Gloves Come Off is the eleventh episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
Kasama returned to camp after voting out Laura Morett. The tribe apologised to Ciera Eastin, but she agreed that she'd been a part of the decision, and had to wear the blame. Although Katie Collins expressed surprise that Ciera had chosen to vote out her loved one, Ciera hoped that her move would show her loyalty to the Singles Alliance and establish her as a player in the game. For better or for worse, this appeared to be the case, as Tyson Apostol, although publicly thanking her for making a hard decision, noted his wariness of her under-the-radar gameplay.
|“||Looks like everyone, including Ciera, voted for her mom. So I' was surprised that Ciera chose water over blood, but Ciera has a plan and I don't think her mom was really part of it.||”|
|“||Tonight was really rough. It was not easy having to write my mom's name down. But I've totally proven one hundred percent that, y'know, I'm trustworthy and moving forward, I hope people will take me seriously in the game and I hope they want to work with me.||”|
|“||Ciera writing her mom's name down was the hardest voting position of the game so far. By doing that, she's actually shown a bit of loyalty. But at the same time, it makes me a little scared of her. I can see that she's playing the game pretty hard. I think she's underestimated by a lot of people and she's going to be dangerous.||”|
Meanwhile, Tina Wesson and Vytas Baskauskas awaited their new companion at Redemption Island, with Tina worried that they would be joined by Katie. As Laura arrived in the dark, she called out, "Mom?" and momentarily fooled Tina into thinking she was Katie. Laura then filled Tina and Vytas in on her elimination, telling them that Ciera had warned her in advance that she'd be voting her out. The three discussed the remaining players, and wondered why nobody was targeting challenge threat Monica Culpepper or alliance leader Tyson.
|“||I hear a little voice going, "Mom?" and I'm like, "Oh, it's Katie!" But no, it was Laura M. back once again to Redemption Island.||”|
|“||I'm having a hard time defining how I'm feeling about Ciera writing my name down because it sucks that I'm here, it sucks that Ciera had to do that, it sucks that she did that! But I'm proud of her. She's playing the game.||”|
Kasama arrived at Redemption Island Arena, where they were greeted by Jeff Probst. Vytas, Tina, and Laura then entered the Arena and Jeff asked Laura about seeing her daughter cast a vote against her. Fighting back tears, Laura said that she was proud of Ciera and would make it back to her. Jeff then revealed the Duel: Block It Out. Each contestant would bounce four cubes through a thick net tunnel and then use the four cubes to assemble a puzzle, stacking them so that no repeating colors appeared on any given vertical face. The first two competitors to finish would remain in the game, whereas as the other would be permanently eliminated from the game and join the jury. Additionally, the first person to finish would be able to give out a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol.
Vytas and Laura pulled out to an early lead as Tina struggled to get her cubes bouncing through the net. By the time Laura and Vytas had collected their third cubes, Tina had dropped a whole cube behind. Vytas was the first to get all of his cubes, with Laura close behind and the two began work on the puzzle. As Tina finally got her last cube, Laura finished her puzzle to win the Duel.
Vytas began trying to look at Laura's completed puzzle, but Laura spun the puzzle around to prevent him from doing so. She offered encouragement to Tina, and then began to explicitly instruct her on how to assemble the puzzle, and continued to spin her own to block Vytas. With Laura's help, Tina caught up to Vytas, who began trying to listen to Laura's instructions. Nevertheless, Tina was the first to complete the puzzle, mere seconds before Vytas, eliminating him from the game.
Although Vytas hugged Tina farewell, he gave the cold shoulder to Laura. Jeff asked Vytas about his relationship with his brother Aras Baskauskas in the context of the game, and he said that they had been voted out because they were threats (the same reason Laura had helped Tina to beat him in the Duel), but said that the shared experience of Survivor would give them another platform on which to connect and continue to rebuild their relationship. Vytas then burnt his Buff, becoming the eleventh person eliminated from Survivor: Blood vs. Water and the second member of the jury. As he departed the Arena, he turned back to the remaining contestants and bid them farewell with "Namaste, bitches."
