• The immunity/reward challenge was a Survivor classic that if memory serves — and trust me, it often does not — was first played in Survivor: Palau. It’s basically sumo wrestling with giant pads. Knock your opponent out of the ring and into the water and you win. Yes, we got to see Brad “bodyslam the f---“ out of “Jarvis”, and yes, all Kat basically had to do was blow on Ciera to send her tumbling off the dock, but the good stuff would be when the loved ones faced off against each other. While it was nifty seeing both the moms (Tina and Laura) besting their daughters (Katie and Ciera), those were both pretty much expected. The main event was Vytas versus Aras. Brother against brother — civil war style, only now instead of the fate of a nation and an entire enslaved populace at stake, they would be playing for pillows and blankies. Or fishing gear. Their choice. So, you know, important stuff.
The clear highlight of the match was when Aras had Vytas down on the ground and allowed him to get up and reset, but instead of moving back to start over, Vytas went straight at his brother in what Probst described as “one of the biggest unsportsmanlike moves.” Also not one of the smartest. Don’t give everyone out there any reason to think they may not be able to trust you. That underhanded sneakiness was a reason right there. Even when you are playing a physical game, you still have to be playing a strategic one that extends outside of that particular contest. In any event, Galang won yet again.
• There was an injury during the match, as Tyson popped his shoulder. This forced Dr. Ramona to wade breast deep into the water to check on him. Ramona is awesome. I actually got a chance to watch her in action when I was out on location for this season and a member of the press group — also a dear friend of mine — had a super scary seizure at a dinner on our first night there. Ramona was on the scene in a matter of minutes, got my friend out of immediate danger, and then carefully monitored her for the days that followed. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Ramona. Which is why I wrote “breast deep” instead of “boob deep.” That’s my way of saying thanks.
• BIG BROTHER CROSSOVER!!!! You caught it, right? Hayden was talking about the dangers of voting out an alliance member just a few days into the game — which we’ll get to in a minute — when he opined that it “could be like opening a Pandora’s Box.” Pandora’s Box!!! Oh, how I love thee! For those who actually have, you know, taste, and don’t watch some of the worst (yet oddly addictive) reality television ever created, Pandora’s Box is a twist from Hayden’s previous show, Big Brother, where a contestant is offered the opportunity to open Pandora’s Box — not knowing whether something good, or bad, or both will result. The biggest shocker of this season’s Big Brother — yes, even more shocking that the racist/sexist/homophobic comments coming out of the house — was that there was no Pandora’s Box this time. But wait! Maybe it came over with former BB winner Hayden to Survivor. Does this mean Mr. PEC-Tacular is about to show up on the Tadhana tribe and start selling photos of him flexing on various plates and mugs? Hell, why not just bring Otev and Baby Zingbot along as well while we’re at it? (You think I’m kidding, but cut to season 36 of Survivor when this actually happens.)
NEXT: John and Candice: Reunited and feels so…bad