SurvivorSurvivor: Blood vs Water

Survivor: Tyson vs Hayden – 12/08/13

The Recap


After Laura was voted out, no couples were left and the game was on.

Caleb and Hayden saw a chance to blindside their biggest threat.

<Hayden’s confessional: “Tyson’s got a hell of a résumé to preach to the jury.”>

But after Ciera revealed their plan, Tyson was ready to fight fire with fire.

Facing Tribal Council, Caleb and Hayden feared their plan was falling apart…

<Tyson talking to the two guys: “Ciera said that you guys wanted me gone.”>

…so they threw Ciera under the bus.


At Tribal Council, Tyson insured his safety by playing his Hidden Immunity Idol but in the end, he didn’t need it when Caleb was sent to Redemption Island.

<Ciera is shown exhaling.>


The choice of words is always important in a recap. Here, Jeff could have been harder on Tyson who had misread the situation and wasted an idol. Saying it was his insurance excused him. You always need insurance so Jeff was telling us it wasn’t really wasted.

This episode could have been titled:


Pure Poetry.


Kasama – Night 29


Monica said they’d all see day 30 to which Katie replied: “Pit of snakes. I’m so excited.” Ciera and Katie hugged.

Hayden shook Tyson’s hand, telling him: “Good move. I did not see that one coming.”

Tyson hugged Hayden.


Hayden (solo): “Tribal Council blew up in our face. We were expecting to blindside Ciera but gosh! Good move to them. Kat would say “Touché”. I’m thinking “These sons of a…guns.”


Hayden addressed the tribe: “I hope everybody here likes second place…because, if Tyson goes to the end, he’s winning. He is playing a hell of a game. Pure poetry. Dude, you are playing the best game. Nobody can touch you so far.”

That got Gervase riled up: “Hey! Hey! Hey! Tyson can’t do nothing if it wasn’t for me. Tyson wouldn’t be where he’s at if it wasn’t for me. He’s not playing this game, I am playing this game. I got my hand in his back.”

Hayden: “He’s pulling the trigger.”

Gervase: “He’s sitting on my lap.”

Hayden: “I’m just saying that if you are sitting next to him in the end, he is beating you all day. Same with everybody here. I guarantee.”

Calmly, Tyson asked: “Hayden: Why are you throwing me under the bus like that, dude?”

Hayden: “I have to do something but it’s true. It’s true: You deserve to win the game.”


Tyson’s confessional: “I didn’t like how Hayden threw me under the bus. I’m voting Tyson. If Tyson makes it to the end, I’m going to vote for him. It was nice to hear but it does put a little bit of a target on my back. I wish I wouldn’t have played the idol because then I would have it for next time although I trust my alliance enough that that shouldn’t really be of much concern.”


The four agreed Hayden was next, that it would be Katie if he wins immunity.


It’s funny how perspective can change things: The last episode looked like Tyson’s worst of the season but it is called pure poetry by his biggest rival. We thought Tyson needed redemption to remove the stain left by his display but Hayden erased all that. Tyson is playing the best game and he will win if he makes it to the end. The vote isn’t in question anymore and we saw that Gervase will lose all the votes if he tries to sell the fact that he is the master puppeteer. Since there is no more doubt on the result of the vote then all the doubts, all the land mines, are put on Tyson’s road to the end and this episode would be just that: One big hurdle to overcome.



The Challenge Arena.


e12-caleb Caleb didn’t look up at the tribe.[/caption]

Jeff noticed that Caleb didn’t even look up at the tribe.

Caleb said there were two people he had good words for.

When Jeff asked if that meant the others were dead to him, Caleb replied: “A man’s word is a man’s word. In the South, that means something. In the game of Survivor, in Utah and Philly, it doesn’t mean as much.”

Tyson and Gervase exchanged a glance just as the Survivor horn announced the first commercial.


It seems like the editors weren’t concerned about hiding the result of this challenge. They didn’t give us a scene of Caleb on RI to start the episode, they decided to show his hypocrisy instead. The recap had reminded us that Caleb and Hayden planned to eliminate Tyson first so Caleb must have lost a lot of respect from viewers for not admitting as much and for denigrating a whole State and a city at the same time. That’s all we needed to know that Caleb didn’t stand a chance to beat to two likable moms.  The editors couldn’t hide his role in eliminating Brad since it happened during TC but, after that, they made sure Caleb would have the least amount of fans possible.


