Survivor: Blood Vs. Water Finale Part 2
It's My Night
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analysis HOFer
December 16, 2013

Rockin' the tuxedo shirt.

With no break, we go straight back to camp and Tina tells them that she is shocked that she didn't get the vote. She realizes that she has her back against the wall and she has to win immunity if she wants a chance. Monica is jabbering on nonsense about being blindsided by Tyson giving his idol to Gervase. That they must not have thought she was 100% with them. Seriously? It was the last chance to play it and there was a legit chance Gervase could have gone home. Only a complete idiot would have not handed the idol over. The final challenge morning sun rises and the girls are ready for the final challenge. Tyson is worried about today's challenge as well as this is the first time in a long time where he hasn't had some kind of protection. He and Gervase talk about how huge it is for one of them to win the necklace today.

And here is it, the final Probst Sighting of the season! I was expecting a simple test of wills final challenge, but what we have is possibly the biggest challenge set they've had all season...maybe several seasons. The players will have to race through six obstacles, collecting puzzle pieces. They'll get two sets and then run up a bunch of steps to dump them off. Next, it's down a huge water slide to go get more pieces. Once they have all six bags, they can start their puzzle. When completed, the puzzle will give them clues to the numbers that will open a combination lock, releasing the Immunity flag. First person to release their flag wins immunity and a guaranteed spot at the final Tribal.

Right off the bat, Monica and Gervase have their first two bags. As Gervase tries to pass Monica on the stairs, she hip checks him to keep him behind her. Like, really? You thought she'd just let you pass?? Tyson is right behind and Tina is falling out of it a little. The decent thing is that Tina is stellar at puzzles and if the puzzle is hard enough, she can catch back up. Monica is the first person up the stairs with her second set of pieces with Tyson right behind. Gervase comes down the slide for his last set, while Tina struggles to get up the stairs with her second set of pieces. Tyson, Gervase and Monica are first, second and third up the stairs with the last set of piece bags. Tina is almost completely out of it at this point.

Finally, Tina gets back to the top with all her pieces. Monica and Tyson are making a lot of progress on the puzzle, while Gervase starts to fall out of it. Tyson is the first person to finish the puzzle and quickly takes off down the water slide. Turns out one of the combination numbers is the number of steps they covered. Tyson counts the steps as he climbs and starts entering numbers and with a yell of joy (his first real outbust like that) Tyson wins the final Immunity Challenge!

And with that, it's time to play "It's Anyone But Tina.” And she starts off by saying that now is the time to force a tie and that she's going to do what she can to get Monica to go with her. As they get back to camp, Tina tells Tyson that she was glad to see some celebration out of him. He tells us that getting to Day 39 with immunity is one of the best days of his life. As they continue to talk challenge, Gervase gets on Monica for blocking him out on the challenge. He needs to get over it...why would she let you win, dude? Gervase tells us that it's obvious, Tina goes out next and he needs to work on his final jury speech to try to get that million.

Monica is tired of listening to Gevase talk about his final speech and his credentials to win the game. So, Monica is off talking to Tina about possibly forcing a tie. Tina would love to get to the fire making challenge against Gervase, because she'd beat him and he'd go home. Tyson and Gervase are talking about Monica and both acknowledge being worried that Monica could pull enough votes to win. Tina is really pulling on Monica to vote for Gervase. She's telling Monica that Gervase has a good shot to win the game, so it would be good to get him out. Monica really likes this idea as she'd like to make Gervase "earn" his spot in the finals. But ultimately, the bigger question is whether or not she wants to sit next to Tina at the end.

So we start Tribal Council with Jeff asking Tina about the pressure. She said she knew that she had to either win the challenge or work Monica for a tie. Jeff mentions Monica's check of Gervase in the challenge as a way to tell how important she felt this challenge was. The jury loves this story and all look surprised to hear Monica would pull that out. Monica talks about how she's the focal point of another Tribal Council. Gervase is very concerned that he might actually get those two votes and could end up making fire. He admits that a big move is still a possibility and could have a huge impact on the jury. And with that, it's time to vote. Jeff comes back to tally the votes and, as expected, they are: Tina, Tina, Gervase...Tina. And with that, Tyson, Monica and Gervase are your final three. They rode the storm out and through many valiant efforts, they stuck together and worked as a team to get to the final three. Each one can stake a claim to the title of Sole Survivor, but c'mon, let's be honest, Gervase has alienated a lot of people and Monica is fighting the "coat tail rider" uphill battle. This seems to be Tyson's game to lose, but stranger things have happened.

