On the last episode of Survivor: Kaoh Rong, Caleb (aka Beast Mode Cowboy) was evacuated after suffering a heat stroke and Alecia was booted from the Brawn tribe. Now the dynamics between tribes and individuals are about to shift on the verge of a tribe swap. Let’s see how they’re divided and who will become the first victim of the swap.

Back at Brains

Joe has a cut on his finger so Dr. Peter is on the job. He feels like he has no place in the game at this point so he’s going to pander as much as he needs to and try to convince his tribe members to keep him around.

Neal still considers Dr. Peter a cancer in the tribe though. He decides that it’s time to find the idol on the Brains beach specifically to keep it out of Peter’s hands. Maybe it’s because he’s a Brain or maybe we’re just seeing the edited/short version, but Neal has no problem finding the clue to the idol, the tool, the key, and then the idol itself. Easy peasy.

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The three tribes meet for the last time before Jeff tells them to drop their buffs. There are 13 people now and the numbers are uneven because of Caleb’s evacuation. So there will be six blue buffs, six yellow buffs and one red buff. The lone red will go back to Brawn beach where he/she will fend for his/herself for the next few days. The good news is he/she won’t have to go to Tribal Council no matter who loses immunity. The bad news is he/she will miss out on any chance to strategize.

The unfortunate “he/she” turns out to be Julia. In case you forgot, she’s the young blonde lady from the Beauty tribe. She says she’s going to be okay on her own but she is going to miss a chance to get to know her new tribe-mates.

All Good at Gondol

The new Gondol tribe is in yellow and they’re made up of Scot, Tai, Joe, Peter, Aubrey and Anna. Peter is especially is happy for the swap because he was dead in the water and now the Brains are in the majority at this tribe. He tells Joe and Aubrey they have to get rid of a Beauty if they lose because a Beauty (Julia) will be joining them next and they don’t want to give the Beauties a numbers advantage.

But Aubrey isn’t so convinced. She doesn’t trust Dr. Peter as far as she can throw him. She knows the risks of getting rid of anyone but a Beauty, but she hasn’t decided if she wants to keep working with Peter.

Scot knows he’s on the bottom here because he’s the only Brawn. He makes his pitch to get rid of a Beauty to the Brains, but at the same time develops a bit of a man-crush on Tai. Join the club, Scot.

Tai still misses his BFF Caleb, but he’s glad to have this opportunity to make new friends. But his old Beauty tribe-mate, Anna, realizes that she might be in trouble and is not afraid to throw Tai under the bus to make herself look better to the Brains if necessary. She tells them all how they caught him looking for an idol on Day One. Who knows if this strategy will work or if Tai is immune to being run over by the proverbial bus. Time will tell.

Chillin’ at Chan Loh

Neal, Debbie, Michele, Nick, Jason and Cydney are on the Chan Loh tribe and wearing blue buffs. Michele is bummed because she and her two other allies were sent in three different directions. But she’s ready to make some adjustments and some new alliances.

But Debbie is way ahead of her. She makes an instant connection with Cydney by telling her that not only is she strong, but she can tell that she is smart too. This not only appeals to Cydney’s ego, but it’s true too. She says she’s been playing the “dumb jock” part but she’s actually a student at an ivy league school too. She also says that she sees Debbie as being a motherly figure and that’s a relationship that appeals to her in the game.

Debbie also approaches Jason. She tells him that she wants to break up the Beauties and he agrees that he’s on board. Debbie thinks she’s got this thing on lock now. She says she’s a mastermind that no one sees coming, and I have to admit she’s played this pretty well, but overconfidence can be a detriment in this game too, so she should be careful. Especially since Jason is having side conversations with Beauty Nick too.

Nick claims he’s the most intelligent person on the island when it comes to manipulating people. And now Jason and Cyndey find themselves in a good position where both Beauty and Brains alliances are vying for their votes.

All By Herself

Poor Julia is all by her lonesome at the crappy Brawn camp. She’s dehydrated. She’s alone. She’s paranoid. Things are not going well for the youngest person (only 18!) in the game. All she can think about is what’s going on with the other tribes but all she can do is sit and wait. At least she has a shelter and flint, unlike ye old castaways of the Exile Island era.

Immunity Challenge

For the first immunity challenge as two tribes, the tribes are separated into three groups of two. Two of them swim to retrieve puzzle pieces, two of them untie them and hook them on a rod, and two of them solve the puzzle. First to finish wins.

Highlights of this challenge include Scot single-handedly dragging the puzzle pieces back to the beach for Gondol. Michele being a beast and untying knots to make up a lot of lost time for Chon Loh. And Neal picking up and spinning Debbie around when they beat Peter and Anna on the puzzle for a win for Chon Loh. Someone from Gondol is going home tonight.

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Beauties on Bottom

Dr. Peter takes responsibility back on the beach to pick tonight’s boot. He says it should be Anna because she’s more divisive and Tai is easier to get along with and a good provider for the tribe. Joe and Aubrey agree and they share the plan with Scot.

Tai knows it’s between him and Anna tonight but he doesn’t want to give up. He pulls Scot and Anna aside and tells them that he has the idol and wants to use it to deflect votes and vote out Peter. Of course Anna is all for this scenario since it saves her butt.

But this puts Scot in an interesting position. Suddenly he knows where two idols are in the game and he’s friends with both of their owners. Not only that, but the idol has superpowers when put together and he could be the one to facilitate that.

He tells Tai that he’s safe and that it’s probably in his best interest to hold onto the idol, but he doesn’t tell him about Jason’s idol. Having this information will only be good to him personally if he makes the merge, which isn’t a forgone conclusion at this point.

So now Tai doesn’t know what he’s going to do. He’d like to hold onto his idol if he doesn’t need it, but he also doesn’t want to get voted out with it in his pocket and he’s not sure if he can trust Scot. He says he’ll see how Tribal goes and go from there.

Tribal Council

Aubrey admits that the Brains are sticking together because having the majority is what makes sense at this point in the game. Scot knows he’s in the minority, but he’s also made strides in making relationships with his new tribe members.

Both Anna and Tai know it’s one of them tonight so they make their case to the tribe. Anna says she’s athletic and smart and Tai says he’s a hard worker and a provider. It also makes Tai sad (he has such a sweet, sensitive soul) to be arguing against his friend Anna. Unfortunately on Survivor, we can’t all just get along.

Of course Dr. Peter starts to pop off about how the Brains are in a position of power and the likelihood of one of them going home tonight is low. Because being that cocky at a Tribal Council really worked out so well for him in the past, I guess that’s a strategy he’s decided to stick with.

Lucky for him, Tai decides not to play his idol for Anna. She votes for Peter and the rest of the votes are for Anna. Even Tai’s! I’m sorry to see Anna go, but she’s a victim of the swap. Sometimes the luck just doesn’t swing your way in this game.

Next week: Gondol gets rid of one Beauty only to gain another, just like a hydra.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Gina Pusateri

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV