This episode had: Schemes! Thwarted schemes! Nudity! Product placement! Snarky quotes! Brutal honesty! The eating and spitting up of gross food! Even a commercial showing an animated bear getting scraps of toilet paper (Charmin Ultra Strong toilet paper — as used by the Survivors!) vacuumed off his butt! Behold — reality TV at its finest:
* Todd tells Amanda that there’s a hidden immunity idol, and that he knows three clues as to its location.
* The Fei Long tribe wins the reward challenge and kidnaps former tribemate James. On the reward (which takes place at the Charmin TeaHouse. This inspires me to start calling my bathroom the Charmin PeeHouse), Jean-Robert comes off as crude by commenting on how he’d like to jump in the tub that Courtney and Amanda are in, while James remains dignified even when showing his butt while showering.
* Todd convinces James to give him the fourth clue for the immunity idol, and Todd now realizes where it is. I’ll use Todd’s words to describe its location: “It’s those stupid bats above the freakin’ thing!”
* Amanda and Todd work on retrieving the immunity idol plaque within full view of their tribemates, which Amanda later calls “the worst way in the history of Survivor of getting an immunity idol.” Frosti, not realizing what they’re trying to do but always interested in climbing on things, comes over to help. Amanda and Todd try to wave him off, with Amanda standing on top of the idol once they’ve dislodged it, and Todd’s brain addressing Frosti as if he’s a naughty dog: “Frosti! Frosti! No!”
* Because Frosti was with them when they got the idol, Todd and Amanda show it to him. Then Todd gives the idol to James, along with instructions to lose the next challenge for the Zhan Hu tribe so they’ll vote against James, who will then say “Aha!” and produce the immunity idol, thus getting rid of whomever James votes for (probably Jaime).
* While James is gone, the Zhan Hu tribe talks about how they’re not sure if Sherea and Frosti are still on their side, and instead of sticking with their plan to throw the next immunity challenge to get rid of James, they are now convinced that they need to win immunity. Which doesn’t make any sense to me — it’s as if they watched the footage of Todd’s plan. But in any case, James will now be the one trying to throw the challenge, and the rest of Zhan Hu will be trying to win it.
* Todd tells Courtney and Denise about James having the immunity idol. I didn’t really get that, either. Todd says it’s so they know to try harder to win the challenge, but I think he actually took pleasure in disclosing his brilliant plan.
* The challenge is the gross-food-eating one, so the power to throw the challenge is not completely in James’ hands. But he gets one shot to do his part, up against strong-willed Denise, in the chicken-fetus round. Undaunted by Jeff Probst’s warning that the fetuses “still have their feathers on them, so be careful of that when they go down,” Denise starts off strong, screaming at the food as she attacks it (I heard either “Get in my mouth!” or “You’re not my mom!”). James goes as slowly as possible, but Denise eventually spits out her food and can’t continue. James finally saves Denise from her plate of half-chewed chicken fetus, and he finishes his food and wins the round. The man failed at throwing a challenge. And that’s one of the reasons we love him.
* After Fei Long loses the challenge, they have to decide whether to vote off Sherea (one of the original Zhan Hu members) or Jean-Robert (disliked by most; hated by Courtney). Todd’s gut says to vote out Jean-Robert so that people like Courtney feel like part of the decision-making process. Amanda wants to keep the original Fei Long tribe intact, and vote out Jean-Robert later.
Amanda’s gut prevails, and Sherea is voted out, meaning that Courtney once again has to return to camp with the self-proclaimed “bad boy” whom she describes as “gross,” “horrible” and “crappy.”