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Survivor Know-It-Alls Recap Blood vs Water Episode 5

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Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach recap Survivor Blood vs Water Episode 5, “The Dead Can Still Talk”.

Did The Right Laura Get Voted Out?

Rob was a little disappointed by the outcome of tonight’s episode, primarily because CBS ran ads during football on Sunday promoting a blindside in tonight’s episode. Stephen feels the episode was fairly straight forward about it though, considering a player’s first confessional being about trust issues is never a good sign for them in an episode. Stephen has been saying Laura M. was a strategic threat and is happy his prediction has come true. He liked the move as Laura Boneham is a sleeper threat, and her tribe recognizes she poses no immediate danger to them. Rob respectfully disagrees, thinking this could only be burying Aras in the coming weeks. He brings up Aras and his connection to Vytas seeming threatening to Tyson and Gervase, who have already identified Aras as the king of the Galang tribe. Rob says the name of the game for Aras is getting rid of people who definitely aren’t with him, much like how Coach slowly eliminated the outsiders on the Upolu tribe in Survivor South Pacific. He also compares Laura Boneham to Shambo, someone in a tribe who doesn’t really feel apart of that tribe and seems very likely to flip at the earliest opportunity. He asks Stephen how bad Laura Boneham is at Survivor, referencing her trying to throw some of her tribemates under the bus to Kat. Stephen calls it one of the most transparent attempts by a player to get the target off their back. Overall, Rob doesn’t think this is a game shattering moment for Aras, but says this was “too cute” a move. Stephen agrees, but still feels that Laura M. is a schemer and it’s never a bad idea to get rid of a strategic threat.

Is The Nightmare Over For The Loved Ones?

Tadhana finally won immunity tonight and avoided Tribal Council for the first time all season. Rob mentions that he liked the immunity challenge, but thinks that if the entire cast of Survivor One World was going to be brought back anyway, Leif should have come back to fly down the slide again. However, the Know It Alls feel the trouble is far from over on the loved ones tribe. Rob thought it was very telling when Vytas said he can never trust Caleb again after his big move last week, and he might have gone home tonight if they had to vote somebody out. In addition, Stephen felt Tadhana made the right decision to take the steaks over the fishing gear because there was enough meat to share with only five people, and would have caught just as much food with the fishing gear.

Candice Out On Redemption Island

Stephen was not sad to see Candice eliminated on Red-I this week. He understands that her fondness for flipping makes for good television, but still doesn’t really understand why this is her third time on the show. Rob was surprised to see her go, as he expected Brad Culpepper to be one and done. With John once again giving the immunity idol clue to Monica, and Brad once again telling her to throw it in the fire, Stephen brings up the idea that John should try to give the clue to one of the singles like Caleb, and Rob suggests he just offer it up to anyone who might want it or would be willing to work with him should he return to the game.

Questions From You

Will any immunity idols be played this season considering how toxic they’ve become? Could this be the start of an immunity run for The Tadhana Five? Was Jeff too hard on Laura Boneham? And where does Kat stand in the Galang tribe? Plus, Rob and Stephen speculate as to how Edna Ma will fare this Friday night when she pitches BareEase and NumbNuts to the sharks on ABC’s “Shark Tank”.

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Rob Cesternino and Stephen Fishbach aka The Survivor Know-It-Alls recap

The Survivor Know-It-Alls Recap Survivor Blood vs Water Episode 3

Rob Cesternino

Rob Cesternino is a two-time Survivor player and reality TV aficionado. Rob gives his thoughts on his favorite Reality TV shows as the host of "Rob Has a Podcast" More From Rob Cesternino »

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  • Nick Fishman

    can’t wait for next week

  • mikko m

    Right now there are 6 returnees and 6 loved ones so it’s possibly a bit different than last season where the tribal lines were clearer if there in fact is a swap next week.

    Of course Laura B. might not feel any more comfortable working with the loved ones since they voted her out but I think it definitely makes the play less obvious. It could also depend on how they divide the tribes.

    Anyway, can’t wait to see what happens!

  • BobbyKe

    Think Aras made a big mistake. Laura M was an ally who trusted him & she could very easily come back from Redemption Island as she’s very good in challenges. If she does come back she’ll go from trusting Aras to targeting Aras. He should’ve voted out Kat or Laura B as neither have a solid chance of creating ground strategically or coming back in the game like Laura as I’m predicting she returns to the game. I can’t imagine they’d build up Laura M/Ciera’s relationship so much if they don’t both make the merge. I predict Laura comes back & plays a key role in eventual downfall of Aras

    You need to try to keep as many allies as possible early on & Laura was an ally despite not being in the alliance. Aras was being ridiculous looking way too much into a massage that meant nothing. Very selective editing there to make that look promiscuous. Tyson & Gervase are being smart not being blindly loyal to the Core 5 & considering all options, but Aras didn’t pay attention to the fact that Laura M was in his back pocket & got rid of an ally when it looks like he’s #5 in that alliance. Tina & Monica are closer now without Brad & Tyson & Gervase have always been close. Aras should’ve tried to get rid of Kat or Laura B as neither damages his game like Laura M could

    Laura B just seems like she’s trying to make people feel sorry for her when it’s not going to happen. She’s annoying & worthless & doesn’t have s strong bond with anyone ala Rob/Philip so she’s clearly not a long term option in the game

    Vytas looked ridiculous in his confessionals. Just because HE doesn’t trust Caleb doesn’t mean others don’t. Looks like Caleb has chosen the girls as his allies & they do trust him. Vytas just looked so bitter that he was bamboozled & is annoyed that Caleb created a better position for himself

    • damnbueno

      Aras made a ballsy move. It remains to be seen if it becomes a mistake.

      Laura B. can be booted anytime. Prior to this vote, she had zero solid partnerships. If Aras is smart, he’ll lock up her loyalty. If he does that and keeps her as a pocket vote, it gives him more options than if he’d booted Kat or Laura B.

