How do you solve a problem like Sierra? On the wrong side of a Brendan blindside, she struggled to stay in the game and by her own admission was happy to be a pawn in Tyson’s takeout. But given a chance to reunite the Timbira tribe in order to eliminate Jalapao, Sierra failed to make the power move and instead created drama with Coach and Debbie. So in a fairly predictable tribal council, problem solved: L.A.-based model Sierra Reed, 23, became the third member of the jury and the 10th person to exit Survivor: Tocantins.
Absorbing the Blow: Coming back to camp after Tyson’s blindside, Sierra admitted she thought she was going home. JT and Stephen fashioned an excuse for not telling Coach and Debbie how they were voting that night and, amazingly, Coach told JT he had “absolutely no hard feelings” over the vote. Of course, in the light of Day 28, Debbie confessed to Coach that she was still mad about Tyson’s exit and wanted to pull all of Timbira back together to regain control of the game. Know Your Tribemates: In the classic “Guess Where You Stand” tribal quiz, contestants played to win a trip to a unique hot spring and dinner with a local family. Proving the strength of the Jalapao tribe, Stephen and Taj were the last two standing in predicting who the group would think would squander a million dollars the quickest (Sierra) or who would stab you in the back (Sierra). Stephen won and took Taj and JT with him, then sent Erinn to Exile Island.
Stewing and Boiling: At the reward, the remaining Jalapao members dined on fresh eggs, veggies and stew, then strategized. On Exile, Erinn couldn’t get fire started before a big rain and went to bed starving (but wearing Prada sunglasses!). At Forza, Coach challenged Sierra’s loyalty when Debbie proposed to reunite Timbira. “Jalapao’s brilliant,” Sierra said in an interview. “They used me to get to Tyson and I think I’d rather go with the smart .”
Grappling with the Vote: At the immunity challenge, Coach, JT and Debbie all did well snagging three distant bags with grappling hooks, then raced through a manipulate-a-ball-in-a-maze puzzle. In a mild surprise, the Dragon Slayer won! But then Stephen and JT got mixed messages from Coach and Sierra, each blaming the other for trying to reform Timbira. Finally, Sierra, Coach and Debbie took their dirty laundry public and had a spat in front of the whole Forza camp. Stephen later confided to JT that he thought Sierra caught Coach and Debbie in a lie, which proved her loyalty, but keeping Sierra around would just create more drama. At tribal council, the laundry was trotted out once more. Taj told Jeff Probst, “I’m absolutely loving it. I’ve been hearing it all day. I haven’t watched soap operas for so long so this has given me a boost.” By the time they voted, the clock had been ticking for Sierra (although Erinn oddly wrote Stephen’s name down), and Sierra was finally cast out of the game. — Cynthia Wang
Tell us: Should Debbie have been voted out before Sierra? Are Stephen, JT and Taj getting too cocky?