Troyzan finally decides to fight back against the women, but is it too late?

Credit: CBS
S24 E9

It’s a windy overcast day on the Samoan island of Upolu, and Survivor: One World’s Jay Byars has just woken up on day 23 of his adventure from an awful dream. “I dreamed I got shot,” he says to the group of women surrounding him. “And I was about to get capped again and I woke up.” That sounds positively horrible, but there is one thing that Jay does not realize: He hasn’t woken up at all! This is a dream within a dream and he actually is about to get capped again — Inception style, baby! That’s right, the women of Survivor are about to get all Leonardo DiCaprio on his ass. What’s the password to the safe? How many levels deep can we go? And what’s with all the Edith Piaf music? Jay’s dream within a dream has turned into a full-on nightmare, with duplicitous Kim doing her best Marion Cotillard impression. No, Mal! No!

But it’s not like the women are to blame for Jay’s state of slumber and subsequent elimination. My first inclination is to blame the mere thought of a Do It Yourself challenge for putting him into such a deep sleep (because Lord knows I almost fell asleep watching it). But no, Jay himself is responsible for sleepwalking through this game. He did it all to himself — suggesting they vote off Jonas, going along with the highly suspect plan to get rid of Mike, and then giving up a possible shot at immunity for some freakin’ chicken wings. Three strikes and you are OUT, my friend.

And we are officially into our episode 9 recap of Survivor: One World, so let’s get to it. Tarzan starts things off by informing Troyzan that they are going to lose and that the girls are going to knock the guys out one by one. That does seem likely, especially considering Tarzan keeps helping them vote off men! But ever so slowly, Troyzan is starting to realize he has been played. “Part of me is, like, jeez, are they telling the truth?” he wonders. Too bad a bigger part of him didn’t ask that before he voted off Mike. And now Troyzan will pay for that shortsightedness — and he will pay by being forced to partake in the most boring challenge in Survivor history! Hey, I give John Kirhoffer and his challenge department their due credit when they come up with a killer contest — like last week’s awesome slide from hell. But this one is just from hell. As in just plain bad.

For one thing, it is another dreaded Do It Yourself challenge. For anyone that ever doubted the value of Jeffrey Probst to this program, doubt no more after watching Troyzan lamely attempt to offer play-by-play commentary. Then again, it wasn’t entirely Troyzan’s fault, because I’m not sure if anyone could have made this dud even remotely exciting. Essentially, it’s just the contestants playing ladder golf — that game where you throw bolas onto a ladder for points. I’m already bored just describing it. Look, I have nothing against simplicity. The immunity challenge to follow is a perfect example of simple and dramatic. This, however, is not. And with Probst not there, Survivor has to even employ the tacky Big Brother tactic of contestants explaining in interviews later what is going on to help build up the alleged suspense (like Sabrina telling us she needs a 5 to tie the score 6-6, because heaven forbid viewers be able to handle the heavy duty addition of 5+1).

NEXT: Chelsea doesn’t like lying to the hot guy

So whatever, some people win and some people lose. It’s hard to care much after that epic yawn-fest. Later, Kim and the girls discuss the stupidity of the men. “I feel bad because I think deep down they know they made the wrong choice already,” says Kim. “They have to be really worried.” An elimination order is set: Jay, Troyzan, Tarzan, then Leif, who is most likely last on the list because everyone simply forgot he was even there. Chelsea is having a tough time with this, because she gave Jay her word she wouldn’t do that. Plus, he’s, like, totally dreamy and stuff. Chelsea’s conscience has the other women worried. “Chelsea got all sensitive,” notes Alica. “That really pissed me off.” To be fair, here is just a partial list of other things that piss Alicia off: Christina obtaining fire, Kat insinuating she was not a master puzzle-solver, non-tacky bathing suits, people that don’t give you their immunity idol, human beings in general, the entire animal kingdom, planets, the underground ice recently found on Mars (“stupid underground ice on Mars!”), and anything and everything that has nothing to do with being fierce and fabulous.

Sabrina is also a bit concerned about Chelsea. “You got to put on your big girl panties and make a big girl decision,” notes Sabrina, although if Chelsea’s big girl panties are anything like Tarzan’s big boy panties, I just as soon that not happen, thank you very much. Meanwhile, Jay is trying to get the women to all agree to vote off Alicia. They say yes with their mouths while screaming HELL NO with their body language. “So can we make that set and not derive from it?” asks Jay. (I’m pretty sure he means “deviate” and not “derive,” but he is a model so I suppose that’s close enough. Points for trying.)

Hey, wait everyone, Troyzan just realized something! “If the girls were smart — they got six of them — it wouldn’t be that hard to knock off me or Jay.” Gee, ya think?!? Funny you just came to that realization now. In a reversal of last week, now Troy is the one worried about a female alliance, while Jay thinks everything is positively hunky dory. “I trust my two girls. Right now he just needs to calm down,” Jay says of Troy. And off to the immunity challenge we go.

