Survivor: Monkeys & Zookeepers, Hot Pickles, and a Stick with a Face

Last week, Ami went slightly nuts and was sent home by the Favorites, who decided they would prefer to keep Erik around. Ozzy, who seems to think that this is his tribe, is well past due for a comeuppance. It's really too bad that Erik literally said that he is Ozzy's monkey (can't make this stuff up), because he and James are really the only ones who stand a chance at all of breaking his dominant streak in the physical challenges.

Jason and Eliza formed an alliance based on the fact that they both annoy people. He confided in her that he has the hidden Immunity Idol. Oh, really, Jason? Ya sure?

Merge, anyone? Everybody plotted to keep their alliances in order. Parvati coined the term "hot pickle." Dirty! The tribes met up for the traditional post-merge feast and flag painting. Which included traditional... bats. James dug right in.

It's a no-brainer that the merged tribe will live on the Malakal beach, which has more resources and a better beach. Erik totally won me over by making up a fake Micronesian word for the new tribe name, because he "wanted to name the tribe something funny."

At bedtime, Ozzy and Alexis snuggled right up. When she said she was happy Erik was still around, Ozzy said it was "basically [his] doing," and then proceeded to tell her she smelled good. Ew! I really hate Ozzy this time. Amanda was also not too pleased with this behavior, but directed her irritation at Alexis.

Jason decided to try to hide the "Immunity Idol" he found. How is he going to find it again? You know, since it's a STICK? The beach is littered with "Immunity Idols."

Eliza, who did not get a very satisfactory answer when she felt Parvati out about the old Favorites alliance, decided that she would need to strengthen her bond with Jason and the other Fans.

Parvati and Amanda, delighted to be reunited, reenacted a scene from Mean Girls as they gossiped about Eliza and the other players. Amanda did not appreciate Parvati arranging an alliance with her, Natalie, and Alexis without her input, however. We've all seen from China that Amanda is a shrewd player and not prone to blind loyalty. She'll seek out the alliance that is best for her, regardless of friendships.

Jason told Eliza that if he wins individual Immunity, he'll give her his Idol. She remarked how lucky she was to make an alliance with the one person who has the hidden Idol. Oh, the irony.

The challenge was the one from the first Exile Island season, with the cage and the tide coming in. Janu got a lot of crap for bailing out of this one really early, but I think I would find it kind of scary, too. Amanda, Parvati, and Alexis were the first three out (Alexis followed Parvati so closely that I think she just wanted to go hang out with her on the pontoon). Cirie, Natalie, Alexis, Erik and Eliza were next, leaving James, Jason, and Ozzy to battle it out. They all tried using their hands as makeshift snorkels. James was the first to give up doing that. Followed by Ozzy. Way to go, Jason! You may not be the sharpest machete in the jungle, but that was pretty impressive.

Parvati immediately began the push to get Eliza voted out, sounding exactly like the bitchy head cheerleader plotting against that one dorky girl on the squad who nobody likes. Eliza overheard and asked Jason for the hidden Immunity Idol, which he said he'd get. She knew immediately that it wasn't the real Idol. Poor, poor Jason had a hard time believing that it wasn't real: "It has a face on it, don't worry!" This is my favorite conversation from any episode of Survivor, ever! I didn't think anything could beat Jamie playing the blank tile in China, but I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Eliza, incredibly, decided to try to play it anyway. (Well, what does she have to lose?)

Tribal Council this week focused on Alexis, who Cirie says is a "triple threat" because she's strong mentally, socially, and physically. She didn't do so good with the social and mental when she referred to Eliza's game in the past tense, though. Jason, interestingly, said that he doesn't feel like he has "any alliances." Either he was trying to distance himself from the unpopular Eliza, or wanted to keep their alliance a secret. After voting, Eliza delivered the stick to Jeff, who informed her that it was not the real Idol. It's too bad Ozzy has been acting like such an ass, or I'd enjoy this more. At least Eliza outed Ozzy as the finder of the real Idol before getting her torch snuffed.

Next week: A travel reward gives some tribe members a good chance to plot against Ozzy. Just keep talking, Cirie, you'll convince theme eventually!

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Amy Kane spends as much quality time with her television as possible, when she's not busy at her day job as a cube dweller.