By Jim Van Nest
May 8, 2009
Debbie then lays down her complete strategy. She wants Coach gone now, then Erinn, then Taj. She goes so far as to tell Stephen and JT that if they get to the final three and she has immunity, that she would hand it over to them and accept third place. She swears that she'll be happy with third place. Stephen and JT both like the sound of that, but neither one of them believes she'll actually keep that promise. Like JT says, "No one wants third place in this game." So we head to the immunity challenge with the simple goal of not letting Coach or Debbie win.
Today's challenge starts off as an obstacle course. They will dig under a log, walk a balance beam, go under a rope crawl and then they'll come to a rotating set of mathematic symbols. Once there, they'll need to memorize those symbols and bring them back to a big equation. They'll use the signs to find an answer to the equation. First person with the correct answer wins. Survivors ready?
JT jumps to the early lead and is studying symbols before anyone else even gets under the log. Debbie is the next one under the log and JT is back with his first set of memorized symbols. He enters them all and then heads back out for the rest. Meanwhile, Coach, Taj and Stephen have all gotten under the log. Stephen then gets stuck on the balance beam, while JT makes his way back to the symbols. As Coach and JT head back to the puzzle, Erinn finally gets under the log and Stephen finally makes it over the beam. JT is back and now has all of the symbols and is working the equation. Coach enters his first set of symbols and heads back out. Stephen finally heads back to the problem after staring at the symbols for a long time. As Debbie and JT work on their puzzle, Stephen is adding all of the symbols on the first pass. As you would expect from a mathematical mind like Stephen's, he breezes through the equation and finishes just seconds before JT. Jeff comes over to check it out and his answer is...correct. Stephen wins immunity and has a one in five chance of winning the million dollars.
After what has transpired so far tonight, I can't believe I'm actually writing the recap on the night we get to play, "It's Anyone But Coach!" The only way it could be better is if I get to say, "And it's unanimous. Coach is the 11th person voted off of Survivor: Tocantins." Anyway, we come back to camp and everyone heads down to the river to wash all the sand off. Stephen tells us that he's amazed that he and Taj and JT were down six to three at one point and they are now completely running the game. As the Jalapao three are rinsing off, they talk about Debbie being a major strategic threat. Honestly, this three-person alliance is looking pretty damned solid...but as JT tells us, not even Taj knows what's really going on. After she takes off, Stephen and JT begin to discuss keeping Debbie around because she's more useful around camp and they really don't want any more days with Coach. Speak of the devil; Coach comes down for his reassurance that Taj is next. JT tells us that it's hard because he doesn't want to lie to him. And them we see Coach giving them a reality check. One of the three of them will be the winner of this game. And then JT tells us that he hates having to lie to people and that he likes to vote them off before he has to lie to them. Next up is a scene well edited to make us all believe that we know who is going home. JT and Stephen talking about being okay with tonight and discussing how they think it's the best move for them. The thing that worries me now is that they're talking about what a masterful game they're playing. And as it usually goes, when you start talking about how great you are that's when you get stabbed in the back. And with that, it's time for Tribal.