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.
Last Week: Candice flipped the bird, nobody talked to Kat, and Caleb threw Brad to the dogs.
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
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)
Caleb – Post Office Manager/Farmer, 26
Ciera – Cosmetology Student, 24
Hayden – Real Estate, 26
Katie – Hedge Fund Support, 25
Vytas – Yoga Instructor, 33
Things kick off back at Tadhana where everyone is still shocked over Caleb’s swerve. Caleb admits that he didn’t go into Tribal expecting to send Brad packing, but the mood struck him. Hayden and Vytas aren’t thrilled with that turn of events because they don’t know if Caleb is with the girls now.
Next up, we see Brad making the trek to Redemption Island. Oh man…Brad interrupting the Codys is like your boss showing up on your honeymoon. This season is a hoot.
Brad apologizes to the Codys, but they’re already plotting his demise. Apparently Candice still holds a grudge because Monica voted her out on Day One. How can you really be mad about that random, based-on-nothing vote? Did they even know each other beforehand?
Over at Galang, we’re treated to Laura M. giving Aras a…uh…very loving massage.
Note: Laura M. wants everyone to know that this wasn’t as bad as it looked. She’s married, folks.
Aras isn’t swayed by the massage and the cuddling. His alliance is with Gervase, Tyson, Tina, and Monica. This puts the Lauras and Kat on the outside.
Laura B. feels like an outsider because all of the others have played before. It might also be because she cursed everyone out on Day One. That or she isn’t roaring enough.
We then take a trip to Redemption (not an) Island arena. Monica is not happy to see Brad. She offers to take his spot, but he won’t hear of it.
Redemption Island Duel (ahem…Truel) Time: Players will race to create a bridge out of planks. Once they’re across the bridge they’ll take apart the plank bridge and use those pieces to create a puzzle.
The challenge starts off and Brad falls behind quickly. Kat tries to offer him advice which may not have helped him out, but does prove that she’s still capable of speech.
John finishes the bridge first, with Brad right behind him. Candice eventually catches up and it’s pretty even as we head into the puzzle.
John finishes his puzzle first and it’s neck and neck between Brad and Candice until…Brad pulls out the win! Point Culpepper!
John gives the immunity idol clue to Monica, and she promptly sets it on fire. Gah…John should be using that clue to curry favor with someone…anyone…
Back at Galang, Tina is worried that Monica and Brad are too close. Well, they are married.
At Tadhana, the kids are giving us a tour of their many bug bites, scabs, and wounds. Meanwhile, I’m cursing the invention of HD.
GAH! A close-up of Katie’s falling-off toenails. Why?!
Later, Vytas says that Caleb will never be fully trusted again. In Caleb’s defense, Vytas had to have heard Brad bringing up Caleb’s name.
Immunity Challenge Time: A player from each tribe will slide down a sooooper fun-looking ramp. At the bottom of the ramp, they’ll retrieve a hoop. The first person to throw his or her hoop onto a post will win a point for their team. First team to five wins immunity and their choice of fishing gear or a steak dinner.
Note: I’m sure production hopes that Tadhana finally wins one so they can stop lugging that fishing gear out there.
Monica and the Lauras will sit for Galang.
Round One: Caleb lands his first throw and beats Gervase.
Round Two: One-armed Tyson gets the best of Hayden.
Round Three: Katie beats someone named Kat.
Round Four: The brothers go at it again with Vytas gaining a measure of revenge. Surely noogies are next.
Round Five: Tina beats Ciera. Mothers are like Ciera’s kryptonite.
Round Six: Caleb defeats Tyson.
Round Seven: Hayden tops Gervase to win the challenge for Tadhana. The Ulonging is over!
And, in more evidence that steak is better than fish, Tadhana passes on the nets, traps, and hooks.
At Galang, Laura B. pretends to be excited for her first trip to Tribal but is really freaking out. She tries to get under Kat’s skin by telling her that the women who sat out of the challenge were mad at her for stepping up.
Tyson breaks everything down, saying that Kat thinks she’s in the alliance, Laura B. is annoying, and Laura M. doesn’t know what’s going on.
Aras tells Laura M. that Laura B. is the evening’s vote. But he later tells Tyson that sending Laura M. to Redemption might be smart because she could beat Brad.
That night at Tribal Council, Probst gives his fire=life speech waaaay later than usual.
Gervase thinks it’s crazy to be back at Tribal Council for the first time in 13 years.
Tina thinks she’s played more in the first five days of this season than she did in all of Australia.
Monica thinks the stakes are higher because she has to look out for Brad.
Aras says there may be space for Vytas in his alliance, but there may not be.
Gervase thinks it’s threatening that people are so close with their loved ones.
Probst asks Laura B. if she belongs out there. She thinks she’s a big part of the tribe.
Monica agrees with Laura B. since she was with them on Day One and she does a lot of work.
Laura B. thinks Galang was looking forward to playing with Rupert. I’m going to leave that one alone.
Voting Time: Laura M. votes for Laura B., Laura B. votes for Laura M., (ooo…symmetry) and the rest of the votes aren’t shown.
Probst tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Laura B., four votes for Laura M., and the seventh person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Laura M.
Wow…she is ticked off.
Verdict: None of these eliminations have been like anything we’ve seen on “Survivor” before. They sent a likable challenge competitor to Redemption Island so she could take out someone specific to make that person’s counterpart more loyal. So many angles. Good times.
Who’s Going to Win? I know I’ve had Vytas since the beginning but I’m worried that the brothers are going to be too big of a threat after the merge. For now though, I’m sticking.
Power Rankings Results: Malcolm had Laura M. in spot seven, I had her in spot eight. We both had the Codys winning at Redemption Island for a single point each. So, the score for this round is Team Malcolm 8, Team Gordon 9. The current total score is Team Malcolm 64, Team Gordon 64.
Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes