PREVIOUSLY ON…. SURVIVOR!
After Everett became the first player voted out, Sheena took charge at Koryok. She and the other castaways who had blindsided Everett–Maurice, Tallulah and Nick–formalized their four person alliance. However, Naomi and Teddy had both been left out of the vote, and felt the pressure to salvage their positions with the tribe. Teddy tried to make a place for himself as a provider–to mixed results–while Naomi focused on building her connection with Nick.
When Koryok lost their second challenge in a row, Maurice was sent to Exile Island, where he learned two big twists–that the idol is hidden back at camp; and that exiled castaways have the option to switch tribes. Unable to search for the idol, Maurice used his time on Exile Island for self-reflection.
Having won the reward challenge, the Yenisei Tribe earned themselves some new tribemates in the form of a small herd of goats and chickens. Vince continued to prove himself as a jack of all trades by milking the goats, not only allowing him to feed the tribe, but also allowing him to deepen the relationship between him, Charlotte and Zeke.
These relationship didn’t go unnoticed, as both Gunnar and Mandy found themselves wary of the Pastor Zeke and his influence over the tribe. But the bond between Zeke, Vince and Charlotte wasn’t the only one forming on Yenisei. Adele and Huang were also getting very close, very quickly, and the romantic nature of their relationship had many of the other players concerned and suspicious.
At the Immunity Challenge, Yenisei rebuffed Adele’s suggested strategy, and Koryok staged a comeback. With Koryok claiming Immunity, Yenisei was slated for their first Tribal Council. Though Olivia appeared to be an obvious outsider, her strong performance in the challenge lead the tribe to look elsewhere. While Adele and Huang wanted to vote out Charlotte, the oldest woman on the tribe, Zeke and his allies found themselves targeting Adele, who was nursing a foot injury that limited her ability to perform in challenges and around camp. Gunnar, Mandy, and Olivia found themselves in the middle, with the power to tilt the vote in either direction. Though Huang stayed true to his alliance, Adele received everyone elses vote, and became the second person voted out of Survivor: Siberia.
Fourteen remain. Who will be voted out tonight?
A cool mist rolls across the taiga. The Yenisei Tribe returns to their camp, torches in hand. Nobody seems particularly happy.
“Well, I can only speak for myself, but that was f*cking horrible,” Vince says, breaking the ice.
“It was, wasn’t it?” Olivia agrees.
“Let’s hope we don’t have to do that again,” Zeke tells him, placing his torch against a tree.
“Hey guys,” Huang begins, addressing the group. “I just wanted to say, before anyone like, starts getting ready for bed or whatever, I just want everyone to know that I totally respect what happened tonight, because someone had to go home… and I get why you didn’t tell me that it was going to be Addy,” he continues. “But… I mean, why Addy over anyone else? I just want to understand the reasoning.”
“Honestly, dude? Her foot,” Gunnar says. “It was just too much of a gamble, trying to guess if she’d get better or not.”
“It wasn’t only her foot, not for me,” Vince says as he puts his sweater on. “She’s a good kid, Huang, but I don’t like the making excuses! And she had the nerve to tell me I don’t deserve a vote. I bust my ass around here, every damn day! That really jostles my bread basket, that sh*t right there.”
“Please, Vincent, try to calm down,” Charlotte says, rubbing his shoulders. “No one here thinks you don’t contribute, I promise. Addy was trying to throw anyone she could under the bus to save herself. It’s over now, the votes are cast, so let it go. Don’t take it so personally.”
“It is personal though!” Vince exclaims.
“It’s what makes this game so complicated,” Charlotte ponders. How do you vote someone out without it being personal?”
“Oh, that reminds me,” Huang says, “If it does feel personal to you, Charlotte, I totally understand, and if you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine… but I’m sorry for voting against you tonight.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Charlotte says with a smile. “I know you weren’t going to write her name down. Let’s just please focus on moving on–as a team.”
“I’m in full agreement there,” Zeke says.
“Zeke?” Charlotte asks the pastor. “Would we… be able to pray together? About tonight?”
“Of course, of course!” Zeke tells her, smiling. “There’s no better times than hard times for us to reach out to God for peace and guidance.”
Together around the fire, Zeke, Charlotte, Vince, Huang and Gunnar take hands.
“Ladies?” Charlotte asks, turning to Olivia and Mandy. “If you’d like, the Reverend is going to say a short prayer…”
“Oh. Sure,” Olivia says, standing up from the fire with a sigh.
“You know what? I’m good,” Mandy says, giving a thumbs up. “I’m not in much of a prayer mood.”
“Are you sure?” Charlotte asks, raising an eyebrow.
“God’s always ready to listen,” Zeke interjects. “And you don’t need a pastor to talk to Him. Mandy can pray for herself, if and when she wants to.”
“Yes. Yes, of course,” Charlotte says. “My apologies,” she tells Mandy.
“Thanks,” Mandy says coldly. With a sigh, Charlotte averts her gaze from Mandy and closes her eyes, facing downward as Zeke begins to pray.
“Oh, Dear Loving Heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ,” Zeke begins. “Thank you for your blessings on this evening, for allowing us each to continue on this adventure. Thank you for the fortitude to make a difficult decision. And please, on this night, bless Adele, who now more than ever needs to know and appreciate how loved and valued she is…”
As the group prays, Mandy’s eyes flit around the circle of castaways, stopping on Charlotte.
Birds chirp up in the trees, greeting each other with morning-time songs. The sound of buzzing insects can be heard humming low in the distance.
The camera focuses in on the end of a sprig of needles at the end of a pine branch, wavering slowly. Nick holds the twig in his hand, a black substance smeared all over the end of the stick. He’s in the shelter, delicately holding the stick over a sleeping Sheena’s face. Gently and slowly, he puts the tip of the stick under her nose and begins to draw.
Sheena jolts awake just as Nick has finished his masterpiece.
“You better not have put a bug on me Nick, or I swear to god I’m going to unscrew your head from your body!” she says, jumping to her feet.
“That’s not it at all,” Nick says, barely able to contain his laughter.
“Okay what did he do to me guys?” Sheena asks, whipping towards the fire where Tallulah, Teddy and Hannah are sitting. They all begin to laugh upon seeing Sheena’s face.
“You look very fashion forward,” Teddy tells her.
“Oh, darling,” giggles Tallulah.
“Here Henry Cavill,” Hannah offers, handing Sheena her makeup palette. Sheena opens it to look at herself in the mirror. Nick has drawn a mustache on her with swirly, looping ends. Sheena bursts into laughter at her own reflection.
“Well played, Nick. Well played,” she says. “But you better sleep with one eye open, because before you know it… I will have my revenge!”
“You can’t sneak up on me,” Nick says. “I’ve got eyes on the back of my neck!”
He turns around, pointing to the tattoo on the back of his neck, which is of a single, cyclopian eye.
“Then you’ll see this coming!” Sheena says, leaping onto his back, as if he’s a beast of burden. Nick wobbles but manages to stay upright.
“Giddyup pony!” Sheena says, giving Nick’s rear a friendly smack. Nick makes a failed attempt at a braying sound and begins to run off, the tribe continuing to laugh at their behavior. As Nick goes off with Sheena riding him, Maurice comes back into camp, carrying a humongous load of firewood.
Nick walks over to the shelter, where his bag is resting at the bottom. He picks it up and takes out his luxury item, a Etch-A-Sketch. Upon looking at the scream, he busts into laughter.
“Sheena!” he yells out. “Sheena, did you do this?”
“Did I do what, draw a dick on your Etch-A-Sketch?” Sheena asks from the campfire.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” Nick says.
“It’s a no, actually,” Sheena says, sipping from her canteen. “Tallulah did it.”
“Don’t drag me into this, I ain’t done nothing,” Tallulah says, holding up her hands.
As Sheena and Nick continue to play wrestle, Maurice walks over to the fire to join Tallulah.
“How you doing this morning, Ms. Tallulah Mae?”
“No Ms, please,” Tallulah asks. Maurice nods.
“My apologies, ma’am. It’s how my folks taught me to address my elders,” Maurice says.
“Oh goodness, and no calling me ma’am!” Tallulah laughs. “I have a name, Maurice. It’s fine if you use it just as it is. We’re friends, right?”
“Oh, yeah!” Maurice says, smiling genuinely. “Of course we are!”
“Then it’s okay for you to talk to me like a friend, Maurice. Like an equal. I didn’t pick when I was born. Age means I’ve had more time to learn lessons than you, that’s not a fair advantage. It’s not something I’ve earned, it’s just something that is.”
“I understand, Tallulah,” Maurice says. “It’s a habit, what can I say? Just how I was raised.”
Maurice and Tallulah walk together in the forest, carrying the tackle box as they head down to the water.
“I appreciate that you didn’t ask me about the idol when I got back from Exile,” Maurice says.
“Well I know it’s gotta be rough out there, all alone. Even for a tough guy like you,” Tallulah says. “And besides, it’s none of my business. You’ve got your own brain for making your own decisions. I figured if you wanted to say something, you’d say it on your own time.”
“Well… that time? It’s now,” Maurice says, stopping walking. Tallulah stops as well, and raises an eyebrow.
“Is that so?” she asks.
“So… first thing, just to get it out of the way, just because I’m sure you’re wondering–I don’t have the idol.” Maurice says.
“But you have a clue?” Tallulah asks.
“Yes, and you’ll never guess what it says–the idol ain’t out there on Exile!”
“What do you mean it’s not out there?” Tallulah asks, confused. “Where else could it possibly be?”
“Here, Tallulah Mae. At camp,” Maurice reveals.
“Are you pulling my leg?”
“I swear, Tallulah Mae, I’d never. The clue was clear.”
“What else did the clue say?” Tallulah asks. “We have to look for it!”
