SurvivorSurvivor: Blood vs Water

Survivor: Mom Power

The Recap

 

After 26 days, two things were certain : Katie was alone at the bottom and Ciera and Laura were the last pair left in the game. Ciera’s alliance, the Tadhana 5 , came up with a plan to break up her and her mom.  Fortunately for them, Ciera was on board but the pressure of voting out her mom was taking its toll.  At Tribal Council, Ciera made the toughest and most emotional vote of the season; voting out her mom, sending her back to Redemption Island.

 

It’s strange that Jeff didn’t mention that Ciera tricked Katie into revealing she didn’t have the idol and trying to turn the game on her instead of her mom.  It was such a smart move that it would have been a good occasion to enhance Ciera’s appeal.  It seems that wasn’t a goal, that we only needed to know that Ciera is a ruthless player who may or may not have made the best decision since it was taking its toll on her.  This episode was going to show that she almost outsmarted herself. Besides the episode’s big vote, this episode was also about:

 

Mom Power 

 

Kasama – Night 26

 

e11-tyson A snake?[/caption]

After showing us a snake (Tyson?) the camera showed us the tribe consoling Ciera who said she was okay, that she was part of the decision also.

Once more, Tyson was the only one shown giving Ciera a hug. Others had to comfort her also but Tyson was the only one shown.

 

Katie had a confessional: “It looks like everyone, including Ciera, voted for her mom. I’m surprised Ciera chose water over blood (Tyson shown) but Ciera has a plan and I don’t think her mom was really part of it.”

 

Next, we heard from Ciera: “It was really rough. It was not easy having to write my mom’s name down but I have proven 100% that I am trustworthy. Looking forward, I hope people take me seriously in the game and I hope they want to work with me.”

 

With everyone sitting by the fire, Tyson said: “Ciera, I appreciate what you did tonight. I know that nobody had to put a vote down that was as hard for you.”

 

Tyson then had a confessional: “Ciera writing her mom’s name down was the hardest voting position in the game so far. By doing that, she has shown a bit of loyalty but at the same time, it makes me a little scared of her. I can see that she is playing the game pretty hard. I think she is underestimated by a lot of people and she is going to be dangerous.”

 

During the voice over portion of the challenge, the camera showed us a smiling Ciera and a pensive Tyson, suggesting that he was judging her, trying to find another tell.  We can skip Katie’s confessional which was simply narration. The one that Ciera gave us was more interesting because it showed that she completely misjudged the results of her action. She was hoping that it would show loyalty and that it would help her to be taken seriously. Her old Tadhana ally realized that she wasn’t loyal while being taken seriously put her on Tyson’s radar.  His confessional, once more, told us that he understood exactly what was going on in the tribe.  He’d soon fall a step behind but Tribal Council showed he was quick to recover.

 

Redemption Island – Night 26

 

Tina told Vytas that she was both nervous and excited that Katie could be the one joining them.

As Laura approached the island’s shelter, she yelled out “Mom” fooling Tina into thinking it was indeed Katie. When she finally realized the joke, Tina gave the “other mom” a big hug.

 

Tina’s next morning confessional was shown: “I hear a little voice going mom and I’m like: It’s Katie but no! it was Laura M. back once again to Redemption Island.”

Laura explained Ciera’s vote to the other two and then told us she had a hard time defining how that vote made her feel. Ultimately, she was proud of her because it showed she was playing the game.

In the end, Laura said that the vote was stupid because Monica is winning all the challenges while Tyson was flying under the radar.

Vytas agreed, adding: “Tyson is so running it. Why is nobody voting him out?”

 

Vytas’ old allies would soon try to vote Tyson out but they’d realize it wasn’t that easy. This confessional though was a good way to put doubts on Tyson’s chances which is always a good thing.

 

The Challenge Arena.

 

e11-challenge

The challenge.

