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.

CBS

When it all shook out, three votes had been cast for Hayden... and three for Monica! We all knew what that meant: CIERA HAD FLIPPED ON HER ALLIANCE. Yeeessssss. Peoples' minds almost never change at tribal council -- which is why it's so awesome when they do! Ciera, with Hayden's help, just made this game a whole lot more interesting. Of course, she probably should have turned on her alliance earlier in the week and gotten an immunity idol for herself, but hey, I applaud the ballsy move because it made for a dramatic episode finish.

Given the tie, the tribe voted again, this time only for Monica or Hayden (who weren't allowed to vote), and once again, it came to a tie. Here's where the rules got technical: if Katie, Ciera, Tyson, and Gervase could collectively decide to send home either Hayden or Monica, then that person would go home. If not, then Hayden and Monica would be off the block, and because Gervase had immunity, either Tyson, Katie, or Ciera would go home after drawing rocks.

After surprisingly little debate, the three people who were deemed safe decided to draw rocks to see who was going to Redemption Island, thus leaving Hayden and Monica safe from elimination. (At this point, the jury was almost giddy in shock. They could not believe what they were seeing -- especially Aras, the dedicated Survivor fanatic of them.) I'm not sure why Ciera and Katie took the deal so willingly. They needed each other now that they were aligned, and going into a random rock-drawing ceremony gave their alliance a 66 percent chance of losing a player. Tyson, I was shocked to see, didn't put up more of a fight, either. (I asked Jeff Probst how long the debate to draw rocks actually ensued. Find out the answer in his weekly Q&A.)

Nonetheless, Tyson, Katie, and Ciera each pulled a stone out of a bag -- and it was Katie who drew the dreaded white rock and went packing to to Redemption Island, where she and her mom now have the formidable task of facing off with Laura to stay alive in the game. Good luck with that one, ladies! Meanwhile, Ciera was left looking flustered. Had she just totally squandered her chances by jumping to Team Hayden? We'll find out next week!

Well, geez, we have a lot to talk about. Were you as thrilled as I was by that tribal council? Did you love seeing Hayden's shameless game play? Can anyone beat Tyson in the end? And should Monica be joining up with Hayden and Ciera? Hit the comments to speak your mind, read our chat with Jeff Probst, and, if for some reason, you liked my writing, feel free to follow me on Twitter @gradywsmith, where I promise to tweet about Survivor at least once a year.

But don't do any of that before you check out this deleted scene from last night's episode!

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