Back from break, Gervase reacted to Caleb’s accusation: “I’m old school: Your word is your bond. We made a bond with Hayden and Caleb and, from what I heard, they tried to do us dirty first. So, we got smart and did it to them before they got us. That’s sore loser status right there.”

There weren’t any replies.


Even if Laura’s house of cards lost a few parts, she easily won the challenge, reaching the top while the others weren’t halfway done.

Laura told Tina that she had a good lead on him but she kept losing cards, enabling Caleb to catch her and take the lead. Instead of staying put, Caleb continued to add some cards until his stack tipped over. Tina knew she had it so she stopped adding cards, counting down to the end of the challenge instead. Mother and daughter winked at each other.


Laura gave the clue to Ciera who decided to keep it this time which made Laura say: “Go find it. Dig girl.”


When Tina left the arena, we saw she had a blue teddy bear in her bag which means that the players were allowed to bring luxury items. We simply don’t get to hear about the players’ items anymore even if it was often fun to see what people brought. I think the last luxury item we saw was the Hidden immunity idol from China that James brought to Heroes versus Villains. That was so funny that it’s hard to beat but still, it could be fun to see some new ones.


Kasama – Day 30



Hayden was impressed with Ciera’s mom.

Hayden said that he was impressed with Ciera’s mom.

Ciera in confessional: “This is the first Redemption Island that I’ve gone to where I’ve been like: “Mom, you better pull this one out. We knew Tyson played the idol which meant that there is going to be a new one probably in play.” (We heard Monica saying they should go get some water. Tyson, Gervase and Ciera followed her). Ciera’s confessional continued: “The big question’s been: If my mom wins, do I take the clue?” I kinda felt that I needed to because if Hayden gets it or Katie gets it, it’s bad news for us. So, we are going open it as a group, we are going to find it and decide what we are going to do with it.”


Just before Ciera read the clue, a snake appeared on screen signaling that Tyson, the snake, was about to get that idol!

The clue told them it was in a tree near the well so they quickly started looking.

Gervase had a confessional: “Ciera opens up the clue and reads it aloud. I was like: Yes!” (Back in camp, Katie was wondering what they were up to so she told Hayden they should spy on them.) The confessional continued: “Now, everybody just scatters and looking and looking but all of a sudden, Hayden walks up.”


Hayden gave his own confessional: “I cruised towards the well and Tyson, Gervase, Ciera and Monica are all down there peaking around, looking at trees like hunting and searching and it’s obvious: The idol’s down there somewhere. It’s my last hope. I have to keep looking and I have to find the hidden immunity idol.”


Just then, the camera showed us that Hayden was standing practically underneath it but couldn’t see it. That’s been the editors way of showing us a dumb player but here, Hayden said it himself: “This is stupid”. We were supposed to smile and say: “Yes you are Hayden, yes you are.”


The music took on an ominous tone when another kind of reptile appeared on screen just before we saw Tyson dashing out of camp.  Tyson gave us a play-by-play type confessional as he walked back towards the well: “I used the idol at the last Tribal Council and a new one came back into play. I have to find it otherwise, I don’t know who is going to have it. So, the safest thing for me to do is to find the idol.” (We saw him reaching the right tree, just as a different confessional was spliced in. In this one, a reflective Tyson was sitting next to a tree. The music practically stopped, leaving only some soft strings and a piano. That was a sure sign that what was about to be said was important, that we needed to pay attention.) “I’m threat number one and everyone knows that and I know that. I’m just trying to play the game and trying to get to the end. I told myself when Rachel left that, if I was going to stay I had to get to the end. (He started choking up) It’s the only way that it would be worth it for me to stay here and not go in when I could have saved her. I’ve just been fighting and clawing and I’m so close. (He was very close to the idol which was on the branch next to him) and I still feel that it’s going to get pulled out from under me (tears are now falling) and I hate that feeling cause I worked too hard to get here.”

