Survivor: Cook Islands' twelfth episode began with the Aitutonga tribe returning from the heated Night 30 Tribal Council session in which Jonathan's past and present alliance had -- despite some strong campaigning from the remaining members of the game's smaller alliance -- remained loyal to Jonathan and voted Candice Woodcock out of the game.
After the seven remaining castaways returned to camp, Jonathan vowed not to let the derogatory comments of Adam Gentry and Parvati Shallow (the only two remaining members of the game's initial dominant post-merge alliance) get to him. "I'm going to try and keep my chin up and just keep punching," Jonathan explained to the cameras. "I don't know how far I'm going to get, but I know I'm not gonna let a couple of kids like that ruin everything I've been working towards."
The next day, Parvati cut her sliced her thumb open while chopping coconuts. "I think that Parvati needs medical attention," Sundra Oakley told the cameras after the incident. "It's like literally you can see where the finger is actually separated." However after receiving an on-site stitch and some bandaging from the Survivor medical team, Parvati was cleared to continue in the game.
Later that day, the tribe gathered for the Reward Challenge, a beachside competition that required the castaways to use a pail to fill a large bucket with water from the island's lagoon. As the large bucket filled, it would cause a flag mounted on the other side of the lever that the bucket was hanging from to rise. The first person to raise their flag all the way up would win two prizes -- the ability to travel to another island and spend an overnight visit with the island's locals and the right to decide which castaway would be sent to Exile Island.
However after Survivor Jeff Probst explained the challenge, he revealed one extra surprise for the castaways -- rather than competing individually, the castaways would be each be paired with their loved ones -- Jonathan's wife, Parvati's father, Adam's father, Sundra's mother, Becky Lee's sister, Yul Kwon's brother, and Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth's mother -- with the winner's loved one also getting to share in the reward trip. But now that each castaway had a partner, the rules also got a little more complicated -- each castaway would have to wear a blindfold throughout the challenge, and rather than pouring their pail into the larger bucket themselves, they would have to throw their water across a 10-12 foot divider and into a second pail that their loved one would be holding. The loved one would then empty whatever water they managed to catch into the large bucket.
Following a slow start in which very few of the loved ones seemed to be catching much water in their pails, Jonathan and his wife Stacy moved into the lead when Stacy realized that she could supplement the water that landed in her pail with whatever she could also squeeze out of her hair and shirt. Ozzy's mother Gina quickly picked up on Stacy's idea, and before long the challenge turned into the three-way race between Jonathan and Stacy, Ozzy and Gina, and Parvati and her father Mike (who unlike the other two teams, just seemed to make good use of their pails.) In the end, Parvati and Mike managed to fully raise their flag before Jonathan and Stacy, making Parvati the challenge's winner.
After Parvati announced that she would be sending Jonathan off to Exile Island, Jeff once again surprised the castaways by announcing that Mike -- without receiving any help from Parvati or the rest of the castaways -- would get to pick two more survivor/loved ones teams to accompany them on the reward trip. Presumably deciding that the opportunity would mean more to the loved one parents than to the siblings, Mike picked Sundra and her mother Jeanette and Adam and his father George.
Once the castaways and the three selected loved ones arrived back at camp to wait for a boat to take the lucky six off on their trip, it didn't take long for Yul, Becky, and Ozzy to grow frustrated about the situation. "It was kinda annoying having the camp be overrun with the competitor's families," Ozzy vented to the cameras. "Parvati and Adam depend on the food that we provide them so I almost feel responsible for helping them be strong enough to win that challenge." After Parvati, Adam, and Sundra left with their loved ones, Yul, Becky, and Ozzy took some time to enjoy what they hoped would be a preview of the game's final days.
During the reward trip, Sundra began to bond with Parvati and Adam. "Adam and Parvati, without Jonathan around, are a lot more chilled out, and we got a chance to just talk [and] find out a little bit more about each other," Sundra explained later. "It'd just be really, really calm [if Jonathan wasn't around]."
The next day, Yul, Becky, and Ozzy, still frustrated that they were the ones gathering all the food that had given Parvati and Adam the strength to win the game's last two individual challenges, decided that it time to do something about the situation. "Ozzy catches pretty much most of our food and Adam and Parvati keep on winning these challenges so I think at this point we've tentatively decided to keep on catching food but maybe hide some of it from Adam and Parvati," Yul explained.
