'Survivor: Cagayan': Tony has control and now an extra item in his 'bag of tricks'

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spencer-tasha-jeremiah-survivor-cagayan.jpgWhen we last left the "Survivor: Cagayan" castaways, Tony decided to get LJ before LJ could get Tony, so he got his alliance to vote out one of their own. LJ doesn't blame Tony for the decision in general, but he did tell Zap2it that he thinks Tony flipped way too early.

Post-Tribal

It's chaos back at camp because not everyone was in on the plan. Spencer is delighted that Tony has ruffled so many feathers because Spencer thinks he and Jeremiah can get Tony voted out pretty easily. He's not wrong.

However, Tony isn't a dummy. He goes to the water well (the "water cooler," if you will) and builds a hidey-hole so he can hear people's conversations when they come to get water. Lo and behold, he overhears Jefra and Trish talking about him. Trish doesn't hurt herself at all, she seems loyal to Tony and praises his acting skills, but Jefra is much more upset and seems to be interested in moving against him.

Reward Challenge

They're put into two teams of four, then they race in a boat to collect paddles with letters on them and solve a word puzzle. The teams are Kass/Trish/Tony/Woo and Tasha/Jefra/Spencer/Jeremiah. The lead goes back and forth depending on who is the latest person to screw up -- first Jefra, then Tony. As is the usual way, it all comes down to the puzzle. They keep coming up with various words they think fit and then looking at each other's puzzles. But Woo and Kass finally get "worth," which tells Spencer the answer "worth playing for" and Spencer and Tasha get it even though Woo and Kass were on the right track first. Ha! They get a barbecue.

Tony is understandably nervous that Jefra is off with Spencer, Tasha and Jeremiah because they'll easily get her to flip. Kass is sure her alliance is secure, though, and that Spencer needs to be taken out. He's certainly a huge threat to win the game, he's very likable. It all really depends on what Jefra decides, though that still only makes the vote 4-4 if she flips.

While Tony is busy strategizing, Trish and Woo find a papaya tree and Woo just scampers on up there and starts shaking for all he's worth. Unfortunately, on the way out of the tree, he takes a pretty hard fall when a branch breaks. He seems to be OK, though, cracking an awesome "Cliffhanger" joke in an interview afterward.

jefra-bland-survivor-cagayan-CBS.jpgMeanwhile, the reward is not just a barbecue, but a barbecue in a really amazing cave structure. It's gorgeous. And Spencer/Jeremiah/Tasha waste no time going to work on Jefra and by "work," I mean they "bring it up" and she's like, "Yeah, Tony needs to go."

But the strategizing is interrupted by letters from home and everybody starts crying. However, it works supremely in Spencer et.al's favor because Jefra takes her mama's advice to not be afraid to lie as a sign to flip on Tony and agrees Final Four with Spencer, Tasha and Jeremiah.

Of course, they have to get someone else or they could be facing a rock drawing at Tribal Council.

Immunity Challenge

It's a balancing act, where they move to increasingly smaller footholds while holding a pole that has a ball on a platform on top. They will also have to move increasingly down the pole, like this challenge needs anything else to make it hard. One thing's for sure, I don't expect this to last more than about 30 minutes (if that).

Within the first three minutes, Trish, Jefra, Tony and Kass drop their balls. They haven't even had to move footholds yet, geez. After 10 minutes, they have to move footholds and Jeremiah falls fairly soon after they that.

At 20 minutes, Woo, Spencer and Tasha move to the narrowest portion and move their hands to the lowest point on the pole. At this point, it doesn't get any harder, it's just who can last the longest. Woo gets wobbly and almost makes a really amazing save, but he falls, so once again, an endurance challenge comes down to Tasha vs. Spencer. Huh. Then Spencer drops his ball and Tasha wins for the second week in a row. Good for her. Tasha's a bit of a dark horse. She doesn't get as much screentime as some of the players, but she's a gamer.

Pre-Tribal


The plan is to get Tony out and Jefra thinks she can get Trish and/or Kass to flip. However, Tony knows he's on the chopping block, so he's on the search for the special Hidden Idol -- and of course, he finds it. And what is kind of ridiculous about this Idol is that it can be played after the votes are read. Wow. I mean, wow. That completely takes away the fun of "should I play it or not?"-type strategizing. Geez.

There is the caveat that you can't give it to someone else, though, but still. I'm not on board with the new all-powerful Idol.

Anyway, Tony goes back to his alliance to see if they're loyal and that's all it takes for Jefra to change back to her former alliance. She then weirdly goes back to Jeremiah and tells them she's not with them anymore. That ... seems ill-advised.

woo-huang-survivor-cagayan-CBS.jpgBut either way, Tasha/Spencer/Jeremiah decide Woo is the person they vote out now because he's a bigger threat in challenges. That's interesting, because if Spencer plays his Idol correctly, then Woo will go home and there's nothing Tony can do about it. BUt if Spencer guesses wrong, he loses an Idol and an alliance member (possibly himself).

Tribal Council

Jeff calls Jefra out for being "impressionable." The "wishy-washy," and "has no game" parts are left unsaid, but you know what Probst was getting at -- she can't really think for herself and she's like a goldfish. The last person who talks to her is the one who will convince her.

Then Spencer tries to illustrate for Tony's alliance of dum-dums that If Tony gets to the end, he's getting Spencer, Tasha and Jeremiah's votes to win because he's the best game-player, but the rocket scientist Tony is aligned with say that they had a talking-to with him and Tony's going to stop playing both sides. Um, what does that have to do with anything? How is that relevant to what Spencer just pointed out?

THEN Tony says it would be "reckless" to turn against him and go with the other side and that they have to keep "solid." Um, except that's what Tony just did last Tribal Council. He broke the alliance to take out LJ.

Spencer is right -- Tony has his entire alliance under his thumb and they are handing him the million if they don't get rid of him before the end. Is that time now? Not necessarily, but what if Tony starts winning Immunity? Either way, it's moot as long as he has the all-powerful Idol, but nobody knows he has it yet.

There's some talk about how the Tony alliance decides who to vote for, but I don't really get a sense which way they're leaning. During the vote, all we see is that Spencer's alliance is voting out Woo.

Then before the votes, there's kind of a weird thing that happens with Spencer either deciding to give his Idol to Jeremiah then changing his mind, or trying to fake out Tony? It's very strange. Tony tries to play off the fact that he got his own Idol out of his "bag of tricks" by saying it isn't real as he puts it back, but who can he possibly be fooling? Everybody has to know he has a real Idol now. Or, maybe his alliance doesn't know because they're not the sharpest tools in the shed, but Spencer and Tasha certainly have to know.

The votes go Woo, Woo, Woo, Jeremiah, Jeremiah, Jeremiah, Jeremiah and Jeremiah, so he's out. That's a bummer, because Tasha and Spencer are highly outnumbered now.

Next week: The "Survivor" auction! And Spencer tries to pull a fast one on Tony.
Photo/Video credit: CBS