SurvivorSurvivor: Blood vs Water

Survivor: A One Armed Wrecking Ball

Previously on Survivor, the returning players had dominated their loved ones…

<Tyson forcefully chopping a coconut, Monica, Aras and Laura shown first and then we saw the Tadhana 5 on top of the hill with Ciera telling us that they were beat up>

…sending them to Tribal Council week after week.

But, after 13 days, the Loved Ones finally won a challenge.


Back at camp, Laura B was the easy target but Aras had bigger plans.

<We heard Aras’ plan for beating Brad and turning Monica into an asset>


At Tribal Council, Galang went with Aras and took out one of their strongest competitors hoping Laura M can beat Brad at Redemption Island’s next “duel”.


Will Galang get back to winning (Camera straight on Aras) or will voting out Laura M backfire?


It’s rare that a recap asks such a direct question. So rare that we have to presume that it will backfire.  After all Galang didn’t get back to winning and, considering their line-up, they probably won’t next time either. But Aras is now on Tadhana so the question isn’t precise. The move would backfire if it turns against him, not Galang.


Earning Trust


Galang – Night 13


A woman asked Laura about her first Tribal Council. Laura said she was sad that someone left but glad it wasn’t her.


Laura in confessional: “I’m back! I’m back home. It wasn’t me. My name was written but but we all had a unanimous vote to vote out Laura M tonight. Rupert gave up his game to let me play. He’s going to be so proud of me.”


Kat asked if Laura M. looked at anyone.

Aras told her: “She looked me dead in the eye like: “You’re a jerk”. Why did I look at her? I wanted to see her expression. I was curious.”


Aras (solo): “Laura M. looked me dead in the eye when she realized it was her. She was very angry. I’ve got my fingers crossed that she will take the noble approach to Redemption Arena but, unfortunately, Redemption Arena has become the place to besmirch people’s character. Unfortunately, it looks like I’m the ringleader and that’s never a good thing. You never want to be at the top. I don’t know how to get out of that position. I’m in it, put one foot in front of the other, thread carefully I suppose.”


Just then, a snake was shown, suggesting Aras will find it difficult to move forward.His fears about RI won’t materialize since we didn’t hear Laura besmirching his character but the glances exchanged showed that it wasn’t over.


Galang – Day 14


e3-tyson Tyson suggests a move on Aras.[/caption]

The next morning, the snake was awake along with Tyson and Gervase who were talking about Aras, Tyson asking if Gervase would write his name down if they lost again before Aras could team up with Vytas. The two were on the same page.


Tyson gave a confessional: “I really do like Aras, he’s a great guy, he’s funny. He’s a little out there on his Zen-type beliefs because I just have zero beliefs except for magic. I believe in magic; it’s awesome.” (Aras is seen meditating) “But, people like Aras. They do. That’s the tricky part: When to dethrone King Aras?”


It really comes down to whether or not Tyson will be successful. Editing can go equally well in the two opposite directions. Some viewers will say that Tyson is too sure of himself so he’ll fail. Others will feel that Tyson is shown as the mastermind so he’ll succeed. Which is it? Let’s listen to some more of the story before deciding.


Gervase (solo): “Right now, Aras is the leader here, he’s kinda running the show. Tyson has brought up some good points that we may only have one more challenge left before this merger” (Ha! Merger!  It’s too bad that the original noun has been dropped for “merge”.) “That’s going to be our last chance to get rid of Aras.”


Since they didn’t get rid of Aras in this episode, it seems that they missed their last chance. Perversely, it makes me think that they will succeed!


After Tyson told him they were in this together, Gervase went on: “I absolutely screwed up in my season being a chess piece and that won’t happen this time. Just to be looked at as a player who played it twice but didn’t play; it would kill me more than anything. I think the power couple here is my and Tyson.”


The Coconut Bandits continue to play a big role in this story. We are following along as they have fun with this game. Gervase’s honest assessment of his first season leads us to believe that he will find a way to show that he can play this game. There are no greater moves for a chess piece than to “kill” the king.


Challenge Arena



Counting to 100.

Ciera shed some tears when she realized that her mom had been voted out.

