Survivor: Blood vs Water - Episode 13
Out on a Limb
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analysis HOFer
December 12, 2013
Hello, good people, and welcome back to another thrilling Survivor: Blood vs. Water recap. Ben Willoughby is headed into the Great White North and has entrusted me with finishing up this, the 27th season of Survivor.
Before we get into tonight's episode, I want to catch up on a few thoughts I've had during this season. First up is that I hated the idea of a "loved ones" season. Blood vs. Water had an okay premise, but it was screwed up before it even started when RC and her dad (a blood pair) got pulled from the show and were replaced with Candice and John (a water pair). I think this messed up some of the logistics of the show. That being said...this season has really surprised me with the quality of episodes we've had. I've enjoyed it immensely. Second, I still hate Redemption Island. I don't like it as a concept, I don't like it in practice, I just don't like it...at all. When you are voted out, you are out of the game. That's how it should be and how I hope it gets to be again. Third, we've seen some really good game play this season (Tyson and Hayden) and some absolutely horrible game play (Mrs. Rupert and Gervase).
That's right; I'm a huge fan of Tyson. I've liked him every time he's played and I'm pleased to see him doing well. He's always had the potential, but has always been hampered by the fact that he thinks he's so much smarter than everyone else. So smart, in fact, that he managed to vote himself out of Heroes vs. Villains. This season, however, he's managed to form and lead a solid alliance and he's managed to make all the right moves thus far. I don't know that I need to go into the details of the bad game play we saw from players like Laura B (Seriously...you speak for your entire group and tell someone they're going home? Not good) and Brad Culpepper (In the NFL, you'll never hear them say a guy plays TOO hard. But this ain't the NFL, it is Survivor. And Brad - you played too hard).
I didn't have too much of an opinion of either Gervase or Hayden until last week's episode. That being said, Previously on...Survivor...
Hayden is incredibly likable but I hadn't been all that impressed with his game until last week. With his back against the wall, he realized that he only had one chance to flip someone to his side in order to stay in the game. So, he targeted Ciera. In the span of one masterful Tribal Council, Hayden managed to drive a wedge through what seemed to be, the unbreakable alliance of four: Tyson, Gervase, Monica and Ciera. He pointed out what he considered to be the pecking order and he just hammered and hammered it into Ciera's head until she had no choice but to join him.
Hayden's theatrics garnered wild reaction from the jury, which put everything on the table leading Ciera into a vote that would shatter her alliance and force the drawing of rocks for only the second time in the show's history. When you mix in Gervase's epically bad Tribal...essentially telling Ciera that she was fourth in line, you had Ciera in the unenviable position of either sticking with her alliance and looking like an idiot to the jury or making the move, alienating her alliance and possibly voting herself out of the game on the rock draw.
Now, some will say that Ciera was wicked smart to go with Hayden and force the rock draw. Saying that she wasn't satisfied to stay in fourth place and this move was a potential game winning move. I say that the move was necessary, but that any move like this when your best case scenario is a tie and a rock draw is never a good move. Ciera would have been better served to stick with her alliance and vote out Hayden. Then, Ciera, Katie and one of their moms (c'mon man...you know either Tina or Laura are coming back in this game...probably Laura) can join up and force a rock draw then. Or maybe girl power up and pull in Monica to overthrow King Tyson and Court Jester Gervase. Instead, she forced a rock draw between three people where there was only one favorable outcome for her and that was for Tyson to draw the white rock.