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Survivor: Kaoh Rong recap, episode 5: Scot Pollard has a game-changing man crush

Something beautiful has happened. Something amazing has happened. I'm so excited I can barely write. Up to this point my recaps of Survivor: Kaoh Rong have been a tale of two players: Scot Pollard, NBA champion and Tai, the greatest Survivor contestant of all time. NOW THEY'RE ON THE SAME TRIBE!

Let's break down how we got here. Caleb had to be evacuated following heat exhaustion the previous week. Typically we'll see non-elimination weeks in these situations, but this year there was something more devious planned. The 13 remaining contestants would drop their buffs and blind pick from a pile. Six would be blue, six yellow -- and one red. You don't want the red one. It didn't mean elimination or anything unfair like that, it meant you would be isolated for three days. Alone on Brawn beach you can't get eliminated, but you also don't have a chance to work your social game. Instead you need to hope your old alliances stick together and don't plot against you.

That's when it happened.


Like an anxious parent I hoped Scot and Tai would get along. It was like sending your kid on a play date and being nervous there would be a fight, or a phone call for a pickup.

Up to this point, Beauty had really been running the table. This split absolutely shattered the tribe. The women's alliance that previously existed was scattered across both tribes, and Julia drew the red buff that exiled her. Meanwhile Tai couldn't have been happier, knowing it was a matter of time before he was booted. Not anymore.

The Tai minute

Our focus of this series has been Scot Pollard's journey from NBA Champion to potential sole survivor, but we would be remiss not to discuss Tai -- the greatest contestant ever.

I know we've been rather Tai-centric so far, but if you're not down with that then you can't enjoy things in life. This week was all about Tai meeting Scot and the two of them becoming BFFs. Here's how Tai described Scot:

"Scot is gigantic. He's six-foot-eleven inches. So tall. Almost 300-and-something pounds. I think almost three of me can make one of him. And he wears size 18 shoes! It's amazing!"

The two formed a bond while going to pick mangoes together. Tai has been eyeing those mangoes from day one, but they were too tall for him to reach. He just needed a boost. Problem, meet solution. These two were made to be on the same tribe and become best friends.


Back to the game ...

Both tribes arrived at the same conclusion: Eliminate beauty members. Across both tribes we had five brains members, two brawn members and five beauty. However, beauty was split because of Julia's isolation -- thus making the most sense to take them out. Professional poker player Anna immediately started scheming against Tai and presenting him as devious and out for himself, which is totally true -- but everyone loves Tai because they're humans with hearts.

This week's challenge fell into a familiar format for this season. Swim out to a marker, dive to retrieve some puzzle pieces, assemble said puzzle. Honestly, these challenges are so prevalent that it's feeling stale. They've got to shake things up, because this is the third time we've seen a challenge of this type. Scot absolutely killed it, swimming out to a huge early lead and basically doing the first leg on his own.


It wasn't enough. The puzzle team of Peter and Anna absolutely sucked and couldn't put the thing together at all.

Tai tells Anna and Scot in a huddle that he wants to use his immunity idol during Tribal Council to blindside Peter. Anna is overjoyed at the prospect and the three of them say it's a done deal. Behind the scenes things changed. It's revealed to Scot that Tai is safe, meaning they can blindside Anna, keep the idol hidden and when the tribes merge there's a chance Scot, Tai and Jason can form a devastating trio with a single super idol.

You couldn't write this up better -- provided you like Scot and Tai.

The plan went as it was foretold, Anna was voted out and now Scot and Tai have a chance to bring Julia into the fold when she returns from exile. The next two weeks will be critical, but things are looking good for Scot Pollard.