With Laura Morett getting blindsided at Tribal last week Laura Boneham is quite surprised to still be in camp. I'm surprised she thinks it's because she's a better player. NOthing against Rupert's wife but the only reason she didn't get ousted at Tribal was that King Aras thought it made more sense to send a challenge for Brad than it did to send him a victim. Okay, maybe. Then again, Aras may be overthinking the whole thing and that tends to be a bad move in Survivor.
Morning comes to the island and we see Tyson and Gervase discussing their alliance and their choices moving forward. Tyson is pretty tight with Gervase at the moment and that can get the two of them further in the game as long as they stay tight but who knows what could set one of them off. Gervase agrees that they may be running out of time to get rid of Aras before the upcoming merge but as soon as people start talking about merges for some reason I start expecting a twist from Jeff.
Without much more preamble we move right into the Redemption Island Challenge and Tadhana gets to see who was voted out of Galang at the last tribal Council meeting. Cierra looks a little surprised when she realizes her Mom is going to be challenging Brad and John to stay in the game. Jeff goes straight to her when he points out that she managed to survive four Tribal Councils as a rookie but her Mom didn't survive one, and she says she had this weird feeling all morning like she already knew. Laura's not surprised and there's no way she'd even hear of Cierra taking her place. Gotta love her confidence and it might be enough because neither of the guys has said a thing.
Today's three way duel has them racing across a balance beam collecting bags of numbered tiles which they must then place in order from 1-100 to continue on. Aside from balancing, this couldn't get much easier and is almost geared to assure that Laura stays in the game. Laura is in the lead, followed by John and then Brad. The first bag contains 10 tiles which they must place in order before they go back for their second bag. Laura's done and gone followed quickly by John but as she gathers her second bag he falls off the beam trying to get his second, which gives Brad a little breathing space. John gets back on but then drops his bag, then he falls again after retrieving it as Brad empties his second bag of 20 tiles. Laura is quickly on her way back and now has her third bag of 30 pieces.
John didn't make any mistakes on that third bag and managed to keep his balance and regain his lead as Laura starts in on her last bag. Laura just raced through this challenge like a machine. When she said she's got this, she meant it because she was done almost before the guys even dumped their last bags. it was neck and neck for John and Brad on that last bit but in the end, after 14 days, Brad Culpepper is out of Survivor. Maybe Aras made the right move after all but we won't know that until the merge.
With his farewell to Brad, Jeff asks him how the competition on Survivor compares to professional football. Brad says he thinks he had more of an advantage in football. He's probably right because football doesn't tend to get personal, except for the fans. He tells Monica that he came on to be her shield and apparently became an anchor but now she's free to sail on. Big hug and kiss from Monica and he's on his way home, leaving her to fend for herself. I think she's up to it.
Laura decides to give the hidden immunity clue to Vytas and Jeff is a little surprised so he asks her why not her daughter. She says "we all know it's a target on our back." So Jeff jaunts up the stairs to hand the clue to Vytas and Vytas follows him right back down to burn the clue. "Didn't even think about it," says Jeff. "Nope." And with that he sends Laura and John back to Redemption Island.
But wait, there's more. After 14 days playing against loved ones it's time to switch things up. I told you that was coming. It's time to drop your buffs and draw for new tribes. Tyson decides to let fate decide and asks to be last so Jeff obliges him. Aras, Gervase and Tyson move over to Tadhana while Vytas and Katie move over to Galang. Interesting that after all that the only ones to get reunited with their loved ones are Tina and Katie.
Even more interesting is that Galang now only has one guy on the tribe with Monica, Tina, Katie, Laura B, Kat & Vytas while over at Tadhana it's the opposite with only one girl on the tribe with Gervase, Caleb, Aras, Tyson, Hayden and Cierra. Not sure if that glow in her eyes is pure joy or surprise. As she says, this is either going to be really great or really bad. Vytas fancies himself a ladies man so he figures this is the perfect place for him. Good luck with that my friend. Time to return to camp.
With the tribes back to being even maybe we'll finally get some good gameplay. That's certainly on Tyson and Gervase mind when they get back to the Tadhana tribe because as soon as they get there they start asking questions and the original Tadhana tribe starts giving up the goods. For some reason Caleb even gave the clues to the hidden immunity idol to Tyson which makes him wonder WTH? Hayden on the other hand feels like he's being raided, which I guess he is since Tyson intends to just keep eating the food until it's gone since he knows that merge is coming.
Over with the new Galang tribe, Tina is happy to have her daughter back in the fold. but Vytas feels like he's been given the shaft. Being the only guy in a tribe of women may not be as exciting as he originally thought. As the girls talk strategy, Kat's thinking the best strategy is to not be so vocal about it.
Not sure if Tyson's attempt to throw Aras under the bus is the best idea as he draws attention to Aras removing the shade trees and compares it to cutting out a wall in his house. Cierra's not sure how to take it and everyone seems to be laughing about it because Tyson makes it seem like he's just joking around but this could backfire. Especially when they're currently three on three and Tyson may need Aras to ensure he makes it to the merge.