      But you’re right about the plan’s weaknesses. Aras shouldn’t be worried about Brad returning and joining Monica. If anything, he should tighten his bonds with Monica because Brad is unlikely to have willing partners in Caleb, Ciera or Katie. Brad was more likely to want to work his way into Monica’s alliance, which of course includes Aras. Brad is not very smart, and would be easy to fool.

      • Reya

        But it’s clear that Brad and Monica will always be loyal to each other above anyone else. Plus Brad is a disruptive influence – Aras is the closest thing to an alpha male in the Don’t Say Anything alliance, which is an unusually chilled group of people. I can’t see any place for Brad in there where he doesn’t wreck its balance.

        • damnbueno

          Aras hasn’t traditionally played the Alpha male at all. I think he’d be more than happy to let Brad believe he carried influence. He did the same thing in Panama, allowing Courtney, Shane and Danielle to think they were making the important decisions.

          But then again, Aras didn’t know Cirie was really pulling the strings until long after the merge.

          • Reya

            I completely agree that Aras isn’t playing the alpha male at all – I just meant that if you had to pick a member of that alliance as the leader, based on what we’ve seen he’d be it. But while Aras as an individual might be fine with Brad’s head being above the parapet, the alliance as a whole consists of people who are more likely to be alienated by Brad than be bros.

            What Aras really needs is Brad in the Terry role – a very visible enemy to keep his alliance banded together. Sadly as long as he’s allied with Monica that’s never going to be an option.

          • damnbueno

            Its clear that Aras manipulated this vote. Anyone who changes the tribe’s target risks being seen as the leader.

            Aras is a pretty smart player, and he doesn’t have the ego that would make him want to make moves for the sake of impressing viewers.

            I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Aras totally pulled back and said “I’ll do whatever you guys think is cool” very shortly after this vote.

            And if he feels someone outside his core alliance (Kat, Laura B.) is being targeted, he may not speak up at all.

          • Reya

            I agree, and I think he was very smart about it. Pitch it to just a couple of people and see how they react – if they’re not in favour, drop it; if they agree, then you get to present it to the rest of the group as a ‘we were talking, and we thought…’ rather than a ‘this is my plan.’

            What I’d like to know is why Monica was the third (or appeared to be the third) to get the pitch rather than, say, Tina. Was it because she’s high in the pecking order, or because she was likely to be the hardest sell, or just because she happened to be in the closest proximity at the time? We didn’t get Tina or Gervase’s thoughts at all, or even see them being present for the discussion. I can’t help thinking that if they were going to have much agency later in the game we’d have seen them helping to shape the first vote.

          • damnbueno

            Monica may or may not have been the 3rd approached with the plan, but I totally understand why Aras made the pitch with only 1 other alliance member (Tyson) around.

            Aras’ goal in this vote is to lock up Monica’s loyalty in the event Brad gets eliminated. Aras likely wants Monica to see him as someone she can strategize with in private.

            If someone only gets info in group settings, that’s a reason to believe the others have already spoken and agreed on a plan without you. Kat is in that position now, but she doesn’t realize it.

            Aras and Tyson are trying to build trust with Monica.

          • Reya

            I don’t disagree with any of that – my speculation was more along the lines of if this tells us anything about Gervase or Tina’s place in things or not. I’m guessing you think not?

          • damnbueno

            Not at all.

            If Aras is following the same game plan he used to win in Panama, he’ll likely have private one-on-one, or 3-person conversations with everyone in his alliance, and a few outside of it.

            Aras is very smart. He knows if several players are including him in their final 2 or final 3 plans, he’ll have the most options at final 4, 5 and 6.

            Then again, we could totally be overhthinking this. Gervase and/or Tina might have been filming private confessionals when Aras & Tyson spoke to Monica.

    • Kapil

      I think Aras’ mistake was just not realizing at all that Laura M was completely in his back pocket. He thought she was playing him and hence he took her out. Had he known how much she was dependent on him and how she trusted him, in her words, “completely, explicitly” – he would have kept her around.

    • Tammy L. Nelson

      I think Aras made the right move.

      Laura B will remain loyal, and she is good in the water and catches fish.

      • Reya

        Yeah, I think Laura M is (or has potential to be) a player – Laura B’s chat with Kat just shows she has no talent for subtlety and manipulation so she’s a free vote, who’s already had her bridges burned with the other tribe. Why wouldn’t you want her?

        • BobbyKe

          That explains just why nobody wants her. If you have no subtlety the chances of you keeping an alliance a secret are slim. Laura B is so transparent that everybody believes she’ll be too obvious about being in any alliance. Plus if nobody trusts her after 13 days, who’s to say she’ll be loyal to anything?

          I think the Laura M vote was good for everybody except Aras. We know he’s the only one she really trusted or had loyalty to, so he both got rid of an ally (Laura M would also be more loyal to Aras post merge then the other Core 5 would where he’s already being targeted) & also made himself Laura’s #1 target in case she potentially comes back in the game, & who knows how many people from the other tribe will want Laura to work with them

          • Reya

            I’m not sure how much faith I put in these ‘Aras is a threat’ confessionals yet – they remind me of all those confessionals about Boston Rob in Redemption Island where nothing ever came of them. You’re right that Laura M might target him, but right now she doesn’t know that it was his idea.

  • RobbieH

    Any chance the swap next week (should it happen) could have players with a loved one still in the game on one side and players without a loved one on the other side? So the breakdowns would be Aras/Vytas/Kat/Hayden/Tina/Katie vs. Caleb/Ciera/Gervase/Tyson/Laura B/Monica? Just an idea – could be interesting!

    • Kapil

      I think that’s exactly what will happen. In fact, I think that a swap was never a planned thing this season (like it was last season in FvF 2) but the producers decided to do it just because they lucked out with this unique situation where there are 6 people with loved ones and 6 lone individuals left in the main game.