Jeff commented meanly that Ciera, the rookie, survived 4 Tribal Councils but that Laura didn’t survive one.

Ciera told him that she had a weird feeling all day. “I kinda knew.”

Laura wasn’t surprised that her baby felt it beforehand.

When Jeff presented the possibility of switching places, Laura was quick to interrupt: “There’s no way she’s swapping with me. No way in hell…I got this.”


The challenge consisted of putting in order tiles numbered 1 to 100. That’s right: On Survivor solving puzzles is now reduced to being able to count to 100. I guess they really wanted to give Brad a shot! Unfortunately for him, they forgot to remove the balance beam and that’s where Laura won it.


I noticed that every time Ciera said: “Good job, Mom” or Jeff praised Laura, the camera showed a unhappy Aras. I wonder if he was starting to realize that there was a flaw in his strategy: If Laura beats Brad, Laura could reenter the game and we know how she’d vote! In fact, her confidence now has me thinking that she will reenter the game. It’s weird to think that considering how small her role had been up to now but she could grow into the role of returning player easily with one or two more scenes showing her determination.


Jeff asked Brad how Survivor compared to the NFL. We only heard Brad say that he had more of an advantage in Football. His answer was cut probably because he was going to point to flaws in this game.


To Monica, Brad quite nicely said: “I came on here as a shield but, through my fault or no fault of my own, I probably became an anchor. You’re free; wind’s blowin’. Sail.”


As he left, Monica gave us a confessional: “I’m going to have to do this all by myself. Now, that I don’t have Brad anymore to soften whatever blows or to help me out or to have my back, I have to think about me. That’s it.”


Asked to give out the clue, Laura looked hard at Aras and told Jeff to give it to Vytas. Like Monica before him, Vytas threw the clue in the fire.


That tells us that, contrary to some suggestions last week, the clue is tossed in the fire because it is given publicly, not because of the different mentalities of old-school and new school players. I’m even more convinced now that the tribal swap was a last minute addition. By burning the clues, the players showed they felt secure but a swap makes everyone feel a little less secure.

If this is true then we have to marvel once more at how a “random” distribution managed to get such a desired result: Vytas must have irked production by once more burning their clue so he wound up in the most precarious position of all. I’m not saying that it was rigged because I have no idea how Probst could have pulled it off but I am saying that he has to be a magician. (Unlike Tyson, I don’t believe in magic: There’s always a trick but we simply don’t see it.)


When Jeff announced the swap, we saw Tina’s smile, Laura’s shock and an eagle took flight.

Is this the first time we see that eagle? If so then it would mean that the swap is a signal: Someone’s game is taking off. But which player? Is it Monica who gave the confessional about doing it on her own? Or is it Tina who saw the swap bring her daughter back? I think it represented Monica.


Jeff approached the tribes with the new buffs but Tyson said: “Can I take mine last, Jeff? I’ll let fate decide where I’m at.”


Tyson let fate decide.

Jeff said: “Sure, Tyson. Tyson wants to go last. Tyson will let fate decide.”


Isn’t that a great quote to put on the air if Tyson turns out to be the winner? He trusted fate and it will bring him victory. But then, Tyson has no beliefs. This would make him a believer!


Galang’s new line-up consisted of Tina, Monica, Laura, Kat, Katie and Vytas while Tadhana had Ciera, Caleb, Hayden, Tyson, Aras and Gervase.

Asked about being the only Tadhana woman, Ciera said: “It can either be a really great thing or a really bad thing. We’ll find out.”


Because of her substantial role up to now, I think it is safe to say that this was a good thing for Ciera but just how good?


Katie was excited to be with her mom, to have Vytas with her and to meet the other tribe members. Vytas said that, being a ladies’ man, this was the perfect place for him.


Aras had a confessional inserted just when everyone was leaving: “I’ve worked really hard for the first 14 days of this game and a tribe switch puts all that in jeopardy. I hope I have enough people on my side with this switch that I am not on the chopping block.”