Laura then chose to give the Idol clue to her daughter, but Ciera chose to follow precedent and burnt the clue in the urn. Laura and Tina headed back to Redemption Island, as the latter expressed her thankfulness, and Kasama headed back to camp.
After arriving back home, the tribe discussed the mothers' teamwork to eliminate Vytas, but Tyson was focused on the game ahead of him. He met up with Caleb Bankston, Gervase Peterson, and Hayden Moss in the jungle and locked down a plan to vote out Katie at the next Tribal Council, given the three Jury votes waiting for her from her former alliance. Although the men agreed on the spot, Hayden planned to make a move of his own.
|“||With seven people in the game right now, the next vote and the vote after that are going to be the most important. I have to get past this next vote. So the wisest thing I can do right now, from my perspective, is keep everybody against Katie.||”|
Later, Hayden and Caleb discussed flipping control of the tribe into their own hands. They planned to pull together the original members of Tadhana – themselves, plus Ciera and Katie – and blindside Tyson at the next vote. Caleb passed the plan on to Katie, who was thrilled with the plan and relieved to finally have the numbers on her side. Hayden and Caleb also talked to Ciera about the plan, and whilst she agreed to a Final Three deal with them, her confessionals showed that her loyalties remained with Tyson.
|“||We had the five—person alliance: Me, Caleb, Tyson, Gervase, Ciera. And we could continue along the course of that five by voting out Katie. But you do not want to be the guy that waited too long to make a move and got blindsided yourself. That's what you don't want to be. Tyson's got a hell of a resume to preach to the jury when we get there. So we're thinking, maybe before we get to the Final Five, we'll have to pick off somebody and that somebody's gonna be Tyson.||”|
|“||I've been at the bottom the past few Tribals. It wasn't looking good for me. I feel like one of these hermit crabs that walks along the beach and have to, like, transition from home to home and you don't have a shell and it's terrifying because there's predators! And so now I feel like I found sort of a shell. My best option going forward is to work with my original Tadhana members again and get rid of Tyson. So I feel like my options are looking better.||”|
|“||Caleb said he wanted to make a big move and he wanted Tyson gone. And that really throws me off 'cause I feel like these people who haven't played the game before are so willing to flip and flop on each other, it's too sketchy for me to invest in them. So I told Caleb and Hayden what they wanted to hear, but I don't want to work with people like that.||”|
Ciera pulled Tyson aside and informed him of Caleb and Hayden's scheme. She told him that she wanted to work with him, and would vote however he told her to vote. Tyson told her that he trusted Gervase and Monica, and though he was nervous about his name being thrown around, the two agree to flip the vote on either Hayden or Caleb.
|“||I was hoping to make it to Six before I made my move and really locked the game down, but I may have to lock it down earlier. I trust Monica and I trust Gervase. Ciera's the major wildcard here. I hope Ciera's telling the truth, but in the end, it makes more sense for me to go that direction anyway because I need Caleb and Hayden out and the sooner, the better.||”|
The next night, Tyson passed on the news to Gervase. He told him that Ciera had informed them of Hayden and Caleb's plan and her pledge of allegiance. The two discussed the vote and decided that Caleb was the better target due to his sheer likability. They discussed their disappointment with the change of plans, as they'd been willing to go the Final Four with the other two men, but committed to the counter-attack.
|“||Ciera says that Caleb and Hayden are targeting Tyson and are gonna try to vote him out. So now we're thinking, okay, we gotta get rid of them. Two days ago, the four guys, we had control of the game. But now we're all plotting on each other and it makes me nervous. But as long as Ciera just sticks with us, she'll be good. Hayden and Caleb are trying to stir the pot and they just got sloppy. And when you break your alliance like that, the gloves come off and it's gonna get real dirty and ugly.||”|
As Kasama crawled out of bed, Ciera asked Tyson to join her on the walk to Tree Mail. After they'd left, Caleb and Hayden, who were lying in the hammock, pointed out that Ciera had been avoiding them. Meanwhile, Ciera asked Tyson to confirm the plan to vote out Caleb, as she'd felt an odd vibe that morning, but he assured her that everything was on track. Back at camp, Ciera read Tree Mail to the tribe, but Hayden was growing more concerned about her loyalty. He told Katie that he was uncertain about Ciera's allegiance, which Katie also worried about as the tribe departed for the challenge.
