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There’s Colton’s Game Then There’s The Social Game

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Previously on Survivor, we were told that Candice and Marissa beat Rupert at the first challenge.

Candice gave her husband John the first clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol but, while John focused on the clue, his men’s alliance focused on eliminating his ally, Rachel, hoping to weaken the Galang tribe.

<We heard Vytas explaining the plan to force Tyson’s hand>

 

Meanwhile, at Galang, the entire tribe was in a Zen state of mind but Colton was dead set on upsetting the peace and everyone began to notice.

<We saw Aras, Tina and Gervase doubting his words and Aras saying he had been faking it>

 

At the immunity challenge, Tadhana lost for the second time in a row and the game was getting personal but, at Tribal Council, they didn’t lose sight of their plan, voting Rachel and hoping Tyson would take her spot.

 

This is as straightforward a recap as I can remember. Usually, Jeff gives a new slant on what we saw but here, it’s just the facts. Maybe the importance is in what wasn’t said: Jeff didn’t say a word about Galang’s “Don’t say a word” alliance. Since we weren’t reminded of the 5 players that formed it, we can suppose that the 5 won’t make it all together to the end. The only important events in Galang were their Zen attitude, how it affected Colton and how some people reacted to it.   

 

We’re Not Playing Colton’s Game

 

Galang – Day 7

 

Whenever we don’t go to the tribe returning from Tribal Council at the start of the episode, it gives us an indication on the “Tribe of Interest”, the tribe that likely contains the winner. Of course, this time we have a tribe of returning players facing off against rookies so that in itself influences airtime but the scene we were about to see was just about ordinary camp life, showing nothing new. Colton’s isolation had already been set up in the recap so I feel the importance is in the people around him.

 

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Cupcake belts?

The tribe was discussing Tyson’s cupcake belt buckle but Colton wanted to figure out who should sit out at the next challenge. He was told it was much too early for that.

 

Colton, in confessional: “No one wants to talk strategy…I’m so frustrated. Apparently, that’s threatening to people and that’s why they’re scared of me.”

 

Notice how Colton’s last sentence sounds a lot like something Rupert would say, thinking people actually see him as a threat. Besides Monica and Kat, we’ve seen that Galang considers him more like a joke. Colton and Rupert are opposite ends of the spectrum but their conceit connects them much like a snake biting its tail.

 

Colton asked Aras if he was in danger.

Aras said he was, adding that things could change, that someone could do something stupid.

 

Aras: “Colton is poisoning everyone’s mind. He doesn’t get this game. He thinks this game is about creating chaos so he may have dug his grave.”

 

This is a clear indication that playing the game too fast means you don’t understand the game.

 

Colton: “Unless you have people who are willing to roll with you, there isn’t a lot you can do.”

 

The Challenge Arena:

 

Tyson looked disgusted when Jeff said that Rachel had been voted out.

He reacted by saying: “It’s not a bad move. They must have assumed that I will highly consider switching places with her, pulling me off the tribe and making it easier for them to win because they are having a hard time right now.”

Rachel said that was exactly what happened, adding: “Brad is running this game right now and everyone is falling under his spell.”

Tyson let it up to Rachel and she said he had a better chance of winning the game than her. “Stay with your tribe; they need you.”

After telling Jeff that he was staying, Tyson stood to address Tadhana: “You better watch out because if any of you see me in Redemption Island, none of you stand a chance in hell.” Then, to Brad, he said: “You may be big but that’s the worse thing in this game.”

Brad replied: “You cheer after you win but we have to vote out one of your Loved Ones. You haven’t had the difficult conversations that we’ve had. Nobody’s been voted out over there so don’t throw arrows at us.”

Monica looked uneasy during this exchange.

Marissa said they voted out two strong people saying that was why they are losing.

Brad said they were playing Survivor and there was more to it than that.

Marissa replied: ‘You rat, Culpepper.”

Gervase intervened, telling his niece to tone it down and focus on what she had to do.

 

That’s when Colton started crying, saying he didn’t want to be there.

Jeff said: “You’re quitting again?”

Colton said he didn’t care about this tribe.

Jeff pointed out he was costing the tribe one member. He described it as a “very selfish move.” Jeff went as far as saying that Colton had feigned the appendicitis the first time and was quitting a second time.

Colton said he was turning into the One World Colton because his back was against the wall.

Tyson replied that the change occurred before his back was against the wall.

Tina pointed out: “The fact of the matter Jeff is that Colton is having a hard time because we are not playing Colton’s game. Now he knows he cannot win this game.”

 

Jeff made the call, saying that Colton was officially out of the game. Turning to Caleb, the host observed that it had to be disappointing.

Caleb said he didn’t understand, that Colton loved the game.

Jeff said that many like to watch the adventure but that didn’t mean they should get off the couch. “Colton is a guy who never should have gotten off the couch.”

 

As an aside: We’ve been saying that for a while now Jeff but you don’t listen. Just like Coton turns into a quitter when things don’t go his way, Jeff turns ugly when he’s proven wrong…unless he’s passing a message to someone in casting. We can’t forget that Jeff called Colton compelling so he can be held responsible for this fiasco.

 

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Why wasn’t Colton ignored like Purple Kelly?

Colton felt they weren’t playing the game but we know they were. It was a far more quiet game but it was much more effective. Colton had it backwards: Survivor isn’t about finding people willing to scheme with you, it’s about truly working with people so that they will want to play with you.  Only Misfits have a need for a guy that sits on his ass all day.

 

After sending the quitter to the boat, Jeff finally turned to the challenge.

As expected, Candice won, getting it on the first try and easily finishing ahead of the other two women. With panic setting in, it took them more than 45 minutes to get it right, Marissa finishing first. Tyson gave Rachel a hug and asked if she had fun while she was there. She said yes. Candice gave the second clue to John, telling to do what he had to do with it.

 

The challenge for second place reminded me a lot of the “thrilling” fire challenge between Becky and Sundra. I really don’t know what is the interest of watching two losers compete. It certainly doesn’t serve the story. My prediction that Marissa will finish third is still looking good! That would mean Candice and John will have some time alone together on RI. Want to bet they’ll make us cringe by renaming it Honeymoon Island?

 

Galang – Day 7

 

Tina consoled Tyson about Rachel’s defeat. He said he was OK.

 

Tyson gave an interview: “It was hard to see Rachel at Redemption Island. I knew she was going to be there because it’s the only move that made sense. Now, I have to get all the way to the end or I will regret not stepping in for Rachel. I think I made the right decision. When she lost, I hugged her and asked if she had fun and she said she did so for me that was enough because it is a game you know. Too many people take it too seriously and it shouldn’t be. It ruins their lives and makes them angry. A good example of that is Colton.”

 

While he was probably also thinking of Coach and Hantz, Tyson’s confessional opens the door for him to make it to the end but not as our winner. Through his own words, the editors have given us a preview of his story: He’s starting a journey to avenge Rachel and he will have fun along the way. The part of the confessional that we heard tells us that will be all he gets because, for him, it’s enough. Unwittingly, Tyson has set his own goal, his own journey and it falls short of victory. Note that this confessional tells us that Tyson is also considering moves that make sense, that affect the other tribe. The only two options that would make sense are Kat and Monica. 

 

Interestingly, Kat, someone who should know him better than most, was the one asking why Colton quit.

It was Laura B. and Aras, who knew him far less, that had to explain that no one wanted to talk strategy with him.

Monica said she couldn’t believe all the crap said about her husband so Gervase and Aras gave her a hug.

 

Tyson in confessional: “Right now, being here with Monica is a little weird. I mean, who wouldn’t be bothered by that? I know her husband was the main reason why Rachel was voted out but he doesn’t know how to play the game. All he is doing is creating a larger target on his back.”

 

This could be a signal that we have been waiting for: Despite being in the alliance of 5, Monica could be on the way out. It would explain why Jeff didn’t mention them in his recap.

