'Survivor: Kaoh Rong' recap: Kyle Jason gets voted out, Tai Trang wastes extra-vote advantage
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/05/2016
Survivor: Kaoh Rong -- Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty's merged Dara tribe voted Kyle Jason out during Wednesday night's broadcast on CBS.
Jason, a 31-year-old bounty hunter from Detroit, MI, was voted out of his tribe on Night 32 at the game's eleventh Tribal Council session basically because he was on the outside of a five-person alliance and failed to win Individual Immunity. He therefore became the sixth member of Season 32's jury.
"I've been watching Survivor for 15 years. I still love it just as much as I did Day 1. I didn't quit, didn't give up. Even being sent out on my own, I still tried to get in there and fight the good fight. I'm proud of the way I played, I'm proud of the game I played. And I think my family will be too. I love you girls," Jason said following his ouster, giving a shout-out to his two young daughters.
TheSurvivor broadcast began on Night 29 with Jason telling Cydney Gillon and Michele Fitzgerald that Aubry Bracco and Tai Trang would be tough to beat in the end and they'd have a better shot sitting next to him at the final Tribal Council. Michele knew Jason's argument made sense, but she was on the bottom of her own alliance and therefore needed to target him.
Michele already showed her loyalty to Aubry's alliance by voting out her closest ally Julia Sokolowski, so she really hoped she'd be safe. Tai told Aubry and Joseph "Joe" Del Campo that the three of them needed to stick together and he had an extra vote so they could definitely have four votes at the next Tribal.
Aubry knew Tai was a huge threat, but she felt the need to stick with him because he still had so much power in the game -- taking into account how he also had a hidden Immunity Idol in his pocket. Tai then told the cameras that Michele and Jason were on the outs, and because Michele was a well-rounded player and Jason was disliked by most of the jury, Michele needed to go next.
On Day 30, Jason acknowledged he was between a rock and a hard place, and he was really frustrated that no one wanted to strategize with him or make crazy, big moves with his help. Jason complained to Joe about how his alliance was wasting the concept of Survivor since no one was really playing.
But instead of changing Joe's mind, Jason made Joe angry. Joe told the cameras that when Jason doesn't get his way, he becomes "vulgar" and attempts to "bulldoze" everyone. Because he knew his ouster was likely, Jason stopped helping the tribe with duties around camp.
The challenge divided the tribe into two teams of three by random draw and required them to race through a series of obstacles in the water out to a giant floating maze they could stand on. Each team had to work together to maneuver three large balls through the maze and into their resting slots right in the middle of the puzzle.
The first team to finish would win Reward in the form of a picnic and visit to a wildlife sanctuary where they could interact with rescued animals.
The two teams were Joe, Aubry and Cydney against Tai, Michele and Jason.
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In the end, Tai's team won because they had a great strategy with the puzzle thanks to Jason's leadership. Tai, an obvious animal lover, was so excited to go to the sanctuary, however, he worried his alliance might fall apart with Aubry and Joe back at camp with Cydney.
Back at camp, Cydney was annoyed with Joe because he tried to boss her around. When she was eating, he demanded she gather firewood and help out around camp. Aubry was nervous because she knew Cydney didn't appreciate being told what to do; That was evident when she flipped on her former Brawn tribemates Jason and Scot Pollard.
Aubry recognized that Cydney had the potential to blow her whole game up, as well as Joe's, if they didn't play their cards right.
Meanwhile, on the Reward, Tai was warming up to Jason more because he was really nice to the animals and spoke of how much his daughters would have loved this opportunity. Tai noted, however, that despite the fact Jason was "persuasive," Michele hadn't made any enemies in the game so she was very dangerous.
But Michele's best case scenario was taking Jason out next. She wasn't even sure if the bounty hunter's display of kindness and affection at the wildlife sanctuary was genuine or just for show.
On Day 32, the Dara tribe met Jeff again for the season's next Individual Immunity Challenge.
Jeff explained each castaway must hold onto a rope in order to balance a wobbly table. The players had to race out, collect wooden blocks, bring them back to the table one at a time and stack them one on top of the other to spell the word "immunity." If at any point the tower of blocks fell, that individual must start over. The first person to stack the blocks correctly and walk back to the starting point would be safe from the next vote.
It was a close race between Jason and Cydney, as they both spelt "immunity" at the same time. However, Jason's blocks fell on his way back to the starting point, and so Cydney won the challenge. Jason must have been so frustrated because he was a matter of steps away from victory.
Once the Dara tribe returned to camp, Tai tried to convince the group -- Joe, Aubry and Cydney -- to vote for Michele because she was a bigger threat than Jason in terms of the endgame. Joe argued he'd rather get rid of Jason. Michele then joined the group as they talked in the water, noting Jason was the obvious next target.
Aubry agreed with Tai that Michele should go next because she's a great player, not to mention the fact Tai definitely intended to use his extra-vote advantage. However, Cydney didn't want to follow Tai's instructions, and she clearly wanted to go after Jason. Joe and Cydney thought Tai had his own personal agenda for wanting Michele gone.
It was clear at this point the vote was going to be between Michele and Tai. Tai even told Jason to vote for Michele, but Jason wasn't sure if he was going to follow suit since he believed Tai couldn't be trusted. Jason therefore mentioned wanting to vote for Joe instead.
Because Cydney didn't appreciate how Tai was dictating what needed to happen, she warned Michele that Tai was gunning for her. Cydney insisted she had Michele's back, and Michele knew she'd have to do some damage control at Tribal.
Aubry then started to cry because Tai was part of her core alliance but Cydney wanted her to vote for Jason instead of Michele. Aubry felt mentally exhausted, saying she was in a weird position and it would have to come down to a game-time decision.
"I think Tribal is going to be alive, and I might be someone waking it up," Aubry said in a confessional.
At Tribal Council that night, Michele was spitting fire as Tai basically announced to the group she was getting voted out. Michele called out how there was a pecking order and she was clearly on the bottom. Michele was disappointed because she had been convinced Tai was on the same page as her.
Michele claimed that it would be crazy to vote as Tai requested, reminded everyone he flipped twice and would do it again. Tai called her "an extra person," which signified that he never really viewed her as a member of his alliance to begin with. Jason was excited about the fact Tai and Michele were arguing because it meant he might have a shot to stay in the game longer.
While Tai insisted every person in his alliance had a vote, Cydney also snapped at him saying it was his way or the highway.
Before it became time to vote, Tai decided to play his advantage. He then got to vote again. It turns out both of his votes were for Michele.
Jeff then read aloud the votes in the following order: Jason, Michele, Michele, Jason, Joe, Jason, and Jason.
Scot shook his head over on the jury in disappointment. Jason had been his closest ally in the game.
The episode's closing credits later showed that Michele, Joe, Cydney and Aubry voted for Jason. Tai voted for Michele twice, and Jason cast the random vote for Joe.