Season 27: Episode 8 - Skin of My Teeth
Posted on Nov 7, 2013 12:00am


It’s night 18 and the Galang tribe is returning from Tribal Council, where they just voted out Laura B. Vytas thanks Tina, Monica and Katie for trusting him and not voting him out tonight. All of them feel the merge is near. Vytas assures the women that Aras and Gervase will join their alliance of four, therefore giving them a majority alliance of six people, since eleven people are left in the game. He comments, “That’s not how I feel, but that’s what I’m rapping to them.” Tina tells Monica that she will be number five in their alliance, therefore putting her above Gervase. Tina wants to reward Monica for her loyalty and proven commitment to their alliance. Monica plays along and gives Tina a hug and thanks her. Monica reveals, “If we merge, it’s going to be difficult when people come to me with an offer better than five.”


Meanwhile, over at Redemption Island, Laura B. walks into camp and wakes up John and Laura M. Laura B. vents, “It’s a hugely horrible non-strategic move to get rid of me and keep Vytas.” She updates John and Laura M. on what happened back at the Galang camp that resulted in her being voted out. John and Laura M. also expected Vytas to be the next one voted out and joining them on Redemption Island. Laura B. comments, “The merge could be tomorrow and here’s Vytas joining his brother, joining all those guys. They’re going to take out the girls. It’s ridiculous!”


The next morning, Laura B. reads tree mail to John and Laura M. Unlike the prior tree mail announcements on Redemption Island, this one tells them that the winner will re-enter the game and the losers will leave the game. This is the duel they have all been waiting for. John reveals, “This final duel is what I have been training for, for 12 days. I have to win this duel today.” John does not want to disappoint himself or his wife Candice by losing this all important duel. Laura M. is also determined to win this duel and get back in the game. She explains, “It’s just hard because I told my daughter, I said I’d come back for you. I have to win this challenge to get back to her.”


The Galang and Tadhana tribes arrive at the Redemption Arena. John, Laura M. and Laura B. then enter the arena to compete in the duel. The Galang and Tadhana tribes are surprised when Jeff Probst, the host, welcomes John, Laura M. and Laura B. to their final duel, in which the winner will re-enter the game. Ciera admits, “I have mixed feeling about my mom coming back in the game.” She is worried that the enemies her mom has on the Galang tribe may ruin her own game if her mom makes it back. Jeff then explains the rules of the duel. Each person will hang onto a pole for as long as they can. If any part of their body touches the ground, then they are out and the game is over for them. The last person left hanging wins the duel, is back in the game and gets to decide who gets the clue to the location of the hidden immunity idol. As soon as the duel begins, Laura B. starts to slide down her pole. She struggles until she gets down to the third of five footholds and finally gets a firm grip on the pole. After 20 minutes of holding onto the pole, John starts to slide down. He kicks off his shoes to try and get a better grip in the narrow footholds. John still has his socks on though and they prove to be slippery. After much effort, John finally recovers with a secure grip on the pole. Laura M. has not moved at all. Laura B. is now not using any footholds, but is just tightly hugging her pole. John starts to slide again and this time he cannot recover. So, John Cody, the husband of Candice, is the first one out of the duel and the eighth person to leave the game. Laura B. slides down her pole again, past the final foothold. She finally stops her slide and hangs on just inches above the ground. Laura M. says, “I’m not letting go Laura B., my daughter is on the line here.” Laura B. closes her eyes and firmly hugs her pole. Laura M. moves for the first time to stretch out her arms and starts to slide down a little. Laura B. starts to slide again, and this time she has nowhere to go, so her feet touch the ground. So Laura M. wins the duel and is back in the game. Laura B., the wife of Rupert, becomes the ninth person to leave the game. Before she goes, she says, “You know, I’m a quiet farm girl and I’m going to go back the strongest woman I’ve ever been in my life.” John comments on his way out of the arena, “This is probably the hardest nineteen days I’ve experienced.” Jeff then instructs everyone to drop their buffs because they are merged. They all get new purple buffs. Laura M., as winner of the duel, gets to decide who gets a clue to the location of the hidden immunity idol. She can even give it to herself now that she is back in the game. Laura M. decides, like most of those before her, to just burn the clue and not look at it. As they all walk out of the arena, Aras reveals, “My strategy is to go Galang strong, which means the original Galang, me, Gervase, Tyson, Monica, Tina, plus Vytas and Katie. That’s seven. There’s eleven people in the game, so we have a distinct advantage.”


