SurvivorSurvivor: Blood vs Water

Worlds Colliding on Survivor Blood vs Water

Jeff reminded us that the returning players were competing against their Loved Ones and at Redemption Island, it was clear that the game was taking its toll on everyone. Brad, the leader of Tadhana, took most of the blame, while Colton took the easy way out, quitting on the game and his tribe mates for the second time.

When Candice won her second “duel” in a row, she gave another clue to her husband John and he shared it with his closest ally Brad.

 

Meanwhile at Galang, a majority alliance was forming.

<We saw Aras, Gervase, Tyson, Monica and Tina at the water well and heard Monica’s confessional once more>

 

At the immunity challenge, Tyson injured his shoulder but it didn’t stop Galang from winning immunity for the third time in a row.

 

Facing another Tribal Council, Tadhana’s play was to take out the weak…

<We heard John saying: “Cierra hasn’t done anything in any challenge”.>

…but Brad called an audible.

<Hayden’s confessional about Pandora’s box was repeated.>

At Tribal Council, Tadhana sided with Brad sending John to Redemption Island to battle his wife.

 

Note that we didn’t hear that Brad was mentioned as a possible boot. Either the editors wanted us to forget he was a target to enhance tonight’s outcome or, more likely, they wanted to paint him even more as the villain, the bully that went after “poor” John.  None of John’s mistakes, his shadiness, was mentioned. That augurs well for the Codys.  In Galang, we did hear about the 5 person alliance so we have to adjust our thoughts on them. It now seems more possible that these 5 stick together for a while. 

 

Connections

 

Redemption Island – Night 8

 

The violins were playing a nervous melody when John approached the shelter.

Candice was surprised to see John.

John (solo): “I’m completely shocked. No clue that that was coming tonight. Brad told me that we were close. I sort of believed him, sort of didn’t but he reassured me enough that I felt comfortable that it wasn’t going to be me tonight.”

 

Candice told John that he was too trusting for this game. She then gave us a confessional: “I wish I could have been there to give him more pointers, to keep him on his toes. He’s so trusting and I love that about him but it doesn’t help you win Survivor.”

As the scene ended with John and Candice in an embrace, we heard her say (subtitled on our screens) “I wanted to be here without you the whole time.”

 

Inserting this confessional is a hint that Candice will outlast John because it portrays her as the better Player. We also heard her talk about being there the whole time so it reinforces our idea that she makes it to the last challenge.

 

Tadhana – Night 8

 

e4-bradhayden “We blindsided John, tonight.”[/caption]

The tribe was talking about TC and we heard Brad talking about John: “He’s not a good liar but I hooked him in from day 1. I told him, you’re my guy. You know; he’s military.”

That line fits well in the building of a Villain. While Jeff had called it an audible, Brad himself makes it sound completely premeditated.

 

Brad (solo): “We blindsided John, tonight. I spearheaded this, thinking of the future. If it was Survivor 26 or Survivor 25, we’d have stayed 5 guys all the way through but this is Survivor 27: Loved Ones. John had no connections on the other side. (The cameras focused on Hayden and Caleb as Brad was saying this) We need to think about connections so that when there is a merge, the couples can become a unified power.”

 

Brad explained the difference of this season to his tribe, that it wasn’t Tadhana versus Galang, it was some (meaning the couples) against others (the singles).

Caleb understood the threat and had a confessional: “Brad said it does make sense to keep people around that do have a loved one. I’m  a little bit more vulnerable because I have no loved one. Everybody left on this tribe has a loved one except for me. Who knows what’s going to happen but I could definitely see myself in trouble.”

 

We started to hear more from Caleb in this episode and we saw that he was very aware of his predicament. We will have to consider his new role very carefully but let’s give him a chance to tell us more before we decide on this new Caleb.

 

The Challenge Arena

 

Once more, the smiling Tina was at the center of our picture when Jeff mentioned who had been voted out of Tadhana.

Candice showed Brad the finger as soon as she walked in. She told Jeff that she was upset seeing John on RI. She wanted to see someone she could hate like Brad on RI. While Monica looked troubled, Candice and Brad exchanged a long stare as we went to the first break.

 

The battle between Candice and Brad is so nicely set up that it suggests those two will stay on RI together for a while at least, probably up to the deciding challenge.

 

The staring contest lasted through the commercial break (!) until Candice told Brad to look away.

Asked about these reactions, Monica told Jeff that there wasn’t only one person voting.

Candice interrupted Monica to say that Brad has been silencing the women.

John told that all the votes had been Brad’s idea, adding: “He’s lied to me all the time. He is not someone to be trusted…You should start thinking about knocking the king off his throne.”

 

Getting to the challenge, John led it all the way and finished first.

Marissa, despite advice from Gervase, lost her lead over Candice. Jeff noted that Candice was “always calm…unless she’s yelling at Culpepper.” (Another hint at their confrontations) Jeff noted Marissa’s frustration over the puzzle comparing it to Candice’s methodical approach.

Marissa left in tears, Gervase said he was impressed and that she gave him more energy to get through the game. Marissa left without giving us her final words.

When John was asked to decide who should get the clue, Candice, with a tint of bitterness, said: “Let’s give it to Monica.”

Jeff asked John if Candice always tells him what to do. He said she did but that he doesn’t always listen. He did this time, saying it only put a target on his back.

Jeff asked if he was trying to take a Culpepper down but John shrugged it off, saying it wasn’t personal.

Brad told Monica to put it in the fire and she did, saying she wasn’t interested in it, that her tribe wasn’t interested in it.

Aras had a confessional: “Everybody recognizes at this point that, when you get that immunity idol clue; target’s on your back. Monica, very smartly, burned it.”

Jeff was shocked, saying it was the first time that this has ever happened.

Monica had a confessional: “Why not? Why not just throw it away? I’m in a good position over here but it worries me that constantly, when I go to duels, people are so aggressive towards my husband.”

 

To those who think John will let Candice win over him at some point, this challenge indicates otherwise. He saw that Marissa was in second place so he had to worry about Candice’s result. If he had wanted to save her, he could have waited to the last moment before placing his last piece, waited until he was sure Candice had Marissa beaten. She’ll have to win it for herself…and she should.

As for the people in the game, it augurs well for Monica that we heard Aras endorsing her decision. It was a move that could have easily been painted as dumb just by showing someone’s facial reaction. Monica could have deflected the target by sharing the clue with the whole tribe and certainly someone on the tribe must have said something along those lines. We only heard that she made the smart move by throwing it away so we have to assume she will not regret it the way Marcus must have regretted throwing away an idol. That time, we had heard Sugar saying it was dumb to throw away immunity.

 

Redemption Island – Day 9

 

We saw the married couple going out to catch fish.

John had a confessional: “The silver lining is…I came out to play with Candice. In a weird way, I should thank Brad and the rest of my tribe for giving me a chance to hang out with my wife on this beautiful beach and still be in this game and, all I have to do is win duels and get back in.”

Candice pointed out that she caught more fish than John.

She then had a confessional: “This will be a fun story to tell the kids one day. In the end, if he wins: Fabulous. If I win: Fabulous.”

The scene ended with the famous helicopter shot, while Candice was heard saying: “I guess we have to take what we can get.”

 

Interesting choice to insert this scene since we’ve rarely gone to visit RI in other episodes. Certainly, it was a unique opportunity to show a married couple together on a “deserted” island but there could be a deeper significance. John, while he speaks about winning duels and getting back in the game, is more focused on being with Candice. I will venture a prediction and say that, like most “honeymoons” and vacations, it will be short. I expect John to lose next week.

 

Candice, on the other hand, just became a “Player on a Journey” when we heard her say that this will be a fun story to tell the kids one day. The inclusion of that line can only have two meanings: Either the editors wanted to twist the knife in when she heard it replayed at home or they wanted to remind her that it was indeed a fun story with a good ending. Since they went to the trouble of showing her looking almost like Ozzy while spearfishing, I think the intent is for a feel good story, not an ironic one. But will it be a fabulous ending?  Probably not since we also heard her saying that they have to take what they can get. It would seem that the most she can get is a ticket to return to the game.  

 

Galang – Day 9

 

e3-monica

Monica defended Brad to her tribe.

Monica talked to her tribe about Brad. She then had a confessional: “Is there ever going to be a duel where my husband isn’t verbally accosted by a bunch of people that don’t even know him?” Monica commented on Candice flipping Brad the bird and Aras, once more, was on her side, saying it was hard to watch. Monica’s confessional continued: “Leaders have followers so, if that’s the case, someone is buying what he’s selling. Brad is the strongest one out here. If he makes it to the merge, I won’t believe it.”