      Further, the split of loved ones vs individuals also satisfies all the desired qualities that Survivor producers want in a good swap. First of all, there is gender equality with 3 men and 3 women on each tribe. Secondly, the two new tribes will be pretty evenly matched in challenges. Both new tribes will also consist of 3 returnees and 3 newbies. And probably most importantly, alliance members will be split up. The majority 5 on Galang will be split 3-2 while the majority 3 on Tadhana (based on whichever way Caleb would have chosen to go) is also split 2-1. And as an added bonus, the swap will also be a bit of a shock to the players and the fans as its happening so late in the game – as opposed to in other recent seasons where everyone is expecting it and planning for it.

      It is just a perfect swap…

      • Isaac Berman

        Oh, I so hope this happens!

    • Austin S.

      Alternatively, they could just swap the three pairs, so Tina, Aras and Kat join Caleb and Ciera on Tadhana, whilst Vytas, Katie and Hayden go over to Galang with Tyson, Gervase, Laura B and Monica. It preserves the blood vs water conflict for the merge, but still mixes up the dynamics.

      • Reya

        Oh interesting idea, that hadn’t occurred to me. Though it would suck – knowing that their loved ones are the minority on the other tribe, there’s every incentive for Tina, Aras and Kat to just throw a challenge or two so they can pick off Caleb and Ciera.

      • BobbyKe

        They always swap to even numbers. So with the swap, it’ll be 6 v 6. So any tribe with 7 v 5 isn’t going to happen. Otherwise, there’d be no point to having a swap

        • Austin S.

          Way back in Marquesas, I believe they did a swap that left the tribes with uneven numbers. So it’s not unprecedented.

    • Jouni Knuutinen

      Don’t check the press images, they yet again spoil pretty much the whole episode, starting with the swap. This sucks, ’cause now I can’t speculate with you all :/.

  • Antony Gilbert

    I like the fact that Ciera Eastin wasn’t concerned at all that winning that immunity challenge would put her mother in danger. She could have convinced Caleb to work with her, Katie and their two mothers on the other tribe. Why not? He might have been interested – would potentially have been in a power alliance with old and weak women. Ciera should have got Katie and Celeb to throw the immunity challenge and cemented a perfect alliance of:

    Ciera, Katie, Celeb, Laura M, Tina, Laura B, Gervase.

    • BobbyKe

      How the hell was Ciera supposed to know whether or not her mom was in danger? There’s no way to figure that out. Ciera sucked in every challenge, but her mom never threw one to keep her safe knowing Ciera was in danger

      And it’s an individual challenge anyway, that wasn’t a challenge that one person could’ve determined whether or not they won or lost, plus Ciera was one of the 2 losers for her tribe anyway in the challenge

      I forsee Ciera playing a big role post merge as I think her mom is returning to the game, but i don’t get where you figure Gervase or Laura B in an alliance with the girls, their moms & Caleb

      Hell, Tina’s in the Core 5 at her tribe, she could want Katie to play a role with that group post merge & break apart from Ciera. Alliances are guaranteed to change come merge time (And more relationships still in the game the better)

      • Antony Gilbert

        ‘How the hell was Ciera supposed to know whether or not her mom was in danger?’

        If your tribe wins the immunity challenge, someone is guaranteed to be voted out on the other tribe. That puts your loved one in danger – quite simple to understand, surely.

        All of Tadhana clearly wanted to win that challenge. The point is they didn’t even consider throwing the challenge to control who was NOT voted out.

        A solid alliance between Ciera, Katie, Laura M, Tina and Celeb would definitely have been interested in two single weak individuals like Laura B and Gervase to shore up the numbers. Why not? I could easily imagine those two being pleased to be presented with an offer for them to join that alliance. Would they really have said no thanks?

        Anyone who thinks the alliance of five on Galang is going to last past the merge when the loved ones come together is crazy.

        • BobbyKe

          But not everybody is going to want to throw a challenge putting themselves in danger. Hayden & Vytas look like they’re now on the outs in that tribe & they were never going to throw the challenge. You worry about yourself before your loved one & trust that they stay safe themselves

          Laura B clearly is someone nobody trusts & she’s not someone people will be coming towards to get her in an alliance. Gervase is 100% with Tyson & there’s already endgame talk between them. Whatever alliance Gervase has will always involve Tyson so he isn’t joining the Moms & daughters alliance

  • damnbueno

    Laura M. isn’t nearly as perceptive as she should be.

    She had no idea where she stood on this tribe. She thought she had one solid partner in Aras, but on a tribe of 10, she needed 5 partners.

    In Samoa, Laura had no idea how much influence Erik had on the tribe. She didn’t see through his phony “elect Shambo our leader” ploy. She also didn’t see the wisdom in going with Erik’s plan to flush Russell’s Idol at the merge, and instead, made an emotional decision when she got mad at Erik.

    Laura M. is good at challenges and should make it through a couple of duels, but strategically, she’s just not very good.

    Was she even aware that an alliance had been formed without her?

    • Trixie02

      Tyson, Candice, Rupert and possibly Gervase wrote her name down, too. I was very surprised she didn’t try for a female alliance.

      • damnbueno

        Maybe there are personality conflicts among the women.

        Aras described Laura B. as “annoying,” which in a normal season is more than enough to get you booted pre-merge.

        Everyone seems to get along with Tina well, but Tina is a master at masking her true motivations. Probst once called her the best at answering his TC questions — always giving an acceptable response, but never revealing her alliances or strategy.

    • Kevin Wong

      It doesn’t seem like it. To be fair, though, there do seem to be a lot of two-person alliances developing, so it’s possible she thought that was all there was. But, we’ve seen that her strength lies in the outplay, not the outwit.

  • Kapil

    Haven’t yet listened to the podcast but great episode !!!

