After urging his comrades to avoid temptation, James took a pie to the face.
When we last left Survivor, Jeff Probst told the gang that they weren’t through at Tribal Council, even though they’d just voted Frosti out of the game. The remaining competitors were going to participate in their Reward Challenge that night as well.
The challenge was a quiz about Chinese culture, and, not surprisingly, the Chinese-American member of the tribe won. Peih-Gee beat out her closest competitors, James and Todd, when she answered correctly that, in China, a red envelope usually contains money.
Peih-Gee won perhaps the coolest reward in Survivor history: an overnight stay at the Shaolin Monastery, birthplace of Kung Fu. She was able to bring two people with her, and she chose Denise and Erik.
As they toured the monastery with one of the monks, Denise revealed that she was working on her black belt in Karate. After watching some impressive martial arts demonstrations by the monks, the tour guide asked Denise to show off some of her own moves.
Denise obliged, and while she’s no Kwai Chang Caine, I’d advise the kids in the school cafeteria where she works not to criticize the Salisbury steak.
The well-rested, well-fed, and highly entertained trio returned to camp to find James, Courtney, Todd, and Amanda wet, miserable, and huddled in a cave.
They all dried out in time for the Immunity Challenge, in which the Survivors scored points by hitting targets with throwing stars. Erik, Courtney, Amanda, and James tied for first place and moved on to a sudden death round, from which Erik emerged victorious.
Erik’s victory put a target on Peih-Gee, as the only member of the original Zhan Hu tribe eligible to be voted out.
James used a biblical analogy to encourage the original Fei Long members to stick with their alliance: "The Lord said, ‘Don’t bite that apple.’ If Eve would’ve listened, they’d still be frolicking naked in heaven. I just want us to frolic naked as long as we can. So don’t be tempted by Peih-Gee and Erik. Don’t bite the apple."
However, Amanda had other ideas. She realized that, if they got rid of Peih-Gee as planned, James would be able to use his two Immunity Idols at the next two Tribal Councils and wind up in the Final Four. Riffing on James’ analogy, Amanda said, "I am not only ready to bite the apple, I am ready to make the whole frickin’ pie."
In separate conversations, Amanda pulled Courtney, Todd, and Denise aside and told them that they needed to get rid of James that night. If they were able to keep him convinced that they were voting for Peih-Gee, James wouldn’t use his one of his Immunity Idols, and he would be gone.
Meanwhile, Peih-Gee came to the same realization as Amanda. With only the fuzziest idea of a plan in mind, Peih-Gee asked Amanda if she knew about James’ Hidden Idols.
Amanda confirmed that she did, but she didn’t want to get too candid with Peih-Gee. Instead, she gave her a coded response: "You just have to trust me, and you just have to not say anything the rest of the day. It’ll be in your best interest if you don’t. Act like you’re going home and just keep it like that."
Peih-Gee consented to play along, and she told Erik that she suspected a plan to whack James was afoot. Erik didn’t want to be on the wrong side of the power players, so he decided to vote for James.
Just in case James did play an Immunity Idol, thereby voiding any of the votes cast for him, Peih-Gee decided to vote for Todd. Assuming that James was voting for her, she’d at least be assured of a tie with Todd, and might be able to avoid being kicked off.
At Tribal Council, it was apparent that the Fei Long members’ lying and Peih-Gee’s "woe is me" moping around camp had worked. James kept both of his Immunity Idols in his bag, and sat there contorting his face in agony as Jeff Probst revealed vote after vote that read "James." Jury members Jaime, Jean-Robert, and Frosti were in hysterics, knowing that James could easily have saved himself but didn’t.
James, for his part, was a good sport about his ouster: "You can’t be angry with anybody. This is a game. I rolled the dice too many times, and I just got caught up."
Next time, Amanda begins to conspire against Todd, and Denise finds herself in a position of power.