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Survivor Wants To Know, 'Can You Dig It?'

A brutal reward challenge has three Survivors barely...well, surviving it. Literally.

Something's Cooking

The Brains tribe regroups, now minus Liz. Peter's so gobsmacked by the proceedings that he can't do anything but sprawl out in the sand and stare into space. He doesn't know if he's more shocked at the fact that he didn't control the vote, or the fact that he wasn't the target of the blindside. In confessionals, Debbie calls him a narcissist for assuming it's always all about him, although really, I think any of these people calling any of these other people narcissists is kind of a pot-kettle situation. (Don't worry, it's not the last time someone gets called a narcissist this episode...not by a LONG shot.)

Oh, well. Speaking of pots and kettles, it's apparently hot as a bag of balls out here in Cambodia, which should make for a fun reward challenge. (Yeah, apparently the time's come for those to happen again.) This week, the Survivors traverse an obstacle course and then dig around in the sand for bags of balls which they then have to roll up a skee ball course. The two winning tribes get an assortment of cooking supplies, I guess for when they want to fry something on their foreheads. Have I mentioned it's hot out? That'll be important in a minute.

Time lapse. Forty-five minutes later, everyone is still on the digging part of the challenge. Out of nowhere, Brains finds its last two bags and completes the challenge, while Beauty and Brawn continue to dig around. As Brains kicks back to watch the other teams duke it out, Debbie reports that she's feeling a little woozy. Joe insists on calling a medic over. Is Debbie okay? We'll find out after a rousing rendition of the theme song.

You've Gotta Dig Deep

Dr. Joe from Survivor Medical reports that Debbie's got a touch of heatstroke, but after some water and shade, she's doing a little bit better. As he pours cold water on Debbie's head, she voices over that it's a little scary, but that she knows she won't be pulled from the game.

"Beauty has scored five balls since the medical situation," Jeff reports, not missing a beat. Brawn eventually finds their balls, and they rebound a little bit, but Beauty does finally get that last ball in the skee ball slot thanks to Caleb's intense hustle.

But Caleb's hustle may have been a little TOO intense, we learn, as he suddenly collapses. Over at Brawn, Cydney's having the same problems as Caleb and Debbie, though she's at least semi-coherent and making noise. Caleb requires oxygen, and he's suddenly unresponsive. (Gotta say, this is one of those times when I'm glad to follow these people on Twitter. It may sap a little bit of tension from the scene, but I know for sure they didn't die out there.)

Beast Mode Cowboy Rides Off Into The Sunset

At this point, so many medical personnel are working on these two Survivors that the rest of the cast, and Probst himself, have all been drafted into service holding umbrellas, pouring water, or fetching equipment. Cydney comes around, but Caleb's not so lucky. Medical attempts oxygen, ice packs, and IVs on Caleb, and then suddenly calls for a helicopter. Jeff calls him a "warrior" and offers nothing but respect.

"You're voting him out?" the incredulous women of the Beauty tribe exclaim at Probst, like they thought it was always a democracy around here. The tribe bids him a tearful farewell. (Well, everyone is tearful except Nick, who might actually be a cyborg.) Tai asks the important questions: who's he going to cuddle with now? And what's going to happen now that the women of the Beauty tribe outnumber the men?

Text in the official Survivor font informs us that Caleb's made a 100% recovery and hopes to play again. Which...well, let's just say anyone who watched any of his Big Brother season can attest to the fact that we definitely didn't get to see much of what this guy can actually do. And given how broken up Jeff Probst was about this turn of events, I think it's safe to say we have not seen the last of Beast Mode Cowboy.

I Think That I've Found Myself A Cheerleader

Now that she's back at Brains Beach and mostly back to normal, Debbie is more embarrassed than anything about her own brush with death. She's grateful to Joe for summoning Medical on her behalf, but she was worried about looking weak in front of her tribemates, and especially in front of the viewers back home, like her daughters.

On Brawn, Alecia calls out Scot for being a douche to her during the challenge. (He'd apparently snapped at her for shouting encouraging words while not being as good at digging as he was -- to wit: "Why don't you keep being a cheerleader, since that's all you're good at?") She cites his NBA experience, saying he should know that being a part of a team means being encouraging to everyone. Scot takes umbrage with the fact that Alecia would even presume to know what it's like to play on a world-class team with world-class athletes. Alecia says she's played on teams before, and that the principle's the same whether you're four-year-olds playing tee-ball or playing in the NBA. Scot's not buying this, and neither is Jason, who confessionalizes that he wants to teach his young daughters to be strong, unlike some random wimpy blonde girl whose name he never bothered to learn. Because bullying a young woman on national television is a capital way to teach your daughters about character.

Alecia prays for a tribe swap, because she's toast otherwise; everyone is sure to confirm this to her face. Cydney, still trying to bounce back from heat exhaustion, snaps at everyone that they're really not helping her recovery process.

At The End Of Her Rope

For immunity, the Survivors will traverse various obstacles to get pieces of rope that are apparently also puzzle pieces. Brains wins first immunity. Beauty wins second immunity. Well, nice knowing you, Alecia.

"I tried my best," Alecia tells Jeff. The Brawn tribe immediately calls her out for saying "I tried" instead of "we tried," because how dare she make it all about her. Because we've basically devolved to that point now. Alecia could probably have said, "Scot and Jason are the greatest men who ever lived and any game that doesn't let them win automatically is clearly flawed," and they'd complain that she was deflecting blame. She could -- and in fact does -- say that she blames herself, and they again call her out for attention-seeking. The vote's a foregone conclusion, everyone tells Jeff. They lobby to have Tribal right then and there, but Alecia won't go out like that.

That night, Jeff asks if anything's changed. Nothing has. Scot and Jason make fun of Alecia some more before voting time. "I don't think I've ever seen a tribal that was ever this clear-cut," Jeff tells Alecia. "And yet, I'm still rooting for you." Alecia says she's trying to keep it positive to the bitter end. Obviously, it's all for naught, and out she goes.

Verdict

The medical drama at the front of this episode is compelling, for sure, although it does have a bit of a rubbernecky feel. And the back half is so loaded up with everyone on a tribe being unnecessarily cruel to one person that anyone who ever went to middle school is going to find it really difficult to watch.

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