Survivor: Kaoh Rong
Episode 4 - Circle of Life
By Jim Van Nest
March 3, 2016

Don't crown yourself before you ascend.

Hello, good people, and welcome to week three of Survivor Kaoh Rong - Brains vs Beauty vs Brawn. Last week we saw the single most epic meltdown in the history of Survivor (yes, I'm including Brandon Hantz.) Never have we seen someone in a really good position in the game completely self-destruct and essentially vote herself out of the game. But Jenny managed to pull that off last week as Kyle, Cydney and Alecia got together and sent the tough contractor packing for the pre-merge trip. We've spent a whole lot of time with Brawn over two episodes, but there is some intrigue in the other camps as well. Brains are splitting up along age lines - with Joseph and Liz taking point on their respective sides. And over at Beauty, we have the odd couple bro-mance between Tai and Caleb PLUS; Tai has an idol clue, but no way to retrieve the easily seen idol some 30 feet above his head in a tree.

Previews for tonight's episode suggest more fighting with the brains while someone in Brawn finds an idol clue and the entire tribe goes nuts trying to find it. I do have to wonder if there's any chance Brawn cannot lose a challenge tonight. I'm actually feeling another loss for them, but I have been wrong before. I've already typed too much, let's get to the episode!

We begin tonight's episode at the Brawn camp after Tribal. Again. Scot goes right to Alecia to let her know that he was the second vote against her. He says that he knew the votes were there for Jenny and he told her he'd never write her name down. Reasonable enough. But Alecia doesn't like it, which gets her saying to Cydney that maybe the millionaire basketball player doesn't really need to be in the game anymore. Scot tells Cydney and Kyle that he really thinks they made a bad decision sending Jenny home. He's worried that they'll never win a challenge.

Let's check in with Beauty. Tai heads out to finally get his idol. But when he gets to the tree, he can't find the tool he was given to get it, so he's rigging a new one. After some work, he finally gets his 30 foot long stick into the container to push a note and key out and down to the ground. This key will unlock the idol and voila, Tai Trang has the first idol of this season. But this one comes with a twist. If he can find the second idol, they will fit together to form a #superidol that can be used after the votes have been read. As Tai revels in his discovery, we cue the credits.

We come back from break to check in on the Brains tribe. Peter and Liz are looking down on all they survey and have decided that they are in control of the game. They hatch a plan to use Joseph and Debbie to help get rid of Aubry and Neal, whom they've decided are threats. Meanwhile, Debbie doesn't like Liz. Period. She wants to get Aubry and Neal to join her and Joe to take Liz out. Aubry and Neal both seem receptive to this, so we may actually have our first solid alliance on the Brain tribe. And oh, by the way, Debbie is certifiably and completely bat shit crazy. Okay, moving on.

Back at Beauty, we're preparing to eat chicken. Caleb's ready to kill a chicken, but Tai is a bit upset about it. Tai understands what they have to do, the circle of life and all, but when he helps hold the chicken while Caleb kills it, he is really hit hard. The girls feel bad for Tai, while Nick thinks it's silly. Anna doesn't really care for Nick and she doesn't trust him. The girls are strong and they only need one person to come with them to take control of the tribe. She decides it should be Caleb, so she goes to talk to him about voting off Nick if they have to go to Tribal. Caleb is down with voting out anyone that isn't Caleb, so he agrees to join forces with the girls and Nick is now public enemy number one.

Let's check back in with Brawn. Scot is looking everywhere for an idol and he tells us that he just can't let Alecia find the idol. Two seconds later, Alecia finds the clue to the idol. And while she and Cydney start digging, Kyle is behind them and watches them start to dig. After digging for a while, Alecia decides to look elsewhere, as she isn't finding anything. But Cydney has found the idol box and the tool. But she seems to have missed the note that came with the tool explaining how to get the key to unlock the idol box.

Alecia comes back to Cydney which causes her to frantically try to cover up the box. Amazingly enough, she manages to do it, but only because Alecia ain't the sharpest tool in the shed. So, everyone is back at camp now and still no one has grabbed that clue. Back at camp, Cydney tells the guys what happened. Since Kyle saw them, she feels like she has to tell him. So, off everyone goes to find the idol. In a foot race, Kyle finds the clue that Cydney missed and he's off to find the key in the tree. While he and Scot make their own tool to get the key, Alecia comes up on them and they all just stand there while Scot pushes the key out. It's a scramble and Kyle comes up with the key. As a group they go unlock the box and Kyle is now the sole possessor of the Brawn idol. This is okay with Scot, because it means that Alecia will still be the next to go.

