Survivor: Blood vs. Water Review “One-Man Wrecking Ball”

Survivor: Blood vs. Water returned tonight with the heavily hyped episode “One-Man Wrecking Ball”, as the tribes switch members into totally different teams. It’s very rare that we have a pre-merge shakeup like this, so I was very excited to see how it would all turn out! I think this episode might have actually lived up to all the hype that CBS threw behind it, and I couldn’t be happier!

The episode began with the typical post-tribal scenes, as Galang discusses their first visit to tribal council. I said last week that Laura B was in big trouble this week if her tribe lost one more time, but it turned out that wasn’t really an issue anymore! But we’ll get to that shortly!

The Redemption Island Duel contained what will likely go down as the Easiest Challenge in Survivor History. I guess the Survivor challenge team was in the office really late one night and they threw their arms up in the air and yelled “Screw it! Just have ’em line up a bunch of numbers in order!” Well Brad is mercifully sent home, so we get to look forward to a little less chauvinism on a weekly basis. I was a bit surprised how little fanfare there was over Brad’s exit, though. He was a very loud character that got a lot of screen time, so I expected some more reaction to his elimination.

The tribe switch had a very amusing result, with Galang being all females except Vytas, and Tadhana being all dudes except Sierra. I’m not sure how I felt about Vytas’ strategy to ingratiate himself to the women in his tribe by opening up to them about his troubled past, specifically noting that women love when men open up and act vulnerable. It really feels like he’s leveraging the terrible things he’s done in his life in an effort to get their sympathies, which comes off pretty crappy. You clearly don’t have that much trouble sharing your struggles if you could open up so easily to a bunch of strangers in order to get ahead on a TV show.

The Immunity challenge was a very exciting one, with one of the craziest near-comebacks of all time. I’m not sure if the Galang has ever seen a fish before, but usually they aren’t all disjointed with random fins sticking out all over the place. Every time they got all excited and thought they had it, I would just look at it and say “um…nope. That’s not what fishes look like.”

I hate to say this, and I swear it’s not a girl/boy thing, but watching Galang “strategize” is like nails on a chalkboard. First you’ve got Monica, who acts like she’s God’s gift to Survivor even though she finished in 14th place in her season. Then you’ve got Kat, who doesn’t know when to shut up and lets her emotions get the best of her, just like she did on One World. Finally there’s Tina, who immediately snitches on Kat to Monica for no good reason. It’s a bummer to see Kat go so soon, but she’s really not a player that was made for the long haul on this game. I’m hoping that she can come back into the game, as the scenes for next week show that she does not switch places with Hayden.

I’m really loving the loved ones twist for this season, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Random Thoughts:

– Is this the first time that Jeff Probst’s Twitter handle has popped up on the screen when he’s introduced? They’ve been showing hashtags for a while, but I think this was the first Twitter handle.

– I loved Kat complaining at Redemption Island that Hayden might not like her anymore after her early elimination. “Who wants to date someone who doesn’t even make it to the merge?” Classic Kat.

– Tyson is acting more “villainous” then he ever did on Tocantins. I always wondered why Tyson was recruited to the Villains team on “Heroes vs. Villains”, but this episode really illustrates why they chose him.