'Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers' votes out Lauren Rimmer at chaotic Tribal Council
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/07/2017
Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers' merged Solewa tribe voted out Lauren Rimmer during Wednesday night's episode on CBS.
Lauren, a 35-year-old fisherman and single mom from Beaufort, NC, became the twelfth person voted out of the game and the fifth member ofSurvivor's Season 35 jury on Night 33 of the game with only one vote cast against her at Tribal Council.
Ben Driebergen, a 34-year-old U.S. Marine from Boise, ID, earned himself six votes; however, he played a hidden Immunity Idol, and so the votes against him did not count.
"What happened tonight at Tribal was a classic blindside," Lauren admitted following her ouster.
"Ben had the upper hand on me, but it is what it is. The only reason I'm pretty much here is because my dumb-dumb self gave [Mike Zahalsky] a piece of a hidden Immunity Idol. So I think it cursed me. I got it. It's a done deal now, and poof, I'm done."
Lauren had found two halves of one hidden Immunity Idol and gave a piece of it to Mike as a way to solidify trust and loyalty, but Mike decided to throw his piece in the fire at Tribal Council to flush the idol completely.
The episode began on Day 30 of the game, with Mike confessing he was completely in the dark again after Joe Mena's vote off. Mike simply believed people every time they told him something, and he acknowledged it was a flaw in his game.
Meanwhile, Ryan Ulrich and Chrissy Hofbeck realized Ben had been playing both sides and that he was actually loyal to Lauren, Devon Pinto, and Ashley Nolan. Ryan was upset that he no longer had an idol to play and his only real ally in the game was Chrissy, who also had no power.
Chrissy was really pissed at Ben for betraying her since they had been tight allies since the start of this game. Chrissy felt she always had Ben's back, and she told the former Marine that he finally showed his true colors.
But instead of being apologetic and kind, Ben barked at Chrissy about how Survivor is a game and she needed to get over what happened. Chrissy called Ben a "jerk" and said he was acting "inhuman," and she had every intention of getting revenge on him whenever possible.
But before the challenge commenced, each castaway was greeted by a loved one from back home. The emotional reunions did not disappoint, as every player cried in his or her loved one's arms.
Ashley was reunited with her dad Jim, Ryan got to see his SurvivorSuper Fan father Steve, Mike was greeted by his beloved wife Barry, Lauren got to see her sister Sonny, Chrissy fell into the arms of her husband Keith, Devon bawled upon seeing his sweet mother Sonya, and Ben was reunited with his wife Kelly.
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Instead of a physical challenge, this Reward was all about luck and destiny. Each castaway and loved one held onto a bag with two marbles inside -- one black marble and one white.
At the same time, aSurvivor player and his or her loved one would draw one marble out of the bag. If they matched, they could resume competing, but if the two marbles didn't match, a pair would be out of the running to win a barbeque.
The only couples who matched were Ben and his wife as well as Chrissy and her husband. In Round 2, Chrissy and Keith's marbles were the only ones to match, so Ben was eliminated.
Chrissy then got to choose a friend to join her for the barbeque, and she picked Ryan and his dad. Jeff told Chrissy that she could select another pair to join her, and so she quickly called out Mike and his wife. Chrissy was then given one more couple a chance to eat, and without hesitation, she chose Ashley and her dad.
Chrissy later told the cameras that Ben picked the wrong time to pick a fight with her and she was going to make sure he'd regret ever crossing her.
Although Ashley wasn't working with Chrissy, Chrissy picked her because she believed Ashley would be "the easiest of the four to break." Chrissy knew it'd be a longshot for Ashley to join her side, but she was still going to try. Chrissy only needed one more person to work with her in order to have the numbers and control the vote.
While enjoying Reward, Chrissy warned Ashley that her alliance was filled with "powerhouses" and this could be her time to make some big moves and take out a big threat. Chrissy then suggested Ben should go next because he was a strategic and social player, not to mention he has an amazing story of having fought for this country in Iraq.
Ashley acknowledged Chrissy was scrambling but that she might be right at the same time.
Meanwhile, Ben decided to make a fake hidden Immunity Idol and plant it somewhere at camp. His goal was for someone like Chrissy to find the idol and then stop looking for a real one. Ben knew that the fake idol would also give himself more time to look for the newly-hidden idol, which had most recently belonged to Ryan.
Ben decided to share his plan with Lauren and Devon, but Lauren thought the fake idol served little purpose other than potentially embarrassing Chrissy at the next Tribal Council session. Lauren didn't like how Ben was taking the game so personally.
After looking around, however, Lauren found the idol Ben had been looking for. But there was a catch. Lauren only found half of the idol and she must retrieve the other half at the Individual Immunity Challenge. Lauren was told the rest of her idol would be hidden under a seashell in front of her wooden platform at the challenge.
On Day 33, the tribe met Jeff again for the next Individual Immunity Challenge of the season.
Jeff instructed each castaway to stand with his or her arms stretched out to the side with fingertips pushing against two wooden disks on either end. If a disk dropped at any point, that player would be out of the challenge. The last person standing would be safe from the next vote.