WARNING: I am about to get very angry. Because I always get angry when I see people willingly give up a chance for immunity for some food. And I’m not just talking about the people in trouble. Even if you are in control and actually in no danger of going home (and no one is truly ever in no danger of going home), by not performing in a challenge you are giving up information to your opposition. When people supposedly in danger like Alicia don’t even attempt to stay in the game, that is a red flag to other competitors (like Jay and Troyzan) that they are actually the ones in trouble. WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE SO SHORTSIGHTED? AND WHY WOULD YOU EVER BE SO CONFIDENT AS TO NOT TRY TO GUARANTEE YOUR OWN SAFETY? HAVE THEY NEVER SEEN THIS SHOW?!? Sorry about that. I warned you I would get angry. Trying to work on that through lots of therapy and Nyquil. As you can see, it’s not going so hot.

NEXT: One million dollar chicken wings

Anyhoo, the rules of the challenge are that…hold on, Tarzan’s already out. I guess in this case the game is no longer afoot for Tarzan. So, as I was saying, this immunity challenge is a Survivor classic in which your arm is tethered to a huge bucket of colored water, and as soon as you drop your arm, the water drops on you. But that sneaky bastard Probst has a trick up his sleeve. Oh, wait, his sleeves are rolled up. Never mind. But Probst is going to start tempting the contestants to voluntarily drop out for different items of food. And drop they do: Sabrina for cookies and milk; Kim and Kat for cupcakes and milk; Alicia for candy and chocolate (although she doesn’t even know what she is getting because she drops her arm as soon as a covered plate is brought out, even though she claims she could last longer but wants Chelsea to win — yeah right!); Jay for chicken wings and beer (even though he doesn’t drink beer, making him my immediate and mortal enemy); and finally, Leif for burgers, chips, and beer. With Tarzan, Christina, and Troyzan also falling on their own, that leaves Chelsea as the winner.

Emboldened by both her victory and the opportunity to watch Leif skipping towards a plate of mini-burgers, Chelsea has changed her tune in terms of lying to Jay and Troyzan. “To turn this quick on them, I hate to be that person, but I love money.” Forget about the money. How about simply “I love playing the game that I signed up to play instead of sitting around and whining about playing the game that I signed up to play?” That’ll work.

The ladies now realize that Troyzan may be the biggest threat because, unlike Jay, he didn’t give up a chance for immunity for some bar food. A fully invested player is a dangerous player and Jay is clearly not fully invested. But Troy has begun to pick up on some signals, including Kim being too effusive in promising his safety. Troy has an idol and he plans to use it. He also plans to try and vote Kim out. His only problem is that after telling Jay of his plan, Jay reports right back to Kim. All heck starts to break loose. I haven’t seen this much scrambling since the glory days of Fran Tarkenton. Troyzan rushes to secure votes, but without Jay on board it seems hopeless, which is pretty symbolic of the way the men have played all season long. Especially since by not going after Kim, Jay is essentially sealing his own fate.

Any excitement from all the scrambling does not really carry over to Tribal Council however. Unlike last week when nobody raised a hand to signal they believed themselves to be in danger, this time Jay, Kim, and Troyzan all raise a hand (although Jay didn’t even bother to bring his bag, so how worried could he really be?). The only real drama is if Troyzan will use the idol, and use it he does. “Some of the dumbest moves in Survivor history have been made when someone gets voted out and has this in their pocket and that’s not going to be me. I’m not going to join that group,” he says, although I don’t really agree with that.

NEXT: The case for NOT using a hidden immunity idol

Sure, James not using an idol in China was absurd because he had two of them, but there is great value in not using an idol. For one thing, you don’t want to waste it when you don’t need it (and it turned out Troyzan would not have needed it here), but also when you use a hidden immunity idol, another one goes back into circulation — one which you only have a small chance of locating and could be found by your adversaries instead. Troyzan would have been smartest to bluff using the idol here, watch the votes go elsewhere (as they did to Jay) and then use it next week instead. Bottom line: You can’t use the idol out of fear of looking dumb. Besides, Troyzan couldn’t look any dumber than the way Kim played him last week by using his dislike of Michael against him. It can only be uphill from there.

So Jay gets voted out, and Troyzan impressively resists the urge to yell “I TOLD YOU SO!” on his way to having his torch snuffed. Poor Jay. I got no beef with the dude…I mean, other than him being a horrible Survivor player. (And a non-beer drinker.) Seems like a nice guy. Too bad he let his trusting nature and love of chicken wings get in the way.

But don’t let anything get in your way to keep you from reading this week’s Q&A with Jeff Probst, in which the host names the one person left in the game with no shot at winning. (Any guesses?) Then help yourself to a viewing of an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode below. And for more Survivor scoop, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss. Now it’s your turn. Is Kim unbeatable? Would you take food over a chance at immunity? And was that Do It Yourself reward challenge the lamest contest ever? Hit the message boards and let us know. I’ll be off next week, but fret not, because someone else will be here to deliver your scoop of the crispy. See you in two weeks!

Episode Recaps

SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols


Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning a million dollars, as host Jeff Probst looks at his feet while telling them to "COME ON IN, GUYS!"

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