“A very selfish move”: Survivor Blood vs. Water October 2 2013 recap

3 Oct

The tribe of returning players isn’t much more stressed out than the Favorites on the last Fans vs. Favorites season. To use sports parlance, they’re letting the game come to them. All except Colton, that is — he’s bummed that nobody wants to talk strategy with him. Aras notes that Colton just doesn’t “get” Survivor — he thinks the game is all about creating chaos.

We don’t have to wait long for the tribes to head for Redemption Island. Tyson sees his girlfriend Rachel walk in and immediately assumes she was voted out of her tribe because the loved ones think he, Tyson, might opt to switch places with her, thereby weakening his own tribe. And if you saw the previous episode, you know that his assumption is 100% correct. Rachel doesn’t  want him to swap, noting that he has a better chance to win the game from his current position than she would (that’s also correct). Tyson then gets in some threats against the other tribe, Brad Culpepper in particular (a bit awkward since Mrs. Brad is in his own alliance).

But before we can get to the duel, Colton announces that he wants to quit. Jeff Probst wastes no time dubbing it “a very selfish move,” noting that this costs his tribe numbers in a game that’s all about numbers. You’ll recall that on “Survivor: One World,” Colton was medically evacuated while in possession of the hidden immunity idol, and when Probst said he could choose who to give the idol to, Colton said he’d just hold onto it! Probst now offers new information that I don’t think was ever confirmed before: namely that on that other season Colton never had appendicitis after all, and was just faking it. Probst says that watching adventure on TV is fun, but some people never should’ve gotten up off the couch, and Colton is one of them. “We brought a quitter back,” he notes with a look of disgust, talking 50% to Colton and 50% to producer Mark Burnett, I imagine.

Tribemates Tyson and Tina aren’t sad to see Colton go. Tina observes that Colton tried his usual intrigues and didn’t get anywhere, and “Now he knows he can’t win the game.” Meanwhile, Colton’s boyfriend Caleb over on the other tribe just seems mystified by the decision.

Probst isn’t done giving his opinion on frauds. He tells Colton he can leave and wait for the boat to pick him up, and he should hold onto his buff, because the honor of dropping one’s buff in the urn is reserved for people who can compete. Love it!  It’s a good thing Colton didn’t have to pass through a gauntlet of Survivor viewers on the way out, as much tarring and feathering might have taken place. Now, anyone who didn’t see Colton’s previous season on “Survivor: One World” might wonder what’s so bad about him. I would say to go to the source, but I cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone watch the horrendous season that was “Survivor: One World.” Just take my word for it: he’s not a nice person.

After all of that, there is still a duel at hand, and it involves placing blocks along a course so they’ll fall domino-style, all the while having to step over “trip bars” that will knock over your blocks prematurely if you graze them. Candice easily comes in first (bagging a second immunity clue for John in the process), then more than 45 minutes pass as Marissa and Rachel keep battling. In the end, Rachel is eliminated.

The tribes retire to their respective camps but it’s not long before they find out that a mano-a-mano challenge is coming up. Aras is looking forward to facing off with Vytas: “My brother has been a bully in my life to put it really simply.” Meanwhile in the other camp Vytas is quick to note that his younger brother was the athletic “golden child” who could do no wrong. And of course the fact that Aras won Survivor Panama and pocketed a million dollars would tend to back up that assertion!

By the way, Vytas is casting gold. He’s very smart, he has a troubled past, he’s Aras’ brother, and he has a heavy-lidded, enigmatic look that makes for great TV.

The challenge is a classic duel that was memorably used in the Palau season: two people are on a floating platform armed with a piece of padding, and each tries to push the other off. They appear to have matched everyone up by size, as at least the first few rounds are fair fights. Tyson manages to somehow dislocate his shoulder the very first time he is touched by Hayden, and it remains to be seen how this will affect him the rest of the game.

So help me, in spite of myself I’m actually enjoying the “loved ones” format, or at least I did when Tina was matched up against her daughter Katie and the two gave each other huge smiles. They were enjoying each other and enjoying being in the game. A sweet moment.

The Favorites won once again (OK, I know they’re not officially known as the Favorites this season, but I’m just going to call them that), and the loved ones are fairly disgusted. The Favorites’ most athletic guy was hurt, and most of the rest of the tribe are middle-aged-and older women, how is this possible?

When the loved ones get back to camp, John proposes Ciera to be voted out, she’s the weakest and does the least. To which Brad replies, in so many words, “cool, we’re all set, so now none of us need to talk any strategy the rest of the day.” Any longtime Survivor viewer knows that’s nonsense. Sure enough, as soon as John is gone, Brad proposes a blindside of John. Not only does John have clues to an idol, but Mrs. John is proving to be quite the ace challenge competitor, and Brad is threatened by the idea of such a power couple. However he pushes it a bit too far, proposing that he, Brad, be the only one not to vote John, so that just in case it doesn’t work he can sell John on the fact that the old alliance is still hunky-dory. Vytas is no fool, and sees that Brad is trying to be the bad guy without appearing to be the bad guy.

There’s some talk of blindsiding Brad instead (why didn’t they?) but it comes to naught and John is sent to Redemption Island.

While it’s early, I suppose I should already take a look at who might win this thing.

Favorites: Vytas, Caleb, Hayden, Aras

Not sure yet: John, Marissa, Laura Boneham, Tina, Gervase, Kat, Laura from Samoa, Monica, Tyson

No-chance list: Ciera, Brad, Candice, Katie

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