|“||I'm so glad I didn't go along with Hayden and Caleb. I feel like I made the right decision and I trust Tyson because Tyson knows A) they're gunning for him, B) I save him, and C) he doesn't want to be sitting next to them at the end anyway, so I feel like I'm in a pretty good spot come next Tribal.||”|
|“||This morning, I saw Ciera and Tyson run off into the woods and then I started thinking, you know what? What if Ciera tells Tyson, hey, those guys are gonna blindside you. And I started to get paranoid because I realize if Ciera flipped, we could be in big trouble here.||”|
|“||I thought voting Tyson was the best option and it was going to be smooth sailing, but now that there's suspicion about Ciera, there may have to be a Plan B. I feel like, at this point, everything's all up in the air and no one is safe. So this challenge is huge. And if Ciera doesn't win Immunity, she could be in trouble.||”|
Kasama arrived at the Immunity Challenge and Jeff took back the Immunity Necklace before revealing the challenge: Wrist Assured. Each castaway would hold onto a handle attached to a bucket containing 25% of their body weight by a rope coiled around the handle. Over the course of the challenge, the rope would unspool until the bucket dropped, eliminating them from the challenge. The last person standing would win the challenge. Jeff then introduced a twist: each contestant would have the choice between competing and feasting on barbecue steak, chicken, and sausage, with breads and iced tea. Each player was given a white rock (compete) and a black rock (eat), and made an independent decision. In the end, Ciera, Gervase and Tyson chose to sit out the challenge and eat, whilst Caleb, Hayden, Katie, and Monica competed.
As the challenge began, Ciera, Gervase, and Tyson quickly dug into the feast. Katie's bucket was the first to drop an inch. Tyson interjected that the food was "delicious to the taste and very desirable." Monica commented that she was eager to show her children that "more than one badass lives in our house," prompting Hayden to sigh, "We're gonna be here a while."
At the ten minute mark, the competitors were starting to feel the pain, but the eaters were still going strong. Jeff asked Hayden if he was bugged by the confidence of the eaters, and he agreed that if he lost the challenge, he would be upset. Caleb, Hayden, and Katie wound their handles to crank their buckets back to the top in line with Monica, whose bucket had not moved. Tyson commented that he hoped the challenge would last for an hour, and Caleb asked what drink the eaters had. Caleb and Katie began to see their buckets drop, and Katie's was the first to fall, eliminating her from the challenge.
As Tyson fed sausage to Gervase and Ciera, Caleb, and Hayden noted that they could feel the skin being ground off of their hands in the challenge. Jeff noted that not only were the eaters enjoying the food, but they were having fun with their food and watching the challenge ("Entertain me!"), and Caleb commented that blood was going to start dripping soon.
After 20 minutes, Hayden's bucket had almost dropped halfway, and Caleb and Monica had only dropped a little. When Hayden cranked his bucket back to the top, Monica and Caleb followed suit. However, almost instantly, Caleb's bucket began to slip again as his hands started to bleed. Hayden assured him he wasn't voting him out, and Caleb slipped out of the challenge. Tyson turned to his companions, noting, "We're good."
Again, Hayden and Monica wound their buckets back to the top, but Hayden's began to drop first as Monica's "mom power" maintained her bucket at the top. Hayden tried to crank the bucket back up again, but couldn't hold it any longer and dropped out of the challenge. Thus, Monica won her third Individual Immunity.
