Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tyson Apostol: Newest Member of the Survivor Winner's Club

Before Cochran in Survivor: Caramoan, I did a poor job of picking bets because none of my picks ever made it as far as Final Four. In fact, a few of them did not even make the merge! I cannot believe it took me 26 seasons to pick a winner as part of my initial bets and now it seems that I am on a roll. For the second season in a row, I picked a winner and I could not have been more happy with my choice - Tyson Apostol is the official winner of Survivor: Blood vs Water!

This was a bittersweet win for Tyson because this season was ridden with emotions, drama, and strategic play that we haven't seen in any previous seasons. I was one of those who were skeptical about the twist from the start and even despised it. But sometimes, what doesn't look good on paper actually does work! And this is one of those few moments when it does!

Right from the get-go, Tyson was in it to play. No one took him seriously. Who could, really? He was the skinny guy who was running around the river naked in Tocantins. Then, he was Boston Rob's right-hand man in Heroes vs Villains who fell for Russell's trap and voted himself out of the game. I was glad that Tyson did not give up on the game and went for a third time (guess this was his charm?) wherein we got to see a different side of his personality.

To look back on this fantastic season, read on to find out my favorite Tyson moments in Survivor: Blood vs Water:

5. On the finale episode, Tyson won a crucial immunity challenge because 1) he needed to keep Ciera or Tina from winning it, and 2) he still had the idol at that point, which gives him huge power heading into the Final Four. For his first individual immunity win this season, Tyson asked Jeff if he could kneel as the latter put on his immunity necklace as if he is being knighted. It's small details like this is what makes Tyson stand out as a character (to a point that his gameplay is often overlooked). But funny things aside, he got the job done and secured probably the most important challenge of the season for him at that point.

4. The coconut bandits alliance of Tyson and Gervase was another comic relief from the game. The two formed a bond early on in the game by sneaking out and drinking coconuts without sharing it with their tribe mates at Galang. There was no strategy in this particular move whatsoever. And yet, it was pure entertainment gold (especially as they had their tribe mates wondering how all the coconuts had mysterious holes in them).

3. On Episode 3 of Survivor: Blood vs Water, right after Rachel (Tyson's girlfriend) was eliminated from Redemption Island, Tyson suffered an injury to his shoulders during the Sumo at Sea immunity challenge. He was matched up against Hayden when his shoulder popped out of place. Having picked Tyson as my bet to win, I was quickly worried for his future in the game. We've seen a few people taken out of the game for less serious injuries (he had to wear a sling for several episodes) but it was good to know that Tyson recovered from that injury and even made it all the way to the end.

2. The third episode was one of my favorites because seeing Rachel and Tyson interact at Redemption Island was one of the sweetest moments this season. Tyson has shown a sensitive side to him and it was nice to know that he can be vulnerable, too. The sacrifice that Rachel made was also endearing. She knew that Tyson has a better spot in the game so she was willing to fight for her life in the game so he can continue on with his journey. But when she was beaten by Marissa during the duel, Tyson approached her and asked if she had fun and it was heart-wrenching but sweet. Don't tell me that did not tug at your heart even for a little bit.

1. Tyson wins Survivor: Blood vs Water! Third time is the charm. Tyson has come full circle with his Survivor experience. The first time he played in Tocantins, he was the goofy athlete best known for his one-liners and wacky confessionals. When he returned in Heroes vs Villains, he still had the same goofy side to him but Boston Rob took him under his wings. This time out, he had his strategy in full effect from day one and to have shared that experience with Rachel must have made this win extra special.

Are you happy with the winner of Survivor: Blood vs Water? How does the season rank from the other seasons?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Survivor Blood vs Water: Gloves Come Off Preview

About 24 hours before the pivotal episode of Survivor Blood vs Water airs, fans can get a sneak preview of what's in store for them. CBS has released a preview video that showcases the first minute of the Redemption Island duel between Vytas, Tina and Laura M, who is back at Redemption Island after being voted out of Kasama and by her own daughter, Ciera.


