Vytas wastes absolutely no time laying it on thick to his surviving tribe mates when they all get back from Tribal Council. He tells Tina, Katie and Monica that as far as he’s concerned, they’re going to be the five-man alliance when they join up with Aras at the merge. Tina agrees and thinks that Gervase will join them too. Then she’s kind enough to tell Monica that her royalty will be rewarded because she’ll be number five in their six-man alliance.
Uhhh… not such a great move, Tina! Monica is rightfully irritated with Tina for saying this because she is obviously not here to play for fifth place. Tina might have just made herself a pretty powerful enemy. Whoops.
Jeff announces that this will be the final RI duel and one person, either John, Laura M. or Laura B., will re-enter the game after this challenge and then there will be a merge. And it’s an endurance challenge. The person who can wrap themselves around a pole and stay up there the longest will win.
John is the first person to start struggling. He kicks his shoes off to try and get better footing. Jeff reminds everyone that John’s wife, Candice, competed in this same challenge on her season of Heroes vs. Villains. But no one remembers that because Candice is boring.
Unfortunately, after 19 days, 12 of which he spent on RI, John is the first to fall off his pole and therefore he’s out of the challenge and out of the game.
Laura M. is freaking determined and has a solid grip on her pole. Laura B. slips down and eventually off of her pole. Laura M. wins her place back in the game and a hint to the location of the hidden immunity idol. And guess what she does with it? YEP. Much to Jeff’s dismay (and mine, and yours) Laura M. throws it right into the fire. I could not be side-eyeing the people in the season any harder if I tried.
Back at the beach, the new tribe members share a celebratory feast as is the custom of the post-merge. Hayden thinks that Laura M. is a wild card because he’s not sure if she’s going to join their alliance with Ciera, or try and pull Ciera into another alliance with some of the vets.
Laura M. pulls Ciera off for a walk on the beach as soon as she gets the chance. Ciera breaks things down for her, telling her that she’s in an alliance with Hayden, Caleb and Tyson and that their next move is to get rid of Aras. She also warns her not to play too hard, or she’ll make herself a target.
Aras and Vytas are the second couple reunited. They are feeling quite confident in their positions in the game. Vytas says that if their tribe mates were smart, they would come after one of them, but they won’t. Vytas especially is a bit cocky, saying that they might as well have called this season “Aras vs. Vytas” because it’s just going to come down to them in the end.
Monica pulls Tyson aside because she’s worried about her position in the game after her chat with Tina. Tyson has to reassure her over, and over, and over that yes, he and Gervase are still tight. And yes, their next move is to get rid of Aras.
And lo and behold, someone finally starts to take an initiative to find an idol. Tyson uses the information that Caleb gave him at the tribe switch to poke around a big twisted tree where he does come across the hidden immunity idol. Hooray! Tyson is playing to win! And he decides to keep it a secret, a smart decision in my opinion.
Yay! The first individual immunity challenge! That means the game is getting real. And it’s a memory challenge, where Jeff flashes the group a series of six symbols. The players then have to repeat the symbols one at a time back on their cubes. Whoever lasts the longest without getting one wrong, wins.
A slew of people are out at once including Katie (shock), Monica and Caleb. They’re followed shortly by Tyson and Tina. The girls put up a good fight, but a few rounds later Laura M. and Ciera are out. So Gervase is left to battle it out with Aras and Vytas, but after another round, he’s out too.
Jeff reminds us again how dramatic this is because Aras and Vytas are so competitive. We get it, Jeff, you live for storylines like this. But Vytas is the last man standing. Vytas is happy to win immunity, not because he thinks he needs it, but because he’s glad he beat his brother.
Back at camp, things are kind of a mess. Aras tells the women he thinks are in his alliance, Tina, Katie, and Monica to all vote for Laura M. and the men, Vytas, Tyson and Gervase to all vote for Ciera. I’m not sure why on god’s green earth Aras wants to split the votes. Does he actually think that Ciera or Laura as an idol? Ciera has been useless and Laura has already been voted out once.
Meanwhile, Tyson and Gervase make sure everyone knows that they’re still voting for Aras. But Laura M. comes up with some completely harebrained idea to split the votes between Aras and Tina. You guys really don’t need to split votes. JUST STOP.
Aras says he doesn’t think he’s a bigger threat now that he’s been reunited with his brother. He says that alliances in this game are based on trust so who you trust doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not their other half is still in the game.
Laura M. says she feels like an outcast ever since re-joining the game. But it’s helped to have her daughter around to keep her grounded, and even give her advice, which she says is a real role reversal from their normal relationship.
When it gets down to the voting, Katie and Tina vote for Laura M., Aras and Vytas vote for Ciera, and everyone else votes for Aras. He and Vytas are obviously shocked, and this is the first time Aras has been voted off of Survivor, having won his season. But instead of becoming a member of the jury, Aras will have a shot at re-entering the game on Redemption Island part two.
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8pm on CBS.
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(Image courtesy of CBS)