And after this set of commercials, it's a Probst Sighting! Today's challenge is another obstacle course. They'll jump in the water and dig some bags of rice out of a boat. They'll carry the rice through some obstacles and then cut them open to find three balls. They'll then have to maneuver the balls through a vertical labyrinth. First tribe to get all three balls to the top wins immunity and reward. The tribe that finishes first will get to choose between comfort items or personal items from home. Second place gets the other option. Third place - a date with Jeff at Tribal. Anna and Michelle sit out for Beauty and Joe and Aubry sit out for Brains.

From the opening gun, Beauty just takes over this challenge. These bags of rice are frickin heavy and Caleb makes it look easy. Beauty is easily first back to get their balls, followed by Brains with Brawn lagging behind. Julia, Tai and Caleb make quick work of the maze and easily win first place. Brawn has caught up and is now neck and neck with Brains. Each tribe has two balls in and Debbie and Cydney are working the balls for their respective tribe. They stay right together the whole way through and are both trying to place the ball and by a split second, Cydney gets her ball in and Brains will go to Tribal for the first time. And also for the first time, Brawn gets to feel the thrill of victory. Almost in an afterthought, Beauty takes the comfort items, leaving Brawn to take their personal items back to camp. As we head to break, Peter fills us all in on how gangster he and Liz are gonna be, starting with Neal. Um, might want to pay a little attention when you get back to camp.

Obviously, we return to the Brains camp. Liz lays out the plan of how they'll be voting for Aubry while Joe and Debbie will vote for Neal. She has made it SO easy that even Debbie and Joe can't screw it up. Of course, Debbie has no plan of working with Peter and Liz. Debbie runs right to Neal to tell him what their plan is. And Peter and Liz are so delightfully oblivious to what is really going on around camp, meanwhile thinking that they are completely running the game. Aubry, however, is having some other thoughts. Debbie wants Liz gone, but Aubry is feeling like Peter is really the person to go. He's a bully and he talks down to people and she doesn't really want to take him any farther than they absolutely have to. We head to Tribal with the vote totally up in the air between Peter and Liz. One thing's for sure, though, they have NO idea what's coming for them.

We get to Tribal and everyone lights their torch and Jeff asks about how the tribe is broken down. Peter says that they are basically three pairs who are all trying to analyze the game and decide what the best way to go is. I don't know how to describe the Tribal other than to say it was like watching a multi car accident on the highway, but in super slow-mo. Essentially what we have is one super smug pair feeling that they're in control and that they are very much smarter than everyone else in the game. And you have two other pairs that have hatched a plan of their own and can hardly contain their laughter as the clueless wonders just dig themselves deeper and deeper.

Peter is leading the charge of stupid by calling out Neal as the least likely to remain loyal to the tribe. He also talks about how he knows Joe is truthful and that when he says he'll do something, he'll do it. Liz talks about how everyone should sure be thinking that they could be the ones going home. Hell, Peter even lays out the plan to split the vote and then take out Neal. Again, you can see the wreck coming from miles away and there is simply nothing to be done. So, it's time to vote and the votes come up: Aubry, Aubry, Peter, Peter, Liz and Liz. Essentially, the other four took Peter and Liz's plan and used it against them. So, we'll have a revote. Aubry, Peter and Liz will not vote. The others can only vote for one of them.

And when Probst comes back with the urn, all three votes this time are for Liz and she becomes the third person voted off Survivor Kaoh Rong. And there it is, the final collision, as even though everyone could see it coming for miles, that wreck was destined to happen. Now, I can only assume they'll get back to camp and someone can lay it out for Peter, "You were kept for one reason and one reason alone. To win challenges. So you damn well better start winning, of your ass is next." Overall, I hate to see Liz go because I picked her to go far in the game. But when you get SO arrogant and SO cocky, the fall will get you and it will get you hard and she deserved exactly what she got for treating people like shit and then expecting them to want to work with her.

Next time on Survivor, the toughest season of Survivor just keeps getting tougher. During a grueling challenge, the medical team is called in and we're going to have an evacuation. The only thing they really show is that Tai has a very strong reaction to whoever is down. I can't believe I'm gonna say this, but I hope to hell it isn't Caleb. He has turned out to be such a hoss in this game that for him to go out med-evac'd would be the worst. Can't wait to see what happens. 'Til then, kiddies, take care!