Survivor recap: Hayden's Rustling Feathers

Hayden tells everyone they're destined to lose to Tyson in the end; it doesn't take long for an alliance to crumble
Ep. 12 | Aired Dec 4, 2013

GAME FACE ON When you're back is up against the wall, you've got to do something to save yourself. Hayden did just that, and somehow, through a crazy set of tribal council technicalities, managed to keep himself alive.


Eventually, everything seemed so futile that Hayden ended up just telling Tyson what he was doing. "I'm trying to convince everyone to blindside you, but so far, it hasn't worked." He knew he would have to do something insane. He knew he needed to go off the rails at tribal council to possibly shake anyone from that alliance. And, to his credit, he did just that.

Hayden had the crazy eyes going from the moment tribal council began. His mission: Convince Ciera that she was at the bottom of her alliance. Gervase, Tyson, and Monica made that mission much easier by continually referring to Ciera as number four when counting the members of their crew. This sounded entirely accidental every time they did it, but it also added up to a nefarious-seeming threat. Ciera began the tribal council looking steely and sassy, but fear began to creep across her face, especially as Hayden pummeled home the idea that Tyson and Gervase saw themselves as the top two dogs in this fight. At one point, everyone just started yelling at Ciera, staring at her desperately, as if she were a french fry at the center of a flock of ravenous seagulls. Vote with us! No vote with us! Gervase claimed his alliance was full of honest folks, which elicited sardonic laughter from the jury.

Suddenly, a weirdly mild side-argument began between Tyson and Hayden about whether feathers were ruffled or rustled or Russelled, which, if you listened closely, actually began with Katie saying "rustle feathers" before Hayden let the words slip out of his mouth. Hot damn, the girl caused a fight, and it only took her 12 episodes of reality TV! Good for her. After some explanation, Hayden emphasized that feathers were, in fact, able to be rustled. Not to play the writer card here, but I'm gonna have to nix Hayden on that one. Rustling connotes a crackling sound, and feathers don't crackle or crunch, unless you're talking about this exact bird.

Hayden told Ciera one last time that she had a one-in-three shot with him and Katie, but almost no shot with her alliance. She looked torn, broken even. Tyson's alliance was gunning for Hayden. Katie and Hayden (and they hoped Ciera) were targeting Monica. But it was time to vote.

Gervase was pissed with Hayden's antics -- and, I'm guessing, the fact that he implied he's playing second fiddle to Tyson. "Don't hate the players, homey, hate the game," he yelled while voting loud enough for his fellow tribe mates to hear. "This isn't Big Brother, homey. This is Survivor. You're about to get a lesson in how to play the game." Dude probably needs to cool it. Getting angry at someone for having started at another CBS reality show is the equivalent of me stomping across the EW office to scold our Senior Art Director for having once worked at Sports Illustrated. "You're about to get a lesson in how we make magazines, bro!" Tyson felt more bewildered than Gervase while voting for Hayden. "Never tell an insane person they're going home next," he whispered, a little bit shell-shocked. Ciera thought long and hard about which name she'd write out, and then Jeff went to tally the votes.

NEXT: Let's draw rocks

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