“Nothing,” Maurice says, shaking his head. “There’s only the one clue so far, and that’s all it said, it ain’t at exile, it’s at camp. And that’s not a lot to go on, so it’s why I’m trusting you. We need to keep our eyes out. But also, think about this–if someone from the other tribe went instead–”
“There’s one at the other camp!” Tallulah exclaims. “There are two idols, Maurice!”
“I think there have to be, right?” Maurice says. “But Tallulah, there’s more.”
“I think it’s really important that we keep our eyes peeled, just… thinking about where around here it might be,” Maurice says, “because really, it could be anywhere. If it’s buried in the ground, I mean… we’ll never just stumble on it like that,” he laughs.
“It might be in a tree,” Tallulah suggests, “in the water… it could be somewhere in camp itself. It could be right in front of our noses. It could be right under our feet right now, for all we know,” she says, furrowing her brow as she begins to think over the possibilities.
“Believe me, all I had time to do out there was think it over,” Maurice says. “I don’t even know where to begin.”
“Well, as long as we win today’s challenge,” Tallulah says, “nobody from this tribe is going to Exile Island. And as long as we keep things that way, nobody will know about the idol but us. We’ll have as much time to look as we need.” She pauses, collecting another branch. “Unless there’s anyone else you plan on telling,” she adds.
“I’m only telling you,” Maurice says. “This stays between us. Nick and Sheena don’t need to know.”
“I don’t disagree,” Tallulah says.
Charlotte hums to herself as she stirs a pot of buckwheat porridge. Vince is tinkering with something near the shelter.
Meanwhile, Gunnar and Huang are out in the meadow. Huang holds one of the goats still while Gunnar milks it.
“I’ve been wanting to talk with you since Tribal Council,” Gunnar says between spurts of milk shooting out of the udders. “But I know that you and Addy were close, so I didn’t want to ambush you right after that vote out happened, so like… please don’t think that because I didn’t come to you last night that, like, I don’t know… I’m not sincere, or anything like that.”
“Are you kidding me dude?” Huang asks. “I totally believe you, no worries. Like, I hope this doesn’t sound too cocky but I was pretty sure that I’d be safe,” he laughs. “I mean… just because of challenges and all. But there’s that one teeny little piece of doubt that just won’t go away, you know?”
“I think any smart player would be a little nervous if they were left out of a vote,” Gunnar says, “so that’s really why I just want to let you know that as far as I’m concerned, you’re not going anywhere. And quite frankly, I trust you. Like, I get the feeling that even if you knew how it was going down last night, you weren’t going to turn your back on your girl. You wouldn’t have ever voted Addy just because everyone else was.”
“You’re dead on, bro,” Huang says. “If I tell you I’m with you, that’s for real. I didn’t tell that to anyone but Addy, I promise. I’m willing to make that same deal with you man, right now.”
“So from your perspective…” Huang asks, “who do you think is next?”
“Well,” Gunnar says, standing up and grabbing the now filled bucket, “are you good to vote Charlotte again?”
“I mean, if that’s what everyone else wants, then yeah,” Huang says, “but the only reason I voted for her last time is because that’s the only other name I heard from people. If I had to pick…” Huang pauses, trying to decide if he wants to give Gunnar a name, “I think Olivia, honestly. I just feel like Charlotte is a lot more trustworthy than Olivia. Something about Olivia is just… I don’t trust her,” Huang says, shrugging.
“Uh… All right, so maybe that’s something we’ll need to talk about a little more,” Gunnar laughs. “Because, like, what I’m thinking is that Zeke, dude? He’s dangerous. Because he’s got Charlotte and Uncle Vinnie wrapped around his fingers. That’s two people who are going to write down whatever name he tells them, I don’t like anyone having that kind of power.”
“I don’t think it’s like that, man,” Huang says. “I dunno, I don’t think he’s like, leading any sort of alliance there. I think people just kind of are letting him take the leader role because he’s good at it. And I trust him more than Olivia.”
“Well that’s why we don’t have to vote him out,” Gunnar says. “Think of the challenges on top of it. I think Olivia brings way more to the table than Charlotte. Or Uncle Vinnie, honestly, it could be either one. I just don’t want to have some sort of… you know, some kind of cult situation on our hands.”
“What I’m thinking,” Gunnar says, “is that you and I, our best move is to make an alliance with the girls.”
“Olivia and Mandy?” Huang asks.
“Yeah,” Gunnar confirms. “We’ve got more power that way. If we go with Zeke, when it gets to five? Uncle Vinnie and Charlotte are gonna be with him, that’s three, we’re two, game over. It makes no sense.”
“Yeah, but that’s assuming we can actually trust Olivia and Mandy, and that’s what I’m worried about, that it won’t matter because we won’t get that far with them in the first place.”
At the campsite, the tribe sits around the fire on stools, lovingly fashioned by none other than Vince. Charlotte comes over from the kitchen area, and begins doling out portions of food to the tribe. When everyone has their food, Charlotte takes her own portion and joins the tribe as well, sitting down next to Zeke. Olivia is directly across from her, picking at her food.
“Olivia darling, your blue eyes look so beautiful in this light,” Charlotte compliments sweetly. “Why, they’re practically sparkling!”
“Oh. Uh, thanks,” Olivia says, chuckling awkwardly. She seems almost confused as to what’s going on.
“That amazing hair of yours really brings them out as well,” Charlotte says. “I love those natural curls!”
“Thanks,” Olivia blushes.
“Have you ever thought about participating in a pageant, Olivia?” Charlotte asks after swallowing a bite of her food. “You don’t need to be young to do one, you know. They have them for women your age.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Mandy snorts.
“It means what it sounds like it means,” Charlotte says, her body straightening. “That they have pageants for women of all ages. Some people think they’re only for young women, and they’re not, it’s never to late to try.”
“Young women?” Mandy repeats. “So you’re saying Olivia’s old? She’s 30 Charlotte, Jesus Christ!”
Almost all eyes turn to Zeke.
“Oh come on, I’m not apologizing for saying Jesus Christ,” Mandy groans, “it’s a figure of speech.”
“I ain’t said nothing,” Zeke mutters.
“What I was saying,” Charlotte continues, “is not that Olivia is old, but simply that she is older than people often assume pageant contestants are. You’re making it sound like I was trying to insult her.”
“Come on, Charlotte, do you not get how that came off as insulting?” Mandy says, clearly aggravated.
“Olivia can speak for herself, Mandy,” Charlotte says. “Olivia, if I offended you just now, I apologize, sincerely,” she continues. “That wasn’t my intention at all.”
“Well, Charlotte,” Olivia says, thinking, “I guess it’s just… not that I’m offended, but I’m curious. What about me makes you think I’d want to do a beauty pageant?”
“Well I don’t know if you’d want to do a beauty pageant,” Charlotte says. “That’s why I asked if it was something you might be interested in.”
“Then why didn’t you ask her what types of things she is interested in?” Mandy cuts in. “Why did you ask specifically about pageants?” Olivia asks.
“Well… I don’t know, it just came to mind!” Charlotte says, frustrated. “Have you asked me those questions?” Charlotte asks back. “Why is it all on me to reach out to you?”
Mandy sighs. “No… you’re right, that’s a fair point. Sorry for being so snappy, I’m just… I’m a little stressed, you know?”
“We all are,” Charlotte agrees, sipping her water. “But I do apologize, Olivia, sincerely. I didn’t mean to be backhanded or negative in any way. I just wanted to give a compliment and learn a little more about you.”
“Well thanks, Charlotte,” Olivia says sheepishly. “Uh, that’s really nice of you. Maybe we can continue learning a little more about each other later, though. Treemail should be getting here soon, so I’m going to check that?” she says, clearly a little anxious to get out the conversation.
“I’ll come with,” Mandy says, standing up.
As the women head out of camp, Zeke takes Charlotte’s hand and squeezes it.
“This game is hard on all of us, Charlotte,” Zeke tells her. “Mandy included. She’s just as human as any of us.”
“I know, Zeke. I know,” Charlotte says.
“That’s like, top five most annoying conversations I’ve ever been in,” Mandy says with a huff as she and Olivia walk through the forest.
“Honestly, I get she was coming from a good place,” Olivia says, “but her compliments were making me so uncomfortable.”
“She’s so condescending, I can’t handle it!” Mandy gripes. “It feels like, okay, you know what it feels like? Like she thinks we’re living in some 1950’s Leave it to Beaver TV show. Like she has no fucking problem just being a servant to these guys, like, do you have any dignity at all?”
“That’s true,” Olivia says, “but Mandy like… it’s more than that. She was giving me all those compliments on my appearance? Just imagine how she’d react now if she knew. You know, about me being…”
“Yeah,” Mandy says, frowning. “Oh, Olivia. I’m sorry. I wasn’t even thinking about that. She just gets under my skin so badly,” Mandy apologizes, pulling Olivia in for a hug.
“She’s the one who makes me the most nervous about coming out,” Olivia continues. “Zeke is really about being open and loving, I don’t think he’d have a problem, but Charlotte?”
“I could see her voting against you for it,” Mandy says. “I think she’s literally that bitch. That type of conservative piece of sh*t who bangs their Bible like a tambourine while trampling all over the rights of anyone she feels like.”
“Ugh, that would be awful,” Olivia shudders.
The women arrive at a small clearing, where a decorative box is nailed to a tree. Mandy opens the box and removes a scroll.
“The challenge is here!” she sings.
“Read it!” Olivia says, as Mandy unfolds the scroll.
“It’s time to test your cleverness,
In this test of matching wits;
Reward awaits the observant,
For the losers? It’s the pits.”
“No clue as to the reward, huh?” Olivia asks.
“No,” Mandy frowns. “But it sounds like a mental challenge, so I think we’ll do pretty well.”
“Here’s hoping,” Olivia says.
“Come on in, guys!”
The Koryok Tribe enters the arena first. This time, they are on a rocky outcropping, overlooking a valley below. Jeff awaits them, fourteen tables behind him, each with either a white or a blue box sitting on top. Koryok takes their place at the map, observing eagerly to see who is missing from the rival tribe.
