Survivor: Worlds Apart - Episode 8
Keep it Real
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
April 9, 2015

Yeah, I still think we've got them outnumbered.

Hello, good people, and welcome back to the eighth episode of Survivor Worlds Apart. First off, CBS has announced that Wednesday, May 20th will be the two hour (three, if you count the reunion) finale for this season. Which means we're right at the halfway point of the season. Already. I know! Previously on Survivor, we merged. Battle lines were drawn between the No Collars and the Blue Collars, with the White Collars floating out there as swinger/key party votes. Shirin wasted no time hitching her wagon to No Collar, while Tyler and Carolyn took a little more to decide which side of the fence they wanted to land on.

Wisely, the Blue Collars targeted Joe as the first post-merge boot, but he went and screwed it all up by winning immunity! So, they slid their votes over to Jenn. Jenn and her No Collars did not appreciate being lied to by Kelly and decided she was the least trustworthy and needed to go first. Out of nowhere, Will jumped ship to the Blue Collars and when Tyler and Mama C joined with the Blues, there was a decisive 7-4-1 (don't even make me try to explain why they wanted Will to vote for Hali) victory.

Not so fast... Jenn wisely played her hidden immunity idol and in a reversal of fortune, Kelly was sent home from the Blue Collars and Jenn lives to surf another day. I pointed out last week that while this was awesome TV, if everyone just "sticks to the plan," the Pagonging of the No Collars should commence this week.

But wait, the previews seem to suggest that Rodney doesn't like the direction things are going under Mike's leadership and maybe it's time for a new captain. And now that an idol was played, it dawns on everyone that no one ever found the Blue Collar idol, so it is full blown idol fever around camp. It has been hinted that the idol is found...but by whom, we do not know. Oh yeah, and they named their merge tribe Merica. *shakes head* Let’s get to tonight's action, shall we?

As you would expect, we begin at the Merica camp right after Tribal. Everyone is complimenting Jenn on the play but Rodney is not pleased. He's pissed that Mike changed the vote from Hali to Jenn and that Kelly paid the price for it. He pulls Will aside and asks him to stay with him. Will points out he was the only one who went with the Hali plan. Rod tells him that Mike thinks he's running the show, so just let him run it. Once the No Collars and Shirin are gone, Rod, Will and the Whites will take out the rest of the Blues at seven.

Mike is sitting with the No Collars talking about what a great play it was for Jenn. She tells us that she and the No Collars were loving it, while everyone else was feeling bad for Kelly. "Who gives a sh#%?" Jenn hopes that her little band of four can continue to screw up plans for everyone else as she has to be entertained one way or another.

We come back from the credits the next morning. Rodney is making more friends by telling the girls that they're not cooking enough food. He tells us that when he starts to get frustrated, he just walks away to calm down. In this case, he walks over to where Jenn is cutting salami and starts peeling off the casing. Shirin asks him to please leave it on, probably because it at least offers a small barrier to all the dirt. Of course, Rod takes exception to that and one of the more pointless mini-arguments ever ensues. He tells us that you have to earn respect and that Shirin is just useless around camp. But, it doesn't matter because he has the numbers and he can do whatever he wants. Wow, someone could be in for a major fall.

And now it's time for a Probst sighting!! Today's reward challenge is an old standby. It's the balance beam/puzzle challenge. They'll make their way across the beam and get puzzle piece bags. Once they have a bag, they have to take it to the other end of the balance beam and go back for the next bag. The first three people to get all their bags move to the second round. Then it's a race to see who can finish the puzzle first. Winner will be taken to the top of the rain forest where they will zip line to the bottom and then feast on a pizza picnic! Worth playing for? You bet it is!

The challenge starts and Joe is off like a shot. Dan and Shirin? Not so much. Both of them take hard falls. Mike, Jenn, Hali and Sierra are next to get bags across. Then Rodney, Will Carolyn and Dan. Everyone has a bag but Shirin at this point. Oh yeah, Joe now has two. He ain't playing. There's little drama on this one as Joe blows away the field. Mike is behind him but still well ahead of everyone else. The only drama comes down to Hali and Sierra as they race for the third and final spot. And by a couple steps, Hali is moving on to the second round.

