Survivor: Cagayan - Episode 3
Our Time To Shine
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
March 13, 2014

The crazy definitely cancels out the pretty.

Good evening, Survivor fans, and welcome back to another edition of the BOP Survivor: Cagayan recaps. When last we met, the Brains finally got off the schneid by not losing a challenge. That honor went to LJ and the Beauty tribe. Despite completely blowing the maze portion of the immunity challenge, LJ was feeling pretty secure with his hidden immunity idol and four-person majority alliance. After an unprecedented three-way tie at Tribal Council, the Beauty Tribe's resident strategist, Brice, seemed to forget his strategy and was sent home unanimously on the revote.

Besides that, Cops R Us #copsrus was created when Tony struck a blue-blooded alliance with Sarah. He cemented the alliance by waiting about 20 seconds before his first lie to his closest ally. What could go wrong? At the Brains tribe, Spencer got the reprieve this week and hopes he can remind Tasha and Kass that J'Tia THREW AWAY THEIR FOOD! Maybe they'll keep him around the next time they lose a challenge. And let's face it. Last week was an aberration. They'll get back to their losing ways this week, you'd think.

The previews suggest that the Brawn tribe might be considering throwing a challenge, which pretty much means, there's no way Brawn will throw a challenge. Also, word around the campfire is that we get back to a two-challenge episode. That's right; we'll play for Reward and then later play for Immunity. That should be awesome. Brains can potentially lose twice tonight!

We begin tonight's show as the Beauty tribe comes back to camp. Morgan tells us that she's frustrated and Jeremiah is a coward. She knows she's an island out there. In front of everyone, she asks Jeremiah what changed his mind. He says that he had an alliance with LJ, Alexis and Jefra. He went with the numbers and Brice was a dangerous social player. After Jeremiah leaves, Morgan talks to Alexis and apologizes for voting for her. She explains that Jeremiah came to her wanting to get rid of LJ, but feeling like they needed his strength in challenges. So he suggested Alexis as the vote. Morgan tells her this as if it's just them, but knowing full well that both Jefra and LJ can hear the conversation. Seriously, the "dumb girl" who seemed like she might play the game with her boobs seems to be the only one with any brains on this tribe. The way she handled this conversation was quite good. Alexis tells us that she's not sure if Morgan is straight, but it sounds very realistic. She tells us that Jeremiah has a big target on his back right now.

After the credits, we join the Brains tribe reading Tree Mail. The clue suggests a blindfold challenge for food. J'Tia feels this is an important challenge for the Brains tribe and her specifically. She wants to do everything she can to win some food since she's the reason they don't have any. And with that...

Probst sighting! Today's challenge will have one person as the caller while everyone else is blindfolded. The caller will lead the rest to grab five items. Once all 5 items have been retrieved and handed up to the caller, one final team of two will go out to get the tribe flag. First tribe back with their flag wins reward. Wanna know what they're playing for? Three egg-laying chickens and a rooster. Second place gets a dozen eggs. Third're fired. Oh, wait a minute, got carried away. Third place gets nothing. Brawn will sit out Hang Dai Woo and Sarah. Beauty is sitting out Morgan. And they're off...

Tasha, Alexis and Cliff are the callers. Right off the bat, Brains has their first item followed by Beauty. Brains has an issue trying to hoist the item up to Tasha, allowing Beauty to get ahead of them. Cliff has taken the strategy of sending his group out to the hardest to reach item. We'll have to see if that pays off. Brains gets their first item up, Beauty gets number two and Brawn gets their first. In the meantime, LJ rams Little LJ into a post and Lindsay takes one in the stomach. Brains now has their second item and Lil Spencer takes a hard shot on the way back with number three. Brawn has their second item and Beauty has their third. Brains and Beauty are neck and neck with item number four. Brawn still has three. Beauty and Brains both head back with item five while Tony grabs the fourth one for Brawn. Beauty is back first but only slightly over Brains. Brains drops their item and Beauty takes the lead and heads out for the flag. Brains gets their fifth item up and they're on the course for the flag.

