Night 30 finds the tribe members returning from having voted off Jonathan, and the survivors take turns recapping the game. Abi, who is universally hated on the tribe, believes she is being targeted for being too honest. Uh, yeah, right, Abi. We probably hate you for your beauty, too.
Former teen star Lisa didn't want to vote Jonathan off, but she had made an alliance and stuck with it, even though she thinks Malcolm is playing the best social and strategic game, which makes him very dangerous.
But before we can do more than come back from commercial, it's time for the reward challenge and Jeff Probst wastes no time in telling the players they will be teaming up with their loved ones.
Accident-prone Michael greets his son, also named Michael. And we suspect the apple has not fallen far from the tree as Michael Junior races out and appears to slightly twist his ankle. Family gatherings must require a paramedic to be on standby at their house.
Next up, Carter's mom races in and we must say, she is one hot mama.
Denise's husband is next and she jumps into his arms, wrapping her legs around him. Either Denise is tiny or hubby Brad is a giant.
When Probst tells Lisa her brother, Justice, is here, she immediately falls apart, crying and clinging to him like she's adrift in the ocean and he's a life preserver.
Abi's mom is next, and she's crying and because she doesn't
Probst yanks Malcolm's chain by pretending he's forgotten him. But no, Malcolm's doofus brother, Miles, comes out. Malcolm and Doofus say they weren't allowed to watch TV during the week except for "Survivor." Oh man, really? That's just sad and a little bit worrisome.
The challenge involves the players tossing a muddy ball to their loved ones, who must catch it and then use it to knock down targets, which in this case are short pieces of posts, stacked on posts of varying heights. First team to knock down all the targets wins reward -- the family member will be allowed to return to camp and spend the night.
Everyone does really well, except Abi and her mother, who must think she's been kidnapped by a band of sadists. If the footage is accurate, they succeed in completing one pitch-and-catch, and zero targets eliminated. But in the end, it Malcolm and Miles, the TV-deprived bros, who win the challenge. They are muddy and happy, but there is no joy among the others.
Probst, as he often does, throws a twist by allowing Malcolm to choose another player and their loved one to join them. He picks Lisa and Justice, then asks if he can pick a second one. Probst says sure, go ahead, and Malcolm chooses the two Michaels.
He explains later that he owed it to them as a reward for flipping and joining his alliance, but it was hard to see how sad everyone else was.
Back at camp, Michael Junior shows how much like his dad he is by climbing a tree to chop coconuts and ending scraping his arms bloody raw.
Lisa explains how close she is to her brother, who is 20 years younger than her. She tells Justice what's been going on and he gives her a pep talk and reminds her she's there to play a game. It's actually good advice, because she can't bring herself to go against her alliances. He talks her through it and she's excited that now she has fresh perspective. Uh oh, Malcolm, you may be in trouble because Justice and Michael Junior are talking Lisa and Michael Senior into attempting another blindside.
While Lisa, Justice and the Michaels "bond over Jesus," as Malcolm puts it, Malcolm and Denise are a little worried. Lisa leads the other three in prayer, asking that God's will be done, which she hopes involves voting Malcolm butt out.
Today's challenge requires the players to race across narrow planks of wood floating on water to a platform where they will use grappling hooks to retrieve three bags and swim to shore. Inside the bags are narrow strips of wood, which they will use to construct a pole, and then use the pole to poke a target, releasing a banner that reads "immunity."
And they're off. Carter gets all of his bags first, followed by the others. Abi takes her time in getting to shore, being berated by Probst all the way. Despite Carter coming really close, it's Malcolm who wins his first immunity challenge, and poof, Lisa's plan is shot into smithereens, meaning everything we just saw and discussed was for nothing.
Malcolm is delighted. He has immunity and at the next tribal council, he can play his hidden immunity idol, guaranteeing him a pass into the final four.
Lisa tries to talk theology and God's plan with Michael, but he sort of ruins the moment by pointing out a huge ant crawling on a tree. But it will be either Abi or Carter. They all hate Abi, but Carter is a threat. Carter thinks he should stay because he's nice and Abi is, you know, the opposite of nice.
Abi is running her mouth off, refusing to let anyone say anything and getting on people's nerves. Denise asks if they can just let things drop and she says no, that now she has no choice but to play her (imaginary) hidden immunity idol.
Malcolm wins huge points in our book by comparing Abi to the Dementors of Harry Potter fame, draining all the joy from those around her. Nice analogy, Malcolm. Except for the bikini, she is exactly like a Dementor.
Carter wonders if it is a cultural thing, but Denise says no. It is just the culture of Abi.
Abi is such an obnoxious drain -- she would say too honest -- Malcolm says he is considering getting rid of her despite the threat of the idol, and despite the fact that it would make more sense to get rid of Carter first. If Abi goes home tonight, he says, it will be because she is the B-word.
Carter makes his case, saying there has been a lot of talk about playing the game with people you respect and who are deserving, rather than taking someone into the final that you think you can beat, Probst asks Lisa if she would rather sit in the finals with a deserving player or a person you can beat, and she says she would like to be altruistic, but she's being practical and would take the person she can beat.
Everyone votes, Probst asks about playing an idol and no one moves, so time to read them. Sadly, it's Carter who is voted off and Abi lives to dement another day.
Next time: Abi is back at sucking the souls out of her tribemates, mainly Lisa.