2:48pm PT by Parvati Shallow
Parvati Shallow Recaps 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water': A Rock and a Hard Place
The tribal council heard around the world.
Never underestimate a man with his back against the wall. After Caleb Bankston’s blindside, Hayden Moss finds himself in a bad way. He returns to camp and immediately begins blowing up Tyson Apostol as the hands-down favorite to run off with the million dollar prize. Gervase Peterson doesn't like this. He gets up and shows off his social graces by shouting and stomping around like a looney bird. “Tyson’s NOTHING without me!!” he proclaims. No bueno, Gervase. Control your outbursts or prepare to receive zero votes from the jury members you are consistently alienating. Hayden’s got a few tricks in his bag and he’s now found a few cracks to wiggle his way into. I can already tell this is going to be a good one.
Day breaks and it’s time for another trip to the Redemption Arena. Laura Morett once again, blows away the competition and finishes her stack of cards with plenty of time to spare. Tina gets incredibly lucky in the end, as Caleb’s tall leaning tower implodes within ten seconds of the time limit. That leaves the Mama Mafia to return to their Redemption Island abode. Before heading back, Laura gives the clue to the immunity idol to her sassy daughter, Ciera Eastin, who chooses to keep it. Good girl! Not only did you make Jeff Probst one happy host, but you got all of our attention too.
Back at camp, Ciera wastes no time rallying her group of veterans (Gervase, Tyson and Monica Culpepper) and sharing the idol clue with them. I love that Ciera is such a quick study and that she’s hustling to make plays. She’s making this game really unpredictable and fun to watch. Although it can be challenging to find a moment to yourself to idol hunt and it puts a huge target on your back, I disagree with her choice to share the clue. At this point in the game, that idol is gold and the clue is absolute power. I’m not down with a four person group share this deep into the game. If Ciera chose one person to share it with in secret, or just went off and found it on her own, it could have bought her a serious advantage in the game. I’m all for finding idols and keeping them in a very tight inner circle. Tyson’s got this act down to a science. After a heartwarming crying scene over not saving Rachel and promising he’d get to the end of the game, Tyson scrambles up a tree and discovers the hidden immunity idol. Without further ado, he shoves it up his crotch, “where no one would suspect a bulge.” Jeff’s going to love that one. Pass the hand sanitizer, please.
Speaking of tasty treats, let’s check out our immunity/ice cream truck reward challenge. Monica and Gervase are better with their poles than anyone else in the tribe. It comes down to these two, neck and neck. Finally, Gervase puts a little heat onto his ball toss and knocks down his last peg to win the challenge. Since Monica, the benevolent, gave up her reward a couple challenges back, Gervase picks her to share the ice cream with. Jeff then offers Gervase a chance to chose one more person to bring into the fold. He picks Tyson. NO WAY!! Why would you pick someone who is obviously your closest ally, when you have a little loose cannon on the outside?!
Ciera is clearly upset by not being selected to share in the spoils. When she is forced to watch her three "allies" grubbing down in front of her face, Hayden takes the opportunity to pounce. “Look, you can obviously tell you’re not in the final three with those guys. Come with us,” he woos her. Ciera stays strong, claiming she’s happy with her place in the alliance and refuses to be swayed.
Cut to tribal council, where feathers are “Russelled” and all hell breaks loose.
Hayden is a desperate man. With a little Probst intervention, they are able to sway Ciera into recognizing the obvious truth: she is at the bottom of an alliance of four. Much to my amazement, Ciera turns on Tyson and votes Monica, locking us into a 3 - 3 tie. They revote. Again, the vote is tied. Three votes Monica, three votes Hayden. Ciera refuses to change her vote. Jeff explains the rules saying if you all can come to a verbal agreement on one person to vote out then you won’t have to draw rocks. Ciera adamantly refuses to change her vote and says, “if you won’t vote my way, I’m drawing rocks.” Gervase, safe behind his immunity necklace, jumps on the chance to watch a rock draw. “Yeah, draw rocks!” The jury is collectively losing their minds. Aras is gawking in Eliza Orlins fashion. Vytas Baskauskas is fist pumping and Caleb is frantically nodding his head in agreement. Rocks it is!!
Is this really happening?
I know this is the second time in Survivor history that this has happened, but I have never seen anything like it before in my life. Tyson’s taking a major risk drawing a rock here, but the way I see it is, he didn't have a choice. If he changed his vote and dumped Monica, he would have a major enemy on the jury. He would also be at the bottom of this newbie alliance. He has to take this risk. And he does. It pays off for him and for Ciera. Katie Collins draws the white rock and is sent packing to join the mama birds on Redemption Island.
What an incredible moment. I am truly in awe and am thoroughly impressed that we continue to see exciting game play season after season of Survivor. Let’s keep it up, guys!
Tweet me what you thought of that badass tribal council @parvatishallow.
Get the inside scoop with me, Vytas, and Caleb on this week’s Survivor After Show at CBS.com