 

Tadhana – Day 7

 

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IS Brad being a tyrant?

Brad asked the tribe if he was being a tyrant. He added: “In the past, you vote somebody out, their dirty laudry goes away with him but now you vote somebody out and their dirty laundry comes back at you.”

John was seen on screen when he said that and we know Brad is going to be hit hard by John’s bag of laundry.

 

Brad (confessional): “In Redemption Island, we walk in and, all of a sudden, wham! Tyson starts blaming me for getting rid of his girl and then Marissa directed some vulgarities towards me about me being some king pin leader over here and I’m ruling the roost and making all the decisions. I am but I’m making everyone else feel that decisions are being made as a group, not by me. So, I’m not worried about me at all.”

 

Judging by what everyone else feels and says, Brad isn’t making them feel that they are part of the decisions. This was a perfect set up for a blindside. It didn’t happen this time but something bad is going to happen to Culpepper.

 

Just then, John  was telling Hayden how much he liked Brad’s ability to lead a team and that they were in the best position possible. Right after, John went into the woods to read his new clue.

 

John: “Candice kicked ass again at the duel which was great for me because I got another clue to the immunity idol. It’s sort of a double edge sword because everyone is going to assume that I found it. I’m going to have a target on my back whether I find it or not. Originally, I wasn’t going to tell anybody about the clue but I like Brad a lot and I didn’t want him to think that I was being shady so that he starts being paranoid about our alliance.”

 

John told Brad about the second clue. Brad asked if he wanted them to look for it together. John said he was worried about the other guys seeing them go off looking for the idol. “They will know that you and I are tight.”

 

Brad: “At this point, I’ve got such a good relationship with John, he actually told me the clue to the immunity idol. I wanted to help him find it but John said we probably shouldn’t go together because it’s going to seem too obvious. I’m thinking hum…I don’t know what this really means. Does he trust me or not? This is going to be a litmus test for John and I. Is John with me? Is he my guy or is he not? If he doesn’t trust me, I don’t know if I can trust him.”

 

Note how quickly Brad went from talking about his good relationship with John to doubting his motives. As for understanding the game, Brad should realize that he shouldn’t trust anyone including John, whether or not John trusts him. The scramble before Tribal Council will show us that no one trusts Brad.

 

Galang – Day 8

 

The tree mail message wasn’t as cryptic as usual. It told everyone they would be wrestling against their loved ones. As Monica read it, we saw that Tina and Aras were quite enthusiastic about the idea. Aras told everyone he wanted to take on Vytas.

 

Aras (conf.): “This is huge because my brother has been a bully in my life to put it really simply. When I was a kid, my brother never looked out for me. It’s always been; mom’s not looking so if he could get a punch in, he was going to take it. This is a chance for us to compete on an even playing field.”

 

In Tadhana, they were asking Brad for advice and he told them to stay low, to stay in balance.

 

Vytas had a confessional that echoed the one given by Aras: “I can’t say that I was a great older brother to Aras but the truth is he’s always been a little more athletic, a little stronger, a little bigger than me. He got best body in high school, college scholarship to play basketball. He’s the golden child. He always wins. Won Survivor, won a million dollars. Finally, for once, can I win please? This is my chance; I got to beat him at something.”

 

The repetition of this rivalry puts Vytas’ story on a slippery slope. Knowing that he is about to lose the challenge to his brother, we are lead to the conclusion that he won’t beat Aras at anything.

 

The Challenge

 

Monica sat out for Galang

The first match was between Gervase and Culpepper, Jeff announcing it as a match everyone was waiting to see. It was a good battle early but the NFL player prevailed.

Laura B. hit Katie hard but she fought back which made Tina laugh. Soon, Laura found herself behind Katie and pushed her right off the platform.

Aras and John had a good match up but Candice’s husband won.

Kat then went against Cierra and the One World veteran beat the rookie easily with one push.

