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'Survivor: Blood vs Water', Episode 13 preview: 'Out On A Limb'

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There is only one episode (tonight's) remaining in "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" before the two-hour Finale this Sunday. There are five people remaining in the game - Hayden, Ciera, Monica, Tyson and Gervase - along with three that remain currently alive on Redemption Island: Tina, Katie and Laura. Seven of these eight individuals will likely be alive in the game heading into Sunday, but there should be all kinds of drama tonight, setting the stage for what is likely to be an explosive end to a pretty darn good season.

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After last week's incredible "rock draw" - only the second time in the show's history where a vote has come down to pulling rocks - Ciera has found herself officially on the outs along with Hayden, who somehow survived a week in which he should have gone home. Last week's episode should serve as proof to those that say that Survivor is purely a game of skill...anyone who has watched the show over the years, saw last week's episode, or knows anything at all about the game knows that luck is a huge factor in a player's chances.

Well as luck would have it, Katie pulled the white rock, putting Tyson, Gervase and Monica firmly in control. As we see in the video preview (upper left of this column), everything will now come down to Monica, who is clearly the swing vote and should determine how things play out. Will she go along with Tyson or Gervase? Or will she defect and join Hayden and Ciera? It seems the only person safe tonight is Monica.

Of course, Immunity will play a huge factor. But before we go there, let's take a look at CBS's synopsis of tonight's episode:

Episode 13 – “Out On A Limb” - LOVED ONES FACE OFF AT REDEMPTION ISLAND FOR THEIR FINAL SHOT IN THE GAME AND THEIR CHANCE AT A MILLION DOLLARS, ON “SURVIVOR: BLOOD vs. WATER,” WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11. Loved ones face off at Redemption Island for their final shot in the game. Meanwhile, castaways must test their knowledge of Survivor for immunity, and a heated tribal council could force a swing vote to exercise their power, on SURVIVOR: BLOOD vs. WATER, Wednesday, Dec. 11 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Analysis. So a "test of knowledge" will ultimately determine this week's Immunity holder. We mustn't forget that Tyson still has possession of a hidden Idol and can probably only play it in the next one or two Tribal Councils. If he or Gervase were to win Immunity this week, Tyson may choose to use it just to ensure that both he and Gervase are safe. It that were the case, there wouldn't be much debate: Monica would have no reason to vote out Gerv or Tyson if she knew they were going to be safe anyways.

That leads me to believe that either Monica, Ciera or Hayden wins Immunity this week. That would definitely seem to set up more of a "heated" Tribal Council.

There should be an equal amount of drama at Redemption Island, with Tina and her daughter both fighting to get back into the game. Chances are that there will only be two more Duels this season. Tonight, either Laura, Tina or Katie will go home. Then, during the Finale Episode, we will see one last Duel where the two losers are out of the game for good and the sole winner will re-enter the game to make five total Survivors left in the game.

While it will be interesting to see how things shake out there, it ultimately isn't going to effect the game all that much, one would think. Tonight is the big episode, where a Final Three will be determined after Monica chooses a side. Regardless of who comes into the game after that point, you would have to think that Monica and her other two allies (whomever they may be) would still be in the majority and the returning player would be at a disadvantage.

The one exception to this is if Laura is the one to return. If she were to return with Ciera still in the game, that could be potentially deadly for everyone else left in the game. It's this reason that might lead Monica to side with Tyson and Gervase, to make sure that they keep their Final Three intact even if Laura and Ciera were to reunite in the game.

All of that being said? Anything can happen. But it sure does look like Monica, Tyson and Gervase have a clear path to the Final Three, if they can just win a few Immunity challenges. Having the numbers, they have a distinct advantage and the favorable odds to go all the way.

But what will happen? Post your comments below and share your thoughts!

How This Finale Weekend Will Work: As the Survivor Examiner, I'm here for you each and every season to bring you the most wall-to-wall Survivor coverage out there. On Sunday morning, you can expect an episode preview of the Finale Episode that airs at 8 p.m. on Sunday night, getting you ready and set for the season's final episode. Then on Sunday night, expect my full Finale Episode recap, followed by an analytical break-down of the episode over at TheTVKing.com.

Then you can join me Monday for my exclusive one-on-one exit interviews with each voted off castaway from the Finale Episode, as well as an exclusive chat with the winner of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water."

By Tuesday, we will wrap this season up when I release my updated lists of "most memorable" Survivor seasons as well as the all-time Winners list. Where will this season and its winner rank all-time? Check back Tuesday.

I will also have you covered with all of the latest Survivor news and information as we head into the Spring, when the 28th season (gasp!) of Survivor commences in February.

Of course to make things easy on you, you can either Subscribe to the Survivor Examiner (click "subscribe" above by my name at the top of this article) or you can follow me on Twitter, @tomsantilli. I happen to be a film critic too, so let me know what you think of my film reviews each week as well!

Last but certainly not least, make sure you check out one of my favorite Survivor sites, Survivor Fever.

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