Survivor: Kaoh Rong - Episode Recap
Episode 10 - I'm Not Here to Make Good Friends
By Jim Van Nest
April 21, 2016

Good riddance.

Hello, good people, and welcome to Week 10 of Survivor Kaoh Rong! We're nearing the end of our journey and the final outcome is still very much up in the air. We're down to eight people and I have a feeling, this might be the week where the picture starts to get clearer. We have two pretty solid alliances. Kyle, Scot and Tai on one side. Aubry, Cydney and Joe on the other. Yep, I included Joe in that. Even though his alliance voted without him, he knows they're his only shot as there's no chance he'll flip with the guys. That leaves Julia and Michele - a pretty tight pair - up for grabs. Julia has an in with both side alliances and even though she didn't vote with the guys last week, she did help save them by throwing her vote on Debbie. Plus, in an eight person game, the guys know how important that fourth and fifth person are, so I'm sure they won't shut out Julia.

The concern for Julia, at this point, is that she's been playing both sides for a while now and eventually, both might tire of trying to figure out where her loyalties like and they may find it more appealing to just get rid of the wild card. I have the feeling that she and Michele will end up falling on the guys’ side of things because, for real, who wouldn't want to sit next to Kyle and Scot at this point? What should prove interesting is that the previews suggest that Aubry is going to make the smart play and go for Tai. Will she be able to convince him to come back to the light? He already doesn't like what he's becoming, so if she's convincing enough, I could definitely see Tai Skywalker turning on Darth Jason. No matter what happens, tonight is sure to be a lot of fun, so let's get to it, shall we?

We begin, as we often do, at the Dara camp after Tribal. The guys are reveling in the fact that Debbie went home and they didn't have to play their idol. Almost immediately, Tai gave Kyle his idol back. So, that answers that, doesn't it? The next morning, Scot pulls Aubry aside to let her know that he and the guys really like providing for the camp and that their real beef is with Cydney. So get this...he's willing to take everything back to normal. All Aubry has to do is help him get rid of Cydney. She tells him that it's a lot to digest this early but she'll think about it. She tells us that there's no chance in hell she'll go with them and she didn't really appreciate the passive aggressive power play. She does tell us that she'll play along with him, though. She really wants to make the move to take him out, but it's a big scary move.

And once again, I'm reminded that Aubry is the smartest player on the island. The way Scot approaches her is SO flipping arrogant. So, just disgusting. "Hey look, I'm not really an asshole, and all you have to do is sell your soul for me to just snap my fingers and make your life fabulous again." Screw you, buddy! Here's hoping Aubry finds a way to make this happen!

We're back from the credits to a Probst Sighting! Wow, this is a quick reward challenge, isn't it? Today's challenge will see everyone putting one foot on the end of a balance beam. On the other end of the beam are two ceramic pots. Your pots fall off, you lose. Last one standing wins. Wanna know what they're playing for? They have a choice. Food in the form of a bacon cheeseburger and cookies. Love in the form of letters from home. Security in the form of an advantage in the game. The twist in this challenge is that you will only compete against the people who want the same thing as you. So, we have Tai, Cydney and Aubry playing for the advantage. Julia and Joe are playing for the letters from home. Scot, Kyle and Michele will all be playing for food.

The challenge starts and within less than a minute, Joe is out of the challenge and Julie wins letters from home, so she is able to sit down and stop the challenge. A few minutes later, Scot wobbles and loses his pots, leaving Kyle and Michele fighting for food. After a few more minutes, Kyle loses it and Michele wins food! The three playing for advantage are still hanging tough. Aubry is very wobbly, while Cydney looks like a rock. Tai is also doing well. And then, just like that - Cydney drops. It's Aubry and Tai for advantage. Let's not forget how long Tai lasted in the last challenge like this. After all this, Jeff breaks it to them - they've only been doing this for 10 minutes. Tai is starting to struggle, as is Aubry, and when the wind picks up, Aubry drops out and Tai wins advantage. As we head to break, Scot is thrilled that Tai won advantage, but mostly that Cydney didn't win anything.

And we're back! It's congratulations all the way around. Michele is feeling pretty stoked that she took out the guys in that challenge. She's also frustrated that Tai came away with an advantage. So Tai steps away to read his clue and it tells him to go to Tree Mail. When he gets there, he finds another note telling him that he has won an extra vote. One that he can use up to the final five. So with an idol and an extra vote, Tai is feeling very nervous about the target that is now on his back.