 

Tina walked in, greeted by a wave from Katie to whom she winked in return. Laura’s entrance was much sadder. To underline it, the music changed, from a tune that had plenty of percussion to a piano playing a plaintive melody. Ciera being unable to look at her until Jeff asked how her mom felt about the vote. Laura said she was proud of Ciera which light up and made her smile. She added: “We knew, at some point that one of us would have to vote the other one out. I didn’t think it was going to be so soon but it’s okay: I’ll come back.”

 

By winning another challenge, Laura made quite a case for herself coming back.  She then proceeded to help Tina with her puzzle, telling her how to arrange her squares while turning her puzzle around so that Vytas couldn’t copy it. It worked. As Jeff said: The two moms stuck together, making sure Vytas wouldn’t advance. The two daughters were holding hand, happy for their moms.

Despite his anger towards Laura, Vytas left gracefully, bowing to the remaining players and jokingly saying: “Namaste, bitches!”

 

Laura gave the clue to Ciera who promptly burned it, probably irritating our host by doing so.

 

This challenge showed once more that we shouldn’t underestimate “Mom Power”. Laura borrowed a page from Boston Rob in the Amazing race, finding a way to use strategy where no one else had thought of it before. That may come in handy down the line because Tina could help her if she ever finishes first.  Will one of the moms prevail and make it back into the game?  They could because they should be able to handle Caleb but what if Ciera Tyson finds herself on Red I?  Will Laura compete against her? Probably not. What if Tyson finds himself on RI? The editing of the players’ entrance into the arena showed Tyson analyzing the challenge’s set up, suggesting he may have to win a few of these in order to win the game. We’d soon have two more clues that Tyson’s game could be heading to Red I. 

 

Kasama – Day 27

 

The tribe talked about the moms’ power.

Tyson had a confessional: “With 7 people in the game right now, the next vote and the vote after that are going to be the most important. I have to get passed this next vote so the wisest thing I can do right now from my perspective is to keep everybody against Katie.”

 

He told Hayden, Caleb and Gervase that Katie was very dangerous because she had 3 jury votes already. They all agreed.

 

Hayden had a confessional: “We have the five person alliance: Me, Caleb, Tyson, Gervase, Ciera and we can continue along the course of that five by voting out Katie but you do not want to be the guy that waited too long to make a move and got blindsided yourself. That’s what you don’t want to be.” Hayden talked to Caleb, saying they were in the middle and that it wouldn’t be up to them if they didn’t make a move. He added: “In all honesty, I feel like Tyson is going to beat us in the end. He’s been in control the whole game.” His confessional continued: “Tyson’s got a hell of a resume to preach to the jury when we get there so we are thinking that, maybe before we get to the Final 5, we’ll have to pick off somebody and that somebody’s gonna be Tyson.”

 

Caleb went to Katie, telling her she was safe because they were taking out Tyson.

Katie gave us a confessional: “I’ve been in the bottom the past few Tribals. It wasn’t looking good for me. I felt like one of these hermit crabs that walk along the beach and have to transition from home to home. When you don’t have a shell, it’s terrifying because there’s predators. Now I feel like I found some sort of a shell. My best option moving forward is to work with my original Tadhana members again and get rid of Tyson. So, I feel like my options are looking better.”

 

Ciera was then approached by the two guys who told her the plan to go after Tyson. Ciera said that was smart and added: “Us three, the Final 3?” They agreed.

 

Ciera had a confessional: “Caleb said he wanted to make a big move and that he wanted Tyson gone and that really throws me off because I feel like these people who haven’t played the game before are so willing to flip and flop on each other. It’s too sketchy for me to invest in them so I told Hayden and Caleb what they wanted to hear but I don’t want to work with people like that.”

 

Finally we have our answer for Caleb’s “Big Kahuna” scene. As we thought, Vytas was right and it would hurt Caleb in the end. Flipping on Brad would cause people to distrust him.  Ciera saw him as being too sketchy which is quite ironic considering that Caleb’s first flip saved her.  Brad must have been laughing when he saw that scene play out on TV.

 

Ciera joined Tyson in the jungle and told him that Hayden and Caleb were ready for a big move and wanted to vote him out. Ciera added: “I promise you this: I am voting however you’re voting from here on out…I have your back 100%.”

