“How can you walk away saying you lost after that?” asks Laura. Well, technically, you did lose. I’m sorry about that if that sounds mean, but I am a sucker for accuracy. However, Laura was a total beast this season in any and all competitions. She dominated the puzzles early on, and then dominated once she got to Redemption Island. She should totally hold her head high about how she did here. I was impressed, and I’m not the type of dude to be easily impressed. (It’s part of the price of being jaded.) So well done, Laura!
After Tina sticks the useless immunity idol clue into her boobs, she and the rest of Kasama return back to the beach, where the former winner gets busy looking for the idol that is still fit snugly in Tyson’s crotch. “For a 57 year old woman, she has no fear,” marvels Ciera as Tina climbs way up in a tree and then jumps back down to earth. “And she acts like a 20-year-old woman.”
But Tina has been far from flawless in this game, and she shows off another flaw in her first approach towards flipping Monica. Instead of coming in gentle and explaining the reasons why it would better for her game to side with the women, Tina starts going on and on about how “everyone is pissed at you. So mad at you.” She then goes on to say how nobody who has been voted out respects her because she has not been loyal. AND FLIPPING ON TYSON AND GERVASE AT THE LAST MINUTE WOULD BE LOYAL? This makes positively no sense whatsoever.
Thankfully, Ciera sees what is going on here and starts flashing the “ABORT! ABORT!” signal. Ciera boils it down to the most important point, and the only point likely to have a shot at making Monica flip. “If you don’t ever make a move, the jury will never vote for you,” she argues. And that generally holds true — unless, of course, you are facing Russell Hantz in the finals. With the frustrating exception of failing to invite Monica as her guest on the feast last week, Ciera has upped her game considerably over the past few episodes. Her maturation as a player has been a pleasure to see. She’s thy type of person I could see being very dangerous should she get another chance to play.
Not that she’d ever be dangerous in challenges. Last week’s victory notwithstanding, Ciera is something of a challenge disaster. She even got smoked in ones that totally favored her body type (like the hold up your body weight — and Ciera has the approximate weight of a feather — over water one). So no chance she wins the finale’s first challenge, which has the players pulling a rope to level out an unbalanced table while they place 10 wooden blocks on it. “You’re looking for that spot between brazen and reckless!” exclaims Probst, which kind of mirrors my philosophy for writing Survivor recaps. Tyson wins pretty easily, and the reward is a forceful congratulatory slap on his injured shoulder by the hostmaster general himself.
NEXT: The Rites of Passage tribute to Fallen Comrades is neither by land nor by sea