Gervase explained that he wasn’t mad at Brad for eliminating Marissa, that it only meant they were playing the game but he wanted Monica to realize that, in the game of Survivor, Brad was being devious.

We heard a confessional from Gervase: “I guess you don’t want to believe that your loved one is the one that is the “bad guy”, quote, unquote, that is getting rid of people but somebody has to be over there. One of our loved ones is running the show. I know it’s not mine so it’s somebody else’s.”

 

To the viewers, this scene probably served to distance Monica from the actions of her husband. We are shown someone that is keeping her poise despite the emotions displayed at the challenge arena, someone that is accepted by her tribe.

 

Tadhana – Day 9

 

Caleb noted the irony of Candice pointing that Monica did what Brad said after she had told John what to do with the clue.

It led to a confessional by Brad: “Today was a rough day. I wasn’t expecting Candice to be so, hum, personal. Everyone just assumes that if someone is voted off the island that I am the Grand Poobah. It’s kinda natural for me to lead my family and I have become leader of this group. Looking ahead, should we lose the next challenge, Caleb is unconnected and I’m ready to send a message to the other side that we want to play ball with you guys and get some connections over there because we have connections here. It also takes some heat off me at Redemption Island. If Caleb rolls out there on the arena floor, nobody is going to be screaming at me.”

Brad seems to forget that Caleb would have a reason to scream at him! He’s always missing something.

 

Cierra pointed out that the other tribe was mad about the vote no matter who they vote out.

Brad replied that they weren’t mad at her, they were mad at him.

 

When Brad went fishing, Vytas, Hayden and Caleb talked. Hayden said that even Brad shanked John they needed to keep him “just so, when we do make it to the merge, it takes the heat off of us.”

Caleb gave us a confessional: “Brad; he is public enemy number one. We’ve seen that every time we’ve been to Redemption Island. If we do lose and we go to Tribal Council, it’s going to be one of the girls going out. I think me, Hayden and Vytas are pretty solid. Brad is the bottom guy on the totem pole.”

 

Note that Caleb had identified Brad as the low man on the totem pole and that he had Vytas and Hayden’s trust. We’ll have to remember this after when analyzing his actions at Tribal Council.

 

Galang – Day 10

 

We saw Tyson getting in the hammock and people telling him to rest.

Tyson (solo): “I hurt my shoulder at the immunity challenge. Every day, it gets a little bit better but I do like to play it up a little bit because I then have to do less work around camp. Hopefully, that also keeps them in sympathy with me.”

With the two Lauras out in the canoe, Tyson told Gervase to follow him. The cartoon-like melody introduced the sneakiness of the next scene: Tyson and Gervase went to a coconut grove.

Tyson: “Me and Gervase, we have a cool thing going now where we’ll sneak off and drink a couple of coconuts. We’ve been opening them in a different way so that people wouldn’t recognize that we’ve been chopping them and we would really like to keep eating those coconuts. I can’t wait until they bring all those coconuts down and examine each and everyone of them.”

Gervase said they were the “coconut bandits”.

It was Laura B and Monica that found the coconuts and, with Gervase acting concerned, they realized that the coconuts all had cuts in them.

Gervase had a confessional: “Rupert’s Laura cannot get coconuts off the brain. I thought our cover was blown right there and then. I’m like: How are we going to explain that one off? Then Monica is like: It’s probably a crab. Thank you, Monica. So far so good: Operation Coconut is still running smooth. If everybody knew about it, somebody is going to get pissed so I’m keeping this to ourselves. Me and Tyson! Who would have thought?”

 

You just know that Tyson and Gervase will be called on this by Jeff at the reunion. This is the kind of snippet that Probst uses to ask the players fooled, here Laura B and Monica, how they felt seeing this at home. It could also mean that either Tyson or Gervase or both make it to the Final 3 and they get drilled by the jury if Operation Coconut gets uncovered before the end. Looking at this scene, I even wonder if we’ve just been told the Final three because when Gervase said “Me and Tyson! Who would have thought?” Monica was standing right between the two. That would be her spot if those three wind up facing the jury. Gervase, Tyson and Monica! Who would have thought?!

 

Insert Picture here please.

