Survivor: Kaoh Rong - Episode Recap
Episode 13 - With Me or Not With Me
By Jim Van Nest
May 16, 2016

Who you lookin' at, ya palooka?

Hello, good people, and welcome to the penultimate episode of Survivor: Kaoh Rong! After a lot of misdirection attempts from producers and editors last week, the predictable boot finally happened and Kyle Jason was sent to Ponderosa to be assaulted by a seven-foot man in a luchador costume. (If you're not watching the Ponderosa videos on YouTube - you're really missing out on some good stuff.) Tai went rogue last episode and misplayed his advantage in a failed attempt to oust Michele. He's definitely public enemy #1 right now but he's still rocking the immunity idol and the next Tribal Council is the last time he can use it. Everyone knows this, which means the alliance of four (Aubry, Cydney, Michele and Joe) will have to eat one of their own tonight. The question is now, "Who will it be?"

I can make arguments for any of the four to be the target tonight. Aubry - she's been out front as the mastermind for most of the post-merge game. Cydney - she's right behind Aubry in terms a visibility and she can rock a challenge. Michele - she hasn't pissed anyone off and could be a threat to get jury votes. Joe - Cydney may see Joe as too close to Aubry and there may be a need to break up that couple. So, tonight's episode can go any which way.

Some things to keep an eye out for: We haven't had a family visit yet. Will that be tonight? We still don't know if it's Final 3 or Final 2. I'm leaning more and more toward Final 2. And the previews keep promising "Another (period) Survivor (period) Shocker (period)” There’s only one thing that could shock me tonight - Tai not playing his idol and going home. So, with that seemingly off the table, I have NO idea what could possibly happen tonight. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to get to here we go!

As usual, we begin tonight's episode after Tribal back at camp. Joe tries to explain to Tai that everyone wanted Kyle gone. Tai tells us that he is in shock over what happened and he doesn't like being kept out of the loop. He and Michele get into a little argument about who was in the alliance first. Tai tries to tell her she wasn't in the alliance. And yet, everyone voted with her. Hmmmmm. Tai says that Aubry was the person he really trusted and that it hurts that she went behind his back. Aubry tells him that people didn't feel like they could have an opinion with him. He says that he just feels alone now and doesn't know where to go from here.

And just like that, we're back from the opening and it's a Probst Sighting! Today's reward challenge will have everyone racing into the woods a decent little way uphill. They'll have to retrieve bags of sandbags. They'll have to race back and throw the sandbags into some open spaces on the course. First one to fill all spaces wins reward. The winner will be taken the Survivor Spa where they'll be pampered, fed and they will spend the night. On a bed. This should refresh ANYone. Worth playing for? Oh yeah.

And we're off and Cydney just blows them all away into the woods. She's back with her first bag first. Aubry, Michele and Tai are right behind her and they're all throwing sand bags now. Cydney and Aubry each land a bag and then run out, so they have to go back into the woods for the next bag of sandbags. Michele and Tai miss all of theirs. Joe finally shows up and he misses them all as well. Cydney and Aubry are back and Aubry now has two bags. Cydney hits another, as does Aubry. So it's 3-2 Aubry. As Aubry, Cydney and Tai run back into the woods, Michele finally scores one.

Aubry gets back and quickly hits #4. As Aubry gets to her last two bags, she misses both and now has to wait until everyone finishes throwing all of their bags. If there's still no winner, she'll finally get some bags to throw. At this point, everyone is out of bags except Joe. He's back with his second bag of sandbags. He manages to hit three of the five targets and he has to head back out into the woods to get his last bag of sandbags. He can take all the time in the world on this. He only has to hit two of them.

Everyone just sits around waiting for Joe, and it seems like forever. With two bags left, Joe hits #4. Last bag, last target. And BOOM, Joe hits #5 and Joe. Wins. Reward! He also has a decision to make. He has to choose one person to go with him. Not surprisingly, he chooses his brain partner from the beginning, Aubry. But he has to take one other person and right away Aubry starts chatting him up. He just defers to her and she chooses Cydney to go with them. Aubry tells us she chose Cydney to try to set up an endgame. As we head to break, Michele is very concerned that she just watched the final three walk out. So, she has some work to do to try to turn this around.