“Koryok getting their first look at the new Yenisei Tribe,” announces Jeff as Yenisei enters. “Adele voted out at the last Tribal Council.”
“Wow,” mouths Nick to Sheena.
“Didn’t see that one coming,” Sheena whispers. Yenisei takes their place.
“I hope you guys are ready to get to your next reward challenge,” Jeff begins. “It’s a matching game. For today’s challenge, each of you will stand at one of the boxes behind me. There are five items in the box. We’ll take turns, going clockwise around the board. On your turn, you may ask any other castaway if they have an item. If they have it, they surrender it, and you can hand both of those items in as a pair to score a point from your tribe. When I say you can ask any other castaway, I mean any. Doesn’t matter if you’re on the same tribe or not.”
“Oh, interesting,” says Maurice.
“Gives you guys a chance to get to know each other a little better,” Jeff says with a grin. “There are 35 pairs of items, so the first tribe to reach 18 points wins reward. Wanna know what you’re playing for?”
Jeff removes the cover from the prize table, revealing a pile of pillows and blankets.
“The winning tribe will go back to their camp with everything you need to make camp a little more comfortable. You’ll have pillows, blankets, as well as four chairs and a hammock. In addition, you’ll get to pick one person from the losing tribe who will be sent to Exile Island until the next Immunity Challenge. Worth playing for?”
“Yes!” cheers Sheena enthusiastically.
“All right,” Jeff says with a smile. “Well draw for spots and then go ahead and get started.”
The castaways each take a spot behind one of the boxes, as instructed.
“Alright,” Jeff says, once everyone is in place. “We’ve drawn your placements at random, Olivia, you’re getting the first turn.” Olivia nods, understanding.
“SURVIVORS READY? GO!”
“Olivia, go ahead and get us started,” Jeff grants.
“Alright,” Olivia says, opening her box to look at her items. She surveys the group of castaways, a finger on her lips as she ponders.
“Um, Sheena?” Olivia says, hoping she is remembering the right name. Sheena points to herself, and Olivia nods, relieved. “Sheena, do you have a pinecone?”
“I do not,” Sheena says, checking her box.
“Tallulah,” Jeff announces.
“Alright,” says the oldest castaway, checking her inventory. “Young man, you’re name is Gunnar?”
“Yes. Gunnar Soderberg,” Gunnar answers. “It’s Swedish.”
“Tallulah Mae Bradford,” Tallulah responds. “It’s Southern. Gunnar, do you have a bird’s egg?”
“I don’t,” Gunnar says. “My apologies.”
“Zeke,” Jeff says, “you’re up.”
“Miss Tallulah Mae,” Zeke says with a smile, turning to the woman at his right, “Do you have an egg?”
“Oh ho ho!” cheers Vince.
“I do,” Tallulah sighs. “And please, just Tallulah is fine, no Miss!” She hands the egg to Zeke, who takes them both over to Jeff and places them on the blue table.
“Zeke scores the first point for Yenisei!” Jeff announces. “Sheena.”
“Gunnar,” Sheena asks. “Do you have… a pressed flower?”
Gunnar checks his box and sighs. “A lucky guess,” he says, pulling the pressed flower out of the box and handing it to Sheena. Sheena pucks it from his fingers with a smile.
“Sheena scores one for Koryok,” Jeff notes, putting the flowers on the white table. “Vince, you’re up.”
As the sun passes overhead, the castaways get more and more into the matching game. The scores climb as the players make more matches.
The score stands at 5 for Koryok, 7 for Yenisei. It is Gunnar’s turn.
“Maurice, do you have a rock?” he asks.
“I do,” Maurice says, unhappy to give it up. Gunnar collects the rock and turns them in. “That’s another point for Yenisei, putting them at 8. Nick, you’re up.”
“I’ll take the cute blonde from the other tribe,” Nick says.
“Well I’m very flattered,” Gunnar says, touching his chest effetely, “but I have a girlfriend in Canada.”
“I wasn’t talking to you,” Nick says, “I was talking to Olivia. Besides, you’re not my type… when it comes to dudes,” he winks. He turns back to Olivia. “Hey Olivia,” he says.
“Hey. Nick, right?” Olivia asks.
“Mhm. Olivia, do you have a tooth?”
“In my mouth, yes. In my box, no,” Olivia says, with a smile. “I hope you still think I’m cute, though,” she jokes.
“Charlotte,” Jeff says.
“Nick, do you have a tooth?” she asks coyly. Nick tenses his face in annoyance as he hands over the tooth to Charlotte, who dances her way up to Jeff, excited.
“Yenisei now up at 9,” Jeff now counts. “Maurice hoping he can score and keep Koryok moving up. It’s your turn, go ahead.”
“Naomi, you still have the animal skull?” Maurice asks.
“I do,” Naomi says, smiling as she pulls the skull out of her box, wiggling it back and forth.
“And he does score!” Jeff says, “Koryok now at 6. Huang, your turn.”
“Tallulah, do you have a pinecone?” Huang asks.
“I do not,” Tallulah said. “If you had been paying attention the last time someone asked, maybe you would have know that,” she says.
“Is that trash talk?” Huang asks, amused by the older woman’s forwardness.
“It’s just a truthful observation, my dear,” Tallulah smiles.
“Hannah, you’re up,” Jeff says.
“Oh! Uhm…. okay, I was going to ask… uhm… Charlotte,” she says, turning to Mandy.
“Mandy,” Mandy corrects, looking somewhat horrified that she has been called Charlotte’s name.
“Oh, eek!” Hannah says. “So embarrassing,” she mutters, turning somewhat red. “Uh, Mandy… do you have, uh… oh my god,” she laughs. “Okay, I forgot the word!” she giggles, snorting as she laughs to herself. Nick clenches his teeth in annoyance.
“Uh, okay, Mandy,” Hannah says, “do you have bird fur?”
“Bird fur?” Mandy repeats.
“That’s not really what it’s called,” Hannah laughs, “I just, I don’t know I can’t think of the word right now, and the more I try the less it wants to come!”
“Feather?” offers Nick, awestruck.
“Oh no!” laughs Hannah. “Oh, that’s so bad! Feather. Yes. Charlotte, do you have a feather?”
“Mandy,” Mandy corrects again. “And… actually, yeah, I do.”
“Good job Han!” claps Maurice.
“Hannah scores for Koryok, pulling them up again! It’s now 7-9. We’re playing to 18, remember,” Jeff says.
As the game progresses, more and more matches are scored. Teddy takes a bone from Zeke. Naomi scores by matching a leaf with one from Charlotte. Olivia makes a match for Yenisei when she matches a horn with one from Mandy. They fist bump as Olivia walks over.
After some time has passed, the score sits at 13 points for Koryok and 14 for Yenisei.
“Maurice, you’re up,” Jeff says. Maurice’s eyes narrow as he glances around him, trying to recall which items have popped up and where.
“Zeke,” he finally settles. “My friend, do you have… a claw?”
“I do,” Zeke says. “But you’re coming over here for it,” he taunts.
“Maurice with a match,” Jeff announces as Maurice places his pair. “We’re tied up now, 14-14. Four more points to win the challenge,” he reminds them. “Huang, you’re up.”
“Okay,” Huang says, trying to think. “Maurice, do you have… uh, a claw?”
“You’re a little late buddy,” chuckles Maurice.
“Huang!” laughs Charlotte. “I can’t believe you!”
“What?” Huang asks.
“He just got rid of it, brother!” Zeke laughs.
“My bad, my bad,” Huang laughs. “It’s hard to stay sharp out here, Jeff,” Huang says with a shrug.
“Hannah,” Jeff says, “you’re up.”
“Okay,” Hannah says, smiling coyly. “Huang doesn’t have a claw, but Zeke does, don’t you buddy?”
“Oh my god, f*cking kill me,” mutters Nick, covering his face.
“That’s a no, Hannah!” Zeke says. “And uh… don’t ask Maurice, he ain’t got it neither.”
With the score tied, the remaining rounds seem to start going more quickly.
“Tallulah, you’re up,” Jeff says.
“Sheena darling,” Tallulah asks, “I’ll take your straw, please.”
“Yeah you will!” Sheena says, handing off her last item to Tallulah.”
“That’s 15,” Jeff says, “putting Koryok in the lead. Vince, you’re up.”
“Uh, okay,” Vince says, stroking his beard as he tries to think. “Hannah, do you have a scale?”
“Like the kind for weighing?” Hannah asks.
“No honey, like fish feathers,” Vince clarifies, cracking himself up. The other castaways all have a laugh as well. Jeff even chuckles.
“Oh my gosh, I don’t know what’s wrong with me!” Hannah laughs. “No, I don’t have any fish feathers,” she giggles.
“Naomi,” Jeff calls.
“Vincent,” Naomi says, smiling deviously. “Is Vincent okay with you?”
“You, baby, can call me whatever you like,” Vince says with a wink.
“I’ll call you out of items,” she says. “Give me the scale.”
“Aw, come on now!” Vince says, taking it out of the box. “I guess wrong, darn it!”
“I won’t leave you empty handed,” Naomi says as she approaches Vince. She takes the scale, but not before bending down, as she is significantly taller than him. She places a kiss on his cheek.
“Woo hoo!” cheers Huang. Many of the other castaways can’t help but laugh.
“I’m going to have to let CeCe know about this, Vince,” teases Charlotte. “You’re gonna be in the doghouse, you ladykiller.”
“Naomi puts Koryok at 16,” Jeff says. “The win is within sight. Gunnar, you’re up.”
“Hm…” Gunnar ponders. “Olivia, do you have a beak?”
“No,” Olivia says, “I wish I did. In my box,” she clarifies. “I mean, it would be cool to have one on my face, but like, just for the day. To see what it’s like.”
“Olivia?” says Nick.