It’s quite interesting to note that not a word was said about Brad’s elimination. Aras just witnessed his move paying off because Laura eliminated Brad just like he wanted. I’ll suggest that we didn’t hear about the plan’s success because it won’t work in the long run. It will backfire and Aras will come to regret sending Laura to Redemption Island when she comes back and contributes to his elimination. If Aras was our winner then this would have been one of his key moves so we probably would have been reminded that he got just what he was looking for. 


We went first to Tadhana which suggest that the “Tribe of Interest” may have changed, that the winner is now on the red tribe’s beach.


The old Galang players were impressed with the shelter and the beach.

Caleb had a confessional: “Coming back from Redemption Island with three new tribe mates is a little different. You don’t know what to expect. Now, it’s three, three. It evens the playing field over here. If we were to lose a challenge and go to Tribal Council, are we three going to stick together? Are they going to stick together? What information are they going to give you about what went on over there? How much information are we going to share about what went on over here?”


Gervase also gave us a confessional: “As soon as we got here, we started to do some fishing to find out what was going on in their tribe. I don’t know if Tadhana realized that that was what we were doing but they started giving up the goods.”


It was then Tyson’s turn: “Hayden and Caleb gave the clue to the hidden immunity idol to me. Is it because they are just new guys here or they haven’t played the game before? I don’t know. Stupid will be stupid.”


Putting these three confessionals back-to-back isn’t very good for Caleb: He knew giving up information was dangerous but Gervase told us he did so anyway. Tyson even named him specifically before calling them stupid.

I was particularly impressed by Tyson’s wording: Hayden and Caleb revealed the clue to everyone, not just Tyson. Showing the part of Tyson’s confessional where he says they gave HIM the clue could be a hint that he will find the idol. In fact, this confessional could have been given later on; AFTER he actually finds the idol. Picture Tyson with the idol in his pocket and asked by the interviewer how he found it? Tyson would say: “Hayden and Caleb gave the clue to the hidden immunity idol to ME” just like he did now. At that moment, there would be no need to say “gave the clue…to US” because he’d be the one that found it. There’s also another thing: Tyson was wearing his buff on his head when he heard about the clue but he had it tied around his left leg when he gave the confessional. Granted, it doesn’t take time to take off the buff but it could very well be that the confessional was given at an entirely different time. We’ll see, but it looks good for Tyson to come up with that idol in the next episode.  


It was time for lunch and Hayden had this to say in confessional: “Three big dudes show up at our house and they start going through the cupboards…eating our food. At the back of my mind, I’m saying: That’s my stuff, dude. I want to smack their hands and say: Find your own food. You can’t do that.”


Tyson had a counter confessional which was accompanied with music well suited for his mischievous behavior: “There are social faux-pas to the game of Survivor and one of them is eating more food than everybody else. If you come in and act like everybody cracks open a coconut whenever they want, everybody just eats a banana whenever they want, it doesn’t have to be fair. It’s definitely a goal to eat and steal as much food as I can from this tribe and I’m going to keep on eating that food till it’s gone. You do have to do a certain amount of work or appear to be working so that people just don’t paint you as the lazy guy. I don’t think I am painted as a lazy guy yet because, after I crack open a coconut and drink half of it, I pass it around to the other 5 people to share. So, that’s kind of generous of me to do.”


Hayden didn’t look amused when Tyson told everyone that he would hit the food like a one-man wrecking ball.


We are certainly getting into Tyson’s head and seeing the game from his perspective. Some will say that he is too visible to be the winner, that he is simply a distraction, used for his entertainment value. I see more to it than that because we heard Tyson say that people fail when they take this game too seriously. Also, while Hayden didn’t like what he saw, he never mentioned Tyson specifically. He was unhappy because of the invasion of the “three big dudes”.


Galang – Day 14



Vytas was really disappointed.

After the hugs, Tina had a confessional: “Oh! My goodness. It’s so wonderful to have Katie. This is a dream come true. That first night, I thought this might be the only night that she and I spend together and here we are  together again. To be able to play this game with her and us play as a team is just wonderful. Now you switch: I’ve been playing water, now I can play “Blood”.”


