Survivor recap: Blood vs. Water' recap: Boneham or Bonehead?
Laura’s decision to reveal classified information costs her a spot on the tribe. Meanwhile, Kat cries. Like, a lot.
Dalton: Okay, welcome to Survivor Couples Counseling. I’d like to thank you both for coming here today.
Kat: No, thank you. We saw all the great work you did with Parvati and Russell and hoped maybe you could help us as well.
Dalton: You’re absolutely right, Kat: That was great work. Some of my best work, in fact. Lives were changed in that one single therapy session, and I’m proud to say I was a part of it. In fact, what I remember most about that fateful day was when…
Kat: I’m sorry, can we get back to talking about us now?
Dalton: Right! Of course. Apologies. So what seems to be the issue?
Kat: Well, it’s a bit embarrassing. I don’t really know how to say it.
Dalton: Let me assure you, Kat, this is a safe place. There are no judgments here. [begins to sip water]
Kat: Okay…well, I…um, was voted out before the merge and…
Dalton: [stifling chuckle and choking on water] I’m sorry. That just went down the wrong pipe there. By all means, continue.
Kat: As I was saying, I…uh, didn’t make it to merge…
Dalton: [once again stifling chuckle and choking on water] I am so sorry. That was inexcusable. Wrong pipe again. Please…
Kat: Yeah, so I…well, you know. And now [sniff, sniff] my shmoopy is not going to want to date me anymore!!!! [bursts into tears]
Dalton: Annnnnnd by shmoopy, do you mean this guy sitting next to you?
Hayden; Yep. I’m shmoopy.
Dalton: Very well. Hayden, Kat evidently feels that you, a reality TV champion in your own right from your time on Big Brother, are now so ashamed of her embarrassing pre-merge performance on Survivor: Blood vs. Water that you would actually break up with her. What do you say to that?
Hayden: Well…um…I would just like to assure her that…SHE’S RIGHT! It’s a f—ing dogs— performance! You think I want to be associated with that?!? The freakin’ Zingbot could have done better than her! I would have rather come and played with Otev than her sorry ass. Pathetic!
[Kat bursts into more sobbing]
Dalton; Whoa! Whoa! Take it down a notch, sir. Let’s all just calm down here for a second, okay? Now Hayden, granted, being voted out before the merge does pretty much guarantee you will be branded a loser for the rest of your days. I see that. I get it. But this is your girlfriend we’re talking about! Sure, she was humiliated on national television. But you can’t abandon her in her time of need.
Hayden: Sure I can! You see the way I left her hanging out there at Redemption Arena? Made it kind of look like it was her choice to not switch out when it was totally mine? The way I kept saying things like “But what do you think is best for us long term” like a freakin’ Jedi mind trick to turn her all around even after she had already said she wanted me to take her place? That’s some post-merge gameplay there, son! I don’t hang with no pre-mergies!
Dalton; Look, I hear ya, man. And if I may offer a professional opinion here for a second, allow me to say…I can’t blame you. Kat, I’m sorry: There’s nothing I can do here. My hands are tied. After all, you were voted out pre-merge. I mean, would you date yourself?
Kat: [still sobbing] No… [sniff, sniff] I guess not. I suppose I’ll go find someone more on my level, like Ibrehem from Palau. Or maybe Ace from Gabon. WHY, GOD, WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!
And off she went, looking for a mate more compatible with her standing when it comes to how quickly you were voted off a nationally televised reality competition program. Will Kat ever find true love? Only if she sticks to her own kind, it seems. And with that let’s take it from the top and recap the latest edition of Survivor: Blood vs. Water!
NEXT: It’s not cheating if it’s not against the rules
Kat begins the episode after her vote off by examining the silver lining of her departure from the tribe. “At least I didn’t cry. That was a good change.” Unfortunately, the no crying thing lasts for approximately the time it took me to type this sentence. Soon, all the woman is doing is crying: crying at the beach, crying before the duel, crying after the duel. She is crying so much that her contest to stay alive almost turns into a water challenge.
