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Survivor Clucks Up

In the aftermath of a mega-blindside, two Survivors talk about mounting a counter-offensive, but they're upstaged by a criminally cute chicken.

Flipping Out

"The littlest guy got the biggest guy," Tai chortles as the tribe returns to camp sans Scot.

Naturally, Jason's not happy about the fact that his #1 ally was voted out (along with his idol, no less), though he grudgingly acknowledges the epic-ness of the blindside before turning in for the night.

Also unhappy? Julia, who's frustrated that she wasn't in on the plan. SHE was the one who was supposed to flip on everyone, she says, and being the flippEE is way less fun than being the flippER.

If You Liked It Then You Should Have Tossed A Ring On It

Tai, aided by his constant companion Mark the chicken, mounts a diplomatic mission and attempts to mend fences with Jason. Tai is apologetic. Mark is adorable. Outwardly, Jason's totally cool with it. Via confessional, Jason explains that he can't let anyone see how upset he is about the whole situation, and that somehow, Tai's going down.

For Reward, pairs of tethered-together Survivors traverse an obstacle course and compete in a ring toss. The randomly selected pairs are: Joe and Tai, Michele and Aubry, Julia and Cydney, and Jason is the cheese who stands alone. Cydney and Michele end up winning it, and Probst allows them to collectively choose one additional person to join them, so they select Aubry.

Jason, depressed at not even getting the chance to compete, invokes his family in a confessional, which I guess means we're supposed to see him as a scrappy underdog now.

Making Plans, Then Chickening Out

Michele, Cydney, and Aubry appreciate the symmetry of one Beauty, one Brawn, and one Brain enjoying a reward together. (At this point, Survivor has given up on making any of the reward food look remotely appetizing in the Cambodian humidity and they just sort of shoot around it.) Michele takes the opportunity to try to reintegrate herself into the alliance. She pledges loyalty, and Cydney and Aubry agree that keeping her as the third in their final three is a definite possibility.

Meanwhile, on the bottom of the pecking order, Jason and Julia talk out possible ways to work their way back in. Taking out Tai would mix things up, they note, but they aren't sure who their third and fourth votes would be. Michele is a possibility, but they'd still need a fourth, and Joe's not budging (literally -- apparently Aubry told him not to move until she got back and he took it seriously), so maybe it's possible to get Cydney back into Jason's good graces.

Julia sees a second potential upside of booting Tai: the second Tai's gone, Mark the chicken is getting eaten. (Let's be real: we're all rooting for Mark to win the game now, aren't we?) Mark shoots her a look, like, "I can totally hear everything you guys are saying," and she shoots him a look right back that suggests she's imagining him plucked, decapitated, and roasting on a spit the way Sylvester used to eye Tweety.

Remember When Immunity Challenges Were Fun?

For immunity, there's an obstacle course and a puzzle, naturally, but this one has an added memory element. This leads to a way-too-long shot of all of the Survivors standing, dumbfounded, in front of the answer key while they try to memorize enough elements to unlock their puzzle pieces, and that's basically the most interesting thing about this challenge.

Joe runs out of gas and basically quits mid-challenge, but since he's an old dude, Jeff doesn't heckle him too badly. Michele ends up snagging the necklace due to her superior memorization skills (seriously, she gets them all on the first try, which is hella impressive...though still not particularly exciting to watch).

You Can't Spell "Tai" Without A Dotted "T" And A Crossed "I"

Even Mark the Chicken congratulates Michele on her immunity win. Jason seems like the easiest vote, says Aubry, but is it the smartest? The group concludes that Julia is the vote, which doesn't thrill Michele. She and Julia discuss voting for Tai, as do Cydney and Jason.

Tai's heard his name thrown around as a decoy vote at the bare minimum, and he definitely doesn't want to be the guy who goes home with an idol in his pocket. He's going to "dot his 't's and cross his 'i's, or however that goes" to ensure he knows what's going on.

Jason spits out a lot of really hammy, really rehearsed one-liners about "doin' something crazy" that really makes you miss the unrehearsed crazy of, say, Debbie.

As Jeff gets up to read the votes, Tai grabs Aubry around the neck sort of awkwardly and whispers in her ear, "Should I play my idol?" She responds, "I think you're fine, but it's your gut." He holds back, which turns out to be the correct plan, since it's Julia's torch that's getting snuffed this time around.

Verdict

After a couple of epic blindsides, this particular boot is fairly predictable, to the point where nobody really even bothers to sell the potential alternative plan. A cute chicken is definitely not enough to make this appointment television. Guess they can't all be barn-burners.

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