," as Probst put it? And do you think Malcolm's move will be a game-changer?
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