Survivor recap: Culpepper's fate on the rocks
Wow. What just happened?
That was one of the craziest Tribal Council's ever last night -- and only the second time in 27 seasons of Survivor that the voting came down to two tie votes and a random drawing of rocks from a sack to determinewho goes home. And it was Tampa's Monica Culpepper who was on the rocks. She could have easily been voted off if just one player had turned on her.
Here's why this is only the second time in Survivor history this has heppened: It was a collosally stupid move to allow your fate to be determined by the luck of the draw. That rock could end up costing Katie $1 million because she pulled a white rock out of a bag.
The rules are a little complicated so bear with me: If there's a tie vote, the two people on the block cannot vote and remaining players vote again. So the first vote was a 3-3 tie of Monica vs. Big Brother's Hayden, who pleaded his case that the Tyson-Gervase-Monica allliance needed to be broken up. This is where the stupid part comes in.
According to Survivor rules, if there's a second tie, the players have a choice: Make a unanimous decision to vote off Monica or Hayden. If they can't agree, then Monica and Hayden are now safe (Wait, what?!) and the remaining players blindly pick a rock from a sack and the one with a white rock is gone. Why on earth would you just NOT switch your vote at that point to avoid being sent home based on a random draw?
Ironically that's how Brad Culpepper got voted off.
If you recall, eight weeks ago when the ex-Buccaneer still dominated a male alliance on his tribe, Brad moved for his team to vote off Ciera, arguing that her failures with puzzles led to their loss. But in another cray-cray Tribal Council, Caleb brought up that Brad floated the idea of dumping him and made a last-minute change of heart declaring out loud to the minority women on the tribe that he was putting Brad's name down. “That’s three up front; the guys back there, ya’ll can decide what you want to do.”
The result was a tie, meaning a re-vote without Brad or Ciera voting. That left the men with basically the same decision again, since it just made a 2-2 tie possible. It was a tough decision. Hayden was shown agonizing his vote, and crossed off letters repeatedly as he tried to figure out what to do. Vytas, however, changed his mind, and voted for Brad, sending him to Redemption Island.
That's why I was astonished that none of the four remaining voters considered that.
Ciera is playing what could charitably be called an unpredictable game. She's all over the place. Voting out her mom one week, turning on her new alliance the next. With his back against the wall, Hayden tried to convince Ciera to switch from fourth position in her current alliance to vote with him and Katie. And she did, forcing a deadlock. And it was a deadlock a revote couldn't break.
Some thoughts from last night:
- Hayden must have gotten wind of Tyson finding the immunity idol (or noticed the bulge in his pants maybe?) because when he secured Ciera he pushed for Monica to be ousted even though he had just made a compelling argument that Tyson is set to win it all. Why argue that Tyson's the big threat and not push for them to vote for him?
- Tyson must have noticed Hayden mouthing "Monica" to the other voters because you'd think he'd play the idol after that speech.
- Hayden's compelling argument to Ciera was the best she could be is No. 4 in that alliance. When Gervase protested Hayden said, "Well than that would put Monica at No. 4." Monica seemed to dismiss that and it looks to me she's fine with being No. 3 in her alliance because she's likely confident she can beat them in a Final 3 challenge and end up at least being in the Final 2 before the jury.
- The jury clearly hates Tyson. Sometimes that doesn't mean anything. They'll vote for him to win based on admiration for his game play. But that has to factor into the other players' thinking.
- I loved how animated the jury was. It was like a Greek chorus back there rooting on their favorites and hissing at Tyson.
Next week is the last week for regular game play. I'm guessing we'll see the final Redemption Island battle and a player will return to the game. The show wraps up with an episode on Wednesday at 8 p.m. followed by the two-hour season finale on Sunday at 8 p.m. followed by a live reunion show hosted by Jeff Probst.