‘Survivor: Tocantins’ Episode 11 Recap: Was Coach Benched?

Previously on ‘Survivor’: Sierra called out Deb and Coach for plotting against JT and Stephen, but it didn’t do her any good as the Bride of the Dragon was the next to fall to ye olde Dragon Slayer

This Week: Deb turns on Coach, JT and Stephen bask in the glow of their positions in the game, and we’re treated to a special guest appearance from a former NFL star…

39 Days, 16 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Here’s the tribe as it currently stands.

Forza (wearing green)

•    Coach (The Dragon Slayer) – 37 – Soccer Coach
•    Debra – 46 – Middle School Principal
•    Erinn – 26 – Hairstylist
•    JT – 24 – Cattle Rancher
•    Taj – 37 – Former Pop Star
•    Stephen (The Wizard) – 29 – Corporate Consultant

Back from Tribal Council and everyone seems glad that Sierra is gone. Coach, however, is disgusted that Erinn and Taj voted for Stephen and Deb. According to Coach, “This is a time for the Warrior Alliance, because there’s a reason we have a name.” I would like to reiterate how much I love how important the alliance name is to Coach.

Quick Aside: During the first break, we see a Burger King commercial where King-ons (take off on Klingons) come into a guy’s living room and steal his “Star Trek” glasses and his girlfriend. What’s more likely: fast food mascots beaming into your home, or a guy with “Star Trek” glasses having a girlfriend?

The next morning it looks like Deb is trying to separate herself from Coach. She approaches JT about taking the Dragon Slayer out. JT and Stephen show how they feel about the situation by doing hilarious Deb impersonations.

Reward Challenge Time: And it’s not really a challenge, it’s the “Survivor” auction. Everyone has $500 and the bidding will be in $20 increments. Deb automatically shows us how little she understands numbers by bidding $50. Probst reminders her of the increments and she responds by bidding $70. She’s a principal, folks. Even with her mathematical shortcomings, she manages to win a plate of French fries.

Next up, Coach lands some chicken parmesan and a glass of wine for $320.

JT wins the next item, a mystery item, for $160. Luckily for him it turns out to be nachos.

Stephen gets the next mystery item for $100. Unluckily for him, it turns out to be chicken hearts.

The last item is a message from home. Everybody hands their money to Taj so she can buy the message. Taj starts bawling. It might have gotten a little dusty in the Holmes household too. I can’t confirm that.

Sure enough, former NFL star and Heisman winner Eddie George sends Taj further into hysterics. He finishes the message saying, “See you back at camp.” However, this didn’t click with Taj until Jeff brought it to her attention. Taj nearly bursts into flames with excitement. She grabs Probst and shakes him violently.

Whoa…don’t touch Probst.  Ever.

However, there’s a catch. If Taj will go to Exile with Eddie, then everyone will get to see their loved ones at camp. Taj happily agrees and everyone bursts into flames with excitement. It might have gotten a little dustier here, too.

Don’t judge me.

Later at Exile, Taj meets up with Eddie. She lets us know that she just wanted to take him aside and have a conjugal visit. I don’t think you could blame Eddie if he requested a shower first.

Eddie also manages to get a fire started relatively quickly. Somewhere Stephen must feel kind of stupid.

Back at camp, Deb’s husband, JT’s sister, Stephen’s brother, Erinn’s dad, and Coach’s assistant coach are all waiting to greet Forza.

Wait a minute?! Coach has another assistant coach? Don’t tell Tyson.

Coach and his real-world assistant head out for a stretching and back-cracking session. Coach makes my evening by saying, “Guess what they call me out here? Dragon Slayer, cause I’m slaying all the dragons.”

OK, seriously…there’s a section in the guy code that says you’re not allowed to give yourself a nickname, right? Has anyone called Coach “Dragon Slayer” ever?

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will have to dig their way under a beam on the ground, then walk over a balance beam and under a rope crawl. Then, they’ll have to memorize a sequence of math symbols. They’ll then have to run back and plug the symbols into an equation. The first person to come up with the right answer wins.

A math equation? Sorry, Deb.

Several players make several trips in an attempt to memorize the symbols, however, Stephen manages to memorize them all in one trip. This handy memorization trick helps Stephen ace the challenge and win immunity. Jeff asks how he did it, and Stephen breaks into an explanation that’s so long and brainy, that I can only assume that he has some “Star Trek” glasses waiting for him at home.

Full Disclosure: I’m totally going to see the new “Star Trek” movie tonight.

Politicking back at camp involves Coach trying to get Taj booted out because of her immunity idol. Meanwhile, Deb is driving hard to the hoop with JT and Stephen. She even tells them if it comes to a final three of her, Stephen, and JT that she’ll drop out and let them go to the final two.

Wait, what?! Why would anyone believe that? You suffered for 36 days just to hand the game to your new buddies?

Afterwards we were treated to a good five minutes or so of the JT/Stephen mutual admiration society. I’ll tell you one thing, Stephen better get rid of his bro-mance soon, or he’s playing for second place.

That night at Tribal Council, the jury members come out carrying jackets over their shoulders in a hilarious nod to the Dragon Slayer. Well done.

Coach lets us know that he trust Deb implicitly and she would never lie to him. He also says that Taj sacrificing time with her son to be on “Survivor” should be commended.

Deb tells us that Coach’s honesty could be his Achilles Heel.

Voting Time: Coach votes for Taj, Deb votes for Coach, and the rest…well…we’ll tell you…now.

One vote for Coach, a vote for Taj, a vote for Deb, a second vote for Deb, and the fourth member of the jury is…Deb.

Verdict: I can’t quite wrap my brain around why Coach is still in this game. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful, because Coach is hilarious. Is Stephen trying to work his way into a final two with Coach because he knows that’s a sure win? Wouldn’t going to the final two with Erinn be an easier win?

Who’s Going to Win? How many times do I have to say this? Taj, Taj, Taj. She can buy some Heisman polish with her million bucks.

What Do You Think? Why are they keeping Coach around? Will JT turn on Stephen? Could Erinn sneak into the finals and win?

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