The blindsiding of Kelly Wiglesworth in episode 9 of "Survivor: Second Chance" sent a clear message -- this is a new game and alliances have gone out the window in favor of the Stephen Fishbach-coined "voting blocks." Would that change in episode 10?
When the tribe gets back to camp after episode 9's tribal council, Tasha and Joe are not too happy with their so-called alliance leaving them out of the loop with the Kelley blindside. Tasha seems willing to give Jeremy and co. another chance, but Joe is nervous. He tells the cameras that he feels he needs to win the next immunity challenge to feel safe.
Rain, Rain Go Away
The rain that started in episode 9's tribal council is not going anywhere and it is making life at tribal council miserable. Plus, Ciera points out that it is making strategizing hard for those on the bottom of the tribe's totem pole because with the weather, the tribe is huddled up in the shelter and no one has an opportunity to have a private conversation to talk gameplay.
In the first reward challenge of the episode, the tribes split into two teams -- the green team of Kelley, Stephen, Jeremy, Kimmi and Keith vs. the purple team of Tasha, Abi, Joe, Ciera and Spencer. The two teams have to take turns sending three players each to fight for a ball in the water and then get it into a basketball-style net. The first team to three points wins and with a respite from the rain at stake -- reward is a hot meal underneath a roof with a Cambodia carnival as entertainment -- the teams appear about willing to kill each other to win. If there has been a more violent "Survivor" challenge it has been awhile. There is biting, pushing and even some punching in the water as the teams wrestle for the ball. In many cases, one castaway would ignore the ball completely to subdue one of the other team's more physical players, such as Joe and Jeremy. The war of contrition finally ends when Tasha breaks free from Kimmi to score the third and final point for the purple team and win reward.
The Plot Thickens
As the winning castaways enjoy their lunch, Ciera gets emotional watching the Cambodian kids during the carnival performance and starts to cry thinking about her own family. However, soon, she is ready to talk strategy and the group of five make a pact to blindside Stephen together at the next tribal council. The consensus is that he is the most dangerous player in the game considering he has the advantage. This has truly become a post-alliance, "voting block" game.
Meanwhile, Stephen and the rest of the reward losers pout back at camp about Joe's continued dominance in challenges. They plot to knock him out of the game of he loses immunity.
That night the rain picks up yet again and to make matters worse, Stephen is having stomach problems and needs to constantly head out into the storm to go to the bathroom. He is struggling and fears his body is breaking down, breaking down in tears in a camera confessional. The next day he tells Jeff that the night was low for him not just in the game of "Survivor, but in his life.
In the first immunity challenge of the episode, the castaways have to balance on a peg while balance a ball against a hanging platform with only a wooden roller. However, Jeff says he has an offer first -- a construction crew is waiting back at the camp.
"We will waterproof the roof. We will get your fire going in the center. It will be covered," he tells the now wide-eyed players.
There is just one catch.
"I want five people to give up their shot at immunity in this challenge."
That is a high price to pay, but when it is time to make the choice -- by simultaneously holding out either a white or black rock -- only Joe and Keith opt to compete in the challenge. So, the tribe gets their new and undoubtedly needed shelter, but it comes at the expense of Joe easily winning his fourth straight individual immunity challenge with only Keith as to compete against him.
Tribal Council 1.0
When the tribe gets back to camp, the tribe is divided between the five who agreed to blindside Stephen and Stephen's plan for the so-called majority alliance to vote out Ciera. Spencer is still feeling pretty good about voting out Stephen and tries to bring Jeremy into the plan. However, Jeremy is not thrilled with the idea. He trusts Stephen and thinks Ciera is too dangerous. There is a lot of dissent as the tribe heads to tribal council, but when the votes are tallied, Stephen has the votes to go home. Hold on, though. In a shocking play, Jeremy plays one of his hidden immunity idols for Stephen and it is Ciera who becomes the tenth person voted out and the eleventh person out of the game.
When the tribe gets back to camp, Stephen is elated and pledges some serious loyalty to Jeremy -- rightly so! However, Spencer is not as happy. He feels lied to and, even though Jeremy assures Spencer he would have done the same thing to save him, Spencer starts to think it might be time to jump ship in this "alliance."
In the first individual reward challenge of the season, the castaways have to race around to a series of stations answering multiple choice questions about a story Jeff tells about an ancient Cambodian King. They had to collect the right answers and turn them in for gold medallions. The first to collect all five medallions wins. Spencer comes within one medallion of winning, but it is Stephen who finishes first to take reward. He gets to pick two people to come with him on a trip to poolside cocktail retreat and he chooses Tasha -- to repair that alliance -- and Jeremy -- whom he owes for that hidden immunity idol threat. Spencer takes the selections as a clear signal of where Stephen's loyalties lie.
Also, Kelley is fortuitous enough to find a clue to the new hidden immunity idol attached to one of her answers. She later uses the clue to find the idol under the shelter, which requires some patience -- for everyone else at the tribe to leave to give her a window -- and stealth -- to get it out before they come back. She goes full secret agent and retrieves the idol while most of the players are out fishing.
The second immunity challenge of the episode requires the castaways to untie a net of blocks and a flag and then build a three-level tower with the blocks ... using only their feet. Joe takes an early lead and gets very close to completing his tower, but he slips up and knocks a few of his blocks down, evening the game. That gives Spencer the chance to come from behind and make it a nail biter. Spencer expertly places his flag on top of the tower and becomes the first person not named Joe to win an individual immunity challenge.
Tribal Council 2.0
It would seem the tribe's decision is simple -- vote out Joe while they can. However, Kelley has other plans. She, along with Spencer, Kimmi, Joe, Abi and Keith decided to blindside Stephen while he was on the reward with Jeremy and Tasha. Then, out of nowhere Abi decides that everybody is lying to her and starts advertising her vote as a game time decision between Joe and Stephen. That throws a wrench in Kelley and Spencer's plan. All the pandemonium has Stephen debating playing his advantage since he is worried that Joe may have an idol. The tribe heads to tribal council with a lot up in the air.
The talk from Stephen and Tasha at tribal council is that the voting block strategy is over. It is time for smaller groups to get serious about forming alliances that could get them to the end. They do not believe a blindside is coming. To make sure, Stephen plays his advantage and steals Joe's vote. He uses his vote to vote for Joe and uses Joe's to vote for Abi in case Joe has a hidden immunity idol. However, it is still not enough. Stephen and Jeremy's paranoia that Joe had an idol comes back to bite him. When all the votes are tallied, Stephen becomes the eleventh person voted out and the twelfth person out of the game.