As for Hayden, Probst tries his best to peer pressure him into swapping spots with Kat at Redemption Island, and Kat, unlike pretty much everyone in exact same position before her, also wants her loved one to take her place: “I would switch,” she says. “Because I’m afraid that I won’t do well in this duel. Because it’s a puzzle and I can’t even spell. But I would switch.” (That’s okay, Kat. Judging by the army of typos I cram into these here recaps, apparently I can’t spell either.)
But as mentioned before, you can tell that Hayden has no intention whatsoever of switching with her, and you can practically see the wheels turning in his head as he searches for the words to convince her that he should stay put. “Who has the better shot to win the game?” he asks. “You know you do,” she responds. And yes, he does know, which is exactly why that is the question that he posed. It sounds like I am dissing Hayden for not being chivalrous, but nothing could be further from the truth. Hayden should not switch. He does stand the better chance of winning the million dollars, and he is not the one that got himself in trouble and sent there, so why should he take the fall? It’s just funny watching the guy try his darndest to not look like an a-hole while doing what he should be doing all along.
So Kat stops crying long enough to take part in the duel, which involves chopping a rope to release a bag of pieces that will build a fire puzzle identical to the one Johnny Cochran built to win last season. (Luckily for Kat, this challenge does not, in fact, involve spelling.) While puzzle dominator Laura would seem the favorite, it is astronaut John Cody who tears through the flame and claims victory. And you know what I always say: If you can’t beat ‘em, cheat off of ‘em! I’ve long asked Jeff Probst why they rarely put blinders in place to stop players from cheating off of each other during the puzzle competitions, and I asked him again this week after seeing it happen here yet again. Because here’s the thing — in a situation like this, after one person finishes, the other person right next to the winner has a huge advantage in being able to simply copy what they did because they are so close.
But while I’d like to see that loophole closed, as long as it is open, you need to exploit it whenever and wherever possible. This is why Kat is mistaken in saying she does not want to copy John’s completed puzzle because “it’s cheating.” That’s admirable on her part, but ultimately self-defeating. Cheating is doing something against the rules, and the fact is, while copying someone else’s puzzle should be against the rules, it clearly is not. Therefore, my ruling: not cheating. Not that any of this would have mattered. Kat has no chance of catching Laura in this one, even if she had the puzzle solution right in front of her face.
NEXT: Tina wants people to have their way with her daughter
So after making Hayden promise several times over that he will not break up with her due to her subpar performance, the eliminated Kat is off to Ponderosa to share beers with Brad Culpepper and bond over how much they love the state of Florida. Speaking of Brad Culpepper, he seemed to insinuate in our exit interview last week that I had some sort of man crush on astronaut John Cody. If that’s true, it still doesn’t hold a romantic candle to my man crushes on Tom Wetsman and Yul Kwon. However, the dude has now stayed alive in four straight duels, so he definitely deserves some props, Culpepper be damned!
So John gives Monica the clue to the hidden immunity idol and do I really need to tell you what she does with it? No? Good.
Remorse time! Now we get to the part of the show where Hayden has to pretend to feel bad about not taking Kat’s place when we clearly saw he didn’t want to. “Kat is a little naive sometimes and doesn’t always know which way is up, and I’m the one that helps her,” says Hayden. (A little odd to talk about your girlfriend as if she is mentally handicapped, but okay.) “I was in a position to help her. I didn’t do it when I could of. It’s not something to be proud of.” You made the right strategic decision in the game, Hayden — always something to be proud of in my book. Granted it is a cold and heartless book written in the blood of those that were trampled along the way to greater glory, but it is a book nonetheless. It just happens to be titled The Necronomicon.
Meanwhile, in his desire to make sure Vytas will be safe after the merge, it seems Aras may have been name-checking his brother one time too many. With everyone else’s loved ones either out of the game or stuck at Redemption Island, Aras has now become a bit of a target, and Tyson wants to make sure it stays there. Tyson initiates a final five alliance with the rest of the sans-Aras tribe, the moral of the story being: never go up and meditate on a mountain top by yourself so others can scheme behind your well postured back.