Just then, Tyson found the idol and the orchestra started playing what sounded like an hymn for a Hero’s triumph. Motionless, the reptile had found its own tree to observe.


This confessional will probably played back at the reunion when Tyson goes to hug rachel after being declared the winner. Here, it was used to underline the search for the idol but, if you listen to it out of that particular context, it probably took place later in the game. It’s at F4 or F5 that Tyson would say: “I’m so close” if he isn’t talking about the idol. I’m almost sure that the confessional was taken on day 36 or 37, just before the last IC where Hayden will pose a threat. The outcome of this episode made it much more useful to insert it here. Note that Katie, the rock’s victim, still hasn’t has a confessional while Tyson has given us a winner’s type confessional with all the emotions to flesh him out as a character. Need we say more? Well, we could add that we told you Tyson would wind up with two Idols! I know, I thought he’d go back to the other camp to find that one so I was partly wrong but he did get idols, plural, so I was also partly right.


Tyson put the idol in his crotch where nobody would suspect a bulge!

He asked the camera: “Do I share it with everybody or do I keep it to myself again? I think I’ll keep it to myself. I can rest easy.”


Tyson’s confessional continued: “I have the immunity idol. It’s up to me to stay focus and don’t let Hayden win the challenge. That’s the number one thing: Hayden can’t win.” To the camera, he ended the scene by saying that was the diciest moment in the game for him so far.


He’d soon have another much dicier moment but, for now it was nap time. So, after giving us the hero’s angle, we are now told that he may be resting on his laurels. There’s always has to have some doubts inserted!


We saw that there was another snake in camp: Hayden was asking Gervase about his thoughts.

Hayden gave us a confessional: “I struck a nerve in Gervase. I think Gervase is open to working with me, blindsiding Tyson. We just have to figure out how to do it.”

Gervase said he didn’t see a move so Hayden said he had Katie and could get Ciera on board to blindside Tyson.


Gervase had a confessional: “I think Tyson is playing the game well. I believe it too but I am not putting my faith and trust in Hayden at all. I’ve got my trust and faith in Tyson and it’s gotten me this far but I do want those options out there and Hayden’s a good option to have.”

The two knocked fists and Hayden said he wouldn’t do anything to blow up his game.



Day 32 – The Immunity Challenge.



Gervase did a great job keeping up with Monica.

In a challenge that first required balance, Gervase did a great job keeping up with Monica. It was strange to see Ciera and Katie having so much problems with the balance beam, especially poor Katie who dropped the ball twice on her head. (I wonder if others dropped the ball on their head also. Maybe we were supposed to think that Katie was the only klutz)

When they started throwing sand bags, Gervase quickly took the lead and won his first individual immunity. He picked Monica first in order to pay her back for the picnic she gave away.

Jeff told him he could invite one more. When Gervase struggled to make his decision, Jeff added: “People have made million dollar mistakes at this point in the game. Who do you choose and who do you leave behind?”

Gervase picked his left-hand man; Tyson.


This is such obvious foreshadowing: Jeff told us that Gervase was making a million dollar mistake by taking Tyson along.


Kasama – Day 32


Gervase in confessional: “Finally, 32 days into the game, I win immunity. I’m in a great position no matter which way I play things. I’m in a secure alliance: Me, Tyson and Monica, the three together. We have Ciera which makes four so we pretty much control the game.”


Although we’ve seen that Gervase has studied the game well, this episode reminded us that he still has ways to go. He should have realized right there that there was a problem with having the 3 together, that no one wants to be number 4. He should have been working on Ciera but, instead he felt secure.


That’s when the ice cream cart rolled into camp making three people smile and three people jealous. Katie asked: “Do they have to do it right on front of camp?”


Hayden (solo): “Gervase decided to choose Monica and Tyson to eat ice cream with him so that left the door wide open for me to really talk to Ciera and pitch her the idea: Hey! Ciera, let’s make a move here.”


We heard Ciera talking numbers with Hayden before giving us a confessional: “Part of my strategy has been making Hayden and Katie feel like they have a glimmer of hope but I have no intention of doing anything with Hayden and Katie.”


Jeff would soon make her change her mind.


