The moment many of us have spent several weeks waiting for is now upon us. We finally get the answer to what happens with the players on the Edge of Extinction. True to form for how this season has played out so far…it was an epic battle.
The scrolls let them know they will be battling each other and have the opportunity to use the fire tokens they accumulated to purchase advantages. Natalie used her four to buy an advantage and an idol. Amber gave Rob her token so that he could do the same. Tyson and the others only have one token or less, so advantages are all they can purchase, if anything.
The tribes all meet up for what they assume will be another Immunity/Reward challenge. They see that Yul was voted out at the last tribal and the mutterings of an old school sweep make me like them all even less. It’s once again time to drop buffs, and they are all unified under the black fabric of Koru. They can only revel in it for so long though, because the eleven will soon become twelve as the castaways from EOE emerge. It’s their challenge that will be played today and one of them will be back in the game.
The challenge is intense, and the players who were able to purchase the advantage have a distinct leg up on their counterparts. It spares them a deep dig for a pouch containing string that will be used to tie sticks together into a pole. The pole will then be used to retrieve a key that will grant them access through a gate to one of the most difficult tests of skill and patience I’ve seen so far.
The only ones who really seem in contention by the time they reach the ball and snake are Natalie, Tyson, Rob, Yul, and Ethan. This isn’t going to be any sort of one and done attempt. It takes some precision maneuvering to keep the ball on the curved timber without allowing it to fall through any gaps. Everyone is struggling, and at the finish it’s Rob and Tyson who are neck and neck. Tyson’s ball is the one that ekes through first and he’s back in the game. It seems that buying that peanut butter really paid off.
Koru will set up camp at Sele’s former beach, and it’s decked out with a feast honoring the merge. Denise is instantly a focal point for many as she regales them with her tale of snuffing out Sandra’s torch. They dubbed her the Queenslayer, but it may come at a price. The spotlight is shining intensely on her now and she’s the first evictee on the lips of several players.
Rain pounds down on them and we’re finally starting to see the game take its toll. The challenge must go on, rain or shine though, and it’s a classic. The pole sitting (or more like clinging) challenge. Nothing separates the tough from the weak quite like holding on to a rain-slickened post while you’re convulsing from cold. There’s safety for two to be had if they can hang on: one male, and one female. Added to the immunity necklace is also a cash prize..one fire token.
Not much time elapses before they’re dropping like flies. Starting it off with a literal bang, or more aptly a crunch, was Michele as she fell hard. She denied Jeff’s offer for a medic and stayed on the ground until Adam fell next and helped her to the bench. The women’s chance at immunity was down to Denise and Kim, and this was one of the few times where being tiny paid off. Denise clinched it and was safe and one token richer.
The guys’ battle didn’t last much longer. That came down to a stare down while holding on tightly between Nick and Jeremy. Jeremy already has Nick in his sights so he can become Wendell’s number one. He doesn’t miss out on the opportunity either, because while hanging in by a toe, he outlasted Nick and earned his necklace and token.
Jeremy wants to control the game without being seen as someone holding the reins and works at getting everyone on board with his plan to oust Nick. It doesn’t go smoothly, however, as other tribe members are more anxious to get rid of Wendell. Jeremy tries to change gears altogether when he sees his potential number one might be in danger and tries to shift the camp towards a vote for Adam to keep Wendell safe.
Adam continues his spiral into the eddy of paranoia, only when they’re really coming for you, you’re technically not being paranoid. He even gets teary-eyed in an interview and it makes it crystal clear that this game is as mentally taxing as is it physically.
It’s time to vote and it really seems unclear what direction it will go. Despite probing by Probst, I’m still unsure who will be the next resident of EOE as they begin to write names down. In the end, I was as blindsided as Wendell when he got the boot. Unlike Wendell though, I was overjoyed and felt a great swell of satisfaction on behalf of my original pick Yul.
Next week it looks like Nick is wanting to finally play instead of riding coattails. Will he pull it off, or will he wind up next to Wendell on the jury bench. I hope you’ll tune in with me to find out!