"Well at least I didn't cry," said Kat to begin Wednesday night's episode of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water," arriving at Redemption Island after being voted out last week. Things would soon change though for Kat and by the episode's end, she wouldn't be the only one crying. Yes, it was another tear-filled episode, so be strong and we'll get through this recap together.
Kat-astrophic. Kat awoke the day of the Duel crying mightily. Her sadness not only stemmed out of disappointment for herself, but mostly from how she felt Hayden would view her game play. She was truly scared that he might break up with her for having been voted out so early. Kat is so likeable, it's hard sometimes to watch her play this game, a game that is for the most part, taking place way over her head. But she still had a chance to stay alive if she could muster up a Duel win.
Ultimatum Island. Sadness came across Hayden's face when Probst revealed that Kat was the person voted out. When Kat arrived, she immediately broke down and asked for Hayden to come down and give her a hug, which he did. He tried to reassure her that they were still OK. After the initial hug, Probst began his line of questioning and asked Hayden for his reaction to seeing Kat out of the game. With a heavy heart, Hayden told Probst, "Our relationship is more important than this game." "I'm going to challenge you on that," Probst replied, hoping that we'd see the first loved ones "swap" of the season. So would Hayden drop out of the game and risk his place all out of love for Kat? He asked Kat what he should do and surprisingly, Kat said that he should swap with her! Hayden showed some patience - and quite frankly, showed us why these two seem perfect together - when he calmly asked her to think long-term and who would have a better shot at winning the game. Kat conceded that Hayden is that person. She finally makes the decision to remain in the Duel, but lets everyone know that it meant the world to her that Hayden would have swapped with her had that been what she wanted. The truth? He really would have.
The Duel. So Kat was now battling for her life in a challenge that didn't cater to her strong suits...it was a fire puzzle, the same puzzle, in fact, that Cochran won last season. Duel-dominator John breezed through it and finished in first place, leaving Kat and Laura Morett to duke it out. Although both struggled pretty mightily, Laura Morett came out on top and just like that, Kat was sent out of the game for good. Hayden gave her one more hug and Kat told him that she loved him and made him reassure her that he wasn't going to break up with her. With that, Kat threw her buff in the fire and was gone. John got to give an Immunity Idol clue to the person of his choosing and he once again chose Monica, who once again threw that sucker in the fire. Seems we won't be having an Immunity Idol in play this season.
Aftermath. "I feel responsible," said a teary-eyed Hayden, about Kat's exit from the game. He is feeling some serious guilt after having the chance to help Kat, but not doing so. "It's not something I'm proud of," he said. But then again, Hayden also admitted some relief in that he is now able to play his own game without worrying about anyone else. "I think (Kat's exit) could strengthen my relationship with my tribe," said Hayden.
A New Alliance Forms. Over at Tadhana, Aras is feeling mighty comfortable and anticipates the merge happening soon, which will finally unite him with his brother, Vytas. As a yoga man, Aras meditates and visualizes himself winning the game. But at camp, a new alliance is formed when Tyson and Gervase lay all of their cards on the table and reveal to the others that their intention is to get Aras out sooner rather than later. So they make a pact: Tyson, Gervase, Ciera, Hayden and Caleb. About Aras, Tyson tells the camera, "He's getting comfortable and that falls right into my game plan."
The Ladies Man. Over at Galang, Vytas continues to build relationships with the women of his tribe. He is getting close with Katie and Tina is loving it. "One can dream," she jokes. "I'm ready for grand-babies." Vytas though, admits that his play is all "very calculated." "Women like a bad boy," he says. "But they like a recently reformed bad boy even more."
A Bit of Foreshadowing? Next up, we get a small segment featuring Laura B, whom we have not heard much from thus far, talking about how comfortable she is beginning to feel. We usually know what that means on Survivor! But it is good that she is starting to open up to others...just not so good as far as the game goes. She is also really attaching to Vytas and gets emotional when the other women mention that Vytas is probably the one they should vote out next.
Immunity Challenge. Five on each side would be chained together and would have to navigate an obstacle course, to retrieve a series of bags. Once all the bags were collected, they would have to assemble ball and chains to create bolas and then use them to score three points (think of the tailgating game ladder ball). First to three would win Immunity for their tribe and a fried chicken dinner feast as reward. The challenge was a close one, coming down to Tyson versus Tina in the ladder ball portion of the challenge. Probst yelled out a line I'd never thought I'd hear: "Immunity and fried chicken is on the line!" Soon after, both contestants had two points, but it was Tyson who landed the winning point, giving Tadhana Immunity once again.
Say Your Prayers. Tadhana literally runs up to their chicken feast when someone says that they should stop for a quick prayer. Tyson grabs a piece of chicken and rips into it, saying with a full mouth, "I don't have time for that right now." Tyson is clearly running the show right now at Tadhana as he also reveals to the camera that he hasn't been that hungry out here at all, drinking coconuts on the sly and convincing the others that eating all of the rice is a good idea. As they eat together, they ponder who is in charge over at Galang.
Survivor 101. "Well hell," says Tina when they get back to camp. An emotional Laura B. suddenly tells Vytas - with everyone there watching - that she "respects him too much" so she up and tells him flat out that the girls have decided to vote him out tonight. Wow! Laura tells the camera that she feels like she may have stepped up into a leadership role and that she "grabbed the bull by the horns." Monica however, puts it in a more realistic perspective. "That is the Survivor moment of all time," she says. "It's Survivor 101...the Golden Rule of Survivor is trust. Is it or is it not?" Monica, Tina and Katie can't believe that Laura B. would flat out tell Vytas something of that magnitude, without consulting with them first. "We're getting down to the nut-cracking," says Tina, which may be bad for Vytas, since he's the only one with nuts to crack. But Vytas is not too worried and believes that the women will keep that one alpha male around. Otherwise, "There's no future for the pride."
Tribal Council. Most of the discussion centers around Laura B's shocking revelation to Vytas and the two - Laura and Vytas - discuss what their story would ultimately be if their games would end tonight. Laura knows that Rupert would be proud of her game, Vytas would be shocked and would blame his demise mostly on the bad luck of the tribal swap.
The Vote. The votes were read: Vytas - Laura - Laura - Laura...and in a unanimous 4-1 vote, Laura B. was the latest blindside victim on a season full of them. Probst summarized the lesson learned in tonight's episode: "Every time you open your mouth, you risk saying something that can get you voted out."
Next Time On...We get two huge revelations! First, the winner of the Duel finally will have earned his/her way back into the game! But that's not all: The merge is happening! A big episode is coming up next week!
Analysis. For my thoughts on tonight's episode and my thoughts on the upcoming merge, please read my episode analysis article on TheTVKing.com.
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