To Be Continued…

Survivor fans hoping to learn which three contestants will compete in the Exile Island finale will have to wait a few more days to find out. Voting for the second-to-last elimination resulted in a tie between Cirie and Danielle, who will duke it out in a tiebreaker at the beginning of Sunday night’s season ender.

Most contestants consider making the final four an accomplishment worth celebrating. But Terry squashed any party plans as soon as the castaways returned to camp from the previous vote. He scolded Cirie for not putting her torch away properly, much like a parent scolds a child for a messy room.

Cirie did a fine job defending herself, and Aras and Danielle took up for her as well. Terry’s condescending attitude is getting old, and his chances for winning the $1 million are getting slimmer by the day.

This week’s Reward Challenge was complicated, but not physically demanding. Contestants were clipped to ropes that led to six stations. Each station had a different local item (e.g. rocks, iguanas) that contestants had to count. After counting the items at one station, each contestant returned to a game board and selected a numbered tile representing the item total.

After counting at all six stations, each castaway combined the six numbers to form the combinations for three locks (two numbers per lock). If they’d miscounted the items, the lock wouldn’t open. In that case, competitors could return to as many stations as they wished to recount.

The race was tight the whole way, and everyone was incorrect on at least one station. Terry rechecked one station and then returned to his board, thinking that he was only allowed to recheck one item at a time.

When Terry noticed that everyone else was rechecking multiple stations, he complained that Jeff Probst hadn’t told them they could do that. Jeff corrected Terry, who headed back out to the stations, grousing the whole way. Aras yelled, “Somebody call the ‘Waahmbulance.’ Terry’s crying on the course!”

Aras returned with the correct numbers and was first to unlock all three of his locks. As a reward, he got to chose one tribemate to join him for a tour of the Panama Canal on a yacht. He picked Cirie, and both Terry and Danielle were sent to Exile Island.

Danielle faced facts that there was no way Cirie or Aras would take her to the final two, and she aligned herself with Terry. Since he knew he stood his best chance facing the jury against Danielle, Terry was happy to agree to take her to the final two. If he could win individual immunity at the next challenge, he agreed to give her the hidden immunity idol as protection from Aras and Cirie.

After returning to camp from their canal tour, Cirie decided to make a fire for the first time. She waited until Aras was asleep so that she could surprise him. He woke up to Cirie’s delighted giggles as she stood over a small fire.

The Immunity Challenge the next day was another mental challenge. Using two ropes and a set of coordinates, contestants had to find the location of three bags within a sand pit. The first two bags held puzzle pieces that, when assembled, gave two more sets of coordinates. The contestant to assemble the last bag of puzzle pieces into the phrase “Safe from the Vote” would be just that.

Aras was the only survivor who really got the hang of using the coordinates and the point where the ropes intersected to determine the location of each bag. He got enough of a lead that he could take his time assembling his last puzzle, and Terry was unable to catch up, meaning he’d suddenly lost two challenges in a row.

Before Tribal Council, everyone figured that Aras and Cirie would vote for Danielle, and she and Terry would vote for Cirie. Assuming that the tiebreaker challenge was building a fire, Terry and Aras coached their partners in firestarting technique. Terry’s advice for Danielle was more practical, while Aras’s advice for Cirie was more motivational.

While the possibility of Terry sneaking the immunity idol to Danielle was brought up at camp, Terry wasn’t willing to give it up before, so the chances he would risk it now were slim. As soon as the votes were read, Danielle confirmed that she did not have the idol.

Cirie and Danielle prepared to take part in a fire-building tiebreaker as the show came to an end. Their battle will kick off Sunday night’s two-hour finale (followed by an hour-long reunion show).

If the jury’s reactions have given any indication of the contestants’ odds, Danielle doesn’t have much of a chance to win in the final two. Courtney cheered each time Jeff read a vote to eliminate Danielle, and Shane rolled his eyes whenever she spoke. Terry’s only allies are Sally and Austin, although Bruce may throw a vote his way. If either Danielle or Terry goes with Cirie or Aras to the final two, they will likely lose. If the final two is Terry and Danielle or Cirie and Aras, it’s a tossup.