Truel – It is the last pre-merge truel – only one survives this time. The Lauras and John have one of those traditional Survivor balance poles. You get the tiny footholds and have to stay on the pole the longest. Instantly I wrote down that Samoa Laura was getting back in the game. Men usually do poorly here – their feet are usually just too big. John struggled. He kicked off his shoes and tried with socks. No go. He was first out. I actually felt badly for him – I had grown to like Dr. John. Mrs. Rupert clung for as long as she could, but it was too much. Samoa Laura is in.
And Ciera is freaking out. The daughter in this case is a lot more game savvy than her mom. She instantly saw that having her mom back put her spot in the Unloved in precarious standing. She had to rope her mom into place to become the solid sixth vote and convince the others to bring her in. Of course, she has to look ahead at the inevitable – Tyson/Gervase/Hayden/Caleb joining together to take out the pair. But that’s a battle for later. Laura began panicking about Aras and the idol – remnants of her Russell experience – but Ciera kept her calm.
Aras and Vytas had several moments of classic Survivor hubris, which led me to be certain that the Unloved was going to hold strong. They even swung Monica over to their side. The Unloved Seven (I’m keeping the name, even with Laura/Ciera) now owns the game. Vytas, Tina and Katie are the hunted. I assume Vytas will be the next target – but I think Tina should be. Get the other winner out of there. She proved her resiliency in The Outback. She could be a strategic menace.
Next week (really, just two days from now thanks to my tardiness), promises some angry Vytas and Tina moments and two tribals. We may see both go – or who knows, this unexpectedly great season has had many surprises already.
Treemail Top 10
• Why did Probst send off Mrs. Rupert before Dr. John? He fell first, should he get the walk of shame first?
• Dr. John got to spend a couple of days with Candice on RI. Of course, he gets to spend the rest of his days – presumably – with her, so that’s a small consolation to both failing to make the merge. Kitten must think they’re going to break up now.
• Hayden on the merge – This is where Survivor becomes Survivor. He also wisely sees the threat of the three remaining couples teaming up for a Final Six Alliance of the Loved. But that seems to never even be considered by the six.
• Despite all of the clue burning, the Show finally gets one of these idiots to search for the HII. Tyson used what he learned from Caleb at the tribal switch and pokes around for the tree that looks like a snake and literally trips over the idol. So there’s that. He wanted it to be solid gold. I wanted it to be Solid Gold. His first idol, let’s see if uses it…wisely.
• The night vision scene where Tyson ropes in Monica is great. His analysis in the voice over made it – he needed to show her respect and a little love. But she just likes to repeat the same idea over and over again. She got under his skin so much he wanted to take a “rusty spoon” to “dig out my eye sockets.” How unsettlingly precise.
• Immunity was not really epic. But I’ll give them a pass – I always like the Final challenge and the first merge challenge to be endurance. But they did endurance as the Final Truel, so they didn’t want two in a row. So be it. This was a memory challenge. Probst shows a series of shapes on a cube – Barrel, Crate, Cannon, Ship, Compass and Lantern. And one by one they have to repeat them back. They all get Barrel. Monica misses Crate. Caleb and Katie miss Cannon. Tyson and Tina miss Ship. Hayden misses Compass. All get Lantern. Damn. That was pathetic. The next series has Laura out on the 2nd try, Ciera next. Gervase falls at the fifth, leaving the brothers. Ironically, Vytas’ win on the last shape sealed his brother’s fate in the game.
• Aras is pushing to split the vote between Laura and Ciera. He actually believes he has all nine others in place. Man, is he misreading this room.
• I was kind of amused by the throwaway shot of Gervase and Caleb lifting firewood. Caleb the farmboy hoisting it like it was a pillow and Gervase…not.
• At Tribal, Tyson explains how there are so many possible ways to six – including the fact that there are six men left. It depends on whom you trust the most. He also wants pie. And who doesn’t.
• So the votes come, and after two each for Aras, Ciera and Laura, it all falls on Aras. He is stone-faced at first, at the third vote Vytas shakes his head, and at the fourth vote Aras knows. Tina is really pissed. Aras leaves well, “Well played, guys, well played.” I would have loved him forever if he said, “well played, Mauer.”
Votes – Aras 7 (Tyson, Gervase, Hayden, Caleb, Monica, Ciera, Laura), Ciera 2 (Tina, Katie), Laura 2 (Vytas, Aras).
Next – – Tina is sarcastic and passive aggressive. And we have a food challenge.