We come back from break as the winners head to the spa. They start with a feast. Joe tells us how much he needed some real food right now. And he starts pounding the beef. Like, pounding it. Cydney tells us that he doesn't usually eat that way and if he keeps it up, he's gonna be seriously hurting later on. They start talking final three and Joe even suggests that they don't have a chance against Aubry. Cydney agrees, "Just along for the ride." Cydney tells us she's just fine if they think about that. Aubry tells us that Joe is totally wrong and all of a sudden the bell goes off. Cydney is a huge threat to win this game and maybe it's time to get with Joe and Tai and get the biggest threat out of the game. Hmmmm...

Back at camp, Michele and Tai are bummed to be left behind, but not surprised. So, they head to the water to have a talk. They talk for a good while in the water. I think they just realize that they're two totally different people and that's okay. They decide to have a spa day of their own and Tai gives her a massage. Apparently, he's very good at it. Michele is really enjoying it. And all of a sudden, they seem to be bonding a little. Now, they just need a third person to join them. They both realize they're on the bottom. Michele tells us that no one would expect them to work together, so this could work. They're trying to figure out who they can work with or how they can leverage the idol. They talk about Cydney as the boot, but nothing is really decided before the break.

We come back as day 34 dawns. Tai tells us how the trust and the emotions in the game are just so hard for him. The spa trio returns to camp and Aubry is ready to move forward with Tai and Joe to take out Cydney. She's worried, though, that Tai might feel too slighted to stick with her now. She has to talk to him and make things right. So, she takes him aside to try to repair what she damaged. She tells Tai that she knows Joe will go with whatever she thinks is the right decision. And she just knows that Tai is the right decision. As they head back to camp, Tai breaks down from the pressure of this game. They share a big hug and he feels right that he's with Aubry. She tells him he needs to slow down a little bit around camp and take some time for himself.

Back around camp, Joe is all about telling Michele about the food and the reward. Cydney sees Aubry and Tai come back from their talk and hug and she is suspicious of what's going on with them. Michele and Cydney finally pow wow and decide they need to stay together. Michele thinks she can use Cydney and Tai to take out either Joe or Aubry at the next vote.

Meanwhile, Joe is having some stomach issues due to all the meat he ate on reward. He's not urinating and he's really worried that something might be seriously wrong. He comes back into camp and tells Aubry that he's having some issues. He claims to be fine, but things are not seeming to go well. They are totally suggesting a med evac is forthcoming. And that would suck for him. Michele tells us that she would hate to see Joe med evac'd, but if he does go, that is one less person for her to worry about. Joe is feeling bad enough to bring medical in to check him out. The doc suggests some medicine for him to try. The doc tells him that if they can't get him to use the bathroom soon, it could become serious issues for his kidneys. Tai is super worried, since his new final three deal involves Joe.

We come back, still on Day 34. Joe doesn't look a whole lot better. He tells us that after taking the medicine, he is feeling a little better, but not enough. He's still in a lot of pain, and I think he's gonna pull himself from the game. Joe still isn't peeing and if he doesn't soon, they'll yank him. Michele tells us that he just kept getting worse and worse. Everyone is upset. No one wants to see a friend in pain like that. Even Cydney is dropping some tears for Joe.

He tells us that the pain is unbearable, so as the sun goes down, Jeff shows up with the doc for a quick checkup. They talk for a while and at the end of it all, Dr. Joe says that the chance of long term kidney damage is too high and he has to be pulled from the game. It's largely due to his age and the reward and the conditions. It's just too much for his body to handle and he is not willing to risk some serious health issues to stay in this game. And just like that, Joe is out of the game, leaving Cydney, Aubry, Michele and Tai as our final four. As Joe heads out, Aubry laments the fact that she has now lost her primary ally twice in the same game. She had such a solid plan and has no idea what she'll do now. I'd suggest winning some challenges, because Cydney's coming.

Next time on Survivor: Everyone is finally realizing how close they are to the end. They're all trying to figure out how to get to the end. Aubry tries to lock in Tai. Michele tries to lock in Cydney. Tai just hopes to make it through one more vote with no idol or advantage to save him. And Cydney is trying to balance two different alliances, while deciding the best route to the endgame. Next Wednesday night, it will all come to an end! Same bat time, same bat channel. 'Til then everyone, take care!