Vytas also had a confessional: “I was really disappointed with what happened. I came from a place where I was pretty much in control of my destiny to a place where I have zero control. You can say that 2 of us came into a group of 4 but it isn’t that simple because one of us that came over is the daughter of one of the four. If you count Katie with Tina, there’s me and there’s five girls. I’m the odd man out.”


Right then, Monica was telling Kat and Tina to have the original Galangs stick together. This led to a confessional by Kat: “I’m in an alliance with Tina Monica, Laura B. and Katie but Monica will not stop strategizing and she is driving me crazy. When you have an alliance, don’t over-strategize. All that does is put heat on your back. You want to learn how to play Survivor? Shut it!”


The irony here is that Kat will soon be the one that over-strategizes and puts heat on her own back. Contrary to what we saw in Tadhana, the Galang scene served mostly to set up the upcoming boot. Since we will be returning to that same story later, we have to look carefully at Tina’s confessional because it was the only one that extends past this episode. If Tina is now starting to play “Blood”, we can say that it won’t start very well for her. Will she get her focus back? 


Tadhana – Day 14


We got back to them just in time for another meal. Tyson was joking around, saying that Aras always does whatever he wants and that he isn’t with him.


In confessional, Tyson explained his tactic: “Before the tribe swap, Gervase and I had decided that getting rid of Aras might be a wise move so now I make it look like he is bossing everybody around taking charge and doing whatever he wants. You know, I will apologize for him constantly. I was like sorry about Aras. He kind of doesn’t know, he is socially unaware and make sure people know that, between him and I, he’s the one in charge. I came out here to play and I have to use my brain so hopefully the target will be a bit smaller on me and maybe a little bit larger on Aras. I have to do everything I can to get to day 39.”


To which school of thought do you adhere? Either you see that Tyson is too big for his britches and is heading for a fall or you feel that Tyson is doing everything he can to make it to day 39. It could swing either way but I note that Aras wasn’t given a confessional to say how he feels about Tadhana. His story remained stuck at the challenge arena and it left when Laura made her exit. I seems the editors are telling us that Aras will be left behind and are encouraging us to board Tyson’s bandwagon.  


Galang – Day 16  (It seems nothing happened on day 15)


The birds were flying in a group again but there was one lone Blue Heron also taking flight just when Kat was attempting to say a prayer before a meal.


Vytas (who has to be represented by that Heron) in confessional: “It’s me and five women on the new Galang tribe. There’s not a lot of play for me coming in here. Basically, these women have bonded and so I’m at the mercy of them. I don’t know that much about women but I do know that when I am a little bit vulnerable with women, it goes a long way. So me, opening up and letting them know a little bit about my past could keep me around.”


Vytas is really in Chris’ position after the merger in Vanuatu. He is certainly less abrasive about his ability to fool women than Chris but no less effective.


Laura told us what she thought of Vytas; story: “Hearing Vytas admit that he had a really hard time with his heroin addiction was very powerful. That’s a neat part of a man that can share his emotions and his feelings. It reminds me of Rupert. I love Vytas, I feel connected to him already but I’ve got to keep my heart out of it. I like him a lot but Vytas and Aras, you know, could take this whole game.”


Most of the viewers that don’t think Tyson is the winner will have Vytas as their choice. He does have a compelling story and, just like in the first episode, he showed us that he masters the ability to gain trust. This episode came down to the theme so it is very tempting to see Vytas as the eventual winner. However, note that the editors chose a rookie to tell us that, as much as she likes Vytas, she knows she has to keep her heart out of it. That should tell us that Vytas’ act won’t fool veterans like Tyson, Gervase, Tina and Monica. I feel like he will make a deep run but will end up short of the finals.


The Challenge


Tadhana had a definite advantage.

Tadhana had a definite advantage.

The team composition alone told us that Tadhana would have a big advantage during the race to retrieve puzzle pieces but that advantage was multiplied when, on the first leg, Tina and Laura B “forgot the most important part of this challenge.” It was a “huge catastrophe” but Tina and Monica made a big comeback during the puzzle. Tyson and Aras took a long time on it, opening the door for Galang who thought they had it but they weren’t right. Tina and Monica made corrections and celebrated a second time but they still didn’t have it right. When Tyson put in the last piece, Jeff made the call: “Tadhana wins immunity.”


