The next morning - day 15 - Katie gets started on her master plan, chatting to Denise about Penner possibly having the immunity idol. He does, of course, though it's unclear who actually knows it at this point. Katie thinks that if they can blindside Jonathan this week, she'll at least make it to the merge, which will give her a few more options.
Over at Tandang, the mood is only slightly less sombre as the group sets about making something to eat and discovers there's not much rice left. Malcolm, the newcomer to the tribe, questions what they've been doing, and Pete explains that Mike has been eating it raw as he thinks the heat of the island allows it to cook in your body. Wow, that's... special. Pete thinks Mike is "the most useless player ever to be returned to Survivor" and that he needs to go home - a sentiment Artis agrees with.
Later that afternoon, both tribes head to meet Jeff for the day's reward challenge. Three members from each will race out for a long wicker ball, which they'll need to push to a goal at the other end as the other team tries to stop them. The first tribe to score three points will win the reward: a lunch with sandwiches, soup, chips, brownies and more at a dry hut. The muddy task gets personal rather quickly as the players pull each other down repeatedly and no one's making much progress because of it.
The challenge goes into an hour long deadlock with the ball moving not even an inch as the six players all grab hold of it and each other. Eventually, Penner tries to trade with Mike - the sandwiches for the rest of Kalabaw's rice. Artis is none too happy, as he wants to and doesn't want to give up anything. However, Mike wants to take the rice and go. Eventually, an agreement is made - Kalabaw gets the challenge win and Tandang gets all of Kalabaw's rice.
Kalabaw then cleans up and heads over for their picnic lunch, which is pretty decadent and seems to lift their morale. Carter hopes it will give them some kind of momentum and advantage. No one mentions the deal that Penner made on their behalf, though he brings it up himself to insist that today's food will hold them off until tomorrow, when they'll go fishing. Another advantage to the win is the fact that they also receive letters from their loved ones at home - giving up the rice is more than worth it, they decide.
Back at Tandang, Artis admits that it feels "brutal" that Kalabaw was enjoying the win that they should have had and confides in Malcolm that he believes Penner made a brilliant move by offering the rice. He knows he needs to calm down before he explodes, though, or he could become a target quickly. Lisa says that it feels "worse than a loss" because they gave up rather than simply losing. Everyone is complaining about the decision Mike made, but no one stopped them, so I'm not sure what grounds they have for whining.
Mike is, of course, the source of the frustration, and RC tries to amp him up by telling him that Artist was angry and "cursing up a storm" at him during the challenge. Mike insists, however, that he did nothing wrong and that it wasn't even him who made the decision. Erm, yes it was. In any case, RC wants to try to stay neutral and let Abi, Pete and Artis blow up as much as possible, as they have the upper hand at the moment.
The next morning, Kalabaw is ready to start fishing to get some food for the day. They start with Penner trying to spear a stingray, which doesn't go so well - something tells me the day might be a bit of a disaster, especially since everyone is getting hungry. He only manages to catch a few tiny fish, which are meant to be shared amongst the five of them. Penner tries to stay positive, but no one is impressed with the situation.
Later, the groups again head to meet Jeff, this time for the immunity challenge. For this task, one member from each tribe will launch balls into a field while the others try to catch the ball. It doesn't matter which colour balls the players in the field catch - they just need to catch five to win. Whoever does it first gets immunity. Since Kalabaw is down two members, two people from Tandang need to sit this one out, and it's Mike and Abi who take a seat.
After the first round, Tandang leads two to one, though Jeff ties it up later, then takes the lead. The task is pretty evenly matched, though, and it's not long before Tandang manages to grab another point and even things out again. On the final point, it's a mad dash before Malcolm grabs the final point for Tandang, giving the group immunity and forcing Kalabaw to eliminate another member of their team.
Returning to their camp, the mood at Kalabaw is sullen. Jeff admits that even though he has an alliance with Jonathan, he's unsure which way he's going to jump at the moment. He and Carter talk privately, where both admit that they want to keep Denise around and find Katie to be useless. It's between her or Jonathan going home. They eventually decide that a big move to get rid of Jonathan might be a smart decision, though there's always doubt, as going into the merge with Penner could take the heat off them. However, they'll need to make sure that Penner is none the wiser about the plan so that he doesn't use his immunity idol.
Carter pretty much puts that all into doubt when he sits down to ask Jonathan what he wants to do at Tribal - eliminate "Katie or Penner". He quickly corrects himself and Jonathan doesn't seem to notice, instead suggesting that Denise is the one to go to Katie when she walks over. However, she's not buying it and thinks he's being shady. Jeff questions whether she's ready to get rid of Jonathan, and she gives a very enthusiastic yes, so he tells her to play along for now so he can weigh his options a bit more.
At Tribal Council, Katie is eliminated with three votes, meaning Jeff and Carter decided against blindsiding Penner. Shame, too - they could have had him! You can tell Jeff is kicking himself for chickening out at the last minute, but oh well! Too little, too late.
"I got blindsided. It's not a good feeling, but I came in thinking, 'Oh, I'm an athlete, I'm so strong, I can handle whatever'," Katie says following her exit. "But out here, it's nothing like you see on TV. It's so hard but it's such an awesome thing for me to be able to say that I played Survivor."
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.