 

Tyson in confessional: “I’m definitely with Gervase right now. If that lasts through to the finals, so be it. It would certainly be in Gervase’s best interest to stick with me as well because we both lost our Loved One in the game. Aras still has his and, if Vytas makes it to the merge, he will work with Vytas. They are obviously the strongest cumulatively so having them both I think is a huge danger.”

 

This really ties in to a Tyson, Gervase, Monica Final 3 because Monica is about to lose her Loved One also. She’d be the perfect accomplice for the Coconut Bandits. Galang’s three singles could team up and they’d need only one pair to control the vote soon after the merge. Add the fact that Gervase sees Monica as being gullible and they have another good reason to work with her. For Aras, I think it wasn’t very good that we heard Tyson targeting him and that Aras was simply shown lying in the hammock, oblivious to the threat. Is it telling us that he won’t see it coming?

 

The Challenge

 

When Jeff grabbed the idol from Monica, we heard Tyson say: “You can just leave it here, Jeff” and we saw Brad’s reaction.

(When Jeff showed the reward of tea, coffee and pastries, I was hoping they’d have included some Duh-Ree-Toes for Tina.)

The tribe asked Tyson if he was OK and, since he was, Tina and Kat told Jeff they’d be sitting out which prompted Jeff to ask: “Tyson, with your arm in a sling, you feel you’re more helpful in what is clearly going to be a strenuous challenge than Tina or Kat.”

Tyson said he could do it. In confessional, we heard him add: “My shoulder does still hurt but it is getting better every day. The thing is; I’m better than most everybody on my tribe with just one arm so, I want to win.”

 

This could be the winner’s quote, the missing link in Tyson’s 3 stints on Survivor: A desire to win.

 

e4-galang

Galang had all sorts of problems rowing the boat.

Once again, Galang had all sorts of problems rowing the boat and Tadhana had an early lead.

Hayden and Brad retrieved the crates for Tadhana and they were matched by Laura B and Monica. Jeff noted that Laura released her first crate in record time and he also said the Culpeppers were dominating this challenge.

Tadhana had the lead all the way to the fifth crate when their boat capsized, enabling Galang to reach shore first.

Tadhana had a very small lead after building the staircase but then it was time for the puzzle and a confrontation between Cierra and her mother. Tyson and Vytas, the other two on the puzzle, looked mostly like observers because we only heard Cierra and Laura’s voices.

Laura finished first, telling Tyson to take the key and release the flag.

Laura looked over at Cierra who got a hug from Katie. In response, Cierra gestured an “I don’t know” sign.

 

Laura in confessional: “I want Cierra to succeed because you want your kids to succeed so bad and you want them to win and yet I have a tribe of people that are counting on me as well. I knew she couldn’t beat me and she could be going home.”

 

We expect that Laura will be featured heavily when the tribes meet next. An absence of confessional from Laura would definitely tell us she isn’t important to the story of the season but even a simple “I’m so relieved to see her there” won’t be enough. We need to hear Laura talk about more than her daughter if we are to consider her as someone that will have an impact.

 

Tadhana – Day 10

 

Hayden delivered a confessional: “Unbelievable. We haven’t won yet. I mean; we suck. It’s so disheartening too because, clearly, we are bigger, stronger more athletic team but today, we lost to a one armed dude and three moms. That’s brutal. Brutal!”

 

It would also be brutal if everyone gets beaten in the end by a one armed dude and three moms. What a nice foreshadowing quote that was chosen as the episode’s title. More interestingly, it ties in with Tyson making it to the end even if Hayden forgot to mention his Coconut Bandit ally.

 

After this, we saw Vytas, Hayden and Caleb walk away from the shelter and calling out to Brad to join them.

Cierra commented on this in confessional: “After a loss, there’s always a routine: The guys will go “get water” which is code for go strategize against the girls and then the girls make rice which is code for how do we save our asses. Today though was interesting…” Her confessional was cut so that we could see what she was about to describe: Brad staying behind to tell them they had to vote against Caleb, that they were safe. He asked if they believed him. Cierra said she believed him because he hadn’t lied to her yet. Cierra, back in confessional, then explained: “Brad said: “I am voting Caleb.” So then I’m like OK: Brad could be telling the truth or he might not be but I am going to act like I believe him. I sat there and said: Yes, I believe you 100 percent but really do I?”

