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‘Survivor: Blood vs Water’ Episode 12 – Survivor Rocks

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Written by : published Thursday 5th December 2013

‘Survivor: Blood vs Water’ Episode 12 – Survivor Rocks main image

The famed “rock draw” from “Survivor: Marquesas” (Season 4) is one of the most iconic events in the history of Survivor.  Over 27 seasons and 13 years of television, that one episode is the only one to feature the dreaded Tribal Council tie-breaker.  Not only did we just see another rock draw, it came seemingly out of nowhere.  If Survivor and CBS hadn’t spoiled the episode early last week with its too-revealing promo, one would have thought that all signs pointed towards a very predictable Tribal Council, one where we would see Hayden voted out of the game.  But pun intended, Survivor tonight simply rocked.

In case you missed this week’s episode, be sure to get caught up by watching Survivor: Blood vs. Water Episode 12 , and then be sure to read my weekly Episode Recap before continuing on to this “Bonus Analysis” coverage.

The rock draw is a Survivor rarity.  There have been more quitters, more uses of the Medallion of Power, more fake Immunity Idols made than there have been rock draw tie-breakers.  You’d have to be awfully desperate to want to willingly enter into such a random draw.  The idea of the rock draw has been brought up several times over the years, but it has never been settled on as a viable option.

Until tonight.  And while it made for a breath-taking Tribal Council, it was just silly that it came down to that.  Kudos to Hayden for finally getting Ciera to see the light, but had she seen said light at several other junctions earlier, this sort of thing could have been avoided and Ciera may have found herself in a better spot in the game.

Consider what Ciera has now done.  She voted her mother out of the game and pledged undying loyalty to Tyson.  She went a step further and voted out Caleb, officially turning on her original tribe and deepening her trust with Tyson.  Earlier in the same day, she received a clue to a hidden Idol and proceeded to share it with Tyson, Gervase and Monica. 

Ciera went an awfully far way down the road before trying to pump the brakes at the last minute.  All of that, and Hayden – with the help of a loose-lipped Gervase – was able to get Ciera to willingly enter a rock draw.  Yes, Ciera was fourth in their alliance and yes, at the point of tonight’s Tribal, perhaps it was her best move.  But man, how could she not have seen her place in the game sooner and without Hayden’s help?  They could have shifted the game up much sooner.

Tyson on the other hand, just saw his place in the game solidify.  With an Idol in his pocket, he faced a 33% chance of elimination, but came out with the black rock of life.  And Hayden, oh man.  Talk about an incredible move of survival.  Rarely do things change while at the Tribal Council…this season, it’s happened a bunch.

So where this leaves us – with only one episode remaining before the December 15 Finale – is with Monica in a position of supreme power.  To paraphrase Vytas, she’d have to be stupid not to make it to the end at this point.  Tyson and Gervase are firmly aligned and Ciera has now placed herself with only one real ally, Hayden.  That leaves Monica in the driver’s seat.  There will only be one more Tribal before the final player returns to the game from Redemption Island too, meaning that the game will go from five next week, down to four and then back up to five.  If Monica solidifies a Final Three – albeit with Tyson and Gervase or with Hayden and Ciera – it doesn’t quite matter who returns from Redemption Island, as they will just see themselves quickly in the minority.

After a long season of craziness and elaborate strategies brought on by the loved ones twist, it will most undoubtedly start to feel like good ole’ Survivor again as we hit this home stretch.  As always, someone will make the right move and someone will make a wrong move.  And as always, individual Immunity becomes the most important part of the game.

We’re getting to the end and things keep getting better.  What a season.  We are in for quite the finish.

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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