Kat begins the episode after her vote off by examining the silver lining of her departure from the tribe. “At least I didn’t cry. That was a good change.” Unfortunately, the no crying thing lasts for approximately the time it took me to type this sentence. Soon, all the woman is doing is crying: crying at the beach, crying before the duel, crying after the duel. She is crying so much that her contest to stay alive almost turns into a water challenge.
As for Hayden, Probst tries his best to peer pressure him into swapping spots with Kat at Redemption Island, and Kat, unlike pretty much everyone in exact same position before her, also wants her loved one to take her place: “I would switch,” she says. “Because I’m afraid that I won’t do well in this duel. Because it’s a puzzle and I can’t even spell. But I would switch.” (That’s okay, Kat. Judging by the army of typos I cram into these here recaps, apparently I can’t spell either.)
But as mentioned before, you can tell that Hayden has no intention whatsoever of switching with her, and you can practically see the wheels turning in his head as he searches for the words to convince her that he should stay put. “Who has the better shot to win the game?” he asks. “You know you do,” she responds. And yes, he does know, which is exactly why that is the question that he posed. It sounds like I am dissing Hayden for not being chivalrous, but nothing could be further from the truth. Hayden should not switch. He does stand the better chance of winning the million dollars, and he is not the one that got himself in trouble and sent there, so why should he take the fall? It’s just funny watching the guy try his darndest to not look like an a-hole while doing what he should be doing all along.
So Kat stops crying long enough to take part in the duel, which involves chopping a rope to release a bag of pieces that will build a fire puzzle identical to the one Johnny Cochran built to win last season. (Luckily for Kat, this challenge does not, in fact, involve spelling.) While puzzle dominator Laura would seem the favorite, it is astronaut John Cody who tears through the flame and claims victory. And you know what I always say: If you can’t beat ‘em, cheat off of ‘em! I’ve long asked Jeff Probst why they rarely put blinders in place to stop players from cheating off of each other during the puzzle competitions, and I asked him again this week after seeing it happen here yet again. Because here’s the thing — in a situation like this, after one person finishes, the other person right next to the winner has a huge advantage in being able to simply copy what they did because they are so close.
But while I’d like to see that loophole closed, as long as it is open, you need to exploit it whenever and wherever possible. This is why Kat is mistaken in saying she does not want to copy John’s completed puzzle because “it’s cheating.” That’s admirable on her part, but ultimately self-defeating. Cheating is doing something against the rules, and the fact is, while copying someone else’s puzzle should be against the rules, it clearly is not. Therefore, my ruling: not cheating. Not that any of this would have mattered. Kat has no chance of catching Laura in this one, even if she had the puzzle solution right in front of her face.
NEXT: Tina wants people to have their way with her daughter