With the “Drop your buffs” preview from the last episode, I’m sure this episode will deliver some interesting, game-changing power shifts and pivotal shuffles.
Galang tribe comes back to their camp after blindsiding Laura Morett in the last tribal council. Tina asks Laura B. about her very first tribal council of her Survivor journey. Laura B. is thankful for keeping her around and feels that her husband, Rupert, will be proud of her of what she has accomplished so far. Meanwhile, Aras reveals that he was able to see Laura M. eye-to-eye before she was voted out. He says that Laura M.’s look was so angry! Who wouldn’t? I mean, if that was me, I would be PISSED! Especially with Aras’ case because Laura M. really thought she had a connection with him. Aras feels that Laura M. will express her hate towards him at the next Redemption Duel, that will ultimately put him at the top of the powerful and threatening ring leaders, which is normally not a good thing in Survivor.
On Day 14, Gervase checks in with Tyson, not to steal coconuts (Read: hashtag CoconutBandits), but to talk strategy. They both agree that Aras is indeed a big threat and to make things worse, his brother, Vytas, seems to be a threat as well, making them a powerful combination when merge comes. Tyson and Gervase agree to try to dethrone King Aras when they lose the next immunity challenge. I must say, Tyson and Gervase are a tight alliance and I sense big things coming from these unlikely duo.
Tribes arrive at the Redemption arena. Ciera is sad to see her mom as the one voted out. Jeff Probst tells Ciera the Redemption twist/option for a loved one to switch places with the one at the duel. Before Ciera makes an answer, Laura M. interrupts everyone, saying that there is no way in hell that she is swapping places. She also comments that she is pretty confident that she will win the duel. That’s the spirit Laura! And seeing her without any bad blood against the tribe that voted her out is something to be admired about. Get that Candice? Teehee. Anyway, each castaway must pass through a balance beam while collecting bags of numbered tiles. One bag at a time, they must assemble the tiles in order from 1 to 100. The last person to finish will be gone for good. And as Laura M. promised, the challenge seems to be a piece of cake for her as she flies through it and wins first place! Brad and John are neck-and-neck for second place. With a few bumps and missteps, John is able to finish seconds before Culpepper.
Brad Culpepper, Monica’s husband, is the SIXTH person to leave Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
Well, good riddance Brad! I am glad to see you go, although he seems to be quite a nice, huge character, similar to the impact that Coach did in the past. I have a feeling that this will not be the last time we will see Brad play Survivor.
Being the first one to finish the duel, Laura M. has the power to choose who gets the clue to the hidden immunity idol. She chooses Vytas, but Vytas throws the clue in the fire. I think hidden immunity idols are useless this season because NOBODY WANTS IT! Damn! John joins Laura M. back to their Redemption camp.
After the duel, Jeff announces the game-changer everyone (the castaways and the viewers of course) is anticipating: THE TRIBE SWITCH (Read: hashtag DROPYOURBUFFS). Jeff asks everyone to pick a test tube-like bamboo stem (or something) and inside each tube is a new buff. Tyson asks Jeff to pick last, letting his fate decide which tribe he will be on. And I am as surprised as the castaways as they reveal the new tribe members! The New Tadhana consists of Caleb, Aras, Tyson, Gervase, Hayden, and Ciera, while the new Galang consists of Tina and her Daughter Katie, Monica, Laura B., Kat, and Vytas. Interestingly, Vytas is the thorn among the roses, while Ciera is the lone female on her new tribe!
The new Tadhana arrives at their camp with Caleb, Ciera, and Hayden welcoming Aras, Tyson, and Gervase. From the get-go, Caleb and Hayden spill out all the vital information to the three new guys, especially the clue to the hidden immunity idol, as revealed by John days before to his former alliance. What is this? It’s the stupid new players vs the more cunning returning players, like (naive) Fans vs. Favorites 2 all over again! Afterwards, the new guys invade the stash of the tribe’s food supply, something that annoys Hayden. And here is Tyson again throwing in the #CoconutBandits dagger as he sips through the coconut juice before offering the rest of the food the everyone!
Over at Galang tribe, the original Galang girls welcome Vytas and Katie to their camp. Tina is ecstatic to see her daughter at the same camp. Vytas admits that he did not like the result of the switch, making him more vulnerable now than when he was in his previous tribe. Later, Monica discusses with Tina and Katie the idea of keeping this tribe-of-girls strong and vote out Vytas if they have go to the next Tribal Council. Kat is annoyed with Monica’s over-strategizing and wants her out.
