Wednesday night's episode of "Survivor: Blood vs Water" may have been a stark reminder that we are, in fact, watching a reality TV show where entertainment and story trump things like "facts" or "truth." The episode featured a slightly awkward scene between married mother, Laura Morett, and young yoga instructor, Aras, where Laura gave him what appeared to be a bit of a sensuous back rub. But - pun intended - here's the rub: Not everything may be as it seems on TV. In a rare occurrence where a current cast member makes a public statement while still on the show, Laura M. posted this today earlier on Facebook:
To all my family and friends: I knew going into this that I was taking the chance of the risk of the "edit" of Hollywood. Tonight's episode of Survivor does just that. They have taken a COMPLETELY innocent situation and make it look "Intimate". Those of you that know me, know my heart and how much I love and value my Faith, my husband & my family, and those of you that don't, you are going to think want you want, but please know that I would have given that same massage to my sons. So that is why I am so offended by how CBS is implying anything inappropriate. Please hang in there with me, I know it doesn't make sense now, but it will as the weeks go by. If you think this show has been intense so far.....just wait....the excitement is just about to start. Thank you for all your support. It REALLY means a lot to both Ciera Morett Eastin and myself...Thanks again. Keeping the Faith.
So with that little bit of info out of the way, let's massage our way through Wednesday's episode:
Falling Apart. Returning from the Tribal Council that saw Brad get blindsided by a spontaneous Caleb, we see Vytas admit to his tribemates that he was indeed the one who changed his vote during the re-vote, to send Brad packing. Watching and waiting for any opportunity to shake things up in the game, Ciera realizes that Hayden and Vytas had no knowledge of the move against Brad and that it was all Caleb's doing. Hayden on the other hand, puts his best game-face on but tells us his true feelings. "He (Caleb) pulled a fast one and at the same time he kind of screwed me and Vytas," Hayden tells the camera. Hayden clearly isn't sure where he now stands in the Brad-less tribe.
The White Flag. Brad meanwhile arrives in the dark to a shocked yet ecstatic Mr. and Mrs. Cody (John and Candice). He "waives the white flag" and tries to diffuse the tensions that had existed up until this point. "He's on our island now," Candice says, focusing on her upcoming Duel.
The Rub. Over at the returning tribe's camp, we get the "intimate" scene between Laura M. and Aras as she administers a massage. The show doesn't necessarily imply "romantic" interest, but it does seem to imply that they are at least close in the game. Laura B. meanwhile, is still feeling like the outsider at camp, being the only new player on a tribe of returning players. Why are we suddenly getting to see some tribe dynamics at the returning player camp? Could this be an early sign that this tribe may show up to its first Tribal Council later in the episode?
The Duel. Monica is in tears when she sees that Brad is among the Redemption Island Duel competitors and offers to switch with him. He tells her no way. Is that the "sacrifice" the previews had promised? Meh. Shortly thereafter - after Candice has a few more words and exchanges with the Culpeppers - the Duel was on. They must build a bride one plank at a time and then use the planks to solve a puzzle. Last one to do so is out of the game. Once again, husband (John) was pitted against wife (Candice) with a common enemy (Brad). John ultimately finished in first place, winning the Duel. In a very close contest for second place, Brad edged out Candice, eliminating Candice from the game and confirming that she would not see even one day in the game, in this, her third time playing Survivor. She gave a tearful hug to her husband, said goodbye and left the game, but not before throwing her buff into the fire. Afterwards, John decided to once again give his Immunity Idol clue to Monica, who once again threw that baby in the fire without looking at it. Brad and John returned together to fight another day.
Roughing It. For the second straight week, the returning tribe had to console a demoralized Monica who was worried about her husband's place in the game. She confides in Tina. Over at the Tadhana tribe, we see an old-school Survivor segment dealing with how tough the conditions are on island. From the sun to the starvation, to countless bug bites to...losing toe nails? That seems to be the case with Katie, who has lost several due to a rash-like condition all over her feet. Ouch.
King Caleb. Vytas is not trusting Caleb anymore in this game, not after what he pulled on Brad. But he does his best to stay in Caleb's good graces. Caleb is in a real position of power now, and he knows it. Should he stay with Hayden and Vytas or should he go with Ciera and Katie? He definitely has options.
Immunity Challenge. It was "Slip n' Slide Ring Toss" time for this week's Immunity. Competing one-on-one, the players would slide down a large water slide, grab a ring and then toss the ring onto a post. First team to five would win Immunity along with reward in the form of a steak dinner, complete with veggies, spices and a wok to cook it all in. Monica and both Lauras sat out of the challenge to make it even numbers. First Caleb bested Gervase, then it was Tyson over Hayden. Then Katie scored over Kat and in another brotherly rematch, Vytas came out on top this time over Aras. Tina would then win over Ciera but then Caleb beat Tyson. With only one more point needed to win, Hayden brought it home for his tribe, winning over Gervase and sealing his tribe's first challenge win this season.
The Easy Way Out? Laura Boneham was not feeling too great in the game. Still on the outs with her tribe being the only new player, she hoped that she wasn't going to be the first target...again. She tries to stir things up a bit with Kat, tattling on the other ladies who sat out of the challenge, saying they were all complaining that Kat didn't sit out instead. Seeing that Laura B. was in total scramble-and-make-stuff-up mode, Kat tells us that when talking to someone who is on the bottom, it's best to just hear them out, let them do their thing and just "accommodate the conversation." From what we know before, there is a power alliance of five - Aras, Gervase, Tyson, Tina and Monica - who are running things. That leaves both Lauras on the outside, along with an unsuspecting (what else?) Kat. Laura B. though, seems the easy and obvious first person to boot. But wait a minute...says Aras: "Just because it's easy doesn't mean you should do it." Tyson brings up possibly voting out Laura M. and Aras agrees. What about that back rub Aras? Does that mean nothing to you?
Tribal Council. For the first time, the returnees entered Tribal Council. It was neat to see Gervase back there, for the first time since Season 1. He called it "surreal" to be back. He also commented on how the game has evolved and how fast you have to jump in on strategy. "It's get on board or go home," he says. Tina agreed. "I played more in the first five days this time than I played in my first entire season," Tina tells us. After these initial pleasantries, the talk turns to Laura B. and if she belongs in the game. "Definitely," she tells Probst. She also tells him that she feels pretty safe at the moment, but also sees that she might be the easy first vote.
The Vote. Spoiler Alert: Every single person voted for Laura, including Laura and Laura...but which Laura? "There's only room for one Laura on this island," Laura Morett said when voting out Laura Boneham. Laura B. said something quite similar when voting for Morett. When the votes were revealed though, it was a unanimous 7-1 blindside...Laura Morett was sent packing, on her way to join John and Brad at Redemption Island.
Analysis. For all my thoughts on tonight's episode, please click here to read my analysis at TheTVKing.com.
Next Time On...Gervase and Tyson seem to be ready to knock "King Aras" from his throne, but the game gets in the way. "After 14 days, we are going to switch things up," Probst says to everyone at Redemption Island. Hold on to your buffs, next week is going to be great!
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