The puzzle this time around is a nice rusty anchor. Joe and Mike are off to real quick starts. Hali is very steady. As they near the end, Jeff points out that some pieces may seem right but they're not. There is only one way to solve this puzzle.

Mike starts to fall out of the challenge but Hali and Joe both have pieces in the wrong place. Mike starts to catch up and he and Joe are virtually neck and neck. But as expected, Joe figures it out, Mike panics and Joe...wins...reward! And you know he's gonna have to pick people to go with him, but how many? Jeff tells him to pick three people. He picks Tyler, Will and then because of how well she did in the last challenge, Mama C.

But Joe, five is a much nicer round number. Rodney makes a case to go, because he's so hungry and he needs the most. Joe counters that he also eats the most. This sends Rodney into a typical Rodney rant where he says he doesn't have to go, he knows they're seven strong, so it doesn't matter. Shirin is practically begging to go as the big super-duper huge fan. And Joe takes her...leaving his two closest allies - Jenn and Hali - behind. Rodney goes on about keeping it real or something and Jenn is obviously annoyed. It's hard to tell if she's just annoyed with Rod or if she's pissed that Joe didn't take her. On the way out, Mike tells us that he really doesn't know how he's gonna beat Joe and he's worried that there will be a clue to another idol on the reward.

Can I just say, for a moment, that for the first time in a long time, the person winning the challenge did the right thing. By taking Tyler, Carolyn and Will on the reward with him, he not only gets alone time with them, he keeps the Blue Collars from having their alone time. If I were him, I probably would have taken Jenn over Shirin, but the bottom line is this: he, Jenn and Hali are locked in. He needs to get some other people to flip with him and he took them all on this amazing reward. If he can get Tyler and Mama C to flip to the Nos, the game can change again!

We come back from break to join the reward as they fly through the rainforest. Joe tells us how amazing it was. Shirin confirms that she does not like Carolyn and really didn't want her to have pizza and an adventure. Carolyn tells us that she was impressed with Joe's choices. She notes that since the Blues are trying to get him out, he didn't take any of them. As they eat and drink, Joe notices what looks to be a note in Carolyn's soda bottle. He is pretty sure it's an idol clue. And then in the best Survivor move ever, he says, "I wish I had some more soda." Carolyn says she can't finish hers and hands him the bottle. So he takes a big drink, chugging the whole bottle and sucking the clue into his mouth. Problem is, it was just a little too big to fit all the way in and Tyler saw him pull the clue out of his mouth. So, Joe tells us that he now will have to figure out a way for him and Tyler to read the clue together.

And just like that, through no work of his own, Tyler can be in on where both hidden immunity idols are. Tyler then tells us that he saw Joe almost choke on an idol clue and he thought about outing him. But he decided he would sit on it for a bit as it could change the game if Joe were to find the new idol.

Day 21 dawns at the Merica camp. Right about first light, Tyler is awake and seems to be waiting for Joe. When Joe wakes up, he goes to get Tyler and does some sign language about washing dishes, because Mike is seemingly asleep in the chair next to Tyler. As it turns out, Mike isn't asleep and he starts to "spy vs spy" through the trees and bushes, keeping an eye on Joe and Tyler. They get to the watering hole and read the clue. Within minutes, Mike shows up, having seen what they were doing. Tyler isn't sure what all Mike saw, but kinda feels like he has no choice but to fess up. So a little later, he tells Mike Joe found the clue and what the clue said. And this begins the mad dash for an idol.

Everyone is around camp trying to figure out where Joe is. He is nowhere to be found. So, everyone heads out trying to find Joe. Mike is freaking out that he has to find this idol. He says that he honestly feels that if Joe doesn't have a little something in his pocket at the next Tribal Council, he's the next to go. So, he is desperately trying to find Joe. He finally catches up with Joe but is able to stay hidden. He never sees Joe find anything or even act like he found anything.