“You’re kind of weird, aren’t you?” Nick asks.
“A little,” Olivia giggles.
“Nick,” calls Jeff.
“Huang, do you have…” Nick thinks, “a seed?”
“I do,” Huang says, handing the seed over.
“One more point, Koryok, and you win reward. Huang, hoping to keep that from happening and keep Yenisei in this.”
“Okay,” Huang says, pausing and thinking. “Naomi, do you have a stick?”
“It’s my last item,” Naomi says, holding it out to Huang as he comes to take it. “No kiss for me?” he asks. Naomi smirks, and then leans in. She wraps her arms around Huang’s neck and leans in close.
“Maybe if you’ll trade me the stick,” she whispers.
“Oh no, f*ck that,” Huang laughs, gently pushing her aside. “I’ll take the point, thanks!”
“And Huang does it,” Jeff says. “That’s now 16 Yenisei, 17 Koryok. Hannah could win this for her tribe right now.”
“Well, good game,” whispers Nick to no one in particular.
Hannah thinks, looking at each of the other players. “Nick,” she finally settles on. “Do you have… a beak?”
Nick’s jaw drops. “I do, Hannah!” he exclaims. “And you didn’t call them chicken mouths either!” Hannah laughs, somewhat embarrassed as she claims the beak from Nick.
The rest of the Koryok Tribe triumphantly claps and cheers as Hannah brings over the two beaks to Jeff. Most of the Yenisei’s clap as well, albeit much more politely.
“That makes 18 points for Koryok,” Jeff says. “Which means…
KORYOK! WINS REWARD!”
The castaways now stand once again at their respective mats, Koryok excitedly awaiting their rewards.
“Good work, Koryok,” Jeff says. “It was another close challenge, and once again you guys pulled it off. But before you head back to camp with these comfort items, there is one more order of business,” Jeff says. “You need to pick one person from Yenisei who will go to Exile Island. Who is it going to be?”
The Yenisei’s huddle together, whispering among themselves. Everyone seems to come to an agreement.
“I think we wanna know where that idol is, Jeff,” Sheena says. “And I think if we send someone who is smart enough to find it, we’ll know exactly where it is. So we’ve decided we’re going to send Olivia.”
Olivia looks a little surprised. “Me?” she says, somewhat stunned.
“Yeah, you,” Sheena says.
“Is this unexpected, Olivia?” asks Jeff.
“I mean… you can’t really expect anything when it comes to the other tribe, I don’t’ know them, really, I don’t know their strategies or anything like that. But I just kind of thought that they’d do what we did and just send one of our most physical players.
“Challenges aren’t always just physical,” Sheena says. “I think she’s one of their strongest all-rounders.”
“Well thanks, I guess,” Olivia shrugs. Mandy gives her a hug after Olivia grabs her bag.
“See you soon, babe,” Mandy whispers.
“Olivia,” Jeff says, handing her a map, “you’ll follow this to Exile Island. You’ll remain and rejoin your tribe at the start of the next Immunity Challenge. You can head out.”
“Bye guys,” Olivia says, waving to her tribe. Her tribe waves back to her as she heads off into the distance.
“Koryok,” Jeff continues, “grab your reward, and you can start heading back to camp.”
“Thanks Jeff,” Maurice says as he grabs the large, rolled up hammock. The others grab the pillows and blankets as the head off, Tallulah with the flag.
“Yenisei, sadly for you, I’ve got nothing else except a few days down a tribe member. Grab your stuff, head back to camp.”
Olivia arrives at Exile Island, a smile on her face as she approaches the Ovoo.
She opens the scroll that awaits her at the Ovoo and reads it to herself.
“I’ll take this,” Olivia says opening the box with the idol clue. “Clue number one,” she reads. “You’ve chosen well, for this cryptic clue could ward the vote away from you; but you won’t find it on these plains, search once you are home again.’ Well,” she laughs, “I can safely say that I did not see that development in the works. Alright, and clue two:”
“They often say life is shades of gray,
That nothing is black or white;
Perhaps they would say otherwise
With an idol in their sight.”
“Oh good,” Olivia says, chuckling. “It’s perfectly straightforward and easy to figure out! And by straight forward I mean… crap. I have no clue,” she laughs.
With a sigh, she goes to the fire pit that Maurice left behind from his Exile, and she begins to start trying to get a spark with the flint.
The fire lights as darkness begins to bleed through the sky overhead.
“This is my first fire I’ve started,” Olivia beams. “I’m used to bunson burners,” she laughs. “I’d try at camp but Vince usually does it, so… I just haven’t had a chance to try. But I’m proud of myself,” she says. “Getting to test myself like this is cool.”
The sound of clanking wood and metal rings through the camp as Vince hammers two pieces of wood together, ropes secured at either end.
As Vince hammers, Mandy watches from over at the fire, sipping her canteen. Out in the meadow, Huang, Zeke and Gunnar play golf.
“Boys! Hope you brought extra socks in case you get a hole in one!” Vince yells out to the guys as they golf in the field.
Zeke whacks his golf ball. It goes sailing through the air, landing cleanly on the ‘green.’
“Are you sure you never golfed before?” Gunnar asks, raising an eyebrow.
“It’s my spirit fingers, baby. I got the Lord guiding my hand and he’s saying ‘hey Zeke, you better kick Gunnar’s ass!’” he laughs. Gunnar and Huang laugh as well.
“Zeke, you may have the Lord on your side,” Gunnar says, taking the club, “but I have Lord and Taylor on mine. As well as a lot more practice than you,” he says, swinging. His ball lands almost right in front of Zeke’s.
Suddenly, Charlotte can be heard in the forest, coming towards camp.
“Vincent?” she calls in her Tennessee drawl. “Vincent, I need you!”
“No you don’t,” Vince yells back. “I’m busy, you don’t want me!”
“I absolutely want you!” Charlotte says as she comes back into camp. “I saw rabbits, Vincent! You need to build a trap and you need to build it quick! Can you do it?”
“Can I build a rabbit trap?” Vince asks. “Can Michael Jordan slam dunk? Don’t insult me with stupid questions, of course I can build a rabbit trap!” he says, getting up from where he’s working on the pulley system. “Give me just one second love, I gotta get all my sh*t together.”
“I am sorry to pull you away from what you were working on,” Charlotte apologizes,” but I want to make sure we get there before it’s gone, or else we might not be able to find it again. Oh, if only we had a rifle, I could have shot it myself,” she says.
“Of course you wish we had a gun,” Mandy mutters. Charlotte turns to Mandy, suddenly looking much less excited than she was moments ago.
“I’m sorry, Mandy, did you just say something to me?” Charlotte asks pointedly. “I didn’t hear you, so… if you would like to repeat yourself…” she rolls her hands as if to say ‘go on.’
Mandy turns on her seat to face Charlotte fully. “What I said is that of course you wish we had a gun. I bet you’ve just felt so violated having to be without one.”
Charlotte recoils somewhat, clearly both surprised and offended. “What does that mean?”
“It means that you’re playing to type, Charlotte, you’re whole ‘I’m a Christian, except when it comes to actually being a good person’ shtick. “You care more about guns than you care about the people who get shot with them.”
“You need to shut the f*ck up,” Vince yells, pointing directly at Mandy. His booming voice causes the guys out golfing to all turn their attention back to camp. Sensing something wrong, Zeke heads back, Gunnar and Huang in tow.
“Do you know what the f*ck it’s like in a war zone, Vince? No, you f*cking don’t, so you can shut the f*ck up, actually,” Mandy spits. “You ever actually been f*cking fired at? No, didn’t think so. Guns aren’t toys, I know that first-f*cking-hand!”
“When did I say anything about thinking guns are toys?” Charlotte asks, incredulous. “I respect the second amendment and I respect that firearms can be dangerous. Please, do not put words in my mouth!”
“You’re just mad because I’m right!” Mandy yells.
“Hey, hey, HEY!” Zeke yells as he comes into the camp. “What is the yelling about, y’all?”
“This one here has gone mental, that’s what the yelling is about!” Vince says, pointing wildly at Mandy.
“I just don’t appreciate flippant comments being made about guns, okay?” Mandy says, holding her hands up defensively.
“I don’t think I made any sort of flippant comments,” Charlotte says, equally defensive.
“Can we sit down and talk about this, like adults?” Zeke asks, clearly already frustrated.
“No,” Mandy says, “I’m sorry, I can’t be here right now, I need… I need to go,” she says, walking off into the forest.
“What the f*ck happened here?” whispers Gunnar to Huang.
“Char, you okay?” asks Zeke, who can only look befuddled.
“I… I don’t even know what set her off,” Charlotte says, stunned.
Charlotte takes a seat in the shelter, where she begins to cry.
“Oh no!” Huang says, sitting next to her, putting a comforting arm around her as he hugs her. “Charlotte, please don’t cry.”
“I’m so overwhelmed,” Charlotte sobs. “I’m just trying to be myself! Why isn’t that good enough for her?”
“Sometimes, we just ain’t meant to be friends with some folk,” Zeke says. “It’s nobody’s fault, just how it is.”
“Even still, Charlotte says, wiping her eyes, “I just… have I been that horrible to her, and haven’t realized? Have I done something to deserve this? Zeke, am I not a good person?”
“You are exactly who God created you to be,” Zeke whispers, hugging her tightly. Charlotte can only bawl into his shoulder. Vince looks absolutely furious. Gunnar hangs his head.
“Mandy has been through some stuff that the rest of us can’t even begin to imagine,” Zeke says. “And I’m sure that’s left some scars for her that she hasn’t figured out how to cope wit quite yet. Her anger right now is the demons she is wrestling with inside of herself. Don’t take it personally.”
“It’s hard,” Charlotte says, eventually catching her breath. “It’s hard because… Zeke, what if she’s right?”
“Cry it out, Charlotte,” Huang says.