Hayden told Ciera that Gervase was on board if she was on board. The plan was to let Tyson think they were voting against him to flush his idol and then vote against Monica.  He added: “You have to have a résumé to win and you have said that you made a big move. This could be that for you.”

Ciera replied that she saw it as a 3-3 vote and she wasn’t doing that.


Hayden had another confessional: “Gervase and Ciera, right now, can make a huge move and get out Tyson. If they make this move, they probably deserve to win this game.”


The problem that Hayden doesn’t seem to see is that he’d win the game if Tyson gets removed. Gervase and Ciera and maybe even Monica think they can beat Tyson but they know they cannot beat Hayden. Therefore, he is the biggest obstacle on his own road to victory.  It’ strange that Katie and Ciera didn’t see it either. Their best course of action would have been to eliminate Hayden now and then work on Monica to boot the other two guys.   


He pitched the idea to Ciera and Gervase together adding the incentive that, after Tyson, Katie would be the next to go home.

Gervase said he thought he could beat Tyson because they’ve done the same crimes.

Hayden said something to counter that, something I didn’t quite get: “He has but (it’s his game??)

Gervase had a confessional inserted here but the scene continued and Ciera said she was afraid of Katie’s connection to the jury while Hayden would beat her also.

Hayden countered: “Second place is the first loser.” He then gave us a confessional of his own.


Gervase’s confessional: “Tonight, Hayden has got to go and, thank goodness, it could be Katie next. I don’t know how she’s still around.”

Hayden’s confessional: “What I was hoping was Ciera and Gervase were going to roll with me to blindside Tyson and they are not doing it. I don’t like to lose. I am the worst, the worst loser.”


With everyone in the shelter, Hayden told Tyson that he was trying to get everyone to blindside him.

Tyson simply said: “That’s the way it goes.”


Hayden had a confessional beautifully pictured against the setting sun: “Tonight, I am going to go to Tribal with guns blazing. I’m going to go in and blow it up. Let things fly, go down swinging. Maybe it’s not going to be me. We will see. We will see, the chapter is not closed yet.”


Tribal Council



It would come down to Hayden and Tyson fighting for Ciera’s vote.

Production couldn’t have known that the players would go down to picking rocks but they knew it would come down to Hayden and Tyson fighting for Ciera’s vote and she was placed in the middle, between the two guys, ready to be put on the spot.  Listening to it, you realize that Jeff was actually playing for Hayden, saying what Hayden should have said in camp. I know he was actually playing for drama but it really was so clearly one sided that it can be called interference.

Asked if the situation had changed since the last vote, Hayden said: “The four of them are being controlled by Tyson. The two of us are on our own.”

Jeff immediately started the grilling: “Those are big words, Ciera. He said you are being controlled by Tyson.”

Ciera dismissed it: “Let him think what he wants to think. I’m comfortable in my position with my alliance.”

Jeff turned up the heat: “Although you weren’t chosen today by Gervase.”

Ciera said he decided that way because she had been part of many food rewards.

(Remember Tyson said not too long ago that he hadn’t been hungry once)

Gervase helped Jeff by saying he chose two original Galang members. “These are the people I put my blood, sweat and tears with in this game and spend 32 days with.”

Jeff hit that “hanging breaking ball” right over the fence: “That speech right there is great if you are Tyson or Monica. It is not so good if you are Ciera.”

Ciera could only agree which troubled Tyson.

Jeff, with remarkable audacity, said: “Hayden; this is the opportunity you need because you and Katie have nothing to lose. If you can sway Ciera to go 3-3, now we got a new game.”

Hayden seized the opportunity, saying Tyson was in control: “We took a back seat when Tyson pointed his finger and said: “It’s Aras, it’s Vytas or it’s Laura Morrett….”

Tyson finally interrupted, turning to Ciera and asking: “Was I the one that voted your mom out?”

Ciera answered: “No. Actually Hayden and Caleb were the ones that wanted to vote my mom out.”

Jeff pulled Katie out of moth balls by asking: “Katie, were do you fit into all of this?”

Katie, quite sheepishly, answered: “During this whole political what-have-you…”

Jeff: “Hold on. Hold on. When you say during that whole political whatever; that is Survivor. This is where the game is won or lost. Do you get that?”

