Dalton Ross
April 28, 2016 AT 03:51 PM EDT

I’m confused. Did we just watch a one-hour confessional interview with Jason, or was it his same short interview just replayed on a continuous loop over and over again? Because with the exception of a few challenges, every time I looked up at my TV screen I saw the exact same thing: Jason lamenting his situation in the game. Over and over again. And then again after that.

It went a little something like this: “Man, it sucks. I lost my partner and my idol at the same moment. It’s looking pretty bleak right now. But I won’t give up. Just got to find a way in. Need to find a crack in the alliance. It’s gonna be tough, but I won’t give up. It’s do or die time! But I won’t die without a fight, because I don’t know if I mentioned this yet or not, but I won’t give up. Never. Ever. Totally going to keep fighting. I just need to find a crack in that alliance. Because I lost my partner and my idol at the same moment. Which sucks.”

Basically, that was the entire episode. We were hammered with so many expository confessionals of Jason describing the basic parameters of his condition in the game that I started to figure that we as the audience were being fattened up for the inevitable pecking-order-flip-flop-blindside. After all, last week all we heard was how insanely overconfident Jason was, only to then see his alliance blindsided. This was starting to feel like the opposite scenario, where we are pounded over the head for 40 minutes hearing what trouble he is in with his last ditch effort to pull things out, only to see that last ditch effort play out as #Blindside appeared on the lower left corner of our screen.

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But alas, it was not meant to be. Jason survived, but only because the majority decided to take out double-dealing Julia instead. Did Cydney and Michele make the right move in not flipping? I say yes, and I’ll explain why a little later. And we’ll also get into one very debatable move by Aubry at Tribal Council that was not as forward thinking as it should have been. But that is all in due time. Let’s go ahead and start at the very top.


Scot is gone! And so is Jason’s idol! The rest of the tribe get back to camp and start celebrating like Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz parading around after a big house fell on the Wicked Witch of the East. Aubry and Tai start smothering each other in kisses. (Tai may have been smooching Aubry, but we all know he was secretly picturing Caleb. Or Mark the chicken. Or both.)

For his part, Jason does a good job of keeping his cool while also pointing out to Julia and Michele that “You can’t get rid of him now. You’ll never get rid of Tai.” He may be right. With an immunity idol and an extra vote advantage, Tai is in a pretty sweet spot. But he needs to make sure his social game is on point to keep that target that goes along with such advantages as small as possible. While out-of-the-loop Jason, Julia, and Michele have an invitation-only pity party by the shelter, Aubry, Cydney, and Tai continue to celebrate. “From now on, there will not be a blindside,” says Tai, practically begging to be blindsided. “We know exactly and we don’t switch. We have the numbers.” Wow, it’s almost like he’s taunting the Survivor gods with a quote like that. And the Survivor gods are wrathful, vengeful gods. You taunt them at your own peril. Just ask Jason and Scot from last week’s episode.

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The next morning Tai goes up and apologizes to Jason for turning on the alliance, calling it the hardest thing he’s ever done. That would lead me to believe that Tai has not done many hard things, but we all know his history escaping Vietnam and living in a refugee camp, so I’m just going to chalk this one up to comforting exaggeration. To his credit, Jason once again keeps his cool and resists the urge to bludgeon Mark the Chicken right in front of Tai as payback.

We have an #OrangeHatAlert at the reward challenge, ladies and gentlemen. In this contest, pairs will be tethered together and have to race through a series of obstacles while collecting rings along the way. They’ll then need to toss all three rings onto a swinging hook to win reward. And the reward in question is a helicopter ride that ends with a picnic of fried chicken, corn on the cob, soft drinks, and wine. From the looks of it, Cydney’s excitement over the chicken is matched only by Michele and Aubry’s desire to chug booze.

NEXT: Why three wrongs make a wrong

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