 

This is one of my favorite confessionals ever. Simple, funny and strategic all at once. This made me realize one thing: When we praised Vytas in the premiere about his tactic to gain trust, Cierra did the same thing. She even did it first but we mostly brushed over it because we fell in love with Vytas. Let’s not dismiss Cierra as a player yet.

 

At the water well, we heard Vytas saying he loved Cierra but that she was worthless in the puzzle.

Caleb had a confessional: “That’s the second puzzle that Cierra has not been that strong on. Hayden, Vytas and myself were all on board with voting for Cierra. That’s why we went to discuss and then, when Brad never showed up behind us, that got us thinking what kind of stunt could Brad be working on because we all went to the well and Brad stayed behind with the two girls. It was a little fishy. He just got rid of John so, as easy as it went down from 5 guys to 4 guys, it could just as easily go down to three guys.”

 

Brad’s talk with the guys started oddly, the camera focusing on his hand which was behind his back. It was as if the editors wanted us to see that he didn’t have his fingers crossed so that he was about to tell the truth. Like I said: Odd.

Brad told the guys that he had the girls convinced it was Caleb. They agreed on Cierra.

 

Caleb’s confessional continued: “While I don’t trust Brad 100 percent, I feel confident in Hayden and Vytas that they are going to have my back. So, Cierra sounds good to me.”

 

Note that just before Tribal Council, Caleb is still with the guys and wants Cierra gone.

 

We heard another confessional from Brad as the tribe left for its date with Probst: “As the de facto leader over here, I have to make some decisions. (The sound quality changed as if this confessional was spliced together) “I talked to the girls and they are obviously in for voting off Caleb but Cierra was terrible in the challenge. Getting rid of her is going to make the tribe stronger. Going beyond the love connections and everything else, I also want to make the tribe strong so I’m not worried about Redemption Island and the heat I will take. I’m sure that tomorrow, when Cierra shows up, I’ll take heat from her mom but it doesn’t matter: Cierra’s going home.”

 

Brad was telling the truth to the guys but he was wrong about the source of the heat he will receive on Redemption Island. He will have to worry as a player instead of a spectator. The editors love irony and that confessional was about as ironic as it gets.

 

Tribal Council

 

Brad said he didn’t think the game would unfold this way but that they lost two challenges because of puzzles, pointing the finger directly at Cierra.

Cierra told Jeff that she wasn’t about to follow his invitation by simply tell her tribe to vote her out.

That made Vytas smile.

Jeff then turned to Brad and asked about Redemption Island and the grief he received.

Brad said it was unfair because the other tribe had no way to know it wasn’t true and that you had to play differently in a game like this one where you have Loved Ones on the other side.

The camera showed that Caleb heard what Brad was saying.

If Caleb hadn’t then Jeff made it clear that Brad was saying it would be great to vote out someone without a Loved One.

Being caught, Brad couldn’t answer that immediately so he scratched his beard before finally saying yes.

Caleb smiled at that while Vytas and Hayden seemed taken aback.

Caleb told Jeff that he had felt that pressure, that he loved the blindside but didn’t want to be the butt of it. He added: “I was fine being the goat…I’m feeling like the calf led to slaughter. I’m obviously the low man on the totem pole…”

Brad interrupted, saying: “No, no…I wasn’t campaigning against you.”

Hayden conceded that they had cracks and that it was hard to regain someone’s trust once you distrust that person.

Caleb told Jeff that he trusted Hayden and Vytas but that Brad was one the fence. Then, quite directly, he turned to Cierra and said: “I want you to go home but I’m going to write Brad’s name down.”

The tribe’s reaction was immediate: Brad looked disgusted while Katie had to hide the huge smile on her face. Vytas was shaking his head in disbelief while Hayden didn’t know where to look.

Cierra said she was in shock and that everyone should be worried.

Brad said he wasn’t writing Caleb’s name.

Vytas, in disbelief, wanted confirmation so he asked Caleb if he was indeed writing Brad’s name.

Caleb confirmed it, adding that the ball was in their court.

Cierra couldn’t stop laughing.

Asked by Brad, Vytas said he wasn’t going to do write his name.

 

Jeff couldn’t contain his excitement any longer so he sent them to vote.

We saw Caleb’s vote for Brad saying: “You mess with the bull, you get the horns.”

Brad’s vote against Cierra was shown.

Finally we saw Vytas and Hayden hesitating before voting.