Tyson replied: “I have yours and I told you that from day 1.” He added: “I trust Gervase and Monica will go with us because I’ve shown her more love than anybody else has. That’s 4: We got it and we’re flipping it on Hayden and Caleb.”

 

Tyson had a confessional: “I was hoping to make it to 6 before I made my move and really locked the game down but I may have to lock it down earlier. I trust Monica and I trust Gervase. Ciera is the major wild card here. I hope that Ciera is telling the truth but, in the end, it makes more sense for me to go in that direction anyways because I need Caleb and Hayden out and the sooner the better.”

 

We now have our second hint that Tyson could be heading for Redemption Island. By talking about hoping to make it to 6, Tyson opened the door for us to envision that it will be as far as he will make it before being voted out. As we say, that could be where “Les Athéniens s’atteignirent”, where his power, having reached its zenith, starts to crumble quickly. It seems that he is making the same mistake Aras made by trusting Gervase and Monica too much. What if it turns out that one of them is the wild card instead of Ciera? 

 

Kasama – Night 28

 

e11-cieratyson

Ciera warns Tyson.

Tyson told Gervase about Ciera’s warning, saying the guys were planning to vote him out. Gervase asked if they should vote for Caleb. Tyson said: “Yes, because he is so likable, he’s the clear shot at the million.”

 

Gervase had a confessional: “Ciera said that Hayden and Caleb are targeting Tyson and they are going to try to vote him out. So, now we’re thinking: OK! We’ve got to get rid of them. Two days ago, the four guys, we had control of the game but now we are all plotting on each other and it makes me nervous but as long as Ciera sticks with us, we should be good. Hayden and Caleb started stirring the pot and they got sloppy. When you break your alliance like that, the gloves come off so it’s going to get real dirty and ugly.”

 

Look at how this confessional parallels Laura’s quote at the last TC: “Problems come in when you get your alliance and people start bailing early on the alliance and the next thing you know the top three are people that weren’t even in the alliance and everybody else is sitting over there going: What the heck did we do wrong?” Gervase’s confessional combines so well with Laura’s remark that I’m starting to wonder if we have three women sitting in front of the jury.  It would also refute Vytas’ pride alliance confessional by showing the women didn’t need an alpha male and it would validate the “Three moms” part of the title to episode 4. Could we have a Monica, Ciera, Laura/Tina Final 3? Or maybe either Laura or Tina goes against Ciera and Tyson in the final Redemption Island challenge? We can’t dismiss those possibilities when so many loose ends connect so nicely.

 

Kasama – Day 29

 

Hayden and Caleb were looking at Ciera when she asked Tyson to go get tree mail with her.

 

We know that production tells the players when to get tree mail and they even choose who goes to get it so it seems that Ciera was told to ask Tyson. (Note that we didn’t see Ciera asking Tyson nor did we see Tyson answering so it could have been entirely dubbed in.) This little tree mail expedition gave the editors a good way to introduce Hayden’s worries about Ciera.

 

Caleb realized that Ciera walked by without saying a word. Hayden concurred saying she won’t look at him in the eye.

After picking up “tree” mail (It wasn’t in a tree but in an old chest. Habits are hard to break. Personally, I like the way they do it in the French version of Survivor where the message comes in a bottle!) Ciera asked if they were still good on Caleb because she was getting a weird vibe. Tyson reassured her. They high-fived and said: “Straight to the finals.”

 

Ciera in confessional: “I’m so glad that I didn’t go with Hayden and Caleb. It feels like I made the right decision and I trust Tyson because Tyson knows: A) They’re gunning for him and B) I saved him and C) He doesn’t want to be sitting next to them in the end anyways. So, it feels like I’m in a pretty good spot come next tribal.”

 

Hayden in confessional: “This morning, I see Tyson and Ciera run into the woods and then I started thinking what if Ciera tells Tyson: Hey! Those guys are going to blindside you. I started to get paranoid because I realized that if Ciera flipped, we could be in big trouble here.”