Katie mothballed herself again when she said: “I’ve been at the bottom so I haven’t been able to be a part of these conversations.”

<Jeff played up the drama but it’s clear they were happy to see where the white rock ended up>

Jeff asked Monica if it would make sense for Ciera to go with Hayden and Katie.

Monica answered: “It’s a bad move because four is better than six.”

<Do these people think before they speak?>

Hayden jumped at that: “Monica just said that 4 is better than six which immediately means; Ciera, you’re number 4. If you came on this side, there are no 4, 5 or six, there’s 1, 2 and 3.”

Gervase jumped in: “That’s incorrect.”

Hayden replied: “What do you mean it’s incorrect.”

<The jury really liked that retort. Score one against Gervase.>

Gervase explained: “What she has on that side is a back stabber, a back stabber, a liar, a liar. What she has on this side is honest word, people who keep their word and people who keep it all together.”

<The jury told us that Gervase was kicking the ball into his own net.>

Hayden noticed the peanut gallery and asked: “Why is the jury laughing?”

Gervase showed his lack of jury awareness by saying: “The jury is laughing because they tried to stab us in the back and they got played first.”

<Aras’ expression showed that he didn’t appreciate that at all.>

Gervase went on: “Look man, nobody is entertaining any ideas of jumping ship in this alliance: 1, 2, 3 and 4. Hayden: Guess what? You are going on the jury. Believe that. You are going to be on the jury.”

Jeff pointed out: “Once again, Ciera was number 4 when you counted it out.”

Gervase replied: “It’s just how I counted. Ciera knows one thing for certain; she’s not going home tonight so she can run with that to the bank. If she wants to go home then the time to make a move is now.”

That’s when Hayden finally realized the weak link in the alliance and turned to Katie and Ciera, whispering they should vote against Monica.

Jeff countered: “Well Tyson, that’s not necessarily true. You can divide this 3-3, split it up and force people to draw rocks.”

Tyson answered: “I don’t think Ciera is 4.”

Jeff then said: “That would mean that Monica is 4.”

Monica calmly said: “Perhaps.”

Hayden jumped in again: “There’s no perhaps about it. If Ciera is not 4 then you are 4.”

Tyson asked: “Are you saying that me and Gervase are 1 and 2?”

Hayden: “Yes, I am.”

Tyson pleaded his case directly: “Ciera, I am telling you right now; I’ve never betrayed you. These guys have both written your name down and I’ve protected you and kept you with us and I plan on staying with that.”

Ciera simply said: “Ok.”

Hayden made his last pitch: “Ciera, you can be number 4 all day long or you can come with us, we can draw rocks and that’s a big move.”

<The jury really liked that.>

Gervase made an effort: “Do you want to be with someone that is wishy-washy. We’ve been 100 with you.”

That when Hayden said that remark was only to rustle feathers.

Tyson said: “Ruffle feathers. It’s “ruffle feathers”.

<The jury looked like they didn’t know where Tyson was going with that and neither did we.>

Tyson pushed on: “Russell is a first name. Ruffle is…”

Hayden spelled it out: “Rustle: RUSTLE. Rustling leaves, you can also rustle feathers.”

<I’m not sure if rustling feathers means the same thing but the jury and Jeff were in agreement. Even Tyson smiled at his mistake.>

Hayden addressing Ciera: “If you make a big move and it works out? You are a millionaire at the end of the game.”

Tyson: “If it doesn’t work out, you can be going home tonight by drawing a rock.”


Gervase pulled a “Crystal” when he voted against “Hay Done”, saying loud enough for everyone to hear: “Don’t hate the players, homey. Hate the game. This isn’t Big Brother: It’s Survivor. You think differently here. You are about to get a lesson in how to play the game.”

<The jury scored one more against Gervase.>


When Hayden went to vote, Tyson whispered to Ciera: “Stick with me and Monica. We can do this.”

Tyson winked at Gervase when Ciera went to vote. That confidence made him keep his idol.


The vote was a 3-3 tie between Hayden and Monica.

When Jeff revealed that 3rd vote against Monica, Tyson asked Ciera: “What are you doing?” She didn’t answer but the jury liked the outcome.