    Have to say Laura M just absolutely does not get the strategic aspect of Survivor. I was completely shocked when a number of writers claimed, before the season began, that they remember Laura M from Samoa as a “player”. I thought may be I missed something because all I remembered was how stupid she was in her boot episode. Knowing full well that alliance numbers were tied at 5-5 and that she was in grave danger, she was so frazzled by losing her friend Kelly at the previous tribal that the only thing she could come up with was “let’s just all vote Russell and see what happens” despite everyone knowing that there was a huge chance that Russell had the idol. It was the others who were trying to save her. It took Fincher to point out to her that they at least need to vote for Natalie as she was least likely to have the idol. Then, Monica came up with a plan to try and get Foa Foa to vote for John while Shambo still voted for Laura and even though it was an absolutely ridiculous plan, at least she was thinking. Laura however quickly jumps on the stupid plan and pins all her hopes on it. In the end, the plan doesn’t work because its stupid – and everyone other than Laura knew it had no chance before even going to tribal – but it alienates John and he flips, also being unable to handle the stupidity going on at Galu and with Laura in particular.

    However, I thought I’ll give Laura M another chance this season considering how almost everyone looks a little stupid in their boot episode – but she proved once again that she just doesn’t get it. Its one thing to be unable to form alliances, its another thing to not even try. First, she was apparently pretty inactive in making pre-game alliances. Then, all she did was massage Aras and that made her SURE that they were tight and she was safe despite the fact that, and I quote, “they never talk strategy” because “they don’t need to”. Tyson said it best – 5 people are in an alliance, Kat thinks she’s in the alliance even though she is not, Laura B is annoying (and he didn’t say it but I think it was implied that she knows she is at the bottom) and Laura M has “NO CLUE what alliance is going on”. That should be her nickname in the game – Laura “No Clue” Morrett – she’s very good at challenges but has no clue what is going on at camp.

    Anyways – huge mistake by Aras though. Laura’s direct quotes were “Aras is the one who I completely, explicitly trust in this game” and “drop a name, tell me who it is and let’s go”. You want to keep that kind of an ally in the game. Basically, Laura M had crawled completely into Aras’ pocket but he had no idea she was there !!! His mistake was just that he gave her too much respect, thought she was playing him and thus voted her out. Still, can’t fault someone too much for NOT underestimating another player….

    • Trixie02

      As I said in a post below, her name already came up but Candice had the majority of votes. That should have opened her eyes.

    • Alex

      Laura Morret is a TERRIBLE survivor player. Anyone who enters the merge with an 8-4 numbers advantage and then self-destructs her own tribe is no good at survivor.

  • Stephen

    If there is a swap next week I don’t think it’s possible to judge Aras’ move, because his life in the game will depend entirely on the tribe he gets in the switch. That said I don’t think there are many people in this game on either side who have Aras on their hit list, so he should be all good to make the merge.

    I think keeping Laura B is a good idea, it seems as though most of the tribe dislikes her, and if she does what she’s told she’s a great goat to take to the end. I think the second part is important trait that a just goat has, you can try and maneuver an unlikeable person to the end, but if they don’t do what they’re told to do it becomes risky to keep them around (Colton, Abi-Maria, Brandon Hantz are examples of people who would be easy to beat at the end, but the fact they can go off the reservation with their game play can make aligning with them a dangerous prospect).

  • Austin S.

    Wild Speculation Time! I think next weeks twist could go a number of ways.

    The obvious option would be a simple tribe switch. But it could break down several different ways, as is being discussed down below. We could have pairs against singular players, we could just have loved ones trade places, we could have a random draw. Possibilities are endless.

    We could have an early merge. It would ensure the preservation of at least a few pairs to spice up the individual game, and if we only bring back one player from RedI, we have a 13-player tribe, and we all know odd numbers make for more fun.

    Alternatively – and this is my favourite possibility – we bring back the two Truel winners from RedI, but send one to Tadhana and one to Galang. Completely unexpected, and could have a really interesting effect. It also gives the returners more of a chance to ingratiate themselves into an alliance before a merge.

    So many possibilities! I am LOVING this season!

  • Kapil

    So next week seems like it will be very interesting with new and extremely interesting dynamics emerging on the swapped tribes – which is likely to be loved ones (Tina/Katie/Aras/Vytas/Hayden/Kat) vs individuals (Tyson/Gervase/Monica/Laura B/Caleb/Cierra).

    I think both tribes will initially bond pretty well. The individuals will unite over the fact that all of them have lost a loved one or at least seen them being voted out. The loved ones will bond over the fact that the individuals are going to be mad and will try to break up pairs at the merge and thus its ideal for the pairs to keep each other safe. However, whichever tribe goes to tribal, things will become interesting there once they lose immunity.

    On the individual tribe, the most likely situation is Tyson, Gervase and Monica sticking together while adding one of the other 3 – most likely Laura B – to their alliance. However, there is the added complication that Monica and Cierra might still have loved ones left on RI (and at least one of them surely will) while the other 4 are truly alone. Thus, there is definitely a chance that Tyson and Gervase ditch Monica and just align with Laura B and Caleb. If Laura M loses at RI, then Cierra can also be added to that alliance and it can be curtains for Monica. However, if Laura M survives RI, then Cierra seems like an obvious boot here.

    The loved one tribe dynamics however are delicious. I don’t think anybody is going to turn on their loved one (though someone may still write their own loved one’s name down if they are anyways going to go home). Thus, we are likely to see 3 pairs wrestling for control with Aras and Vytas at the centre. Scenario 1 – Aras convinces Vytas to ditch Hayden and thus we have an alliance of Aras/Vytas/Tina/Katie. Scenario 2 – Vytas convinces Aras to ditch Tina and thus we have an alliance of Aras/Vytas/Hayden/Kat. And scenario 3 – Tina/Katie/Hayden/Kat realize how much of a huge threat the Aras-Vytas duo is and thus form an alliance of their own. In any case, it looks like ALL 6 of them are in real danger and anyone can go home based on how it shakes out.

    Can’t wait !!!

    • Reya

      I was also wondering if it would be loved ones vs singles as the numbers shake down so conveniently – though how could they possibly have planned for that?

      If it does happen, I’d anticipate Tina and Aras sticking together and bringing in Vytas and Katie, with Hayden out. Vytas is a clear self-interested player who’s already shown himself willing to drop an alliance mate if things look sticky, Kat is on the outside already, and there’s no clear advantage for Tina or Aras in betraying a tight alliance (with a fellow winner) in favour of an alpha male and Kat.

