Everyone is surprised when there are two tribal councils, and the backstabbing really begins, as one cocky contestant gets completely blindsided

By Dalton Ross
Updated August 04, 2020 at 02:09 PM EDT
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Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
S17 E6
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Oh! Oh! I just came up with the best Halloween costume! I was gonna go as Terrell Owens and simply drop all the candy that people threw to me, but I’ve come up with something totallybetter. Instead, I’m going to shave my head, talk in a borderline-phony English accent, and then pour sugar all over myself until I am completely buried and can no longer breathe. Then someone will come along and shine a cold blue light of death on my rotting corpse.

In all seriousness, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I liked Ace. Ace was entertaining. Ace played the game hard when it came to both challenges and strategy. But Ace made one fatal mistake. One fatal mistake that can doom even the most skilled Survivor contestant: Ace picked a really stupid person to be his partner. At least stupid when it comes to playing Survivor. Make no mistake, Ken made a great move when he came up with one of the most blatant lies I’ve ever seen on this show and told Sugar about a magical conversation in which Ace talked all sorts of smack about her. Usually contestants just kinda blur the truth; Kenny completely obliterated it. And I applaud him for that. I really do. But jeez Louise apple cheese, is it really that easy to dupe someone? I get that Ace does not come off as the most trustworthy person, but how is it in his interest to get rid of someone who is so loyal to him and who he has fought tooth and nail to protect? He needs allies. Earth to Sugar: You were his ally!

I’m mad, you can tell. If I could turn green like the Hulk (not Edward Norton or Eric Bana, but Lou Ferrigno style) I would. But can you blame me? Ace was one of the few interesting characters we had this season, and now he’s gone. We won’t even have him around for the jury to roll his eyes at all the stupidity coming out of people’s mouths. I get that a lot of you found him unbearably condescending, but the dude made good TV. And not just in some loose-cannon sort of way. Like I said, he played the game hard, and the fact that people like Crystal and Susie are still around while he is not is kind of a bummer.

Speaking of Crystal, she was the star of a truly bizarre sequence to begin the episode: knocking over the rice, then going to sleep, then refusing to eat any rice because she knocked it over, then getting mad at people for not getting mad at her for knocking over the rice. I have to say, talking to Crystal before the game started — she was a completely different person. She was funny, bubbly, excited. But man, has this experience weighed on her. She just looks beaten down and defeated.

NEXT: Corrine’s other camp story

Over at Kota, Corinne told everyone how her parents asked her not to curse so much on television “because people are gonna think you’re trashy.” About 60 seconds later she wondered if her tribemate Dan was “a former fatty.” Now, see, that wasn’t trashy at all. I’m sure your parents were just thrilled with that one, Corinne. Actually, that’s positively mild for the self-proclaimed bitch. If you want to hear something from her past that is truly horrifying, check out this jaw-dropping story.

Anyway, it was off to the reward challenge the tribes went, and wouldn’t you know it — Fang won! And when I say, “Fang won,” I am, of course, referring to in their dreams. In actuality, Kota completely kicked their ass — again. And in case you were wondering how far Crystal’s athletic prowess has fallen, the Fang tribe actually picked Sugar — Sugar! — to be the person trying to chase down and break Kota’s ball in the second round. Let me just repeat that in case you were skimming — don’t blame you, by the way — and missed it: The members of Fang decided that their best athletic bet at that point was a weepy pinup model with zero physical skill or training over AN OLYMPIC TRACK-AND-FIELD GOLD MEDALIST!