Back at camp, Monica was congratulated on her win and discussion lingered on the feast for which Tyson and Ciera gave rave reviews. However, Hayden speculated that their decision to sit the challenge out indicated that they were working together, and Katie shared his opinion. Hayden then went to Caleb to figure out how to scramble out of their predicament, and proposed the idea of asking Tyson directly if they were planning on voting out either of them in an effort to gauge Tyson's reaction, and suggest that since Ciera was playing the men against each other, they all band together to vote out Ciera.
|“||We walk in the challenge today and you can either compete or choose to eat and I don't want to be the guy that gets blindsided and goes home, so I want to compete! But Tyson, Gervase, Ciera – they all chose to eat and it's kinda telling. They obviously feel very comfortable and if the three of them feel that good, maybe they're all working together to get rid of one of us. I'm in a predicament. I could be on a sinking ship. So now, I'm kinda back-peddling, thinking okay, we gotta scramble, make a new plan.||”|
Caleb and Hayden carried through with the plan, pulling Tyson aside later. They told him that they were suspecting that he, Gervase and Ciera were targeting the two of them. Tyson returned that he had been under the impression that Hayden and Caleb were after him, but Hayden countered that that had only been because he'd been told Tyson was gunning for him. In the end, the three men pinpointed Ciera as the one playing both sides. As Tyson began to question Ciera's motives, they agreed to vote out Ciera at Tribal Council. However, Tyson was wary of Hayden and Caleb, and in a confessional, suggested that he might play his Hidden Immunity Idol to be on the safe side. Hayden, on the other hand, was convinced that Tyson had bought their play, though Caleb was more hesitant. Meanwhile, Ciera was obliviously sleeping the afternoon away.
|“||Hayden and Caleb just pulled me aside and were like, "Ciera's playing both sides." And when I think about it, it makes sense, y'know? Why wouldn't she? She seems like a smart enough girl and I know she's a good liar. In her mind, she's probably thinking by pitting the guys against each other, she can stick around a little longer and that was a smart move on her part. But now I'm feeling like she's too sneaky and too smart and too deceiving to be in the game anymore. Problem is, I don't trust Hayden and Caleb either. Who knows? They could be trying to make me feel comfortable and then, pow! I get hit with a heart-breaker. So I might have to play my Hidden Immunity Idol. It's that little bit of added insurance in case something screwy happens.||”|
|“||Tyson's telling us that he's still with us, but I'm not sure I buy it a hundred percent. Hayden feels a lot more comfortable with it than I do. I'm still thinking: Is he still playing us? Is he planning something? Is he not? I mean, obviously, in the game of Survivor, anything can go wrong. But hopefully everybody's on board and Ciera's going home tonight. She should have picked a side and stuck with it.||”|
Later, Tyson pulled Gervase aside to catch him up on the latest developments. He divulged the details of his discussion with Hayden and Caleb, and proposed the choice of Caleb (who may have just been trying to deflect votes in his discussion with Tyson) or Ciera ("Teenage mom? Hell-raiser?") to Gervase. Gervase and Tyson were both unsure of who to trust, and the tribe departed as evening fell.
|“||All of a sudden, everything is blown to pieces. If somebody's lying in this, it's either Hayden and Caleb or Ciera. One of them are lying. I don't know what to do, I don't know who to trust. So at these times, it just comes down to your gut and that's scary because you put your trust in the wrong person, you're going home!||”|
At Tribal Council, Jeff first called in the jury: Aras, and his brother Vytas. He then asked Hayden about the eat-or-compete decision at the challenge. Hayden said that the choice revealed the people who felt comfortable, and held up his badly-blistered hands as proof of how much he'd fought to stay in the challenge. He added that there was some jealousy involved in his attitude towards the people who had sat out the challenge, but he had felt that he needed to win or his neck could be on the line.
Caleb said that he wasn't particularly surprised by who chose to sit out the challenge – even Ciera. Ciera argued that if she didn't think she could win the challenge, she'd "rather not play and eat, than lose and not eat." Tyson said that he was surprised more people hadn't sat the challenge out, as he felt comfortable in his own alliances and had hoped the rest of his alliance had also felt comfortable. He said that despite this, he tried to enjoy the food as best as he could "which was a lot" – a joke that evidently did not impress the jury.
Gervase was asked about trust, and he said that he had to trust the people in his alliance, and hoped that those bonds would stay strong. Jeff pointed out that Gervase had been looking directly at Hayden whilst speaking, and Hayden noted that there had been paranoia, but underlined the mutual trust between them. Ciera then said that it didn't feel good to hear bonds between other members of her alliance being prioritized right before the vote.
