Jonathan Young of Alabama confronts the worst-case scenario on 'Survivor:'

Jonathan Young of Alabama confronts the worst-case scenario on 'Survivor:' ...

If anyone viewing this season of "Survivor" had trouble envisioning what a worst-case scenario would look like for Alabama castaway Jonathan Young, then this episode on Wednesday night brought it to life.

Young gained prominence as a challenger as he advanced in strength and fitness, which made him a big asset to his Taku tribe. However, it wasn't long before spectators, including some former players, could see him.

A player with exceptional ability and ability has an edge in weekly challenges that award immunity to the winner. That's great in the early phase of the game: There's no downside to being a strong player who can assist your tribe win immunity.

While competing tribes merge into one hotbed of alliance and deception, conspicuous force puts a target on your back. You do not help anyone but you, and this is a situation that newly merged tribes tend to nip in the bud.

The sixth episode of the season was a super-sized two-hour series that saw the Taku, Ika, and Vati tribes closing only at the end. Technically the merg concluded only at the very end, but any way you slice it, the night's tribal council was the first occasion on which all remaining players voted on who would leave.

Early on, it seemed like Jonathan had established himself safe by doing exactly what challenge beasts do. A random shuffle left him a group of five that included only one of his former Taku buddies, Maryanne Oketch. No problem: Jonathan pushed them through the physical part of the night's challenge, giving them a big head start on the puzzle part. They won, securing immunity for their group, which included former Taku member Lindsey Dolashevich.

A commercial break was halted following an ad for that particular restaurant, as well as immunity.

Nobody enjoyed that feast more than Jonathan. I'm twice as big as everybody else out here, he said. Twelve days of not eating, and I'm hungry.

It seemed simple enough that Jonathan and his temporary tribe would start the day back, but the other six players fought back with a second challenge and then a vote at a tribal council. This season, unlike the one before, features a range of gimmicks designed to entrain players into a risky decision with huge consequences.

Sometimes it's a bit too gimmicky, sometimes it makes things extremely entertaining. Long story short, one player got the chance to reverse the outcome of the challenge. Suddenly Jonathan and his well-fed companions were on the hot seats, and Jonathan's was the hottest of all time.

It got worse: The individual immunity challenge was based more on dexterity than force, and Tori Meehan won it. She is a player nobody believes, and her ability to escape elimination appears to become even more miraculous every episode.

Jonathan come into the round with a big goal on his back and was working with some of the other players, including retired firefighter Mike Turner. When Mike was younger, he was the big guy, who everyone thought he was a blockhead. He sounded certain.

Jonathan on Mike: "He'll be my buddy for a long time out here." Mike on Jonathan says: "There's a lot more to this guy than people credit for."

Some people were shocked by the tragedy. Romeo Escobar quickly began lining up votes against Jonathan.

Jonathan knew exactly what was going on. He turned to Omar Zaheer, his first major buddy of the season, who went out and lobbied hard. While Omar had a stroke of skill, he instead stabbed Lydia Meredith as the one to go.

Not everybody bought it, but enough did. At one point, the vote was a three-way tie. Lydia was gone. It wasn't even close. It was the season's first true blindside, certainly for Lydia, and perhaps for Romeo.

"Moments like these are where excellent players fold and great players prevail," one commentator said shortly before the vote.

What exactly does this happen to us? Because of Omar, Jonathan successfully fought for immunity. He's still a big goal, but he's still had some time to build up alliances and battle for immunity. Tori is still seen by most as untrustworthy, and Chanelle Howard spent the night on the outside looking in as alliances formed around her.

With six episodes remaining, the real game is on course to begin.

You may also like: