Survivor – “It was worth a try”

probst 2This episode of Survivor was pretty much ruined for me thanks to a totally spoiler-filled promo that came on during the morning local news on Wednesday. Needless to say, I was furious.

Therefore, going into this episode I knew that the outcome would be drawing rocks. “FOR ONLY THE SECOND TIME IN SURVIVOR HISTORY”, according to the promo. Who is that going to entice to watch the show? It only ruins it for the loyal viewers. And it’s not even something all that exciting! Personally, I hate the idea of drawing rocks. Anyway, let’s bring it back to the beginning.

The Biggest Losers

When the tribe returned to camp after voting out Caleb, Hayden made a big show of telling everyone that he hopes they like second place, because Tyson is taking the win. I’ve got to say, I quite like Hayden. He’s playing hard and I respect that. Of course, his determination to make everyone realize they can’t beat Tyson made Tyson prioritize getting Hayden voted out.

Faulty Towers

calebTina, Laura and Caleb arrived at the Truel, and Caleb was fuming. But the anger he directed at Tyson and Gervase was pretty hypocritical – after all, he did betray them first. Sore losers sure have poor short-term memories.

towerFor the challenge, the players had to construct an 8ft tall tower out of tiles, like a super-sized house of cards. It’s a classic Survivor challenge, but one that’s gotten a bit stale over the years. I think this twist was new, though: if players didn’t reach 8ft after thirty minutes, whoever had the tallest tower would win.

Laura whizzed ahead of the competition, and after 24 minutes had a tower twice as tall as Tina or Caleb. What was wrong with those two? She hit the 8ft mark and won. I’m loving the moms as challenge monsters this season! With only two minutes to go, Caleb had surged ahead of Tina…and then his tower fell with 30 second left on the clock. All Tina had to do was sit and wait. She came second.

Time and time again, I can’t help but think how much more exciting these challenges would be if it were a true duel, with one winner and one loser. Having two players carry on in the game is anti-climactic. Since Laura won again, she again gave the HII clue to Ciera – but this time, Ciera kept it.

Ostriches, all of them!

Back at camp, Ciera shared the clue with Tyson, Gervase AND Monica. Honey, that was over half the tribe! I know it’s a lot of pressure when everyone knows you have the clue, but come on. Did she really think any of those guys would “share” the Hidden Immunity Idol if they found it? No! They’d stick it in their crotch and call it a day – which is exactly what Tyson did when he found it in a tree. Again.

Nice move from the producers, playing that confessional of Tyson crying while they showed him finding the Idol. “Boo hoo, I didn’t sacrifice myself for my girlfriend so now I have to win.” Puh-lease. Tyson brings a certain element of entertainment to this show as a sarcastic, cocky guy, but I don’t buy what he’s selling here. He’s not a sympathetic player – not to the cameras, and definitely not to the other players.

Meanwhile, Hayden approached Gervase about voting Tyson out. Gervase said he’d consider it if Ciera was also onboard, but I knew he wasn’t serious. Gervase is also arrogant, and that’s preventing him from understanding why he can’t beat Tyson in the finals. He sees himself as an equal partner when everyone else sees him as a sidekick.

Balancing Act

challengeI liked the Immunity Challenge this week! It was a two-parter. First, everyone had to make it through a series of obstacles while balancing a ball on a pole. There were three sets of obstacles, and each time the pole got longer. Then they had to knock over targets with beanbags.

Monica was killing it once again, as was Gervase. She finished the balancing act first with Gervase right on her tail. Monica did pretty well with the targets, but Gervase was just on fire. The guy knocked three down with one shot! Gervase won his first Individual Immunity of the season. I was rooting for Monica to win again, since she did so well. I have to say, I’m surprised Tyson hasn’t won any Individual Immunity challenges this season. And, neither has Hayden. These challenges definitely haven’t been geared towards big strong dudes as much as they have in previous seasons.

Gervase won an Ice Cream Social on top of Immunity, so he first chose Monica to join him. An obvious pick. Next he chose Tyson, making a really nice division of “top three” and “bottom three”.

We Will, We Will, ROCK YOU

While Tyson, Gervase and Monica ate ice cream, Hayden took the opportunity to work on convincing Ciera to vote out Tyson. She wouldn’t go for it, and I wondered why she stopped playing a clever game. It was clear that she was fourth in the alliance, and that won’t do. I thought she should have taken the chance.

hayden 2No one went for Hayden’s plan, and he was mad about it. But at least the guy can admit that he hates to lose. (CoughCalebCough.) He even straight-up told Tyson that he was trying to get people to flip.

But everything changed at Tribal Council. Ciera said she didn’t feel weird about the reward, because she was sure Gervase just didn’t choose her because she’d had many opportunities to eat. Awesome! That couldn’t have worked out better for Gervase. But he had to open his big mouth. The dude announced that he picked his original tribe mates. Why? Why would he say that? It was so incredibly dumb, I’m still in shock.

Then, Monica confirmed that Ciera was fourth. Whaaaaa? Just to drive the point home, Gervase counted – 1, 2, 3, 4 landing on Ciera. You could see her face turn to stone, and Hayden swooped in for the kill. The guy went full-on used car salesman, pitching her as hard as he could that drawing rocks would be better than a guaranteed fourth place finish. For Hayden, this was brilliant – he had nothing to lose. But what about for Ciera?

Everyone cast their votes, and it was a tie – three for Hayden and three for Monica. The vote remained the same the second time, and Ciera said she was determined to draw rocks.

I’ll try not to rant for long, but I hate the concept of drawing rocks. The two players who received votes became safe – so, it was great that they didn’t vote for Tyson because that was putting him in jeopardy. But how backwards is that? I like basing it on past votes, or having the two players in question build a fire.

Gervase, Monica and Hayden were safe. Tyson, Ciera and Katie had to draw rocks. So Ciera put herself in a situation where she had a 1 in 3 chance of getting eliminated. But she also had a 1 in 3 chance of totally changing the game and bettering her own situation. And a 1 in 3 chance of things remaining more or less the same. If Ciera had voted for Hayden instead, she’d have zero chance of winning. (I mean, it’s not like she could win her way into the finals…) So I think she made the right move.

Unfortunately, Katie drew the white rock and was sent to Redemption Island to see her mama. It’s disappointing, because Katie is such a non-entity as a player that nothing in the game changed. Unless Ciera and Hayden can convince someone to jump ship, they’re out – I don’t think they will both survive long enough for someone from Redemption Island to re-enter the game.

Gervase and Tyson acted like such jerks at Tribal Council this week, and I can’t understand why they aren’t more concerned about looking good in front of the jury. I actually don’t think Gervase has any chance at winning now, and I think Hayden, Ciera and Monica all stand a decent shot at beating Tyson – especially if he keeps rubbing salt in the wounds of the people he votes out. I can’t see Aras, Vytas, Katie, Tina or Caleb voting for him at this point. Does Monica have the strongest chance of winning right now?

What did you guys think of the episode? Do you like when players have to draw rocks?

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