9:51am PT by Parvati Shallow
Parvati Shallow Recaps 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': Shocking Move at Tribal Council
Survivor has always been the "other man" for our girl Candice Cody. Not that she had to hide it from her husband, John. Candice outright postponed her wedding last minute so that she could compete in Heroes vs. Villains in 2010. With her husband in the game this time around, Candice's odds of conquering this game have increased twofold. She's played twice and hasn't won. She wants this, bad.
Typically, when a contestant is on the receiving end of a blindside, it stings. The pain and shame of feeling duped may last a few days, a few weeks or even a few years. But, now that we have teams in the game, getting blindsided also adds the pressure of letting down your loved one. John’s head hangs low as he joins his wife and Marissa Peterson at Redemption Island. Not only is he reeling from being betrayed by his closest ally, Brad Culpepper, but he also feels the weight of having to face his wife with the bad news. He’s out of the game, and husband and wife must now compete against each other for a shot at getting back inside.
Candice enters the ring with a vengeance and a mission: destroy Brad Culpepper. As she hurls bitter accusations at Brad, his wife, Monica, steps in to defend her man’s honor. It’s a modern-day Game of Thrones up in here. In the end, Candice gets what she came for as Brad says to John, “You were wrong to trust me.” Sweet condemnation!
SHOOOOSH, Brad! Survivor is a game where, more often than not, it pays to bite your tongue. You can think thoughts like that, but DO NOT give them voice. You are sitting with a crew of guys who you desperately need to trust you right now. Sometimes, I just have to get up and shake my TV watching these people. Rookie mistake, Culpepper. Lady Cody just got you.
A puzzle building fight to the death ensues between Candice, Marissa and John. John makes quick work of the challenge, with his wife coming in a close second-- knocking Marissa out of the game. Since John wins the truel, he gets to choose who he would like to bequeath the treacherous clue to the immunity idol. Continuing the family feud with the Culpeppers, Candice hollers out, “Give it to Monica.” Sir John agreeably hands it over to Lady Culpepper as her King demands she throw it in the fire. The Lady does so.
What a move. Never have I seen someone so publicly declare their safety in Survivor. Clearly, Monica believes she’s in a really solid spot in her tribe to just be tossing potentially life-saving clues into an open flame. I agree with her. This game has too many layers of complexity already to be adding in hidden immunity idols. Good work, girl.
Interestingly, this is shaking up to be a man’s game. Clearly, the alphas are the outspoken leaders of strategy and gameplay on the Tadhana tribe. But, we’re also not seeing much action from any of the women on either side. As we head into the challenge, two women from Galong choose to sit out, leaving Tyson Apostol, with an injury, to "shoulder" the burden. He takes us aside and explains his logic, “I’m better with one arm than two of these girls on my tribe.” And he’s right. The returnees win yet another challenge, leaving the loved ones to stagger home with another blow to their egos and a hot date with Jeff at tribal council.
Ciera Eastin and Katie Collins do a whole lot of nothing, waiting for their demise. It’s obviously going to be Ciera, since she blew it again on the puzzle. Wrong again, Parv.
What should have been a predictable tribal turns into the biggest blindside of all. And it’s all because of Culpepper’s big mouth. I have to hand it to host Jeff Probst. He’s really good at catching the wave of energy at tribal. He knows just where to go to ask the perfectly pointed question. In this case, it’s Brad Culpepper. Jeff watches for subtle shifts in body language as Brad throws himself under the bus. This is fun! Jeff rides that monster wave over to Caleb Bankston, who’s just bursting to tell the girls he’s ready to vote out Brad.
Ballsy move, Caleb.
I love watching the girls’ shock and glee as they are saved, yet again, by the guys’ inability to congeal as an alliance. Let’s get to the vote. Hayden Moss and Vytas Baskauskas stick with Brad, voting Ciera. The girls and Caleb vote Brad. It’s a tie.
In my many years of playing the game, I’ve never actually seen this in person. Now that it’s a tie, Brad and Ciera cannot vote and we have a revote. If one person doesn’t switch his vote, Brad and Ciera will be immune and the other people on the tribe will have to draw a rock to see who goes home -- not a cool way to go out.
Let’s get to the revote. Hayden’s ready to pull out his hair voting for Cie -- or not. He scribbles out her name and writes…
In a wild shift of power, Caleb’s bold move pays off and Brad is sent to Redemption Island, where he’ll have a chance to face off with his enemies, Candice and John. High drama is sure to ensue as we get deeper into this season of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
Be sure to tweet me what you think of Caleb’s big play @parvatishallow. And check in with the most recent castaway and me on the Survivor After Show at www.cbs.com/survivoraftershow.