In the previous episode, we saw the Champagne Alliance fizzle with the elimination of Tessa. Luke is the kingpin who is drunk on power, Jericho is the little brother who snuck into his older brother’s liquor stash, and Sarah is the designated driver that can think logically and is somehow keeping the alliance together. This episode we see why hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. It’s eat or be eaten and Michelle has a large appetite for revenge.
Our resident ‘Supernanny,’ Michelle, is livid. After tribal council, everyone is in a frenzy trying to figure out who voted for who in a crazy 3-2-2-2 vote split. When the truth comes out that Luke, Jericho, and Sarah turned against their Champagne Alliance, Michelle feels betrayed because she wasn’t told about the plan. Sarah tries to explain to Michelle that voting out Tessa was the best move for their alliance. However, Michelle says that she can’t trust them anymore for going behind her back.
Jericho and Sarah reassure Michelle that their core alliance is strong and beg her not to let her emotions affect their relationship moving forward. But it’s too late. Luke, Jericho, and Sarah have been caught misbehaving and are now firmly in Michelle’s naughty corner. Michelle is adamant that Sarah, Jericho, and Luke were the ones who cut all ties with her thus giving her every right to be mad and potentially flip on them. She says that Luke, Jericho, and Sarah ruined the core four alliance for themselves and therefore she will not feel bad stabbing anyone in the back because she is now only loyal to herself.
Michelle has been put in a prime position in this game at this point. She has been given ammunition and the justification to flip on her Asaga alliance. She can use this opportunity to vote out a threat from her alliance and then go back to working with them when they are vulnerable. Even if she doesn’t decide to go back to Asaga after she flips on them, this game has been moving so fast that people can easily forget about Michelle a few days later when the target is firmly on someone else.
Meanwhile, Locky is angry Ziggy that she wrote his name down but admits that it’s in his best interest to go back to working with the old Samatau members. Unlike Michelle who is burning bridges left, right and centre, Locky is able to put aside any animosities he has with Ziggy and Peter and work to get out the remaining Asaga members.
The old Samatua members all come to a consensus that Michelle is in a vulnerable position that they can use to their advantage. They agree to lure Michelle in as a number to try and beak up the Asaga Core Four Alliance. Despite Peter being cautious of Locky, he agrees that working with him for one or two votes in a mutually beneficial relationship is the best thing for his game until the time comes where he can vote Locky out.
It’s Survivor charades! We have a twist on the Survivor memory challenge that sees one contestant from each team having to memorize a series of animals and then act it out for the other player to guess. The first team to win four rounds wins reward. After a hilariously nail-biting encounter, the orange team (consisting of Luke, Sarah, Ziggy, and Locky) wins reward and along with it a mouthwatering “KFC chicken banquet.”
At the reward, the contestants are greeted with a feast of fried chicken with a side of strategy. Sarah and Luke point out the need to use the opportunity to create more alliances. Luke comes up with the amazing idea to get everyone to say aloud the name of the person who they want out next. Ziggy and Locky say Jericho whereas Sarah and Luke say Peter. Locky says that he isn’t comfortable voting out someone from Samatau because he doesn’t want the Asaga members to come together afterwards and vote out the rest of Samatau one by one. This provokes Sarah to suggest that they vote out Michelle since she knows that she is angry with her and that makes her too much of a wildcard – and with that, the ‘Chicken Alliance’ is formed.
Upon arriving back at camp, Ziggy says that she sees through the entire ‘Popcorn Chicken Alliance’ and proceeds to tell Tara everything that went on during the reward. Tara is incredulous that Sarah would throw her best friend under the bus and says that if she would lie to her best friend, then she would almost certainly be telling them “bullcrap.” Shortly after, Locky and Ziggy call in Michelle and Peter to discuss their alliance. They inform Michelle that Sarah is not only targeting her behind her back but also saying that she is getting too cocky.
Michelle is compiling more and more evidence to justify her decision to flip on her core Asaga alliance and says that Sarah is the person who she can focus her attention on and target. She tells Locky, Ziggy, and Peter that she is with them 100% and makes a plan to vote out Sarah. Unbeknownst to them, Jericho is listening to their conversation. Jericho reports back to Sarah and Luke and tells them that Locky, Ziggy, and Peter were manipulating Michelle to turn her against them. He says it in such a way to suggest that they had never considered voting out Michelle and Locky and Ziggy were making up lies to convince Michelle to flip. Going into the immunity challenge, Sarah says that despite the fact that she knows her name is being thrown around she is remaining optimistic because she knows that the target can always change depending on who wins immunity.
The Immunity Challenge
This episode, the battle for immunity comes down to a log rolling challenge. Each round, two contestants face off and try to outlast the other on the rolling log. The contestant who falls into the water first loses the challenge with the winner proceeding into the next round. The final round is a best of three showdown between the Luke and Locky. In the end, Locky outlasts Luke and is now guaranteed a spot in the Final 7.
