Stephen Fishbach's 'Survivor' Blog: Did Jon and Jaclyn Get Dale's Idol?

The couple wondered whether Dale really had the idol he promised in exchange for a save

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS/Getty

Stephen Fishbach was the runner-up on Survivor: Tocantins and has been blogging about Survivor strategy for PEOPLE since 2009. Follow him on Twitter @stephenfishbach. Erik Reichenbach is a Survivor fan-turned-favorite, a comic book author and artist. He placed fifth on both Survivor: Micronesia and Survivor: Caramoan. Follow him on Twitter @BloodyAmer1can.

“There is no fake, there is no real. It’s Survivor.
– Shambo, Survivor: Samoa

“I want to believe” was a famous X-Files catchphrase. Last night on Survivor, you could have applied it to Jon.

Did Dale really have an idol? Was he really going to give it to Jon for saving him at the vote? Could Jon enter the merge with an idol in his pocket?

Jon wanted to believe. He wanted to believe with all the fervent passion of a thousand Fox Mulders.

“Do you think he has it? Honestly?” Jaclyn asked.

“I really do think it’s real,” Jon replied.

Jon and Jaclyn are caught in a conundrum. On the one hand, there’s faith – faith in the alien magic of Dale’s hypothetical idol. On the other, there’s reason – Missy and Baylor are strong allies with a lot of connections.

But unlike Fox Mulder facing down a corrupt and shadowy bureaucracy, Jon couldn’t stand the pressure. As soon as Missy smacks some sense into him, Jon decides the truth probably isn’t out there. He votes to eliminate Dale.

On Survivor, faith doesn’t trump alliances.

A New Power Couple

Last week, it looked like Jon and Jaclyn had emerged as a power couple in the game.

But could Missy and Baylor be the real power behind the throne?

The pair got off to a slow start. Baylor was a constant target at Coyopa, and even her best ally, Josh, kept writing down her name. Missy stuck to the sidelines at Hunahpu.

But now, Missy is acting like a godfather.

When Jon is worried about Dale’s idol, he immediately tells Missy and then listens to her counsel.

Then at the Reward Challenge, Natalie volunteers to go to Exile Island.

It’s a dangerous move. Nobody just volunteers to go to Exile – so Natalie is very publicly showing that she wants to spend a couple days building bonds with Baylor.

That’s exactly Natalie’s intention. She’s sending a signal. Right now, Natalie is in a minority alliance – with herself, Jeremy, and Julie. And Julie looks like she’s off her rocker.

“This will show Missy and Baylor they need to take care of Natalie,” Natalie says.

“I know that I have Natalie. I know that she’s with me,” Missy says.

Missy wins the Fishy this episode for building connections with almost everybody. Right now, she and Baylor have ties to all the power players – and Missy isn’t afraid to wield that influence.

Of course, just because you have allies doesn’t mean you won’t lose them. Missy’s got her mama bear tendencies and a heavy hand with the rice scoop. Baylor has a bad habit of bursting into tears.

For now, the two are in a good position.

A Good Deal?

Was anybody else a little disappointed with the “heavy penalty” that Hunahpu had to pay for a new bag of rice?

I understand that production can’t just let the contestants actually starve. But they basically just took some pots and the tarp.

Getting an entirely new bag of rice is a huge deal in a game where you count your rice by the grain. I used to pick rice out of the dirt if I dropped it so nobody would think I was wasteful.

I should have just dumped all our rice out and demanded more. Could production have forced the Hunahpus to go to tribal council? Could they have dismantled their shelter?

Note to all future Survivor players: eat everything! There’s more where that came from.

What do you think? Was it a fair trade?

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