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Survivor – Blood Battles

playersI’m still not a huge Redemption Island fan, but this Blood vs. Water twist is growing on me more and more. In many ways, it has entirely changed the game.

One player can suffer because of another player’s actions, or get voted out as some form of revenge. It’s not the classic Survivor game that I love, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

The episode began with some heavy foreshadowing. Brad was talking a lot around camp, and providing enough details on how he backstabbed John to remind everyone of how untrustworthy he is. Look, Mr. Culpepper might be a decent guy in real life, but he’s playing a boneheaded game of Survivor. All of his mouthing off made the other guys wonder when they should vote him off – the girls first, to keep the tribe strong, but he was on the bottom of the alliance totem pole.

Meanwhile, Caleb was feeling vulnerable without a loved one in the game. I actually thought Colton being voted out would benefit Caleb. Having a loved one in the game can be an asset, but it can also make you a threat. Caleb, all on his own, could have been seen as a swing vote. But after getting hammered yet again at Redemption Island, Brad was targeting Caleb as an elimination that wouldn’t get people so riled up.

The Wrath of Candace

truelSpeaking of which, Candace arrived at the “Truel” with a few choice words for Brad. That is one lady you do not want to mess with. I must confess, I didn’t care much for Candace in her previous seasons but Redemption Island Candace has really grown on me. She is a strong, sassy lady and I like that!

For the challenge, players had to free up a bag of puzzle pieces and then solve the puzzle of oddly shaped blocks. John nailed it, finishing quickly, and Candace finished second. Sorry Marissa! You seemed nice!

John gave the Hidden Immunity Idol clue to Monica, and she threw it in the fire. But hilariously, both players were just following orders from their spouses. Candace chimed in with her idea to give the clue to Monica before John had even had a chance to blink, and then Brad was immediately barking for Monica to just toss it in the fire. What a bunch of sheep! I understand the temptation to get rid of the Idol clue though, so far in this game it has been nothing but trouble.

I had to laugh at Candace and John’s idyllic time together on Redemption Island. It was like a second honeymoon.

Covert Coconuts

Things seem pretty stable over at the vets’ camp, because they haven’t had to vote anyone out yet. The one person who was stirring up unnecessary mayhem quit the game. They’re kind of killing it so far, which is part of why I don’t like seasons that feature returning players vs. newbies. The returning players always seem to kill it.

Things are so docile that the most drama the show could come up with was that Tyson and Gervase like to sneak off and secretly drink coconuts, not sharing with the rest of the tribe. When other players found the remnants, they just thought animals had gotten into them. It was pretty hilarious, and I like that Tyson and Gervase have paired up given that their loved ones are out of the game.

We Can’t Stop, We Won’t Stop

challengeOnce again, the Immunity/Reward challenge was dominated by the newbies early on, only for them to blow it and the veterans to win yet again. To start, teams had to paddle a boat out and collect large crates. The vets totally sucked at paddling (again) and the newbies were way ahead – but they dropped two crates back into the water and totally blew their lead.

Next both teams built a staircase from the crates, and it all came down to the final puzzle. Tyson and Laura faced off against Vytas and Ciara. Previously, Ciara had gotten beat by her mama. And it happened again! Ouch. Tyson, with his arm in a sling, ran up the staircase and the vets won the challenge. Hayden put it best with “We lost to a one-armed man and three moms.” (That said, MAJOR kudos to Laura M., Laura B., and Monica, all of whom KILLED IT in the challenge.)

I did feel for Laura. I think the parent/child relationship is probably the most emotional one you could have in the game, and it can’t be easy to keep whooping your own daughter’s butt in challenges. But poor performances in challenges both physical and mental, things weren’t looking good for Ciera.

Tribal Council Tribulations

Back at camp, Brad told the girls he was voting for Caleb. But Caleb was in pretty tight with Vytas and Hayden, and they were targeted Ciera. By the time the group left for Tribal Council, Brad was back to saying that Ciera would go home. Unfortunately for him, that didn’t prevent him from being a loudmouth at Tribal Council.

bradCaleb never trusted Brad, but I do wonder if he would’ve made such a bold move at Tribal Council if Brad didn’t talk so much. Or perhaps Caleb just really didn’t want Ciera to go home – but I think it was more about saving his own skin. In the middle of Tribal, Caleb announced that he would be voting for Brad – and encouraged the ladies to join him in doing so. Vytas was already shaking his head that, no, he wouldn’t vote Brad. That meant, at best, that there would be a tie. And there was – three for Brad, three for Ciera.

Had the re-vote been a tie again, I assume the players would have had to pick rocks. And people rarely want to do that. Hayden struggled with his vote, even crossing stuff out, but in the end he stuck with voting Ciera. It was Vytas who flipped, and Brad was voted out.

The best part? That Public Enemy #1 had to crash Candace and John’s little honeymoon. Oh man, I bet that was an awkward night.

Stray Thoughts

I really liked Caleb, and I still can’t believe how he could possibly be romantically involved with Colton. But if the previews for next week are to be believed, that power play might have inflated Caleb’s ego a little too much. I hope it doesn’t get to him, I have liked him so far.

I have Monica in the office Survivor pool, so I’ll be really bummed if she actually does take Brad’s place on Redemption Island. I have a feeling he won’t allow that, but even offering will make her look bad to her other tribe members. I hope that Brad loses the Truel so that Monica can just focus on her own game without that meathead dragging her down.

What did you guys think of the episode? This season is shaping up to be a pretty good one, don’t you think?

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