Survivor Gabon: Matty Saved — By Sugar!
And then there were five. The second to last episode of Survivor: Gabon was chock full of blindsides, sweat and tears. Bob continued his winning streak, Kenny continued being a cocksure weasel, Susie continued to watch, Crystal continued to be the worst player and Matty continued to prey that he’d be there when the dust settled. But it was Sugar‘s change of heart that sent kept him in the game, sending Crystal home disappointed.
Post-Tribal Tussle Matty was fired up over Kenny’s flip-flop didn’t hide his disappointment with him. But the self-proclaimed mastermind took it in stride — “Voting against Matty was strategically a move to gain me jury votes,” he said — and focused instead on guilt-tripping Bob (for lying about the fake idol) to convince him to switch teams. Shockingly, Bob offered to give him the immunity necklace if he won it again to make amends for putting him “in a horrible position.”
Reward Challenge Contestants raced into a swamp through a series of obstacles (A net, a tire and a shaky plank bridge at this stage of the game? Seriously?) to retrieve a locked-up ball, run back and toss the ball into a net. The first person to land three balls in their basket won a trip to a gorilla sanctuary, a nice meal, a shower and a night in a bed. Matty got the first basket but Bob, even though he was never first to reach the shooting line, was more controlled in his attempts and his technique paid off. The women failed to score any points and Crystal further embarrassed her gender by missing a dunk on the four-foot basket that she towered over. Quick question: How is Crystal in the final six?
Monkey Business Matty spent the alone time trying to turn Sugar away from the “evil three” and even asked her to give him the idol but she declined. “I’m sure Kenny is lying to me,” she said, “but Matty is the biggest physical threat.” Matty realized he was all alone in the game.
Bob invited Crystal and Kenny to the reward jaunt with him. After indulging in a snack, shower and fresh muumuus, Bob talked shop, trying to convince them to oust Matty. He also backtracked a little on his promise to relinquish the immunity necklace, saying he would only give Kenny the jewelry if they thought he was in actual danger of going home. Then came time for gorilla watching, which made Bob “spiritual.”
Bob’s inner peace didn’t last long. When they returned to camp, Kenny and Matty started picking at each other. Then Crystal started nagging him about his friendship with Susie, his past vote for her and more. That turned out to be a fatal flaw because of Sugar’s reaction. “Crystal is going off on Matty for no reason and I’ve already seen Kenny go off on Matty,” she said. “He doesn’t deserve to be yelled at. Crystal and Kenny have been in this together from the beginning and they just take out whoever they want … They’re not good .”
Sugar decided to devise a counter-plan with Matty. “Why would they kick you when you’re down,” she questioned, suggesting that they align and kick out Crystal. Just asking: Wasn’t Kenny the bigger threat? Should they have set their sights on him? Matty was relieved even if it meant he had to go to the end with the dominating Bob. “I have hope now,” he said. “This is intense. I’m praying I can find the strength to finish.”
Immunity Challenge For a sure shot at the $1 million, players had to study a Gabonese mask, transport three bags through a series of obstacles and reassemble the mask by memory. Oh yeah, and they were blindfolded. Matty delivered all of the bags and then assembled. Everyone else took a bag and did some assembling after each pass. Crystal wandered into the wrong lane and then entirely off course. Susie also went for a walk outside the boundaries and never returned. Matty had speed on his side, but it was not enough to stop The Bowtie.
Kenny immediately planned a blindside, trying to convince Bob that the others were gunning for him and that Bob needed to give him the necklace — and then they would turn around and write Bob’s name down. What he failed to factor in was that every member of the jury is out of the running thanks in at least some part to Kenny. He also failed to realize that his weasel-ness has turned Sugar against him. Wanting to be aligned with the good guys, Sugar came clean to Bob about the doublecross.
Tribal Council Jeff called Bob a legitimate threat. Kenny put on a show about but didn’t convince Bob to give up the charm. “If I thought he was going home tonight, I would give it to him,” Bob explained. “But I’m going to keep it because he’s not.” Jeff read the votes and asked if anyone wanted to play the immunity idol. When Jeff called for idols to be played, Sugar gave her “cursed thing” to Matty, rendering all votes placed for him null and void. The jury — including Randy and his new tough-guy fauxhawk — were beside themselves with the change of heart. Corinne even raised the roof.
That sent Crystal on the walk of shame and she said, “I did not know that Sugar turned on me. It kind of hurts with three days left in the game. When I yelled at Matty, I don’t think it helped. Hopefully I made my friends and family proud.” She also made it clear that she was rooting for Kenny. — Carrie Bell
Tell us: Did Sugar do the smart thing by breaking up Kenny and Crystal? Did Bob ever have any intention of giving his immunity to Kenny? Who do you want to win Survivor: Gabon?Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS