After voting Anna out of the game, the Gondol tribe heads back to camp. Tai had the chance to save Anna using his hidden immunity idol but Scot was able to convince him to hold onto it. Since the tribes have swapped, Peter has been considering making a move against his former Brains tribe alliance. Ever since the Brains tribe voted out his ally Liz, he’s been biding his time for the chance to better his position in the game. He approaches Tai and pitches the idea to eliminate Joe if the Gondol tribe loses the next immunity challenge.
It’s day 14 at Chan Loh and Nick says that he is nervous about his position in the game so he wants to build some relationships with his new tribemates. He sets his sights on befriending Debbie who is enamored by his good looks. She even refers to Nick as a Greek God who has a future in modeling. Of course, Debbie is the expert on models because she herself has modeled off and on for years. Although, Debbie may or may not have a crush on Nick, she says his looks will have no effect on her strategy to make it to the merge. The clue to the next reward challenge says that the tribes will release buoys from the ocean floor and throw them into baskets like a game of basketball. The tribe knows they will have their work cut out for them considering the Gondol tribe has the advantage of having a former professional basketball player (Scot) shooting for them. But they have their own secret weapon in Nick who played basketball in high school. Nick says he doesn’t expect to win but he also doesn’t plan on going down without a fight.
Michele looks discouraged at the reward challenge when she sees her closest ally, Anna, has been voted out of the Gondol tribe. The only silver lining is that Julia, Michele’s other ally has come back into the game in Anna’s place. The reward challenge begins with one castaway from each tribe diving into the ocean to release the buoys from the bottom of the ocean. Once the tribes transport the buoys to the beach, Nick and Scot will be there to shoot them into the baskets from their respective teams. The winning tribe will win a survivor picnic.
The challenge starts with Michele and Aubry diving into the water to untie the knots to release the buoys. Aubry gets the early lead for the Gondol tribe when Michele struggles to untie her knots. Gondol gets to the beach with a sizable lead and Scot is able to take a few shots at the baskets. It seems like years of retirement have made Scot a little rusty because Nick is able to catch up and surpass him. But Scot’s experience pays off in the end when and he’s able to make a come from behind victory in the clutch. The Gondol tribe takes their picnic food back to camp and the Chan Loh tribe has to go back to camp empty handed.
Julia is happy to be able to be a part the Gondol tribe after the award challenge victory. She’s spent several days on the Brawn beach alone and is now tasked with getting in good with her new tribemates. She had to start from scratch, introducing herself to people and forming bonds and alliances. Peter is happy Julia took Anna’s place in the tribe because he feels like she will be much easier to work with. He tells her that he would like to target Joe and Aubry. Julia wisely agrees to work with Peter because she needs to save herself for one more week. Joe and Aubry watch from a distance as Peter plots against them. Aubry would prefer to vote out Julia first but Peter’s desperation is making it difficult for her to trust him; she’s seriously considering whether it might be a good time to vote out Peter instead.
At the Chan Loh camp, Debbie congratulates her tribemates on a valiant effort in the award challenge. Even with most of the tribe remaining in high spirits, Michele looks crestfallen. On top of the fact that her closest ally was voted out of the game, she feels like she might be the next to go for blowing the reward challenge. She knows she needs to step up her social skills to stay in the tribe’s good graces so she approaches Debbie. Debbie tells Michele she plans to target Jason if the tribe is to lose the next immunity challenge. When Michele approaches her former Beauty tribemate, Nick with the plan he quickly shoots her down. Nick tells her no matter what Debbie may have said to her, she, Michelle is still the target. Michele isn’t comfortable with Nick’s condescending tone toward her but Nick seems oblivious to her feelings. He feels like it’s his job in the game to take Michele under his wing and coach her through the game to keep her from being manipulated by anyone else. Michele is fine letting Nick believe she’s helpless until it’s time for her to make a move.
On Day 16 Peter continues his campaign to target Joe and Aubry by approaching Scot. Joe finally decides to confront Peter about his scheming. He puts his FBI interrogation techniques to use and corners Peter on the beach where he asks him point blank if Peter has been scheming to take him out. Peter denies ever plotting against Joe but the retired FBI agent can see right through Peter’s lies. Joe has made up his mind that he will be voting out Peter at the next tribal council.
The Immunity Challenge is another obstacle course. Both tribes make pretty good time through the course but Gondol has a lead going into the final stage of the challenge. The tribes have to stack a tower of blocks over ten feet high. The task is much harder than it looks and some of the blocks fall from the stack. One block even hits Joe in the forehead causing blood to drip down his face. The Chan Loh tribe ends up making up a lot of time with a better block stacking strategy and wins immunity for the second week in a row.
Peter was the architect of the block stacking strategy but Aubry still doesn’t know if she wants to vote him out of the tribe. She tells Joe to make amends with Peter because the two of them still need Peter to vote with them so that they can stay in the majority. Joe extends the olive branch and Peter decides his best move will be to stick with his Brains tribe alliance. So when Scot approaches Peter to make sure they are still aligned to take out Joe or Aubry, Peter quickly shoots him down. Scot tells Julia and Tai that Peter has gone back on his word so Julia has to come up with a way to save herself. They decide to target Peter with the hopes that Aubry or Joe would be willing to turn on him. Aubry was well aware that Peter had been trying to get Joe voted out of the game but she was actually pretty surprised to hear from Julia that Peter had also thrown her under the bus. Tai and Scot know that voting out Peter may not be an option so they have to consider voting out Julia, just to survive another week in the game.
Aubry tells Joe that she is considering switching her vote at the last minute but Joe already has his mind made up. He doesn’t want to confuse things by changing the target again. Joe assures Aubry that he will be voting to eliminate Julia no matter what.
Probst asks Julia about her struggles being the newest member of the tribe and she tells him that the tribe seems to be split down the middle. The question of the tribal council is whether or not the Brains alliance will be sticking together or forming different alliances. Peter takes the blame for losing the immunity challenge and Aubry points out that he hasn’t been very trustworthy lately. Julia even says that Peter approached her when she first arrived on the beach to talk about strategy. While Probst questioned the tribe about different strategies for this elimination, many of the castaways whisper amongst themselves to make a decision on who they would be voting off. Scot whispers Peters name to Aubry and audibly tells Julia to go with the “original plan”. Aubry looks at Joe for confirmation and he reiterates quietly that he’ll be voting for Julia. But soon the tribe runs out of time to make their decision and they have to place their votes.
Tai, Julia, and Scot all vote for Peter. Aubry voted for Julia at first, but crossed out Julia’s name and wrote Peter before submitting her vote. Peter’s constant scheming was just too much for Aubry to deal with so she changed her mind about keeping him. With a 4-2 vote, Julia was spared and Peter was voted out of the game.