The vote ended in a tie between Cierra and Brad.

On the re-vote, the camera lingered on Hayden as he hesitated, started writing Cierra, crossed it out, hesitated some more and then made his choice but it wasn’t shown then.

It was odd that the editors made us think Hayden was changing his vote considering we saw that the crossed out parchment was a vote against Cierra, proving that it was Vytas who actually changed his vote.

 

Brad left after telling everyone he wasn’t mad at them. To Jeff he said he will try to get back to the game but figured RI wouldn’t be fun.

Cierra could only ask what just happened.

Jeff said that it was one of the most shocking votes and one of the biggest shifts in power to happen at Tribal council. He added that, hopefully, it was exactly what this tribe needed.

 

Redemption Island

 

When Brad arrived, waving an imaginary white flag, Candice had a confessional: “I was dead asleep and I hear the sweetest voice I ever wanted to hear on Redemption Island. Brad Culpepper! Now I have my chance to put him out of the game for good.”

 

The Story.

 

I remember another episode 4 Tribal Council that saw a tie vote turn into a big shift in power and it starred Katie’s mom, Tina. Nice parallel and I wonder if Katie had anything to do with it, maybe telling Caleb that Brad had campaigned against him. All we had was her satisfied look after it was all over and Cierra asking what had just happened, suggesting she didn’t have anything to do with it.

As for the bigger picture, the game and the story is coming down to connections, who is counting on them and who is making new ones.  This episode gave us hints about the long term players, the ones that will make it to the final episode. We heard that the “Coconut Bandits” could make it to the end. We also heard that a “One armed Dude and three moms” shouldn’t be underestimated, that they can beat a group of strong players. Tyson and Monica are in both groups so we have to consider them as good candidates to face the jury.

 

The Players:

 

The Disconnected Ones

 

Kat and Laura B.: It isn’t about having a Love One on the other side. These two have no connection to the story. While Rupert’s wife still had a few moments, especially when Jeff underlined her challenge performance, it is quite distasteful to see how the editors neglect Kat. Her strategy was to talk less and no one can say she’s talking too much this time but she still has confessionals that we could hear. Unfortunately, we are losing her funny quotes.

 

Players On RI:

 

John: His time with Candice shouldn’t last too long. Enjoy it while you can.

 

Brad: It would be surprising to see him exit after only one challenge, His confrontation with Candice should be the focus of the next few episodes.

 

Candice: Let’s make this clear: A huge character like Brad is sent to Redemption Island but CANDICE gets the confessional to comment on the new situation and setting the stage for their confrontation. With all the investment made in Candice’s story, it stands to reason that she will indeed knock him out of the game for good. The scene we had of Candice and John on RI is another indication that Candice will return to the game to give a happy ending to the story they will tell their kids. It’s even possible that Candice will not be U-turned at the first occasion like the other RI returnees but she will have a hard time finding a foot-hold in the game. Everyone will be scared of keeping someone that will have won so many challenges.

 

The Loved Ones:

 

Katie: Episode 4 of the Outback flipped the Ogakor alliance by eliminating Mitchell after a tied vote while episode 4 of Blood versus Water flipped the Tadhana alliance by eliminating Brad after a tied vote. Did Katie play a hidden role like her mother did in the first big shift of power to happen at Tribal Council? Unfortunately, all we have are some reaction shots but the editors hadn’t given Tina much credit either.  Even if her position in the game improved, there was nothing in this episode that promoted Katie’s story so we have to keep the previous hints on the back burner and consider the possibility that they weren’t as meaningful as we first thought. We’ll revisit Katie’s role when she gives us more information.

 

Laura M.: Once more, her role is limited to the conflict between competing against her daughter and playing her own game. It would be a promising story if we were more invested in it but we never hear from Laura in camp and with her tribe mates. If it wasn’t for her performance in the challenges she would be as disconnected as Kat and Laura B. There is still time for Laura to get a bigger role but, right now, it seems she only serves Cierra’s story.