In what will prove to be only the second most awkward celebration maneuver by a Baskauskas this week, Vytas gives Katie a high five because apparently high fives are completely awesome! However it seems Tina would like for Vytas to give her daughter much more than that. While giving license to every creep or pervert across the country to hunt down her daughter, bash her head in with a big club, and drag her back unconscious to their collective lair to do with her as they please, Tina says she hopes Katie and Vytas hook up, proclaiming that “I’m ready for grandbabies.” Hey, I’ll high five to that!
NEXT: Air Aras falls back down to Earth
While Katie may be playing hard to get, Laura Boneham isn’t. She just loooooooooves Vytas. Could it be that deep voice? The fact that he showers strangers with $100 bills like he’s making it rain at a Buns & Roses strip club? Or could it be his super mysterious past? “In my experience, women love a bad boy,” says Vytas “But what they like even more than a bad boy is a newly reformed bad boy.” I’m with you, Vytas! You know, I actually have quite the bad boy past myself. Like that time I didn’t separate the #6 from #1 plastics in my recycling — totally did that on purpose. Or that time I didn’t rewind my rental VHS copy of Youngblood before returning it to the video store — they didn’t know what hit ‘em! Man, those were the days. Sure, now I’m on the straight and narrow, but the fact that I used to be a rebel, an outsider, a misfit —it makes me simply irresistible to the ladies. Right, ladies? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?
So it’s challenge time! In this one, four members of each tribe are chained together at their ankles while the outside two members for some bizarre reason have their wrists attached to coils that look like old school mosquito repellent. They all then rush through obstacles while collecting bags that the last team member will then use to construct and throw bolas. It actually sounds cool when I write it out like that, but it’s kinda not. Other than one sequence in which Aras does his best to get between Monica’s legs — again, not as cool as it sounds — it’s rather anti-climatic, even as Tyson just barely edges Tina in the bola-throwing portion to take another Tadhana victory.
I can’t say I’ve really had a rooting interest either way ever since they mixed up the tribes, but if a Tadhana victory is what it takes to bear witness to a truly uncomfortable and awkward victory celebration, then so be it. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? If not, go back and watch it. Gervase goes and does a mid-air body bump with Tyson. Okay. Fine. No problems there. If you want to pretend like you’re an NFL wide receiver celebrating a touchdown, have at it (although I don’t know how many touchdowns Gervase’s Eagles have been scoring lately).
But then comes Aras, who partakes in the feeblest, lamest jump and scream I have ever seen. He looks like he’s trying to go airborne and connect in the clouds with one of his tribemates, but he just doesn’t and sort of lands by himself. And the “scream” doesn’t help matters at all. It sounds like a raccoon having its tail stepped on. I have to assume ESPN has already updated their “Top 101 Celebration Fails” to include this gem from Aras. In fact, it is so comical I think it might be time to reinstitute the Wacky Dawn Meehan GIF of the Week. I don’t care if Dawn isn’t even on this season; Aras can play the part of Dawn for the week with this display. Someone needs to get on this pronto. Actually, make it a Vine instead of a GIF this time so we can hear the audio as well. The audio is key.
NEXT: When in doubt, keep your mouth shut
So Tadhana is off to their fried chicken reward while Galang must return back to the beach where they can bide their time until voting off the only guy of the tribe in Vytas. As long as nobody does something rash they should be fine. But who would go and do that, right? Oh crap, is Laura Boneham on this tribe? I can’t keep track ever since they switched things up? Wait, she is?! Oh no. This is an All Points Bulletin. I need all units to proceed immediately to the coordinates of the Galang beach. Repeat: All units proceed immediately to the coordinates of the Galang beach. We have a tribe member in danger of going rogue. Code name: Rupert Lite. Orders are to find the target and shut her the hell up before she gets herself voted out of the game. WARNING: TARGET IS ARMED AND EXTREMELY STUPID. PROCEED WITH CAUTION. (Which is to say, tell HER to proceed with caution.)
