Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS
Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS
The jury had two members and only eight castaways remained heading into tonight's episode of Survivor: Gabon, which, despite a kinda pathetic start has really been heating up over the last couple of weeks.
With the alliances seemingly cemented, the artistry of playing the game became more important than ever. Find out who rose to the occasion, and who tossed his cookies a hair too soon.
Despite the confidence the allied ex-members of Kota—Corinne Kaplan, Bob Crowley and Randy Bailey—exuded heading into the most recent tribal reshuffle, the latest ousters have shredded their security.
Bob shows Sugar Kiper the fake Immunity Idol he made while cooling his heels on Exile Island. Sitting pretty on the real deal, she appears interested on the outside and rocks with laughter on the inside.
Time for a Survivor auction: Each castaway gets $500 and can bid in $20 increments on goodies like beer and peanuts. BTW, Randy snags that action for $180 and you can bet he's dead-set on downing every one of those bottles himself.
Kenny Huang spends $340 on a blind item, which turns out to be either a ticket to Exile Island or the privilege to send someone else there and take all of his or her money. The unexpected mastermind of Gabon opts to send Bob away.
Sugar drops $340 on the next blind item—chocolate and peanut butter, yum!
A Pottery Barn-perfect hot bath—replete with loofah, bubbles, bath salts and a hairbrush and comb for after the washing of the hair Out of Africa-style—and a clean set of clothes were snatched up by Susie for $340. She politely declines Randy's offer to bid $100 to bathe her. Hmmm…
Matty Whitmore buys a cheeseburger, fries and a soda for $400. Sounds reasonable.
Corinne buys a bottle containing…who knows? Randy spends $280 on spaghetti, garlic bread and a glass of wine and then $140 on a plate of cookies for the tribe. Randy offers Sugar his—she takes it and gives it to Matty.
"I left the auction broke, full, half drunk and pissed off," Randy said.
Randy entreats Matty to join him, Corinne and Bob on the less evil side; otherwise, "fifth place isn't bad," he added, taunting Matty about the perils of sticking with Crystal Cox, Kenny and Susie Smith.
Bob decides to use his tile in exile on personal reflection, figuring he'll get more out of that than from stumbling around futilely for an idol. "I see why they call it the Garden of Eden," he says of his picturesque African surroundings.
While some are gearing up to boot Randy, Matty insists that Bob has to go first to really destabilize the other alliance.
Randy, sure he's going to get shafted, stays up all night devising a scheme to make his last day on Gabon as miserable as possible, all while convincing Bob to give him the idol (ah, the fatal flaw in his plan) so he can take revenge on Susie the flip-floppers.
Crystal would much rather get rid of Randy, and Matty seems to see her side after Randy puts his lets-alienate-everybody plan into action by sniping at Susie.
Immunity Challenge: Race across a series of balance beams carrying a bag of blocks. Repeat three times. The top two finishers advance to the putting-the-puzzle-together round, where they arrange the blocks, domino-style, along some slanted beams—all the while avoiding trip wires that could topple the whole thing.
The bottle Corinne bought at auction comes in handy—it's a pass into the second round, guaranteeing her a 1-in-3 shot at winning.
Kenny and Matty move on to face Corinne. Kenny's first try at knocking the blocks down fails. Then all three try it together—and this time Kenny's attempt is successful. He wins immunity.
Sugar suggests to Bob that he should give that piece of nothing he made to Randy and just tell him it's the idol—and Bob digs the idea, figuring it would behoove him to get on Sugar's good side.
And so he gives the faux idol to Randy, pretty much ensuring the foul-mouthed castaway's doom, for which Randy promises Bob his vote if the sinewy physics teacher is in the final running for the $1 million prize. Sugar promises Crystal, Kenny, Susie and Matty one hell of a twist at Tribal Council.
Sure enough, Randy plays the ersatz idol and looks ready to bust some heads when he finds out. Bob looks none too proud, but Sugar and Crystal dissolve into giggles.
And the third member of the Survivor: Gabon jury is Randy, whose sound strategy was squashed by a bit of resin and a few beads.
"Being voted out by these bozos is probably one of the best accolades anyone could get," the cantankerous castoff said afterward. "To hell with these freakin' people. I hope Corinne does well if she's not in on today's plot...Most of the others, with the exception of Matty, I hope they get hit by a green mamba [snake]."