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After a dramatic tribal council to end last episode that saw JT turn on his alliance with Amanda, Rupert and James, this week began with the emotional reactions from the Heroes tribe, post-tribal council. JT was immediately on his heels, telling anyone who would listen that his vote was one to strengthen the tribe, not for personal game. JT spent the bulk of the evening trying to convince Amanda, Rupert and James that he felt Cirie had to go because she was so dangerous and that he was still on their side.
The reward challenge this week was another redo from last season, Survivor: Samoa, as the two tribes had to split into groups of three and alternate between retrieving balls in a bit to give to their teammates to shoot at the opponents goal. Before either tribe scores a single point, James collapses to the ground while trying to go for a rebound, seemingly jostling for position with Russell. The game is immediately stopped and James is removed from the challenge and diagnosed with some sort of knee sprain and given a brace for his unstable knee.
The Heroes are forced to continue the challenge playing five on six, which meant that when Tom and Amanda were in the pit retrieving balls, they would be out numbered, three to two. Initially, this did not seem to matter as the Heroes scored the first point, but the Villains would tie the game up after the first rotation and then take advantage of Tom and Amanda’s handicap and score the second and deciding point to give the Villains another victory.
For their efforts, the Villains were whisked away to feast of chocolate and a relaxing swim in a pool of cool ocean water forty feet deep in the ground. After gorging themselves on chocolate, the tribe goes for a swim, but Russell and Parvati stay top-side and Russell reveals to her that he’s found the immunity idol. Russell confides in her that he’d like the use the power of the idol to get numbers on their side and eliminate Boston Rob at his first opportunity. Subsequently, he blows over Coach by revealing the idol and he immediately professes his allegiance to Russell.
Another disappointing loss has the Heroes back at camp wondering if James will be allowed to return to the game after suffering a debilitating knee injury. Though the team expresses concern and doubt that James will be able to return, eventually he is seen hobbling back in to camp with an immobilizing brace on his knee. Immediately Candice goes on the war path suggesting that James has to be the next person voted out because he is “a lot of dead weight” while injured.
The immunity challenge is a Survivor: All-Stars redo, a challenge a whopping four current survivors have competed in ten seasons ago. The tribes break off into blind folded to pairs to retrieve large, heavy puzzle pieces while guided by a tribe mate caller. Despite his injury, James competes in the challenge as the caller and does an admirable job giving the Heroes the lead by guiding his tribe mates to collect the pieces faster than the Villains. However, as all of the puzzle challenges have gone so far, the Villains quickly erase their deficit and come back, once again, to defeat the Heroes and send them to tribal council.
Back at the Heroes camp, the debate rages between whether to vote for the good of the tribe and get rid of James or to stay with alliances and get rid of Tom. Candice, Colby and Tom lead the charge to vote off James, while Amanda, Rupert and James lobby for Tom’s ouster. This leaves JT in the middle, having to choose between what he calls the logical choice and his alliance choice. After voting at tribal council, JT is visibly torn by his choice, but ultimately goes with his alliance and votes out Tom.