"I just want to give everybody here a hug! Man, you guys look awful!" - Jeff Probst

Hell is this game right now.

I didn't expect it to be quite THIS emotional at the merge. But my god! The feelings and moods of people are just...so real, so deep. I mean, contestants have done sneaky things in the game before - lied, betrayed, trash talked. But every single other time it was with strangers you met about two weeks before...not true friends who have known each other for years. That Lex, Rob, and Kathy exchange was just...so filled with undercurrent, with deep-seated feelings. No one is enjoying this, not even Rob. As Jenna said "Game plans were spoken aloud, and it wasn't nice for anyone to hear."

When Kathy and Lex opted to boot Jerri, I had thought their thinking would be to approach the two on the outs at Chapera, namely Tom and Alicia, and make a good case at why they should switch. Certainly the viewers have the benefit of seeing more than the contestants, but it shouldn't have been difficult even for Mogo Mogo to spot the cracks in Chapera.

It's real simple...

- Rob and Amber are obviously a pair. Everyone knows it.

- Lex said Mogo Mogo was left scratching their heads at Rupert selecting Jenna to go on the reward with them. If they had quit moaning about it, they should have realized that Rupert said "Jenna, we've spent the whole time together, the first reward we win, we share it." Bingo - another obvious pair...the last two Sabogans.

- Jerri said in a confessional right before her boot that Amber had been very tight-lipped about relationships within Chapera. But one thing Amber did mention was the whole brooding thing that Alicia did after the log rolling challenge, as shown on the Insider. This definitely gave Jerri the impression Alicia was on the outs from the rest.

So put it all together, and you've got a credible way to crack Chapera that benefits all parties involved. Tom and Alicia flip, and give themselves a better chance at the top than they currently have. The numbers were there! THIS is what I thought Lex and Kathy had in mind when they kept Amber.

But instead, what did they think Rob and Amber would do? Join with Kathy and Lex and Big Tom? When it got down to those five, Tom could bet his goat farm on Lex saying "You go to the final two with Romber, and it's Immunity or DEATH for you - 100% guaranteed. Go in with Kathy and I...and brother, I'll take you to the top." In fact, Lex basically said TO ROB'S FACE that was his plan during their argument...that Lex would have his "numbers advantage" after voting out Amber and recruiting Tom. You don't think Rob could see this scenario, plain as the nose on his face? That Rob wouldn't think "You're saying right now you would have swung Big Tom at the final nine...yet NOT done it at the final five???" Give me a break! Lex actually thinking that Rob would agree to this "plan" was almost an implied insult to the guy - really, does he think Rob is a complete moron?

So I have to say...you know, I've been a fan of Lex both as a gameplayer and a person since Africa - I'd name him in my top five contestants ever. But...his attitude towards this whole thing has been very disappointing. Rob threw one plea your way, and you figure that because he's your pal (and Lex is "pals" with half the people on the cast) that he's going to completely screw up his game, put himself at a numbers disadvantage, all because he feels he owes you a favour Lex? In Rob's words...c'mon!!!

Ultimately, Lex lost in large part because he forgot his own mantra going in - that this was business. Rob didn't. That's simply what it boils down to. Was Rob gleeful at the prospect of voting out Lex? Hell no! Rob may talk a lot of smack, but the guy has got a heart. He did what he had to do, had the GUTS to do it, and Lex did not. Amber said it going in - you're not going to win the money without it maybe costing you some friendships along the way.

It was good to see Rupert win that reward, one tailor-made for a good swimmer with brute strength. But the reward was...eh...rather dull to watch. Besides, to see them oohing and ahhing over the shampoo and toothbrushes looked almost a little staged. All three were on Chapera, so it was like "Oh wow...toothbrushes and shampoo...just like we've been using at camp since Day 10...what a novelty."

I gotta laugh at how they made it seem like the merged tribe only had what they scrounged off of Saboga beach. Did my eyes deceive me or was Lex eating rice next to a fire when he was arguing with Rob? Where did THAT stuff come from? And the merged tribe name...geez, I haven't seen this kind of silliness since Chuay Jai. Chaboga Mogo??? WTF? Was that the best they could do? I guess their imaginations are somewhat stifled after 27 days.

I thought it was very interesting that immediately after Rob was shown giving a monologue on how he's been playing the game "since the second (he's) got here" that the show cut to the Romber powwow. As if to highlight that, yes you are playing Rob...but not completely. And maybe not the best of anyone out there. Again, I am just floored by how well BOTH Rob and Amber are playing...and still can't figure out who's playing who amongst the two of them. Maybe both...maybe neither. Certainly Amber came out of this whole mess looking a hell of a lot better than Rob did.

And how about Kathy winning Immunity? Facing off with a woman half her age and she kicked her ass! Damn, that's impressive...if you had to vote for the member of Mogo Mogo that's played the best, it is far and away Ms. Vavrick O'Brien. She had controlled that tribe since Day 1. Shii Ann said it best in episode six "Kathy's the biggest power player of all. She's got all of us wrapped around her fingers. And if no one's noticing that? She is one darn good player."

Funniest Quote: Big Tom's calf-weaning comment was priceless, but I think it's just edged out by Rob "You didn't think I was really going to believe that did you?!?!?! C'mon!!!" Was this a bit arrogant? Well sure. But really...Lex, did you SEE the Marquesas season? And you're shocked at how Rob is playing???? Say it with Rob...c'mon!!!

So next week - Kathy has a big ol' target on her back. I thought she would go this week, just to appease Lex somewhat, but now she is crispy toast coming out of a four slice toaster. Sure, we'll see people considering other possibilities (as we've seen in the previews) but it's all red herring. Nope, the Pagonging will continue...perhaps we should call it Mogonging this season.