Just when players start getting comfortable on "Survivor" — bam — there's a change-up.
Aside from a merge, shuffling players between tribes is a major turning point in the game. This one, with the gender balance so out of whack, is already proving to be a fascinating look at the dynamics of each tribe.
Galang, where common sense once ruled, is now a nest of strategizing and whisper campaigns. Tadhana, accustomed to losing every challenge, is now poised to win all of them.
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Check out our play-by-play of this week's game-changing episode!
0:01: After voting out Laura M., Galang returns to camp, which Laura is just glad to even see again. "It wasn't me," she sighs in relief. Now that Shaggy song is going to play in our heads for the rest of the night. Thanks.
0:03: Aras is worried that he's going to be seen as the strategizing ringleader — and he should be since his alliance members are already thinking of voting him out! Tyson and Gervase plot to vote out Aras before the merge. Also, Tyson believes in magic, because magic is awesome. We always liked Tyson!
0:07: Time for the duel. After learning that her mom got voted out, Ciera cries (of course). The challenge involves walking across a balance beam, untying bags filled with numbered tiles, then putting those tiles in order. Basically, this challenge was designed for Laura.
0:10: Not surprisingly, Laura builds up a big lead. John falls off twice on his beam, but Brad isn't nimble enough to take advantage.
0:12: Laura wins. It's down to Brad and John, who are neck and neck at placing their final tiles. John just manages to finish before Brad, which means CULPEPPER IS GONE! Wow, Aras's plan really did work! Brad tells a tearful Monica to "sail hard" or some nonsense, then departs. Bye, Brad! #Sorrynotsorry
0:18: After the duel, Jeff Probst announces that they're switching things up. They're going to draw for new tribes! Aras, Gervase, and Tyson move to Tadhana, while Vytas and Katie move to Galang. So, the new tribes are:
- Galang: Monica, Tina, Katie, Laura B., Kat, and Vytas
- Tadhana: Gervase, Caleb, Aras, Tyson, Hayden, and Ciera
Jeff announces a surprise tribe switcharoo after the duel:
0:20: At Tadhana, everyone's feeling awkward and wary of each other. The tribe is split between former Galang and original Tadhana. The vets quickly pump info out of Hayden and Caleb (even getting the clue to the Immunity Idol that John had) and start to eat all the food.
0:23: More shots of weird insects. We really miss the tarsiers. At Galang, Vytas knows he has a huge target on his back since he's the only guy. He is literally the odd man out. So, he starts to open up about his past and his heroin addiction to try to draw the women's sympathy.
0:33: Immunity Challenge time! It's a swimming race to get fish traps filled with puzzle pieces. Reward is a big picnic lunch. There are even brownies!
0:35: Holy tarsier, Tina and Laura forget their fish trap on the first leg! HUGE mistake. Like, mindboggling. Tadhana gets a ginormous lead.
0:37: Tadhana gets all their traps and Aras and Tyson work on the puzzle. They have a seemingly insurmountable lead … and yet, puzzle machines Tina and Monica manage to finish theirs first! Except it's not correct. They try to redo. Again, they finish it. Again, it's wrong. Jeff is going crazy about this. Finally, finally, Aras and Tyson finish Tadhana's puzzle correctly. WOW.
See Tina and Laura's big blunder during the challenge:
0:44: Scramble time at Galang! Vytas has basically bitten his tongue off to not yell at Tina and Laura for their major mistake. He knows there's nothing he can say or do to prevent him from going home. What he needs is for one of the women to mess up — which Kat does when she approaches Tina about getting rid of over-strategizing Monica!
0:46: Of course, Tina runs right to Moncia to tell her about Kat's nefarious plan. Monica confronts Kat, who lies and gets defensive. Now, of course, Monica wants Kat gone. "Do unto others before they do unto you," she says.
0:49: At Tribal Council, Kat cops to the problems between her and Monica. Jeff asks whether Kat can be trusted, and Monica says she isn't sure. Vytas, seeing his chance, swoops in. He starts going on and on about how two-faced Kat is.
0:51: Kat tries to backpedal and talk about how much she loves the women on her tribe. But man, Vytas is just punishing her hard. We've got to give him credit for being a very smooth talker.
0:53: Everyone votes, and Jeff tallies. Seems the Girls Rule alliance never even got off the ground, since Kat is voted out. Vytas lives to see another day.
Check out Twitter reactions to the episode, and then sound off in the comments below!
I love that the week Kat tells you how to play #Survivor is the week she goes home!! She's still got so much growing up to do!!— Dean Brown (@DeanoBrown2010) October 24, 2013
Lastly, I won't be surprised if Aras, Tina, Vytas, and Katie worked together at the merge. Among the four, I'll root for Vytas. #Survivor— Aldrin Lim (@aldrinalinerush) October 24, 2013
"Survivor" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
What would Tribal Council look like with Judge Judy hosting? A lot different! Watch to find out: