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‘Survivor: Blood vs Water’ Episode 11 – The season of blindsides continues

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Written by : published Thursday 28th November 2013

‘Survivor: Blood vs Water’ Episode 11 – The season of blindsides continues main image

Another week, another blindside.  That’s how “Survivor: Blood vs Water” rolls this season.  Let me start by wishing all of you out there a Happy Thanksgiving.  In addition to all that normal stuff – family, friends, good health, yadda yadda – I’m definitely thankful for this amazing season of Survivor thus far.  Opting for an all-new episode on the day before Thanksgiving instead of a “highlight clip” or “recap” episode, Survivor gave us a very important chapter that finally set the stage for the home stretch of episodes coming in the next few weeks, leading up to the December 15 Finale Episode.

In case you missed this week’s episode, be sure to get caught up by watching Survivor: Blood vs. Water Episode 11 , and then be sure to read my weekly Episode Recap before continuing on to this “Bonus Analysis” coverage.

Ciera is definitely in the middle of a firestorm.  She had just voted out her mother and then made her biggest move of the season, finally deciding to put all her chips in with Team Tyson.  Ciera probably figures that she has a better shot against Tyson and Gervase or Monica and she’s probably right.  Hayden and Caleb are just too likeable to ride all the way to the very end.  As a viewer, it would have been cool to see another epic blindside of Tyson, but Ciera’s move made sense and she is now all in with a clear line in the sand drawn.

Hayden on the other hand, showed just why he is a threat in this game and just how he was able to win a game like Big Brother.  This dude is smart and strategic.  His plan to confront Tyson was his best plan at that point in the game and it almost saved his alliance.  He was also right in thinking that if he or Caleb was going to win the game, they’d probably have to make a move against Tyson at some point…so why not now?  He had no choice but to put his trust in Ciera, because the window to move against Tyson was slowly closing.  And from the looks of next week’s episode, he is definitely not finished playing Survivor.

The most interesting development beyond the Ciera/Tyson alliance that formed tonight, is that Tyson played and ultimately wasted his Immunity Idol.  I remember watching the masterful game played by Boston Rob and seeing him hold on to his Idol in key Tribal Councils, gambling his life in the game based on the probability that he was not going to be the one targeted.  You can’t blame Tyson for wanting to play the Idol – and with his past missteps, you can hardly blame him for not wanting to be “that guy” who is voted out with an Idol in his pocket – but he should have held on to it.  Not only did he waste it, but you have to remember that, presumably, nobody else in the game even knew he had it.  So by exposing the Idol, it has now been flushed from the game, but even more damaging is that now people are going to know that he withheld it from them.  Could that fracture the trust Gervase and especially Monica have placed in him?  Time will tell, but for Hayden’s life in the game, Tyson playing his Idol just gave him an extra opportunity to blow things up.

There are now six in the game, and three on Redemption Island, with only two episodes left before the Finale (December 15, a two-hour finale followed by one-hour Reunion Show).  That means that heading into the Finale, we should be down to a Final Four in the game, with three alive on Redemption Island.  Most likely at that point, there will be a “winner-takes-all-and-reenters-the-game” final Duel, creating a Final Five.  So who is most likely to be in that first Final Four?

Ciera, Gervase, Tyson and Monica now have a clear path if they want it.  If Hayden wins Immunity, Katie is voted out.  If Katie wins, Hayden is voted out.  Gervase has no real reason to flip next episode, because doing so would only screw up his game.  I mean, this dude is currently just living it up on the beach and is not even really involved until Tyson runs up to him.  If Tyson is The Godfather, pulling the strings, then Gervase is clearly his consigliere.

Hayden needs to start relying on his physicality if he wants to go to the end, meaning he’s got to start winning challenges.  Monica may be targeted if she ever loses a challenge, simply because she’s been so dominant.  Katie needs to just hope that people keep wanting to fry bigger fishes, but her game has gone a route that makes it virtually impossible for her to make it to the end.  She keeps squeaking by, but as we heard this episode, the others are aware of how many votes she would gather already in the jury…she just can’t be allowed to get to that final vote.

It should continue to be interesting as we wind down this season.  What are your thoughts?  Comment below!

Follow me on Twitter!  @tomsantilli, and check out my website at tomsantilli.com for more Survivor coverage and my full database of current and archived movie reviews.

About the author SurvivorTom


Tom Santilli is a respected journalist and member of the Detroit Film Critics Society.  He writes several on-line columns, most notably as the Detroit Movie Examiner and the Survivor Examiner for Examiner.com.  He also is a contributor as a Survivor-Insider to TVGeekArmy.com and writes exclusive Survivor in-depth episode analysis for TheTVKing.com. He has been featured on Rob Cesternino's "Rob Has a Podcast" and most recently landed the only exclusive Richard Hatch interview given since his latest legal trouble has surfaced. All of Tom's Survivor coverage as well as movie reviews can be found on his blog the "FilmSurvivor", at FilmSurvivor.com

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