Hayden told Katie about his doubts and she then gave us a confessional: “I thought voting Tyson was the best option and that it was going to be smooth sailing but now that there is suspicion about Ciera there may have to be a Plan B. At this point, it’s all up in the air and no one is safe so this challenge is huge and, if Ciera doesn’t win immunity, she could be in trouble.”

 

The Challenge

 

Tyson, Gervase and Ciera chose the black rock meaning they wanted to eat instead of fighting for immunity.

Tyson was the one we heard talking to Jeff, taunting the competitors and throwing his bones in the bushes. He was also heard burping loudly a few times.

Monica told Jeff that she wanted to show that their mom was just as tough as their dad. She told Jeff: “Show the kids more than one bad-ass lives in our house.”

Hayden realized that they were “going to be here a while.”

Jeff asked if it bugged him that some chose to eat (Tyson was shown with a huge hunk of meat just then.) Hayden answered: “If I lose this challenge then I will be a little bit upset.” Tyson asked: “At us?”  Hayden didn’t answer.

Katie was the first to lose her bucket.

Caleb also told Jeff he was irritated by the people eating. Jeff added some salt to the wound saying: “They are having a good time, they are laughing saying “Perform for me, show me blood bring more meat” just as Tyson and Gervase were playing tug-o-war with a loaf of bread in their mouth.

When Caleb dropped out, Jeff said: “He definitely showed he’s worthy but fell short.”

Seeing that their target wasn’t going to win immunity, Tyson turned to Gervase and Ciera to say: “We’re good.”

Jeff said that Hayden was sending a signal to Monica: “You are not going to get this without working for it.”

When Jeff said that Monica was looking good, Ciera agreed by saying: “It’s mom power.”

It wasn’t long after that Monica won her third individual immunity and accepted it by saying: “Peace out.”

 

It’s always interesting how the editors portray the players who choose to eat. The Casaya players that declined to compete were made to look stupid but none of them won. The editors were much kinder to Todd and JT when they chose to eat.  This time, the message was clear: Tyson, Gervase and Ciera have definitely not shown they were worthy.  We could argue that Tyson was shown playing the mind games and it could be excused in many ways but the cold hard facts is that Jeff repeatedly talked about the need to work for it.  The only way Tyson can now be worthy of winning this game, in Jeff’s eye, is if he wins a few challenges.  The bar has been set and so this brings us to the third hint that Tyson will wind up on Redemption Island: Winning the challenges there, returning to the game and then winning immunity would be the way to overcome the stain left by the way this challenge was presented. If he doesn’t then, like Jeff said once the challenge was over: “That’s it, you’re done.”

 

Kasama – Day 29

 

e7-hayden

Doesn’t want to get blindsided.

Tyson and Ciera told the group that the food was good.

Hayden had a confessional: “I don’t want to be the guy that gets blindsided and goes home so I want to compete. Tyson, Gervase and Ciera all chose to eat and that’s kind of telling. They obviously feel very comfortable and, if the three of them feel that good, maybe they’re all working together to get rid of one of us. I’m in  a predicament: I could be on a sinking ship so now I’m kinda back-pedaling. We got to scramble and make a new plan.”

 

Hayden talked to Caleb, saying that Ciera had already flipped. He suggested asking Tyson directly if he was planning on blindsiding one of them.  The plan was to have everybody vote against Ciera.

 

Hayden asked Tyson if he was  trying to get one of them because that was how it felt.  Tyson said he was under the same impression, that they were out to get him. He added: “Ciera pinned that on you guys.” Hayden lied, saying he was only saying that because he thought Tyson went after them first but that wasn’t what he wanted to do.  Tyson told them he was skeptical of what Ciera had told him.