"Now is a key, pivotal moment and I don't want to feed people to beat me, so for Adam, Parvati, and Jonathan, no more coconuts, they can go get their own," Ozzy explained after the threesome had finished throwing the camp's coconut stash into the surrounding brush. "This is a survival game so the issue is just trying to have an upper edge in the game and not feeding somebody so they can beat you and Adam is the biggest guy and he eats the most so the less food he eats the more drained he gets. If you can't catch your own food at this point, then maybe you shouldn't be in the game"
However once Parvati and Adam returned from their trip with bags full of fried chicken, meatloaf, and corn on the cob, Yul, Becky, and Ozzy quickly dropped their plan. "The original plan for Ozzy and myself and also Yul was to sort of hide the coconuts, hide the food, you know save it for us for later, but after we saw that Adam and Parvati brought back so much food we sort of felt bad," Becky explained to the cameras. "I think the hiding plan is sort of on the outs. People seem more chilled if we're just our six without Jonathan so it's sort of nice that he's on Exile [Island] right now."
On Day 33, the castaways assembled for the Immunity Challenge. After Jonathan rejoined the group, Jeff explained that the challenge would require the castaways to race across a floating obstacle course and then swim out to floating color-coded bundles of sticks. After retrieving one of their stick bundles, each castaway would have to race back across the obstacle course, drop their bundle on their starting mat, and then repeat the trip for a second bundle of sticks.
Once they had retrieved both of their bundles, each castaway would then have to assemble their sticks into a long pole capable of retrieving two rings hanging about 12-15 feet away from their mat. The first castaway to retrieve both of their rings would win immunity from the evening's upcoming Tribal Council session. Despite all his whining about feeding Parvati and Adam, Ozzy dominated the extremely bruising (and seemingly potentially extremely dangerous) challenge from start to finish and easily became Survivor: Cook Islands' first two-time individual Immunity Challenge winner. "The Immunity Challenge was right up my alley, it was actually quite hilarious to see people just eating it all over the place," a clearly unsympathetic Ozzy later commented to the cameras.
When the tribe returned to camp, Jonathan it didn't take Jonathan long to figure out that Parvati and Adam had managed to significantly compromise his alliance with Yul, Becky, Sundra, and Ozzy while he was away on Exile Island. "There's clearly something up, people don't really know exactly what to say to me," Jonathan explained to the cameras. "Something is afoot no question, something has shifted. How far it shifted and how much time I have to correct the shift I don't know, if they're going to vote Adam off tonight then I've got two days [but] if they're going to vote me off [tonight] then I've got a couple of hours and probably not a hell of a lot of chance."
Meanwhile, after getting some alone time with Yul, Adam made one last attempt to convince Yul to tell his alliance to send Jonathan home next. "It's a little bit weird for me because I feel like I'm The Godfather or something [and] arranging a hit on somebody and somebody is asking me to take out one person or another... I don't know if I'm entirely comfortable with it," Yul explained to the cameras.
After Becky and Sundra gave him a curt confirmation that his place in the alliance was still safe and Adam would still be the next person to be send home, Jonathan asked Yul point blank if he would be the next castaway going home. However unfortunately for Jonathan, Yul responded with a less than committal answer. "I will do everything I can to keep you here because that serves my interests [but] if I can't..."
Recognizing that his response wasn't exactly what he had hoped to hear, Jonathan made one final plea to Yul. "Obviously my time away was a bad time to be away -- you had a feast, you had guests, you had food brought back for you, and Parvati and Adam are charming young people that are closer to your age than I am -- but let's not be stupid, please," Jonathan campaigned. "I'm the perfect person to keep around. I'm not a threat in terms of immunity and I saved your hides -- and I was happy to do it because I felt it made amends for my stepping away. They're going to say anything they can because if you fall it then I'm gone and they're still around in the game waiting to take you guys out."
"It would be stupid to vote me out because I came back [after betraying them] and saved my [original] alliance's lives," Jonathan vented to the cameras before the tribe departed for Tribal Council. "Are they really going to sacrifice themselves and all they've worked for because Parvati is smiling at them now? ...because Adam is [finally] stepping up and gathering a little bit of wood?"
However in the end, Yul and the rest of his alliance didn't see it Jonathan's way and decided that although Adam and Jonathan should definitely be the next two castaways sent home, Jonathan (who was ultimately voted off via a unanimous 6-1 vote) would be the first of the two to depart the game. As the fourteenth castaway voted out of Survivor: Cook Islands, Jonathan now joins Candice, Nathan Gonzalez, Jenny Guzon-Bae, Rebecca Borman and Brad Virata on the jury that will ultimately decide which castaway wins the show's $1,000,000 grand prize.
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