Night is fast approaching at Tadhana camp and as Ciera prepares food, Aras suggests to cut off a branch that could be used to hold the pot. Tyson feels like he wants to put Aras on the spotlight while he takes the backseat, and the lesser threat that comes with it. So as Aras chops off the branch without anyone’s approval, Tyson starts to bully him in a joking manner.
Day 16 at Galang tribe, Vytas thinks of a way to bond with the girls, and what better way to relate with the female species than to pierce their emotional side and vulnerability. He then starts to share his past experiences — of being put to jail at a young age, how he was addicted to drugs, and his 13 year relationship struggle between him and his younger brother Aras. True to form, everyone is moved by his stories. I have to give it to Vytas for being so open with his feelings, while keeping in mind the social game aspect of Survivor. On a side note, Tina is somehow trying to ship her daughter Katie and Vytas! Tina stresses that she already wants grandchildren and Vytas seems to be a perfect partner for her daughter. Now the next ordeal is their official ship name! KaTas? VyTie? KaVy? LOL.
IMMUNITY / REWARD CHALLENGE
One pair from each tribe must swim to a cage at the bottom of the ocean. They must then dive and untie the knots in order to release a gate and to retrieve a fish trap. Once they have the fish trap, they must swim back to shore, then another pair will swim. Once they have all three fish traps, two from each tribe must get the puzzle pieces inside the fish traps and solve a vertical puzzle. First team to finish the puzzle wins immunity, plus a picnic set. Gervase and Aras are the first two who will swim for Tadhana, while Tina and Laura B. are the first two out of Galang. Both teams do good in untying the knots for the first gate, however, Tina and Laura B. fail to retrieve the fish trap. They are both clueless with the objective of the challenge! This one critical mistake that makes me put my face and palms together. Everyone from the Galang tribe, including Jeff, is shouting at the Tina and Laura B., but of course they could not hear the shouting because, well, they are swimming! Once they reached the shore, that’s the time they learn about their mistake. They quickly head back to the get the trap. Tadhana tribe is way ahead at this point that Aras and Tyson are starting to work with their puzzle while Katie and Kat are still trying to retrieve the third and final fish trap. Although Tadhana has a huge time advantage against Galang, but Galang is able to catch up with the puzzle part. Tina seems eager to rebound from her awful performance with the fish trap as she tries to finish the puzzle with Monica. They actually do call out for Jeff first, to check their finished puzzle, however, the puzzle is wrong. They tried again and it’s wrong the second time. In the end, Aras and Tyson finish the puzzle first and the new Tadhana tribe wins immunity and the reward.
Galang goes back to camp and right there Tina apologizes to the tribe for her mistake she and Laura B. committed in the challenge. She also feels like voting her off because of it is logical. Vytas expresses his disappointment with the mistake that Tina and Laura B. did, but he keeps his mouth shut because he does not want any backfires towards him since he is the only guy in a tribe of women. Kat sees Monica talking with Vytas and from there she thinks that Monica is, again, strategizing too much. Kat then wants to vote out Monica instead of Vytas. She then confides with Tina about her plan, and Tina is bothered byKat’s sudden change of plans and questions her trustworthiness. This form of disloyalty derserves to be known by anyone, Tina thinks. And because Tina has a previous commitment with Monica (their five-way-alliance with Aras, Gervase, and Tyson is still intact, I feel), she has to stick with her. Tine then walks to Vytas and Monica and she tells Monica about Kat’s plans. Monica is worried big time. She then decides to talk straight with Kat. Monica asks Kat about the conversation she had with Tina. Kat bluffs about talking with Tina about voting of Monica off. This signals Monica that Kat can no longer be trusted.
Kat admits to Jeff that she and Monica are not getting along pretty well, due to trust issues. Kat assures everyone that she can still be trusted and begs everyone to keep her. She also promises to be loyal to her tribe and stresses that she loves each and everyone on Galang. Vytas admits that he can be trusted and he has not given his tribe any reason not to trust him, unlike Kat. VALID POINT.
Kat Edorsson from Survivor: One World, becomes the next person voted out of Survivor: Blood Vs. Water, sent to Redemption Island.
Trust issues are important in the game of Survivor. One wrong move and you’re out, especially if you screw things up about loyalty and being trusted. That’s the case of Kat’s elimination. Even if she pleads for herself, Kat dug her own grave by mistakenly talking with Tina, who is aligned with Monica. She might have turned things around had she aligned herself with Vytas and worked her way around, but hey that might be too much strategizing for Kat.