Season 27: Episode 1 - Blood is Thicker Than Everything
Posted on Sep 19, 2013 02:25pm


As the night is approaching, ten pairs of castaways are being dropped off at ten separate locations. Some arrive by boat and others by car. Each pair consists of one returning player and their loved one. Gervase Peterson, the 43 year-old returning player from the first season SURVIVOR: BORNEO is here with his niece Marissa Peterson, the 21 year-old student from Chapel Hill, NC. Gervase boasts, “I am the original, the OG. The one who started this all.” He plans on winning this time. Marissa respects her uncle, but replies, “I’m focused on me winning this game.” A boat then drops off Gervase and Marissa on a deserted beach to start their SURVIVOR adventure. Kat Edorsson, the 23 year-old returning player from SURVIVOR: ONE WORLD is out here with her boyfriend Hayden Moss, the 26 year-old who won Big Brother 12. Kat comments, “Hayden’s already won a show before. This is my time. This is my game.” A car drops Kat and Hayden off on the side of a dirt road to set up camp for the night. Meanwhile, Laura Morrett, the 43 year-old returning player from SURVIVOR: SAMOA is being dropped off on another deserted road with her daughter Ciera Easton, a 24 year-old cosmetology student from Salem, OR. Ciera is confident that she and her mom will make a good team. Laura admits, “She’s my heart and nothing is harder than seeing somebody that you love suffer.” Rupert Boneham, the 49-year old returning player is starting his fourth season of SURVIVOR after having played a total of 100 days already. He is accompanied by his wife Laura Boneham, who is a 44 year-old merchandiser from Indianapolis, IN. Rupert would love to make it to the end, but reveals, “Now it’s time for Laura.” Colton Cumbie, the 22 year-old controversial player from SURVIVOR: ONE WORLD is playing with his fiancé Caleb Bankston, a 26 year-old post office manager and farmer from Collinsville, AL. Colton reveals, “My goal apart from winning this season is to show people a different side of me.” As the car drops off Colton and Caleb on the road, Colton is so happy that Caleb is there with him.

Out on the ocean, Candice (Woodcock) Cody, the 30 year-old returning player from SURVIVOR: COOK ISLANDS and SURVIVOR: HEROES VS VILLIANS is on a boat headed to shore with her husband John Cody, a 30 year-old Army orthopedic surgery resident from Washington, D.C. Candice is an anesthesiology resident. She worries, “We are two people who have been very successful. It could be something that people perceive as a threat.” Monica Culpepper, the 42 year-old returning player from SURVIVOR: ONE WORLD is out here with her husband, Brad Culpepper, the 44 year-old attorney and retired NFL player. Monica comments, “It’s my turn to win and this time I brought some ammunition.” Tina Wesson, the 52-year old winner of SURVIVOR: THE AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK is joined by her daughter Katie Collins, the 25 year-old hedge fund support employee from New York, NY. Tina and Katie are very close, but also very competitive. Katie reveals, “I would love to beat my mother at her own game.” Tyson Apostol, the 34 year-old returning player from both SURVIVOR: TOCANTINS and SURVIVOR: HEROES VS VILLIANS is happy to share this adventure with his girlfriend Rachel Foulger, a 33 year-old waitress and graphic designer from Provo, UT. Tyson comments, “I’ve been disappointed by SURVIVOR twice, but his time I actually feel like I’m in a pretty good spot.” Rachel is so excited to be on SURVIVOR with Tyson and expects this season to be a crazy one. Aras Baskauskas, the 31 year-old winner of SURVIVOR: EXILE ISLAND is with his older brother Vytas Baskauskas, a 33 year-old yoga instructor/math professor. Vytas is a recovered drug addict. He admits, “Aras still has a lot of resentment against me.” A car drops the two of them off on the road to begin their SURVIVOR experience together. Each pair will share one night together in the jungle without any shelter or supplies. This gives the returning players an opportunity to prepare their loved ones for what awaits them in the rest of the game.


