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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mixing It Up Survivor-Style!

Mixing It Up Survivor-Style!

Erik was torn between the women and the men tonight/ Erik Huffman by Monty Brinton/CBSEpisode Recap: "Love is in the Air"

This was perhaps the best episode of the season so far. It was filled with backstabbing and betrayal, yet it still had some humorous moments and great strategy. By the end, you weren’t quite sure who was going home.

It all started with a reshuffling of the tribes. The two strongest from each side, as chosen by the individual tribes, were swapped. How funny was it that Fei Long immediately caught on to what was happening while Zhan Hu just assumed that they were going to get two extra members? That’s called wishful thinking. In the end, Sherea and Frosti traded places with James and Aaron.

What is it with Aaron and his fixation on the merge? Every stinking move he makes is based on what the landscape will be once there is only one tribe. The thing is, Aaron, you have to make the merge. As soon as he got to Zhan Hu, the guy was in the water with Erik, Jaimie and Peih Gee throwing James under the bus. If I were Zhan Hu, I wouldn’t trust Aaron at all no matter how good looking he is – according to Peih Gee, it’s the attractive ones who go far.

Even with that philosophy, Peih Gee was all too eager to get rid of the new arrivals. Clearly: while Dave was bossing people around, she was in the woods reading The Art of War. Peih Gee devised a plan to throw the immunity challenge and vote out the two strongest players in the entire game, so that come the merge nobody would be at the mercy of these guys. I have to admit that was rather clever. It reminded me of Nakomis’ original back-dooring strategy in Big Brother, which got Jase out of the house. I’m not sure a move like that has been played on Survivor before.

The only problem was with the execution. Peih Gee and Jaimie so blatantly threw the puzzle part of the challenge that Jeff had to call them out on it at tribal council. (You know how Jeff hates it when people don’t put their all into the game, even if it’s a planned maneuver.) I’m so glad he did, though, because James’ reaction was hilarious. First off, the man cannot conceive of purposefully losing, so of course it would never occur to him that the women had done so. His ranting about their giggling and about Peih Gee discussing Soduku during the challenge was priceless. As was his face at tribal council when Jaimie admitted their crime.

Was it fair that Jeff interfered that much in the game? Should he be allowed to interfere with a player’s strategy like that? It’s a moot point now, and honestly I don’t mind it that much. Jeff’s as much a part of the game as the hidden immunity idol. A part of me was almost hoping that the guys would turn it around and vote Peih Gee off the island. The funniest aspect of this whole scenario was that Aaron — who was so confident that he’d made a place for himself and secured his future — was the one voted out. Let that be a lesson to Peih Gee, who by now should realize that she needs to watch her closest ally Jaimie, because Jaimie’s closest ally is Erik — and their voting block is what got Aaron kicked out instead of James, as Peih Gee had planned.

Over at Fei Long, Sherea and Frosti soon discovered that Jean-Robert was the odd-man-out. Despite his trying to be proactive by rising early, cooking breakfast and issuing orders, the rest of his original tribe set that situation straight. Fingers crossed that Frosti can manage to avoid the curse of the switched tribe member.

Now who here among the viewers was surprised that Fei Long viewed Sherea as a strong player? Enough to swipe her from Zhan Hu? That woman has dodged a bullet. We’ll have to see if she actually does make more of an effort at this new camp, as she mentioned. And when she gets a moment, I’d like her to explain where she got that brand spanking new bikini. I mean – thank God!, because that dress was looking pretty stinky — but still, the bikini appeared out of nowhere in all of its day-glo blueness.

Denise was also sporting some new togs in the form of a rather grandmotherly floral swimsuit. Hey, it was better than that I-escaped-from-prison looking oversized T-shirt and matching unflattering shorts. I need to say though that I really like Denise. This woman has some backbone to her, and she’s using it against Jean-Robert in many a tossed-off comment.

So there you have it. James, Frosti and Sherea are still in the game. Peih Gee is making waves. Jean-Robert continues to be a solo act, and the rest are all working the angles. Here’s looking forward to next week!

For more Survivor: China check out our Online Video Guide.

To get all the latest dish on Survivor, tune into TV Guide Network's Watercooler; October 19 at 8pm/ET.

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