Survivor: Blood vs. Water - FINALE
With a heated Tribal Council over, Tyson and Gervase work to keep Monica with them by giving her an idol. Tyson thinks it'll be a great souvenir for her kid and pretty sure Monica thinks it's a great thing to keep her safe. Ciera is a loner but knows whoever comes back from Redemption Island is a guaranteed ally, so it's just about winning some competitions.
Hayden arrives at Redemption Island to give all the gossip to Tina and Laura, both thrilled to hear Ciera is immune. Eventhough last week Hayden thought someone already had the idol, he insists whoever returns to the game find the idol. The final Redemption Island truel is to place one foot on a balance board and hold up a vase. It's pure endurance and a true how-bad-do-you-want-it challenge (though not as awesome as early season's of just hold onto the pole until you decide to be a quitter). "Dig woman!" Jeff says as Laura bobbles around. But it's Hayden who falters and falls. "Tina, let me have it please," Laura begs and Tina reminds her hell no it's a game for a million dollars. I already can't stand Laura but this seals it for me. So desperate. Even with all the jumbling, Tina outlasts Laura and re-enters the game with a clue to the hidden immunity idol tucked securely in her bosom.
Back at camp, Tina knows she needs the idol or to sway Monica in order to last. She partners up with Ciera to climb that big tree we already know would hold an idol to come out empty again. It becomes more obvious that maybe the idol has been found by Tyson, so the girls go to work. Tina tells Monica that the jury is going to be ugly, mainly in Monica's direction. Ciera thinks Tina's coming on too angry and they need to smooth it over to flip her. Ciera believes that if Monica makes a big move she could actually win because right now she's OK socially and won challenges. Monica's all confused because she's too dumb to think rationally about winning.
The next Immunity Challenge is to place blocks on a table while balancing blocks. The hard part is they have to hold the rope and keep balancing the entire time, because if any blocks fall you have to return to the beginning. I initially scoffed at the idea of this challenge, but it's actually pretty great and suspenseful. It's not a puzzle, it's skill and patience. Tyson is pretty masterful at the challenge and once his closest competition tilts theirs again, he's able to take his time and win his safety.
So who goes next is the question? Gervase thinks he could beat Tina, not Ciera. Monica thinks Tina should go because she's so well-liked by the jury, plus Tina "bullied" her. Gervase is getting annoyed, nearly attempting to shake Monica into submission. Monica is tired of being bullied by everyone and after Gervase irritating her to no end, she hints to Tina and Ciera that perhaps they throw votes at the one who isn't immune (Gervase). Hmmm things are getting interesting.
At Tribal Council, Monica compares herself to being a first round draft pick being wanted by both sides. It's another session of what shit people talked on Monica and that she needs to step-up and make a big move to win. Monica admits the past 24 hours have been pretty brutal for her with all these revelations. And after Monica's big speech about her making her move, Gervase suddenly realizes he's in the shitter. When it comes time to read the votes, Tyson gives his immunity idol to Gervase and saves his buddy. With the Gervase votes null, Ciera is voted out of the game (she would've been out anyways because Monica voted out Ciera, not Gervase).
Tina can't believe she made it through another Tribal Council and knows the only way she stands a chance at all is to win the challenge. The final immunity challenge is a pretty cool, a crazy little course. The survivors have to collect puzzle pieces all along an obstacle course, returning them up a flight of stairs, then sliding down a water slide. The puzzle reveals a clue to find the code to unlock their immunity and guaranteed spot at the final Tribal Council. Honestly, it looks like Mousetrap or the best playground ever. There's wobbling, bridges, a giant pulley barrel. I want to go there and play! Tyson wins the final immunity challenge, his guaranteed spot in the finale, and at this point I'm assuming a guaranteed million dollar prize.
After the challenge, Gervase is going on about why he can't believe he's considered a villain. He's working hard for that jury vote. Monica pulls Tina aside to say she was blown away that the guys played the idol and didn't tell her. Tina reminds of the obvious which is Monica could switch and vote out Gervase. At Tribal Council, basically everyone smirks at Gervase's stupid answers because he's going to get no votes should he make it through the night. After all of Monica's pretend talk of switching things up for the umpteenth time, Tina is eliminated.
