Monty Brinton, CBS
The tribes merged during Wednesday’s episode of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water” on Day 19 of the 39-day competition, and Utahn Tyson Apostol and his alliance showed they were in control of the game by voting out and blind-siding a former winner, Aras Baskauskas, 31, who won “Survivor: Panama.”
Apostol, 34, of Provo, who has been on both "Survivor: Tocantins" and "Heroes vs. Villains,” was in an alliance with returning player Gervase Peterson, 43, of “Survivor: Borneo”; Ciera Eastin, 24, Hayden Moss, 26, who won “Big Brother”; and Caleb Bankston, 26. They previously agreed to target the Baskauskas brothers, specifically Aras.
Eastin’s mother, Laura Morett, 43, of “Survivor: Samoa,” won the Redemption Island duel against John Cody, 30, and Laura Boneham, 44, where they had to hold on to a tall totem pole with small footholds.
Morett joined the game at the merge and quietly joined her daughter’s alliance, too.
Aras Baskauskas was in an alliance previously with Apostol and Peterson and with his brother, 33-year-old Vytas. Vytas’ recent alliance with Tina Wesson, 52, who won “Survivor: Australia,” her daughter Katie Collins, 25, and Monica Culpepper, 43, of “Survivor: One World,” and Aras thought that alliance of seven was solid. They targeted Eastin and Morett at Tribal Council.
But it apparently wasn't solid, and Apostol also recruited Culpepper, who is looking for a better spot than the fifth person in her alliance with the Baskauskas brothers, Wesson and Collins and who also tried Apostol’s patience as he tried to reassure her of her spot in his alliance.
On Day 21, Vytas Baskauskas won the individual immunity challenge, which included remembering a series of pictures, which had to be repeated back one at a time using a cube with all of the symbols on it.
At Tribal Council, the castaways discussed possible types of alliances — whether the three pairs of loved ones will work together or the individuals or some combination.
“In the end, it’s who you trust the most,” Apostol told host Jeff Probst. “There’s a lot of different ways to cut the pie, and I hope to get the largest portion of the pie, Jeff.”
In “Survivor,” there are physical and puzzle challenges that determine immunity and, at times, rewards, and with the merge, all of the castaways will all go to Tribal Council, where someone will be voted out and go to Redemption Island. Once a player is sent to Redemption Island, they must compete in duels with other voted-out players for a chance to return to the game.
Generally after the tribes merge, the voted-out players comprise a jury that will determine which of the final three will be named “sole survivor” and win the $1 million.
Each player is looking for a way to get to the final three and be the one the jury members vote for.
In this season of “Survivor,” which is at Caramoan Islands in the Philippines, the castaways are 10 returning players and a loved one, including children, siblings, significant others, spouses or a relative. The returning players were originally in the Galang Tribe and the loved ones were in another tribe, the Tadhana Tribe. Several days ago, the tribes were remixed and new friendships and alliances were formed.
During Wednesday’s episode, Apostol also found the hidden immunity idol. He plans to keep it a secret for now.
Cody had gotten a couple of clues to where it was before he was sent to Redemption Island and told a couple of his tribemates about them. When the tribes were remixed, Apostol tried to learn what he could about the clues. All of the other available clues were burned before they were even opened as the recipients felt they left a target on their backs.
“I’ve never had an idol before and I’ve also never won the show before,” Apostol said. “Do those correlate directly with one another? Probably not. But at least it’s a little more advantage. “
Apostol’s girlfriend, Rachel Foulger of Provo, was voted out early in the game by her Tadhana tribemates in an attempt to get Apostol, who is a returned Mormon missionary, out of the game. Castaways can switch places with their loved ones in Redemption Island duels. She lost a Redemption Island duel after seven days in the game.
“Survivor: Blood vs. Water” airs Wednesday evenings on CBS.
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