The next morning, as the sun rises, each pair of returning Survivors and their loved ones makes their way to a beach to meet with Jeff Probst, the host. Jeff immediately informs everyone that they will be playing against and not with their loved ones. Brad has mixed feelings about this because he would like to both beat Monica and protect her. He explains, “If there’s a challenge for say a tarp and it’s raining every day and we’re going to win and she’s on the other team, part of me is going to say I need her to have the tarp instead of me.” Marissa is concerned by Brad’s statement and does not want him to be on her tribe. Brad quickly realizes that his new tribe may not trust him now. He feels bad about it and admits, “I answered with my heart instead of my head and all of a sudden I got stares and looks from every person down the line.” Jeff then separates the returning players from the new players into two different tribes. The loved ones say their good byes and reluctantly part from one another. The returning players tribe name is Galang. The new players tribe name is Tadhana. Jeff passes out buffs to each tribe. Jeff then complicates the game by asking each tribe to vote out a member. Hayden comments, “First impressions are going to speak very loudly right here.” Colton worries that he will be the first one voted out of the Galang tribe. The Tadhana tribe reveals their votes first. Vytas, Brad, and Hayden voted for Laura B., Rupert’s wife. She is amazed to already be a target in the game. Laura voted for Marissa, Gervase’s niece. Caleb and Ciera also voted for Laura and that’s enough to have her voted out of the tribe, since Marissa can’t vote for herself. Rupert reveals, “Watching my wife get voted out of her tribe about killed me.” He feels that the Tadhana tribe was sending a message to him by voting his wife out. Next, the Galang tribe of returning players reveals their votes. Candice, Tyson and Rupert vote for Laura M, while Aras votes for Gervase. Tina, Kat, Colton, Monica, and Laura vote for Candice. So Candice is the first returning player voted out of her tribe. Candice tells her tribe, “I wanted to play with you guys, but I guess the feeling wasn’t mutual.” Jeff then gives Laura B. and Candice the good news that they are not out of the game, but will instead go to Redemption Island where they will compete in duels for a chance to get back into the game. Laura B. and Candice are relieved to have a second chance. Next, Jeff tests the idea of blood vs water by giving Rupert and John the opportunity to switch will their loved ones. In other words, Rupert could go to Redemption and then his Laura B. would take his place on the returning players Galang tribe. Likewise, John could go to Redemption Island Candice would then be on the loved ones Tadhana tribe. Rupert immediately steps up and talks it over with his wife Laura B. He decides to switch places with her. Rupert explains, “To put myself in a position where I am not safe is killing me, but I would rather have myself in this position than I would my wife. Laura deserves to play the game.” So Rupert goes to Redemption Island and Laura B. joins the Galang tribe of returning members. Tina is disappointed that a strong player like Rupert volunteered to leave her Galang tribe and therefore weaken it. John and Candice talk over the option of swapping places. They decide not to swap. Rupert and Candice then leave for Redemption Island. John tears up and reveals, “Watching Candice walk off literally felt like my heart was being torn out of my chest.” Jeff sends that Galang and Tadhana tribes off to locate their new camps using maps.

The Galang tribe arrives at the camp and gives each other a big group hug. They are delighted to find a box full of supplies, which include a hammer, machete, pot and rice, but no flint. Gervase is excited to be back in the game after being away for thirteen years and he is pleased with his tribe of returning players. Gervase admits, “I wanted to play with Rupert. I didn’t want to play with Laura.” He has no problem voting Rupert’s wife out of the game. Laura B. does feel like the odd person out in the tribe. As she struggles to open a coconut, Aras gives her some pointers on how to do it. Laura B. comments, “I have to show how tough I am and how valuable I am to the tribe.” Galang gets right to building a shelter. Tyson works with Monica and Kat to build a fire without flint. In a short amount of time, Tyson is successful. The tribe then uses the fire to boil water and cook rice. Laura M. is proud of her tribe and how they are using their experience to build their camp. She says, “Moral is good. It’s amazing, we’re really comfortable at this point.” Monica is not thrilled to be playing with Colton again, since he previously played a very nasty game and was instrumental in voting her out of SURVIVOR: ONE WORLD. She confronts Colton and asks him, “Can I trust you or are you going to stab me in the back again?” Colton assures Monica that she can trust him and gives her a hug and a promise to talk later. Monica wonders, “Has he changed? Has he not? I don’t know. Does a Zebra change their stripes?”


The inexperienced loved ones on the Tadhana tribe quickly get to work to try and build their shelter and establish their camp. They are all new to SURVIVOR, but try to apply what they have learned from their veteran loved ones to set up their camp. Brad worries about how his tribe mates feel about him. He explains, “Five minutes into the game I made a huge blunder about not going a 100% to potentially help my wife.” Brad decides to address the issue and calls a meeting with his tribe. He assures them that he is fully committed to their tribe and encourages them to vote him out if they do not agree. Marissa still does not trust Brad. She vows, “He’s one I’m going to definitely have to keep my eye on and keep him close.” As the women are weaving the palm fronds for the shelter, Brad takes the opportunity to meet one on one with the other four guys in the tribe to try and form a guy’s alliance. He talks to John first as they enjoy cooling off in a waterfall. John agrees to be part of his alliance but reveals, “The more he talks about that kind of stuff and asserts himself as a leader, the more that could potentially end up biting him in the ass later.” Brad checks in with Hayden next as they are gathering coconuts. Hayden likes the idea. Caleb is amused by Brad’s aggressive playing, but decides to join the five guy alliance for now. Caleb reveals, “I’ll agree to anything at this point with him because it’s going to shut him up.” Brad meets with Vytas next. Vytas likes the idea of keeping the strong together and joins the alliance. Brad followed the suggestion of his wife Monica to quickly form an alliance and he is glad that it worked out so well. In a nine member tribe, he now has formed the majority alliance with the five guys.


Tadhana is making good progress on building their shelter but are struggling to make fire. Brad, Vytas and Ciera are huddled together trying to make fire with two pieces of bamboo. Vytas asks Ciera about her husband and children. Ciera reveals that she got pregnant in high school and had her first child as a single mom. She admits, “That was a huge game change for me and my mom. It was a really hard obstacle for us to get through.” As a father, Brad understands how Ciera’s mom, Laura M., must have felt to find out her daughter was pregnant in high school. Ciera shares with Vytas and Brad how much she enjoys her husband and two children and how much closer she is to her mom now. Vytas then shares his past struggles with drug addiction and the year he spent in prison when he was just 19 years old. He explains how different his early life was from his brother Aras’. Vytas admits, “My addiction impacted my family, like profoundly. Even my relationship with my brother to this day is not fully mended.” Vytas hopes to strengthen his relationship with his brother. He also feels that by sharing the difficulties of his past with his tribe, they will see that he is vulnerable and therefore will trust him more.


On night 1, the Galang tribe is gathered around the fire getting to know each other better. Colton is trying to bond with his tribe, so they will see beyond the insecure person that he was on SURVIVOR: ONE WORLD, where he was rude and mean to others. Colton opens up to his Galang tribe on how hard it is to live in the south where there is a lot of prejudice against gay people. The prejudice has changed him from a sweet young boy to someone that sticks up for himself. Colton starts crying when he admits that even members of his family will not talk to him. He admits, “The struggle is to get everybody to understand I’m a living breathing human being, just like everybody else.” The women in Galang hug and comfort Colton as he sobs. He comments, “The negative experiences that you go through in life, I think they build you to the person you are today, but I’m trying to change.” Colton wishes that Caleb was there with him. Monica hugs Colton and reminds him that Caleb is in the game with him. She comments, “We haven’t walked a mile in his shoes and I don’t think it’s easy. If he’s changed, wouldn’t that be a beautiful story.”


Over on Redemption Island, Candice and Rupert anxiously wait to get back in the game. Candice is angry with her Galang tribe mates for voting her out of the game and putting her on Redemption Island. She explains, “I’m out for revenge. I’m going to do everything I can to fight and to win this game.” Candice spends her time keeping the Redemption Island camp going by gathering wood and coconuts, tending the fire, boiling the water and rice. Meanwhile, Rupert naps and stays cool in the ocean water. Candice does not appreciate doing all the work around camp. Rupert comments, “One of the reasons why I’ve never won an immunity challenge is I kill myself out fishing. I kill myself out taking care of my tribe, but this is more individual.” This time, he will gladly let Candice do the work on Redemption Island, so he can save his energy and have a better chance of beating her in a duel.


In the morning on day 3, Brad and Rachel check tree mail for Tadhana. Meanwhile, Colton and Tina check tree mail over on the Galang beach. They are all pleased to find something in the mail and bring it back to read to their tribes. Tree mail informs them that their first immunity challenge will include running, swimming, paddling and puzzles. The Tadhana tribe talks about which of them would be best for each task. Katie and Ciera volunteer to do the puzzle. Katie reveals, “My mom’s great at puzzles too, so she’s probably on the puzzle. I’m on the puzzle. So it’s going to be a mother daughter duel.” Over at Galang, Laura M. volunteers to do the puzzle knowing that she will likely be going against her daughter Ciera. Laura M. comments, “As much as I love her, unfortunately I want to beat my daughter in this game.”


