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Guys, I’m afraid. I’m afraid that the most quotable survivor on the island is on his way out. Who’s going to articulate my rage, shock, and disgust at the antics on Survivor: Micronesia — Fans vs. Favorites? So, I’m dedicating this post to James. I only hope that this will be a victory speech, and not a eulogy.

James gives the medics the finger. This episode picks up immediately after tribal, with James paying a visit to the doctors to give them the chance to look at his finger. He gets the news that the injury is surgery serious. My guy is really going to have to gut it up tonight!

Family matters. James gets back to camp, and has the opportunity to compare war wounds with Alexis, who injured her leg on what must have been a particularly violent walk.

At the reward challenge, the survivors are set to compete in a popularity contest, and they are joined by their family members. To begin, they must do a survey asking specific questions about their fellow survivors. Then they must guess which survivor has had their name written down the most in response to those questions.

Just in case you’re interested, here’s what was revealed before the competition ended:

Who does the most for the tribe? James.
Who has the biggest mouth? Parvati.
Who mistakenly thinks they are in control of this game? Parvati.
Who is the most honest? Alexis.
Who are you least likely to invite to a family dinner? James.

Cirie puts Parvati out of the game first, and then knocks out Erik. James, Cirie, Natalie, and Amanda fall shortly after, leaving Alexis in the winner’s circle. Alexis and her brother invite Cirie and her husband and Natalie and her mother to go with them on the reward. Amanda is sent to Exile, interesting, because one can assume that a new idol has been hidden there. James is sent to the medics for another appointment regarding his finger.

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I think a pattern is forming.
The doctor looks at James’s finger, and Jeff joins them to hear the report. The doctor confirms our worst fears, and after a quick goodbye, James heads to the hospital. Parvati sheds a few crocodile tears in his passing, and Survivor is down to one man.

Alexis, Cirie, Natalie and their family members head to a secluded clove, where they swim with stingless jellyfish. Cirie, in particular, takes her experience to heart, saying that it has taught her not to be ruled by her fears. That’s a pretty profound revelation to have come from something that’s 97% water.

Amanda follows the clues on Exile Island, eventually digging a long trench in search of the idol. Finding another clue there, she learns that the immunity idol is buried under the flag back at the tribe’s camp. She sheds tears of relief. It seems that at this point, a trip to Exile Island guarantees a pass at tribal (if you remember to use it.)

The reward winners return, and learn of James’s departure. Alexis in particular is reminded of the ever present danger of expulsion for medical reasons. The other theme of this season, along with trips to Immunity Island, seems to be people falling due to injury.

Nice shootin’ Tex. Alexis’s concern for her leg deepens, and Parvati goes to work on her, asking if she wants to be voted out. Alexis is steadfast in her resolve, and the subject of conversation turns to who they should vote for next, should Erik win immunity. In an interesting development, Natalie identifies Amanda as her biggest threat, while Parvati states that she could not vote Amanda out. The seeds of a power struggle have been sown.

At the immunity challenge, Amanda learns of James’s departure, and all the women hug. Erik limps over looking for a bit of love, but he is not allowed into the coven. Poor guy, the lanky need love too! The challenge begins and survivors must use a high-powered rifle to shoot sake bottles with their names on it. First player to shoot down three bottles wins immunity. Erik takes an early lead, and gets his third bottle before most of his tribe gets more than one.

You are part of the rebel alliance and a traitor! Amanda, showing a flash of brilliance, displays for everyone the contents of her bag to prove that she doesn’t have the immunity idol. True enough, as she hasn’t dug it up from under the flag yet. In what appears to be a fracturing of the women’s alliance, Amanda tells Parvati about the final clue. Meanwhile, Erik and Alexis make plans to take down Amanda. Erik lets Amanda know that she will be getting some votes, unaware of the fact that Amanda will likely be holding an idol by the time that they are cast. Cirie confirms this fact for Amanda, expressing her disappointment at the turn of events. Were the situation not such as it is, Cirie assures Amanda, they would be going to the final three with Parvati.  Guess what couch potato, that might be happening anyway. While everyone else eats a dinner consisting of their last chicken, Amanda digs feverishly for the idol, the scene ending before we find out if she is successful. It would seem that Erik’s victory at the challenge accomplished more than sparing himself from a vote, as the female alliance exists in the past tense.

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They jury walks into Tribal Council two stronger, rather than just one, as James enters with an IV bottle in tow. Amanda acknowledges that she is getting the majority of the votes, and calls out Erik for his unwillingness to split the votes to spare her. It would seem that he would have been wise to ally himself with Amanda, as she was able to find the idol, and plays it (for once in this damn season.) Worried looks from Alexis, Natalie, and Erik meet looks of surprise and excitement from the jury. Ironically, Alexis created her own doom when she sent Amanda to Exile. Four votes for Amanda fail to register, and Amanda’s and Parvati’s votes for Alexis signal her exit.  The power shift is complete, but one thing that hasn’t changed is that Parvati and Cirie are still in control.

The twists and turns this season are off the scale! Consider this, in the fifteen previous seasons, Survivor has never had a final four composed entirely of one sex, and all that kept Paschal out of the only final three composed entirely of women was the color of a rock! History would seem to teach us that Erik has a chance to advance, but on the other hand, this has been a season of firsts and surprises!