Prayer time at Galang and Vytas doesn't seem to have one, but he turns that around by opening up to the five women and revealing more about his past in an attempt to bond with them. It could work, women are suckers for a sob story. Oh come on, you know that's true. He falters a little though when he reveals how much he admires and loves his brother and the women hopefully realize, as Laura B does, that Vytas and Aras together is a bad idea for the rest of them.
Time for the first Immunity Challenge with the new tribes. It's a simple enough challenge; two members from each tribe will swim out to an underwater cage to remove a gate and then release a fish trap containing puzzle pieces which they must return to shore before the next pair repeats the process, when all three fish traps are on shore they can remove the puzzle pieces and begin building their vertical puzzle. First tribe done is safe from Tribal Council and also receives a reward, a Survivor style picnic. We all know what happens to the losers.
Gervase & Aras are first out for Tadhana while Tina & LauraB go first for Galang. Gervase & Aras remove their gate, grab their trap and head back but the girls have forgotten their trap and by the time they realize their mistake Tyson & Caleb are heading out for their second trap while Tina & LauraB have to head back out for their first. They return together but this is a gigantic lead for the new Tadhana tribe. Monica & Vytas head out for Galang while Hayden & Cierra hit the water for Tadhana. Galang heads back with their second fish trap while Tadhana heads back with their final trap but Cierra has trouble getting out of the water and up the beach. No worries as they have an entire leg up on the other tribe.
With the Tadhana puzzle pieces released Hayden & Tyson have a huge advantage over Tina & Monica. Tina needs to make up for her mistake and she just flies through the puzzle while Tyson & Aras start to stumble and lose their lead. Galang thinks they have it but something's just not right and that opens up some room for Tadhana to retake their lead. Tina & Monica flip a few pieces and try again but it's still not right and that mistake allows Tyson & Aras to finalize theirs and Tadhana wins immunity. It was a quick, fast paced challenge but for somebody on the new Galang it was their last.
Back at the Galang camp Tina is all apologetic about her screwing up during the challenge. She knows it was a big mistake and she takes full responsibility but it wasn't just her as LauraB also made that mistake yet she remains silent. Vytas is pissed but he keeps it in check because he knows he's the lone guy out there and there's not a lot he can do. The last thing he wants to do is rock the boat but that boat is already rocking.
The five girl alliance seems intent on voting out Vytas, but Kat is beginning to get a little annoyed with Monica constantly talking game with everyone so she thinks it may be time to get rid of Monica. Kat goes to Tina to set things in motion but all that does is now have Tina questioning Kat's loyalty. So what does she do? She goes straight to Monica to rat out Kat. Kat should have followed her own advice when she said earlier that the best way to win Survivor was to "shut it."
Monica decides it's time to confront Kat but when she does so she gets the usual run around and Kat goes into denial mode. It's great television they way they edit this, especially with the asides from the players talking directly to the camera. Monica knows what's going on, she's played this game before and she can tell when she's being played. Somehow Tina and LauraB have managed to totally avoid even being an option at tonight's Tribal, but Kat is no longer so lucky.
Going into Tribal Council it now looks like Kat or Vytas is going to Redemption Island tonight. As Monica has finally figured out, "in Survivor it's do unto others before they do unto you." Tina still wants to stay with the initial plan but now . . .
Jeff goes straight for the jugular when he asks Kat who's not getting along in the new tribe. For some reason she comes right out and says that she and Monica seem to have issues. Monica's just looking for a little bit of trust but now she's not sure she can trust Kat, who feels it shouldn't be about just them. Vytas is pretty sure that Kat is gonna write down his name regardless but he turns that around when he mentions that you need to trust your alliance in this game and he feels he's done that. Which, of course, puts Kat back on the defensive. LauraB just sits there nice and quiet to stay off the radar. Smart girl.
As Kat keeps talking about staying with the plan to vote off Vytas and stay five strong he points out that you can't stay five strong if one of you has already proven they can't be trusted. When Jeff turns the question over to Tina she brings up the fact that she now has a loved one playing with her rather than against her and I'm thinking, why would you draw attention to that? Vytas is pretty much going to have to trust his luck and hope that the girls decide it's time to get rid of Kat instead of him. When Kat is pleading "please stay together guys, please" Vytas finishes with "and we will stay together and we will stay strong." Nicely done but now it's time to vote.
As LauraB gets up to start the votes Kat's not looking so sure of herself but Vytas is thinking he may be okay. He didn't go off on anyone, he didn't draw any undue attention to himself, and he didn't try to throw someone else under the bus. It doesn't take long for Kat to realize that she should have "shut it" and just put up with Monica's strategizing as she is the sixth person voted out and sent to Redemption Island. She handles it pretty well considering it looked like she was going to break into tears for a minute there. As Jeff snuffs her torch she smiles and heads off and Vytas is safe to fight another day.
As Kat gets to Redemption Island she's more concerned about how her gameplay will affect Hayden and how she'll be seen by his friends rather than how the heck she's going to beat LauraM and John. I think Kat needs to take a moment to reprioritize her game.
Next week it looks like Katie & Vytas are starting to get a little closer and Tina mentions she's ready for some grandbabies. Slow down Momma. That can't do anything but help Vytas' game moving forward, but his brother Aras seems to be losing any control he had as Tyson warns the others about the brothers' strength together. It looks like a fun week ahead and I'll see you all then. Be sure to catch my Amazing Race recap Monday morning.