We come back to camp as Julia is reading her letters. They're giving her a boost to keep going...which is something she could really use right now. She felt really good about it and they have helped her focus on making some moves to get out there and win this game. So, she gets with Michele and Aubry and starts working on trying to flush out idols. She wants to vote for Tai and either he'll go home or he'll play an idol. The guys are voting for Cydney, so even if Tai plays an idol, they stay in the game. Michele is all for it and Aubry says she is, but she can't stop thinking about how close Julia is to the guys. She realizes that Julia may be legit here, but that means she's playing a really good game. A game that's good enough that Aubry doesn't really think she wants to sit next to her. So, she's proceeding with this plan, but is ready to make a move on Julia, if necessary.

Day 27 dawns and Tai and Aubry are at the well talking. They talk about how hard the game is. Tai tells us that he's having a hard time with how some people are playing. His heart tells him he really likes Aubry a lot. Aubry tells Tai that the girls are trying to flush out his idol and that she really wants to work with him. She also presents herself as an alternative to Scot and Kyle and the way they're playing. I have to stop for a second and really commend Aubry for how she handled this entire exchange. Not only did she offer herself up as an alternative to the Kyle/Scot method of playing Survivor, but she also offered up the votes of three other people. Aubrey let Tai know that he was not alone and that it was more than just her ready to bring him into the fold. She empathized with him and really played up the fact that it's a tough thing to manage, the head vs the heart. She is REALLY good at this game!!

Or so I think...but as soon as they're done talking, what does Tai do? He heads right back to tell the guys. And what does Scot do? "We gotta get rid of Aubry." He recognizes that Aubry is the real threat here, not Cydney. Tai, however, doesn't really like this plan and he tells us that he doesn't feel like he ever has a say in anything. That he just gets told what to do and that Kyle and Scot are really running the game. He doesn't like that feeling, but remembering the first rule of Survivor (if someone asks you if you're a God, you say "Yes") Tai tells them he's on board with them and they set their sights on stopping Aubry from winning immunity.

And with that, it's another Probst sighting! Looks like we have another "stand really still" immunity challenge. So, it's probably Tai's to lose. They'll have to stand with their arms straight out. They'll hold a disc against a pole with just the tips of their fingers. Attached to the disc is a ceramic pot. If either pot drops, you're out. Last one standing wins immunity and a one in seven chance at winning this game.

After a couple minutes, Joe drops out. Twenty-five minutes go by and everyone else is still in. I'm pretty sure that, more than the challenge, Probst and his incessant jibber jabber would drive me loopy. While I'm ranting about Probst, Scot and Julia both bow out and Tai starts to slip and eventually drops out. Michele drops out next, leaving Aubry, Cydney and Kyle. Forty-five minutes go by and they're still in it. And as she has many times, just randomly and with no suggestion of struggling, Cydney drops out, leaving Aubry and Kyle to fight it out.

Seventy-five minutes in, both contestants are seriously struggling. Aubry starts to slip, but recovers. All the players that are out are impressed. As we get a close-up of Kyle’s shaky hands, Aubry finally loses the fight and Kyle wins immunity. As we head to break, Kyle is pretty excited that they'll be able to play the super idol tonight and when they do, they'll become unstoppable.

And now it's time to play, "It's anyone but Aubry." The guys celebrate the win and while they give Aubry kudos for how awesome she was, she still has to go. Kyle breaks it down for us again, all about the super idol, etc. End of the day, he says Aubry will go home and there's nothing they can do about it. Julia, of course, tells the guys that the girls are coming for Tai. Scot and Jason are thrilled to hear it and they tell her that they realize that she's playing both sides. Kyle admits that they can't beat Tai and that once he plays his idol and loses immunity, they have to cut him loose. They want Julia on board as their #3. Julia is thrilled to hear this as the plan. They've ruined relationships with everyone in the game, so to sit with them would be amazing.

Aubry and Cydney want to split up Scot and Kyle. They decide to target Scot instead of Tai. Aubry says she's going to make a move for Tai to see if he'll join her and vote Scot out of the game. She tells us that Kyle and Scot are not playing along the lines of how Tai is and she hopes she can use that to join her. So, she approaches Tai and tells him that Cydney and Joe would go along with her in voting for Scot instead of him. Tai feels like he really wants to go with her, but he also knows that sitting with Scot and Kyle at the end would be a million bucks for him.

As everyone gets set for Tribal, Aubry lines up the votes for Scot. Kyle gives his idol to Scot so that both guys are protected. They expect the votes for Tai, but with the Super Idol, it really doesn't matter. When the Survivors head to Tribal, Tai tells us that he is torn up inside about what to do. He does tell us that whatever he does tonight is a line in the sand kind of move. There will be no going back once he makes his decision. Can I just say that I'd be thrilled to see him stick with the guys and then refuse his half of the idol and watch Scot go home? Talk about amazing television, you know?

Jeff starts with Michele, talking about the idol stuff from the last Tribal. The guys are once again wicked arrogant. Kyle tells them that they need to decide which of their own will go home. If they don't want to decide. Scot, Kyle and Tai will decide. Cydney admits that the guys are pretty salty because she flipped on them earlier in the game. Jeff notices Tai's quietness and asks if he's uncomfortable with the boasting. He says that this is not how he lives his life, but this is a game and the guys have taken care of him so far. Aubry talks about how amazing it was to stand toe to toe with Scot and Kyle in that challenge. This brings out big compliments from Kyle and Scot to Aubry. Kyle once again tells them that if they've caught wind of the plan, they ought to just go with it or have their fate decided.

The only votes we see are Julia's vote for Tai, Scot's vote for Aubry talking about what a great competitor she is, and Aubry's for Scot saying, "Please, please, please, please." And with that, Jeff will tally the votes. Does anyone want to play an idol? Julia tells Tai to play his idol. Scot tells him not to. Julia again. But Tai refuses. Let's see the votes. Tai. Aubry. Scot. Tai. Aubry. Scot. Scot. Ninth person voted out, fourth member of the jury, Scot. Time to play the Super Idol. Scot and Kyle look to Tai and with a bit of a hesitation, Tai shakes his head, refusing to give up his idol. And like that, Scot is voted out of the game. And, oh by the way, he had Kyle's idol in his pocket. So, the alliance is busted and the only other idol in the game is gone. Tai now has the lone idol, an extra vote and the girls all on his side. As the hashtag said, "Wow!"

I challenge anyone that has been bagging on this season to tell me that this wasn't one of the most satisfying Tribals in the history of the show. But you have to wonder what this means for Tai's game, though, right? I mean he now has an idol, an advantage and the biggest move in the game under his belt. It should also be mentioned that this wasn't a spur of the moment decision by Tai. He didn't just decide after the vote that he was gonna burn Scot. He voted FOR Scot. He came into Tribal knowing exactly what he was going to do. He plays like he's just this lovable little guy out there to have an adventure, but he's got some game. And honestly, who would want to keep this guy around now? He's a lock for all jury votes, save Scot and Kyle. If Aubry's smart, and we all know she is, she won't let Tai last much longer in this game. So, while he made one of the biggest, boldest, most satisfying moves in Survivor history, he may have just given up his game in the process.

Next time on Survivor, Kyle wants revenge, Julia is pissed and Tai is feeling the power. And the next character to leave the game is likely to be Mark the chicken - Julia is seriously feeling the rage. The picture is clearer now, but next week still has serious potential for fun. Kyle is definitely on the ropes now, but he does have Julia with him. And Julia has Michele. That sets up a 4-3 situation that seems like it might be a little shaky. Aubry and Cydney are running the show on that side, with Joe and Tai along for the ride. But all it takes is for Kyle to realize where he sits and go kiss Tai's ass a little, tell him he understands the play and that he'd like to still work with him.

Aubry is now the biggest threat and if Kyle can get Tai back, that thin 4-3 advantage flips. And don't forget the idol and the extra vote. This can still go a lot of ways, folks, so don't sleep on the next couple episodes. Also, now is as good a time as any to mention that the last BvBvB season ended in a final two, not final three. So, who's to say that a final three is in the cards for THIS season? Anyway, I'm enjoying the hell out of this season and this was the best episode yet. Be sure to come back next week for my Power Rankings and the Episode 11 recap! 'Til then, take care!