“You are only as good or as bad, Charlotte, as you choose to be, okay?” Zeke tells her. “God gave you free will. If you’re confident in how you conduct yourself? Who cares what Mandy thinks?”
“I know,” Charlotte says, dabbing her eyes with her buff. “I know.”
Down at the water, Mandy sits alone, crying.
As Mandy composes herself, Gunnar arrives to find her.
“Look, Mandy,” Gunnar says, “I don’t know what the fuck that was, but you–Jesus Christ, are you crying?” Gunnar asks, stunned. “I didn’t know you had tear ducts!”
“F*ck off, Gunnar,” Mandy says. “I’m having a diva moment and it’s invite only, and you aren’t invited, so, you know.” She waves her hand at him dismissively.
“Fine, alright, whatever,” Gunnar says, rubbing the corners of his eyes with his thumb and forefinger. “Just… make sure you apologize to Charlotte, okay? Because look, I get it, this game is hard. But it’s still a game, and we need Huang, and right now he’s up there canoodling Charlotte in his roided out arms. You have to smooth this sh*t over.”
“Yeah, fine, okay,” Mandy says. “Can you go now?”
“Sorry,” Gunnar says, turning to leave. “Feel better, okay?”
“F*ck off!” Mandy yells.
“Yikes, bye,” Gunnar says, scampering into the woods. He trips on a tree root and falls flat on his face as he’s almost out of distance, landing with a comedic thud. Mandy doesn’t hear.
Sheena and Hannah lie together in the shelter, while Nick and Naomi both lay in the hammock nearby.
“I think the emojis I use the most…” Sheena ponders. “Hmm. The dancing lady, for some reason?
“Lol, I know right?” Hannah says. “So fierce. And the nail painting. And the girl who goes like this.” Hannah holds her right hand at an angle next to her head as if she’s carrying a serving tray.
“I like the eggplant,” Naomi laughs. Hannah’s jaw drops.
“Naughty naughty!” Sheena laughs.
“I don’t get it,” Nick says. “Why would you send any of these to someone?”
“I don’t know,” Hannah says, shrugging. “You just, like, do… you know?”
“No, I don’t know,” Nick says. “That’s why I asked.”
“Think of it as symbolic language,” Naomi says. “They are images, used to convey a concept beyond what they appear to be on the surface. They convey an emotion often more than a straightforwad idea. It’s a figure of speech, but as a pictograph.”
“Well, when you put it that way, it sounds less stupid,” Nick says, grinning.
“You’re such a hipster, Nick,” Sheena groans.
“Foul. Ferme la bouche, Sheena. I take umbrage at that term,” Nick says.
“You take umbrage at everything,” Sheena responds. “Because you’re such a hipster.”
“Oh my god, I love Harry Potter!” Hannah beams.
“What does Harry Potter have to do with anything?” Nick asks.
“Isn’t that what you’re talking about? Professor Umbridge?” Hannah asks.
“I don’t know who that is,” Nick says. “I never read Harry Potter.”
“Of course you haven’t,” mutters Teddy to himself, over by the fire.
“I think Nick is just… a very passionate man,” Naomi says, her voice like silk. “When he feels a certain way, he feels that way very strongly.”
“Thank you, Naomi,” Nick says, seeming validated. “It’s just… the idea of a hipster is that you do things just because they aren’t popular to do, for the sake of going against the grain. And I don’t think that’s me. I just don’t really like to waste time and effort and energy on things that I don’t care about.”
“Yeah,” Sheena says, “but don’t you ever think that it’s… I don’t know, kind of a little selfish?”
“Not really,” Nick says. “How do you figure?”
“You can’t just leave everything you don’t feel like doing to other people,” Sheena says, “because there’s stuff nobody wants to do. Like nobody wants to be a garbage collector.”
“That’s different,” Nick says, waving his hand dismissively as he lounges in the hammock. “That’s like, a job. If you’re getting paid, at least there’s a reason to be there. It’s like this, none of us would be out here in the middle of nowhere, with no food and no shelter, if there wasn’t a prize.”
“I dunno,” Sheena says with a shrug. “I mean, I think Maurice would want to do this even if there wasn’t any money. I might, honestly.”
“Really?” Nick asks, surprised.
“It’s such an intense game, and I’m really competitive, what can I say?” she responds. “It’s kind of like… I want to prove to myself I can do it.”
“Plus,” Hannah says, “we get to be on TV!”
“Yeah, but normal people don’t care about that, Hannah,” Nick says, rolling his eyes.
“I care about that, actually,” Hannah says. “What’s so wrong with TV?”
“It’s just so much of it is so stupid!” Nick groans.
“No it’s not!” Hannah says. “What do you know about TV anyway, Nick? You don’t even watch it!”
“I don’t watch it because I’ve seen it and decided I don’t need it,” Nick says.
“Like, do you just hate every TV show?” Hannah asks. “There’s too many shows out there for you to really hate them all.”
“This one’s okay,” Nick says, looking directly into the camera. “Hi, Mom!” he says, waving and smiling.
“You know, everyone,” Tallulah says, approaching the shelter, “I know we’re all very cozy right now in our new blankets, but Maurice has been hauling firewood all day, and that’s not fair to him.”
Nick sighs. “Yeah, no. I know, TM. I’ll head out in a second. Sheena?”
“I’ll come too, don’t worry,” Sheena says. “You know, it’s funny, Nicky–weren’t you just saying how you don’t do anything you don’t want to?”
“Well I want to do this. Because I love to make the people I care about happy, and I care about my tribe,” Nick says, stretching as he stands. He gives Tallulah a hug and kisses her on top of the head. “You know I couldn’t let you down, TM,” he smiles.
“Quit kissing my ass, boy. Go get some firewood,” Tallulah sasses gently.
“Love you too,” Nick says, blowing a kiss as he heads off, Sheena jogging to catch up to him.
“You’re a good kid, Nicky!” Tallulah calls as he heads out.
“Don’t tell him that!” Sheena calls back. “You’re going to give him a big head!”
“Too late!” Nick laughs.
Nick and Sheena talk together as they collect wood in the forest.
“I wanted to come do this anyway, even before we got asked,” Nick says, “because we haven’t had a chance to check in today, just us.”
“A-greed,” Sheena says. “Anything in particular on your mind?”
“Uh, well, yeah, actually,” Nick says. “So, I don’t know how you’d feel about this, but, uh… what would you think about bringing Naomi into the fold?”
“Pass,” Sheena says, immediately.
“What? You didn’t even think about it,” Nick says.
“I don’t need to think about it, what’s the point? There are seven people, we have four. We don’t need her.”
“Not right now, maybe,” Nick says, “but Sheena, you’re thinking ahead, right? Like, I can’t believe you wouldn’t be. What happens at the merge, do you think four is enough then?”
“It will be if we keep winning challenges,” Sheena says. “As long as Koryok has the numbers going into the merge, we’re good, Nick. We pick off the Yeniseis and then get rid of whoever we have left from our side until four.”
“That’s assuming that everyone on Koryok stays together,” Nick says. “What if someone decides to flip, because they realize they’re on the bottom?”
“No, no. I know what you’re saying, I just don’t think Naomi needs to be in the alliance for her to feel like she’s a part of the tribe. Quite frankly, I don’t trust her with that much information,” Sheena says.
“Listen, though,” Nick says. “If you’re so worried about her not being trustworthy, then shes going to try and turn on us at some point anyway. Why not give her some incentive to stick with us? Having an extra number in our corner can’t hurt us.”
“I don’t disagree,” Sheena says, “but we have the perfect extra number–Hannah.”
“Oh my god, Sheena, noooooo!” Nick groans. “Are you sh*tting me right now? Hannah?”
“I know you’re not crazy about her, and yeah, she can be annoying, but she’s harmless, Nick. She’s like a gnat. She’s annoying, but what’s she going to really do to you? Nothing. And she’ll be loyal, you know she will.”
“Yeah, but Naomi will be loyal and is actually pleasant to be around,” Nick says.
“I don’t not like her,” Sheena says, “I just don’t want her in our alliance.”
“Well, what if it’s not our alliance?” Nick says. “We could keep her on the side, you know. Just for us.” Sheena raises a very skeptical eyebrow.
“Elaborate,” Sheena demands.
“I mean that we approach her, tell her that it’s the three of us,” Nick says, “as in her, me, you. We don’t let her know about Maurice and Tallulah. And we don’t let Maurice and Tallulah know about her.”
“So,” Sheena says, “the point of the alliance is that we can be honest with each other, Nick, and work together, not start splintering when we don’t even have to vote.”
“Okay. Well… can you just think about it, Sheena?” Nick asks. “If we lose immunity, can you at least consider this might be a good idea?”
“Yeah, absolutely,” Sheena says. “I trust you, Nick. Implicitly. You know that. I’m happy to think it over.”
“You’re the best,” Nick says, giving her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “You’re like a sister to me, I mean that.”
“You’re like the brother I wish my parents had given up for adoption,” Sheena jokes cheekily.
“Wow, rude,” Nick says. “And here I am, trying to be open with my emotions,” he says sarcastically.
“You need to have emotions to be open with them, you sociopath,” Sheena jibes. They both laugh as they continue collecting wood.
Later, Nick and Naomi walk together at the riverbank.
“So here’s the deal,” Nick tells her. “I’m working Sheena as best I can, but she’s resistant. She’s still hung up on Everett.”
“Oh my god,” Naomi groans. “Forget Everett! We’ve been together longer without him than we were with him at this point. It’s not like Sheena’s ever approached me about working together. I’m playing the game, she can’t get mad at that!”
“I think she’s threatened by you, honestly,” Nick tells her. “She’s jealous of how gorgeous you are.”
“I’m gorgeous, am I?” Naomi asks.
“Don’t act like you don’t know,” Nick laughs. “Do you think that modelling scout approached you because he thought you seemed like a good person?”
