This season, returning castaways and their loved ones were split up onto teams against each other with an immediate vote. Each person sent to Redemption Island could be switched out with their loved one as a surprise twist for the season. While the returning members won challenges week after week, Colton got snarly and quit the game for the second time. After the merge, Tyson and Gervase dominated by taking out the remaining couples and new castaways. On Wednesday, Hayden and Ciera tried to get Monica on their side but her loyalty to the returnees sent Hayden to Redemption Island.
At RI Tina, Hayden, and Laura have one final truel before one of them reenters the game. One foot is placed on the end of a balancing board while the other end has a vase on it. The one to keep their vase intact for the longest will get to come back. Challenges like these are always my favourite because it seems to take so much more stamina. 15 minutes in and Hayden’s vase falls as he looks at Laura wobbling, but at 30 minutes Laura’s balance goes as well and Tina wins her first truel.
Next everyone is sent on their first immunity challenge of the episode. They must level out an unbalanced board and balance a bunch of blocks on it while moving back and forth. The women immediately are on top of this challenge as Gervase falls behind but they immediately pick back up when everyone has some blocks fall. Tyson is the only person who hasn’t had any blocks fall and his cautious version of the challenge allowed him to pull out a win.
Back at camp, Monica sees Tyson’s idol and considers how she can play both sides to get into the final three. Tina starts telling her that the jury hates her, but Ciera tries to make it a little more friendly. Tyson lets Gervase and Monica fight out who to send home first: Ciera or Tina, but it almost backfires on him when Gervase’s imposing nature sends Monica towards the women. At Tribal, Monica plays up the fact that this is her big strategic move of the season which just alerts Gervase and Tyson to it allowing them to potentially recover. After Monica’s words I see absolutely no reason for Tyson not to play his immunity idol for Gervase. Unsurprisingly, Tyson’s idol was played and Ciera was sent home. What was surprising was Monica’s complaint about them not trusting her enough because she voted with them. When you say in Tribal you’re thinking of voting for Gervase, that normally doesn’t inspire confidence.
The final immunity challenge of the season is up next for the only guaranteed spot in the Final Tribal Council. Castaways race through obstacles to collect bags of puzzle pieces. Then, they go down a big water slide to collect their final bags. They solve a puzzle that helps them to solve a combination lock to release their flag. Monica is first up the stairs as Gervase tries to pass her but is blocked. Tina is far behind as she starts to slow down. When getting the fourth bags, Monica is first up the stairs again followed closely by Tyson. Everyone but Tina is onto the puzzle as Tyson and Monica make quick work of it. The first to solve the puzzle and complete the combination lock is Tyson, winning his second immunity in a row.
After the challenge, it’s pretty simple who to vote out: Tina. However, Gervase’s frustrations with Monica checking him in the challenge and Tina’s proposition to Monica might shake things up a bit. Once again, although Monica talks a good game of big moves she ends up doing nothing, sticking with her alliance of Tyson and Gervase and sending Tina to the Jury.
This Jury is an interesting one. None of them seem to like any of the three that are there, so it’ll be fun to see how the votes are split. Gervase’s opening speech is up first and he comes out strong with points of what he did that was strategic. Monica’s only point was her loyalty, which really isn’t that strong compared to the guys. Tyson’s ploy to dedicate everything to Rachel, even adding tears into it, is really pulling on the emotional side of the Jury but it just didn’t live up to Gervase’s thought out speech.
Vytas is up first and point-blank tells Tyson he won’t get the vote before turning to Gervase and Monica and bagging on both of them as well. Monica says she never backstabbed, but Vytas is probably the one person she really, truly did. Katie only wants Tyson to apologize, but it seems insincere in the setting. Caleb’s questions about game-changing moves for Gervase and emotion from Monica seemed to show Tyson wouldn’t be getting his vote but also provided unnecessary tears from Monica. Ciera’s focus on Tyson as the hero or villain (he’s definitely not a hero, even if he wants to call himself that) seems to focus on getting people against him, while her question to Gervase about whether he’d actually vote out Tyson seemed like an interesting way to get people interested in voting for Gervase.
Laura turns solely to Monica to get some more vulnerability from her. Is this a ploy to get people to vote for her? Please no. Tina wants only one word from each of them about who they are at the core. Monica goes with generous (probably not the best choice), Gervase chooses honorable and then explains it with many more words, while Tyson jokingly says fun-loving. Hayden goes to Tyson first with a question about where the idol was, before following on the vulnerable Monica trend and getting a dinner date with her after the show. That actually seemed really genuine, which was sweet. Aras is last and has everyone tell him why he should vote for one of the other two. Gervase and Monica’s choices are to go for Tyson due to his idol play, while Tyson picks Monica for getting information. I love that my favourite player of the season, Aras, pulled out the best question by far.
So who won this season of Survivor? Tyson! He got all the votes but Vytas’ one for Monica. Although I didn’t like him, I completely understand why he won. He was definitely the biggest player this season. When he isn’t the in game, he does sound much nicer, so that’s interesting.
During the reunion show we had some fun discussions and a reveal about next season: brawn vs brain vs beauty. So… all of the beauties will die because they can’t do anything? Sounds fun I guess…