The Reward Challenge this week is a change of pace and dubbed the "Hero Challenge" where only one representative for each tribe competes. Either there was an agreement between the oldies or Joe just decided to take a day off, the participants are Terry Dietz, Andrew Savage, and Jeremy. The survivors have to race into the ocean to retrieve sandbags, then launch them off a plank high up onto a net. The sun is setting as the three guys wearily run in and out of the ocean to win some grub for their tribe. Jeff Probst's ultimate mancrush Savage wins reward for the starving and deteriorating Angkor tribe, who then get a barbecue set to feast on sausage and veggies. It seems like the second wind the tribe needs. Dietz comes in second to win a smaller barbeque set for Ta Kao. And Bayon leaves with nothing but frowns.
Angkor's brief respite from hunger is helpful and inspiring, but the tribe is still a mess. While Tasha is definitely riding high on flipping her spot on the tribe to become top dog, she quickly learns the consequences of becoming Abi-Maria's island babysitter. Abi's latest drama to complain about is that Woo has now voted for her twice which she believes is personal. In hindsight, Tasha wishes they voted out Varner for his actions at the last immunity challenge because he's not to be trusted.
Over at Bayon, Jeremy bonds with Stephen by pretending they're still searching for idols together, that way they can be allies and Jeremy will be tipped off one day when he's the target. Oh how I love when an idol actually remains a secret for a good future surprise. Spencer begins to make in-roads with the guys on the tribe and explains that while Spencer is a free agent, Kelly Wigglesworth is completely controlled by Jeff Varner, Woo, and Terry and therefore a better target. Monica, who suddenly gets air time, thinks Spencer is making this all up to save himself and instead wants to target Spencer should Bayon have to go to Tribal Council. The girl alliance dream is alive in Monica.
A pre-Survivor reading of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" has helped Kass improve her social game and be less of a Kasshole this time around. As Ta Keo sleeps under their shelter, Kass is wide awake crafting away. She's got string and some beads which she cut off torches and bags and sits alone stringing together what has to be a fake immunity idol. Kelley Wentworth goes to check in on Kass and is shoo-ed away, which doesn't help suspicion. Kass places her Krafts by Kass creation into one of the little tribe swap boxes and brings it over to Kelley. "Happy Belated Birthday!" Kass exclaims and gifts Kelley with a good luck charm for her birthday. Everyone admits they totally thought Kass was up to her old tricks. Nice Kass... what is happening?!
This week's Immunity Challenge is a Survivor classic, or at least now famous for giving a woman a bloody head wound. There's no air-lifting piece this season, instead one caller stands from high-above as they direct tribemates to retrieve giant Tetris pieces. Once all the pieces have been collected, the tribe will assemble a big cube puzzle. No surprise, this challenge is a mess. Ta Keo look like lost children with Terry flailing his arms and Keith constantly yelling that he can't hear caller Kass. They eventually employ the let-Joey-Amazing-do-nearly-everything strategy. And then everyone else is dropping and bumping into the heavy pieces. To the groin, to the stomach, to the leg. It's shocking there wasn't a legit broken bone at this challenge because it's obvious these heavy pieces were causing a lot of damage. Angkor has absolutely no strength or energy left in them and can't even complete the puzzle. The challenge ends with Bayon winning first place and Ta Keo finishing second.
It's another downer day for a bruised and exhausted Angkor. Varner dropped a puzzle piece on his foot and really injured his pinky toe. With a vote near, Tasha worries about losing grasp of Abi since relying on Abi has screwed over multiple people this season. Tasha and Savage agree Varner is cunning and a good schemer so he needs to go. Only problem: Abi won't shut up about Woo. She doesn't trust Woo since he's voted for her twice and she wants him gone. Woo tries to appeal to Abi, but she shuts him down. Tasha tries to talk sense into Abi, whose response is, "But Woo..." blah blah. Tasha rolls her eyes at Abi's stubbornness and realizes she could lose Abi to Varner quickly. Everyone bowing down to Abi's whims just to keep her as a number on their side. I wish another tribe would lose so we could see a different story play out on this show.
Tribal Council time! Varner hobbles in with a cane, so of course Probst asks about the injury and the brutal physical challenge that slaughtered the tribe. But he's interrupted by a big ass bug flying in, who is the season's second wildlife scene stealer besides the adorable baby monkey. Abi confirms at Tribal that the vote is between Woo and Varner, but she's torn between loyalty and winning challenges. When Savage brings up that in a merge situation having challenge winners around isn't a good thing, Woo defends himself and reminds them the merge is a long way off. Woo insists he's "ride or die" with his loyalty to this alliance, and Varner points out that Woo voted against that alliance last week. Varner pitches himself to the tribe so they'll see his value and loyalty, which of course includes sweet talking Abi about how he's so loyal to her and he'd never vote for her. Abi replies with a mix between a groan and a sigh. Woo doesn't bow down though and defends himself by throwing Varner's alliances with other old schoolers into the mix and that he could flip once they team up again. Probst is just stirring from excitement at the drive and fight the two players have to stay. Before voting, Woo gives one last plea to Abi that he promises loyalty to her and she responds, "Make sure you don't write Abi!" He doesn't. The Angkor tribe votes off scene-stealer Jeff Varner and his battered toe.
[All images credited to CBS]