“I don’t think Sheena’s the type to be jealous of looks,” Naomi says. “But thank you for the compliment.”
“You’re welcome,” Nick says. “And get this, she wants to keep Hannah around. She thinks Hannah isn’t a threat.”
“Well, to be fair, Hannah isn’t a threat,” Naomi says.
“She’s a threat to my sanity,” Nick grumbles. “The point is, Nay, you need to convince Sheena that you’re not a threat, that you’re down to work with her. She has to feel like she can trust you to be loyal to her, so like… find some way to bond with her.”
“I thought we were bonding,” Naomi says with a frown.
“Do you have, like, any secrets you could tell her?” Nick ponders.
“Not that I can think of,” Naomi says.
“Well, you could make one up. She doesn’t have to know, as long as she thinks you’re sharing something important with her,” Nick says. “Tell her Maurice showed you the idol.”
“What?” Naomi laughs. “Nick, if he doesn’t, and she finds out? She’ll certainly not trust me!”
“Just trying to come up with ideas,” Nick says. “I want you to stick around, Naomi. I think we can really do some damage together.”
“If you could right now, put together an alliance,” Naomi begins, the two now sitting on the large rocks overlooking the water, “with anyone in the game. Anyone. Who would you put in it?”
“Huh,” Nick says, visibly thinking. “Well, you, obviously… Sheena. TM. Maurice. Yeah, that’s it.”
“Well,” Naomi says, “that makes sense. The with the exception of myself, that’s everyone who voted for Everett, correct?”
“Correct,” Nick says, staring straight ahead.
“That wasn’t by happenstance, was it?” Naomi says, smiling.
“Nope,” Nick says. “Okay, not that it was a thing right then. But Naomi, I’ve wanted to work with you from the start, I promise,” Nick says. “But the plan changed to Everett so, so, so last minute. And then the other three started talking about the alliance without me, I was only asked later. I didn’t get any chance to argue that you should be included.”
“It’s okay, it’s fine,” Naomi assures. “I understand. That should tell you something, doesn’t it? That they formed the alliance without you? That Sheena put you in the alliance without your consent?”
“You think I don’t know that?” Nick says. “That’s why I know I have to make sure you stay here, Nay. Sheena is the most competitive person I’ve ever met. She hates to lose, and I think she’d be willing to betray me if she needed to.”
“I’ll figure something out,” Naomi says, rubbing massaging Nick’s shoulders. “I always do.”
“Come on in, guys!”
Yenisei and Koryok come into the arena. Down in a vast area, two enormous flanks of meat dangle from giant hooks.
“What in the fresh hell,” wonders Nick aloud as they take their places.
“We’ll now welcome back Olivia, now returning from Exile Island,” announces Jeff. Olivia comes in, looking a little tired, but no worse for wear.
“Welcome back,” Mandy says, greeting her with a hug. Olivia takes her place with the tribe.
“Are you guys ready to get to today’s immunity challenge?” Jeff asks. Everyone agrees, and he continues. “First things first, Koryok–I need to take back the Immunity Idol.”
Naomi hands it over, and Jeff places the idol back on it’s stand.
“Immunity back up for grabs,” Jeff announces. “For today’s challenge, each tribe will have a nice, thick cut of one of Siberia’s most popular meats–reindeer. On my go, you will remove as much meat from that piece as possible and bring it to the basket for your tribe. The catch is that your hands will be tied behind your back, and you will rip that meat off using nothing but your mouth.”
“Oh, well of course,” laughs Sheena. Nick bares his teeth and starts chomping up and down.
“We’ll go for ten minutes,” Jeff says. “I’ll then weigh your baskets. The tribe who collects the most meat in ten minutes wins immunity, is safe from the vote, and has three more days in the game. For the losing tribe, all I’ve got is a trip to Tribal Council, where someone will become the third person voted out of this game. Big enough stakes?”
Everyone agrees, and Jeff smiles, eager to get on this disgusting festival of carnage.
“All right then. I’ll give you guys a moment to strategize, we’ll get everyone tied up, then we’ll go ahead and started.”
The castways stand at the starting line, where a table with an empty basket waits them. Everyone’s hands are, as Jeff promised, tied behind their back.
“SURVIVORS READY? GO!”
The game is on, and the players are off, rushing over to the dangling shanks like ravenous scavengers. Maurice is the first to reach the carcass, and he plows himself face first, teeth bared. He hasn’t anticipated the way the meat will swing on the hook, and struggles to get his first bite. More and more castaways on both sides begin to arrive, figuring out the method of taking their first bite.
As the tallest, Maurice braces the shank against his body for Koryok. He grips into the upper portion of the meat with his teeth. From the center, Tallulah and Nick bite and pull. Naomi goes to the other side of Maurice, and bites down as well.
On Yenisei, Charlotte braces the side of the meat with her face, while the others try to get bites in. Vince growls like a bulldog as he tugs and pulls, trying to get as huge of a chunk as he can.
With mouthfuls of meat, the castaways begin to return to the basket to deposit their quarry.
Vince spits a large piece into the bin for Yenisei. Charlotte and Olivia run up next to him, spitting up their own mouthfuls as well.
“This challenge,” Jeff says, “is truly disgusting to watch. There is spit flying everywhere.”
“Go opposite sides at the same time,” Mandy says to Olivia. They do just that, helping to stabilize the swinging meat. Zeke bares down on the bottom of the meat, trying to pull off a large chunk. Huang starts chewing next to him, as they work together to dislodge an enormous piece. Huang takes it in his mouth, and heads back over, dropping it into the basket.
“Huang gets a gigantic piece for Yenisei,” Jeff notes. “That’s going to move that scale!”
“Nay,” Maurice says, “help me again up top. Nick, Sheena, get it from the bottom.”
Naomi nods, as she and Maurice position themselves on either side of the meat, Naomi catching the shank bone between her neck and her shoulder, trying to hold it still. Both bite down, while Nick and Sheena head towards the bottom. They pull in opposite directions, each dislodging a fairly substantial chunk for themselves. As they go to spit them out, Sheena finds hers dangling from her mouth, the gristle of the meat caught in her teeth.
“Ugh, phbt!” she spits, swinging her head, but the piece isn’t budging.
“Here,” Nick says, coming in close. He grabs the meat out of Sheena’s mouth with his own.
“Nick gives Sheena a helping hand,” Jeff observes. “Or is that a helping… mouth?”
Nick and Sheena are not the only ones who have to help one another with meat getting stuck in teeth. It quickly becomes the go-to strategy of the challenge as many castaways find themselves stuck.
“A little help?” Teddy asks Hannah, who obliges, clearly not pleased about doing so. She has made the mistake of wearing makeup to this challenge.
On Yenisei, Charlotte picks small bits out of Zeke’s teeth.
“It almost looks like Zeke is feeding Charlotte like a baby bird!” Jeff notes. “That’s what you call teamwork.”
Mouthful after mouthful of chewed meat spray out of hungry mouths into their respective buckets. Usually a fair amount of spit accompany.
Gunnar and Olivia work on chewing a large portion off for Yenisei. They are able to get it, and Olivia takes off, but the massive piece slips out of her teeth and drops on the ground. She swears as she gets down on her knees and grabs the meat again.
“Olivia dropped it but she’s picking it up!” Jeff observes. “Nothing is too disgusting when immunity is on the line.”
Koryok seems to have found as much of a strategy as they can, with Naomi and Maurice going back and forth, working to keep the meat still while the other castaways work together to pull from the bottom. Tallulah and Sheena both get good sized bites, heading off as Nick and Hannah come back from dropping off their last pieces of meat.
Over on Yenisei, Vince experiences a setback when he drops his piece.
“I don’t know if I can get that!” Vince exclaims. “I don’t think I can get up with my back like it is!”
“On it,” Zeke says as he comes buy. He drops down to pick up Vince’s dropped meat.
“We are down to the last minute!” Jeff announces. “So get those last pieces in!”
The pace is picked up for both tribes. Tallulah spits another wad into the Koryok bucket. Mandy finds some stuck in her teeth, so Huang pulls it out.
“One more big one!” Naomi says as she and Maurice both once again bite into the top while Nick and Teddy pull from the bottom. This time, not only do Nick and Teddy tear off another massive piece, but Naomi and Maurice get one together as well.
“Those are some big last minute additions for Koryok!” Jeff exclaims as Maurice and Nick spit their pieces into the basket. Nick’s swings from his teeth, so Maurice comes in to remove it. “The question,” Jeff continues, “is will it be enough to beat Yenisei?”
With a might tug, Zeke gets a decent sized bit off for Yenisei. Just as he spits it into the bucket, Jeff calls the challenge.
“TIME!” Jeff says, calling the game. “Whatever is in your mouth right now, you can keep. Go spit out whatever you’ve got left and then we’ll get these baskets weighed.”
With the challenge over, the castaways now stand, exhausted, eager to hear the results, sauces smeared across their faces and bodies. Jeff stands next to a scale.
“Moment of truth,” sighs Gunnar.
“Yenisei, we’ll weigh you first,” Jeff says, taking their basket and placing it on the scale. The scale sinks down and the needle dances along the edge. Jeff narrows his gaze as he reads the measurement.
“Yenisei with 20 pounds, 8 ounces.”
“Damn,” Huang says, the whole tribe clapping.
“Good job guys!” beams Charlotte.
“Koryok, you’re up,” Jeff says, taking their basket. “20 pounds, 8 ounces is the weight you have to beat. Is it enough?” he places it on the scale. Hannah crosses her fingers. Tallulah and Sheena squeeze each other’s hands in anticipation as the needle hits the number.
“Koryok,” Jeff announces, “you collected…
…22 pounds and one ounce!”
“KORYOK! WINS IMMUNITY!”
“YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!” Nick roars, pumping his fist in the air. Sheena jumps up and down, elated. Maurice grabs Hannah in an elated hug, swinging her in a circle while she giggles. Over on Yenisei, no one looks enthused. Charlotte crosses her arms and sucks her teeth. Huang glares angrily at the celebrating Koryoks.
“It was a disgusting job, but someone had to do it,” Jeff says, “and that means Koryok, immunity is yours.” Maurice comes forward to take the idol, the world’s biggest smile on his face. “That means you guys have the night off, you’re all safe for another three days,” Jeff continues. “You can gather your stuff and head back to camp. Enjoy the night off.”
The Koryoks continue to cheer as they parade out of the arena. Vince makes a “blah blah blah” motion with his hand.
“Yenisei, sorry to once again be the bearer of bad news,” Jeff says, “but I’ll be seeing you at Tribal Council tonight. One of you is going to become the third person voted out of this game. You have the rest of the day to figure out who that person is going to be. Grab your stuff, head back to camp. I’ll see you tonight.”
Dejected, Yenisei heads off, back to their campground.
The dejected Yenisei Tribe wanders back into camp. Huang can barely muster the effort to place the flag properly.
“Okay, well, I feel disgusting,” Mandy says, “So I am going to down to the water to wash my face.”
“I’ll join you,” Olivia says, putting her bag down. It takes little time before the two of them are out of camp. Once they are gone, Zeke signals to the others to gather around.
“You know thems two is going off to talk about whatever she found on Exile Island,” Vince says.
“I think she could have found the idol,” Charlotte says. “She’s a smart woman, it’s not an impossibility.
“I think we need to vote tonight under the assumption that she has it,” Gunnar says.
“I agree,” Zeke says.
“So are we voting for Mandy then?” Huang asks.
“No, no,” Charlotte says, shaking her head. “Mandy and I… don’t see eye to eye, so it’s not that I wouldn’t want to, but I think we have to be smart, not emotional. Our top priority has to be getting rid of the idol. I think we should split the votes. ”
Zeke nods. “That’s what I was thinking. I don’t like doing it, but… it’s a game, right?”
“Right,” Huang sighs.
“Huang and I will do whatever we can to convince her that it’s you tonight, Charlotte,” Gunnar says. “I’m just putting that out there now, so it doesn’t come back around and sound sketchy. I’m not actually coming after you, but Olivia can’t think it’s her if we want that idol out of the game.”
“I think the easiest way to break it up,” Gunnar says, “is age. So we all know who we’re voting for. Thirty and over, vote Olivia. Over, Olivia. Under Thirty, vote for Mandy as a contingency.”
“So that’s you, me, and Vince for Olivia…” Charlotte confirms.
“Me and Donkey Huang for Mandy,” Zeke finishes.
“Exactly,” Gunnar says.
“I ain’t got no problem with that,” Vince says.
“Alright,” Gunnar says. “I need to go catch the girls and make sure they don’t suspect anything. You coming, Huang?”
Huang lets out a sigh. “Yeah, I guess.”
Mandy scrubs her face down at the water while Olivia talks to her.
“So the idol is here?” Mandy asks, shocked.
“Yeah,” Olivia says. “Crazy, right?”
“You’re telling me,” Mandy says. “Well, do you know where it is?”
“I have some guesses,” Olivia says, “but the clue is a hard one. It’s not exactly spelled out in one-two-three steps.”
“Well that sucks,” Mandy says.
“Yeah,” Olivia agrees. “I just… you trust the guys, right?”
“Totally,” Mandy says. “I think we’ve got a solid plan here. Like, Huang would have to be an idiot to hand Zeke control of the game. He may be a meathead, but I don’t think he’s like… dumb, you know?”
“I’m hoping,” sighs Olivia. “Because honestly, I think the idol is somewhere back at like, camp proper. Like it’s somewhere right under our noses, and I don’t know if we’re going to be able to find it without causing suspicion.”
“I don’t think we’ll need it,” Mandy says. “Like, seriously. Calm down.”
As Olivia and Mandy continue to wash, Gunnar and Huang come down to meet them.
“Sup ladies?” Huang asks.
“You’d know better than we would,” Mandy says.
“They want to split votes,” Gunnar says, “between you two. In case Olivia found the idol.”
“Well, I didn’t,” laughs Olivia. “Belive me, I wish I did.”
“It doesn’t matter though,” Gunnar continues, “Four is more than three. If we stick together, it’s all good.”
“Right,” Mandy nods. “Everyone is good with Charlotte?”
“I think it’s our best move,” Gunnar says. “Huang?”
“Yeah,” Huang says, shrugging. “I mean… what other choices are out there, really?”
Gunnar and Huang walk back up to camp through the woods.
“Okay, so… listen, bro,” Huang says. “We need to talk.”
“Okay,” says Gunnar, measured, but hesitant. “What’s up?”
“I’ve been thinking non-stop about this vote, and… I just don’t trust those girls, man, not more than Charlotte. Mandy’s a loose cannon. And I really, really don’t like the possibility of Olivia running around with an idol in her pocket.”
“Dude,” Gunnar sighs, “you’re kidding, right?”
“No, I’m serious,” Huang says. “I want to stick with our plan to split the votes. I really, really think it’s the right move.”
“But what happens after that?” Gunnar asks. “Charlotte isn’t going be loyal to us over Zeke, neither will Uncle Vinnie. We’re putting ourselves at the bottom of the alliance if we do that,” Gunnar says.
“I don’t think that’s the case at all,” Huang says. “They need us, dude. They aren’t going to win challenges without us.”
“Alright man,” Gunnar relents. “Look, I trust you, and I’ve promised you that you are my number one in this game. If you really feel this strongly about this, you have my support.”
“You’re sure?” Huang asks.
“Positive,” says Gunnar. “Let’s get that idol out of here.”
The sun is starting to get lower in the sky as Tribal Council approaches.
Gunnar approaches Mandy at the corner of camp.
“We need to talk, now,” he whispers. The two of them disappear off to a far corner of the camp.
“Before I say anything,” Gunnar begins, “I need you to promise me you won’t start panicking.”
“Well that’s a little hard to promise without knowing what it is that you’re going to say,” Mandy says, “but why not?”
“Okay,” Gunnar says, wringing his hands. “The deal is that Huang doesn’t want to be a part of the vote with us. He wants me and him to stick with the others and do the split vote plan.”
“What?” Mandy hisses. “What, why?”
“He says he doesn’t trust you. He called you a loose cannon. Did you apologize to Charlotte yet?”
“No,” Mandy says, “what would that have to do with anything, though? I thought she was going home.”
“You were supposed to do it because it would have made Huang feel better to see that you apologized,” Gunnar says. “But it’s whatever, don’t worry about it.”
“Don’t worry about it?” Mandy says. “That’s easy for you to say, your name isn’t getting written down tonight.”
“Which is why I’m asking you not to panic,” Gunnar says. “I have a plan. As long as you, me and Olivia still vote together, we’ll have three votes, that’s all we need. The others are splitting their votes, so it will be two-two-three and we still send Charlotte home.”
“You’re sure about that?” Mandy asks.
“Positive!” Gunnar says.
“You better know what you’re talking about, Gunnar,” Mandy warns. “I’m putting my faith in you.”
“I didn’t think you had any faith to give,” Gunnar says cheekily.
With night falling fast, the castaways collect their belongings and begin to start trekking out of camp.
The Yenisei Tribe seems none too happy as they file into Tribal Council and take their seats. Jeff clearly picks up on the dour vibes.
“Welcome back to Tribal Council, Yenisei,” he greets. “Obviously not where you want to be, especially back to back. You guys were winning the challenges, and now you’ve lost three in a row. Vince, what does this tribe need to do to improve it’s performance? What is lacking from Yenisei?”
“Jeff, I’ll tell you this, I don’t think it’s that we need to be stronger or smarter,” Vince says. “It’s that we ain’t being a team, and we gotta start being one. We got some people who just aren’t on the same page with the rest of the tribe.”
“Who are those people?” Jeff asks.
“Uh… it’s the girls, down there at the end,” Vince says, pointing. “Mandy and Olivia.”
“Guilty as charged,” Mandy says, shrugging. “I’d say the same thing. It’s been over a week now that we’ve all been together, so… I think the dynamic is pretty clear and obvious. Olivia and I are on the outs, and one of us is probably going home tonight.”
“That’s pretty blunt,” Jeff says, a little taken aback.
“I mean, it’s true Jeff. I don’t mind being blunt,” Mandy says. “Sometimes you have to be. And I think it’s actually an advantage in the game to be aligned with someone like me, who is okay with being blunt, because I don’t hide where I stand. And I want to, while we’re here, just make it very, very clear: Charlotte, I am really, really sorry I blew up at you the other day. It was totally out of line. I took out my stress on you, and that was super unfair of me. I apologize for how I treated you.”
“Well… wow,” Charlotte says, looking surprised. “Thank you, Mandy. I really appreciate you saying that.”
“You’re welcome,” Mandy says. “That being said, I’m still voting for you tonight.”
“Just putting it out there, huh?” Charlotte laughs. “Well, that’s your call.”
“I’ve been a little aggro the last few days, okay? I totally admit that I’ve gone a little stir crazy out here,” Mandy says. “But I’m loyal, Jeff. I’m a good, honest ally to have, and I feel like I’m a resource out here that these people aren’t making use of.”
“Well there’s a reason for that,” Vince says, “and that’s because you make an effort to separate you from us. Look, I can only speak for Vinnie, but I’d be happy to welcome Mandy as a part of this tribe with open arms, but she don’t want it, Jeff. She’s making it seem like it’s all on us, and it’s not. In fact, just the other day, Charlotte tries to reach out and talk with, uh, with Olivia down there, and Mandy just jumps in like a snapping little dog, just ready to bite her damn hand! I just think it’s funny, she’s making it sound like everyone else is doing something wrong–sweetheart,” he says turning directly to her. “If you have a problem with everyone, maybe the problem isn’t them.”
