9:18am PT by Parvati Shallow
Parvati Shallow Recaps 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': Redemption Island Leads to an Emotional Exit
I have to be honest with you guys, I'm still reeling from this season's loved-one component. The lines are blurred between tribe pride and family bonds, making this feel like such a different game. From my own experience playing the game, one of the toughest aspects was the sense of isolation I felt from not having anyone I could trust with me out there. With that being said, not having a loved one with me was also a huge plus, because I was able to lock up my emotions and play a more logical, cut-throat game. I put a huge wall up around my heart and never let anyone see me hurting. This time, there's nowhere for anyone to hide.
We open on Marissa joining the pity party at Redemption Island, a place where rejects with bad attitudes go to be angry. It's kind of like a smellier, dirtier version of the Breakfast Club. Normally, I am not a fan of RI, but with this twist, it really works. I'm fascinated by the social dynamics of this season, so I'm jumping out of my skin for this truel. Can we hurry up and get past Rupert's grumbling and Candice's complaining? Let's get to the action, please!
Shhh … calm down, grasshopper. What will come, will come. Relax. You have now entered the yoga zone, where peace is your father and love is your mother. Let's form a unified tribe of one and rub strength, tenacity and equanimity into one another's shoulders and upper backs.
Ooh, Tina, you've got the tightest lats I've ever felt!
My apologies, I think I was just momentarily body-snatched by Aras, the peaceful warrior who is leading the returnees tribe to victory. With Aras at the helm, Colton's many desperate attempts at drumming up drama fall flat, leaving him looking like a silly little boy on a tribe full of wise old souls. Things aren't going well for Colton. He's come back into the game trumpeting proclamations of change. Once a victim of his own insecurity, he is now an honest man who has left behind the mean and nasty Colton of old. This episode, we see clearly that this self-professed "new Colton" is a sham, as he scrambles around frantically trying to create chaos at camp harmony. If you think King Aras will allow this discord at his camp, you better think again. Resting gently in Tyson's loving, open arms, he squashes Colton's rebellion with a simple flick of the tongue. "I'm just here to do some camping and win some challenges.” Cool it, Cumbie.
And all is well in camp once more.
Finally, we get to the action. The moment we've all been waiting for: the truel is here! After watching Rupert spend days lazing around, conserving his energy, I have some serious concerns for my girl, Candice. But, as they say, if you want something done right, give it to a woman. I'm not sure they say that, but it sounds good to me, because Candice and Marissa absolutely crush this challenge. Yeah, ladies! In winning, Candice receives a clue to the hidden immunity idol that she decidedly hands over to her hubby, John. I don't like this. Those idol clues are bad news. Of course, were I in Candice's position, I would give it to my man. Then again, it also puts a huge target on his back. I guess at this point, it's a gesture of good will and Candice just has to say goodnight and good luck, baby.
As Rupert hugs his wife goodbye, he says the line that defines this season of Survivor: Blood vs. Water: “I love Survivor, but I love my wife more.” That's what I'm talking about people! He tosses his buff into the fire with a flourish and exits the game.
With tears in my eyes, I look around at my fellow viewers. We're all emotional. If this season has the ability to make us all break down at the sight of Rupert being tossed out of the game, those producers are doing a good job. Kudos to you guys.
Rupert's exit opens up a whole new bag of tricks, and Vytas, the fearless yogi leader on the loved-one's tribe, doesn't waste any time taking his bromance to the well to break it down. Now that we have seen a man sacrifice himself for his woman, we can only imagine it will happen again. Let's use our power to vote out a girl from our tribe who's man will most likely sacrifice himself. We can weaken their tribe by voting someone out of ours.
This blows my mind. First, a new player that has the brains to whip up that kind of strategy impresses me. Second, the layers of strategy and emotion that are weaving into this story is on a whole other level. Vytas has a brilliant idea and in posing it as a question to his boys, he lets Brad choose the person they want gone (Tyson). In doing so, Vytas keeps the heat off of himself and essentially allows Culpepper to continue his delusion of being the leader of the pack. Genius.
The loved ones lose the immunity challenge, and as Tyson's loved one, Rachel's in trouble. I hate to say it, because I like the girl and want her to stay, but her man Tyson is a major threat and it makes sense to try to take him out through her. This is wild. For so many, playing Survivor is the dream of a lifetime. Now, contestants have to be able to sacrifice their dreams of winning in order to protect the future of their relationships. It's reality television torture. As a returning player, Tyson will have no choice but to fall on the sword for Rachel.
I think this game is just going to get better and better as we get deeper into the season. What do you think?
Until we meet again, let's keep the conversation going. Tweet me your comments.
Check out the Survivor After Show to get deeper into the twisted minds of the castaways with me at www.cbs.com/survivoraftershow.
Thanks for playing!