      Single players I’d expect to be similarly simple – Galang strong all the way. Caleb I think has the better chance of getting in with laid-back Tyson and Gervase so assuming Laura M performs well on Redeye and no one gets spooked by hearing what Caleb did to Brad, Ciera is an easy vote.

      • Kapil

        I don’t think the producers did plan for the swap – they just lucked out and are rolling the dice.

        And I agree about the single players tribe – Laura M has to lose for that tribe to get really interesting else Ciera does seem an easy vote. With that said, the girl does seem to have nine lives. And as good as Laura M is, my money is on John and Brad for this one. John has shown his prowess in both the physical aspect and the puzzle aspect of RI challenges and thus he is the favorite. The only concern for him is how he handles losing Candice. Brad has a clear advantage over Laura M in the physical but Laura definitely seems better at puzzles – so it depends on the challenge. From the preview, it seems like the “puzzle” next episode is just putting 100 pieces numbered 1-100 in order – which has been seen before on Survivor. That gives Brad the clear advantage – and it isn’t surprising considering how much Jeff is in love with him.

        As far as the loved ones tribe goes – the big question is will everyone realize how much of a threat the Aras-Vytas duo is. And yeah, Aras ditching Tina is probably the least possible of the 3 options but it definitely can happen as there is a rivalry between the brothers and thus they won’t turn on each other but they are likely to go all out in pulling the other one into their alliance rather than just joining their brother’s alliance.

        • Austin S.

          Aren’t you forgetting Brad’s difficulty counting? This upcoming challenge has to be his worst nightmare!

        • Reya

          I’m going to go with all the speculation and assume that Vytas would be as willing (or almost as willing) to work with Katie as with Hayden though. Plus thinking about individual immunities coming up later…who would you rather be going up against?

          I think Vytas would prefer not to be seen as disloyal, but given the opportunity to get out of his alliance with Hayden without it looking like a major betrayal (just like siding with Brad on the first vote last week, but sending him to RedEye once it became a purple rock situation), he’d take it.

          As for Tina’s take on the Aras-Vytas threat…historically, Tina has preferred to partner the strong player rather than take them out. It’s worked for her. Katie might argue against it, but my thinking is Tina would rather stick with an existing alliance than take a punt on Kat.

          • Kapil

            Can’t really disagree there – Vytas and Katie joining Aras and Tina is the most likely result but I definitely don’t think its straight forward – interested in seeing what happens…

    • Tammy L. Nelson

      If it’s a swap, I think it will be random. What you suggest would make things too predictable.

      • Kapil

        Definitely don’t agree there…lets see

  • Tammy L. Nelson

    The tribe made the right decision. They want Brad OUT, and Laura M has a chance to accomplish that.

    That said, I was very amused by LM’s anger and LB’s confusion. Laura B was so, WTF just happened? LMAO

    • BobbyKe

      What i don’t get is if they want Brad out, why in the hell were they cheering him on during the duel? It makes no sense to me why they were rooting for him. It’s not like Candice or John is any more threatening

      • Trixie02

        I think it was their way of supporting Monica and spiting Candice.

      • Reya

        Supporting Monica. I thought it was quite sweet.

      • Tammy L. Nelson

        Yeah, they showed Monica support. But that was strategic. They need to keep Monica on their side.

      • damnbueno

        Exactly. Kat even stood up and cheered for him. Either she’s typically clueless, or she’s trying to make friends with Monica.

        I think Tina and Laura M. were cheering for Brad too.

  • Trixie02

    Finally a tribe with four older women and a young woman and they can’t see the advantage of sticking together. I was very disappointed that the women could not band together and vote off Aras. It is so obvious he is calling the shots.

    It really does highlight pregame alliances.

    • BobbyKe

      Everybody is letting him call the shots. Tyson & Gervase both mentioned they’ll let Aras continue running things for now. It’s not too different then what Hayden/Vytas were doing with Brad – Using the big power player as a shield. Aras doesn’t as much control as he thinks if everybody knows how much control he has & his threat is so obvious

      • Trixie02

        Agreed, but these are savvy women. I’m surprised that they didn’t think about getting rid of him. They have the numbers to run a female alliance.

        • Reya

          The men, Aras especially, can be commended for that. Their touchy-feely, let’s talk about our feelings, let’s support each other environment is very inclusive. That doesn’t really create the setting for the women to decide they need to team up to take down those big oppressive men. They might be sitting the women out in challenges, but Laura B and Monica got the main roles in last week’s challenge with the crates. When the women of the tribe feel valued and appreciated there’s much less incentive to make a ‘girl power’ point.

          Also it’s not in Tina’s interest to get rid of a fellow winner right now, and Kat and Monica both have male loved ones still in the game.

          • Trixie02

            Aras really has put them under his spell. Once I saw Tina, Laura and Monica, I thought a female alliance would arise. I would love to see females only running the end game.

          • Tammy L. Nelson

            The women don’t need to make an alliance. Men will always take each other down.

            Later, they may do it, but right now, it’s not needed.

          • Trixie02

            I thought Laura M. would push for one given that her name came up initially. It’s rare to have four older women on a tribe.

  • Reya

    I was surprised that Kat’s name didn’t come up at all, unless it really was because she ‘thinks she’s with them’.

    Interesting to note that no one made any mention of voting her or Laura M off because they had partners on the other side though – Hayden’s got to be looking like a threat. Obviously Aras and Tina don’t want to be going down that road because you could say the same about them, but I’m interested that either Gervase or Tyson didn’t bring it up, or if they did it wasn’t shown.

  • Mira

    I wouldve made the RI duel winner to decide new tribes, or the 2 who wont lose on RI to be the new team captains and pick new tribes, now that wouldve been fun 😀

    • Tom Lowe

      i had a similar idea: 1st place on RI makes two new teams, 2nd place decides which team 1st and 2nd place joins (so 1st cant just stack one team or they would end up on the weak one) and 3rd place is out. It may seem like 2 people re-entering is to many players, but remember there was the day 0 vote off so we basically started this game with 18.