 

Tyson gave a confessional: “Hayden and Caleb pulled me aside and they were like: Ciera is playing both sides. When I think about it, it makes sense. Why wouldn’t she? She seems like a smart enough girl and I know she’s a good liar. In her mind, she’s probably thinking; by pinning the guys against each other, she can stick around a little longer and that was  a smart move on her part. Now, I’m feeling that she is too sneaky and too smart and too deceiving to be in the game anymore.” The three guys shook hands on voting against Ciera before Tyson continued his confessional: “The problem is: I don’t trust Hayden and Caleb either. Who knows? They could be trying to make me feel comfortable and then pow: I get hit with a heart-breaker. So, I might have to play my hidden immunity idol. It’s that little bit of added insurance in case something screwy happens.”

 

Hayden and Caleb agreed that they believed Tyson which led to Caleb’s confessional: “Tyson’s telling us that he’s still with us but I’m not sure I buy it 100%. Hayden feels a lot more comfortable with it than I do. I’m still thinking is he playing us? Is he planning something?” Ciera was shown as if she had been sleeping the whole time so Katie went to wake her up before we heard the end of Caleb’s confessional: “In the game of Survivor anything can go wrong but hopefully everybody’s on board and Ciera’s going home tonight. She should have picked a side and stuck with it.”

 

The audience could say that had Caleb stuck with the side he had picked pre-merge then Ciera wouldn’t be there to trouble him. It is quite interesting though that Ciera was shown sleeping the whole time her fate was being discussed. It doesn’t paint her in a very good light.

 

Tyson told Gervase the Hayden and Caleb came to him with all the information about the blindsides. Tyson asked: “Who do we vote out? Ciera or Caleb? It sounded logical what they said: Teenage mom, hell-raiser, she can look you in the eyes and lie better than anybody.”

 

Gervase agreed and gave us his interview: “All of a sudden, everything is blown to pieces. If somebody is lying in this, it’s either Hayden and Caleb or it’s Ciera. One of them is lying. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know who to trust. At these times, it just comes out to your gut and that’s scary because, if you put your trust in the wrong person, you are going home.”

 

Tribal Council

 

Jeff went straight to the challenge, saying it showed there wasn’t harmony in the alliance of 7.

Hayden agreed saying it showed who felt comfortable and who didn’t. Hayden went on to say he was jealous of Tyson, Gervase and Ciera.

<Tyson looked over at the jurors who looked less than impressed.>

Caleb told Jeff he wasn’t surprised by any of the three people that sat out, not even Ciera because “she probably feels comfortable and she likes to eat.”

Ciera explained herself by saying she looked at the challenge and didn’t think she could win. “I’d rather not play and eat than lose and not eat.”

<The cymbals told us that was a wrong answer.>

Tyson said: “I was a little surprised that more people weren’t eating. I mean, I feel comfortable with the alliances I’ve made and I hope they would feel comfortable with me. Even though all my alliance wasn’t there, I tried to enjoy the food as best I could, which was a lot.”

<The jury didn’t looked pleased at that either.>

Gervase was asked about trust. He said: “I trust people in my alliance…I’m hoping they keep their word…”

Jeff noted that he looked right at Hayden when he said that. Hayden told Jeff that he hoped Gervase realized that he’s been paranoid at times. Turning to Gervase himself, he added: “We trust one another.”

Jeff then turned to Ciera saying it didn’t look good for her if the two guys trust each other.

Ciera said it made her feel like crap, that there could be an underlying message.

Tyson told Jeff he comes in to TC “hoping for the best but expecting the worst.”

Caleb told Jeff he was expecting that there would be a blindside.

Ciera said she would be shocked to be voted out because she was 100% honest with her alliance.

 

It was time to vote and we saw the jury winking at Caleb as he walked by, telling us that Tyson was right to say he was very likable.

When Jeff asked for the hidden immunity idol, Tyson asked him to wait a second as he went through his bag. Showing that he wasn’t quite as comfortable with his alliance as he had said, Tyson played his idol. We saw Gervase, Monica and Ciera smile while the jury looked a little more impressed.

After snuffing Caleb’s trust, Jeff said: “With an idol and a blindside in the same Tribal Council, the decisions you make about who to trust from this point out will determine who makes it to the end. There is no room for error.”

