After all the concerns about Blood Vs Water preseason (strange cast, redemption island again, too many twists), it seems that pretty much everyone agrees, we’re having a great season so far. And it makes sense, having people playing against family brings a whole new layer to the game (although, we still haven’t seen the returning players really “play” much), the cast is actually pretty solid. It seems that everyone is here to play the game and not to try to hog camera time, and its format almost makes redemption island bearable.
And let’s jump right away into it:
I think that one of the things that make redemption island bearable this year is that:
1. We don’t waste time seeing the contestants on redemption island do nothing there in between two duels.
2. The fact that everyone comes to redemption island arena every time and that contestants from opposite tribes are allowed to talked to each other makes it somewhat interesting at times.
Apart from that I was sad to see Rachel Foulger leave so early. Her exchange with Tyson was beautiful, really. Everything from the fact that she didn’t want him to sacrifice himself for her to the “did you have fun out there?” I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have wet eyes at that moment.
Candice Cody continues to dominate and may continue to do so until another returning player joins her at redemption island. It really makes sense that she wins those challenges so easily so far. It’s all about the pressure and the experience.
I’m starting to like Marissa Peterson more and more. Her exchange with Brad was pure gold.
– Aras Baskauskas: Not much about Aras today. He’s pretty much in the driver’s seat at Galang right now, and as long as they win challenges there’s no need to rock any boat, right?
– Colton Cumbie is the worst quitter and Survivor contestant ever: I was thinking about saying a bunch of things about him (from rocking that boat unnecessarily to the fact that he waited to be in front of everyone to do his little scene, but really he doesn’t deserve my time nor yours. Probst said all there is to say about him. Let’s hope we never hear about him again. On a side note, today I learned that Probst doesn’t have the final say about who is being cast. I always thought he did. I’ll give him more slack now, when we have trolls playing this game, although I hope that with Brandon last season and Colton this one, casting has learned its lessons.
– Gervase Peterson: Gervase asking Marissa to not talk trash was priceless. Apart from that, not much about him.
– Kat Edorsson: Kat has pretty much been invisible this season, except for this one drama with Colton the quitter. The fact that she doesn’t really have a storyline at episode 3 is not a good sign.
– Laura Boneham: If Galang had gone to tribal early she’d had been an easy vote. But now, while still on the outs, I feel that she’s starting to be part of the team and that she could be a valuable vote for someone. This is something to take into account now that we start having players without a loved one. As John’s vote showed, more and more people will be worried about their allies loyalty (to their alliance or to their loved one?) That won’t be a problem with Laura B, Tyson, Caleb and more to come, which makes them more valuable all of the sudden.
– Laura Morett: She’s still invisible, she still doesn’t have a storyline. However, one can argue that last season some people were completely invisible at first (Brenda and Erik) and got a (albeit small) storyline after the merge. Sure, but they also didn’t win. At this point, it’s pretty clear that people like Laura M or Kat won’t win for example.
– Monica Culpepper: She’s more and more in a strange position, as more and more people are starting to hate her husband. It would really be better for her if he was voted out soon – which could happen. Also, it’s interesting how during episode one, talking about Colton, she mentioned that this time she’s playing for herself. Will that quote come into play, not regarding Colton but regarding Brad?
– Tina Wesson: Still not too much about Tina this week (although her round against Katie during immunity challenge was golden), but right now, she’s obviously sharing the driver’s seat with Aras.
– Tyson Apostol: Finally Tyson is taking a more important role this season. As previously mentioned, his exchange with Rachel at redemption island was simply beautiful. There’s also this confessional that gave him a hero storyline: he has to go far, possibly win so that Rachel’s sacrifice not be in vain. Am I reading too much into the fact that Tyson is starting to be depicted more and more as a hero and less and less as a villain? Well, there is the cupcake buckle… Awesome.
That being said, his injury at immunity challenge freaked me out and still worries me a bit. Why was it shown? Contestants injure themselves all the time, when it’s not relevant for the story, it’s simply not shown. Why was it shown? It simply could be because it happened during such a challenge and it couldn’t be “hidden” by editing. I hope it’s just that, and not the fact that he won’t fully recover and will be voted out or medivaced.
– Brad Culpepper: In case you’re wondering who got my don’t-let-that-fool-you award this week, stop wondering. It’s Brad of course. His terrible gameplay this week had the most impact on the game. I don’t even know where to start. he’s alienating more and more people (Marissa, Tyson, Gervase, and now Candice, John, am I forgetting someone?). He’s just singlehandedly destroyed a solid alliance that he had formed. He’s painting a bigger target on his back every day. He could have easily dominated his tribe and more for a long while. Instead of that, he’s most likely the next out from his tribe. A tribe that he’s working hard at weakening more every day. And I’m not even going to get into his blatant misogyny. He would have tried playing a worse game, I’m not sure if he would have succeeded.
On a side note, it’d be funny if he was the next one sent to redemption island as everyone hates me there.
– Caleb Bankston: Still pretty much invisible. I’m starting to think that his impact on the game will be pretty limited.
– Ciera Eastin: Wow, she sucked at this challenge.
– Hayden Moss: OK, now I’m starting to see his strategic side. I didn’t doubt that he had one, not knowing Big Brother, I just hadn’t seen it before. I’m still not a big fan of him for some reason. Hard to explain why really.
– John Cody sent to Redemption Island: Brad is not the only one doing everything to get voted out. John did a great job at that too. Being sketchy about the idol, being shaky about his alliance and all that. I wonder how much he knows and understands the game though. Remember that Candice and him were last minute additions to the cast. I think his last words of the episode, when he gets to redemption island say it all. No John, it’s not good that you’re reunited with Candice. You guys are in redemption island, that means that you are going to compete against each other in 48 hours or so and one of you may well be eliminated by the other one (actually I can’t wait to see how this is going to play out).
– Katie Collins: Not much about her this week, except that epic battle against her mom.
– Vytas Baskauskas: Not too much about him this week either. However, he is indeed the mastermind of his tribe right now (alongside Hayden?) despite the appearances of it being Brad. I also wonder how much his sneaky move against his brother in their duel will have a negative impact if at all. Will people see that as just a strong rivalry between brothers, or will people think that Vytas can backstab you at anytime? Hard to tell. However, his exchange with his brother comforts me in the idea that they don’t have an alliance with each other and they could actually be after each other when merge comes. We’ll see.
Next week on Survivor:
Will Brad be blindsided? Will Galang lose its first immunity?
Next person voted out:
If Galang goes to tribal, Kat could be in trouble as she’s pretty isolated in the tribe right now.
If Tadhana goes to tribal, Brad is a goner.
After this episode, Tyson in back in the race. Aras and Tina are still leading, Vytas is still in the mix. Hayden is a bit behind everyone but still in the race.
You want to read more about Survivor? You should read those fine people’s blogs:
- Super Jude’s blog. Probably the best Survivor blogger out there.
- Rob has a website, a podcast and an amazing know-it-alls analysis.
- Jeff Pitman’s True Dork Times is a must read every week.
- Stephen Fishbach’s blog too (now with illustrations by Erik Reichenbach)
- Dalton Ross’s recap on EW is much much more than just a recap.
- Andy Denhart at Reality Blurred.
- more to come…