Making big moves in “Survivor” will, at times, give a castaway a “bad guy” label, said Utahn Tyson Apostol.
“I think a lot of people are OK with making moves as long as they aren’t the bad guy,” said Apostol, 34, of Provo, who has been on both "Survivor: Tocantins" and "Heroes vs. Villains.” “So, I’m going to have to take another one for the team and be the bad guy again.”
Apostol has been calling several of the shots with fellow returning player Gervase Peterson, 43, of “Survivor” Borneo,” in their alliance. On Wednesday’s episode of “Survivor: Blood vs. Water,” Apostol’s alliance successfully targeted the last pair of loved ones by voting out Laura Morett, 43, of “Survivor: Samoa” and sending her back to Redemption Island. Her daughter, 24-year-old Ciera Eastin, even voted against Morett.
Wednesday’s episode included Day 25 and Day 26 of the 39-day contest for a $1 million prize.
In this season of “Survivor,” which is at Caramoan Islands in the Philippines, the castaways are 10 returning players and a loved one, which could include children, siblings, significant others, spouses or a relative. The returning players were originally on the Galang Tribe and the loved ones were on another tribe, the Tadhana Tribe. Several days ago, the tribes were remixed and new friendships and alliances were formed before the tribes merged into the Kasama Tribe on Day 19.
During last week’s episode on Nov. 13, there were two immunity challenges and 33-year-old Vytas Baskauskas and Tina Wesson, 52, who won “Survivor: Australia,” were sent to Redemption Island, joining Aras Baskauskas, 31, winner of “Survivor: Panama,” who was blindsided on Day 21.
Once a player is sent to Redemption Island he or she must compete in duels with other voted-out players for a chance to return to the game. Morett previously won her way back in the game at the merge.
The Baskauskas brothers and Wesson competed in a duel on Day 25 where they used grappling hooks to grab bags of balls and then used one of the balls in a maze puzzle.
Vytas Baskauskas won the challenge and Wesson narrowly beat Aras Baskauskas, who is the first member of the jury.
“No hard feelings,” Aras Baskauskas told the remaining tribe members. “You definitely outplayed me. Good job.”
His brother, Vytas, gave the clue to the hidden immunity idol to Wesson’s daughter, 25-year-old Katie Collins. The four of them were previously in an alliance before they were blind-sided by Apostol and Peterson.
In “Survivor,” there are physical and puzzle challenges that determine immunity and, at times, reward, and since the tribes merged, all of the castaways will all go to Tribal Council where someone will be voted out and go to Redemption Island. Now, the voted-out players comprise a jury that observes Tribal Council and 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.
Apostol previously found the hidden immunity idol and has kept it a secret from everyone, even while others have been looking for it, including Collins and Morett, who thought she might be the next one to go.
“Right now it’s a shifting game partly because people assume there is a hidden immunity idol out there (and) also because I’m the biggest threat in the game,” Apostol said. “I’m like the big bad wolf almost. People aren’t liking me. They like me just fine here, but the second I vote them out, they hate me.”
On Day 26, the immunity and reward challenge for the remaining eight members included standing on a platform leaning over the water and holding on a knotted rope. Every few minutes, they would move down a knot.
Apostol, who had previously injured his shoulder, and Monica Culpepper, 43, of “Survivor: One World,” were the last two holding on and Culpepper won immunity and the reward of cheeseburgers, hot dogs, soda and french fries.
She could invite one person to share it with and she decide to give it to the rest of her tribe and not have any herself.
“Because immunity means more to me than cheeseburgers, hot dogs and Coke,” Culpepper said. “This is my family out here.”
Eastin tried to sway her alliance’s attention on voting out Collins rather than her mother, but Apostol wanted to stick with the original plan to vote out Morett.
“Letting a couple get farther in the game is too dangerous as they can swing everything with just one vote,” Apostol said.
And they voted out Morett. She hugged her daughter and told her she loved her before getting her torch snuffed.
“We’re left with seven individuals in a game where there is only one winner,” host Jeff Probst told the castaways before they left Tribal Council.
Majority alliance members Hayden Moss, 26, who won “The Big Brother,” and Caleb Bankston, 26, both thought Collins should go and the previews for next week’s episode show them plotting to blind-side Apostol.
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 who served in the Philippines, out of the game. 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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