The Galang and Tadhana tribes arrive on their mats. Jeff gives Laura B. a Tadhana buff to replace her original Galang buff. Colton tells Jeff that his Galang tribe is doing well with a solid shelter and fire. Brad bluffs and tells Jeff that Tadhana already has fire too. Hayden vents, “They probably have fire because they’re experienced. We don’t because we’re a bunch of meat heads.” Jeff then explains the rules of their first immunity challenge. Six members of each tribe will race over a series of obstacles to a boat. They will untie the boat and paddle it back to shore. The boat contains a chest of puzzle pieces. The three remaining tribe members will use those puzzle pieces to assemble a ship’s wheel. The first tribe to assemble their wheel and use it to raise their flag wins immunity. Jeff unveils the tribal immunity idol. Winning the immunity idol ensures that no one in that tribe will be voted out of the game. In addition they are playing for fire in the form of flint. Rachel, John, Vytas, Brad, Marissa and Hayden start the challenge for the Tadhana loved one’s tribe. While, Tyson, Kat, Gervase, Colton, Aras and Laura B. start the challenge for the Galang returning players tribe. Both tribes do well getting over the first net obstacle in the water. Tadhana takes the lead by doing a better job at helping each other get over the second log obstacle. Gervase is exhausted after getting past the second obstacle and starts to really slow down his Galang tribe. Meanwhile the Tadhana tribe now has a big lead and is already untying their boat. The Galang tribe still has one obstacle to get over before they even get to their boat. Aras helps Gervase get over the obstacle and to the boat. The Galang tribe makes up some time by quickly untying their boat, but lose it when they don’t work together to paddle their boat back to shore. So the Tadhana tribe beats them to shore and gets the advantage of working on their puzzle well before Galang. Caleb, Katie and Ciera are the puzzle solvers for Tadhana. Finally, Galang gets their boat to shore with the puzzle pieces for Monica, Laura M. and Tina to start putting together. Even though Tadhana had a big head start, Galang’s expertise starts paying off and they quickly catch up to Tadhana on the puzzle. In the end, Laura M., Tina and Monica bring home the victory for Galang. Ciera and Katie are very disappointed that they could not beat their mothers on the puzzle. The Galang tribe of returning players gives a big cheer as they win immunity and flint over their loved ones. Gervase loudly cheers and shouts at the other tribe when his tribe wins. As Jeff gives Galang the immunity idol, Colton looks at Caleb and starts crying. Laura M. explains, “He’s probably feeling what all of us do, it’s bittersweet we won but we put our loved ones in jeopardy.”


The Tadhana tribe returns to camp very upset about losing the immunity challenge. Brad comments, “We lost the challenge and that stinks. I didn’t get to where I am in life by losing.” Brad gives his team a pep talk and praises them for working so hard in the challenge, even the puzzle solvers. John points out that the other tribe is more experienced and therefore not as nervous in the challenge. Katie feels bad about her poor performance on the puzzle. She admits, “The fact that the three of us, the puzzle people were the reason that we didn’t pull through at the end, you know makes me a little nervous because what are we going to judge the votes off of?” Marissa lets her tribe know that she was bugged that her Uncle Gervase was so obnoxious yelling at them when his tribe won even though he performed so badly. Marissa reveals, “I definitely think the other tribe was celebrating too much after that win because they are our loved ones.” She worries that her tribe may target her because of her uncle’s gloating. Brad encourages his tribe not to gloat when they win a challenge. Next, the five guys meet outside of camp to discuss whom to vote out. They are so happy to have an alliance with a majority vote so early in the game. Brad says, “I’m a little spoiled on Marissa right now just because of the way Gervase acted.” Caleb is worried about how Katie will do in future challenges based on how poorly she did on the puzzle. The guys agree that the want to keep the tribe as strong as possible. Vytas comments, “The girls probably know that the guys have bonded. I mean we are not being subtle at all to these women.” Vytas is happy to be on the majority guy alliance, but he does not want to alienate the women. So he makes sure to talk to them before they go to Tribal Council. Vytas tells Rachel that the guys may vote for Marissa, but he tells Marissa that they may vote for Katie. Brad comments, “The girls are connected with the other tribe. We got to start thinking about who we vote out could potentially affect their tribe.”


Tadhana, the loved ones tribe starts their first Tribal Council by lighting their torches in the tribal fire. Jeff informs them, “This is part of the ritual of Tribal Council because in this game, fire represents your life.” Hayden confesses that not having fire has been the toughest part of the first three days for him. Ciera admits, “Having my mom tell me stories and actually being out here is completely different.” She now knows what real hunger feels like. Caleb finds not being able to communicate with Colton very hard, but is committed to his tribe. John breaks down when he admits to feeling guilty as a husband for not switching places with Candice before she went to Redemption Island. He confirms that his vote tonight will be to make his tribe strong and is not about sending the right person to Redemption, so his wife can beat them. Marissa expresses her disappointment in her Uncle Gervase over not being graceful in celebrating his tribe’s challenge win and is worried that her tribe is seeing her as guilty by association. Katie admits that she is vulnerable tonight based on her performance in the challenge. The Tadhana tribe then votes. Jeff reveals the first six votes, which are one vote for Katie and five votes for Marissa. So, Marissa Peterson, the 21 year-old student from Chapel Hill, NC becomes the third person to be voted out of SURVIVOR: BLOOD VS WATER and sent to Redemption Island. After Marissa’s torch is snuffed, Jeff gives the Tadhana tribe fire in the form of flint.