LJ runs smack into the flag and they head back to win the challenge! Spencer and Kass finally find their flag, while Brawn gets the fifth item up to Cliff. Brawn finds their flag as the Brains tribe members try to get their flag to Tasha to claim second place. J'Tia causes the flag to drop and Brawn gets back in the challenge. J'Tia can't straighten out the flag on the little platform while Brawn heads back with their flag. Lindsay takes a hard shot on the way back, but J'Tia is self-destructing as we speak. Brawn gets their flag on the platform and up to Cliff and for the third episode out of four, J'Tia is a challenge black hole and sucks the victory away from the Brains tribe.

We come back from break to see the victors enjoy their spoils. As Jeremiah opens the chicken feed bag, he finds a clue for the immunity idol. The idol that, of course, LJ has. So he reads the clue out to everyone. LJ says that the clue is so specific that anyone would be able to find the idol. The next scene is one of the most ridiculous conversations I've ever heard. In a nutshell, the tribe tries to figure out how the chickens get the eggs to lay. I'm not sure what was worse, Alexis asking if chickens are asexual, or LJ settling the whole chicken/egg argument using dinosaurs as his litmus test. Next up, Jeremiah "takes care" of one of the chickens and the Beauty tribe enjoys some much needed protein. Morgan tells us that Jeremiah may have killed the chicken, but he's still not very smart OR beautiful. She doesn't know why he's on the Beauty tribe.

Over at Brawn, Lindsay and Cliff are discussing how the tribe needs to stick together. Sarah tells us again that Cliff and Lindsay want her out, based on Tony's lie. She decides she wants Cliff out. She goes to Cliff’s #1 fan, Woo, and tells him her plan. She says that Cliff doesn't need the money and he'd be a good person to get out. Surprising to me, he is down with that move. He tells us that he looks up to Cliff, but he'd prefer that someone else win the million. Tony comes up in the middle of the conversation and gets worried about what she's talking to Woo for. Sarah tells Tony that Woo is with them to vote out Cliff. Tony says he has Trish with them, so they have the numbers to dump Cliff. Sarah convinces him that Woo is legit and makes him swear on his badge that he won't turn on her, which he does. Tony then tells us that he doesn't care about any promises. He's there to lie, cheat and steal to win this game. Um, Tony, Russell Hantz called. He wants his game back. He also said to tell you that you can't win that way. Kthxbye!

Brawn comes back with Tree Mail that seems to suggest some sort of basketball-ish challenge. Naturally, Brawn is expecting Cliff to dominate this one. And here we go, Sarah starts talking about throwing the challenge. She swears she would never do that and yet, here she is, suggesting it to Trish. Next up is Woo and he balks at this idea. They have the numbers and he doesn't want to ruin that. Also, he's pretty star struck at the thought of shooting baskets with Cliff Robinson. So, will they throw it or won't they? Time to find out...

Probst sighting! Today's challenge sees the tribes out on a platform in the ocean and they have to dive down into the water to release five buoys. Once all buoys are released, they have to shoot the buoys into a Survivor basket. First one to sink all five shots wins immunity. Tony and Lindsay will sit out for Brawn while Alexis sits for Beauty. As the challenge unfolds, J'Tia dives in first for Brains and SHOCKER! The challenge black hole wastes several minutes and comes back with NO buoy! Meanwhile, Beauty and Brawn are bringing back buoys, until Sarah dives down and takes a looooooong time to come up with a buoy. Trish goes next and does the same thing, except she goes so far as to not come back with a buoy. Meanwhile, Kass can't get a buoy either, so Brains is making it REAL hard to throw this challenge. Oh yeah, and Beauty has all five buoys now.

Tasha fails to get a buoy. Cliff comes up with #3 for Brawn while Spencer gets #3 for Brains. He dives right back in, rather than watch the rest of his team not get anything. Spencer brings back #4 and goes back out again! Woo comes back with #4 for Brawn while Spencer comes back with #5. Oh yeah...and Beauty wins the challenge. Woo dives 15 feet down to get buoy #5. Spencer misses a shot and Black Hole can't get the buoy back to him to shoot again. And Woo gets #5 while Spencer sinks #1 and #2. Cliff is shooting for Brawn. #1. Black Hole loses another ball. Cliff sinks #2 and #3 and #4. Spencer sinks #3 while Cliff misses twice in a row. Spencer goes in and out while Cliff sinks #5 sending Brains back to Tribal.