When the contestants come back from the immunity challenge, the battle between Sarah and Michelle gets into overdrive. Every dysfunctional family can be boiled down to ignorant parents or disobedient children. In our Supernanny Michelle’s case, she believes that Sarah is the root of the dysfunction due to Sarah throwing her name out and wants to discipline her accordingly by establishing a majority consisting of Peter, Ziggy, Locky and Tara that want to vote her out.
Floating to the Top
Sarah is seen as a huge threat in the game as well as someone who “has been playing both sides and lying to everyone.” Jericho and Luke try to convince Michelle not to go against the alliance they have had since the start of the game. Yet Michelle continues to harbor on the things that Sarah, Luke, and Jericho did that is forcing her to flip on the alliance. Jericho and Luke appear to be accepting of the fact that the core four alliance will be split up in some capacity, but they nevertheless intend on voting Michelle out. Going into tribal council, Michelle wants to do what a Supernanny does best and assert dominance over her family by sending the message that if you mess with Michelle, you will be going home.
Sarah, on the other hand, is placing all of her faith in the Chicken Alliance she formed at the reward. She comes up with a majority by rallying together Luke, Locky, Tara, and Jericho to vote out Michelle – leaving Peter and Ziggy on the outside. Sarah can’t stand the fact that Michelle is having an emotional reaction to being left out of the vote last tribal council and thinks that she is too much of a loose cannon to work with. She says that “if [Michelle] can’t forgive and forget, then I can’t simply work with her.”
In a conversation with Sarah and Luke, Locky says that Michelle needs to be voted out because she is too much of a floater. He thinks that keeping too many floaters around will eventually leave the big gameplayers (such as himself) vulnerable to being in the minority and voted out. Going into tribal, Sarah is skeptical and nervous about her alliance with Locky due to the short amount of time they have been working together. She says that she needs to put all her eggs in that basket and wants to keep all the gameplayers together.
However, in the midst of this battle for survival between Michelle and Sarah, Ziggy is paranoid that she could somehow be the target at tribal council. She believes that because she has won two challenges, everyone sees her as a threat and will want to try to take her out with her idol in her pocket. Ziggy’s paranoia is proven to be unjustified because Jericho says in a confessional that despite the fact that he sees Ziggy as a threat, she is NOT the target and either Michelle or Sarah is being voted out.
At tribal council, we get more of the same between Sarah and Michelle. Michelle is vocal about the fact that her alliance betrayed her by going behind her back and voting out Tessa whereas Sarah is frustrated with the way Michelle is emotionally reacting to the move. After the votes are cast, Ziggy stands up and announces that she wants to use her hidden immunity idol because she doesn’t want to risk going home. As she walks back to sit down, Peter whispers to Ziggy that she should play it for Michelle instead. With a smug grin on her face and Locky’s arm around her shoulder, Ziggy shuts Peter down and says that she is playing it for herself. Heads are nodding in confusion and disapproval as Peter chastises Ziggy by telling her that she should have played it for Michelle.
When the votes are read, Ziggy’s unfounded paranoia once again causes her to unnecessarily play her advantage as Sarah is voted out by a 7-1 vote with Sarah being the only vote for Michelle. Despite the fact that Michelle only received one vote, Peter at least knew who was in contention to being voted out at tribal. As Sarah walks off, Locky, Ziggy, and Tara show they are not happy with Peter trying to get Ziggy to use her idol on Michelle.
Sarah was one of the most hyped players going into the season by both Survivor fans and the show itself. Early on, the lack of airtime given to Sarah made it difficult to see exactly why and I was quick to believe that she was nothing more than someone who people could project their unfulfilled desires onto from Phoebe from Season 1. But as the season went on it became more and more obvious how good Sarah was at the subtle nuances of the game. Her social game was second to none. Her ability to conduct herself with charm and poise made it easy for people to trust her and key in getting herself in a position to play the middle of multiple alliances effectively.
With that being said, Sarah dropped the ball the last few episodes and misread her relationship with Michelle. Throughout the episode, Sarah kept on saying that she couldn’t work with Michelle if she was going to be too emotional about being left out. This may very well have been Sarah’s downfall. She ignored the emotional side of the game too much and got frustrated when Michelle didn’t welcome being blindsided with open arms. In Sarah’s Jury Villa video, she stated that her strategy was to take all the strong gameplayers to the end so they could battle it out in an honorable way. What Sarah didn’t realise was the Michelle is proving to be one of the biggest players of the season.
Oh, and Ziggy played her idol. Yes, in Survivor you must have a “better safe than sorry” mentality, but it’s hard to support the move when all signs pointed to Ziggy being safe no matter what. Ziggy’s paranoia is unfounded and based on a self-aggrandizing perception that she has of herself. She sees herself as such a big threat in the game that she believes that everyone is out to get her. When Jarrad, her number one ally, was sent home, she was so afraid that she was next on the chopping block that she flipped on her Samatau alliance and played her Super Idol so Anneliese could go home. At this point, I can’t tell if Ziggy making all these silly moves is making her look like more of a gameplayer or is making her look inept. Only time will tell.