 

Cierra: All the confessionals about the girls trying to save their asses are given to Cierra instead of Katie much like Alina had the confessionals instead of Kelly B after every attack by NaOnka. Does it only mean that Cierra outlasts Katie like Alina outlasted Kelly or is there more to it? It was interesting to hear that the code for the girls saving themselves was making rice when we had heard that Katie was the one doing the cooking, not Cierra. The repetition of Cierra’s uselessness in challenges is troubling for her chances to make it to the end so let’s just say we are confused about the two Tadhana girls. We are told (even by her mother!) that Cierra can’t beat anyone but she is still there. This episode’s title told us not to underestimate one armed dudes AND mothers so let’s not forget that Cierra is a mother herself. A scenario that would follow the edit up to now would be for Cierra to finally get voted out of Tadhana at some point before the merge and Laura to take her spot. When her mother gets eliminated by Candice, Cierra gets “adopted” by Tyson and Gervase as someone left without connections.

 

 

The Three Guys:

Caleb: He was given a new role after simply being Colton’s boyfriend but I don’t think it will serve him well. I’d even suggest that he was given Colton’s own role as the agent of Chaos. We had heard Caleb saying with confidence that Hayden and Vytas were with him and that Brad was low man on the totem pole but suddenly, under Jeff’s prodding, he sees himself as the low man on the totem pole and drops what can only be described as a bomb during Tribal Council. He forced Vytas and Hayden’s hand and he didn’t even protect his relation with Cierra because he said he wanted her gone. When we consider the Theme of this season, we have to say that Caleb played much too hard much too fast and he should pay for it.

 

Vytas: Were the editors protecting Vytas when they showed Hayden hesitating? It was almost as if they wanted us to think that Hayden was the one that went against Brad, exploding the tribe. Vytas probably changed his vote because of the threat of the purple rock so it will be interesting to see how he relates to the new “Big Kahuna.

 

Hayden: The events went by too fast for the Big Brother winner and his expressions and interventions at Tribal Council showed he didn’t know what to do. While he still has a connection on the other side, Kat’s role is so meaningless that we can say that Hayden won’t have her help after the merge.

 

The Alliance of Five:

 

Tina: At the time of the merge in the Outback, a famous poster named Tapewatcher told us that Tina would win because of the way she had been edited in the premiere. He called it “the dog that didn’t bark” because, despite her nice role leading up to the merge, she had been the only player without a confessional in the premiere. Could the editors be turning this upside down? Tina had a good premiere but nothing since. I fell for that when I thought Mike Skupin was edited as “the Phoenix rising from the ashes” in the Philippines so I’ll wait for some evidence this time. All we get from Tina are her expressions when Jeff introduces the new Tadhana. It’s not much but at least she is connected to the alliance of 5 in Galang.

 

Aras: While his story looked promising last week, it took the back seat this time. Aras only served to comment on Monica, first about her decision to burn the clue and then to say it was hard to watch how Candice treated Brad. His role has been mostly about comforting the people on his tribe but we haven’t really seen him playing the game at all. What we did see was Tyson putting a target on Aras while he rested on the hammock, oblivious to the danger. We will have to take a step back and wait for more clues before we can determine his longevity in the game.

 

Monica: The episode showed that Monica was well accepted by her tribe despite Brad’s behavior. We had imagined that Galang would want to weaken Brad by voting her out but he is the one that was sent to Redemption Island so she could soon take on a new role: Someone without a Loved One, joining Tyson and Gervase. This could open the road to the Final 3 for her…unless Brad makes her fight his battle. I think that the preview was misdirection. They always are.

 

Gervase : We are getting more and more hints that Gervase could wind up facing the jury. The words we heard him say when he said goodbye to his niece about how she gave him more energy to get through the game were probably aired because they’ll come true. Him and Tyson would be an unexpected duo and it would be even more funny to see the charming Gervase getting the goat treatment. Some members of the jury will have plenty of things to say against Gervase and we are getting more and more hints that he will have to give answers at the end.

 

Tyson: What we saw as a Journey edit turned much more strategic this week. Not only did we hear Tyson fooling his alliance twice, first about his injury and then about the coconuts but we also heard him talk about his alliance to the end with Gervase, the target he put on Aras and his desire to win.  I’d prefer it if we had heard him say his injury could serve to make him look less threatening in challenges instead of hearing that it permits him to slack on the camp work but it still serves to present him as a smart, opportunistic player. He is the common element in the two Final groupings that were foreshadowed in this episode: He is one of the Coconut Bandits and he is the One Armed Dude that, with 3 mothers, that won the challenge even if they were going against stronger opponents. This bodes well for Tyson to make at least the Final 6 and he has to be considered a top contender.

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