The newly merged tribe returns to camp to find a trunk full of food. They all immediately dig into the bread, cheese, salami, fruit, vegetables, wine and other food in the trunk. Hayden enjoys the food, but he is also thinking about making sure that he is part of a majority alliance to ensure that he stays in the game. He was confident in his alliance at Tadhana, but now he worries that Laura M. will encourage Ciera to join a different alliance with the rest of the loved ones pairs. That would put the loved ones alliance with more people than Hayden’s alliance. So, Ciera is a key swing vote. Hayden admits, “Once the merge happens, then the game starts. This is where SURVIVOR really becomes SURVIVOR.” Laura M. is so happy to be back in the game and playing with her daughter. She would like to be part of a loved ones alliance which would give them six members, and the majority, with Aras, Vytas, Tina, Katie, Ciera and herself. Laura M. reveals, “I definitely do need to talk to Ciera. So, I have a lot of work to do, a lot of work to do, but I’m still here and I’m not giving up.”


Ciera and Laura M. head out of camp to talk strategy. Tyson and Gervase watch as they walk away. Gervase says, “It all comes down to Laura M. So, Ciera is working her.” Tyson and Gervase hope that Ciera will talk her mom into joining their alliance. Ciera is happy to have made it to the merge and to now be playing with her mother, but she is also worried. She explains, “With my mom coming back in the game, it could really hurt me.” When they get far enough away from camp, Ciera updates her mother about the final five alliance she has with Tyson, Gervase, Hayden and Caleb. She explains that it is made up of people without loved ones, which is why Laura M. being back in the game complicates things. Ciera recommends that Laura M. lay low and not talk strategy with anyone. Laura M. agrees. Ciera then reveals that Aras is the next to go. Laura M. comments, “Me and Ciera, we’re the people that are going to decide the fate of either the couples or the fate of the singles.” She is elated to be in a power position in the game after just coming back from Redemption Island.


Tyson realizes that he must act quickly and look for the hidden immunity idol now that the two tribes have merged. Tyson reveals, “When the tribe swap happened, Hayden gave me all the information he knew about the hidden immunity idol.” He suspects that it is at a giant vine tree on the way to the waterfall. So he heads out of camp by himself to take a look. Tyson starts digging around a big tree with branches and vines that look like serpents. He eventually finds the hidden immunity idol. Tyson comments, “Hurrah, I’ve never had an idol before and I’ve also never won the show before. So, do those correlate directly with one another, probably not. At least it’s a little more advantage.” He does not plan on telling anyone else about the idol at this time.


Aras congratulates Vytas for making it to the merge. Vytas is happy to still be in the game and to get the opportunity to play with his brother Aras. The two brothers update each other on what went on in their two tribes. They agree that their alliance consists of Tina, Katie, Monica, Gervase, Tyson and themselves. Vytas is worried about including Tyson, although Aras assures him that Tyson is important, but not too threatening with an injured arm. With seven people in their alliance, they have the majority at the next Tribal Council. Aras recommends they get rid of Laura M. next. He explains, “Getting rid of Laura is the safest play, because everyone feels uncomfortable with her and it would be an easy vote.” Vytas feels if his tribe mates were smart, they would realize what a big threat he and his brother Aras are in the game. He is confident they won’t realize it though, because they are diverting everyone’s attention to Laura M. instead. Vytas comments, “Blood versus Water should really in the end be called Vytas versus Aras, because we would have to be real stupid at this point not to get to the end.”


ater that evening, Monica pulls Tyson aside to talk strategy. She tells him that Tina told her she was number five in the alliance. He assures her that their alliance is strong and that Aras will go next. Monica is concerned that Gervase might flip and keeps questioning Tyson. Tyson tries to stay patient with Monica, because he needs her in order to have enough votes to carry out his plan. Tyson vents, “I’m just like give me a rusty spoon, so I can dig both my eyeballs out and then try and jam it through my eye socket into my brain. It’s taking all of my patience, all of it!” Monica asks Tyson directly where they stand. Tyson reassures her and tells her that she is going to the end with him and Gervase. Monica reveals, “If Tyson would just say ‘I’m 100% with you,’ I would probably jump in bed with the whole idea and relax, but then again it’s SURVIVOR, how can you relax?”


