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Now that’s how you go down swinging!  Too often, we see players leave the game with a whimper, or even taking some key information with them to their Survivor grave (Michaela was criticized for not outing Jay‘s Idol just a few weeks ago).  But not tonight.  An explosive Tribal Council culminated in a #SurvivorBomb being dropped, and when the smoke cleared, we were left with just 11 contestants left.

Let’s get through tonight’s episode, shall we?  It was another good one, and while this season can be called many things, “predictable” is not one of them.

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON FOR MORE, AND THIS IS YOUR LAST *SPOILER* WARNING!

Boom went the dynamite tonight, and it was “dumb surfer dude” Taylor on the receiving end.  Give it up to him though, because he left the game in impressive fashion, completely trying to blow up Adam‘s game.  Maybe Taylor was jacked up with energy from his stolen food, but he made a pretty convincing push at Tribal Council as to why they needed to get rid of Adam.  It may have been Taylor’s turn to go, but he did some pretty irreversible damage to Adam’s game, and we will surely see some lasting affects from this one as the season moves towards its conclusion.

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But it almost wasn’t Taylor, or Adam, who was going home tonight.  Instead it was…Jessica?  Sunday, who has been flying under the radar thus far but who definitely seems like a savvy player, brought up Jessica’s name and wanted her gone.  She thought she could use Jay‘s vote (she still can) to blindside Jessica since Sunday and Jessica really have not been able to get close to one another.  Apparently, some old cracks in the Gen-X tribe still exist, with Sunday, Bret and Chris on one side and Ken, Jessica and David on the other.  Time will tell if this non-move will get back to Jessica but I think it was clearly a bit too early for Sunday to be thinking of going after one of her own.  She has the numbers right now, and if Jay really is close to Sunday, she can always rope him in to try to get Jessica out soon.  Sunday will need to tread lightly, because now Bret and Chris know what she might be capable of.

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Information played a key role tonight, and knowing who to trust and who to stay loyal to.  The episode started off with Taylor and Adam agreeing to keep each other’s secret safe with them.  On one hand, Adam knew about Taylor’s hidden food stash, and for some dumb reason, Adam had shared with Taylor that he possesses a game advantage (the ability to steal a reward).  Once Taylor knew he was vulnerable at Tribal, he outed Adam’s advantage, but even went a bit further and told a white little lie, that Adam had shared in eating the food that was hidden (he did not).  Taylor’s strategy seemed to work, and like an animal backed into a corner, he was clawing and scratching and doing everything he could to shift attention on Adam.  It nearly worked.

The challenges weren’t all that compelling tonight, with the #RewardChallenge being a complete blow-out (the winners got to feast, or in Bret‘s case, get super drunk) and the #ImmunityChallenge was a test of concentration and balance, that wasn’t all that interesting despite the fact that I love that Ken won.  I don’t believe he spoke a word tonight, nor cracked a smile, he just showed up and dominated.  I like that guy.  The contestants were given a choice to sit the challenge out in exchange for food, and both Will and Zeke took Probst up on the offer.  A risky move, yes, and more so for Will, but both of them got to fill their bellies and both ended up safe this week.

At one point, Jay and Adam tried chatting in the water, but Adam does not have a graceful way with words and the conversation rubbed Jay the wrong way.  That would have been interesting had the two found a way to work together, as absolutely no one would have suspected such an alliance.

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Jay gambled big-time at Tribal by choosing to hand on to his Idol, and it was a bold move that ended up being a great one for Jay.  He retains his Idol instead of wasting it, so not only does he live to fight another day, he does so with an Idol intact.  That leaves Will quite vulnerable as the easy target next week, but from the looks of it, the Gen-Xers are about to fall apart.

And in a brief little segment, the show continued the narrative from last week that Hannah is really enjoying coming into her own and playing the game.  For a minute tonight, I thought they were showing a bit too much of Hannah, and I feared for her safety.  But who right now is gunning for Hannah?  If she can build a resume, she could be a wise sleeper pick to win this thing.

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Episode Take-Away:  I don’t think anyone is going to lose any sleep over the fact that Taylor was voted out, but even though he might have been the obvious boot headed into tonight’s ep, at least he put on a show at Tribal, one for the ages.  I think the development involving Sunday targeting Jessica is a big one, and one that will have serious repercussions moving forward.  Finally, the end is near for poor Adam, whose game quickly unraveled, much because of his own making.  He is now just blowing in the wind, but he does have an Idol and a game advantage, so even Adam can’t be written off just yet.

Strategic Move of the Week:  For me, this goes to Jay for his ballsy decision to not play his Idol.  He was a sitting duck down the road had he played it, and now he has a fighting chance.

Voted out this week:  Taylor

Won Immunity:  Ken

Vote:  7 – Taylor (Adam, Ken, David, Jay, Chris, Sunday, Zeke), 4 – Jay (Bret, Hannah, Will, Jessica), 1 – Adam (Taylor)

Next Week’s Episode:  Word gets out about Jay‘s Idol, while the Gen-Xers finally look to be imploding.  Join me back here next week and let’s do this all again, OK?

TELL US – ARE YOU HAPPY THAT TAYLOR WAS VOTED OUT?  WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON ADAM AND HIS GAME?  AND ARE YOU TEAM SUNDAY OR TEAM JESSICA?

Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets

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