Like I said above, if this serves as an indication on how Tina plays “Blood”, we have to predict that she will blindsided at some point. The look she gave to the puzzle when Jeff said it was wrong was the same we’d see if Jeff turns over a parchment to eliminate her.


Galang – Scrambling before Tribal Council


The eagle was flying high again but the clouds were coming in, the waves looked dangerous and we heard a  sorrowful chant.


Vytas gave a confessional: “On the inside, I am so frustrated with Tina and Laura B. I would have never made a mistake like that. I should have gone first, something should have happened different but I can’t act out on that.” We heard Tina’s apology and Vytas added: “It took everything in me to not let them know how I actually felt about the mistake they made because being the man in the midst of only women, whatever they choose to do is going to go down. If I go home because they want me to go home; there’s nothing I can do.”


Tina’s apology: “If it’s me tonight, I don’t blame you, if it’s somebody else, I feel horrible guilt because I feel partly responsible…”


Next we saw Monica and Vytas going into the ocean while we heard Kat giving a confessional: “We are going to eliminate Vytas tonight but, the more I think about it, what we need to do is take out the person that won’t stop talking. Monica can’t stop talking. Every single time I catch her, she is always strategizing. When you look like you are over-strategizing in front of your alliance that’s when you get in trouble and I am about to kick you out of this game if you don’t stop talking.”


Tending the fire, Kat asked for Tina’s opinion. Tina said she wanted to keep the girls strong. Kat was all for it except “sometimes Monica makes me really worried and I feel we should vote out Monica instead of Vytas.”


Tina told Kat that she was worried because it could be all guys on the other side.

In confessional, Tina said: “We all know why it’s a good idea to stay with the plan, with all the girls stick together and get rid of the guy. Well Kat’s already want to switch that up and send Monica home. So, Kat’s loyalty isn’t as strong and that is information that needs to be out there for everybody to know.”


With Vytas present, Tina told Monica that Kat wanted her out.


Monica (solo): “I was totally on board that it would be Vytas but if I’m hearing that Kat is gunning for me, I need to do what’s best for Monica.” Monica asked Kat about her conversation with Tina. Kat denied everything. The confessional continued: “I know that my name’s been thrown out there, I asked her to tell me the truth and she won’t. If somebody is gunning for me…it doesn’t make sense to keep them around.”


Kat had a confessional to say she knew her back was up against the wall.


Monica had another confessional: “I teach my kids: Do onto others as you would want them to do onto you but, on Survivor I figured it out: It’s do onto others before they do onto you.”

She went to everyone about eliminating Kat.

Tina had the last confessional before TC: “We have to make a decision tonight: Who does it make sense to send, Kat or Vytas? I think it’s a good idea to stay with the plan which is to vote for Vytas but Kat’s loyalty? I’m not so sure about that. Who should go? Honestly, it is a coin toss , it is 50/50.”


It was a pretty straightforward set-up for the vote with very little manipulation. The only interesting moment came from Laura B. who said she was happy it wasn’t her when Kat told her to vote against Vytas. Besides that moment and the two players that received votes, the important players were once again Monica and Tina. The way it was presented, Tina gathered the information and Monica acted on it. 


Tribal Council.


Asked about the switch and who didn’t get along, Kat said that she and Monica had a talk that didn’t go as well as she thought it would.

Monica said the conversation was about trust issues.

Kat was already trying to change the inevitable, saying she loved these girls and wanted to stay together after the merge.

Vytas told Jeff that Kat was going to write his name down but he had good relationships with everyone.

Kat said she had all the girls’ back and that she wanted to stay.

Vytas told Jeff it was obvious that Kat had made some mistakes in building trust but that hadn’t made any.

Tina told Jeff that it was more difficult for her because of Katie. She added: “I have to make my decision based on what I feel is going to get me further tonight and possibly in the future.”

Vytas said all he could do is be himself and hope they like it.

Asked for her “final words”, Kat said she loved them all.


Despite one vote against “Vetus”, Kat was sent  to enjoy the ambiance at Redemption Island.


