Knoxville natives Tina Wesson and Katie Collins survived another week of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water,” Wednesday. While longtime fan favorite Rupert Boneham was the first to be eliminated from the game.
The 27th round of “Survivor” is the most strategically complicated in the show’s history as veteran players and their family members are initially pitted against each other on different teams, but can choose to take a loved one’s place on Redemption Island if their loved one is voted out. That was the case with Rupert when his wife Laura was voted out of the Tahana tribe on the first episode.
Three players were actually voted out last week, Laura (replaced by Rupert), veteran Candice Cody (whose husband John decided to not swap places) and finally Marissa Peterson, niece of veteran player Gervase Peterson.
On Wednesday, Gervase and the rest of the Galang tribe had their first chance to see that it was Marissa who had been voted off when everyone assembled for the redemption challenge. Several members were in tears, including Tina and Gervase. Marissa wasted no time in telling her uncle that it was his over-enthusiasm at winning last week’s challenge that caused her ouster from the tribe. However, given the chance to change places with his niece, Gervase declined.
The challenge consisted of maneuvering wooden spools through a metal maze and then stacking them on it without tipping the stack over. Candice completed it first, followed by Marissa and Rupert was given the boot.
Rupert groused that he “Never went to tribal. Never got a vote.” But, he said, he had no regrets and his wife would do fine without him.
“I love ‘Survivor,’ but I love my wife more,” he said before exiting.
Being the winner, Candice was able to give a clue to an immunity idol any contestant. Not unexpectedly, she gave it to her husband, John, before she and Marissa returned to Redemption Island to await the next person voted from a tribe.
At Galang, the veterans spent time bonding, giving each other sort of daisy chain shoulder massages, except for grumpy Colton Cumbie, who rolled his eyes and abstained.
“I came to play ‘Survivor,’ not Red Rover,” he said later.
Instead, Colton immediately began trying to turn players against each other opining that he thrived when the members were “in chaos.” But, as much as he tried to profit from turning tribe members against each other, no one was buying what he was selling.
Exasperated at Colton’s attempts, Tina said, “Is this what ‘Survivor 27’ looks like? You don’t want to deal with drama for 39 days!”
Tyson Apostol said, “He’s going to end up thinking himself out of the game.”
While Aras Baskuska said Colton was “A gay Russell Hantz,” referring to maybe the only other “Survivor” player who have ever been as roundly despised and conniving as Colton.
As it turned out, though, Colton could continue to connive.
At a combined reward and immunity challenge, Katie somewhat redeemed her poor showing last week. Katie was the Tadhana tribe’s contestant who was rolled in a barrel and then had to untie knots to release balls that another contestant would have to roll into targets skeeball style. However, Gervase proved to be better at hitting the targets than Hayden, winning immunity and a fishing gear for the Galang veterans.
The women of Tahana had already begun to realize that the men had an alliance and knew one of the women would be on the chopping block. John, however, balked at voting out Rachel Foulger (Tyson’s girlfriend), fearing that Tyson would take Rachel’s place on Redemption Island and be a bigger challenge for his wife Candice to win against. However, that, and the fact that John had a clue to the immunity idol, made the rest of the men’s alliance question if they should break the bond and eliminate John. That would’ve been great with Ciera Easten (daughter of veteran Laura Morett), because she felt just as vulnerable as Rachel, and she talked to Katie about turning the votes to John.
Away from the other players, Katie said, “I have to do what I have to do to win.”
At Tribal Council host, Jeff Probst told players, “There are probably more layers to votes this time than we’ve ever had before.” And he was certainly right. Everyone was having to think ahead to how players on the other team would react to their loved ones being voted out and if they were simply alienating a team mate who would be replaced by a loved one.
In the end, John, Ciera and Rachel all landed votes, but it was Rachel who got the ax and John who needed to remain wary.
Expect his immunity idol search to go into overdrive.
Previews to next week’s show indicate that Colton might quit the game, but can those hints ever be trusted? Hardly ever.