“We decided as four girls that you’re the next to go,” Laura tells Vytas. ABORT! ABORT! When asked why she is telling him this information, Laura says it is so he can “have a good afternoon.” “So you think that makes me want to have a good afternoon?” Vytas asks. Oh my God, the entire scene is sooooo uncomfortable, with the other three ladies avoiding any eye contact with anyone else and silently cursing up a storm under their collective horrified breath.
What makes a good alliance partner? Two things: trust and predictability. Laura just blew those two things out of the water by informing Vytas of his impending demise without consulting the group first. She wasn’t trying to backstab. She wasn’t trying to dictate. She wasn’t trying to be malicious. But I cannot stress what a bonehead (or Boneham, as it were) move this was. You can’t go popping off with information like this on a whim, as genuine and kind as that whim may have been.
Or, if you are going to pop off by saying something you shouldn’t be saying, at least do it away from the tribe like Vytas, who is off telling a camera that “Females are in control but they always need one alpha male to keep around. Otherwise there’s no future for the pride.” See, smart move by Vytas there. Instead of pissing off the four women on his tribe, he decided to piss off the entire female population of the United States of America instead by painting them as incapable of surviving without a sturdy male presence (which, if you want to get technical, I suppose they are if they have any hopes for repopulation, but it’s not like I would go and say that). But here’s the thing: Those women don’t vote! What will the ladies here on the island do? Will Tina switch her vote to Laura? After all, if she votes Vytas off, what will happen to the babies?!? Her grandchildren’s very lives hang in the balance! THINK OF THE BABIES, DAMMIT!!!
NEXT: Another Katie Collins Tribal Council fashion statement
We head to Tribal Council where Laura almost burns her entire face off placing her torch into its holder. (That’s okay, she’ll get burned all right before she leaves.) And Katie is sending me into a serious flashback tizzy by modeling the latest in the Survivor Sally line of knee socks. Only Katie has truly gone next level as her knee socks are full-on thigh highs. First the glasses and now the thigh high socks? Me thinks Tina has no reason to worry — there will be a line of men with clubs outside Katie’s door soon enough.
So the women do indeed turn on Laura, sending her to Redemption Island. This is a really intriguing choice by Tina (who I believe controls all the votes on the tribe). At first I did not understand why she would want to leave Vytas in the game to reunite with his brother at the merge (which happens next episode), creating another power couple in the game. It didn’t make sense. On the other hand, having another power couple could offer camouflage for Tina and Katie, so not everybody is targeting them as the one pair left in the game (and if Laura makes it back onto the tribe next week, she and Ciera would make a third duo). Complicating all of this is my belief that Tina and Aras had a pre-game alliance of some sort that likely extended to their loved ones as well. Ack! It’s all so confusing, as is everything about this season, but in a good way. Just so many layers to consider. We’ll see if this ends up being a good move from the former winner/former first boot.
So, yes, we have a merge happening next week as well as someone from Redemption Island reentering to the game. Things are heating up. And there is plenty of hot stuff for you right here right now. We have my weekly Q&A with host Jeff Probst, and you can check out an exclusive deleted scene from last night’s episode in the video player below as well as my pre-game interviews with voted out Laura and eliminated Kat. Also keep an eye out for our InsideTV Podcast exit interview with Kat on Thursday afternoon. And to get all the Survivor news and views sent right to you, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss. (Now verified. See, it’s really me! Although who would even bother pretending to be a sad sack sitting on his couch in New Jersey recapping Survivor? Well, you just try to impersonate this sad sack now!)
But now it’s your turn. Did Hayden do the right thing by staying put? Did Galang do the right thing by ousting Laura and keeping Vytas? And who is the most dangerous pair in the game right now: Tina and Katie, Aras and Vytas, or Laura M. and Ciera? Hit the message boards to let us now and I’ll be back next week with another scoop of the crispy!