Survivor: Gabon, Week 7: Rise of the Dizzy Bat

Kota senses a merge coming and discusses the plan for the Kota Six to mow down the Fang Four. They tell Susie that her anti-Corinne statements have made them question whether she would turn against them, and she assures them that no, she won’t sell them out. And then she tells the camera about how powerful she feels. That’s how a lot of this episode went — Susie saying that it’s in her best interest to stick with her alliance … or do the opposite.

Corinne, who describes herself as an extremely vindictive person (you don’t say …), remains annoyed with Susie and would like to bury her as soon as possible. Alive.

The Fang tribe is happy and loose after voting out Ace. Sugar, Crystal and Kenny welcome Matty back from his brainwashed-by-the-cult-of-Ace experience, and they see themselves as an alliance of four.

The tribes are told to take all their possessions to a party on the beach, where there will be “a brand new tribe, a brand new game.” So they’re definitely thinking there could be a merge.

Everyone gathers for huge feast and some intrigue. On the table is a box topped with a note that says to open it only after the feast is finished. Also on the table is a clue about a hidden immunity idol. Kenny spots the clue first and would love to keep the info to himself, but Charlie sees it, too, and passes it to Marcus, who reads it to the group. The clue hints at the location of the idol, and says it must be found before the day at the beach is over. Marcus proposes leaving the idol hidden, and Randy suggests finding it and setting it adrift. The group digs for the idol and Randy finds it right away, which, in his view of African monarchy, makes him the king of Gabon.

Randy says he doesn’t want the idol, and anyone can take it. But everyone knows that it’s like the apple in the Garden of Eden — if you take it, your days in paradise are numbered — so they toss the idol into the water. Marcus, who sees getting rid of the idol as a way for the Kota Six to solidify control of the game, says, “These people are too stupid — I got 10 people to throw an immunity idol into the ocean.”

Then the box is opened, and there are 10 stones within. Each person draws a stone, which redivides the tribes. The new Fang tribe is Randy, Charlie, Corinne, Matty and Sugar; the new Kota tribe is Bob, Marcus, Susie, Kenny and Crystal.

So members of the Kota Six are split evenly between the new tribes, holding a 3 to 2 majority on each. Still, Randy fears for Marcus’ fate because he’s on the same tribe as Susie, who is “crazy and stupid, and that’s a horrible combination.” Marcus, who was so cavalier about throwing an immunity idol into the ocean, says he isn’t worried. Which, of course, means he should be.

As the new Kota tribe gets to know each other, it’s discovered that one of Marcus’ best friends is Crystal’s cousin. Marcus feels a little torn — he had planned to vote Crystal out, but now there’s a connection. Marcus talks to her about keeping good people around, and she tells him she won’t write his name down. She then tells the camera she’s just playing the game — “I also told Ace I wouldn’t write his name down.”

Over on the Fang tribe, Matty tells Sugar he was upset with her for voting against Ace, and that Ace was protecting her and wasn’t gunning for her. Sugar gets salty with tears — she thinks Kenny and Crystal duped her into voting Ace out, and she wishes she could apologize to him.

Susie tells Marcus she could go one way or the other as far as siding with him or not. She says yeah, she’s top 6 if she sticks with Kota, but she wants top 3. Marcus is nervous about how Susie is “in the middle, spinning around in circles, playing dizzy bat.” Awww — dizzy bat! I haven’t thought about that in ages! We called it Dizzy Izzy in college — spinning around with your head on a baseball bat and then trying to run. Or maybe Marcus is talking about a flying bat who’s drunk or has a problem with its inner ear equilibrium. That works with Susie, too.

Randy thinks it might be best if Fang lost the immunity challenge and got rid of Matty so as to keep Marcus safe from crazy Susie over on Kota. The challenge involves holding poles — one on the top of each hand — against an overhead board. The last person to not drop a pole wins immunity for their tribe, and so Matty does indeed have his own fate on the top of his hands.

Crystal is out of the challenge in about a second (which is still half a second longer than I could do the flexed arm hang in gym class). In the end, Matty is the last Fang member, and Bob is the last member for Kota. Matty tries to rattle Bob by laughing in a shrill tone (Matty didn’t see Bob’s reaction to getting letters from home last week, so he doesn’t know that Bob is very much used to a high-pitched noise coming out of his own throat), and Probst warns them, “Don’t get foolish; don’t lose your concentration; don’t start listening to anybody, including me.” (But Probsty, if they don’t listen to you, how will they hear your dire, condescending warnings?) Matty outlasts Bob and wins immunity for the Fang tribe.

Marcus would prefer that Kenny go home instead of Crystal, so he tells Crystal that if Kenny goes, Susie would be next, and Crystal would take Susie’s place in the Kota Six. Crystal asks if he can sell that plan to the others, and he says they’d be onboard because Randy and Corinne don’t like Susie.

Crystal’s not happy with Marcus’ plan to get rid of her biggest ally. She says that while she’s playing nice, she’s a liar and a schemer — “The game is ‘outwit, outlast.’ You can’t outwit Crystal Cox, baby.” (The unspoken second half of her sentence is “But you sure as heck can outlast her.”)

Marcus then tells Susie that because Crystal is atrocious in challenges, she’s not much of a threat, so the plan is to vote for Kenny. He then promises to help her get to the top 3, and she seems to be satisfied with that …

… until Crystal talks with Susie, trying to convince her to not vote against Kenny. Susie tells Crystal that Marcus promised her Final 3, and Crystal says she knows that’s a lie — Randy and Corinne don’t like Susie. I think that might have been the argument to win Susie over — why would Crystal know that those two hate Susie, unless Marcus had been scheming with her?

After a Tribal Council discussion where Kenny and Marcus sort of bicker (Marcus says it’s important to keep the tribe physically strong, Kenny says that’s bull, Marcus says in his calmly diplomatic way, “I think you’re a really nice guy, and it sucks that your frustration is being taken out in this direction”), Crystal votes for Marcus, Kenny votes for Marc-Ace (ooh — clever), and Susie’s vote for Marcus makes him the first member of the jury.

If Corinne wanted to stab Susie and bury her alive before Susie voted out Corinne’s main ally, I can’t wait to see what bodily harm Corinne wants to do to her next week.

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS © 2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved