Right off the bat, Ozzy's here to break down the odd nature of "Survivor" ethics, which basically seem to consist of "dance with the one what brung ya." And Erik, whose ass was barely saved by Ami betraying Ozzy last week, is itching to add some more potential dance partners. "In a perfect world," Erik observes, "the merge would be tomorrow."

Right off the bat, Ozzy’s here to break down the odd nature of “Survivor” ethics, which basically seem to consist of “dance with the one what brung ya.” And Erik, whose ass was barely saved by Ami betraying Ozzy last week, is itching to add some more potential dance partners. “In a perfect world,” Erik observes, “the merge would be tomorrow.”

Congrats, Erik, you’re on reality TV. Perfection is within reach. The next morning, tree mail announces the merge and the tribes happily gather for the traditional merge feast. The only party pooper is Eliza, who was relying on Ami to help out her alliance and is thus a sad bear that she’s gone.

I want to take this moment to announce something important: I now ADORE Erik. I’m not saying that because he’s young and naïve, or because of his increasingly bizarre relationship with Ozzy, or because of his long and flowing locks. I am saying that because, when faced with the task of naming the newly merged tribe, Erik tells his fellow players that “Dabu” means “good” in Micronesia and they believe him. In truth, Erik made the word up because “I wanted to name the tribe something funny. For all I care it could have been ‘momo’ or ‘fo’ shizzle’.” Seriously, no one had better screw with Erik. My vengeance will be ineffective, but swift.

Meanwhile, as they say on “Gossip Girl,” OMFG DRAMA. Alexis (wait, who?) is getting super flirty with Ozzy, who is super into it. And Ozzy’s previous “Survivor” girlfriend, Amanda, is about to rip off someone’s head. Choosing to hate the player, not the game, Amanda decides that she wants Alexis (huh?) gone. Alexis (oh, right, the girl with all that hair!) seems pretty oblivious. That’s always the way it starts.

How old is Amanda? Because every time she speaks, with her behind-the-back gossiping and freaking out over her boyfriend talking to another girl, I feel like I’m back in high school.

And when Parvati tells Amanda that she formed a second alliance with Natalie and Alexis while over on Airai, it seems like Amanda and Parvati are on the verge of Friend Divorce.

Meanwhile, Ozzy picks up another Eve Harrington in Jason, who is super-psyched about being able to learn spear-fishing from Ozzy. He’s also psyched about his hidden immunity idol, promising it to fellow outcast Eliza if he wins the immunity challenge.

And, thank God, it’s time for said challenge. I hate these single-challenge episodes. On the plus side, I think we may have come to the end of the smash-tiles-and-assemble-puzzle-pieces games.

This time, it’s kind of bad-ass: Everyone stands in the water, beneath an iron grate, while the tide comes in. Last one to freak out about drowning wins immunity.

Okay, this challenge is conceptually cool, since in theory gender and size have little to do with courage. But the women bail out early, resigning themselves to watching the men slowly drown. And Jason, that plucky young go-getter, outlasts Ozzy for the win.

Jason is savoring his victory, thinking that with possession of the hidden immunity idol, he and Eliza will control voting and be able to get Ozzy’s “cocky ass” out. Eliza is much more excited than Jason, since Parvati’s gunning for her. So Jason fetches his idol for Eliza… Oh, sweet son of Probst, this is beautiful.

Eliza, using her lawyer brains, quickly assesses that Jason’s idol cannot be the real idol. You can see her thought process laid out in the following exchange:

ELIZA: It’s not the idol.

JASON: Yes, it is.

ELIZA: It’s a (bleeped) stick!

JASON: It has a little face on it.

ELIZA: Ozzy must have drawn it on there. It can’t be the idol.

JASON: Why do you say that?

ELIZA: Because it’s a stick!

Does David Mamet ghost-write this show? No time to wonder: We’re off to Tribal Council!

The usual rehashing of drama takes place, with Cirie making note of the fact that Alexis (right, that girl) is a solid competitor and thus a threat. But overall it’s looking bad for Team Eliza. Especially when, after the votes are cast, she turns in Jason’s idol… And Jeff announces it to be a fake.

Not missing a beat, Eliza immediately outs Ozzy as the true possessor of the idol and Jeff throws the fake one in the fire (Ozzy: “Jeff, c’mon, that took hours!”). Seems to me that Eliza might have avoided playing the fake idol and gone out with a little dignity. She’s pretty good-natured about the whole thing and walks out smiling, but we’ll see how long that smile sticks around.

Next week: Ozzy does well at challenges! Everyone wants to vote him out!

Survivor: Micronesia: Season 16, Episode 9

Reality series -- CBS; Thurs., April 10; 8 p.m.

Production

Mark Burnett Productions with Castaway Television Productions Inc. and Survivor Productions LLC.

Cast

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