Sugar, who was heckled by Randy before the round, — at least I think he was heckling her. I have no idea what kind of sounds those were he was making — was, of course, completely useless, and eventually Fang fell and were sent home losers again. It was there, back at camp, where Matty announced that “I don’t think in my entire 29 years of living I’ve ever been so embarrassed.” Really? Never? Partying away your entire inheritance is less embarrassing than losing a game of monkey in the middle? You sure? Because I’ve personally lost quite a few games of monkey in the middle myself and think I’d rather lose a few more of those than a big stack full of cash. Maybe that’s just me. Meanwhile, Sugar was sent to her home away from home, Exile (non) Island, and the victorious Kota took a helicopter ride to a giant crater. It was there that a horrible (off camera) accident occurred when someone accidentally clipped off Bob’s testicles. Awful. Just awful. But how else to explain his voice raising eight octaves upon receiving love letters from home? I couldn’t tell if he had something caught in his throat, was trying to karaoke a little Michael Jackson, or was simply doing some sort of exotic bird call, but it did, in all honestly, freak me out. (Side note question: Did Randy not get any letters? While everyone was fawning over the notes, he just sat there in grumpy wedding-videographer mode, which I kinda loved.)

And before we knew it, we were back to another challenge. Why so soon, you ask? Because it was double-elimination time with double tribal councils. I’ve gone on and on about how much I hated the previous model of a winning team still having to vote someone out. This one was much better: a battle for individual immunity with the winner assigning immunity to someone from the other tribe. I still don’t love the concept, in that two tribals in one episode is a bit much and you’re still punishing a dominant tribe by forcing them to kick someone out, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

NEXT: The deleted scene

The competition in question was essentially a log roll. Bob made the unfortunate decision to inform everyone that he won a lumberjack log roll in college, setting himself up to look like a doofus when he lost to — gulp! — Sugar. (Shades of trained kayaker/river guide Kelly Wigglesworth losing a rowing competition to a guy who couldn’t even swim.) Finally — cue the ’70s porn music — it was time for a Survivorthreeway! That’s right, people, just put on a little Barry White, grab a bottle of Courvoisier, relax, and enjoy as Sugar, Ace, and Marcus get up close and personal with a very phallic-looking log. I’m referring, of course, to the immunity finals, where the last person upright won. Ace really got screwed on this one — no pun intended — by having to stand in the middle. That means he couldn’t look back at Marcus to see what the doctor was doing. In essence, he was playing blind. Bummer for him that he didn’t get to win that immunity. And us. Instead Marcus took it and assigned the other ugly-ass necklace to Sugar (wisely ignoring Crystal’s pleas for charity).

So then Ken lied through his teeth to Sugar, causing her to flip on her little snuggle bunny. Before she helped vote Ace out, however, we were treated to much fantastic eye rolling as Crystal one again started yelling at everyone for not yelling at her about the rice. Over at Kota, Corinne announced she wanted to — and it sounds like I’m making this up but I swear I’m not — stab Susie in the face. (Hey, at least she’s not cursing. Right, parents?!?) That was because Susie decided it would be a good idea to tell Corinne that she had planned to vote against her. Much like in the same way, during our interview before the game, Susie decided it would be a good idea to tell me about how she likes to wax her mustache and have sex with her husband on the beach (not necessarily together, I assume). The target then shifted back and forth between Dan (who other Kota members feared may have the hidden immunity idol) and Susie, so the tribe decided — what the hell, let’s vote for both of them! It was a smart move, actually — designed to either flush out Dan’s idol or send him home. It ended up being the latter. Dan is a super-sweet, sensitive person. Which is exactly why he was so lost in this game. Every time I looked at him, he resembled a lost puppy. Good guy. Poor player.

Okay, folks, we’re close to wrapping this up because I am nursing a serious cold. Plus, I have to get ready for Halloween and go work on my Ace accent. But before you post, might I direct your attention to a few goodies. Jeff Probst is dropping a most intriguing-sounding tease about next week’s episode in his weekly EW.com blog. Go read it and take your guess as to what he might be referring to. (My uneducated guess: Another fake merge, à la Thailand.) And check out the exclusive Survivor deleted scene below to find out why Sugar is feeling so good about herself. Okay, done both those things? Swear? You better not be lying, because that bastard Probst will know if you’re lying. He always knows! He’s like the freakin’ Mentalist…only without the vest.

It’s your game now. Did you like the double elimination? Did Sugar make the right move? Will you miss Ace? And, most importantly, what are you going to be for Halloween? Post away!

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Survivor

Jeff Probst leads adventures in the ultimate (and original) reality series.

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