'Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty' votes J'Tia Taylor out of her Brains tribe
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/13/2014
Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty's third episode concluded with the Brains tribe eliminating J'Tia Taylor at Tribal Council during Wednesday night's broadcast of the CBS reality series' 28th edition.
J'Tia, a 31-year-old nuclear engineer from Chicago, IL, was voted out of her Brains tribe at the season's fourth Tribal Council session, which marked the third time this season the Brains tribe had to vote one of its own members out.
"I'm not surprised they voted me out. I threw almost all of their rice away and was weak in the challenges. So yeah, those are two really good reasons to vote me out. What can I say? I feel two ways about it. I wish them the best of luck and half of me hopes they starve. But so is life; You live and learn and grow. I'm just going to grow outside of the game," J'Tia said following her ouster.
The members of the Brains tribe were J'Tia; Kassandra "Kass" McQuillen, a 41-year-old attorney from Tehachapi, CA; Latasha "Tasha" Fox, a 37-year-old accountant from St. Louis, MO; and Spencer Bledsoe, a 21-year-old student from Chicago, IL.
The Brawn tribe was comprised of Cliff Robinson, a 46-year-old former NBA All-Star from Newark, NJ; Lindsey Ogle, a 29-year-old hairstylist from Kokomo, IN; Sarah Lacina, a 29-year-old police officer from Cedar Rapids, IA; Tony Vlachos, a 39-year-old police officer from Jersey City, NJ; Trish Hegarty, a 48-year-old pilates instructor from Needham, MA; and Yung "Woo" Hwang, a 29-year-old martial arts instructor from Newport Beach, CA.
The Beauty tribe featured Jeremiah Wood, a 34-year-old male model from Dobson, NC; Morgan McLeod, a 21-year-old former NFL cheerleader from San Jose, CA; Alexis Maxwell, a 21-year-old student from Addison, IL; Jefra Bland, a 22-year-old former Miss Kentucky Teen USA from Campbellsville, KY; and LJ McKanas, a 34-year-old horse trainer from Boston, MA.
Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty's third episode began on Night 8 with the Beauty tribe returning from the Tribal Council in which Brice Johnston was voted out of the game. Brice's ally Morgan was mad and frustrated at Jeremiah because he had betrayed them. She called him "a coward" because he "chickened out" and jumped ship.
Morgan realized she was basically useless in her tribe unless she could pull something big off because she was the odd woman out. Jeremiah explained to her that he had given LJ his word and Brice was beginning to scare him as a player. Jeremiah wasn't sure yet whether he had made a bonehead move or not in siding with LJ's alliance and flipping on Morgan.
Morgan then apologized to Alexis, her friend, for voting for her at the prior Tribal Council session. She told Alexis that Jeremiah had originally orchestrated the plan to get her out in order to keep LJ around as strength for the challenges. Morgan explained that LJ was going to go right when he wasn't needed anymore.
LJ overheard this conversation and seemed shocked, while Alexis wasn't sure whether to believe what Morgan was throwing out there. However, Alexis acknowledged the story made sense and it sounded like Morgan was telling the truth, ultimately putting a target on Jeremiah's back for playing both sides.
On Day 9, the Brains tribe was feeling more confident. J'Tia said they wanted to prove they could actually win the game, so once again, they tried to practice for what might be the upcoming Reward Challenge based upon hints in their Tree Mail message. J'Tia felt responsible for winning her tribe food since she was the one to throw most of their rice in the fire days before. She knew she had put everyone in an awful situation.
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For the challenge, one person from each tribe would serve as the caller and the rest of the tribe would be blindfolded. Using only verbal commands, the caller must direct a pair of blindfolded tribemates to collect five items one at a time. Each time they got an item, the pair had to bring it back to the caller's tower and hoist it up to the caller via a platform with a rope on each side. Once a tribe collected all five items, the caller would send them back out for one final tribe flag.
The first two tribes to hoist their flag would win Reward. The first tribe to finish would receive three egg-laying hens and one rooster. The second-place tribe would receive a dozen eggs, and the tribe to finish in third place would receive nothing.
To even up the numbers, the Brawn tribe sat out Woo and Sarah. The Beauty tribe sat out Morgan.
In the end, Beauty won and Brawn finished in second place after an amazing comeback from behind. Brains lost the challenge by a matter of seconds because J'Tia couldn't figure out how to correctly place the flag on their platform so it wouldn't fall off when hoisted up.
Later that day, at Beauty's camp, the win renewed the tribe's spirit. Jeremiah found a clue to the hidden Immunity Idol in the Reward bag and had to read it aloud because he was surrounded by tribemates. However, LJ had already found the idol.
After a strange discussion about how chickens make eggs and how chickens are even born amongst the girls, LJ was disappointed and noted he was definitely a member of the stereotypical Beauty tribe and it was unfortunate. Jeremiah then killed a chicken and they feasted.
"Jeremiah killed the chicken and that's cool. I get to eat it now. I appreciate it and I'll say thanks, but at the end of the day, I still don't like Jeremiah at all," Morgan told the cameras. "I think he's dumb as rocks and he's a big fat liar. I don't even really understand why he's on this tribe. I don't think he's that beautiful and we're supposed to be a beautiful tribe."
Meanwhile, Cliff and Lindsey were still tight on the Brawn tribe, and a misinformed Sarah wanted Cliff out because she believed Tony when he had insisted the pair wanted to target her next.
Sarah then told Woo that Cliff doesn't need the money and so they should vote him off the tribe. She said it was a big move that needed to be made, and Woo -- Cliff's self-declared sidekick -- agreed it was their time to shine. Sarah was surprised Woo was onboard and would flip on Cliff. She liked how laid back and easygoing he was.
"I look up to Cliff in a big way. He's a basketball superstar I've been idolizing for a long time, but it would be nice for one of us to achieve that million-dollar success other than Cliff," Woo said in a confessional. "I'm just trying to affiliate myself with the majority and when an opportunity is presented to me, I need to take it."
Woo therefore joined Sarah in her alliance with Trish and Tony. Tony felt he had changed the game by getting Sarah on his side and he was actually ready to trust her. He felt they had become a solid alliance of four.
Tony swore to Sarah on his police badge he'd stay loyal to her, but in reality, that meant nothing to him because Tony said he came into the game prepared to lie, cheat and steal in order to win. Sarah, however, was pumped about the thought of having two cops at the end of the game together.
On Day 11, Sarah suggested to Trish they throw the challenge. She didn't want to risk merging into two tribes and having Cliff still there. Trish was hesitant about the idea but said she'd be onboard with it if that's what the majority decided. Woo didn't like the idea at all actually, but he also realized he had to stay a part of the majority and not fight them on anything.
"I know it sounds stupid, like why get rid of numbers? But he's not our number. That's why. It's him and Lindsey. I heard Cliff wants me out and so I'm screwed if Cliff is still here," Sarah told the camera.
Later on, the three tribes met Jeff Probst again, who explained the rules to what would be their fourth Immunity Challenge.
Jeff instructed the castaways to dive down into the water one at a time, releasing a buoy off a pole once under the water. Once a buoy is released, the person must bring it back to the dock and then the next person could go. Once a tribe collected all five buoys, the players must then attempt to throw those buoys and land them into a basket. If a basket was missed, tribemates in the water needed to collect the buoys again and bring them back to the dock.
The first two tribes to get all five buoys in their basket would win immunity and be safe from the vote at the next Tribal Council. The tribe to finish in last place would be forced to vote one of its members out of the game.
The Brawn tribe sat out Tony and Lindsey, while the Beauty tribe sat out Alexis.
J'Tia at first couldn't unhook a buoy so she swam back to the dock empty-handed. However, Sarah stalled in the water at the same time so Brains wouldn't get too far behind. This scene ended up playing out multiple times. The women on the Brains tribe really struggled in the water, so the members of Brawn who wanted to throw the challenge were taking their time. Therefore, the Beauty tribe was dominating and ended up finishing in first place -- way ahead of the other two packs.
Spencer basically did all the swimming and shooting for his Brains tribe. It then came down to a showdown between Cliff and an exhausted Spencer throwing their buoys into the basket. The women on Brains were extremely slow retrieving Spencer's missed baskets, and because Cliff spent most of his life in the NBA, Cliff nailed the baskets quickly and brought his tribe to victory.
The Brains tribe lost again for the third time this season, and Spencer seemed livid.
"Dude, we tried so hard to blow that challenge. Seriously, green tribe, I tried to help you out but that team sucks. They deserve to lose after that. That's all I can say," Sarah said in a confessional.
On Day 11, Spencer discussed his fate on the Brains tribe.
"I do feel a little bit jipped that I have to go to Tribal Council when I'm doing very well in the challenges and it's really my team that is doing poorly in the challenges. The worst part of being on this tribe is that the girls have succeeded in putting themselves in a power position. The problem is, by doing that, they've run the tribe into the ground. J'Tia keeps messing up in challenges. It's beyond frustrating. So history's definitely not in my favors," Spencer said in a confessional.
Spencer told Kass and Tasha they needed him to win challenges and J'Tia was pretty much deadweight. The girls agreed to his face and Spencer wasn't sure whether they were just messing with his mind and trying to keep him comfortable. But Kass took him very seriously and approached Tasha afterwards, asking if there was any logic in getting rid of Spencer. Tasha admitted there wasn't.
The two girls were convinced they couldn't win challenges with J'Tia, and if that was the case, they'd get picked off one by one. So they arrived at the decision they wanted to get rid of J'Tia, especially since Tasha was still pissed about the rice. Kass and Tasha wanted to keep J'Tia happy and comfortable until blindsiding her.
Meanwhile, J'Tia was well aware she was hanging by her fingernails onto the tribe. She hoped her all-female alliance would stick because she was loyal to them in return. Kass and Tasha did acknowledge they couldn't really trust Spencer while J'Tia was definitely loyal, so because of that, Tasha began questioning their decision.
It came down to either winning challenges with Spencer as a short-term benefit or worrying about their longevity in the game and needing someone around who's trustworthy like J'Tia.
Kass was annoyed Tasha couldn't just make up her mind and come to a decision. Kass said both choices were ultimately a risk because she couldn't predict the future, so she'd be happy with either.
That night, Survivor: Cagayan -- Brawn vs Brains vs Beauty's four members of the Brains tribe arrived for their third Tribal Council session -- the fourth session of the season overall.
J'Tia said she did the best she could in the challenge and argued she did have physicality but swimming was not her thing. Tasha wasn't accepting that, telling Jeff that J'Tia was weak in most of the challenges and they always designated her a minimal role because they had little hope she'd succeed.
But Tasha acknowledged Spencer had kicked her out of his alliance with Garrett Adelstein, which made Tasha worry and want to go towards keeping JTia. Kass said JTia was just a hothead and she worried about making a decision she'd ultimately regret down the road.
"Maybe you do have signs of loyalty but unpredictability is just as dangerous as disloyalty at times. I'm not going to make a dumb mistake like that and I will be with this group going forward," Spencer told his tribe.
Tasha snapped that Spencer had already said that once before.
"I was the bonehead who was on the wrong side of the vote last time," Spencer announced.
Jeff then revealed the votes. J'Tia voted for Spencer, and the other three castaways voted to oust J'Tia from Survivor.
Spencer was relieved and clearly thrilled. He then told Tasha he'd show her that she made the right decision and he was with her 100 percent.