Coach is a pig, and swine flu strikes Sierra on 'Survivor: Tocantins'

Debrabeebee_survivortocantinsbrazilianhighlands_240 The biggest threat on Survivor: Tocantins is gone from the game, and the question is: who will the remaining tribe mates turn their ire on next? Clearly, JT is the biggest physical target, and probably the person most likely to win any given challenge. But he's also one of the most likable survivors in play, and has the strongest alliances. Then there's Coach. His strongest ally was voted out last week, and the tribe finally beginning to see him for the joke that he is. BUT, he's a joke who is really playing the game. Maybe he's not the best competitor in the challenges, but he certainly does take part in the social component of the game.

Everybody hates Sierra
. Deb finally starts to play the game tonight, talking strategy with Coach. The suggestion is to reform the Timbira tribe in a new alliance between them, Sierra and Erinn.

The Survivor Survey Challenge is played for the reward of a feast at a local hot springs. Sierra makes an exit after only two questions, making her the loser of the Tocantins popularity contest, Coach and Debbie are not long in following. The contest comes down to Taj and Stephen, and the camp's hatred for Sierra (she was the answer to the majority of the questions with negative connotations) delivers Steve the win. He selects Taj and JT to go with him on the reward, and Erinn for exile. Erinn doesn't look happy about having to go to exile, but keeping knowledge of the state of hidden immunity idols within their alliance is important.

Benjaminwade_survivortocantinsbrazilianhighlands_240 Brazil celebrates "Let's Abuse Sierra" day
. JT, Steve and Taj enjoy their reward, taking a dip in a very interesting spring while discussing strategy. The takeaway here seems to be that Debbie is best candidate for elimination. At the same time, Erinn is suffering at Exile Island, and perhaps she begrudges the rest of her alliance for going on the reward.

Back at camp, Coach and Debbie work on Sierra, trying to bully her into an alliance. Dudes, maybe the best way to get Sierra on your side isn't to push her around and talk down to her. I truly, truly hope that she leaves those two social retards out in the cold. Coach seems to have given up on Sierra, and decides to see how tight he is with JT.

The specter of Timbira. Coach has his conversation with JT, and JT tells him what he wants to hear. Whether or not it's the truth, only time will tell. At the same time, Sierra tells Stephen that Coach and Debbie tried to get her into an old Timbira alliance. When questioned about the nature of the conversation between the three, Coach uses his facility with complete and utter lies to tell Steve and JT that the idea of a Timbira alliance disgusts him. Steve and JT don't know what to think.

The immunity challenge revolves around the survivors' ability to retrieve bags with grappling hooks and navigate a ball through a maze. Coach ultimately wins immunity, but his alliance is potentially in great danger.

Coach wins, integrity loses.
Coach wants to make sure that JT heard him say "dragon slayer" after the win, and is very quick to brag about how his abilities made him the clear favorite to win. Man, this guy is something to watch on TV, but I don't think I could stand to be in the same room with him. His bald-faced plea to JT for validation says more about the state of his self-esteem than my words ever could.

Sierra confronts Coach and Debbie about their lies regarding the proposed Timbira alliance. Coach and Debbie are shameful and completely without conscience in covering up their push for a new alliance. They may be aggravating to watch, but they certainly are playing the game. JT and Stephen are in position to decide who's going home tonight, and the choice is between Sierra and Debbie.

Sierrareed_survivortocantinsbrazilianhighlands_240 Jeff talks about the intensity of the game being ratcheted up with the number of players decreasing. Sierra again calls Coach out on his lie. It wouldn't be so hard to watch Coach deny the falsehoods attributed to him if he wasn't so damn insistent regarding the supposed "honor and integrity" in the way that he's playing this game. It looks like JT and Steve choose to believe Coach as Sierra is voted out. Honestly, I have to tip my hat to her for making it this far. She's been on the brink of elimination since day one.

Will JT and Stephen's decision to keep Debbie in the game come back to haunt them? She certainly has shown more willingness to double-cross the pair than Sierra. And it looks like Taj isn't as tight with JT and Steve as I thought she was -- she voted for Debbie! With Debbie looking like she's going to turn against Coach in the next episode, it looks like the only alliance that is solid is the one between Steve and JT. Can they continue to play all sides against the middle? We'll find out in the last three episodes of this season.

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