As we come back from break, it's the finalists’ breakfast! We have bacon and eggs, champagne and orange juice, not to mention fruits, breads, muffins. It’s quite the spread. All three are starting to focus on what they'll tell the jury to try to earn their votes. Monica is pretty thrilled to make it this far without Brad. She's looking forward to having a chance to plead her case. Gervase, meanwhile, is really proud of himself for being able to come back after all this time and make the end of the game. Tyson is simply focused on bringing it home. He knows he's done enough to win, but a bad final tribal could waste all that hard work. Speaking of, let's get right to that Final Trinal Council!

As always, the players are given the chance for opening statements. Let's start with Gervase. He tells the jury that he played a great game. He used some old-school and new-school Survivor strategy to get where he is. He takes sole credit for Aras's ouster and feels that he has done enough to earn their votes for Sole Survivor. Next up, Monica starts addressing that they all think she was dragged like a puppy to the end. She says she had the choice at the last three TCs to flip on her alliance. She stuck with the guys on purpose as she felt she had a better shot with them to get to the end and then win at the end.

Tyson finishes us off by saying that he knew he would be target numero uno, so he decided to just have fun and wait it out. But when he saw Rachel on Redemption, everything changed. If she sacrificed herself, he needed to get to the end. He tells them that at that time, he decided to dig in and he searched for idols, won challenges when he needed them and made the big moves when they needed to be made. Everything he did was strategic and nothing was done out of spite or malice. His voice wavers a little as he talks about Rachel. He finishes by saying that he's at the end because of Rachel's sacrifice. We'll take a quick break while the jury works on their final questions.

And we're back! Vytas will start us off. He says to Tyson that the name of the game was to "get before you got got." He admits that he and Aras had no plans to take him to the end so he made the right play. He mentions that he told Tyson (as a last ditch effort) that he would never vote for him at the end and he plans to stick to that. So he addresses the other two. Gervase, you keep talking old school and that the reason you're there is that you hooked up with a "dope new school player.” He tells Monica that she was the only one he really had a bond with, so when she voted him out it hurt. He tells them that he has not decided which of them to vote for yet, and that he would be figuring it out during the questioning.

Next up is Katie. She says she only has one question. She calls out Tyson on the "malice" thing and recalls when he told her after she pulled the white rock that her seat was over on the jury. She says that was out of malice. I kinda wish Tyson had brought this up in his opening statement, because apologizing for it now is way too little way too late. That being said, he does apologize and said that when it came to drawing rocks, that his mouth ran before he could stop it. He tells her that he hopes she can look past it and he hopes that he would look past it if he were in her shoes, but he can't say for certain that he would be able to.

Caleb takes the stage next and has a question for Gervase. He wants to know what Gervase's big, game changing move was. He says it was voting out Aras. He says that he knows he jury thinks Tyson did all the work, but he did a lot of it and left Tyson out there to take all the hits. Caleb moves on to Monica. He wants to see her be vulnerable. He wants her to talk from her heart, not her head. She says that for the last 21 years, everything has been about Brad and she wants this one thing for herself. She hasn't had a friend out there since Brad left and that she's proud of herself for getting to the end and she really wants to have something other than being Brad's wife and Rex, Judge and Honor's mom. Seriously? Rex, Judge and Honor?

Ciera is next and I kinda expect some fireworks here. She starts with Tyson and asks him whether he sees himself as a villain or a hero. He says that everything he did was strategic and he was constantly thinking about numbers and what was best for him and his alliance. He says that Rachel thinks he's a hero and that if he's not the villain, he has to be the hero, right? Ciera moves on to Gervase. She asks him if he was ever going to vote out Tyson. He said only in the right spot and that he was targeting a Final Four vote for Tyson. He was worried that if he flipped and took Tyson out, he would be next. So he decided to ride it out with Tyson. I'll add in here that since Tyson won the last two immunities, he waited too long to make that move, though I agree with him. They were seen as a team and once Tyson was gone, he'd be the next target.