Tyson said he came to Tribal "hoping for the best, but expecting the worst," and that he'd be shocked if he was voted out, but noted that it was par for the course in Survivor. Caleb added that he believed there would be a blindside at the evening's vote. Ciera also said she would be shocked if she was voted out because she'd been "probably overly honest" with her alliance.
Katie was called to vote first, followed by Hayden and Monica. Gervase voted next, followed by Caleb who cast his vote for Ciera. Tyson followed, and Ciera concluded the proceedings with a vote for Caleb. Jeff then tallied the votes.
When Jeff asked if anybody wished to play a Hidden Immunity Idol, Tyson pulled out his bag and began to search through it. Rummaging around, he had trouble locating his Idol and he began handing random items to his tribemates ("That's not it.") before dumping out the contents of the bag onto the floor before finally finding it. He played the Idol, meaning that all votes cast against Tyson would be void.
Jeff then read the votes. The first was for Ciera, followed by one for Caleb. This was followed by two more for Ciera. However, the next two votes were for Caleb, tying the votes at 3-3. The last vote was for Caleb and he became the 14th person voted out of Survivor: Blood vs. Water. Politely, he took his snuffed torch and departed for Redemption Island. Jeff sent Kasama back to camp, warning them that there was now no room for error in the game.
Caleb arrived at Redemption Island and was greeted by Laura and Tina. He told them that Ciera had flipped on him, and the two moms shook their heads: "Dun, dun, duuuun!"
|“||Tribal Council tonight was not what I was expecting. I was shocked that my name was on there. I figured that Ciera was going to go home, but it was definitely a successful blindside on the other half's part.||”|
Challenge: Block It Out
The castaways would bounce four blocks along a rope tunnel to retrieve them. The blocks would then need to be stacked so that one color didn't show more than once on each column. The first two castaways to solve their puzzle would remain in the game.
Winners (in order of finish): Laura Morett and Tina Wesson (Laura M. gave Hidden Immunity Idol clue to Ciera Eastin)
Challenge: Wrist Assured
Castaways hold on to a handle with a rope wrapped around it. At the end of the rope is a bucket that contains 25% of their body weight. As the challenge goes on, the rope will begin to unspool, making it harder to keep the bucket in the air. The last castaway remaining in the challenge will win individual immunity.
Additional Stipulation: Before the challenge starts, the castaways were given an opportunity to eat a barbecue dinner in exchange for sitting-out in the challenge, forfeiting their chance to get individual immunity.
Winner: Monica Culpepper
| Redemption Island|
(according to finish)
| Tribal Council 12:|
Caleb (4 votes)
Ciera, Gervase, Monica, Tyson
Ciera (3 votes)
Caleb, Hayden, Katie
(used Hidden Immunity Idol)
| VOTED OUT:|
(sent to Redemption Island)
Ciera is shown writing Caleb's name down on the parchment.
|“||(voting for Ciera) You just ran your mouth way too much in the past two days.||”|
Still in the Running
- After this episode, Hayden Moss is the only contestant remaining to never have a vote cast against them.
- With Laura's success at this episode's duel, she has improved (both by rank and time lasted) on her previous placement: 10th place and Day 27.
- With this episode, someone from every pair of loved ones has been voted out.
- This episode marks Monica's third Individual Immunity Challenge win.
- This episode is the first time since Survivor: South Pacific where the castaways are given the opportunity to sit out of the Immunity Challenge in exchange for food.
- The three contestants to sit out of the Immunity Challenge are the only three to win individual immunity in future episodes.
- The episode title was said by Gervase in a confessional after he learned from Tyson that both Hayden and Caleb were plotting to take him out.
|Survivor: Blood vs. Water Episodes|
"Blood Is Thicker than Anything" · "Rule in Chaos" · "Opening Pandora's Box" · "One Armed Dude and Three Moms" · "The Dead Can Still Talk" · "One-Man Wrecking Ball" · "Swoop In for the Kill" · "Skin of My Teeth" · "My Brother's Keeper" · "Big Bad Wolf" · "Gloves Come Off" · "Rustle Feathers" · "Out on a Limb" · "It's My Night" · "Reunion"