Jean-Robert Bellande Report: Week 8

Jean-Robert Bellande
No more outs for Jean-Robert Bellande.

With a gravedigger on Survivor: China, you wouldn't think he'd have to, but Jean-Robert Bellande dug his own grave to end up voted out Thursday night.

After just barely making it through Tribal Council in Week 7, you'd think Jean-Robert Bellande would have been working a bit more on being less annoying. He was happy to still be in the game, but he still wasn't making any friends.

The reward challenge was his opportunity to perhaps mend some fences and strengthen his alliances. It required the players to split up into two teams. Bellande managed to be chosen as one of the team captains and got first pick in the school-yard-style team dividing.

Naturally he chose fellow teammate and powerhouse player James Clement to start building what would end up the dominating team. The other two members of his team were Todd Herzog and Amanda Kimmel. They were up against Peih-Gee Law, Michael "Frosti" Zernow, Erik Huffman and Courtney Yates.

Denise Martin, the school lunch lady, was the unpicked player who had to sit and watch the two teams battle to sink each other's boat.

One member of each team sat in a tribe boat while the opposing team attempted to sink them using buckets of water. The first team to sink the opposing team's boat twice would win a trip to a 1,000-year-old city for an authentic Chinese meal.

Bellande's team dominated the challenge as they first sunk Yates before the other team could even put Herzog in danger in his boat. They took down Zernow next and were off for a nice meal.

Has anyone else noticed that Bellande has to be one of the few players to ever make it this far in the game and remain so "robust"? He's been eating plenty good, and apparently getting plenty of rest as well, which is why he's been able to perform so well at challenges.

Another part of the reward was a tube with the final clue to the hidden immunity idol, along with all the previous clues. Bellande was the only one there who didn't know that Clement already had both idols, and ended up so excited trying to figure out the clues that he didn't sleep at all that night while trying to track down where they were hidden.

He finally settled on the plaques on the archway to the camp and assumed that one of the three he pulled off and hid would be an immunity idol - or American immunity idol, as he so drunkenly called it during his Chinese meal - and he'd figure out which one later.

While the rest of the tribe had been gone for their reward, Law and her teammates started working on possibly turning Martin, who was realizing after not being picked for a team that she might not survive that much longer in the game either if she was always last in the pecking order.

Law's target was Bellande, but then the next day it looked like the tide was turning as Herzog suddenly decided gravedigger Clement needed to go. He may have had two immunity idols but he also wasn't expecting to have to use them this soon in the game and they might be able to surprise him and get him out as long as he didn't win the immunity challenge.

The immunity challenge involved trying to remain seated on a barrel filled with water as the water was released from it. It was a matter of balance and concentration, and Bellande decided to use his "strategy" of being the most annoying person still on the team to distract the other players.

The result was his own distraction, and he was the first one to topple from a barrel. Yates, Bellande's archenemy at camp and the second-most annoying person on the show, managed to remain rock solid as all the rest took their turns falling into the swamp.

It didn't take long for players to begin scrambling at camp to figure out how that night's vote would go. Here's where Bellande makes his fatal mistake. In a moment of openness and trying to finagle some new alliances, he tells Huffman he has an immunity idol. Of course, Huffman already has it figured out that Clement has them both and tells Bellande that.

Bellande's next "brilliant" move is to confront Clement about it and accuse him of holding out on him. When he gets the brush-off from Clement, who later tells the cameras "That would be the worst move of Survivor history to align with that guy," Bellande decides to try a surprise move to get him voted out that night and takes the idea to Herzog.

If he'd just kept his mouth shut and hadn't run it in a panic to stay in the game, Bellande might have survived at least one more vote. But Herzog decided that since Bellande had his same idea, he needed to change up his idea and vote out Bellande instead.

Law had assumed she was on the chopping block that night, and it turned out she was the only one surprised she wasn't leaving the game after the vote. Clement may have been getting a little worried when he and Bellande were tied for votes, but in the end Bellande had to finally fold his hand.

Even in his final video entry, Bellande proved how his ego and skewed view of what was going on around him are what inevitably got him booted from the game.

"I think they realized that I probably was the best player in the game," he says, continuing to say that they just wanted to eliminate him because he was such a big threat.

For a professional poker player who is supposed to make his living through strategy and an ability to read his opponents, Bellande sure put on a poor showing for the world.

"I pushed all-in, but it didn't work out for me," he said at the end, and with that, our saga of watching Bellande try to outwit, outlast and outplay on Survivor: China comes to a close.

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