Jeff ended it by saying: “You don’t get trust by asking for it, you got to earn it. If you want to win this game and you haven’t started earning trust, you better get to it right now.”


The Story


Since Jeff put it so directly in his final words to the players, we have to assume that the winner is being presented as a player that earned trust or is working hard to get it. Can we separate the players into those that have shown  that they’ve earned trust and those that haven’t?  We don’t have the best position to know exactly what is going on in the game on such a deep level but the story has given us a lot of material to use.


Besides that theme, we have an extremely interesting situation that I’m not sure everyone sees: Despite constantly hearing that the returning players have dominated their Loved Ones, we are now down to 5 returning players facing off against 6 Loved Ones!!! Of course, that excludes Redemption Island but it’s fascinating how the choice of words can obscure such an evidence. The main problem for the Loved Ones is that two of their own have become pawns to the Veterans but still, if the Veterans continue to dominate the game this way then there won’t be any of them left at the end! To paraphrase a famous saying: A veteran is a wolf to a veteran.



The Characters

The Redemption Island Crew

One challenge loss away from elimination, it’s not really necessary to get too deeply involved in these players’ roles at this time.

We feel confident in saying that Kat won’t have any impact besides making us laugh (I loved her line about people not making the merger being undatable!) but it gets trickier after that. John’s story seemed promising but then we had this whole new storyline involving Laura, Ciera and Aras. There seems enough substance to this new story to make us think it will have a payoff somewhere down the line. That only happens if Laura reenters the game. Her confidence will be something to consider when she does.

(By the way, there were no hints of a merger happening this week so maybe we will go down to ten before it happens. If we do then we could have two players returning to the game. That would avoid the immediate U-turn for at least one of them. We’ll see what happens.)


These players have Trust Issues


– Caleb: He was only used to set up the new Tadhana scene yet that was enough for us to hear that he is a stupid player. We won’t forget that Vytas told us that no one will trust Caleb 100% from now on so we can say that he won’t make it to the end.



Will King Aras fall big?

– Aras: We heard Ciera say that she knew her mother had been the player eliminated from Galang so it isn’t a stretch to assume she understood that Aras was responsible for it when Laura looked hard at him and gave the clue to Vytas. Aras lost a lot of the hard earned trust he had worked to gain for the first 14 days. Like he said, people now know that he is playing the game so that should also mean a loss of trust from his former allies. Aras didn’t give us a confessional after arriving at Tadhana so we feel like his story was stuck in the past. We saw that Tyson and Gervase are already on his case, planning to dethrone him and Tyson told us exactly how he will do it.

Aras either has one of the biggest underdog stories shaping up or King Aras will have a big fall. Which side do you favor? I have to go for the fall because we didn’t hear any of his future plans, only the futile hope of avoiding the chopping block. We heard that one player already thinks he’s a jerk but Laura didn’t air her dirty laundry at RI. We have to expect it will come back to haunt him at some point.


– Monica: Her issues weren’t as blatant as the first two but Kat told us that Monica was acting like an untrustworthy player. On the surface, Kat was right to say that when you have an alliance and a plan then talking to everyone sows distrust. Going to talk to Vytas in the ocean could only serve one of two purposes from Kat’s perspective: Either Monica was making new plans or she was being friendly in an attempt to put the blame on others.

This is the episode where Monica said “I’m going to have to do this all by myself” and she proceeded to put a target on her back. At least she was successful in getting rid of the player that put the target there but these things leave marks and what Kat felt, the others saw also.


– Hayden: Who trusts Hayden? Not Ciera because he voted against her. Certainly not any of the three big dudes because he did nothing to be friendly. We saw his angry expressions when they helped themselves to his food so, while we have no idea if they saw it too, the editing suggests strong frictions between them. Of course, Hayden still has Vytas but Vytas is making new plans, trying to get out of it unscathed. We were left with the impression that Vytas wouldn’t hesitate one second about sacrificing Hayden if it secured his position in the game.

While Hayden didn’t make big mistakes that would have cost him the trust of all the others, we always see him one step removed from the group, suggesting he is not really melting in. It was even apparent in the first few episodes when the 5 guys were solid. At the time it suggested he’d betray the men’s alliance but now we see it meant he was unable to give trust which is the best way to earn trust.


