I was hoping against hope that Sierra would win on immunity on Thursday's "Survivor" just so we wouldn't have to listen to more of her begging for mercy from her cold-hearted foes (especially the very mean Tyson) in the post-immunity-challenge segments. But what the show had in mind was even better. Jeff Probst was also pleased. And here's the teaser for next week: "SCRAMBLING TO SAVE THEMSELVES, TWO CASTAWAYS SELL OUT A FORMER ALLY BEFORE TURNING ON ONE ANOTHER. ... With her heart on her sleeve, one castaway takes an honest approach to the game but lands herself in hot water with everyone."
And so to the jump.
Even though Sierra lost immunity thanks to the final, crushing shot by Debbie, the reconfiguring of the alliances to take out Tyson was just terrific. Once again, the show managed to keep it unclear going into Tribal Council whether Coach's group would break up; the week before, it held firm for the ouster of Brendan, and the strategy depended on Sierra voting for Tyson even if she didn't know a new alliance had formed. Then, the payoff, with Tyson's smugness and the Debbie-Coach exchange of a look after the vote -- so good!
I liked this all even more because it was such a comeuppance for Coach, who has convinced himself that he was the -- wait for it -- dragon slayer while not really doing much; weak at the challenges and I haven't been clear if others were really following Coach or it was just that his strategy fit theirs. At least we got an answer to that last night. Would have loved to see Coach go home, but Tyson is better because he's meaner and because, as the others rightly noted, he is much more of a threat in the challenges. Then again, I would have liked to see the players use Coach's eating pizza during immunity as a way of getting the ticked-off Tyson to turn on Coach. But this all worked very well. Can't wait to see how things go on the next episode.