Laura steps up next and tells Monica that she doesn't know who she is. Laura says that she has learned that she can be real prickly to be around and that some people don't like her. She claims that's being vulnerable and wants Monica to share something ugly about herself. I like Monica's response here. So much so, I'll quote the beginning of it, "I think that all my uglinesses have been poked on in this game." This kind of answer will not win her jury votes, but it does win my respect. She goes on to list all the things that everyone says bad about her. She says that she learned a lot about herself and that she is emaciated, down to 100 pounds and eating grubs out of the dirt. She says that she weighs half of what those guys weigh and she's still there. "I don't know what else you want me to say." Again, it probably won't win her jury votes, but enough is enough. How many different versions of, "Monica, you did nothing to win this game and we don't like you" questions need to be asked? Apparently, Monica is done with them and I applaud her.

Tina is up next and I would think her part would be much easier. And I'm right. She wants each person to use one word only to describe them. Monica says, "Generous." Gervase says, "Honorable" and then uses way more than that one word. Tyson asks if fun-loving is one word or two. She tells him it's one and that's what he goes with.

Hayden is up and he asks Tyson if he had the idol when he drew rocks. Tyson nods and he asks, "Where WAS it?" Tyson tells him where it was and that he was one step ahead of him again. Hayden answers with Kat's patented answer, "Touche." And everyone has a laugh. He moves on to Monica. He tells her that he loves her and Brad. He knows what she's been in life but the perception of her is not that. As he tries to explain himself, Monica goes on asking them if they've never met a nice person, have they never known somebody that isn't selfish, have they never met a neat lady? Hayden tells her that he feels like he doesn't really know her. She suggests that maybe after the game they should get together and have dinner. He'd like that very much.

And to close us out, it's Aras. He congratulates them and says that this was the best moment of this entire experience. He also asks the best question of the night. He asks each person to forget that he has any game awareness and to look at the other two people and tell him which of them deserves to win the game. He starts with Gervase, who says Tyson. He says that Tyson was all over everything. He had them all digging up the beach looking for an idol that he already had. He actually chased them around to make sure they didn't find an idol that wasn't there. Monica's answer is also Tyson. He found both idols and he won the last two immunity challenges. He ran the game for 39 days. Same question for Tyson. He says that honestly, he would have to go with Monica. He talks about how she helped them get information and how she played like she was on the bottom to constantly get all that info. It was info they couldn't get on their own and Monica got it for them.

And with that, it's time to vote. We only see two votes. We see Caleb vote for Ty$on, telling him to marry Rachel, buy her a house and make lots of babies. And we see Vytas vote for Monica, saying that she's a little bit annoying but a real strong woman. And that's all we see...which means that Gervase must not have had any votes to show. As Jeff swipes the votes and heads out, Tyson actually gets a laugh out of Probst with "Byeee Jeff." He giggles, "Bye Tyson."

And as we emerge at the live finale, it's time to read the votes. Again, this time you WANT to see your name on the parchment. It's not much of dramatic moment as Vytas's vote for Monica is the only non-Tyson vote in the bunch. Your winner of Survivor: Blood vs. Water - Tyson Apostle!!! He may not have played the greatest game ever, but he played a darn good one and did everything you need to do to win. The fact that he won the game 7-1 is a testament to the fact that everyone he played with also thought he played a pretty awesome game.

Thanks to everyone for keeping up with the BOP recaps for this season and for putting up with me for the last couple episodes. Ben is an excellent writer (and future Survivor Analysis HOFer, I'm sure) so switching over to me probably wasn't that awesome for you. I hope that I kept you interested enough to finish this column off.

And if I did, I'm gonna give you a little tidbit on the upcoming season of Survivor...the 28th edition of the show. The Reunion teased the next season as Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty. They're going to have three tribes of six people each. They'll be separated by those traits...and as Jeff has been touting in interviews all over the place...these labels do create some issues for the people stuck with them. I'll also mention here that among the cast of S28 is a former NBA player (spoiled by missyae, herself/himself). And he's got much more of an NBA pedigree than a couple of our NFLers: Gary Hogeboom and Brad Culpepper. Anyway...keep watching Survivor and keep checking out BOP and I'll see ya next time. Take care!