Hayden faced Tyson and beat him with one big push. Feeling his shoulder pop, Tyson needed medical help. He told us: “When Hayden hit me, I knew that I had hurt myself. I couldn’t move it at all and I thought my whole game is screwed.”

 

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Katie losses to two mothers.

Tina faced off against her daughter. Jeff said it was one of the best match-ups. Katie had Tina on the run but she wasn’t going down. In the end, Tina pushed Katie off the platform. The camera showed Brad’s displeasure.

 

Tied 3-3, Aras faced his brother Vytas. Jeff stopped to ask about this sibling rivalry. Vytas said that Aras had always been afraid of him. Aras, after saying he felt a little bit like he was 7 again, went on to say (and this was subtitled to make sure we wouldn’t miss it): “I’d like to take the bully and put him in the water.” Aras had his older brother down but gave him a chance to get back up. Vytas used the break to deliver a sneak attack on Aras. Jeff called it one of the biggest unsportsmanlike move. Tadhana was shown cheering him on but Aras quickly recovered and he pushed Vytas in. Asked how he felt, Aras said he felt bad because he loves Vytas more than anyone. He didn’t want to fight him but he was proud to have beaten him. Vytas replied: “He beat me. I’m proud for him.”

 

I feel the editing of this segment told us that Vytas won’t win this season. Showing the sneak attack, which Jeff called unsportsmanlike, and the title of bully put Vytas in the role of the antagonist, the player that will create the biggest obstacle on the road to someone else’s victory.

At the same time, showing the loud yet premature cheer from Tadhana felt like a death blow to their story also. Remember how, unanimously, they said they wouldn’t celebrate in the face of their Loved Ones. Here, they cheered for what Vytas himself called a cheap shot. From this, we can predict that Tadhana will not make a comeback. While a member or two could still find their way to the end, it will be through an alliance with those players that know how to play the game.

 

The challenge came down to Cierra facing off against her mother, Laura, who was having trouble fighting her “baby”. Cierra said she wouldn’t be hurt so they went at it. Laura had a bit more trouble than Kat but she beat Cierra, winning immunity and reward for Galang. Laura went to Cierra, asking her if she was angry. She said she wasn’t.

 

John gave us a confessional: “Cierra last to her mom. They are a team of mothers and grand mothers. Very, very frustrating.”

 

To viewers at home, that confessional was inserted in the “I’m the boot even if I don’t know it” spot.

 

Tadhana – Day 8

 

John did some second guessing: “We should have had Vytas going against Tyson.”

Vytas said he got clobbered by his brother.

 

Vytas in confessional: “I knew, going into that challenge, that if it was going to be me against Aras, that the cards were stacked against me. I wanted to go against him in the hopes that the balance or something… not only did he win but he won even after I gave him a little bit of a cheap shot.”

 

The guys went away from camp to talk. John pointed out that Katie couldn’t beat her 60 year old mother.

John had a confessional: “Tadhana lost 3 straight immunity challenges and it’s so frustrating. We have these two girls who I like very much but, if we are going to win challenges, we can’t have people giggling and laughing as we are losing. I mean, it’s completely asinine.” Back to the group discussion, John pointed out that Katie has been the cook while Cierra has done nothing in challenges and in camp.

Hayden and Brad agreed. Culpepper added that he wanted to be done with it and simply enjoy the afternoon. John’s confessional continued: “We have the 5 guys alliance so I’m not too worried about tonight. It’s going to be Cierra going home but you have to be careful because it’s Survivor. I have two clues to a hidden immunity idol and if I can find the thing, I can really put myself in a good position.”

 

We saw him walking away from the other guys and Brad used the moment to tell the others: “John is a strong player. He needs to go. John can reconnect with Candice and we can’t afford to have those two back in the game.”

 

Brad had an interview: “Coming back from the challenge, my whole perspective changed (was it in part because John questioned the way Brad made up the team’s line-up?) That’s when the light bulb went bing! Here’s the deal: I am running the tribe right now but John’s wife, Candice, is kicking it at Redemption Island. Let’s say she gets back into the game and we go into a merge and they’re reconnected, Brad doesn’t control John anymore. Candice controls John and I’m just kicked to the curve and I’m second fiddle.”

