After last week, Tony Vlachos had some explaining to do. He blindsided his alliance to vote out Sophie Clarke, and they were none too pleased. Sarah Lacina was especially angry and told Vlachos that if she got voted that she would never speak to him again. So Vlachos pulled Lacina and Driebergen back in: a testament to his social game. Ben Driebergen, for some reason, was so mad at Jeremy Collins that he wouldn’t speak to him. Collins was the initial option to go home, so it really doesn’t make sense for him to be the target of Ben’s anger. It just goes to show that Driebergen is playing badly and is assuredly a zero vote finalist if he gets there.
Kim Spradlin came up with a plan to take out Tony. This makes sense, but she puts this in motion before the immunity challenge, which is never a good idea. She tells Michele Fitzgerald, Nick Wilson, Denise Stapley, and Ben Driebergen. Spradlin, Stapley, and Wilson like this, and all make a final 3 deal. This is smart, as none of them would have a chance at winning the game against anyone else in the final 3. That is, anyone else except Ben. After this, the whole tribe goes on a search for the immunity idol, which ends with Driebergen getting it. He finds it in a tree right in front of Vlachos and comically tries to hide it from him afterward, which is unsuccessful. They now each have one idol, with the only other one in the game belonging to Michele Fitzgerald (50-50 idol).
The immunity challenge was a Survivor classic that originated from season 3, and in which Probst brings out temptations to get the players to step down and give up their shot at immunity and 2 fire tokens. The food is valuable, as you need nutrients even more when you’re starving. Driebergen tells Probst that he wants peanut butter and cookies but then falls down before the food is brought out. And of course, it was peanut butter and cookies. Lacina and Collins fall shortly after he does. Because they knew they were close to falling, Spradlin and Fitzgerald opted to eat the food. Wilson also knew he was near his end, so he made a deal to split the tokens with Tony and secretly wanted Vlachos to stay, so this was a great move on Nick’s part. This was a challenge in which the last man and woman received immunity, so this meant that Vlachos and Stapley won by default, which had never happened before. After never winning immunity in his first two seasons, Tony now had three in a row, which is impressive but also dangerous, as it raises his threat level even higher.
Spradlin now had to scramble to find a new target after Vlachos won. Wilson proposes Jeremy, with which Ben immediately jumps on board. Again, this is a good move for Wilson. It brings him tighter with Driebergen, who is 100% losing to Nick at the end. Driebergen then makes an incredibly foolish move. He tells Tony that Kim was coming for him before immunity. If Ben hadn’t said anything, Collins likely would have gone home, but by telling Vlachos he makes that less likely. Tony realizes that he needs Jeremy in the game, and needs Kim out of it. Vlachos works hard to flip the vote, as he realizes that the other side is gearing up to get him out.
Michele Fitzgerald doesn’t want Jeremy to go home, as they had been working together for all of the game. She also doesn’t want to make her new alliance distrust her, so she gives him her 50-50 idol. At tribal, the castaways quickly broke out into whispers. In the end, Stapley cuts off Collins, which was not only a horrible look for her but also might have cost her side the vote. He and Vlachos decide not to play their idols, and Spradlin is taken out 5-3.
Once again, Tony wins player of the week. I’m not sure how much longer he can keep this up, but he is dominating the game right now. He just took out another legend of the game in Spradlin. An underrated part of his game is that he is stripping Sarah Lacina of her allies. She was tight with Sophie Clarke, and then she had a decent relationship with Spradlin. Now, Lacina has nowhere to go. She is stuck with him and most likely loses to him in the end if they both get there. After the vote, Boston Rob said, “Tony’s a boss, man,” in the jury. And he got it exactly right.