Okay, this was another textbook Brains meltdown at a challenge. J'Tia is just awful. But, it needs to be mentioned that Spencer just turned in the best challenge performance of the season (maybe of the last several seasons). He dove down 9, then 12, then 15 feet to grab the final three buoys for the Brains tribe, without a break in between. He then came back and had them within an eyelash of coming in second in this challenge. Sure, Brawn was trying to throw it, but that shouldn't take away from the amazing individual effort Spencer put into this challenge when it became obvious that the rest of his tribe was useless. Also, Sarah tells us how hard they tried to throw this challenge and they couldn't throw under Brains. If it's anything but 3-1 sending J'Tia home, the Brains tribe will deserve every horrible thing that happens to them for the rest of their lives.

We join Brains as they come back to camp and Spencer is really bummed to have lost. He is pissed that he did great in this challenge and the rest of his team sucked and killed it for him. And even worse than that, the girls have the numbers and he's screwed. He tells Kass that the best thing for this tribe is to keep him as J'Tia is killing the tribe. We join Kass and Tasha talking about getting rid of J'Tia as keeping her will lead to them getting picked off one by one. They also decide not to tell Spencer they're keeping him, because they want J'Tia to feel safe. Even though Tasha and Kass tell her they're three strong, J'Tia is feeling a little nervous. As they talk, they discuss the possibility of tribes being intermingled and now Tasha is thinking that maybe it's best to have J'Tia's loyalty. So Tasha and Kass have another conversation where Tasha wants to keep J'Tia for her loyalty. Kass tells us that either way is a gamble, because she doesn't know what happens tomorrow. J'Tia will continue to kill the tribe, but they think Spencer will flip on them if there's a swap or a merge.

They arrive at Tribal and Jeff doesn't know what to do except throw his hands in the air. He starts with J'Tia and asks her how responsible she is to the loss today. She says she was weak in today's challenge but she's pretty strong otherwise. Tasha admits that J'Tia has been terrible in challenges and that they have had to find places for her to fit into a challenge. Jeff confirms that the way they're going, no one will last very long. Jeff then asks Kass about J'Tia tossing the rice. Kass makes a bullshit excuse that J'Tia's just a hothead and not disloyal. Spencer says that unpredictability is almost as bad as disloyalty. As J'Tia and Spencer are going back and forth, Kass and Tasha are trying to decide what to do. Spencer and J'Tia both notice the conversation and are a little put off by it. Spencer says that it's devastating that he hasn't gotten to really play the game with this tribe. Tasha isn't even listening to him and Jeff points that out. Spencer makes a final plea to be kept as he's better in the challenges and will be just as loyal. And with that, it's time to vote.

We see Spencer's vote for J'Tia and J'Tia's vote for Spencer and Jeff will tally the votes. First vote: J'Tia. Second vote: Spencer. Third vote and fourth vote: J'Tia, WOO HOO!!!! And here we are on day 12 and Brains makes their first correct decision. As Jeff starts to speak, Spencer tells Tasha that he'll prove this was the right decision and that he's with them all the way. And seriously, wasn't this the only possible vote? We've had five challenges and J'Tia has singlehandedly lost three of them and had a huge impact in losing a fourth. With her on your tribe, you will not win. Period. Good on ya, Brains. I just fear that it's too little, too late.

Next time on Survivor: the Brains tribe is nearly extinct, but could Jeff come to the rescue? "Drop your buffs. Brains, Beauty and Brawn are no more." And with those few words, the game will take a huge turn. You have to think they'll blend the tribes together to make two new tribes. And when that happens, you have no idea how they'll be split up. I mean, it's conceivable that with two tribes of seven, a split could be three Brains, two Brawn and two Beauty and all of a sudden, there's a Brains number advantage. Not likely, sure. But possible. Can't wait to see how this one shakes out. As always, if you have any comments or you're a huge J'Tia fan, be sure to follow me and Tweet me @vannestjc. Until next week, take care.