Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites, Week 4: Survival of the Weakest

Some of the Faves who voted against Yau-Man last episode are now wishing they’d kicked off Eliza instead. In particular, James and Ozzy think it’s stupid that they kept one of the weakest players, who’s now sick. (Oh, come on, Yau could’ve gotten sick, too.) When Eliza points out to them that they’re talking about this in her presence, James, obviously a man of deep compassion, says, “I know you’re sitting right there, but you’re about to die.” She says hey, you could be supportive, and James says, “You’re sick AND you got attitude?” Eliza tells the camera “I hate these people” and that she almost hopes they get sicker than she is and have to be removed from the game.

Meanwhile, folks on the Fans tribe think Chet’s their weakest link because he’s exhausted and not pulling his weight, and Mikey tells the camera, “Chet is gone.” Of course, such statements spoken so early in an episode rarely come true — it’s like an episode of House, where a diagnosis in the first 10 minutes is quickly disproved when the patient spurts blood from multiple orifices.

The reward challenge involves retrieving coconuts from an underwater cage, and then unscrambling the letters on the coconuts to reveal a word. Ozzy stays under for an incredibly long time, moving several coconuts to the opening of the cage, so the next divers can get them more quickly. The strategy works, and the Faves win three egg-laying hens, a rooster and some chicken feed. They pick Kathy and Ozzy to go to Exile Island.

Kathy tells Ozzy that each time she’s exiled, she learns so much from the Faves. She then tells the camera that she doesn’t care about the immunity idol on Exile Island. “I did that, done that, been there. I don’t feel like doing it no more.” What? Seriously? Which Fave did she learn that from? Why doesn’t she look for the idol when Ozzy is swimming back and forth from clue to clue?

Ozzy reads all four clues and finds the idol, and then makes a fake idol and puts it where the original was. Kathy’s lack of effort is strange. I find myself hoping that she and Cirie actually did find the idol and that Ozzy found a fake one they had hidden, but usually the storytelling on Survivor isn’t that crafty.

The immunity challenge involves a harness, locks, necklaces and a decoding wheel. The Faves work together well and win comfortably.

Mikey B. and Joel have had their power struggles, but Mikey befriends him. His plan is to pretend he’s Joel’s ally for now, but get rid of him right before the merge. The two talk and decide to get rid of Chet. There. Done deal.

Ah, but another symptom crops up that doesn’t fit this diagnosis: Tracy’s tenacity. She knows she’s in danger if Kathy and Chet go, so she lobbies hard to keep them. When Joel tells her that he’s voting against Chet or Kathy because the tribe needs Mikey’s strength, Tracy masterfully persuades Joel (and almost me) that he should get rid of Mikey while he still has enough votes on his side. If he waits, he’ll lose his chance.

At Tribal Council, there’s a lot of talk about keeping the tribe strong. Chet admits that he didn’t perform all that well at the first challenge this season, but he thinks he’s been OK since. Tracy points out that the tribe lost even when its weakest members weren’t competing, so how can the loss be their fault?

Jason makes a plea for his tribemates to think about the importance of keeping people who can help the tribe win challenges. As he casts his vote against Chet, he says, “Please: Leave the island.”

But the majority of the tribe decides to keep its weakest member, and Mikey is voted out instead. According to the previews, the tribes get switched up next episode. So for some members of the Fan tribe, keeping Chet only to lose him as a tribemate and see him weaken the opposition may have been a very good move.