“Survivor: Tocantins”: Episode 4: Cruel Beans!

At the last Tribal Council, Erinn said she thought Brendan would be a better leader than Coach, and Coach now tells the camera that Erinn is the cancer of the tribe. While he’d love to be the leader, Coach allows Brendan the honor, noting that if Brendan were to be voted off, Coach would take over the role. Kind of like the Miss America runner-up.

Tyson’s assessment of the whole leader discussion: “I don’t know — I wasn’t paying attention. I don’t really care.” I’m with you, buddy.

Over on Jalapao, Taj tells Stephen that he’s been selected to be in an alliance with her, Brendan and Sierra “in the biggest upset on Survivor history.” That might be overstating it, but I admit it would be cool to see a pre-merge alliance among members of opposing tribes. Stephen happily accepts the plan, which includes Stephen or Sierra being the next ones sent to Exile and picking each other to accompany them. Problem is, Brendan hasn’t had a chance to tell Sierra the plan before the reward challenge, so, he tells the camera, “It could be a pretty heinous situation.”

The reward challenge, which is for the opportunity to steal two items from the opposing tribe, involves three players each holding a pole across their shoulders while the other tribe decides whose pole gets 10-pound weights added to it. The men are loaded up with the most weight and are the first to drop their poles, and Taj lasts the longest and wins for Jalapao. Taj picks Sierra to go to Exile, and luckily Sierra picks Taj right back, and on Exile, the two are able to have that “super-secret alliance” talk that Brendan failed to have with Sierra. Sierra calls their group the Awesome Foursome, and she thinks she’s now at the top of the food chain.

J.T. and Joe go to the Timbira camp to see what they can steal. The visit is cordial, with hand-shaking and half-hugs all around, but Tyson admits to the camera, “In the back of your mind, you’re like, ‘I’d like to punch these guys in the head.'” J.T. and Joe could have taken both of Timbira’s bags of beans, but they know they might end up on that tribe if there’s a switch-up, so they take one sack of beans and a watering can.

Back at camp, Sandy’s not happy that the boys didn’t take both bags of beans, comparing it to taking 75 of your opponent’s 100 guns. The tribe discusses what kind of beans they have, and Sandy says, “They are fartin’ beans,” and then adds, “They are fartin’ beans, honey.” I say it twice not only because it’s an awesome phrase, but also because it illustrates Sandy’s repetition, which, according to Sydney, is starting to driving the others insane.

The Jalapao men call Sydney “the hottest Survivor chick this season.” She counters with “Sierra’s a pretty cute one, though,” and they say, “Eh. She’s kind of angry.” Sandy sees how Sydney is flirting with all the guys, and she’d like to vote her off next, adding in her kooky Sandy way, “If I can’t outwit her with the body, I’ll outwit her with the brain.”

Timbira decides it’s a relaxation fun day, a day to keep each other positive. Tyson’s contribution is wearing a loincloth and chanting “oonga boonga,” which cheers everyone up but Erinn, who tells the camera she’s having a tough time connecting with people because she’s emotional after a recent breakup. Yeah, but it also might be generally tough to connect with oonga-boonga boy and a guy who labels you as cancer.

At the immunity challenge, the players race on a criss-crossy path and retrieve puzzle pieces. The lead goes back and forth, and in the end, Timbira is the one to solve the puzzle and reveal the secret phrase: “Escape the vote; Timbira wins immunity.” Behold the power of the loincloth — the true leader of Timbira.

Dang, that crazy Tatiana can sing. Sorry. I clicked over to American Idol during the commercial.

Jalapao, who blames their loss on the “curse of the beans,” is debating whether to vote out self-proclaimed sex kitten Sandy or actual sex kitten Sydney. It looks for a while like they’re leaning toward getting rid of Sydney — Taj tells her tribemates, “We don’t need eye candy; we need championships,” and Stephen thinks that Sandy may be more loyal. But after a Tribal Council at which Sydney admits her flirtatious personality and J.T. admits “Yeah, Jeff, she’s wearing my boxers,” the tribe decides to keep sexy Sydney and get rid of the farting bean woman.

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS © 2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc.