October 31, 2013 11:32am PT by Parvati Shallow
Parvati Shallow Recaps 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': A Boneham Blindside
"Any thoughts on these crying contestants?" -- @GoodGovt
Fans set the Twittersphere ablaze Wednesday night as Kat cried her way off the show, just one challenge away from making the merge. The most repeated question I'm hearing about this season of Survivor: Blood vs. Water is: What's up with all the tears?
Wednesday night's show began and ended with a watery display of emotion, stemming first from Kat, who lost the puzzle challenge at Redemption Arena, and lastly, with Laura B., who simply could not process voting out her friend, Vytas. The Blood vs. Water twist shows what can happen when you mash up kill-or-be-killed competition with love relationships. The combination makes this season of Survivor uncharacteristically sappy. Every episode, we see people struggle against their own hearts, and that kind of inner turmoil leads to an outpouring of emotion. What's lacking in strategy this time around, we're making up for in relationship voyeurism. These people are coming in with bonds that go way deeper than simply having played a game together before; it's real life. And it's fun to watch.
Speaking of having fun, let's get to our Redemption challenge! With a puzzle on the line, Kat looks like the clear underdog next to John and Laura M. It takes her all of four seconds to begin pleading with her boyfriend, Hayden, to take her place.
"I want to switch, because it's a puzzle and I can't even spell," she says.
Hayden, put on the spot, throws out a fantastically manipulative line in order to get Kat to stay put. "What's best for our relationship, long-term?" Brilliant. Ever since her blindside, Kat had been spinning paranoid stories of being dumped on national television. How did he know? Hayden's words act fast. A huge smile spreads across Kat's cute little face and she begins spouting off accolades of her amazing man. She's ready to kick some puzzle ass!
Well, that enthusiasm was short-lived. Challenge dominators John and Laura M. make quick work of Kat in the challenge. As Hayden and Kat exchange their goodbyes, we get a deeper glimpse into the nature of their relationship. Again, Kat pleads with him not to break up with her. What is that about? Is Hayden a crazed dictator who only dates game show winners? Only time will tell.
Back on the beach, Hayden regrets not stepping in for his beloved. What I truly love about this season is watching how a person reacts to a loved one being voted off. The boyfriends and husbands are really taking it hard and shedding some tears for their women. It's nice to break out of the mold and see some strong guys get emotional. See guys, it's OK to cry; we're all only human.
Tyson has quickly moved past his girlfriend's emotional exit and is fast emerging as the leader of his newly formed Tadhana tribe. They're kicking butt in the challenges, eating like kings and enjoying the spoils of being the biggest and strongest. After defeating Tina in the chain gang challenge, Tyson's tribe sprints to their picnic reward. It's no Outback Steakhouse, but I suppose fried chicken and biscuits on an exotic, deserted island isn't so bad either.
Once he's had his fill and returned to the beach, Tyson gathers the tribe to discuss his plan to vote our dear meditating monk, Aras, off his mountaintop. While Aras is off alone, visualizing himself winning the million, Tyson is making moves on the ground below. I've said it once and I'll say it again, Aras: You have to be awake and aware in this game. As soon as a person feels comfortable on Survivor, he gets a knife in his back.
Laura B. is a prime example of a person finally getting comfortable and moments later, bam! Blindside. She believes she has finally become one of the "four girls" and feels included in the group enough to open up about her feelings for Vytas. When the girls agree that Vytas must go home, Laura gets emotional and begins to cry. Apparently, she's bonded with him and learned from him. She's simply not ready to let him go. Understandably, people want to keep others around who make them feel comfortable and relaxed. Laura has been on edge and high strung around this group since day one. With Vytas' addition to the group after the tribe swap, Laura found a friend in a similar outcast position. Vytas makes her feel safe.
In the spirit of honesty and full disclosure, she takes it upon herself, in front of the entire tribe, to break the news to Vytas that the girls have agreed to vote him out. While her heart is in the right place, her strategy is terribly misguided. Now her girlfriends are worried about Laura's outburst and see that her unpredictability could be incredibly threatening come a merge. Vytas has been schmoozing these women since the dawn of time and heads into tribal council with a bounce in his step and sly smile on his lips. We all know what's coming next.
"Laura B., the tribe has spoken."
Now the fun part begins! Next week we have one person getting back into the game from Redemption Island and a MERGE! Wooooo-Hooo!!
What are your thoughts and theories about all the tears this season? Tweet me @parvatishallow.
Also, check out our Spook-tacular Halloween Survivor After Show with Kat Eddorsen on CBS.com.
See you next week!