“Wow, thanks for being so condescending, Vince, I really appreciate it,” Mandy says, giving him a sarcastic thumbs up. “See, Jeff? This is how they treat me, and then they blame me for not making more of an effort.”
“Olivia,” Jeff says, “as someone else who was also pointed to as being considered on the outs, what’s your take on all of this?”
“I mean, I totally get where Mandy comes from, Jeff. I don’t think it’s anything malicious at play here, I don’t think anyone is being purposely excluded. I think that Zeke, in particular, actually, does a really, really good job of trying to make sure everyone feels heard and included. Mandy and I are just not like the rest of our tribe. In real life, she’s probably the only one of these people I could see myself being friends with, and that’s not meant to insult or demean anyone. We’re just different types of people, and sometimes in life that happens. It’s the randomness of the universe at work.”
“That’s a more than fair point,” Jeff responds, “but Olivia, by the same token, sometimes in life you have to work with people you don’t like.”
“No, absolutely,” Olivia says. “And like, in the workplace, I think that’s a little easier to do. Because most of us, for our jobs, we’re there for just a part of the day, we only have to be able to work as a team with our coworkers for so long. And then at the end of the day, you get to leave it all behind. You go home to your family, to your friends, you surround yourself with people that you choose to be spend your free time with. On Survivor, we’re together all the time. If the challenges are our office, it’s not like we all go our separate ways after. We go home together, we eat together, we sleep together. We’re together 24/7. There’s no break from the game, and that’s on top of the fact that we’re hungry, we’re tired, we’re cold–and it’s only getting colder, day by day. In a way, I was happy to go to Exile Island, just so I could get some time to myself.”
“Olivia brings up a good point about Exile Island,” Jeff says. “There’s an advantage in going, in that you get a break from the politics of the tribe. There is also a potential advantage in the hidden immunity idol. Zeke, has the possibility of Olivia finding an idol come up?”
“Of course,” Zeke laughs. “Absolutely, Jeff! Who wouldn’t think about it? You end up with a lot of time to just sit and think out here, and we’re living in the game, man. You think maybe every possible thought you can think about. There’s only one way to get the hidden immunity idol, and that’s to go out on Exile Island. You basically have to assume that anyone who has been out there has it. Better safe than sorry.”
“So Mandy,” Jeff says, “if you and Olivia are on the outs, and the tribe is operating under the assumption that Olivia has the idol, one could logically assume that you might be a potential target tonight.”
“Uh, duh,” Mandy laughs. “I’m terrified of that possibility, and that’s why I’m trying to stress so hard, right now, Jeff, that I am honest and I am loyal. Because I think there are people on this tribe who would be putting themselves in a better position in an alliance with me and Olivia than with certain other people.”
“Care to give names?” Jeff probes.
“I’m not putting anyone on the spot,” Mandy says. “The people I’m talking to know who they are.” Huang looks uncomfortable, looking at the ground as Mandy talks.
“Well it’s not me, then,” laughs Charlotte. “And that’s what makes it so scary, Jeff! The idol complicates everything. But I don’t blame Mandy for trying! That’s what I’d be doing in her situation, trying until the bitter end to get someone to change their mind. It’s frustrating, because I don’t want it to be me. But I can’t blame her for trying.”
“Huang,” Jeff says, redirecting his attention, “Does Mandy–or Olivia, for that matter, have any argument they could make that would potentially get you or another person to think about voting with them tonight?”
“Yeah, but it’s not that simple,” Huang says. “I think the problem goes deeper than just good or bad arguments. I think there’s deeper personality clash going on that was alluded to earlier. It’s not just a question of who is loyal or who is a threat. You’re also considering who you actually want to be around. Because like Olivia said, you don’t get to take a break from this, there is no pause button. Whoever is left tonight, we’re going back to that camp together and we’re going to have to put this behind us and go back to being a team. And I don’t want to go back to face that challenge with us being a tribe divided. So if there is someone that the majority of people can agree on, I think at this stage it’s the best move to keep the peace. Like, last time we were here Addy left, and that killed me, Jeff! That was my person out here, you know? But everyone else voted for her. It was what the tribe wanted, so as much as I may not have liked it, it was the tribe’s choice, and I had to accept that, you know?”
“Jeff, if you don’t mind me just piping up again,” Mandy says, “but again, keeping with the theme of being honest, I have to say, Huang, I think that’s really short sighted thinking on your part.” Gunnar looks annoyed at Mandy.
“Okay, well, I don’t think that,” Huang shrugs. “So sorry.”
“Gunnar,” Jeff notes, “you’ve been staying pretty quiet. What’s your take on this, because in a lot of ways, this dichotomy that Mandy and Huang are talking about, it can be boiled down to a question of head vs heart. Which one do you let lead the way when it comes to your decision making, especially as you prepare to vote?”
“You have to be ready and willing to use your head,” Gunnar says. “Even when your heart is screaming at you not to listen. But it’s knowing when to override your heart that’s the key. Because sometimes your feelings get it right. If you feel miserable all the time, your feelings are telling you that something about your situation has to change. But by the same token, sometimes you might feel anxious before doing something that you don’t want to do; and then once you’re done, you feel ridiculous for worrying in the first place, because you had no reason to worry. I don’t think that it’s a question of head versus heart, it’s knowing when to use each.”
“Which one are you using tonight?” Jeff asks.
Gunnar sighs, clearly thinking. “Head. Tonight, I’m making a decision with my head.”
“Everyone else agree? Tonight, they are using their head?”
“No,” Huang says, smiling. “Jeff, tonight I’m using my heart.”
Charlotte shifts uncomfortably. Mandy makes sharp eye contact with Gunnar.
“Well, it sounds like everyone knows what they’re doing, so why not get to it?” Jeff says. “It’s time to vote. Gunnar, you’re up first.”
Gunnar casts his vote.
Mandy casts her vote.
Huang casts his vote.
Zeke casts his vote.
Charlotte goes to cast her vote. She begins to write something, but she stops, crosses it out, and pauses. She taps her foot, looking concerned.
Out in the Tribal Council main area, Gunnar looks over at the booth, confused.
“What’s taking her so long?” Mandy whispers to Olivia.
Charlotte casts her vote.
When Charlotte returns, Vince takes her hand to get her attention as she sits down. “What was that?” he whispers.
“I’ll go tally the votes,” Jeff says, heading off to collect the urn. Mandy and Olivia take each other’s hands, Olivia looking anxious as they wait. Zeke stares straight ahead, lost in thought. Jeff returns, placing the urn before him.
“If anyone has a hidden immunity idol and would like to play it,” Jeff begins, “now would be the time to do so.”
Huang looks over at Olivia. Charlotte sits with her eyes closes, hands squeezed together. Olivia does nothing.
“Once the votes are read,” Jeff continues, “the person voted out will be asked to gather their belongings and leave the Tribal Council area immediately. I’ll read the votes. “First vote…”
“Charlotte. That’s one vote for Olivia, Mandy and Charlotte.”
“Mandy, that’s two for Mandy.”
“Charlotte, we’re tied, two votes Mandy, two votes Charlotte, one vote Olivia.”
“Charlotte, that’s three votes Charlotte, two votes Mandy, one vote Olivia, one vote left. The last vote…”
Charlotte covers her face in her hands. Vince puts a supportive arm on her shoulder.
“… is for Mandy. Which means we have a tie. Three votes Mandy, three votes Charlotte, one vote Olivia.”
“Whaaat?” laughs Huang. “What is going on?” Gunnar looks far less amused. Charlotte exhales a huge sigh of relief.
“Here’s how it will work,” Jeff explains. “There is going to be a revote. Mandy, Charlotte, neither of you will vote. The rest of you must vote for either Mandy or Charlotte. Understood?”
“Alright, then it’s time to vote. Gunnar, come take this and go cast your vote,” Jeff says, holding out the urn. Gunnar sighs as he comes up to take the urn.
Gunnar replaces the urn and casts his vote.
Huang casts his vote.
Olivia casts her vote.
Zeke casts his vote.
Vince casts his vote.
Vince returns and takes his seat. “I’ll go tally the votes,” Jeff says. He heads off to, once again, fetch the urn. Mandy looks down, on the verge of tears. Olivia looks over at Charlotte, who is staring into the fire.
“Once the votes are read,” Jeff repeats, “The person who is voted out will be asked to leave the Tribal Council area immediately. I’ll read the votes. First vote…”
“Mandy, that’s two Mandy.”
“… the third person voted out of Surivor: Siberia–Mandy. Mandy, that’s three, that’s enough. I need you to bring me your torch.”
“Oh my f*cking God,” Mandy groans, standing up, looking bereft. She hugs Olivia tightly.
“Hang in there, okay?” Mandy whispers to Olivia. “Don’t let them win.”
“I won’t,” Oliva whispers back. “I promise.” They break their embrace, and Mandy grabs her torch and brings it to Jeff.
“Mandy, the tribe has spoken,” Jeff says. He snuffs her torch. “It’s time for you to go.”
“Good luck, Mandy!” Charlotte calls. Mandy doesn’t do anything to acknowlege her, already too far off into the night. Olivia sits alone, crying.
“Tonight, it seems you guys made a decision in the name of unity by voting out someone who was considered an outsider. Unfortunately for you, you did it in the least unified way possible with a tied vote. Whatever circumstances lead to this–for all of your sakes, I hope you figure out how to smooth those over. You guys can grab your stuff and head back to camp. Goodnight.”
“I’ll explain when we get back,” Charlotte whispers to Zeke. They grab their torches, Olivia the last one out, her face still wet with tears for her only friend.
Thirteen remain. Who will be the next to go?
NEXT TIME ON… SURVIVOR!
Chaos takes over at Yenisei in the aftermath of the Tribal Council, while bonds continue to form on Koryok.
A reward gives way to a wild night for the winning tribe.
And one castway, desperate to change their fate, makes the most game shaking move of the season.