The final day breakfast awaits Tyson, Monica, and Gervase at tree mail. It's nice to share a meal with your friends before some jury shitshow fun. Their torches are grabbed, I'm assuming a fallen comrade torch walk happens off-camera, and they enter the final Tribal Council. Gervase's argument is he played old school and new school strategy after being gone for thirteen years, and takes ownership of blindsiding Aras. Monica says she wasn't dragged along and chose to stick with who she has less blood and broken promises, what she thinks is her best chance to win. Tyson knows he was a prime target from right away and was playing for fun at first, but his girlfriend Rachel's elimination to target him motivated him to win.
Now the best part: jury interrogation. Vytas says his last play was promising to never give Tyson his jury vote and he's sticking to it. But also Gervase and Monica sucked to him too, so he's torn. Katie brings up Tyson's comment about "no malice" but he was really rude to her at her elimination. He regrets it, wishes he apologized, and hopes she can see his gameplay. Caleb asks Gervase about his big game move, and he sticks to his Aras move and says Tyson appeared to control things but didn't. Monica cries about her life being all about Brad and getting to the end was her thing, crying a bunch. Ciera asks if Tyson sees himself as the villain or hero, and he doesn't think he's either but more a hero for playing the game. Gervase claims he would've ditched Tyson at final four if he could've, insisting he still thinks he could beat him. Laura joins the "no one knows you, Monica" club and Monica cries more about stuff. Over it. Tina asks for one word to best describe the core of who they are: Monica "generous," Gervase "honorable," and Tyson "Is fun-loving one word or is it two?" Hayden asks if Tyson had the idol when they drew rocks (yes). "Touche!" Hayden says. Hayden says the reason Monica gets beat up is because she comes off fake. Monica gets upset wondering if no one has ever met a nice, good-hearted person. Aras tells Gervase to use game-awareness tell him who to vote for between the other two. Gervase and Monica say Tyson; Tyson says Monica. And so no insane jury speeches, but a lot of Monica whining.
With all the answers in their heads, the jury cast their votes for who deserves the title of sole survivor. Probst grabs the jug to tally the votes and whooooooooooooosh, a walk through fake trees, and it's the fake Tribal Council set at the reunion! Tyson, Monica and Gervase all hold hands as Probst reads the votes. And DUH, in a tuxedo t-shirt TY$ON wins Survivor: Blood vs. Water. (thanks for the Ty$on idea, Caleb).
The night ends with the reunion show, which I repeat every year: I hate recapping. Tyson re-iterates that Rachel's sacrifice for him to stay was his motivation to win this game and make it to the end. He said he hardly slept, always thinking out A, B, and C plans to stay ahead of everyone. Monica is second to talk because he's totally polarizing, but she was very strong in the challenges. Besides talking about crying, we see pics of fat Brad. Gervase still honestly thinks he could've won and was always considering dumping Tyson at the right moment (you failed there). Ciera says the rock drawing night was the moment she truly realized she was fourth and time to stand up and make a chance. Colton gets air time even for being a two-time quitter and he doesn't deserve it. At least Probst calls Colton out for being beaten by the older folks he mocks. Questions for Saint Rupert and I just don't pay attention. Focus on Cochran, last year's winner and Probst's man-crush, who is now a TV show writer and does a skit with Will Arnett. Some bro bullshit with Aras/Vytas, and Hayden says Survivor is physically harder than Big Brother. Tina and Katie get real about the passing of a relative recently and Tina urges us all to "buckle up." It's a sad and real moment, but both women are so strong. After Tyson receives his million dollar check, we find out next season's twist: three tribes in a brains vs. brawns vs. beauties scenario. I can't wait.
And now, what you've all been waiting for: the winners of the Pre-Show Winner Prediction. Five of you correctly predicted Tyson to win. I'm blown away every year by my terrible skills of prediction and your awesome ones. Kudos to the winners and here's your [photo of a] trophy!