Tyson winked at Gervase who nodded in agreement.

 

Redemption Island

Caleb told us that he was surprised, that he expected that Ciera would be voted out.

He told Laura and Tina that Ciera flipped on them which seemed to please the moms.

 

The Story  

 

I saw that Josh was in the Thanksgiving spirit, having many reasons to be thankful. Me? Not so much. I’m just happy that this season has finally given us one good episode. This whole season had been determined by Aras’ pre-game alliance and Tyson’s decision to knock him off his throne. Even that power move had played out so slowly over the course of several episodes that it lost most of its appeal. I feel this was the first episode worthy of the title Survivor.

 

In a season where one episode was titled “One-Armed Dude and Three Moms”, it was very interesting to see that all the moms left in the game had huge roles to play…as did the “One-Armed Coconut Bandit”!  We even heard Ciera talking about Mom Power and it certainly looks like the moms will continue to shape the events of this season, both in the actual game and in Purgatory.

How does it play out? Do we have 3 moms in the Final3? Like we wrote above, Gervase’s confessional opened the door wide for that possibility. Having three moms sitting in front of the jury would force all the guys sitting on the jury to look at each other and wonder: “what the heck did we do wrong?”

On the other hand, we could have three moms on Redemption Island competing for the ticket back in the game.  If so, how does the “One-Armed Dude” come in to play? Where does Gervase fit into all this? Can we consider Hayden as a finalist now that we’ve seen him playing the game?

That’s why I called this a real Survivor episode. As intended, it gave us more questions than answers. Now that is the best parallel to Lost we can have.

 

The Characters

 

e7-lauram

A formidable force out on Purgatory Island.

The Case for Laura or Mom Power Part I:  She has become a formidable force out on Purgatory Island but she still has a long way to go before she has a chance to return to the game. For now, her power is being used to eliminate the big guys that get voted out.  We expect that she will be there when Jeff announces that the winner will return to the game. She could succeed but her lack of story outside of Purgatory tells us that she has no future in the “real game.”

 

Tina and Caleb:  They don’t have the stories that make us think they will return to the game. Tina’s story went down the drain with the swap and she hasn’t recovered. At most, her role could turn out to be helping Laura in a challenge where she struggles.  Caleb’s story ended in that canoe with Vytas after which he called himself the “Big Kahuna”.  His story was about scheming, not winning challenges so we figured he’d get eliminated from Purgatory the moment Jeff snuffed his torch. (It seems the promotional department knew we’d figure as much.)

 

The Case for Katie: We couldn’t even make a case for her back in episode 8 but now, as viewers, we could be tempted to say that she’d make a good goat to take to the end. Poor Katie doesn’t even have that role because the guys agreed she has 3 votes all sown up already and they wanted her out. Never has an under-the-radar type player been on so many radars! It was amusing that, as soon as things started looking better for her, they turned bad again. Her only chance right now is that there will be a fight between Tyson and Hayden but that will only save her for 1 round.

 

The Case for Hayden: When we wrote the case for him after episode 8, we pointed out that no one was talking about him, saying he was a threat to win the game. That was both his best hope to make it far and the biggest clue he wasn’t our winner. We saw how the first served him well in this episode when Tyson and Gervase decided that Caleb’s likability made him the bigger threat. Now, unfortunately for him, Hayden is fully exposed. However, not being seen as a threat could help him find a crack. His edit is finally getting some substance but this isn’t the time when winning edits are forged, this is the time for confusion edits, where some players are given better roles to muddy the waters.  Soon, Hayden will find himself in a position where he would need to run the tables but, this season, the challenges have been dominated by the women.

