Hayden and Ciera tried to get Monica on their side in Survivor: Blood Vs. Water Episode 13 by telling her that Gervase and Tyson had been saying mean things about her. Then, just before he was voted out, Hayden tried to prove his point by calling her Tyson’s lapdog.
That brings us down to a final four of Tyson Apostol, Monica Culpepper, Ciera Eastin, and Gervase Peterson. This has very clearly been Tyson’s season. He has controlled almost every vote and made a lot of big moves. Gervase was a complete disaster out of the gate but maneuvered himself into the right alliance and mostly learned to keep his mouth shut and even how to swim better than Ciera, not that that’s saying much. Monica has dominated in challenges but not much else. Then there’s the last remaining outsider/non-returning player, Ciera, who has been largely useless both strategically and physically, but has nonetheless created a lot of drama with grand plans that always backfired.
Of course, with this season, it does not end there. It would be nice if Redemption Island just ended when Laura was let back in the game the first time, but no, here we are on the last night, still stuck with someone about to reenter the game. Laura Morett, Tina Wesson, and Hayden Moss are the last remaining contestants on their own island. Though she has won the last few duels, Laura was already voted out. Twice. I have no interest in seeing her have a third chance. Tina may have won 25 seasons ago, but times have changed. I don’t see her contribution this season adding up to enough to make a difference. As the last person voted out, Hayden stuck around long enough to have more of an impact on the game, but he overplayed his hand, made a big move too early, and is right where he should be as a result.
Though she seemed to pick a side last time, Redemption Island returns us back again to where we were then. Monica is again the deciding vote and says she wants to be on both sides.
The duel is again one of endurance. They will place one foot on the end of a balancing board, and on the other end is a vase. Laura is struggling an awful lot but manages to recover. Hayden is not so lucky and is eliminated. Still struggling, Laura begs, but Tina says no way. As we approach the half hour mark, Tina starts to move as well, but she hangs on. Laura drops her vase, and Tina is back in the game.
Tina can give the last clue to the hidden immunity to the idol to anyone who’s in the game. That now includes her. So she keeps it.
Tina returning to the game is basically the same as Laura returning to the game, except she’s older. She immediately joins Ciera and shares the clue to the idol. They then pounce on Monica and try to get her over to their side, again.
For the immunity challenge, they will have to place 10 wooden blocks on an unbalanced table that they must balance using a rope. The women start out strong, but they find out when they hit 4 that being strong out of the gates doesn’t matter if you tip everything. This allows Tyson to pass them, and he has yet to stumble. As everybody else falls apart, Tyson’s slow and methodical strategy pays off, and Tyson wins immunity. Always the goofball, he kneels like he’s being knighted by Probst.
Monica wants to get rid of Tina because nobody on the jury is angry with her since she has had no part in voting out any of them. Rather than play along with the person who’s the deciding vote, Gervase is upset and puffing his chest because he sees Ciera as the bigger threat. Tyson leaves them to argue amongst themselves.
Obviously nobody is going to vote for Monica. That means that if Tyson gives Gervase his idol, those two can dictate the vote no matter what she does. Tyson has other plans. He wants to save the idol as a souvenir and give it to his girlfriend.
Of course, this is all just talk from Tyson. He’s not stupid. He gives his idol to Gervase, so now they are both safe.
Gervase (does not count)
Gervase (does not count)
With 2 votes, Ciera has been voted off the island. In the end, Monica did not flip (Ciera’s strategy of making her feel bad wasn’t going to work), but it would be hard to blame the boys for doing what they did. Of course, it does lead to Monica questioning how much they trust her, but that’s been a theme for some time now.
They will collect puzzle pieces from a series of obstacles and a waterslide, solve a puzzle, and use that puzzle to get the combination to the lock. The other three pull ahead of Tina. Tyson gets to the puzzle first with Gervase behind him and Monica right behind them. Tina finally climbs the stairs a long way behind, though a puzzle could well turn things around. Tyson is the first to solve the puzzle. He heads down the slide seeking information to solve the combination then climbs back up to finish. Tyson wins immunity.
If you thought the story with Monica being in the middle was over, it’s not. Once again, she talks to the other side to discuss voting that way, forcing a tie, which would leave Tina and Gervase having to make a fire. I don’t think Monica would be terribly torn up about turning on Gervase, but she’s made it clear she thinks Tina is a threat, which is one reason why it was smart for Gervase and Tyson to get rid of Ciera instead.
So apparently the point of this Tribal Council is to see how many faces Ciera and Hayden can make. This is the only thing that could be Tyson’s downfall. How bitter is the jury?
With 3 votes, Tina has been voted off the island.
Vytas tells Tyson he’s going to stick to his promise to not vote for him if he turns on him, no matter how much he thinks he did the right thing. That said, he thinks Gervase got strung along by Tyson, and Monica was the only one who turned on him who had actually promised him anything.
Tyson apologizes to Katie for telling her there’s the jury seat over there for you right after the rock drawing. This is his one regret in the game.
Gervase says he’s a genius because he set Tyson up to be the fall guy for his actions. Then Monica cries about what’s come up the past few Tribal Councils. For all their talk, Ciera and Hayden clearly hurt her, more than Tyson and Gervase ever could have.
Tyson denies being a villain.
Not wanting to be left out, Laura piles on Monica.
Tina asks for one word to describe themselves. Monica: generous. Gervase: honorable. Tyson: is fun-loving one word or two?
Hayden asks Tyson about the idol, another time he was one step ahead. Then Monica cries some more.
Aras asks which of the other two he should vote for if he could not vote for them. Gervase says he should vote for Tyson. Monica agrees. Tyson says Monica because she served as the go between who brought them information they could not get themselves.
The Survivor: Blood Vs. Water winner is Tyson Apostol. The lone Monica vote came from Vytas. Yeah, he really was that big a putz that he refused to vote for the guy who voted him out. I’m glad the jury was left with no alternative because I get the sense that if somebody like Tina or Ciera were in the final three, they would have received a lot of votes, despite not doing much. Granted, Monica at least did something that a vote for her is not entirely out of place.
Survivor will be back for midseason in February with Survivor: Cagayan, Brawn Vs. Brains Vs. Beauty. Additionally, it has been renewed for another year, seasons 29 and 30, with Jeff Probst returning as host and producer.