Image credit: Monty Brinton/CBS
LOOK WHAT WE REMEMBERED! Tina and Laura's whoopsie cost their tribe dearly, but Tina almost led her tribe to victory anyway. Almost.
So after Laura takes a preemptive strike and refuses to allow Ciera to switch spots with her — which Ciera must have already known since she can sense everything around her at all times — we get to the truel. The truel involves racing across a balance beam while collecting bags of number tiles which must then be arranged in the proper order of 1-100. It is seriously the most idiot-proof puzzle in the history of puzzles. You basically have to know how to count and that’s pretty much it. My other initial thought was that Laura is going to smoke this, and not because I have ESP, but rather because balance beams always tend to favor women. Throw in the fact that Laura is a puzzle demon and she has this one in the bag. Sure enough, she races out to a huge lead and never looks back, not even when John almost castrates himself by slipping on the beam. “That’s gonna hurt and leave a mark!” exclaims Probst. Candice will be the judge of that, Probst.
So after Laura emerges victorious, John just beats out Brad Culpepper for second place to stay in the game. Ah, Brad. Homeboy came to play this season! Which was exactly his problem. Brad played too fast too soon, needlessly disbanding his alliance and making himself a target for no reason whatsoever. A lot of you in the message boards have hated on the guy, but I have no personal problem with Brad. He just made a huge blunder and I called him on it. His gameplay was flat-out terrible. But at least he tried, and the season was more entertaining because of it.
All that said, I have NO IDEA what is going on at the very end here as Brad all of a sudden starts fancying himself a poet with his final words to wife Monica. “Monica, I came on here as a shield. Through my fault, or no fault of my own, I became an anchor. You’re free. The wind’s blowing. Sail. Sail hard.”
Sail hard?!? What is this, a Dewey Cox sequel? What does that even mean? Isn’t “sail hard” a bit of an oxymoron anyway? I can’t help but wonder what Survivor poet laureate Benjamin “Coach” Wade thinks of Brad’s unique meter and flow. However, Brad then does manage to do something very smart — he tears off part of his buff as a souvenir before throwing the rest of it in the fire. I’ve always said it is a bummer contestants on a Redemption Island season do not get to keep their buffs, and it seems Brad came up with a pretty decent solution. Of course, my only problem in such a situation would be that I am far too weak to tear the damn thing. Seriously, those buffs are super stretchy and it would be pretty humiliating to attempt to tear it and fail. For someone like Cochran, it would be quirky and endearing. For someone like me, just straight up lame.
Now, winner Laura has to give away the hidden immunity idol clue, and she once again uses it as a weapon, giving the clue to Vytas because she blames his brother Aras for her blindside. The only problem is, Vytas pulls a Monica, and for the third straight week throws the clue into the fire. Let me tell you something: This is absolutely KILLING the Survivor producers. Jeff Probst has said it a million times — they want the idols to be found. They love the drama and unpredictability they unleash in the game (remember the Three Amigos ousting Phillip with them last season?). So while Monica burning the first clue was probably cool in that it was something new and different, the fact that nobody has yet to find or play an idol has to be seriously bumming Probst and Co. out.
NEXT: Tribe switcheroo time!