The post-merge of this season has been the story of Tai’s struggle with the dark side. He has aligned with the two most unruly players in the game, Scot, and Jason and the three of them have been successfully causing chaos for their fellow tribemates. At the last tribal council, the three guys revealed that they are in possession of both hidden immunity idols. The alliance of Cydney, Michele, Aubry, Julia and Joe were forced to target Debbie to avoid the consequences of one of the guys playing an idol. When the tribe gets back to camp, Tai returns the idol to Jason’s possession and the three guys celebrate surviving another week in the game. Their tactic of causing trouble has bought them a little more time. With Julia on their side, they plan on targeting Cydney and using the “Super Idol” to protect themselves from elimination in the future.
The next day Tai attempts to make peace at camp. Scot admits that he is open to extending an olive branch to the rest of the tribe, but he wants some assurances from Aubry. He tells Aubry there will be peace at camp if Aubry agrees to help the guys vote out Cydney. Aubry allows Scot to believe she will consider voting out Cydney but she is secretly biding her time until she can make a move against him.
Probst presents a dilemma to the tribe when they arrive at the award challenge. He offers them the chance to compete for food, love letters from home or an advantage in the game. The catch is that each tribe member can only choose to compete for one reward. That means the challenge will have three winners. Julia easily beats Joe in the challenge for the love letter from home. Michele emerges victorious in the battle for food against Scot and Jason. The main event of the challenge is the battle for the advantage in the game. Cydney, Tai, and Aubry are very strong in this challenge, lasting longer than all the rest of the competitors. Ultimately it’s a showdown between Tai and Aubry and after many long minutes, Tai wins the advantage in the game.
Tai’s secret advantage in the game is that he will have the ability to cast two votes at the tribal council of his choosing until there are five people left in the game. The advantage, as well as the immunity idol, puts an even bigger target on Tai’s head. Julia comes up with the plan to flush out Tai’s idol. Knowing that Scot, Tai, and Jason all plan on voting for Cydney, her goal is to spook Tai into playing his immunity idol. Julia tells Aubry and Michele that the worst case scenario is that Tai will play his idol and Cydney will go home which isn’t so bad from Julia’s point of view at least. If Tai doesn’t play the hidden immunity idol, he will go home with it still in his possession. Aubry respects Julia’s plan but she secretly doesn’t trust her. She has no problem turning on Julia when the time is right.
On day 27, Aubry makes an attempt to bond with Tai on a personal level. She can tell that Tai is morally conflicted about working with Jason and Scot. Aubry is open to working with Tai in the game and he is excited about being able to include her in his alliance. But when he approaches Scot and Jason with the idea of teaming up with Aubry, Scot quickly shoots it down. Scott thinks targeting Aubry rather than Cydney is a better move. After all, Aubry has proven that she is very savvy when it comes to the game. This is the complete opposite of what Tai is trying to accomplish and he’s disheartened when they don’t really take his plan into consideration. Scot doesn’t even notice that Tai is starting to feel like an outsider in their alliance. He and Jason are focused on making sure Aubry doesn’t win immunity so they can send her home.
The Immunity Challenge
The immunity challenge is an endurance competition that tests the tribe’s physical strength and stamina. Once again, Joe is the first person out of the challenge. After 25 minutes, the challenge begins to take its toll on the rest of the tribe. Scot and Julia are both eliminated followed by Tai and Michele. 45 minutes into the challenge Cydney drops out, once again leaving Aubry left in another showdown as the last woman standing. This time, she is competing one-on-one against Jason. Jason and Aubry both writhe in pain as they try to outlast one another. After over an hour and fifteen minutes, Jason defeats Aubry and wins individual immunity.
Aubry’s impressive challenge performance has not gone unnoticed by her fellow tribemates. Her strength in the challenges makes her a huge threat to Scot and Jason, so they are very happy she didn’t win immunity; they plan on voting her out the first time they get a chance. Julia who has been playing both sides of the tribe against each other, tells Scot and Jason about her plan to flush out Tai’s immunity idol. The guys don’t mind because the Super Idol will keep them safe for another round. Scot and Jason offer Julia a spot as the third member of their alliance. They would rather sit next to Julia at the final tribal council than Tai. Aubry and Cydney have been becoming a close duo since the merge. They know they cannot trust Julia so they devise a plan to target Scot instead but first, they have to get Tai to vote with them. Knowing that Tai has not been completely happy with the way Scot and Jason have been playing the game, Aubry approaches him with the opportunity to switch sides. Tai is torn between going with his morals and staying with the guys who he has a better chance of beating. Before the tribal council, as a sign of trust, Jason gives Scot the hidden immunity idol. With Tai, Jason and Scot each armed with an immunity idol, they feel like they will be protected no matter what happens.
At tribal council, the tribe discusses Tai, Scot, and Jason’s antics during the last tribal council. Scot and Jason tell Probst that this tribal council will be very similar to the last one. Because of the protection of the immunity idols, Scot, Tai and Jason should all be safe. Cydney is nervous that she could be the one eliminated but she suggest the rest of the tribe should target the challenge treats like Jason and Tai. Unfortunately for Cydney, Jason is immune and Tai has an idol. Scot and Jason even point out that Cydney’s main ally Aubry is one of the biggest challenge threats. Jason offers the women and Joe one more chance to join their alliance before the castaways have to submit their votes.
Probst gives the tribe a chance to play a hidden immunity idol if they so choose. Julia repeatedly whispers for Tai to play his idol but Scot tells him to hold onto it. Tai listens to Scot and does not play the idol. When Probst reads the votes, it turns out Julia and Michele were the only two people to vote for Tai. Aubry receives two votes from Jason and Scot. Scot receives all the rest of the votes but he doesn’t move when Probst announces that he has been voted out of the game. Instead, he waits for Tai to use the Super Idol for him. After a few awkward moments, it’s clear that Tai has betrayed his alliance and will not be using the Super Idol to save Scot. Scot’s torch is snuffed and he is voted out of the game with Jason’s hidden immunity idol in his pocket.