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Survivor: Blood Vs. Water – ‘Swoop in for the Kill’

Survivor

At the end of last week’s episode, “One-Man Wrecking Ball” (you can find the full recap here), the newly formed Galang sent Kat to Redemption Island after her failed attempt to get her tribe to vote out Monica. She now finds herself in a desperate situation against Laura M. and John, both superior challenge competitors. But would she be able to increase her odds of survival by talking her boyfriend, Hayden Moss, into swapping places with her? He would surely be a more physical and mental (who wouldn’t, right?) match for John and Laura M., but would he be willing to throw in the towel on his own game to swap places with her? That is the question Survivor teased us with all week leading into the episode.

We were left with the tribes looking like this:

Tadhana                            

Gervase Peterson
Aras Baskauskas
Tyson Aposto
Ciera Eastin
Hayden Moss
Caleb Bankston

Galang

Katie Collins
Vytas Baskauskas
Tina Wesson
Monica Culpepper
Laura Boneham

Redemption Island

Kat Edorsson
John Cody
Laura Morett

Kat was an emotional train wreck the following day, worrying that Hayden wouldn’t want to date someone who didn’t make the merge.Kat I’d be more worried he wouldn’t want to date someone who thought someone wouldn’t want to date someone who didn’t make the merge, but that’s just me. At Redemption Island, after seeing her in tears, Hayden said some mushy shit about their relationship being more important than the game, and so Jeff Probst immediately called him out on it, asking if he would trade places with her. Of course, he turned it down. LOL. Kids. She admitted it was the right thing to do through tears. The moment even brought me to tears, though mine were from laughing so hard at their silly drama. She subsequently finished last in the challenge and was the next person out of Survivor: Blood vs. Water. But let’s be real, Kat was never going to be a player in this game, whereas Hayden, who won Big Brother, is obviously someone who can play a social (and physical) game like this. It was obviously the right call for the couple. For finishing first, John was given a clue to the hidden Immunity Idol which he once again gave to Monica, and for what seems like the bazillionth straight time, she set it ablaze. I’m really disappointed that Survivor hasn’t figured out some way to change that situation up, but I digress.

At Tadhana, we were treated to more tears from Hayden, who felt guilty for not switching places with Kat. Tears were quickly replaced with the realization that he was now free to play the game on his own terms. Aras spent some alone time focusing on his strategy, and feeling safe in his alliance, while that same alliance plotted behind his back to vote him out of the game as soon as possible. With the merge right around the corner, Tyson and Gervase warned the other members of Tadhana of the danger of allowing Aras to get there alongside his brother, Vytas.

At Galang, Vytas continued to assimilate himself into the four woman alliance with his charm and honesty. He even had Tina daydreaming of him and her daughter, Katie, making her a grandmother one day. Gotta love it. Despite his best efforts to blend in, it was clear that regardless which tribe lost the Immunity Challenge, a Baskauskas brother was in danger of going home.

At the Immunity Challenge, Tyson surprisingly made the toss to win the event for his tribe. I say surprisingly because if he really wanted to get rid of Aras so badly, why not tank the challenge just a little bit? To win it guarantees his safety, and now you leave the fate of the Baskauskas brothers reunion in the hands of Galang. Maybe it was the feast Tadhana received for winning the contest that blurred his vision momentarily.

Following the challenge, Laura B. spilled the beans to Vytas, in front of everyone, that he was the next to go. It was a stupid move, no matter how you look at it. Her alliance was left to worry about what future secrets she would be able to keep, not to mention feeling betrayed by her making the decision to tell him on her own. It also gave Vytas the extra motivation to push his connection with Tina and Katie to try and turn the tables on Laura B. You just never let them see it coming, folks. Never let them prepare. Hell, there are even hidden Immunity Idols out there that Vytas could have spent time looking for if he was truly worried. So we approached Tribal Council about 80% certain that our hero’s time was up, with only a glimmer of hope that the Laura B. moments weren’t just another Survivor smokescreen to make things at Tribal a little more interesting. Vytas’ final play was to try to convince the women’s alliance to keep people in the game that they could trust. And it was a masterstroke of a ploy, as Tina, Monica, and Katie pulled off what I consider to be the biggest blindside of the season, sending Laura B. and her big mouth to Redemption Island.

With the merge forthcoming, it seems there are several players who are in a much better position because their loved one is no longer in the game (I’m looking at you, Hayden, Caleb, and Monica), while there are others who are becoming larger and larger threats to win because of the fact that their loved one remains in the game (Katie/Tina, Aras/Vytas, and maybe the one no one sees coming at the moment, Ciera/Laura M.). How will things shift at the merge? Who will line up with whom? Will any players flip on their loved ones? Who will win the final pre-merge Redemption Island Challenge and return to the game (anyone want to bet against Laura M.? That challenge is designed for smaller people usually)? And, most importantly, who is the most likely to win at this point in the game? You can have my answer to that last question by looking at my power rankings below. This merge, though, wow. I can’t wait. It’s going to be so fantastic that it just might end up being the most exciting one the game has ever seen.

My Current Top Five Power Rankings for Survivor: Blood Vs. Water

  1. Tyson Apostol
  2. Vytas Baskauskas
  3. Gervase Peterson
  4. Monica Culpepper
  5. Tina Wesson

My Previous Top Five Power Rankings for Survivor: Blood Vs. Water

Episode Six:

  1. Tyson Apostol
  2. Vytas Baskauskas
  3. Gervase Peterson
  4. Monica Culpepper
  5. Aras Baskauskas

Episode Five:

  1. Tyson Apostol
  2. Vytas Baskauskas
  3. Monica Culpepper
  4. Gervase Peterson
  5. Aras Baskauskas

Episode Four:

  1. Tyson Apostol
  2. Vytas Baskauskas
  3. Monica Culpepper
  4. Gervase Peterson
  5. Aras Baskauskas

Episode Three:

  1. Vytas Baskauskas
  2. Monica Culpepper
  3. Tyson Apostol
  4. Aras Baskauskas
  5. Gervase Peterson

Episode Two:

  1. Vytas Baskauskas
  2. Tyson Apostol
  3. Monica Culpepper
  4. Gervase Peterson
  5. Aras Baskauskas

Episode One:

  1. Vytas Baskauskas
  2. Tyson Apostol
  3. Laura Morett
  4. Caleb Bankston
  5. Monica Culpepper

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Written by Mark Johnson

Lover of all things film and Oscar. Fantasy sports’ equivalent of George Steinbrenner. Your very own Han Solo, making friends all over the movie-loving galaxy in spite of himself. When he’s not ranking just about everything or dominating boardgames, Mark is breaking down the Oscar race 24/7 with Rain Man-like stats and knowledge. In his downtime, you can find him commiserating with other Northeast Ohio sports fans because a hero isn’t complete without a little heartbreak. If Game of Thrones, Lost, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Survivor are your style, then congratulations, you have something in common with this inglourious basterd.

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