Trusted…like the good pawns they are


 Laura: She is starting to get a role as the one using Vecepia’s “anyone but me” strategy. From episode 1, we heard Laura say that she has to get people to accept her. That means she has been working to earn trust and she has succeeded enough that she has outlasted three veterans now. I am truly scared that her remark to Gervase (where she reminded him that she has an open spot right besides her) will pay off: When it comes to filling the third spot in front of the jury, Gervase will remember her offer and get her to come alongside. Gervase doesn’t want to be someone’s pawn again but I’m sure Laura wouldn’t mind if it means a seat in the F3.


– Katie: It’s never a good sign when a young adult goes back to live with mom and it sure didn’t help Katie’s story this week. I’ll wait to see if a showmance evolves but, sticking to this episode, it’s evident that Katie serves only as a second vote for Tina. If she does make the F3 it could only be with Tina and/or Vytas and she’d obviously lose to both so let’s disregard her.


The Trusted Players.

These are our Contenders for the Title of Sole Survivor.


– Tina: It is quite evident that everyone likes Tina and trusts her. That’s why she was part of the 5 person alliance from the start and that’s why Kat felt she could tell her about her plans regarding Monica. She is Galang’s Dawn with no emotional baggage. Actually, she was without emotional baggage because it felt like Katie’s “return home” changed all that. Tina was fine playing “water” but playing “Blood” is proving problematic. Her intervention at Tribal Council was almost off-topic and could have warned her allies not to trust her anymore.  She still has a good place in Galang because Monica felt safe enough to come to her in order to reverse Kat’s plan but I feel that we will see the same shocked expression she gave Jeff at the challenge in a future Tribal Council.


– Gervase: There is obviously trust and complicity between Gervase and Tyson and it should serve him well. Since Tyson is presented as the schemer, it’s possible that Gervase will be the “Amber” to Tyson’s “Rob” except for the fact that Gervase doesn’t want to be seen as the chess piece but as the player. That wish could attract more blame than praise because it wouldn’t be as expected coming from him as it would coming from Tyson.


 Ciera: By necessity, the apron has been cut and Ciera has to play without Laura at least for now. Like Vytas in episode one, she found a way to get some trust by telling her life story and we heard that she is well liked and has spunk, good signs for her chances to win it all. Getting this close to the merger, it seems like she is safe in the new Tadhana line-up. First of all, they will be the favorites to win any type of challenge that Jeff brings up and, even if they lose, she should avoid the vote because of the impending “War of the Big Dudes”. Veterans are already cannibalizing each other and that won’t stop with a merger. If it really turns out that man is a wolf to man than this little fox could just win the whole thing.


– Vytas: What an interesting character he turned out to be. His predicament reminded us of Chris in Vanuatu and he managed to outlast one woman. Will he do like Chris and use that one break to crush the women’s alliance? It seems that he won’t be able to survive a second Tribal Council because there are no cracks in the 4 remaining women. At least not yet. Will Galang get back to winning? That was Jeff’s question at the start of the episode and Galang lost. They seem destined to lose again but stranger things have happened. Many players voted out just before the merge received great edits (BJ, Amy, Dan) so it could explain Vytas’ importance. If he does make the merger, we will have to rethink the way we are reading this story because he does have the right stuff.



Tyson: The game is being presented from Tyson’s point of view much like it was with Boston Rob or JT. There is certainly the possibility that Tyson is due for a big fall but we are being encouraged to jump on his bandwagon. Not only do we follow his strategy but we also hear about the fun he is having in the game much like we heard about Rob’s “Royal Treatment: game. The Coconut Bandits’ capers are presented in such a way as to make us enjoy the ride. Before the season started, I said that Tyson’s main problem playing Survivor was is lack of focus: He falls in love with the Villain’s character so much that he forgets the real goal. Are we seeing the same thing here? I don’t think so because we heard him say he will do anything to make it to day 39. Who could beat him if he makes it there?

Of all the contenders, I have to say that Tyson looks like the one that will be Sole Survivor.

Become a patron of RHAP