But here's the harder part.... just when we witness the dismay in Colton's face in realizing that he won't be spending time with his fiance, Jeff drew another dagger. Each tribe will have to vote off one tribe member right off the bat. Uh-oh. This looked like a flashback into Survivor: Palau wherein Wanda and Jonathan were sent home after only spending 24 hours in the game. That would be ridiculous, right? The Loved Ones tribe (aka Tadhana) unanimously voted off Laura, Rupert's wife. Rupert looked pissed as Laura tried to hold back her tears. As she approached the mat beside Jeff, she quipped "Got get 'em honey" to Rupert.
Then, Candice suffered the same fate, although it was not as unanimous a vote, she still got the majority. Ouch! That was more shocking than the Laura vote on the other side because Candice is actually a pretty strong competitor. But the majority vote sticks and she looked dismayed as John looked on helplessly.
As Jeff revealed the return of the Redemption Island twist, things got even crazier only within less than 30 minutes into the episode. When offered the opportunity to replace their loved ones' spot in Redemption Island, Rupert made what appeared to be a sweet and heroic gesture in one regard, but a stupid move that cost his tribe. We hear Tina pleading from behind for him not to do it. But Rupert's mind was already made up the moment he stepped off that mat, I believe. This particular move, on the surface, might seem like such a heroic thing to do, such a gentlemanly act that showed how far he'd go for and what sacrifices he'll make for his wife. But he put himself in a vulnerable position - he now has to fight to stay alive in the game! What a huge shift after just one episode! Meanwhile, Laura is thrust into a tribe that she feels alienated and intimidated by. These are all Survivor vets who knew each other in and out of the game. Laura struggled to fit in right off the bat. If there is any strategy at all, it was clearly not implemented here because now both of them have no or slim chance to potentially win the game.
As for Candice, John was put in the hot seat. Most people probably expected John to make the same sacrifice for his wife, too. But then again, we all knew it would be a dumb move. So I heaved a sigh of relief when he opted to let Candice stay in Redemption Island. She is a strong woman who can survive on her own, whereas I would picture Laura to lie in fetal position waiting for Rupert to come and save her.
When all the chaos is over and done with, Jeff sent each tribe off to their respective beaches to start a 39-day adventure on the Philippine islands.
Tribes Settling In
The Galang or Returning Castaways tribe made use of their experience to build fire within an hour or so since arriving at their beach. They also quickly put together their shelter but some of the castaways can't stop pointing out how big of a difference Rupert's sacrifice made in terms of putting the camp together. The apologetic Laura felt all the more alienated by it.
Then, we saw a different side to Colton professing his insecurities as one of the main reasons why he was mean the last time he played. But Monica is on the fence about Colton - has he changed or is he still the same? Are those crocodile tears? For now, the two former rivals made their pact.
Meanwhile, an alpha male alliance is brewing over at Tadhana's camp. Brad Culpepper, Monica's husband, spearheaded the alliance of the muscles. Most are quick to jump onboard at the idea even shaking on it. But Caleb was quick to catch up (smart cookie). Thankfully, he was smart enough to go along with the plan for now noting that he will agree to anything that is thrown at him at this point.
The first immunity challenge was another classic Survivor multi-leg challenge with the first half consisting of the physical aspect and the latter half involving puzzles. Thank you, Survivor challenge producers, for sparing us of those tossing challenges that plagued Caramoan. But before we were treated to a thrilling comeback of the mommy trio in Laura, Tina, and Monica, we saw a dismal showing on Gervase's part in the swimming leg. At one point, he was so winded that he took a sweet 10-15 seconds of his time in the final platform before launching himself in the water. I had to give props to Aras' patience waiting on him. If that would've been me in Aras' position, I would have seriously pushed his lazy ass off the platform.
Then, he asked Aras to help him out in the swim so they can get to the boat. Good thing, Tyson and the rest of the tribe quickly released their boat so they can paddle back and Gervase could get to the safety of the boat. The lapse-marred performance of Galang did not end there because they were paddling in the wrong direction as the Tadhana rowers did a flawless job. The Galang tribe looked like the rookies in this challenge - they looked jittery in every aspect of that obstacle run!
But the puzzle solvers for Galang made up for serious time! They eventually took home the immunity idol and Gervase was so pumped by the comeback win that he yelled at the losing tribe! Uh, weren't you just so close to drowning earlier that Aras had to come to your rescue? Wow! The audacity of some people. I guess Gervase played such a long time ago that he forgot how to play the game at all.
Thankfully, the two people at Redemption Island welcomed her with open arms, which is quite ironic because these are the three that are going to fight each other to determine who gets to stay in the game!
Next week, we will finally have our first boot off this season.. any guesses? Be sure to vote on the poll so we can determine what everybody else thinks about Tadhana's vote at the first TC!