October 17, 2013 10:10am PT by Parvati Shallow
Parvati Shallow Recaps 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': And the Blindsides Keep Coming
There comes a time on Redemption Island when a man must face up to the people he has wronged, wave the white flag of surrender and hope for the best. This is Brad Culpepper’s moment. He comes bursting in like a thunder cloud to rain on John and Candice Cody’s happy honeymoon. This poor guy already feels like a sucker for being booted from his tribe by a disgruntled ally, and I do believe he is remorseful for how he betrayed John. None of that matters now. Brad is on Candice’s turf now, and this girl is hell-bent on vengeance. Kicking Brad’s butt out of the game would be such sweet revenge for Ms. Cody.
Our three warriors take center stage at Redemption Arena, ready for a bloodbath. Monica Culpepper gets a glimpse of her husband and immediately offers herself as a sacrifice. Brad, determined to prove his mighty strength, will have none of it. Candice takes her cue to jump in and explain to her captive audience why she has been so vocal in her disdain for Culpepper Senior. She says she has been “repeating things other people have told me.” As far as I can hear, it sounds like Candice is fumbling for some kind of rationale as to why she’s been so hateful to Brad. Her argument fails to hold water as she states that she has simply been perpetuating tales she heard from angry castoffs and not from her own actual experience. I hear Monica when she says she got her feelings hurt by Candice’s vicious words to Brad. I also got my feelings hurt when Candice was hurling accusations at me in her jury speech on Heroes vs. Villains. She later found out everything she said was blatantly untrue (and apologized to me on the Survivor After Show on Wednesday night).
But enough about me. Let’s talk Redemption. Candice has been owning this arena. She is a fierce competitor and is not going to let any emotion come in and cloud her mission. She is here to win and ready to do whatever it takes to make that happen. When Candice gets beat by John, the man she married, and then by Brad, the man she despises, her eyes fill with terror and disappointment. She’s absolutely devastated, but wouldn’t dare show it. Even when her husband gives her a teary goodbye embrace, she refuses to crack.
Now it’s John’s turn to man up and carry the Cody family torch for Survivor: Blood vs. Water. Will he continue the feud with the Culpeppers? Since he chooses to give the idol clue to Monica again, odds are, he will. But now that his wife is out of the game, he could just wash the bad blood off his hands and buddy right up to the man who betrayed him. Either way, we’re in for some serious scores to be settled in the Redemption Arena from here on out.
After a couple of drawn-out scenes involving Vytas Baskauskas flirting shamelessly with Caleb Bankston, Katie Collins’ toenails falling off and Ciera Eastin complaining about her bug bites, we finally make it to our challenge. It’s a Survivor slip-and-slide competition. This looks easy enough for Tadhana to potentially pull out their first victory of the season. And they do! Good work, newbies. Your strategy of voting off any tribemate who shows an inkling of athletic competence finally paid off for you! You won a challenge that was made for a batch of hyperactive five-year-olds. I’m happy for you all and really glad that we will now get a chance to see where the lines are drawn with our tribe of returning players.
Let the strategizing begin!
Back at Galong, Laura Boneham is trying desperately not to be the most uncomfortable girl in the cool kids' tribe. Her efforts at strategizing with the big dogs fail miserably as she bobbles around awkwardly, eating coconuts and making strange cackling sounds to herself.
“Girls have rivalries. Women, heh, heh.”
I don’t get it, Laura B. Aren’t you a woman? What is it you’re getting at?
Laura B.’s saving grace comes in the form of Aras Baskauskas, who suddenly feels the urge to weaken Brad Culpepper’s chances at getting back in the game. He rallies the troops to vote out his late-night masseuse, Laura Morett. This plan is a bit hasty, in my opinion. Laura M. is Aras' easiest ally. She trusts him completely and will do anything he says. I can’t shake the distinct feeling that we have just seen this move acted out by Brad Culpepper and we all know how it ends. Aras’ days are numbered.
Why does everyone insist on blindsiding people? Isn’t it enough to just vote out the easy target? With this season’s twist, there really is no easy vote. Everyone has ulterior motives and everyone has deep emotional connections to the competition. We’re watching a game of Survivor that may have long-lasting implications on these players’ relationships for the rest of their lives. It’s wildly entertaining and absolutely fascinating.
Now that Laura M., the puzzle queen, has flirted her way out of the game, we have some serious competition at RI. This lady has already brutalized her own daughter in multiple challenges. There is no way she is going down without a fight.
Ladies and gents, let the bloody games continue!
Follow me on Twitter for more Survivor: Blood vs. Water scoop @parvatishallow
Check out the Survivor After Show on cbs.com for the in-depth interview with me and Candice.