 

The case for Ciera: The “little mom” played a big role in this episode, playing both sides against each other. We were right to figure that her edit was too good for her to leave right after her mother, the thing she feared the most and worked so hard to avoid. Unfortunately, the editors showed her sleeping when the tide turned against her, when Hayden almost repaired the damage she had caused.  She should have seen it coming and kept an eye on those two to counter any peace talks. Instead, she has put her trust completely in Tyson’s hands so she better hope he comes out on top in his conflict with the Big Brother winner.  What was good for her story is that we finally heard her talk about the Final 3, making a fake deal with Hayden and Caleb and saying she is in with Tyson to the end. We maintain that it is Ciera, not Katie, that has enough votes sown up, that she’d win against almost anyone.  We still see her as the Final 4 elimination, the last original Tadhana standing.

 

The Case for Gervase: The pot was stirred much too early to his liking but that could be the best thing for Gervase. Besides his vote against Aras, he can now point to a second move, claiming that he was just as much part of the decision to go after Caleb than Tyson. Hayden’s power-play could also serve Gervase’s game. It certainly presents him with a way out of Tyson’s shadow. Of course, that could simply put him in Hayden’s shadow. He’d need a second plan to get rid of the other big guy, putting us that much closer to an all mom Final 3!  One thing seems certain: Since he wasn’t told about the idol, Gervase must not trust Tyson as much anymore and that means the whole game could be blown wide open.

 

The Case for Tyson: Despite winning the battle against Hayden and Caleb, our “One-Armed Coconut Bandit” had a terrible episode. We feel that this was a Pyrrhic victory on every possible level. The most evident cost was the waste of the idol which would have been quite useful at Final 6, the episode where even he said would be key, the episode where he would lock it down.

On a game level, it was probably even more costly because he talked so vigorously about having confidence in his alliance. You don’t do that when you are about to play your idol which shows you don’t have confidence in your alliance after all. Gervase was seen smiling  when Tyson was looking through his bag for that idol but that smile could have been masking anger about not being trusted enough to know that Tyson had the idol. Even if Gervase wasn’t angry at the time, he has three days to ruminate what can certainly be seen as an affront.

Worse of all, editing-wise, we had three big hints that Tyson is heading for Purgatory:

–         The camera showed him looking intently at the challenge set-up, suggesting he will have to study one for real at some point.

–         We heard Tyson say: “I was hoping to make it to 6 before I made my move and really locked the game down…” When players talk about numbers like this, it’s usually a hint that it will be exactly where they wind up. Tyson doesn’t have the game locked down, he doesn’t have his idol and we are now at 6. The suggestion becomes obvious: Tyson is truly in trouble.

–         Tyson needs to redeem himself after being shown acting so grossly and being so confident during the immunity challenge.  He will have to work for it and, in production’s mind, nothing would show his determination more than going to Purgatory and coming back to win the whole thing. Many viewers would say the opposite, that being voted out of the game is the very thing that makes him unworthy but that is not how production sees it or wants us to see it.

Can Tyson still be our winner? It’s much too late for me to change my mind but let’s just say that I am less confident about my position. He certainly can still win the battle against Hayden but then we have to look at how the jury reacted to him during TC and it wasn’t good.  It seems he actually needs to win some challenges to prove his worth. Returning from RI and making it to the end could be his road to victory. The only thing that makes that likely was his quote when he saw Rachel in the arena, when he said people will be sorry if he ever gets to RI.

 

 

The Case for Monica or Mom Power Part II:  If Tyson didn’t tell Gervase about the idol, can we assume he didn’t tell him about his deal with Monica? Gervase wanted to get rid of Monica after she switched her vote when Vytas was sent packing. Now, Gervase must realize that Monica is very close to Tyson since he didn’t even worry that she could be in on Hayden’s plan.  Monica’s winning streak must be creating a good impression on the jury so it wouldn’t be surprising to hear Gervase say he doesn’t want to be the sap that helps her attain her dream once more.  What happens if Gervase goes to Tyson with a plan to get rid of Monica?  That could increase the doubts between the two Coconut Bandits and save Monica at the same time. Her best chance to win the game would be by going up against non-schemers like Katie. It would be tough for her to beat someone who could claim to have Outwitted the competition but she is certainly Outplaying them all.  Her immunity challenge streak would even sit well against Laura if she wins all the RI challenges and makes her way to the end.

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