It remained tied on the revote. The jury was really enjoying this. Jeff gave them time to discuss the situation, saying: “If the 4 of you can unanimously come up with one name, either Monica or Hayden, they are out. Otherwise, Hayden becomes safe, Monica becomes safe, Gervase is safe because he has immunity. Katie, Ciera and Tyson will draw rocks.”

Ciera told her old alliance: “I am 4 so let’s not bu****t me.”

Gervase got heated up: “Ok then, let’s draw rocks.”

Ciera and Katie were fine with that but Tyson wanted to say something. Ciera cut him off by stating: “I am drawing rocks.”

Tyson didn’t hesitate: “I’ll draw rocks too.”

 <The jury could hardly contain itself.>


Katie drew the white rock. When she got up to leave, Tyson turned to Monica: “Stay with us.” He then got up to hug Katie. Looking more at the jury, he told her: “Dangerous move. Ballsy. I didn’t think you had the balls to do that.” He quietly added: “That’s your chair over there. One of those.”

He sat down to look at Ciera, making her say: “Don’t glare at me.”

He answered: “I’m not glaring at you.”


Even if he said that there were no words to top what had just happened, Jeff still said: “This game is definitely on. It is going to be a battle until the very end.”

When they left, Tyson had to remind Hayden to bring his torch, “if you want it.”



The Story.


With Gervase repeatedly putting his foot in his mouth, Monica being practically irrelevant and Ciera having no shot at beating either big guy even with that bold move, it’s come down to only two possibilities: Either Tyson or Hayden wins. Which one will it be? It’s strange that this episode showed each one alternatively looking dumb.  First, we had Hayden saying “this is stupid” when he walked right under the Hidden Immunity Idol, the object he called his last chance. Then there was the strange exchange at TC where Tyson was shut up by Hayden over difference between Rustle and Russell. (Like I said, I am not sure if rustling feathers applies to what Hayden was saying but it was still Tyson that looked dumb there.)  Finally, Tyson had the last laugh when he had to remind Hayden they had to carry their torch out of Tribal Council.  After Gervase’s outburst, it was as if Tyson was reminding Hayden that they were playing Survivor, not Big Brother!


Before we look at the two contenders, we have to consider that we could still have three moms in the Final 3.  If Laura returns from RI, Ciera and Monica could team up with her and remove all the big guys left. Ciera cannot beat either big guy as we noted above but if they aren’t there then she’s the obvious winner.  The problem is that it should be just as obvious to Monica as it is to us but we never know…


The Case for Hayden: He had a great confessional pictured against the setting sun and most viewers will say that he was quite smart to convince Katie and Ciera to pick rocks in his favor even if it was Jeff that did all the work there.  He thought this was his last opportunity, Gervase was convinced he was heading to the jury so maybe the episode was telling us that, having outlasted this biggest hurdle, Hayden can now go all the way to the end.  The problem is that we have to look at more than one episode and, over the course of the season, Hayden’s story has really taken a back seat to Tyson’s.  Anyway, we were clearly shown that Hayden got in this predicament by targeting Tyson too early and that was a big theme this season.



Tyson left it to fate and it paid off.

The case for Tyson: The confessional he had earlier this season about getting revenge for Rachel came back into play during the search for the idol and it connected Tyson to the theme of the season.  He never had a chance to play with his Loved One but he has played for her all along.  That could possibly earn him a point or two on the jury if he gets there with Gervase and Monica and it will certainly be shown during the reunion when he is declared the winner.  It was quite noticeable that all the negative reactions from the jurors came at Gervase’s expense.  Tyson was always pictured as being calm and in control except for the comment about feathers. When Tyson told Katie that she had shown balls by picking rocks, he was looking straight at the jury, making sure they realized he had shown the same courage.  For the second time, Tyson left it to fate and it paid off.


Despite the great showing by Hayden since he finally started playing, we have seen Tyson playing from the start. Not only playing but dominating the strategy in a manner very similar to Rob in the first “Redemption Island” except here, Tyson isn’t ruling over a cult. He’s had to deal with many veterans and a tribal swap so his alliance was much more difficult to control.  It’s been “Pure Poetry”.

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