'Survivor' : With Idols Everywhere, Sydney Leaves Tocantins

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS

If you were wondering when someone would patch together a fake hidden immunity idol, this was your episode! With Jalapao’s Joe and Timbira’s Erinn experiencing Exile Island for the first time, the secret alliance between Taj and Stephen had to assume Joe would have enough clues to find the idol back at camp. So, Taj sewed up a fancy necklace that rivaled Bob‘s handiwork on Gabon. Joe found it, got excited, but then pocketed it. Unfortunately for 24-year-old Raleigh, N.C., model Sydney Wheeler, she had no leverage, fake or real, to stave off enough votes and became the sixth person ousted from Survivor: Tocantins.

A Hill of Beans: At Jalapao, in a foreshadowing of a strategy-move-to-come, Taj told Stephen she wanted to tell JT about the immunity idol. Although she and Stephen had a connection to Sierra and Brendan, Taj worried she wouldn’t even make it to the merge to capitalize on it. Stephen, though, wanted to control the flow of information to his buddy JT and told Taj to lay low. On Timbira, Coach micromanaged mealtime, wanting to cook beans longer even if it meant having them stew in the rain. “It’s another one of those Coach moments,” Brendan said. Even so, Brendan liked the fact that, as annoying as he was, Coach was nothing if not consistent.

Flying Pigs and Waterfalls: In a reward challenge where teams built barricades in two wooden rigs to try to prevent ceramic pigs from being tossed intact from one player to another, Timbira held on to their lead to win a trip to a waterfall accompanied by pool toys and BBQ burgers. Timbira chose Joe to go to Exile and in turn, he picked Erinn, marking them as Exile newbies. While on Exile, Erinn debated if she could trust Joe or not, but in the end shared with him the clue to the hidden immunity idol back at their camps and formed a loose alliance.

Fakin’ It: At Jalapao, Taj and Stephen concluded that Joe would get enough clues to find the location of the idol. Not wanting him to know they already had it, Taj did a bang-up job making a fake and hid the not-idol back near Tree Mail. Unfortunately, she wasn’t so good stashing her real prize and JT found it while looking for an empty fishing sack. JT tattled on her to Stephen, who thought fast on his feet and explained to JT that Taj had just found it. Stephen then told Taj the yarn she needed to spin to keep their stories in line and soon the three made an internal Jalapao alliance.

Puzzling It Out: A newly resurgent and barbecue-fueled Timbira tribe puzzle-pieced out a victory in the immunity challenge, sending Jalapao to yet another tribal council. Back at camp, Joe told Sydney, Stephen and JT to vote out Taj. Fearing the dissolution of their mini-alliance, Stephen and JT tried to convince Joe to vote out Sydney instead, arguing that Taj had ties to Timbira, which would help the out-numbered Jalapao in a merge. But Joe, who had a thing for Sydney, refused to change his mind. For a fleeting moment, it seemed Taj would be tossed when Stephen told JT that he physically possessed the hidden idol and they wouldn’t even need Taj, but in the end, although Joe was caught off guard, Jalapao cast Sydney out of the game. — Cynthia Wang

Tell us: Did JT and Stephen make the right decision to keep Taj?

Monty Brinton/CBS

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