The Martyr Approach is the thirteenth and penultimate episode of Survivor: Tocantins.


Night 33

The Forza tribe returns from yet another blindside, with Coach shocked not only because he received a vote but even more so that Debbie was not only voted out but plotted against him. J.T. explained that they did not tell Coach because he felt they would not believe that his closest remaining ally would throw him under the bus. Coach was thankful but also wary that power really has shifted away from him and hoped that the remaining Warrior Alliance members (J.T. and Stephen) would at least keep him longer than Erinn.

Day 34

J.T., Stephen, and Coach have a conversation regarding the Exile situation should either of them win the upcoming Reward Challenge. They agree that they feel bad that Erinn and Taj had to go multiple times while J.T. and Coach had never gone, but Coach pleads to the other men not to send him citing asthma, back pain, and other issues allegedly plaguing him. J.T. and Stephen were annoyed that Coach, with his supposed adventurous background, was scared to go to Exile and felt that it was his time to go despite his pleads. At the Reward Challenge, J.T. once again took an early lead with only Coach able to keep pace. Falling out of it early, Stephen, Erinn, and Taj worked together on the remainder of the maze. J.T. made short work of the targets and won the challenge. Justifying his decision with the words "Let's be noble, Coach. You and me are the only ones that haven't gone", J.T. sends Coach to Exile Island. Coach claims that he will challenge himself at Exile with no sleep, food, or shelter, which upset Erinn and she made it known verbally, thinking Coach was minimizing her stay in Exile. Coach ignored that comment and continued making his point. The Jalapao Alliance left the challenge both annoyed at Coach for his antics and Erinn for her comments, as Erinn and Taj returned to camp and J.T. and Stephen went on reward. Taj reassured Erinn that her comments would not cost Erinn her spot in the final four.

Day 35

J.T. and Stephen return from their overnight reward at the governor's retreat, where they discussed the pros and cons of keeping and voting out Coach and Erinn. Meanwhile, at Exile Island, Coach continues on with his self-inflicted harsher Exile experience, claiming it will make him "more of a man" as this is a ritual his American Indian ancestors took part in. Several scenes of Coach posing and meditating are shown, along with finding a wooden cane.

Day 36

Coach walks into the Immunity Challenge with his "Dragon Cane", which annoys Erinn and Taj, the latter calling him a drama queen in confessional. Probst notes during the challenge that Coach's monastic style of Exile might have inadvertently prepared him for an endurance challenge like this. Once Erinn, Stephen, and Taj drop out of the challenge in that order, Probst reminds Coach about the battle against the strongest players he craved and how he was getting one in a showdown for immunity between J.T. and Coach. In the final moments of the challenge, Coach is very visibly struggling to the point where he yells. He drops out of the challenge and also collapses. J.T. and Stephen rush to his aid and Probst asks Coach what's wrong. Coach says he had a back spasm for the last 10 minutes of that challenge. Probst asks Coach if he wants medical to take a look but Coach quickly declines. This makes Erinn and Taj suspicious that Coach was faking his pain, the former also calling him a "drama queen" in confessional.

Back at camp, the scene Coach caused before and after the challenge reassured to Erinn and Taj that Coach will be their vote. They also talked about how Coach likely declined to see the medical team because they would say nothing was wrong. Coach talks to Stephen and J.T. about voting for Erinn, to which both agree that Erinn does not deserve to go further in the game. J.T. plans on voting for Erinn regardless because of the promise he made to Coach, but Stephen is leaning toward voting for Coach to keep the alliance in tact until the final 4. Since Coach was the next strongest challenge performer besides J.T., Stephen was also worried that Coach was a challenge threat. At Tribal Council, Erinn and Coach continue talking about Exile and the drama Coach has caused in the last few days. Erinn claims that someone will be surprised by the vote, while Coach thinks it won't be a surprise because "women have great intuition". Before Probst signals for the voting process to begin, Coach interrupts to say a poem which causes the jury to roll their eyes. After he finishes, voting begins as normal. J.T. and Taj are shown voting for Erinn and Coach respectively. Coach calls Erinn a cat with nine lives in his voting confessionals, while Erinn references Coach's title of "Dragon Slayer" by saying "dragon slayed". In a 3-2 vote, Coach is voted out. Probst forecasts an interesting finish considering how the final 4 have successfully blindsided most, if not all, of the jury members.


Challenge: Blind To Reason
The castaways would race through a maze in the shape of the Survivor logo with their feet shackled together. At the end of the maze, they would build a pole from sticks and rope that was long enough to retrieve a sandbag tied to the end of a rope. They would then swing the sandbag at three targets, with the first person to knock all three over winning the challenge.
Reward: An overnight trip to the Governor's Retreat where the castaway would have a bed to sleep in, take a shower, and eat at a traditional Brazilian barbecue.
Winner: J.T. Thomas (shared with Stephen Fishbach, exiled Coach Wade)

Challenge: Chimney Sweep
The castaways would brace themselves with their arms between two walls while standing barefoot on two foot pegs. Every 15 minutes, the castaways would move down to smaller foot pegs. When the castaways reached the third set of foot pegs, they would try to remain on them as long as they could. The last castaway to remain on their pegs would win.
Winner: J.T. Thomas

Tribal Council

Tribal Council 11:
S18 coach t
Coach (3 votes)
S18 erinn tS18 stephen tS18 taj t
Erinn, Stephen, Taj
S18 erinn t
Erinn (2 votes)
S18 coach tS18 jt t
Coach, J.T.
S18 coach bw
Coach Wade

Voting Confessionals

Erinn's confessional and an edited version of Coach's confessional were shown in the episode. J.T. was shown writing Erinn's name on the parchment.

S18 jt t

(voting against Erinn) Uh, Just a security vote. Sorry.

S18 taj t

(voting against Coach) Go heal.

S18 stephen t

(voting against Coach) The White Wizard, overcome with ambition and greed, turns to the Dark Arts and becomes the Black Wizard who zaps the weakened dragon slayer back home.

S18 erinn t

(voting against Coach) Dragon slayed.

S18 coach t

(voting against Erinn) You've been like the cat that had nine lives in this game. You were supposed to go out on Day 6. It's now eleven Tribals later. Good job staying in the game this long, kid.

Final Words

S18 coach bw

There was some sadness tonight as I left. I cannot imagine why someone would want to keep Erinn over me in the Warrior Alliance, but obviously somebody turned judging by their reaction. With Stephen, the wizard was definitely not the white wizard, he was the evil wizard in the end. It's a travesty. Death before dishonor, and I did not dishonor myself. Feel good about how I played the game.

Still in the Running

S18 carolina bw
S18 candace bw
S18 jerry bw
S18 sandy bw
S18 spencer bw
S18 sydney bw
S18 joe bw
S18 brendan bw
S18 tyson bw
S18 sierra bw
S18 debbie bw
S18 coach bw
S18 erinn t
S18 jt t
S18 stephen t
S18 taj t


Behind the Scenes

Life at Ponderosa


  • This episode was voted the 15th best Survivor episode of all time in the "Top 25 Greatest Episodes of all time" poll by Survivor Oz in 2015.
  • With Coach's elimination, Erinn is the last remaining member of the Timbira tribe.
  • The title of the episode was said by Erinn when talking about what would be Coach's attitude after coming back from Exile Island.


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