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S35 E3
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S35 E3
October 11, 2017 at 09:00 PM EDT

Like a Virgin
Reality television loooooooooves virgins. This look-but-don’t-touch relationship dates —  maybe not the best term — all the way back to Jason in Big Brother 3. Our latest entry in this long, proud tradition is Jessica, who acknowledges that, “My lips don’t go near other’s people’s cheeks very often.” (I’m going to leave that one alone.) But Jessica is as smitten as a kitten when it comes to Cole. Jessica and Cole are making quite the love connection (if not an actual, you know, love connection), and Cole tries to deepen that connection — again, wrong term — by telling Jessica about Joe’s idol.

It’s a smart move as not only does Jessica plant a kiss on Cole, but she then also joyfully talks about all the power she now has knowing about Joe’s idol. (Not as much power as the idol itself, it should be pointed out, but okay.) So good move, Cole. Now you two can sit on this info until if and when you lose an immunity challenge, because you would never want to needlessly bring it up before then, thereby increasing the odds and time that Joe has to find out about your…WAIT! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?

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Not only does Cole tell Jessica, but then he seems to experience #SevereGastrointestinalDistress of the mouth as he starts blabbing all about his plan to blindside Joe and his idol to both Roark and Desi. Ugh. Dude, this game is all about timing, and your timing is terrible. Again, I like the plan, but you only unfurl said plan once you need to unfurl said plan. Apparently, Cole is awful at keeping secrets. It may not bite him in the butt this time, but it could down the line if he keeps it up. No more kisses for you, mister!

A Challenging Situation
This felt like an old-school Survivor challenge. Going over and under obstacles, knocking stuff down, and then stacking them back up. I was actually surprised that there did not appear to be any puzzle element to the blocks that needed to be stacked — not in a disappointed way, just surprised.

Of course, the real drama came not from the challenge course itself (although Alan leaping up to grab the net was pretty impressive, and everyone having to lift Roark up by putting their hands in awkward places on her body made me cringe a bit). No, the real drama came from Patrick refusing to sub out from throwing sandbags to knock the blocks off of the ledge. A critical error on his part.

Here’s the thing: I get it. Patrick is clearly a competitive dude and wanted to help his team win. He didn’t want to accept failure and wanted to power his team through to victory. I’ve been there. I ran a press challenge and was digging up puzzle pieces with Friday Night Lights’ Scott Porter yelling at me to sub out and I was basically like “Hell no, QB1!” I just kept digging. But I was in no danger of being voted out if I was not able to get the buried piece (which I was).

In a situation like this, you need to consider the ramifications if you are unsuccessful. Quite simply, it’s called hedging your bets. If you are the only one to throw, and you do much worse than the other teams, then the team’s loss is 100 percent on you. If you throw a few and then sub out for someone else, then you are protecting yourself from blame. Call it cowardly if you want, but I call it smart. And it also comes with the added benefit of making you look like a team player. So it ends up being a win-win, even if it means your tribe loses.

Speaking of losing things, the Healers lost out on first place when they misplaced one of their blocks. They thought they had stacked all of them and then raced back to their mat and waited for Probst to raise both arms in the air while looking down at the ground and proclaiming themselves the winners. But instead he proclaimed something else.

“Something is not right!” he yelled. “No!” Interesting that Probst did not tell the tribe specifically what was wrong and instead made them figure it out. I sort of like it. It would have been easy for him to say, “No, you have one block missing! Let’s see if the Healers can heal this situation!” Okay, he probably wouldn’t have said something that cheesy, but the point is, he could have told them what was wrong and didn’t. And I like it. I like them having to take that beat to make the mental equation, figuring out what it might be, and then having to locate it. It’s a small thing, to be sure, but one I enjoyed.

And the mistake mattered as the Heroes then took first place and the four chickens that went with it, while the Healers had to settle for the dozen eggs that came as the consolation prize. Of course, with the tribe swap coming, who knows who will end up with what, but I can’t wait to find out who will be among this season’s numbskulls that join the long, not-so-proud tradition of eating a hen (who can lay eggs) before the rooster (who cannot). (Recap continues on next page)

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