“Too sneaky and too smart”: Survivor Blood vs. Water November 27 2013 recap

29 Nov

This episode’s duel has Laura, who is back on Redemption Island again, taking on Vytas and Tina. The players have to stack blocks such that no side of the resulting column shows the same color more than once. Laura finishes first, then promptly begins coaching Tina! But when Vytas tries to peek at Laura’s column, she gives it a  spin so he can’t see anything. It works only because Tina is in the middle, between Laura and Vytas. Tina gets the solution literally just a second before Vytas, and saves herself from elimination. When it’s over, Laura hugs Tina, then tells Vytas “good try.” He grunts and waves her off… understandably! So he’s out of the game, but something tells me he’ll be back for an all-star season.

Laura gets to decide who receives an immunity idol clue, and she chooses her daughter Ciera, who throws it in the fire.

Tyson tells his allies that Katie must be the next one to go because she has the votes of Aras, Vytas, and Tina locked up. Everyone says they’re on board, but Hayden realizes that this might be the chance for him and his closest ally Caleb to make their big move. And that move is getting rid of Tyson. They quickly get Ciera to sign on … unfortunately she’s lying to them and thinks they would never be loyal to her. So she tells Tyson about their plan, and that she’ll vote with him from here on out.

Tyson had his doubts about Caleb and Hayden, but trusts Gervase and Monica. He says “I was hoping to make it to [the round of] six before I made my move and really locked the game down,” saying that instead he’ll just lock it down right now. Surprisingly (to me), he targets Caleb rather than Hayden, on the grounds that Caleb is “so likable.” Maybe they think the jury would be less likely to give Hayden $1 million since he already won $500,000 on Big Brother?

It all looks like a fairly easy blindside of Caleb… but Ciera blows it by suddenly being too chummy with Tyson. Hayden picks up on it and gets suspicious.

Time for the challenge, which involves holding onto a kind of winch to keep a bucket suspended in the air. But before they get started, Jeff Probst announces that anyone who feels safe can pass up the immunity challenge and instead eat a hearty meal while the others compete. Unlike some previous seasons, everyone has to reveal their decision at once, so they can’t base it on what anybody else decides. Tyson, Gervase, and Ciera are the only ones who decide to eat, and Tyson somehow feels the need to rub it in about just how good the food is.

Hayden and Monica are the last two players remaining in the challenge, and while Hayden needs immunity much more, Monica wins her third immunity challenge.

Back at camp, Hayden and Caleb are now convinced that Ciera is with Tyson, which means the two guys only have three votes for their plan: themselves and Katie. That’s not enough, so they know they’re in trouble. They decide to simply confront Tyson with the rumor that he wants to take them out. He replies that he heard the same about them, and the two guys argue that Ciera is playing both sides and therefore she cannot be trusted. He sees their point. As he tells Gervase, “[Ciera was a] teenage mom… [so she was probably a] hellraiser… [which means] she can look into your eyes and lie better than anybody.” Laura could confirm that, no doubt. So Tyson and Gervase have a decision to make.

At tribal council, Probst, having failed to fan the flames of jealousy about the feasting players during the challenge (though not for lack of trying), tries his hardest once again to get some animosity going and mostly fails. After the vote, he asks if anyone has an idol to play and Tyson dramatically reaches into his bag… and doesn’t come up with the idol. He says it’s in there somewhere and dumps out the entire bag, prompting someone to say “seriously dude?” I thought this might just be a bit of comedy, but he really does hand over his idol!

It’s a waste of a perfectly good idol, as Caleb is voted out with four votes (presumably Tyson, Gervase, Ciera, and Monica) to three for Ciera. Still: not playing the idol would have meant trusting that Ciera wasn’t putting him on, so I understand that Tyson didn’t want to do that. Of course, if he had won the immunity challenge that he declined to even participate in, he wouldn’t have had to waste his idol!

Initially I thought that voting Caleb out was a mistake, but upon further reflection it makes sense. Ciera might prove to be a loyal ally after all (or at least for one more vote), and she might actually be the best candidate to take to the finals! This ending to the season is a bit unusual: usually you’d want to go to the finals with someone who either a) is a villain everybody hates (e.g. Russell Hantz), b) is someone everyone is just annoyed by (e.g. Phillip Shepard), or c) someone who just did nothing the whole season (e.g. Natalie Tenerelli in Redemption Island). There is no real villain left in the game and no Phillip type. There is someone who did nothing in Katie, but as discussed, being Tina’s daughter means she has the votes of Tina and all of her buddies locked up, so she wouldn’t be a good choice.

It would seem that the ideal two people to take to the finals would be Monica and Ciera. Even though Ciera’s mother is in the game, Laura doesn’t seem too tight with any other returning players, and I think some players are annoyed by Laura. And Monica is the wife of Brad Culpepper who’s not a well-liked guy. But I’m not super-confident in those choices, which means the players must really be agonizing over whom to go to the end with.

Favorites to win: 1) Gervase, 2) Tyson, 3) Hayden, 4) Monica, 5) Laura, 6) Caleb, 7) Tina

No-chance list: Katie, Ciera.

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Aras (Katie), Vytas (Katie)


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