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Friday October 19, 2007 8:28 pm

Survivor: China: ‘Love Is In The Air’

Survivor ChinaWith boss man Dave now voted off, the remaining members of Zhan Hu were able to enjoy a leisurely day of rest. (In other words, they all pulled a Sherea.)  But despite the lack of conflict around camp, Frosti was feeling a bit uneasy.  Tired of losing, the student athlete was eager for something different.  Meanwhile, a flirtation between Jaime and Erik started to blossom.  After a whopping 13 days together, they hadn’t yet pinpointed each other’s faults.  Believing she could trust Erik (he did, after all, ‘fess up to being a virgin), Jaime decided to share her knowledge about a hidden immunity idol.

At Fei Long, James and Denise continued their hard work around camp.  The unusual pair had formed a strong bond and respect during their time together.  Later, the tribe welcomed a surprise guest: a fisherman with a game-changing message.  The group was instructed to choose two Zhan Hu warriors who could best benefit their team.  Once selected, the competitors would be brought to their camp.  Fei Long was apprehensive about making a choice because they realized what this would mean:  two of their tribal members would soon be gone.  Of course, Zhan Hu would take James—but who else would they snag?  Hoping to steal their strongest options, Fei Long picked Frosti and Sherea.

The members of Zhan Hu eventually received their copy of the surprise message—- unfortunately, they stupidly misinterpreted what this would mean.  Instead of recognizing that a trade would be made, they initially believed they’d be gaining two people.  After a short celebration, they later found out the cold hard truth:  in exchange for James and Aaron, they would now have to give up Frosti and Sherea.  Before departing, Frosti advised the clan to take advantage of the big guys they’d now be getting.

James and Aaron were later delivered to Zhan Hu…along with a party basket full of fruits, nuts and alcohol.  (Nothing eases the pain of a dramatic move like alcohol.)  When asked what their strengths and weaknesses were, Jaime assured James they were fairly balanced in their skills—though she and Peih-gee were very strong at solving puzzles.  Wanting his new teammates to be physically ready for the upcoming challenge, James opted to take over a majority of their taxing chores.  Now alone with his new tribe members, Aaron simultaneously tried charming them while working to sell James out.  Aaron wanted them to believe that keeping James around could be dangerous in the long run—especially if he were to win all the individual immunity challenges.  Meanwhile, Peih-gee devised a way to get rid of both their new guests.  Assuming the tribes would merge at ten competitors, Peih-gee proposed throwing their next two challenges to Jaime.  With James and Aaron gone, a merged team could potentially have lean in Zhan Hu’s favor.

Although Sherea welcomed the chance to start anew over at Fei Long, Frosti felt extremely out of his comfort zone.  But when he heard the Fei Long members openly trashing Jean-Robert, he started feeling better about his position in the new tribe.  Wanting to make up for the loss of worker bee James, Jean-Robert kicked off ‘The Make It Look Like I’m Really Trying’ Stage.  Instead of being his usual lazy self, he woke up at the crack of dawn to make breakfast for his teammates.  Unfortunately, his original tribe members weren’t appreciate of his hard work; they knew he was only trying to save his sorry butt.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  It was quite obvious that Sherea, Jaime and Denise all arrived in brand new bathing suits at the next Immunity Challenge.  Since when were competitors given replacement clothing?  Did their outfits disintegrate to the point of no return?  Did the producers finally realize that these women couldn’t compete in just their bras anymore?  Were they worried that it would cost too much for them to cover up the exposed breasts in post-production?  And last but not least—would new clothing give these women an unintended psychological advantage over the other ladies?

The newly transformed tribes later arrived at their first Immunity Challenge.  For the idol, the competitors had to complete a physical challenge and a puzzle.  Two members had to swim out to a platform where they would dive in the water to release 12 discs.  The discs would then be brought to shore where the remaining competitors would be waiting to solve a puzzle.  Erik/Aaron started the challenge for Zhan Hu while Frosti/Jean Robert stepped up for Fei Long.  The diving portion proved to be quite tasking for both sides, though Zhan Hu did come away with a significant advantage.  Unfortunately the lead Erik and Aaron worked so hard for was eventually wasted.  Peih-gee and Jaime committed themselves to throwing the game and purposely took their time on the puzzle.  James was understandably frustrated and couldn’t understand why they claimed to be so good at solving puzzles.  In the end, Jeff Probst said that it was definitely the ‘worst performance at a challenge yet’.  Winner:  Fei Long.

Back at Zhan Hu, James did not hold back his anger.  He naively accused the girls of cracking under pressure and told the boys they needed to vote Peih-gee or Jaime off.  Instead of looking sorry or regretful, the girls couldn’t stop laughing at James’ reaction; they honestly thought he would figure them out.  When Erik went to confront the ladies about their strange behavior, they let him into their plan.  Although he wasn’t sure if he could still trust them, Erik knew it was in his best interest to side with Peih-gee and Jaime.

Believing that Aaron could have alliances waiting for him on the other side, the girls initially decided to vote him off first.  But although their decision seemed to be locked up, James threw them a curve ball.  Realizing that he would be on the chopping block, James asked Peih-gee to be sent home first.  He didn’t want to sit around and be associated with a team that could perform so poorly.  Later at Tribal Council, the girls openly admitted their losing strategy to Jeff Probst.  Needless to say, this angered James even more.  Why would he want to stick around a few more days only to be sent home anyway?  Unfortunately the final vote was a lose-lose situation for both former Fei Long members.  Believing James would be granted his request, Aaron was shocked when he was the one sent packing.  As for James, he was now forced to twiddle his thumbs until the next Tribal Council.  LOSER:  Aaron.

(You can review last week’s episode here.)
(You can read next week’s episode here.)

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