A Millennial Power Couple Emerges On Survivor
And their tribemates recognize that strong couples have to be sent packing.
Put the Idol In The Coconut
By Day 5, the Gen X tribe has formed a six-person alliance, which means it's everyone except CeCe (who was buddies with the just-eliminated Rachel) and scaredy-cat David. The tribe hasn't started a fire yet, and David of all people manages to figure out the flint and steel first, but Chris tells us that despite his contribution, David is going home first. As everyone else tends the fire, David goes out and looks for "rocks," as an excuse for another Idol hunt. He finds a coconut with a symbol on it, splits it open, and discovers a Hidden Immunity Idol. He's ecstatic.
If The Shelter Is Rocking, Don't Bother Knocking
Taylor and Figgy have heart eyes for each other. (Isn't that how the Millennials put it?) Michaela speaks for us all when she reacts to the nighttime hookups with "You stink, your mouth is nasty, you got sand in your drawers, and you kissing somebody. That's disgusting." Everyone else recognizes that they need to break up a power couple, and Jay tries to warn his alliancemates Taylor and Figgy of the tribe's mood, to no avail. In other Figgy news, Michaela hates her and can't keep her trap shut about it. They have words in front of the whole tribe, and neither of them comes off looking great. Anyway, you can skip all this place-setting because it will be reiterated later.
Man Down (Temporarily)
Over on Gen X, Ken has figured out that Paul is calling the shots in their tribe, so he approaches David and finds a kindred spirit. David cements their alliance by showing Ken his Hidden Immunity Idol. They vow to take Paul out first. Ken goes on to recruit CeCe, who has no other options, so she's down to get rid of Paul. It's possible God is part of their alliance too, because Paul is not doing so well: he can't stand up and his hands are numb. Medical and Probst arrive and, after taking some vitals, determine that Paul did not have a heart attack, though it appeared that way for a while. It was just heat exhaustion and dehydration, so Paul gets to stay in the game. David has the good grace to be guilty about the fact that he was hoping Paul would get evacuated.
I do love a water challenge. This one has three phases. First, each member has to leap (and it's like a two-story drop down to the water) and grab a key ring, and then use the keys to unlock a chest containing a mask. Second, they use the mask to dive down and untie some rings. Finally, they have to horseshoe the rings on a floating post. The first team to get all their rings on posts wins immunity and, as a reward, a tarp. In the first phase, David on Gen X is not a strong swimmer (a true Gen X-er would get that reference) and ends up losing a lot of time for his tribe. In the second phase, CeCe can't get a ring, but Ken uses his diving skills to catch his team back up. In phase three, CeCe and Ken team up to get all five rings on the posts first, and Gen X wins. If you like challenges, this one is worth watching: it's a tight race with multiple lead changes.
Pre-Tribal Council Scramble
Now is when we find out which of the Millenials are true game-players. It seems at first that everyone outside of the Taylor/Figgy/Jay/Michelle alliance is down to vote out Figgy. Jay is bummed that his alliance is breaking up already, so his solution is to go to Michelle, who is the one who actually comes up with a plan: get Michaela and Will to vote with them to take out Mari. To that end, Jay brokers a meeting between Michaela and Figgy to try to get them to kiss and make up. Michaela is dubious at best, but when Jay tells her that he's heard that she's next on the chopping block, she seems to reconsider. Meanwhile, Michelle tries to recruit Will by explaining that they can take Figgy out later, but Will doesn't seem entirely convinced either.
The Millennial tribe is very jovial about being at Tribal Council, until Probst addresses Michaela, which leads to questions about the Taylor/Figgy romance. While Probst is exploring this issue, Michelle tries to sotto voce convince Hannah that they should vote for Mari. Hannah is totally confused about what's going on and presses Michelle for an explanation, but she says they'll talk later. Probst finally notices that there is a whole side conversation going on and tries to figure out what is going on, but no one will talk about it openly.
When Hannah goes to vote, she can't figure out what to do and nearly has a nervous breakdown. She takes so long that Probst actually goes over to peer down the hallway and check on her, which cracked me up. Probst finally tallies the votes and reveals that Mari got voted out by Taylor, Figgy, Jay, Michelle, Michaela, Hannah, and Will. I'm guessing Michelle wasn't totally sure of either Michaela or Will's vote and decided to pull Hannah in at the last minute for insurance. As Mari exits, Adam compliments Taylor on saving Figgy, although from what we saw, it was mostly Michelle who flipped the script. I also want to add that Figgy came off as very smug at Tribal Council, especially for someone who wasn't a hundred percent sure she was staying, and I hope she gets voted out next somehow.
It is unusual to see this level of gameplay on such an early episode and on a tribe's first vote. It bodes well for the rest of the season!