This blog post contains Survivor spoilers.
Hidden Immunity Idols
When everyone in the Villains tribe realized that there was a hidden immunity idol on their camp somewhere, they reached a consensus that whoever went looking for it would be voted off next. Russel from Survivor Samoa went off and tried to find the idol, which I thought was a bad move because now he will be, as Boston Rob said, a "marked man." Even though there is an agreement to get rid of whoever looks for the idol, in practice this may be difficult as there will be a temptation among contestants to align themselves with whoever has the idol. Furthermore, the Heroes tribe has an oversupply of physically strong men whereas the Villains tribe has an undersupply, so getting rid of a strong man like Russel won't be a good idea for the Villains. I believe the Villains made a good choice to get rid of Randy the previous time they were at tribal council because Randy was clearly the oldest and weakest male. Voting off weak females would be a good idea as well, but because the Villains have a numbers advantage, they have the luxury of sitting out females in challenges.
When the players at the Heroes camp realized that there was a hidden immunity idol somewhere on their camp, there was no attempt to reach a gentlemen's agreement not to go looking for it. (Such behavior does not seem heroic to me.) Rather, everyone scrambled into the bushes to try find the idol, and Tom found it, although Amanda saw him finding it and then told everyone. Currently in the Heroes tribe there are eight members. Five players--Candice, Amanda, James, Rupert, and JT--are aligned, meaning Colby and Tom, the remaining Heroes, are on the chopping block. This makes absolutely no sense from a tribal strength perspective because Colby and Tom are physically strong players, but the history of communism shows that when great power is up for grabs, weak people acting together can overthrow strong people. That is exactly what is happening on the Heroes tribe.
The Villains won both the reward challenge and the immunity challenge, although both challenges were very close and arguably the Villains were just lucky. Nevertheless, the Heroes were going to tribal council where they would vote one player off. The initial plan was for Candice, Cerie, Amanda, James, Rupert, and JT to address the hidden immunity idol issue by giving three votes to Colby and three votes to Tom. That way they flush out the immunity idol and get rid of someone outside the alliance. However, JT and Amanda then thought it would be a good idea to defect and vote with Colby and Tom to vote out Candice, a weak female (arguably Cerie is the weakest one). This would potentially be a good idea for JT and Amanda because it would strengthen the tribe and allow both JT and Amanda to be on the side with the hidden immunity idol. However, when Amanda went to Cerie and urged her to vote for Candice, Cerie argued that this was crazy because if Amanda voted against Candice then the girls would be up against the strongest males, and these girls would be able to win against these strong males. Weak players united are less likely to be defeated. I have seen Cerie Survivor play twice before and she has always used this tactic very well. I do not deny that Cerie is a a good Survivor player. Survivor Micronesia was absolutely horrific to watch because Cerie (and maybe Parvati) organized the weak females to vote off all the males one-by-one after the merge. Colby and Tom initially wanted to get rid of Candice but when JT informed them that Cerie was out to get Colby, they devised a plan that involved Colby, JT, and Tom voting for Cerie. Three votes would go to Tom. JT, who was originally voting for Colby, would defect and vote for Cerie instead, meaning Colby gets two votes. Because Tom plays the immunity idol, Cerie would go. The plan went off like clockwork at tribal council and Cerie was voted off.
When I think about it initially, JT made a bad decision to side with Colby and Tom rather than Candice, Cerie, Amanda, James, and Rupert. It's a bad idea because now everyone knows that JT is on Colby and Tom's side and now it is four versus three in the Heroes tribe with JT being on the side with fewer numbers. However, JT is on the side with the immunity idol, so there may be pressure from Candice, Amanda, James, or Rupert to switch sides and align with JT, Colby, and Tom.
Secret Scenes and Further Analysis
In a secret scene on the CBS website, Cerie complains about Rupert, someone she is aligned to. The impression I get is that one of the most difficult aspects of a game like Survivor is being forced to spend time with people you may hate. This may happen in real life as well. However, if you have a friend you don't like, you can just stop being friends with that person and avoid him. But in Survivor, you may have to continue to deal with that person if you want to win the million dollars. Sometimes you have to tolerate annoying people if you want to benefit. If someone is annoying at work but you need to work to put food on the table, you have no choice but to put up with it. Similarly, if someone in your family is annoying you and you need your family to feed you, you have to put up with it. This is why I think it's important for an individual to try to have an exit plan. If you own a small house in the outskirts and have enough money in the bank to afford food for the rest of your life, then if your family annoys you or if an employee or boss annoys you, you don't have to put up with it in order to live. You can just quit and live by yourself.
In another secret scene, JT weighs his options before tribal council. He reveals something that I didn't think about, namely that even though he is aligned to Candice, Cerie, Amanda, James, and Rupert, of that group, Candice and Cerie are at the bottom. Hence after this episode perhaps there is a four versus three split in the Heroes tribe with JT, Rupert, James, and Amanda on one side and Candice, Colby, and Tom on the other side. JT is the swing vote and holds the balance of power.
The secret scenes also show that on the Villains tribe, Coach is very much on the outside because of his eccentricity. Everyone mocks him and makes fun of him.
Cerie's final words revealed that the plan was for the girls (Cerie, Candice, and Amanda) to vote for Tom and for the guys (James, Rupert, and JT) to vote off Colby. Given that Colby only received two votes, Cerie believes on the guys cheated on her, and she thinks it is either James or JT. This means that JT may be able to hide the fact that he voted against the alliance. James and Rupert can declare that they voted for Colby, but JT can lie and say that he voted for Colby and point the finger at James or Rupert. Tom or Colby could tell everyone that JT was the rat, but I see no reason why they would do that.