Orkun splits into two teams for the Reward Challenge, which is an obstacle course in the midst of another rainy Cambodian day. There's a crapload of tasks in this challenge including a staircase of poles, a maze, a slide (sadly not the Double Dare Sundae Slide), navigating a key around ropes, and of course... a puzzle. The prize on the line is a Spa Day with massages and "spa food" (just say sandwiches Probst, jeez) and there's nothing more I'd like to see than Keith Nale enjoy a Survivor-style massage again. The purple tribe of Joe, Spencer, Stephen, and Tasha win their day of spa food and showers. If your dream is Joe and that manbun of his taking a shower in a public stall, I'm sure this is your favorite episode of the season. Ciera uses it as an opportunity to talk strategy with the group and try to make in-roads with the dominant alliance, pointing out that Jeremy and Kelly Wiglesworth are guaranteed to win the game if they make it to the finals.
Stephen is scheming and wants his main threats out of the game, which include the top-knot duo of Joe and Kelly Wiglesworth. Knowing he needs to make moves to win this time, Stephen reaches out to a new possible voting bloc: the Three Witches. The girls are willing to vote out whoever Stephen wants if it saves them. Things are really looking up for Stephen after he outswims Spencer in the Immunity Challenge to win himself a huge advantage in the game. The advantage allows Stephen to steal another person's vote at Tribal Council, allowing Stephen to cast two votes and one person gets no vote at all. Last year had a similar flop of an advantage, but in the hands of a gamer like Stephen this could be a crazy, game-changing twist.
But OF COURSE Joe wins immunity for the third time in a row after balancing the longest on a triangle pedastal, which thwarts the secret plans to dump the golden boy. The big Bayon group plans to split their votes between Wentworth and Ciera to make the obvious move of picking off the Witches AKA boring TV. With Joe immune, Stephen turns the target on Kelly Wiglesworth who, despite having many 11 minutes of airtime total this season (and I'm being generous), is social with everyone and a threat to win. The Witches are on board, but Stephen has to convince a hesistant Jeremy and Spencer to join in on this risky plan.
Tribal Council time! The torrential rain is crushing everyone's moods, soaking wet and hungry. The rainy season is here and really testing the survival aspect of the game (#OldSchool, amirite?) Wentworth talks about playing her idol and how she hopes it inspires others to change up their game and make some moves. Cue up the buzz word of the night, as Jeremy explains voting blocs being more important than one big alliance. Stephen elaborates more on the evolution of the game, but Tasha pipes in that the voting bloc with the strongest alliance will win the game. When Probst asks who is actually worried at this Tribal Council, it's very telling who is feeling comfortable: Keith, Kimmi, Wiglesworth, and Jeremy don't raise their hands. The tribe votes and a soaking wet Probst, just ripe for a romance novel cover, reads the votes. It's Wentworth/Ciera split as predicted, until the Wiglesworth votes come pouring out. Kelly Wiglesworth, the original Survivor runner-up, is totally blindsided and eliminated from the game. Another shake-up towards total tribal chaos. I'm in!
[All images credited to CBS]