Survivor recap: Water Conquers Blood

Ciera has no problem voting off her own mother, but should we have a problem with her asking mommy to not even try?
Ep. 10 | Aired Nov 20, 2013

DAUGHTER DEAREST Ciera made history by becoming the first player to vote out a loved one.


As soon as I saw this one, I said to myself, all the heavier dudes are going out first. Simple reason: This challenge is all about holding up your own body weight, so contestants with more weight like Hayden, Caleb and Gervase will be the first ones to go. And, sure enough, that is exactly what happens. Ciera, of course, isn’t going to win because she can’t win anything, so I had to assume by process of elimination that the two thinnest people — Tyson and Monica — would be the last two standing. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly how it ends up. (Due to the fact that I weigh roughly the equivalent of a feather, I would kick ass on this one. It’s as if it is specifically designed for scrawny-ass weaklings like myself.)

So Monica wins both immunity and reward, but we all know there is no reward in these types of scenarios, because now Monica will be asked who she wants to join her for a hamburger and hot dog feast. It’s a no-win situation because there is always someone you leave behind who is pissed about being left behind. Monica probably does the best possible thing in this scenario, asking Probst if she can just give the reward to her entire tribe except her, and shockingly, Probst agrees. I say shockingly because when a deal is proposed by a contestant, it is up to Probst to decide whether said deal will add more or less drama to the show. If he thinks it will work out storywise to the show’s benefit, he’s likely to approve. If he thinks it won’t or is too unfair in any regard, no dice.

Here, I thought the much more dramatic play would have been to put Monica on the spot and force her to choose the haves and have nots. Instead, she made everyone a have and they all just basically said thanks and that was that. I think Probst really let her off the hook on this one. No doubt he thought people might react to her move in a negative fashion as a strictly political maneuver (like they did to Albert in South Pacific) and that would drive some story. In essence, Probst took a gamble. It didn’t work out. Not everything does and the man’s batting average is still pretty damn high so I can’t get too upset about it. In any event, we — like Monica — end up just sort of sitting there and watching Tyson stuff two hot dogs into his mouth at the same time. (Just to be clear, that is not a lewd sexual reference. At least not on my part, it isn’t. I can’t speak for Tyson. And Tyson cannot speak for himself either seeing as he currently has two hot dogs stuffed in his mouth.) So now we are left to wonder what would have happened had Monica actually been forced to make a difficult decision.

I’ve given Ciera a bit of a hard time in this week’s column, but I love what she does next back at camp, even if it ends up having no actual impact on the end result. After cozying up to ally-turned-adversary Katie on the hammock and engaging in a painful pinky swear, Ciera tells her of the plan to oust her mom. Katie responds by saying she’s still playing the idol, which she insists she is in possession of. But then Ciera masterfully calls her bluff, saying she knows Katie doesn’t have it, because she has it! Brilliant. Now you have two people lying! Katie folds like the piano-playing Sing-Off judge quicker than you can say “Street Corner Symphony,” so Ciera goes back to the group to inform them that Katie is indeed idol-free and that they can get rid of her instead of mommy Morett. It’s a well-executed move, but will it work?

NEXT: The return of final words after Tribal Council

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