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Survivor Swamped With Trickery, Down to Five

Survior: Gabon, Susie Smith, Bob Crowley Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS

Fake Idols aside (or not), the remaining members of the merged tribe—Nobag, it's called—carried on Thursday knowing that nobody, especially Matty Whitmore, was safe heading into Survivor: Gabon's final stretch.

Five castaways remain. Here's why they're still standing:

Matty confronts Kenny Huang about throwing him under the bus at Tribal Council. "Kenny's playing a game. He's a mastermind, and I'm onto him," Matty says…four episodes too late.

Bob Crowley feels so bad about lying to Kenny about having an extra Immunity Idol, he offers to hand his immunity over to Kenny if he should be so lucky to win it.

Reward Challenge: Each member of this sparring sextet must race into the swamp and plow through a few obstacles to grab a ball, which they bring back to the start and toss through a little makeshift basketball hoop. First to get three balls in his/her net, wins. The winner gets an overnight visit to Gabon's Mayumba National Park, where he/she will tour a gorilla sanctuary, be treated to a nice meal and a shower and then get to sleep in a bed.

And Bob wins his second reward challenge in a row, before any of the ladies have landed one ball. He picks Crystal Cox and Kenny—whose rib count is starting to rival Bob's—to go with him and sends Susie Smith off to Exile Island.

Once showered, it turns out Bob's skin color isn't dingy gray after all!

Over in exile, Susie opts for comfort and chows down on papaya.

Left to her own devices, Sugar Kiper bluntly informs Matty that her alliance is with Kenny and Crystal. And no, she won't be giving Matty her Immunity Idol, thankyouverymuch.

Wait a sec! Now Sugar's crying to Matty about Kenny and Crystal's evilness, saying that she and Matty need to align with Bob in order to oust Crystal. Interesting...

Immunity Challenge: The castaways must study an African mask, grab three bags of puzzle pieces, navigate an obstacle course and lay their pieces on a blank mask on the other end. All of which must be done blindfolded.

Which apparently is even more difficult than it sounds, as both Kenny and Bob take headers into a couple of posts and Susie and Crystal wander off the map entirely.

But Bob's bump on the head didn't hurt that much, because he wins again! That's four challenges in a row, but does this one have to end with him turning that hard-fought immunity over to Kenny?

"We'll talk about it," Bob says.

Crystal Cox, Survivor: Gabon Monty Brinton/CBS

Kenny tells Crystal and Sugar to tell Bob that they're voting for him so that Bob will be guilted into giving Kenny the Idol. Sugar tells Bob all about it, though. "I have a big place in my heart for you," she says tearfully. "I just think the good guys should win in the end."

Then Sugar completes the ruse by going back to camp and "reassuring" Kenny-Crystal-Susie that she told Bob she'd be voting for Kenny. Mwah-ha-ha-ha

Tribal Council: The jury files in. Randy Bailey's mohawk is disturbing. Bob hangs onto his Idol. Sugar gives Matty her hidden Immunity Idol, which she found on Exile Island way back when. Aw…Is that sweat on Crystal's brow?

And Kenny the Mastermind is left to go it alone. The fifth member of the Survivor: Gabon jury is Crystal, as Sugar's craftiness takes center stage heading into Sunday's two-hour finale.

(Originally published Dec. 11, 2008 at 6:45 p.m. PT)

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