[SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Wednesday’s episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.]
Water finally won. Survivor history was made tonight as we had our very first instance of a player voting out a loved one when Ciera joined the majority to boot her mom Laura off the tribe and to Redemption Island, where she will do battle against Tina and Vytas to stay in the game. Tina and Vytas both defeated Aras in tonight’s duel — which involved retrieving balls with a grappling hook and then using one of the balls to navigate a table maze — meaning Aras was eliminated. [UPDATE: Dalton's full recap is now live!] A few other notable moments from tonight’s episode:
• The clue actually survived! Having won the duel, Vytas gave the hidden immunity idol to clue to Katie, who became the first person since John Cody to not immediately burn the thing. She may as well have burned it though, since Tyson already has the idol.
• Ciera basically asked her mom to lay down and die should they make it to the final 6, explaining that if she won immunity, that Ciera would likely be sent home instead. It’s one thing to vote your mom off if that is the inevitable play anyway. Asking your mom to give up, however, just because it is better for you, is another thing entirely. Ciera did have a nice move later, however, when she called Katie’s bluff on finding the idol by lying herself about finding it. Well played.
• The immunity/reward challenge tasked people with leaning back on a platform and holding a rope for as long as possible. Predictably, the men carrying the most weight — Hayden, Gervase, and Caleb — were the first ones out, with Monica eventually winning. Instead of having to pick someone to join her on her reward feast of hamburgers and hot dogs — and thereby pick people to exclude — Monica was allowed to give all her food away to the rest of the tribe. A smart play by her to make sure she did not offend any other players, but one I am surprised Jeff Probst allowed her to make.
So Laura is now off to face Tina and Vytas. My full recap will be up at midnight ET/9 PT [UPDATE: Dalton's full recap is now live!], but you can sound off right here and right now on the episode. Also make sure to check out our pre-game interviews with Laura/Ciera and Aras/Vytas in the video player below.