 

This is another example of playing too fast: The merge is at least a few eliminations away and Candice many wins away from returning to the game so Brad didn’t have to worry so suddenly.

 

Hayden also had a confessional: “We were sticking to the five guy alliance but then, all of a sudden, Brad’s like: Boom! We have to get rid of John right now. I was kinda shocked. It’s been five guys since day one and, if we are going to vote one out now, it could be like opening Pandora’s box. It really could build distrust moving forward.”

 

With John on the way out, Brad and Vytas having roles as bullies, Katie and Cierra being outside the alliance and Caleb being unimportant after Colton’s exit, someone has to be the “Tadhana 5”  narrator so we are left with the less than eloquent Hayden. Although, Hayden will soon find a role himself…

 

Hayden, Caleb and Vytas were shown standing next to Katie and Cierra while Brad told them that they were voting against John. He added: “Here is the brutal truth: If it’s not John, it’s gotta be one of you guys. I may vote you (pointing to Cierra) so that if John gets back in the game, I can maybe pull him back in.”

The familiar rattling sound told us that Brad was making a mistake.

Vytas was quick to tell us about it in confessional: “Brad mentions that he wants to be the one guy that doesn’t vote for John. I’m just not down with it. If we are going to make a move like this, we have to suck it up and do it and say we all did it together. Brad doesn’t want to be the bad guy even if he orchestrated it all but he wants us to do all the dirty  work which makes Brad a big target in my eyes just to see that level of sheistiness.”

 

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Ciera was worried about the idol.

Back in the shelter, Cierra told the guys that she was worried about the idol. Hayden and Vytas suggested they could vote Brad since it was his call. Katie could just imagine how that would look.

 

Cierra (solo): “I feel like in every Tribal Council so far, I’ve been on the chopping block so, if the boys are willing to vote out Brad, I would definitely do the same. I always said anybody but me. I don’t care who it is.”

 

This is a nice confessional for Cierra but her character has already been damaged by the inclusion of John’s remark. We were told that she does nothing around camp and in challenges so her long term prospects are bleak. She may get a similar story to the one Eliza was given: The endangered player that surprisingly outlasted many but that didn’t win in the end.

 

Hayden had another confessional before TC: “There is a lot of stuff going on. Brad thinks John is a threat but now I’m starting to think that Brad is equally dangerous. Tonight is a huge decision for us and I don’t know what’s going to happen but one thing for sure: It’s going to be a big blindside.”

 

Note that Hayden wasn’t wearing the same shorts during this confessional than the ones he had walking to TC. We have to wonder what else happened between the time he recorded his interview and the time he left for TC. What we can say however is that Hayden, beyond having received the role of narrator, has also been put in the camp of the players acting too quickly.

 

Tribal Council.

 

Jeff started by asking if the guys had talked about the women losing the challenge.

John said it was about match-ups. “Everyone has to win their match-up.”

Turning to Katie, Jeff pointed out she lost to Tina for the second challenge.

Katie could only agree but she added there were only two women on the team so they had to go in several times. She said it was frustrating.

Cierra told Jeff it was rough, that they could have won the thing if she or Katie had just won one. She felt like she had let her team down.

Caleb told Jeff that it was probably going to be another girl going.

Jeff asked Vytas if it was a male alliance.

We saw Cierra turning to Vytas, suggesting she was curious to hear that particular answer.

Vytas said it wasn’t as rudimentary as men versus women, that trust was the currency of the game. “Trust and information. Anything somebody says adds to the information we have about that person.”

The camera showed Brad’s discomfort at hearing this. We also saw Hayden and Caleb listening intently.

Brad said he was concerned about what Vytas said because he gets blamed every time they go to Redemption Island.

When Jeff asked John about getting the second clue, we heard the rattling sound again and the camera focused on Vytas and his cold stare.

John said that it put a target on his back but Candice was hoping he put himself in a good position.

