Boy was this a LAME episode; the Premier was MUCH better IMO.
PREVIOUSLY ON SURVIVOR...
Ten returning players with their loved ones were introduced and dropped off at ten separate locations to spend the first evening together. It must have felt like a second honeymoon for Ruppert/Laura & Monica/Brad and a first honeymoon for Colton/Caleb. Conversely, I doubt any spooning session was going on between ex-con and ex-heroin addict Vytas and his "Golden Child" brother Aras.
When all 20 were joined together, Jeff revealed the first twist--it will be Returning Players vs. Loved Ones...followed by a second twist--both tribes had to vote someone out immediately. The Loved Ones voted out Ruppert's wife Laura and the Returnees voted off Candice.
The twists just kept on coming when Jeff announced the Loved One could take the bootee's place on Redemption Island. Ruppert steps forward to take Laura's place before Jeff finished explaining the conditions. It hardly mattered--the conditions could have been tar & feather and castration followed by a choice of guillotine or quartering and Ruppert still would not have changed his mind. Meanwhile the medical professionals needed a Doctors consultation to come to the decision that Candice would go to RI and John would stay behind to weep and lament throughout most of the Premier.
Back at both camps, Galang (Returnees) had a raging fire blazing, boiled water, ate food, and enjoyed the pleasures of Survivor life hours before Drama Queen Colton shed his first tear. On the other hand, Tadhana struggled as most newbies do, so Production had to fill the time slots with real life accounts of drug addition, prison time, teenage pregnancies and out-of-wedlock childbirths.
At the IC, Tadhana showed surprising teamwork and built what should have been an insurmountable lead...that's until the dufos trio of Catie, Ciera, and Caleb not only squandered the lead but lost the challenge. This led to an over-the-top celebration by Galang's Least Valuable Player--Gervase.
At TC, Tadhana had to decide between eliminating pathetically inept Catie or punishing Gervase's niece Marissa for his outburst. They chose punishment as Marissa's torch was snuffed before joining Ruppert and Candice on RI.
Marissa arrives at RI where she is warmly greeted by Ruppert and Candice. She immediately bashed Uncle Gervase for his celebration and blames him solely for being voted out. Candice quickly interjects and states she didn't do herself any favors by opening her big trap and calling out Brad minutes into the game.
Marissa gives a "Yeah, Whatever" look.
DAY FOUR - GALANG
Tyson, Laura, Kat, Tina, and Aras are creating a "Yoga Train." What is a Survivor "Yoga Train" you ask? It's when several castaways stand in a line with Tyson the engine, Aras the caboose, and several women the freight cars. Each puts their hands on the back of the person in front of them to perform Acu-Yoga...a half-a$$ practice of combining acupressure and yoga.
This infuriates Colton because, in his opinion, that's NOT what Survivor is about. Actually he's probably jealous he's not one of the freight cars...or more appropriately for Gay Colton--the caboose. In his mind Survivor is about chaos, and Colton knows a thing or two about chaos.
In a confessional Aras gives an appropriate and accurate assessment of Colton (or any castaway for that matter.) He says something to the effect...You are, who you are, who you are.
HMMMMMMMM, now where have WE all heard that before?!!!
A quick observation:
Looking at Tyson and Monica you'd swear they purposely slimmed down before embarking on "Blood vs. Water." As veterans of Survivor wouldn't you think they'd put on a little more weigh to get ready for the starvation and malnutrition? Unless they're planning to win several reward (food) challenges, we'll be watching Tyson waste away to skin and bones, while Monica wastes away to skin, bones, and silicone/saline or whatever the heck they put into implants these days.
Culpepper is catching fish. He wants to show others how because if you give man fish, you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. At least that's what he was trying to say. But for a concussed man who had difficulty differentiating between five and four, it was no surprise that he botched up that Chinese Proverb as well.
Culpepper has difficulty counting, but Rachel does not. She knows the women are in the minority, so she decides to bond with the men. She's confident in her ability to be one of the guys. So we have a hot-looking castaway who looks like a girl but will be a guy. HMMM, perhaps she should consider an alliance with John--a handsome castaway who looks like a guy but at times reacts like a girl.
Ciera and Catie take careful notice of Rachel's ploy. They get together and fist pump an alliance. A two-girl alliance in a tribe of eight? Is inability to count contagious?
John comes back with tree mail. An invitation to the RI duel.
We have a makeshift Roman Coliseum with the castaways seated like Roman spectators. The gladiators Ruppert, Candice, and Marissa are in the pit.
Jeff questions the combatants. Last night Candice (drawing from her experience as a two-time *loser* Survivor) warns Marissa about opening her big mouth. Does Marissa take her advice? No! She wastes no time calling out Uncle Gervase for "pouring salt in the wounds" with his post-IC celebration.
Not only does Gervase show no remorse, he boldly and cockily turns toward Tadhana and tells them there's more salt where that came from.
Marissa flashes a "Yeah, Whatever" look.
Now Jiffy must ask Gervase if he would like to take Marissa's place. The non-apologetic Gervase replies with only a few words of encouragement for his niece.
What a swell uncle! Marissa flashes a "Yeah, Whatever" look.
The boring challenge is as follows:
Using a grip reacher, the players must navigate 10 spools through a silly tinker toy maze and stack 10 spools on top of the unstable structure.