  • jramsay13

    This might sound weird but… i actually liked that promo for
    I found the exchanges between Rob and Stephen regarding the ad fairly entertaining. I am all for getting sponsors to monetize this thing as much as possible, so if you’re going to do it, don’t just read out a script like sponsored radio shows, make it funny and a genuine exchange as was done here.

    I know that’s a strange thing to comment on but I just thought it was well integrated. Good stuff!

    • Trixie02

      I loved the bit that the Lauras could share the site. Rob and Stephen are naturals.

    • Thanks for saying that, I know people don’t look forward to commercials, but I promise to always try to keep them as entertaining as we can.

  • LosPollosHermanos

    Lol now this week Rob compares Ciera to Julia from last season.

    I can’t.

    She gets another good episode with solid airtime and interesting confessionals and she’s Julia.

    Rob, you may be a slight sexist.

    • Dave L

      I suspect that part of it is their “boring” perhaps nasal tone during confessionals. Also, neither player appeared to have any control of the votes.

  • BogDa

    Well I have to say that I’m really sad that Candice was defeated. This is the problem with Redemption Island. You get invested in a players success and then they get knocked out. We get Andrea returning instead of Matt after one dual and then Ozzy beats Christina after only one dual. So we watch these players fighting for their lives in the game and then, bam, done.

    I think Candice could potentially become a FOUR TIME PLAYER. Watch, it will happen.

    I would personally prefer to see an “Others” tribe of defeated players who eventually vote two people back into the game like the outcasts. There was a lot of things that really worked about that Outcast twist as it made for a great Pearl Islands season. The six defeated players had to make a decision of who they wanted to return. Burton earned his spot and Lill was voted back in because the rest didn’t want to go on holiday with her.

    • Kevin Wong

      Well, that’s the problem with reality competition – it’s not like you can change the outcomes to give us a better narrative. The season that happens is the season that Survivor airs on A&E or TLC.

      I can buy Candice as a 4 time player. Given how she came on last minute has to put her in Burnett’s good books, right? Survivor: Culpeppers vs. Codys or something?

      Outcast tribe was a good idea, but I do like the duel/truel/fatal four way formats of your RedEyes and Last Chance Kitchens better. If you’re first out you SHOULD have a more difficult time getting back in.

      • damnbueno

        I’m curious, what exactly has Candice done in Survivor that warrants so many appearances?

        Yes, she’s very attractive. That explains coming back for HvV. But her mutiny against the heroic Aitu 4 seemed to position her as a Villain, yet she was placed on the Heroes tribe. She was out of place.

        The same thing apparently happened this season. If what I’ve heard is true, she and John were last-minute replacements for RC and her father

        Candice isn’t a great strategist/manipulator like Cire or Rob C.
        She doesn’t irritate other players (in a very entertaining way) like Eliza or Penner.
        She doesn’t seem to have a great sense of humor.
        She’s not an aggressive villain type like Russell H. or Boston Rob.
        She doesn’t give provocative or insulting confessionals like Parvati.
        And prior to this season she hadn’t shown that Stephenie-esque “never say die” strong woman disposition, or had any emotional outbursts (which are also entertaining).

        Candice is good at challenges, but aside from Stephenie, I don’t think athleticism has been the primary reason any woman has played twice.

        • Kevin Wong

          It’s an interesting question. My thought is that Candice is a strong player, who had an indelible Survivor moment. And because of that, you will always remember her.

          But moreso than that, what I think she has going for her is timing. Take a look at HvV. I agree, she should have been on the Villain’s tribe, and maybe Sandra on the Heroes tribe (did Sandra do anything bad besides speak her mind?).

          But we’re talking about a season that ended up bringing back Sugar, so depth was clearly something of an issue when it came to casting.

          This season, you’re correct – RC and her dad were supposed to be here. Candice and John were alternates and got to the Philippines very close to the start date. In this case, I think John also showed something that gave the producers reason to bring Candice back.

          • damnbueno

            I can see that. The Producers probably thought John’s looks would attract female viewers, so why not also give men the Candice eye candy too?

            And I guess Candice’s ability to cause players not to trust her can make for entertaining segments too.

            I totally agree with you about Candice & Sandra on HvV. But I’m sure Sandra is quite happy with the results.

            Sugar returning was pretty predictable. Even though she’s horrible at Survivor, she got a huge audience reaction in Gabon. The only two players I questioned were Candice and Danielle because both were better known for playing badly than anything else.

  • Omar Gonzalez

    Correction, Stephen. The Villains never actually fell apart. BoRob’S ALLIANCE fell apart. But even that didn’t start when he got voted off. It started when Russell manipulated TYSON into getting voted off.

    • Stephen Fishbach

      I just mean they fell apart in challenges. They kept winning until BRob left and then they kept losing.

      • Omar Gonzalez

        Well, their losing streak began right after TYSON’s departure. BoRob was merely its first victim.

        • Stephen Fishbach

          Yes, you’re absolutely right.

  • Daryl Allen

    I think that the Redemption Island twist gets tedious. I’m okay with people getting voted out and then having an opportunity to get back in, but I’m sick of only having one challenge for the contestants still in the game. Shouldn’t the focus of Survivor be the people that are still technically surviving? I would change Red-I to be more of a behind the scenes competition like on Top Chef (watch it as a separate web series), or just have all the voted out people form a new tribe and have a giant challenge towards the end with all of them competing. Have it be really tough, really dramatic. The winner of that one giant challenge gets back in the game. That way we can have reward challenges and immunity challenges for the main contestants and more drama with the rejects.

  • Mat Karako

    I think that Jeff Probst will come up with the quick twist of… If no one in the game wants the HII, then the clue goes to the people left on Redemption Island. So, when someone enters the game again – they might not be a quick boot either…

  • Murdock8

    Man Aras is really one of my favourite player of all time … had this been a normal season i think he would have won very easily with these returning cast IMO … because of Vytas, he is far more exposed … which sucks … but i love him that guy gets it

  • BogDa

    So the assessment of Ceira by Rob and Stephan makes no sense at all.

