At Upolu: Brandon is way overthinking the game and life in general. Dude needs to lighten up and stop worrying so much. At least he’s apologizing for going all wackadoo on Mikayla. She’s quite astute in pointing out that 90% of Brandon’s problems would be solved if he stopped and thought before he spoke.
Wow, Edna looks so weird all buttoned up in her suit on the beach. It must be cold there first thing in the morning.
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Yay, they got their swimsuits! I was finding some of the pixelation quite disturbing. Dawn’s a little behind in the game, wondering if some of the other people in Savaii might be in an alliance. Jim and Cochran choose to attend the Redemption Island duel, while Ozzy and the rest make fun of Jim and his strategerizing once he leaves. See, Jim: You’re alienating everyone! Stick with your alliance until you need to take them down. Wait, but not too long. You’re not going to listen to me, are you?
At the Redemption Island duel, Brandon apologizes (again, some more), this time to Christine, who gives it all the consideration it deserves. While Christine has an early lead in what is the most complicated game of beanbag toss ever, Papa Bear catches up enough to make it a close call. Ultimately, Christine pulls it out and continues her road back to the game. The goodbyes between Papa Bear and Christine are much more sincere and heartfelt than those between Semhar and Christine, lending credence to my theory that Semhar annoyed everyone she came into contact with.
Back at Upolu, I should be listening to Edna talk, but I’m distracted by Rick. Hi, Rick! You’re my favorite! Oh, and he spoke! Mikayla recounts Rick telling a story. So, apparently, he does talk, he just hasn’t been deemed important enough for the editors to show it. What the editors do want us to know is that Edna talks a whole lot and is annoying everyone on the tribe. Presumably Rick as well, although we don’t hear him say it.
Cochran pulls out the brains he keeps talking about and realizes that he and Jim don’t have the numbers to take either Ozzy or Elyse out. So they try to bring Dawn in to help make it happen. It would be a great strategic move, but since they’ve been talking about it all episode, I’m skeptical of it actually happening. (Years of watching reality TV have made me jaded.)
Challenge time! It’s a good old-fashioned endurance test. It’s also a great way to put unfair pressure on the last people standing on both tribes. Two men and one woman from each tribe will participate and have to remain standing while holding increasing amounts of weight. From Savaii, it will be Keith, Jim and Dawn, and from Upolu, Brandon, Stacey and Albert. This is a tedious challenge that takes a long time, so we go to the time-lapse camera work. Everybody has a whole bunch of weight. The guys go down one by one, as they had much wore weight put on them. Dawn and Stacey are left to win it for their teams. Both are loaded down and about to break, but Dawn manages to hold on that little bit longer to win it.
See, we’ve spent the whole episode strategizing about who Savaii is going to vote out, and they aren’t even going to tribal council. Right now, I’m assuming Edna is gone, as she isn’t in an alliance, and the only thing we’ve seen at Upolu this week is her annoying her tribe.
Back from break, Edna is indeed worried, but she’s worried that she’s the weakest link. She should be worried that she’s the annoying link. And she’s being even more annoying trying to suss out whether she’s safe or not.
Stacey tries to plant doubt in Brandon’s head about his alliance in an attempt to save herself. Luckily for Brandon, he has Coach to talk him down. Oohh, but wait ... Brandon’s paranoia does not mean people aren’t out to get him. Sophie isn’t buying anything he’s saying and doesn’t trust him, but is it time to get rid of him yet? Or will it be Stacey, who doesn’t have an alliance? Or Edna, who is annoying?
At tribal council, Jeff is asking Rick a question, trying to bait him, but he still only says three words. Typical Jeff chitchat until Russell is brought up and Brandon goes off on an emotional speech about God and trust, and hah, Edna goes to hold his hand to comfort him, but won‘t without her buff in between her hand and his. Does he have cooties or something? Or is she worried that male/female bare hand-touching will be a threat to his marriage, as so many other things are? We finally get to the voting, and Stacey’s out! The background music as Stacey refuses hugs and gets her torch snuffed tell me that she is PISSED.
People I liked: Rick! The fact that he’s almost never shown on screen points to the fact that he is straightforward and drama free. And Dawn’s got great muscles for a 40-year-old. Wait, nevermind the qualifier -- she’s got great muscles, period.
Everybody else, meh. No one really pissed me off this week. We’ve got lots of season left to change that, though.
Next week: Coach hates his name, and the challenge involves a whole roast pig and only using their mouths. Thanks for the warning to skip supper before I watch next week, CBS.
Closing credits: Stacey thinks her tribe wasn’t loyal because they weren’t loyal to her. Everyone voted for her, while she voted for Edna.