By Beth Aaltonen
For The Baltimore Sun
9:30 AM EST, November 7, 2013
Back from Tribal Council, Vytas is perfectly grateful and softspoken about being kept, and the women are eating it right up. He doesn’t mean it, but he’s playing this perfectly. As long as he doesn’t turn into a jerk later, I would be perfectly alright with him winning.
They talk about their alliance of five, and Tina makes the mistake of letting Monica know that she’s No. 5. Monica admits that it’s going to be hard not to accept an offer better than fifth when the tribes merge, and she should. Tina’s way too confident; I would like to see her get her comeuppance. It will most likely be at the hands of Vytas.
Over at Redemption Island, Laura B., Laura M. and John learn that this is it; it’s time for an ousted player to get back in the game. I think it will be John, but Laura M. also has a pretty good chance, depending on the game.
And we’ll find out who that is right now, because it’s time for Redemption Island Arena. And, as most significant challenges on Survivor, it’s an endurance challenge. They have to hold on to a pole. Last one to hit the ground wins. There are several notches carved into the length of the pole to help with footholds.
The challenge starts, and Laura B. is struggling immediately. John kicks his shoes off in an attempt to get a better foothold. Laura M. has not moved. John is slipping more and more; the socks were not a good idea, and he’s the first one to hit the ground. So much for my prediction. Laura B. is slowly slipping down the pole, and Laura M. has still not moved.
Laura B. is literally five inches off the ground, but Laura M. has also started slipping. But Laura B. can’t hold on, and Laura M. wins. And now I’ll have to type the name ‘Laura’ 50% less, which I appreciate.
So Laura is back in the game, and already stated that “her daughter needs her” which I don’t think Ciera appreciated. And she’s joining a new tribe, because it’s time for the merge. Laura gets a clue to the Immunity Idol, which she burns, which seems silly when it’s now switched to the individual game.
Back at camp, it’s time for the merge feast. Everybody thinks that their alliance is strong, but somebody has to be wrong. It’s time for the shenanigans to ensue! Aras thinks that they will go back to the original Galang tribe (without Vytas) and Hayden thinks that their new Tadhana tribe (without Aras) is the way to go.
Ciera takes Laura aside to tell her what’s up, and explains that their alliance was built on the fact that none of them had loved ones left in the game. Laura is gloating a little bit because she thinks she’s in a decision making position, but I think that there are way too many people left in this game to get too cocky.
Tyson, based on the info that Hayden gave him, goes looking for the Immunity Idol. And he finds it. So why couldn’t the old Tadhana manage to find it? Tyson isn’t going to tell anybody he has it until he absolutely has too. Good move.
Vytas is glad that he’s going to be able to play with his brother. Hope Aras feels the same way! Aras wants to keep Tyson around, and Vytas isn’t really feeling it. They both agree that Laura needs to go first.
In the dark of night with the creepy night vision cam, Monica and Tyson talk some strategy. She tells him about her being number five in an alliance of five, and Tyson tells her about getting rid of Aras. I guess she tends to repeat herself a lot, because Tyson wants to tell her to shut up, but of course realizes that’s not the best plan of action. She does seem a wee bit high maintenance.
Immunity Challenge time! It’s the first individual challenge of the season, and it’s a memory quiz. It’s Survivor Simon (did I just date myself with that reference?) It doesn’t seem that hard to start, but Monica can’t get it, and she’s first out. She’s followed quickly by Katie and Caleb. OK, maybe this challenge is harder than I thought, because Tyson, Tina, and Hayden are also out in the first round.
The second round has seven items to remember, and I can see where this could be difficult. Laura is out next, followed by Ciera. It’s down to Vytas, Aras, and Gervase. Gervase knows he messed up as soon as he holds out his block, and he’s out. It comes down to Vytas and Aras, and Vytas wins Immunity.
Is there another round of Redemption Island for this season? Because Jeff just announced that the person voted out will head to Redemption Island. Huh.
So which alliance is going to make it? Will Aras or Laura be going home? Vytas doesn’t think that anyone has to guts to get rid of him or Aras, but I think he’s wrong. Aras thinks it’s a split vote between Ciera and Laura, with Laura going home.
Ciera is trying to tell her mom that her alliance is voting for Aras, and her mom is totally trying to tell Ciera that they need to throw some votes Tina’s way. Ciera doesn’t agree, but has never been in the position where she’s had to tell her mom no before.
Tyson and Gervase are totally on board with getting rid of Aras, but Gervase is a little worried that not everyone is on the same page. And that’s the thing about Survivor. If it’s played right, you never know that you’re not secure until Jeff snuffs out your torch.
Tribal Council time! Jeff brings up the obvious question: how will everyone be voting? Is it old tribe, new tribe, or family bonds? There are enough players left that there are just too many possibilities to list. I think Aras is going home, but it could also be Laura. Tyson has been playing a really strong game, and he’s been subtly gunning for Aras for a while. Plus Aras almost won the Immunity Challenge.
But the proof is in the voting, and we see Katie vote for Ciera, Gervase vote for Aras, and Aras vote for Laura. It looks like Vytas was wrong about people having the guts, because it’s Aras going home. And a whole bunch of people just realized that they’re in the wrong alliance (looking at you, Tina).
Next week: Tina’s super bitter, and it’s time to eat gross stuff.
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