Vytas told Jeff that he was happy someone in his alliance had the clue but happier that it wasn’t him.

Picking up on what Hayden said, Jeff pointed out that John hadn’t shared the clues.

Hayden said he questioned John a little bit.

Brad said that there had to be lies because there will only be one winner.

That first drew a small smile from Katie, a big cymbal crash for the music editor and sideways glances from Hayden and Vytas while Cierra had a concerned look.

 

 

While Katie went to vote, we saw John looking towards Brad as if trying to guess what he was thinking.

Even if we didn’t see Cierra’s parchment, we heard her say that she was voting for someone she considered a big threat to her.

Katie and Cierra exchanged big smiles when John brought his torch to Jeff.

 

Jeff sent them back to camp after saying their votes seemed to be aimed at looking to the future but that they are weakening their tribe.

 

The Story

 

I don’t know if it was shown in some areas but my local broadcaster cut the end while John was talking about being blindsided. I didn’t get to see everyone as they cast their votes. Was Jeff sneaky enough to keep two votes against Brad secret? I have to assume that all 6 players voted against John but if anyone knows how the 2 missing votes went, I’d really like to know.

 

The story comes down to those who play Colton’s game and those who play the social game. While it’s quite presumptuous to say that some players are eliminated, it feels like many fell out of contention in this episode. The story can still have a surprising twist but, to borrow from Todd, there are quite a few players that are on the little bike, pedaling fast to catch up to the front runners.

 

The Characters

 

The Agents of Chaos

These players have been shown playing fast, creating chaotic situations. It leaves them well out of contention for the big prize.

 

Brad: The cymbals and rattling sounds keep telling us that Brad is making mistakes, his allies don’t trust him anymore, the people at Redemption Island keep bashing him and the big blindside is all set up. The fall of the tyrant should come soon.

 

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Vytas is more subtle than Brad

Vytas: His approach has more subtlety than Brad so he should be more successful but his role as Villain has been clearly set up. Vytas is smart but he is playing too fast, targeting Brad already and letting everyone see that he isn’t shy about using dirty tactics. We can see that he gets the game but that the losing street is putting him in an impossible situation. He will need new allies after the merge but even is brother wants to beat him.

 

Hayden: He took on the role of narrator for Tadhana this week once it became obvious the more eloquent John wasn’t  in the alliance anymore. As the narrator within the alliance, Hayden should last to the merge and his challenge abilities were evident especially when John said they should have put him against Aras instead of Tyson.

 

 

The Bystanders

These players have marginal roles. One or two can still emerge but it would need a big change in the way their story is being presented.

 

Marissa: If she is to finish third then she will lose the next RI challenge.

 

 John: Will he outlast Candice? I feel that there has been an investment in Candice, making her look like the one that should return to the game. John has been shown making too many mistakes to be considered seriously. We will have to wait to see if one gets the better role now that they are together.

 

Candice: Her challenge abilities have already influenced the game, making Brad paranoid about her return to the game. Coupled with the rejection she felt from Galang we see that there are big questions surrounding what Candice would do after returning. It would be quite a waste to leave them unanswered but does it means she returns?.

 

Caleb: His role has shrunk so much that we have to place him with the other outsiders. We only heard Caleb’s reaction to Colton’s cowardly move when it happened. It wasn’t revisited in camp, in confessional or during Tribal Council where Caleb’s role was reduced to telling Jeff about the decoy boot. Nothing to indicate that Caleb himself has an important role to play.

 

Kat: For someone that has often been maligned as a weak challenge performer, you would expect some nice words after she won her combat against Katie so easily but we heard nothing. That means her role isn’t about to grow. Kat has no story this season so she should leave quietly. She should be one of the boot options when Tyson pushes Galang to make a move that makes sense.

 

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Calm about Brad being threatened.

