“As unscathed as possible”: Survivor Blood vs. Water October 9 and 16 2013 recap

22 Oct

Our two-week recap begins with John arriving at the Redemption Island duel site along with Candice and Marissa. Candice on her husband John: “He’s so trusting and I love that about him, but it doesn’t help you win Survivor.” She says that for the duel she would have preferred “somebody I could hate, like Brad Culpepper.” You’ll recall Brad had just engineered a blindside of John on the previous episode. At least Culpepper is honest, telling John, “You made a wrong decision in trusting me.”

Marissa loses the duel, so Candice and John live to fight another day. Candice, having finished first, once again gets to choose who gets a clue to the hidden immunity idol. But of course she can’t give it to John, since he’s standing right next to her as someone not currently in a tribe. She chooses… Monica Culpepper? Brad, from the other side of the stands, says “take [the idol] down and put it in the fire,” which Monica does. Aras grimaces but later he tells the camera that this was a good move. Probst says this is the first time an idol has been destroyed like that.

Back at camp, we find that Tyson and Gervase have been sneaking away to clandestinely drink all of the milk out of the coconuts they can find. Hmm, if they got caught it would not be good, as we know how strongly Survivors feel about what little food they get… understandably!

At the challenge, the veterans win despite it being a fairly physical event. And despite it being physical and his having an injured arm, Tyson chooses not to sit out. Hayden can’t believe what happened: “We lost to a one-armed dude and three moms!”

Back at the loved ones’ camp, Brad wants the guys to powwow, yet when the bros head for the trees, Brad himself stays behind to chat with the three girls! Suspicious… The men agree that Ciera should be the one to go. But Caleb didn’t like the way Brad hung back initially. This comes out in the midst of Tribal Council when Caleb shockingly announces, “I’m gonna write Brad’s name down.” At this point I, the viewer, have no clue how this might turn out.

It’s a 3-3 tie between Brad and Ciera. Time to re-vote, and this time Brad and Ciera can’t participate. We see Hayden start to write Ciera and cross it out, only to put… Ciera again. As it turns out that’s the only vote for Ciera, and Brad is sent to Redemption Island. Before leaving, Brad goes to each and every person to assure them he’s not angry. After that politician-like moment, he leaves.

Notice that this tribe has just voted out their second most athletic player? On the bright side, this sets up a great duel for the next episode, with Brad taking on Candice and John!

The October 16 episode begins with Vytas telling the tribe he was the one that switched on the second vote (which we viewers already knew, since we saw it wasn’t Hayden). Vytas and Hayden wonder if Caleb is still with them anymore after his bold move from the other day.

Over at the veterans’ tribe, we see Laura (who I am calling Laura from Samoa to distinguish her from Rupert’s wife Laura Boneham) giving Aras a sexy massage. Hmm! She notes that she knows how to do this because “I’ve been married twenty years.” Tell you what, Laura may be 43 but she’s got sex appeal in my book.

Off to the duel, where it’s husband-and-wife John and Candice taking on Brad. Candice isn’t done talking about Brad, and Probst observes that it’s funny Candice is the one with the most to say about the goings-on in camp since she literally didn’t spend one minute in either camp, having been voted out of her tribe at the start of the first episode! However that’s all we’re going to see of Candice, since she comes in third and is eliminated. John, as the winner, gets to decide who gets an idol clue. He chooses Monica as Candice did last time, and once again Monica throws the clue into the fire.

Time for a look at life around camp, which is too bad because the aspect they focus on is everybody’s skin wounds and the disgusting bugs that crawl on them!

At the loved ones’ camp, Vytas thinks nobody will trust Caleb from here on out following his bold Tribal Council move. Meanwhile, Caleb is enjoying being the swing vote… will he side with Vytas and Hayden, or Ciera and Katie (Tina’s daughter)?  By the way, for all the talk we heard from Vytas about how Aras is the athlete in the family, Vytas can do handstands pretty easily. So he’s perhaps a bit more than a couch potato himself.

The challenge involves taking a waterslide and then doing a ring toss (wheee!), and the loved ones triumph for their first challenge win. Bad news for Laura Boneham, since she’s the only one in her group who’s not a returning player, and therefore a logical choice to be sent home. Once everyone returns to camp, Laura B. quickly talks some trash about the other girls to Kat, trying to start a bit of trouble. It’s not a bad idea to try and start some paranoia with Kat, since the girl is dumber than dirt, but even Kat isn’t falling for it. Tyson describes Laura B. as “someone that everyone is super-annoyed with.”

Aras has an idea. Laura from Samoa is pretty good in challenges, so if she were on Redemption Island she could potentially beat Brad. That would mean Monica, who right now is biding time in her alliance with Aras until she can rejoin Brad, would suddenly become a firm member of the alliance. Problem us, Monica doesn’t want Laura from Samoa to go, because she also thinks that Laura could possibly beat Brad!

This is the veterans’ very first tribal council of the season, and there’s a neat moment when Gervase and Tina comment on how much the game has changed since they first played (Season 1 and 2 respectively). Tina said there’s already been more gameplay this year than she had in her entire season.

Tribal Council ends with Laura from Samoa being sent to Redemption Island.

Favorites to win: Vytas, Caleb, Hayden, Aras

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

No-chance list: Ciera, Brad, Katie, Laura Boneham.

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