After participating in the challenge for 15 minutes on one of the hottest days so far for the tribe in Fiji, Ben dropped out, followed by Chrissy, Ryan, Lauren -- who grabbed her idol when sitting down -- and then Mike.
The challenge came down to Devon and Ashley, and since it was known these two were strong allies, the pair made a deal with each other. Ashley promised Devon a back massage as long as he dropped out of the challenge first, and he obliged. Ashley therefore walked away with Individual Immunity.
Before heading to Tribal Council, Lauren assumed four people were going to vote the same way against three other players.
Ashley was in the majority and had an alliance she could trust, but she admittedly did not have many big moves on her Survivorresume.
Ashley therefore talked to Lauren and Devon about voting out Ben next. Devon, however, thought Chrissy was a threat as well due to her challenge capabilities and being someone the jury would like to see win the $1 million.
While Lauren, Devon and Ashley were talking around the well, Ben was listening from a distance and heard his name come up. When Ben approached the group, they stopped talking, so he became very suspicious of his alliance. Ben realized he might be going home instead of Chrissy.
As a result, Ben shared with Mike the fact he was paranoid, and Mike agreed that Ashley and Devon were really close and would probably orchestrate something like that. Ben then told Mike about Lauren's idol and secret advantage in which she has an extra vote.
Ben told Mike that Lauren was too powerful in the game, and Mike finally felt like he was on top of the world again. Ben easily talked Ryan into working with Mike and himself to take out Lauren, but the guys needed Chrissy to come onboard -- and she pretty much hated Ben at this point. Chrissy was also trying to talk strategy with Devon when no one was around.
Ben attempted to approach Chrissy about his goal to take Lauren out, but she totally blew him off. He realized he must take things one step further by apologizing to Chrissy in order for his plan to work.
Chrissy appreciated Ben's apology but didn't think she could trust him going forward since he had already blindsided her twice. But Ben seemed to seal the deal by sharing with Chrissy how Lauren had an idol and an advantage.
Ben planted the seed in Chrissy's mind that they could regain control of the game as long as they settled their differences and worked together.
Chrissy wouldn't whole-heartedly commit to the plan, so Mike decided to execute a "Plan B" in case Chrissy chose to play with her emotions.
In order to prevent himself from being the backup target, Mike decided to tell Ashley and Devon about how Ben had leaked the information about Lauren's advantages to Chrissy. Mike told Ashley that Ben had told Chrissy "everything."
Once Devon got wind of the news, he told Lauren about Ben's betrayal. Lauren then made a deal with Mike to keep herself safe, giving him half of her idol to cement trust between them. Mike pretended like he'd have Lauren's back at all costs, but in reality, he said in a confessional it was "one of the stupidest moves in Survivor history."
Tribal Council that night turned to be chaotic.
Devon made a statement at one point about how he had thrown the Immunity Challenge to solidify trust and it wouldn't have mattered if either Lauren or Ashley won instead of him. Ben didn't hear his name being called out, so he assumed their alliance was over.
And he was right. Lauren and Ashley pointed out in front of everyone how Ben had leaked information about Lauren's advantages to the opposing alliance, and Ben didn't deny it. In fact, Ben acted proud of what he had done, telling the tribe that he was gunning for Lauren after all.
Lauren insisted she had ripped up her secret advantage and didn't even have it at Tribal Council with her. Chrissy then announced the tribe could vote 4-3 against Lauren and flush her idol.
Scrambling to turn the target onto Ben, Lauren announced that Ben wanted Chrissy to play a fake idol, but Ben insisted he had taken that idol out of play.
Much to Lauren's dismay, Mike then threw the half of her idol that she had given him into the fire. Mike explained that he's always wanted to do that on Survivor and knew how idols could serve as blessings or curses in this game. Lauren put her heads into her hands and knew that she was in trouble after that.
Lauren reminded everyone that her secret advantage wasn't going to be played, and she even offered to give it to Chrissy as a bribe to keep her safe. Devon then told the tribe how Ben was the "most dangerous player" in the game because not one person could trust him or depend on him.
Whispering then broke out among castaways. Ryan told Mike to keep the vote on Lauren "without question," which Mike agreed with, but then Devon went over to Mike and told him to get rid of Ben. Devon said they had four votes and didn't need Chrissy or Ryan.
Chrissy then told Ryan that she was "still good" with voting out Lauren. But Mike asked Chrissy to vote for Ben instead -- a move that Chrissy was shown disagreeing with. Chrissy and Ryan apparently wanted to vote out Lauren, and Chrissy told Mike to "be brave."
After votes were cast, Ben decided to play his hidden Immunity Idol for himself. He played the real idol he had found after reading his wife's love letter following a previous Reward Challenge.
Jeff then read the votes out loud in the following order: Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben, and Lauren.
Joe Mena could be heard from the jury saying, "You keep Ben in the game and that's what happens." Lauren wished everyone good luck on her way out and maintained a smile on her face.
Jeff addressed the remaining tribe members at the end of Tribal Council, saying that while everything was out in the open, the only thing with power was the only secret, Ben's idol.