Monica: The good thing about Monica’s story is that she isn’t making a big fuss over the way Brad is being treated. Maybe it was cut out of the show but she didn’t join the argument Brad was having at the challenge arena. To her tribe, she seems to be distancing herself as much as she can even if she lets it be known that it hurts. For our purposes though, what interests us is that she wasn’t given the opportunity to let us know what she will do about it. She must realize that Brad is hurting her game more than helping it so she must have told an interviewer that she has to switch strategy, to be prepared to vote against him if needed or at least to let everyone know she will let him fight his own battles. That interview didn’t make the episode.

 

Laura Morrett: It seems that the compassionate side of Laura is winning over the competitive side. That’s what her first confessional had suggested but her eagerness to match wits with her daughter in the first puzzle had confused us for a while. This time there was no confusion as her tears told us she cannot willingly see her daughter lose. She would certainly go to the arena in her place and, unless Cierra really becomes another Eliza, there are too many eliminations left before the merge to expect that Cierra will stave off elimination until then.

 

Cierra: Hearing her adopting Sandra’s strategy could be a good sign for her but we also heard that she does nothing in camp and challenges. Letting us know about her laziness isn’t a good sign for someone that has such a little role. We’ve seen her potential but we still need to see her more in action, making something happen.

 

Katie: She didn’t have a confessional in this episode which has to cast doubts on her chances but this was such a bad episode for Tadhana in general that maybe the small role that Jeff gave her during Tribal Council was enough. We know that she is frustrated with the way her tribe has been playing but we’d need to hear what she plans to do about it. That’s what her story needs for us to put her back into contention. She needs to show us that she can change the game.

 

Playing Smart:

 

Laura : The quiet Mrs Boneham is a sharp and welcomed contrast to her overbearing husband. Unfortunately, that also means she is much less interesting. She was the first to explain to Kat why Colton quit which puts her in the group of people who have understood the game. She seems to have made her way nicely in the Galang tribe and even contributed to their latest win.  Galang has a nice numerical advantage at present so that means there is no need to eliminate her as a challenge weakness since they can simply sit her out if needed. Likewise, it wouldn’t make sense to vote her out if Galang wants to affect Tadhana. The only thing that prevents us from considering that this is really Laura’s time is her limited role.

 

Gervase: After a difficult start, Gervase’s story is slowly realigning with the main themes of the season. He intervened to stop Marissa’s rant against Brad and told her to focus on her task. In essence, that told us that he had his head in the game. He was also there to tell us that Colton’s game was the wrong way to play so we have to put him in this group. His first episodes leaves him well out of contention though but maybe not out of the final three.

 

Tyson : His great confessional about Rachel and his exchange with Brad set Tyson on a Journey edit. Unfortunately, more than his shoulder, this type of edit screwed his game. We will get to follow him on his mission to avenge Rachel and he will have a fun ride playing this game but, if some take the game too seriously, we’ve seen Tyson not taking it seriously enough.

 

Tina : Hearing her tell Jeff that Colton wasn’t playing the right way told us that she’s always understood this game as well if not better than everybody. Her attitude towards the challenge was the opposite of what we saw from Laura: She was enjoying going against her daughter. Still, the way it was presented, with Katie asking her mother not to make her laugh, let the viewers know that they love each other.

On a personal note, I enjoyed hearing Katie’s “don’t make me laugh” comment immensely considering how many posters over the years have laughed at the idea of Tina being considered a great winner. If she makes it to the end as I expect then that should put an end to those laughs.

 

Aras: Before we give the title to Tina though, we have to consider the other previous winner, the one that has been described as the golden child. This was a great episode for Aras and it started with his words to Colton. Even if there was a bit of condescension in them, it told us that he understood the game. While he was less vocal than Tyson and Tina when it came time to explain Colton’s decision to Jeff, we had seen enough to let us know that he shared those views. He was also there to console Monica after she expressed surprise at Brad’s treatment. His combat with Vytas was the highlight of the evening and it was probably only the first round. A bigger combat should present itself after the merge and we are told to expect another victory for Aras…unless something weird happens. With that reservation, we still have to say that Aras is distancing himself from the other contenders and could very well be the Sole Survivor.



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