The winner, not only remains safe, but receives a clue to a HII they will give to the player of their choice. Second one to finish lives to compete another RI duel. Loser is the first castaway eliminated from Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
As one might suspect, the 30-year old Doctor with the medically steady hand breaks out to an early lead. Somewhat surprisingly, Ruppert is not far behind but does a lousy job stacking the spools. As they come to the homestretch, Ruppert's stack tumbles over and he must start over.
Candice stacks her tenth spool and wins! Ruppert makes up some ground, but having to start over was too much to overcome. Marissa's "slow and steady wins the race" approach gives her second place and added life in the game.
Jeff asks loser Ruppert if he has any regrets taking Laura's place. He answers absolutely not because even though he loves Survivor he loves his wife more. AWWWWWW, a reply sappy enough to require some insulin.
As Ruppert walks away, Candice must decide who to give the clue to. No surprise she gives the clue to hubby John. Although it's a mild surprise that John does not start weeping after being handed the clue.
The two tribes head back to camp.
John decides to be private with the clue and others observe he is frequently going off on his own. They make the genius deduction that he is not going to share the clue--a decision John himself confirms in a confessional.
Vytas and the all-male alliance are discussing which girl to cut loose should their tribe lose the next IC. Vytas suggest Rachel in hopes that Tyson will take her place and potentially set the Anti-Darwin Syndrome in motion to eliminate a strong and solid player while weakened the Galang tribe at the same time. A rather far-fetched assumption just returning from a RI duel where John and Gervase were spectators while letting THEIR loved ones compete instead.
NIGHT FOUR - GALANG
Colton is up to his old tricks. His master plan is to bait one tribe mate into targeting another so he could tattletale and cause chaos among the tribe. This strategy worked in One World when casted with morons, zombies, and coattail riders, and having a HII placed in his lap. But this time he is with seasoned players.
At the campfire he puts his plan in motion and starts ratting out his tribe mates starting with Kat. NO ONE is falling for this nonsense. Aras goes so far to call Colton a "Gay Russell Hantz."
Speaking of Aras...what the heck was going on between Aras and Tyson??? Their embrace at the campfire was beyond the "too close for comfort" stage in my opinion. The last time I saw a couple that physically close on Survivor through night vision lenses was in Skankivor: Micronesia when Ozzy and Amanda were rounding second base and Jonathan was suggesting they "get a room."
DAY FIVE - GALANG
The following morning fresh off Colton's failed attempt to try to turn his tribe mates against each other, he wonders why everyone appears to be "sketchy,"
DUH...Golly Gee, Colton...I don't know.
Tyson, Tina, Monica, Gervas, and Aras shake on an alliance to take them to the end.
In addition to immunity, the winning tribe will receive fishing gear because if you show man how to fish your tribe will eat for...well, we'll let Culpepper try to finish the saying.
Three Survivors are tied together and must roll a barrel containing one of their tribe mates to a destination spot where the player must crawl out of the barrel while fighting dizziness and nausea, and untie a bag consisting of balls. Fours trips must be completed before all 10 balls are taken from the bags.
Then one player from each tribe must play a Chuckee Cheese arcade game of rolling the balls up a ramp until all 10 balls settle in the 10 holes.
Laura M is in the barrel for Galang and Catie is rolling for Tadhana. I give both ladies a lion share of credit because if that was me in the barrel I'd be puking up bile after the first run.
This was one of the most closely contested challenges I've seen in a while. After all four runs, it was anyone's challenge to win. It was now up to Gervase vs. Hayden to see who could play the best skeeball. It was still anyone's game, but Gervase nipped out Hayden to win the second IC for Galang in as many tries.
Another TC for Tadhana.
DAY 6 - TADHANA
The plan to vote out Rachel in hopes of weakening Galang and hopefully eliminating Tyson is ready to be put in action. We all know it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind, but this is an all-male alliance calling the shots so it should be a slam dunk. Not so fast--John is in the alliance--and John is waffling. He is concerned that a legitimate competitor in Tyson would kick his bride's butt in a RI duel.
Vytas and Culpepper are not happy with John's indecisiveness and are wondering if John has the HII. In a classic Production redirection, Vytas and Culpepper along with Catie and Ciera in a separate conversation are considering John as a target.
It's only fitting this lame episode ends with a rather blah TC. Jeff opens up the discussion by bringing up the male number advantage. Talk switches to whether John may have the HII. The "Loved Ones' twist is discussed with Jeff saying it has created more layers than ever before in the game.
Time to vote. First two votes are John (which means John is staying at Tadhana.) The next vote is Ciera. Next four votes are Rachel who will join Candice and Marissa on RI.
NEXT TIME ON SURVIVOR
We return to the Coliseum.
The Gay Drama Queen breaks down. Jiffy asks Colton if he wants to quit. He walks over and hops into Caleb's lap.
I have three words..."RUN, CALEB, RUN!"
Tyson is given the option to take Rachel's place. He tells Rachel it's her call. In another case of redirection we see Tyson stand up--but don't you believe it. No way he puts his THIRD attempt for Sole Survivor and one million dollars in jeopardy. And Tyson may have found a new main squeeze with Aras...