Joe heads back to camp and is in the water with pretty much everyone around and Mike comes down, congratulating him for finding the idol, right out in front of everyone. He gives him a big hug and tells him good job and all this. So, Mike has everyone convinced that Joe has the idol. We see Joe talking to Hali and telling her that he does NOT have the idol. But now that everyone thinks he does, they'll stop looking and he can kinda lay back and just act like he has it. Mike, on the other hand, feels pretty sure that he doesn't have it, so he's still looking for it. Okay, so you have to hand it to Mike. Not only does he throw everyone in camp off the idol trail, he has essentially thrown Joe off the idol trail as well. It would seem that it will now be a race between Mike and Hali for who can find this idol.

We join Shirin and Dan as more dishes are being done. Dan tells her that he doesn't understand why she can't do math and sides with the wrong side. He tells her that she is just one of Joe's minions and she killed her game. She tells him that maybe he just doesn't know her game. He goes on more about how she doesn't even get basic math and how if Joe wins immunity, she'll be the one to go and there's no chance at all that Joe'll give her the idol. He tells us how annoying she is and how much he wants her to shut up and go home. She tells us that Dan keeps flinging insults at her, but she really just feels sorry for him. Dan finishes off by telling her that he's just really trying to be nice. Really? That's nice? Is that the same nice that had Lindsey hating you, Dan? The same kind of nice that has Sierra hating you, Dan? If there is such a thing as a Survivor god, Shirin's vote tonight should be for Dan saying that she's just trying to be nice. And, it should be the one that sends him home.

We come back from break and Mike is still looking for the idol. All he's found is a termite’s nest...which he eats, of course. He tells us once again how important it is for him to find this idol. Since no one else is looking, I can only assume that he's going to eventually find it. As he tells us that the people that find idols are the ones that are working the hardest to find it. And as he says that, he finds the idol. Then he does the most ridiculous happy dance. Can't say I blame him, though. He tells us that he has no plan to share this idol with anyone. He also confirms that if Joe doesn't win immunity, he has to go.

Day 22 brings on another Probst sighting! This contest is entirely a puzzle challenge. They will start with one piece and have to maneuver it through three slide puzzles. Once they do that, they have to take that piece and complete one final slide puzzles. Jeff asks Shirin if she's excited that there are no beams or anything like that in this challenge. Then there's some sort of conversation about all her energy and a reverse bomb. It's just weird. Every time she speaks to Jeff, it's weird.

Let's get to it. Joe tears through the first three puzzles and starts on the final puzzle. Tyler, Shirin, Mike and Sierra are right behind him. Eventually, everyone (including Rodney) gets to the final puzzle and in record time, Dan says he has it. Jeff goes to look and Everyone is still in it. Dan was very close, but the word Outplay just wasn't quite right. He moves a few pieces around and calls Jeff again. again! Outplay STILL not correct. After a couple more seconds, Joe calls Jeff and for the second immunity in a row,! Joe wins immunity. I love it when a plan comes together. On the way to break, Rodney tells us that if they'd just kept Joaquin, they wouldn't have to be worrying about Joe right now. And now they have to run around and hustle because of the decisions Mike made.

We come back from break to play, It's Anyone, I'm not really sure. Maybe Jenn? Maybe Shirin? Maybe Mike? How about you do us all a favor and dump Rodney? That'd be pretty much okay, I think. Shirin tells us that this challenge was tailor made for her and she blew it. She tells us that she hopes that everyone's thought that she is weak will be enough to keep her in the game a few days longer. The alliance meets down at the water and seems to feel that Shirin is the vote tonight. Someone is worried that Shirin has the white collar idol.

Tyler tells them that he is pretty sure that she doesn't because she was still scrambling all over camp looking for it before the switch. Dan tells us that he's worried that someone has to have it, but he doesn't think Shirin is capable of having the idol and not telling someone. Mike mentions to the group that Shirin is in no danger of ever winning anything and that maybe they should go for one of the three No Collars. He suggests Hali. He even says to them, though, that if everyone wants Shirin, he'll go with it. He just wanted to offer up another idea. He reminds them that none of them thought Jenn had an idol.

The next conversation we hear is Shirin sharing her Dan conversation with the girls. Sierra is part of this group and she's so relieved to hear that she's not the only one that can't stand Dan. The girls all agree they'd rather leave their kids with Rodney than with Dan. Sierra wants to see the girls put Dan in his place real bad. She also tells them that she really wants to see a girl’s alliance run this thing. So, if Sierra jumps ship with the No Collars and Shirin, that's five. They still need one more vote for this to happen.

Hali tells us that she likes the idea of the girls' alliance. Now, they need to find one more vote to take Dan out. Shirin approaches Tyler and actually makes a pretty decent argument. She tells him that the girls really want to dump Dan and that it might be best for Tyler to join them. He asks her what happens after that. She says that they regroup but that they'll have taken out one of the leaders of the Blue alliance. And then with Blue broken down and No collar already broken, there's a better place for them in this game. She tells him that Mike and Dan have no allegiance to Tyler. He tells us that he really wants to break up that Blue alliance, but he's worried about doing it at the right time. Of course, this not only means doing it too soon, but waiting too long. And with that, we're off to Tribal.

Jeff starts by asking Tyler how things were at camp after the Kelly vote. Tyler says that they were bummed because Kelly was well liked. He references the chainsaw comment from past week but suggests that there was more of a blur back at camp as they weren't really alliances, but just a bunch of Survivors. Jeff asks Sierra if she agrees with that and he says she definitely does. She can go with whatever alliance she feels like.

Mike tells Jeff that he is 155,000% percent sure what he's doing tonight, but that everyone up there is a gamer, so you can never be totally sure what they're going to do. He does hope that they won't necessarily vote with the guy that took them for pizza. He asks Dan if he's a little uneasy. Dan says that as a fan of the game, you do have to worry about the bombs being dropped. He also reminds them of three words, "Flippers never win."

Shirin is quick to jump in and say that's not true and reaches all the way back to Season 28 (the last season these folks would have seen, by the way) and mentions that Tony flipped all over the place and won easily. She says it's just a fear tactic that he uses so no one in his alliance will flip. Jeff then asks Hali about the three words. And this might be the best Tribal Council speech since the snake ate the rat. I'm just gonna quote the whole thing, "I think he's sending a message, but he needs to remember that we're tribe Merica. And if you look at history, what if the colonists never flipped on the greatest empire in the world? How about that? So, since we're tribe Merica, I think flippers have a great historical record to uh, win this game." The looks on the faces of Sierra, Jeff, Shirin and Joe are priceless. Jenn is laughing. That. Was. Amazing! And with that, there's nothing else Jeff can say but that it's time to vote.

We see Mike's vote for Hali and Shirin's vote for Dan telling him he's gone off the rails. And with that, it's time to tally the votes. If anyone wants to play a hidden immunity idol, now would be the time to do so. No one does, so let's read the votes. First vote - Dan. Hali. Dan. Hali. Dan. Hali. Dan. Hali. Hali. Eighth person voted out of Survivor Worlds Apart - Hali. She is absolutely stunned, but no one else seemed to be. I can't wait to see the votes, because it almost looked like Joe knew it was coming. '

It finished up 7-4, which fits with the alliance. Did Sierra stick with Blue or what? Guess I should fast forward through the commercials. Okay, looks like it broke down the way we thought. No Collars and Shirin voted Dan. Sierra stuck with the alliance and voted Hali. I'm sure there will be some out there that think Sierra was dumb for doing that, but I can only assume that she knew she didn't have Tyler. And without Tyler, her vote wouldn't have been enough and all it would have done was separated her from her alliance and put her on the losing side of the numbers. Looks like she held her nose and did what she had to do.

Next time on Survivor: the next challenge looks to be absolutely brutal. Hard falls for Tyler, Dan, Rodney and Will. Also, Jenn is no longer having fun out there. She doesn't like anyone there and she has nothing left but despair. Is it so bad that she'll actually leave the game? Say it ain't so're the best narrator this season has. If you leave, the season will suffer for it. Ok, kids...that about does it for Episode 8 of Survivor Worlds Apart. Please check back next week and check out Ben's Power Rankings and then join me for Episode 9! As always, I love to hear from yas, just hit me on the Twitter @vannestjc or in email at Til next week, take care!