    Stephan thinks she has no allies —Caleb just said she is like a sister to him. Vytas was glad she stayed. Katie is her ally.

    The closest person to Ceira from the past is Eliza. Eliza was great at challenges but she was always in danger of going at every single tribal council, yet made it to the final four. I think if Ceira gets to the merge she’s there for a while. Comparing her to Julia is kinda mean. She’s got a lot of spunk and personality. Julie brought nothing.

    It is so telling that whenever people talk about who is impressive strategically, they are talking about the men. Ceira is arguably one of the best players here. All she can do is play with what she’s got. Just like Sandra and Cerie. She’s not good a challenges, but she needs to work to get the attention off of her –which she’s done week after week. But because she doesn’t conform to a ridiculous archetype of what supposedly makes for a great player —-which we’ve seen over and over again is not what makes a great player —-she’s not valued and gets no credit.

    • Stephen Fishbach

      We have yet to see her do anything proactive to “get the attention off her” other than once suggesting that John may be looking for the idol. I do think it’s possible she’s doing something, but until it’s on the show it’s just speculation. How is what she’s done different than what Katie has done? It’s completely baseless to say that we only valorize men’s strategy. In One World, I didn’t stop gushing about Kim Spradlin. Why don’t we analyze people on the merits of their actions rather than their genders?

      Also calling someone a ‘sister’ to you is totally different than being in an alliance. When you’re on Survivor, you feel like family towards all of your tribe; that doesn’t stop you from voting them off when you have to. Vytas wrote Ciera’s name down to vote her out; I’d hardly call him an ally.

      However, I believe I did indicate that she is allies with Katie.

      • Reya

        I agree – Ciera is still here because she’s been lucky, in that Brad was directing the tribe and in the beginning was (much like Aras in this episode, incidentally) more interested in making what he saw as strategic moves than the ‘easy vote’. Luck has a big part to play in Survivor, but it still doesn’t make her a good player (yet) – just a lucky one.

        On the other hand, she’s still in the game, so she still has time to display some strategic nous.

      • BobbyKe

        If Caleb wanted to vote Ciera off, he would’ve done it any of the four chances he had, but he hasn’t. He definitely wants her in the game & he’s certainly closer with her then any other tribe mate. It’s not hard to read who is close with who. Vytas also is close with Ciera, but his trust level with her isn’t as high as Caleb’s is

        The issue with discussing Ciera is that she’s very good at the social game & doesn’t offer much in the other 2 aspects. But the social game is by far the most important aspect of the 3 so you’re going to have a really good chance at success if people trust you & like you which is the general consensus with Ciera

        Survivor could very easily show any bonding scene Ciera has had (Specifically with Caleb since he’s the main reason she has stayed) to showcase why enough people want her around. Bonding scenes are awesome & need to be shown more often, but they get neglected a lot. They show bonding scenes more, we have a better idea of why people make the decisions that they make

        And saying it’s speculation she’s doing stuff is incorrect. It’s logical reasoning understanding she has to be doing a lot to still be around

        Despite not having a strategic or challenge aspect to her game, Ciera is among the best social player in the game which matters far more. Has she been lucky? Obviously, but luck plays a factor & it doesn’t take away from the skills Ciera does have

        • damnbueno

          Your conclusion about Ciera is accurate, but your reasoning isn’t.

          Its entirely speculative that Ciera has done anything to keep herself safe. It remains speculative until it is confirmed. None of the players have said they want to keep her around because they like and/or trust her except Katie, who is equally vulnerable.

          You’re assuming the fact that Ciera is still in the game is by her own manipulation. That part, while possible, has NOT been confirmed yet.

          You also claim she and Caleb have bonded, and credit him with saving her. We have no idea if he ever convinced anyone not to vote for her purely because he wants her to stay. He turned the tribe against Brad because he no longer trusted Brad. It was coincidental that the guys’ original target was Ciera. If they had targeted Katie, it wouldn’t necessarily have meant Caleb and Katie were aligned either.

          What you missed was a scene in the first episode when Ciera and VYTAS became very close by sharing stories of their pasts — his drug use, and her teenage pregnancy. Their bonding scene HAS been included. Its possible their bond is the reason Vytas changed his vote to Brad. But of course, he voted for Ciera first.

          If Ciera were truly one of this season’s best social players, she would have been able to place herself in a majority alliance by now. I’d say this season’s best social players so far are Aras, Tina, Tyson, Hayden and Vytas. None of them have angered anyone, and none have been even remotely targeted yet. Caleb is close too.

          Ciera has been at risk at every vote. Luck has been a much bigger factor in keeping her around than a good social game. She was most lucky the majority alliance didn’t use traditional “boot the weak first” Survivor strategy. She didn’t manipulate them into booting Marissa or Rachel.

    • damnbueno

      What gave you the impression that Eliza was great at challenges?

      I remember her being very bad at trying to grab a pig during one Vanuatu challenge, and stopping to complain instead of trying harder.

      I also remember her getting into a fight with James and Ozzy about her bad attitude during challenges. She said something like “You guys being mean to me makes me not want to try at all.” And James replied “You’re sick, AND you got attitude now?

      I’m not saying she’s bad at challenges, I just never saw anything to make me think she was anything more than average.

      Ciera has a LONG way to go to be as good as Cirie or Sandra. For one, she has to manipulate at least one vote. She hasn’t done that yet.

      We don’t know why Laura B. was targeted.
      Marissa was targeted by Brad because she called him out early and because Gervase celebrated too loudly.
      Rachel was booted to draw Tyson out — a decision not made by Ciera.
      And Brad was booted by Caleb’s manipulation. After that vote, a dumbfounded Ciera asked “What just happened?”

      I don’t think Ciera has done anything to keep the target off her back at all. Its more like the other players simply chose to put it on someone else.

      I’m not saying this because I don’t think Ciera fits any archetype, I’m saying it because she’s had nothing to do with the first 4 votes.

      • Stephen Fishbach

        She actually really reminds me of Erinn, both because she’s always the “next to go” and always gets passed over, and because people give her a delusional amount of credit for being spared. What is it about a cute young brunette that just resonates so profoundly with Survivor fans?

        • damnbueno

          I’m not sure.

          Wait, are you talking about Ciera, Eliza or both?

          • Stephen Fishbach

            Ha! I was talking about Ciera, but I can certainly see it applying to Eliza too!

      • BogDa

        Eliza won four individual challenges in Vanuatu. I think if I’m not mistaken that she won at lest two possibly three immunities. She won the family visit too. She was often the puzzle person in vanuatu and micronesia and was on tribes that dominated in challenges. OverallI think Eliza is good in challenges. Also according to Eliza’s twitter she never sat out a single challenge ever.

        The fact that they have never voted off a single person based purely on the challenge weakness means that Ceira is doing something write. The social game is hard to convey on the show.

        • damnbueno

          In Vanuatu, Eliza won four rewards, but 3 of them were team challenges. Being on a team that dominates challenges, is different than being good at challenges as an individual. If being on a winning tribe makes you good at challenges, then Katie, Caryn and Janu from Palau must all be challenge titans because they went 8-0. And 57-yearl old Willard went 4-0.

          The one individual reward Eliza won was a memory challenge. No athleticism was required. Its tough to rate the reward wins as equally as Immunity wins anyway because so many players intentionally lose reward challenges.

          And the single individual immunity she won also involved memorizing a story about local culture, but yes, running was involved in that one.

          The fact that Eliza never sat out doesn’t mean she’s “great” at challenges either. It more likely means either her tribe was down or even in numbers, or there was a worse athlete on her tribe who did sit out.

          And good athletes often sit out too. We know Kat & Monica are good at physical challenges, yet they both have sat out twice this season already. Sometimes good athletes sit out rewards so they can compete in Immunity challenges.

          I think the phrase “great female challenge performer” belongs to those who’ve succeeded a lot more than Eliza, like Kim, Parvati, Amanda, and Kelly W.

          And there are several who showed a much tougher competitive drive than Eliza too, like Stephenie, Danni, Candice, Christine (South Pacific), Peih-Gee, Laura M., Jane & Ashley (R.I.). Even Sophie, Vecepia, Darrah, and Jenna M. have won more than Eliza (though 3 of Jenna M.’s Immunity wins were HUGELY luck-aided).

          I’d rate all of these women above Eliza.

  • David Mansfield

    Go to agree with Stephen getting rid of Laura. M and not Laura. B was definetley the right move, I have a hard time seeing her flip because the other tribe voted her out unamimously and I highly doubt she would much love or compelled to vote with them.

    • MikeyC

      I disgree strongly.. I think its the right move for Monica, Tyson, and Gervase.. but the wrong move for Aras and Tina..

      Laura seems loyal to Aras.. Aras and Tina are loyal to each other.. Ciera and Katie are loyal to each other.. It screams long term group alliance to my eye..

      Aras and Tina have to be able to see that Katie and Ciera are thick as thieves to be able to stick around on that tribe.. This is an opportunity missed for Aras/Tina, not a potential disaster averted as they seem to think..

      I think IF Aras is not sitting in the finals I think he has to be kicking himself for this moving seeing how loyal she actually was to him..

  • Reya

    Ha! <3 to Aras for referring to it as Redemption Arena rather than Redemption Island. 'It's not an island!'

  • JRHane

    To Stephen, I would argue that the Aitu 4 started the trend of taking down the bigger tribe.

    • damnbueno

      And to you, I’d say Vecepia started that trend when she single handedly took out John’s tribe in Marquesas.

      • Kevin Wong

        That’s a bit of a retcon to say that. Without Boston Rob and Kathy laying down some of the groundwork to expose the Rotu 4 Vecepia doesn’t win Marquesas.

        That said, Vecepia’s gameplay is rather underrated.

        • damnbueno

          That’s very possible, but I credit Vecepia mostly because she wasn’t aware of what Kathy and Rob discussed.

  • Mira

    I know its kinda off topic and too early for start talking about it, but I wanna hear some opinions about something thats been bothering me for quite a while.

    We all know that the greatest power of hidden immunity idol is not to play it, so you know that noone else would do so. Heres my idea.
    Wouldnt it be more fun, if the reagular immunity necklace gets upgraded a little? Nothing big, I would just changed when you will have the option to give it to someone else from BEFORE to AFTER the vote.
    Dont get me wrong, i understand that staying in the game for one more vote is big enough advantage, but it will be more fun if you give the one who wins Immunity challenge a little more leverage to do a power move, and it would also make the HII holders worried a little more if they accually have to play the idol sooner rather than later.

    Long story short, the necklace would work as a one tribal only HII, and peple would be able to vote for everyone at every tribal, and after the votes are cast, the immunity challenge winner will be given chance to keep or give the neckie. Now that would be fun.

  • zephb

    You guys are awesome! … is that next?

  • homertownie

    Isn’t this the first season where the first tribes do not matter, as everyone knows they will reconfigure alliances after reuniting with loved ones? Thus, neither tribe wants to get the immunity idol “for benefit of the tribe after merge”.

    I would expect that whatever alliances are made by the veterans are the ones that would stay through the merge, as the newbies would probably defer to their veteran loved ones about alliances after the merge.

    I think Survivor saw that coming, so they will re-mix the tribes before the merge to break up the veteran alliance.

  • Agreed with homertownie. A pre-merge shuffle is intended to break up any prevailing alliances so there is less likelihood of a Pagong-ing that will happen post-merge in case what’s left of the two original tribes are going to come together, esp since one tribe is being decimated.

    Quite an entertaining season so far and more intricate layers are being revealed with each episode. You can read more about my thoughts from the latest epi here:

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