The new merged tribe arrives at the challenge. Jeff Probst explains the rules for their first individual immunity challenge. The challenge will test everyone’s memory. Jeff will show them a series of symbols and they will repeat them back to him using their wooden cubes, whose sides contain the various symbols. If they get it right, they stay alive. If they get it wrong, then they are out of the challenge. The last person left standing wins immunity and is safe from the vote. One of the losers will be voted out at Tribal Council and sent to Redemption Island. In the first round, Jeff shows them pictures of a barrel, a crate, a cannon, a ship, a compass and a lantern. When asked to repeat the symbols back to Jeff, everybody gets the first item correct as they display a barrel picture on their cube. Monica is the only one to get the second item incorrect, so she is out of the challenge and takes a seat on the bench. Caleb and Katie are out when they reveal a compass, since the correct picture for the third item is a cannon. So three people are out of the challenge and eight remain. Tyson and Tina are out next reveal when they show compasses instead of the correct item, a ship. On the next reveal, everybody has a compass except Hayden, who has a lantern. Hayden is incorrect and joins the others, who are out of the challenge. So now, only five remain in the challenge; Aras, Vytas, Laura M., Gervase and Ciera. All of the remaining people get the last item in the round correct. In the second round, Jeff reveals the following seven items: barrel, lantern, cannon, lantern, compass, barrel, and cannon. They all reveal a barrel when asked to repeat back the first item. So they all stay in. Laura M. gets eliminated in the next reveal when she shows a cannon versus a lantern. So, now only Aras, Vytas, Gervase and Ciera are alive in the challenge. Ciera is out the next turn and Gervase is out in the reveal after that. So, Aras and Vytas, the two brothers, are left to battle it out. In the end, Vytas wins. Jeff places the individual immunity necklace around his neck, so he is the only one safe from the vote tonight. After twenty-one days, one of the other ten tribe members will be voted out tonight.


The newly merged tribe named Kasama congratulates Vytas as they get back to camp for winning the immunity challenge. Vytas is happy to have beaten his brother in the challenge. He reveals, “The biggest threats in this game are Aras and I. We got this beach on lock and I’d be surprised if anybody has the guts to do anything about it.” Aras goes to the people in his alliance and tells them to vote out Laura M. Just for safety, he tells Tina, Katie and Monica to vote for Ciera in case Laura M. has the hidden immunity idol. Meanwhile all the guys will vote for Laura M. Laura M. tells Ciera she is worried that Aras has the hidden immunity idol. She recommends that they split the votes between Tina and Aras, just in case. Ciera reveals, “It’s the weirdest thing, I’ve never felt it before. It’s a struggle and I want to listen to my mom and do what my mom says, but on the same hand, I’m here to play my game.” Gervase and Caleb collect firewood by the beach. Tyson comes to help and tells Gervase to stay with the plan. Gervase explains, “The plan with Tyson is that me, Tyson, Monica, Hayden, Caleb, Ciera and Laura M. vote for Aras.” Gervase hopes that everyone sticks with the plan.


Tyson feels sure that the loved ones couples that still exist in the game will work together in the game. Aras points out that with eleven people left in the game, a couple can’t do anything by themselves, they need to get at least four others to work with them to have a majority and control the game. Jeff points out that three couples still exist in the game, which make six people, while there are only five individuals. Laura M. coming back in the game complicates things though, since historically whoever returns from Redemption Island gets voted out right away. Hayden feels this makes Laura M. and Ciera swing votes in the game, and even admits that any of the couples could act as a swing vote. Tyson says, “In the end, it’s who you trust the most.” Laura M. reveals that she is proud of how well Ciera is playing the game and how much Ciera has helped her since she returned from Redemption Island. Ciera admits that it is odd to be the one giving advice to her mom, since her mom is usually the one advising her. The Kasama tribe then votes. Before revealing the votes, Jeff asks if anyone would like to play a hidden immunity idol. Nobody does. Jeff reveals the first nine votes. Laura M. gets two votes. Ciera gets two votes. Aras gets five votes. So, Aras Baskauskas from SURVIVOR: EXILE ISLAND is voted out of SURVIVOR: BLOOD VS WATER and heads to Redemption Island.