Coming into Thursday's all new Survivor: Gabon
, the Kota tribe had won 6 of 8 challenges. That trend would continue as the Fang tribe remained unable to work together well as a team. In the reward challenge, Kota members quickly figured out what they were doing wrong and worked together to come up with better solutions. As a result, Kota was able to win the reward of fruit, seasonings, and an herb garden. The rewards have enabled Kota to get the energy they need for the challenges to come, while the losses have left Fang tired and searching for answers. After winning the challenge, Kota decided to once again send Sugar to Exile Island. She had already found the hidden immunity idol on a previous exile, so she was able to get some much needed rest.
When it came time for the immunity challenge, Fang realized one of their members was missing. GC, a maintenance supervisor from Oregon, had gone on a canoe ride by himself, and had not returned to camp. Crystal urged that they should not waste their energy looking for him and instead save it for the challenge. Kelly, Ken, and Matty decided otherwise and started searching and yelling out his name. GC returned to camp just in time to leave for the challenge, and he seemed indifferent to the fact that he had worried his tribemates.
The immunity challenge involved rolling large balls down a hill into goals at the bottom. Fang took an early lead when there were communication issues between Randy and Dan on the Kota tribe. However, those issues were resolved, and Kota came back to within a point of Fang with one round to go. Randy tricked Ace by telling him he was in the right position when he was not. By the time Ace realized Randy was not on his team, it was already too late, and Kota won the challenge 9-7.
Fang tribe would once again make the trip to tribal council. It would be their fourth in only five episodes. As was evident by disappearance before the challenge, GC had not been putting forth much of an effort over the last several days. When GC told Matty that he was tired of playing the game, it sealed his fate. At tribal council, every vote went for GC except his own, which he cast for Kelly, the sales rep from Illinois.
The Fang tribe continued to unravel this week. Ace, Kelly, and Sugar appeared to be on the outside, but they stood back and allowed GC to implode, letting them survive. Randy continued to gel with his new tribemates on Kota, and his tricky move at the immunity challenge is sure to raise his stock within the tribe. Kota is simply a step above the Fang tribe both mentally and physically right now, and there is no reason to believe they will not continue their dominance.
Survivor: Gabon is new Thursdays at 8/7c on CBS. Check back here every Friday for recaps and analysis.
Story by Kevin Olsta
Starpulse contributing writer