Hayden and Tyson take the early lead, but it’s pretty much everyone close to a dead heat except Ciera, who Probst keeps reminding us is “waaaaaaay behind right now.” In fact, he reminds us so often that one can’t help but get the sneaky suspicion that he is reminding us for a reason. And the reason becomes clear when she makes a huge comeback and wins the darn thing. I said a few weeks back that Ciera would never win a challenge and her performance in the beginning of this contest pretty much illustrated why. Throw in the fact that she got smoked in two different puzzles at the start of the season and she was not exactly inspiring confidence. But she killed it here. I also gave Ciera some gruff for blindly following others earlier in the season. She has definitely upped her game in the past two weeks so kudos to her.
So now all Ciera has to do to continue her ascension to the ranks of serious gamers is the obvious thing and pick Monica to join her on her special reward feast, and as soon as she does that we can…WAIT! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHY ARE YOU PICKING HAYDEN? YOU NEED TO SWAY MONICA! YOU PICK THE WOMAN YOU NEED TO SWAY! SEE WHAT YOU’VE DONE NOW? YOU’VE MADE ME FURIOUS AND WHEN I GET FURIOUS I TYPE IN ALL CAPS AND ALL CAPS ARE HARD TO READ AND THE NEXT THING YOU KNOW I’M NOT USING ANY PUNCTUATION EITHER AND THEN MY RECAPS BECOME EVER HARDER TO READ THAN NORMAL AND THEY ARE NORMALLY PRETTY HARD TO READ EVEN WHEN I AM TYPING LIKE A SANE PERSON.
Ugh. Okay. Well, at least Ciera finally does approach Monica post-feast and starts trying to convince her that, “Tyson is a villain in this game. He was talking mad crap about you.” The convincing continues right into Tribal Council when — after discussing in great detail how smokin’ hot Katie is — Hayden and Ciera continue to work on Culpepper. Ciera keeps bringing up “unbecoming” and “vicious rude things” that Tyson has been saying about her. Hayden says Tyson sees her as his lap dog. Ciera says the Culpepper family will be cheering her if she makes this brave, bold move. Unfortunately for them, Gervase has the best counter-argument of all, pointing out that if they had all this information all along, why did they just happen to wait until right before the Tribal Council to reveal it? Suspect timing, to say the least. Which is why Monica doesn’t fall for it and Hayden is voted out. And in typical Hayden fashion, after battling intensely to the very last second, once the result is locked in, he shows off his good sportsmanship and congratulates all on a good game.
NEXT: Who will win? And our season-by-season rankings begin!