Based on the initial press images released by CBS, this duel does not resemble any previous challenges. However, it can incorporate a few elements from previous challenges into a brand new concept. Watch the video for yourself and also take a closer look at some of the photos I found online (credits to www.survivorfever.net):

Immunity Challenge Preview


Maybe they get to pick whether to compete or eat?

The immunity challenge for this week, though, is a redux of the first individual immunity challenge of Survivor: Philippines. The challenge is dubbed "Wrist Assured" wherein each castaway will be holding onto a metal rod with a spool of rope tied around it that is connected to a bucket. The goal is to hang onto the metal rod for as long as you can - the last person standing wins immunity. This is easier said than done though because the bucket is weighed a certain percentage off of your body weight. Hence, the bigger you are, the heavier the weight you'd have to endure. As early as now, I am predicting that this is going to be a tougher challenge to win for the bigger guys such as Hayden and Gervase because they are going to be carrying heavier load. But will the girls have enough upper body strength to compensate for the lighter weight? We'll see.. it should play out interestingly.

Who do you think will join Aras as the second jury member?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Survivor Blood vs Water Episode 7: Swoop in for the Kill

A very interesting episode of Survivor went down this week.. Congrats again to the producers for continuing to excite us, week after week!

Last week, Kat was voted off her tribe when she made an errant decision to open her mouth and target Monica. The move ended up biting her in the butt with Vytas masterfully using this flawed move to magnify Kat's lack of trustworthiness. Thus, Kat mopes in Redemption Island while contemplating on not only her future in the game, but also the future of her relationship with Hayden. Gotta love those one-liners, girl!

Image: CBS

But the big question leading up to this week is this: will Hayden swap places with Kat? But in my mind, the real question should be this: how dumb will Hayden have to be in order to swap with Kat? Thankfully, Hayden opted to stay in the game even despite of Jeff Probst's tease to prove to Kat just how important their relationship is to him. Oh Probst! I am not a fan of your snide remarks, but this time out I loved how you swooped in to "test" this relationship. What a relief that Hayden did not take the bait even though Kat openly expressed that he hoped for him to swap because she sucked in the puzzle. For all the things I don't like about Kat's gameplay, you cannot not love her for her honesty!

The duel was a cake walk for John who smoked the puzzle (again!). Even Laura who seems pretty good at puzzles herself was having a hard time. And with that, Kat leaves the game but not without another funny comment to Hayden that brought a smile to John's face. What is she, 15?!

Image: CBS

At the Tadhana camp, Aras is quickly becoming the odd one out. It does not help his cause either that he's constantly bringing up Vytas' name into the mix. It further heightens the suspicion on Tyson & .co's part about where Aras' loyalty lies. It's also coincidental that all of the other players at Tadhana no longer has a loved one in the game (except for Ciera whose mom is still fighting for her life at Redemption Island). Aras setting out to meditate backfires on him as it gives the others the opportunity to conspire against him and seal their alliance of five. Tyson has been blatantly expressing his willingness to turn on Aras when he gets the chance. For now, that door of opportunity closes on his face yet again as they survive another immunity challenge.

In hindsight, keeping Vytas was not a good move for Galang (and especially for the girls). They've voted out two people already who are going to be numbers for them post-merge. See, Vytas might profess loyalty to the women of Galang now, but that is all he has to offer. But we know there's still Aras on the other side whom he can reconnect with and team up with... that's when Vytas is dangerous. He is dangerous by himself and even more potent with Aras by his side!

Image: CBS
On the flip side, Laura B has nowhere else to go. Her loyalty is to Galang only. She was already voted out by the people from the original Tadhana and when she was switched with Rupert to join Galang, she's been part of that team. She is a sure number that is going to vote with them! If Vytas has had them convinced to get rid of two women off of their alliance already, imagine what he can do with Aras in the merge! Even Tina points it out herself that Vytas is a likeable guy and you would be persuaded by his smooth-talking ways if you had to depend on instinct. Does that mean that their vote in tonight's episode hinges on instinct? How much more damage would Laura B opening up her mouth do if they ended up voting for Vytas, anyway? Will that really change anything?

Next week: it's merge time! The plan to break up the Vytas-Aras duo was not hatched but we'll see for how long these two will survive! Who do you think will come back into the game from Redemption Island? Don't forget to vote on the poll.