Quick Note: We’re going to be bringing you all kinds of “Survivor” fun this season including episode recaps, exit interviews, and Power Rankings with Malcolm Freberg. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@gordonholmes) for up-to-the-minute news and info.
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Last Week: Rupert had some trouble balancing his spools, Colton tried to treat Galang like they were a bunch of fools, and Rachel now has a chance to compete in Redemption Island duels…
39 Days (well…technically 39.5), 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog
Let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…
The Galang Tribe (wearing yellow)
Aras – Musician, 31
Colton – Student Teacher, 22
Gervase – Cigar Lounge Owner, 43
Kat – Full-Time Student/Sales, 23
Laura B. – Merchandiser, 44
Laura M. – Co-Owner of Morett Construction, 43
Monica – Homemaker, 42
Tina – Motivational Speaker, 52
Tyson – Store Manager, 34
The Tadhana Tribe (wearing red)
Brad – Attorney, 44
Caleb – Post Office Manager/Farmer, 26
Ciera – Cosmetology Student, 24
Hayden – Real Estate, 26
John – Physician, 30
Katie – Hedge Fund Support, 25
Vytas – Yoga Instructor, 33
Tonight’s festivities kick off over at Galang beach where Tyson bests his loincloth ensemble from Tocantins with a charming cupcake belt. Colton would rather talk challenge strategy or game strategy or any strategy, but people are more interested in Tyson’s adorable accessories.
Colton wants a second chance to get in good with Galang, but Aras isn’t going to give him one.
Next up, we join everyone at Redemption (not an) Island. Before the challenge gets underway, Tyson lets Rachel make the call about swapping. She tells him to stay because he has a better shot at winning. Tyson elects to stay, then warns Brad that he may be big, but that’s the worst thing to be in “Survivor.”
Brad tells Galang that they should stop talking smack because Tadhana has had to make the hard decisions of voting out their loved ones.
Marissa retorts by saying, “F!@# you, Brad Culpepper!”
Now that’s some trash talk!
Then Colton cries. When Probst asks what’s up, Colton says he doesn’t want to be there.
Probst tries to get him to admit to faking the appendicitis in “One World”, but Colton won’t own up to it.
Tina thinks Colton wants out because Galang won’t play his game.
Probst asks for confirmation that he’s quitting, and Colton officially throws in the towel.
J-Pro lays some reality on Colton about quitting twice and not growing up, but Colton can’t deal with it. He crosses over to Caleb and hugs him.
Probst says he can keep his buff because he doesn’t get the honor of throwing it in the fire. Someone seriously needs to put together a YouTube mix of Probst shaming quitters.
Quick Rant: A lot of people were upset when Colton was brought back for “Blood vs. Water.” I wasn’t one of them. I love a good redemption story and I’m a big believer that America loves to forgive people.
Unfortunately, that’s not what we ended up with. Fortunately, it only lasted three episodes.
That being said, I hope my beloved Francesca Hogi is smiling tonight. I’d much rather be known as the person who was voted out first twice than the person who quit twice.
Redemption Island Duel (ahem…Truel) Time: The players will place blocks on a wacky, tilted platform. They’ll then knock over the blocks in a domino-esque fashion. The first person to go the length of the platform and release a ball gets to stay and will get to hand out an immunity clue. The second person to go the length just gets to stay. The third person is sent packing.
Fun Fact: This is the challenge that sent Russell Hantz home in the original Redemption Island.
Not much to describe here except for domino stackin’. Candice completes the challenge in her first try. Rachel and Marissa are both having serious trouble. However, after 45 minutes Marissa manages to pull off the win. Rachel is eliminated.
Note: Marissa was about to pass out during this challenge. I’m not surprised because it is ridiculously hot in that arena.
Candice chooses to give the second clue to John.
Over at Galang, Tyson is uncharacteristically emotional when he discusses Rachel’s exit. Aww…nice to see that side of him.
He’s glad she had a good time because he thinks some people take the game too seriously and let it ruin their lives. Kinda like what’s-his-name who quit a few minutes ago.
At Tadhana, Brad asks everyone if he’s a tyrant. Yeah…a body-slammin’ tyrant!
Later, John decides to tell Brad about the clue. Smart boy. Those clues were the only thing making John stand out as a threat.
Immunity Challenge Time: Players will square off in one-on-one battles on a platform. Victory is achieved by pushing your opponent off of the platform with your tribe-color-coordinated cushion. First tribe to get five wins gets immunity and luxury or fishing items.
Monica will sit out for Galang.
Round One: Gervase put up a respectable fight, but Brad pulled off the win. No body slams.
Round Two: Laura B. dropped Katie into the drink.
Round Three: John bested Aras.
Round Four: Kat destroyed Ciera. It seriously only took one push.
Round Five: Hayden quickly disposed of Tyson. Unfortunately, Tyson popped his shoulder out of place during the challenge. Medical technician Ramona (who is awesome) came out to make sure he was OK. She allows him to stay in the game.
Round Six: The Wesson Women had quite a brawl, with Tina getting the win.
Round Seven: The Baskauskas Brothers have the match of the night. Vytas resorted to dirty tactics, but Aras was still able to get the win.
Round Eight: Team Morett went toe-to-toe with experience eventually prevailing over youth. Galang wins immunity.
Oh wow, by winning that round Laura could have cost Ciera the game.
Also, more proof that newbies just can’t compete with returnees in challenges.
Politicking around Tadhana revolves around the Five Guys (Burgers and Fries) trying to figure out which of the girls has to go. The guys don’t like that Katie lost to her mom, but she helps around camp while Ciera did poorly in the challenge and doesn’t do anything.
However, as soon John goes off to find the idol, Brad tells the other guys that he has to go. His concern is that Candice will come back and be the one who tells John what to do. Oh man…you guys need all the challenge strength you can get.
Brad pitches this idea to the ladies, but with the addendum that he doesn’t have to vote for John in case he gets back into the game. This line of thinking makes everyone want to target Brad.
So, we’ve got four possible boots? Awesome.
That night at Tribal Council, Probst points out that the bros were the only ones to score points in the challenge.
Katie says it was frustrating losing to her mom.
Ciera thinks it’s embarrassing to lose to her mom.
Caleb is also in attendance.
Vytas doesn’t think it’s men vs. women. He thinks it’s about who you can trust.
Brad is tired of being the one people are blaming for the eliminations.
Vytas thinks having the clues puts a target on John’s back.
Hayden points out that John hasn’t shared the clues with his alliance.
Voting Time: None of the votes are shown. Oooo…
Jeffrey tallies the votes in private, then returns to read them. We’ve got one vote for Ciera, three votes for John, and the fifth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…John.
Verdict: When Probst told me about the billion twists, I said this season was going to be a mess, but it could be an entertaining mess. So far, it’s been a very entertaining mess.
Who’s Going to Win? Team Vytas, FTW.
Power Rankings Results: Malcolm had Colton in spot 14, I had him in spot 16. Malcolm had John in spot 12, I had him in spot 11. Malcolm earned one Redemption Island bonus point for guessing Candice correctly, I earned two for guessing both winners. So, the current score is Team Malcolm 41, Team Gordon 42.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes