My Brother's Keeper is the ninth episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
Kasama returned to camp after having voted out Aras Baskauskas. Vytas Baskauskas congratulated the tribe on a good strategic move, but made it clear that he was unhappy about it on a personal level. Tina Wesson, however, was less amiable about the blindside, calling out Monica Culpepper and Tyson Apostol for flipping on the alliance, claiming, "You won the battle, but you didn't win the war because you've got five jury votes that you'll never get." Tyson argued that Aras, Vytas, Tina, and Katie Collins were pushing him out of the alliance, which Tina denied. Laura Morett and Caleb Bankston then revealed that Aras had formed alliances with everybody on the tribe, and had thus, betrayed the entire tribe.
|“||Aras, myself and Tina and Katie got completely blindsided. I want to get... Vengeance is gonna be mine at some point. Knives out, bro. Like, let's get it on and I'm gonna see how bad I can get you.||”|
|“||Survivor's broken my heart twice. And I think tonight, I fell back in love. I knew Aras wasn't gonna take me to the end and I knew Tina had prioritised Katie in front of me. So for her to come out and say, "You should be ashamed of yourself because that's not the way I play the game..." I'm like, Tina, if everyone played the game the way you do, I would win one hundred percent of the time.||”|
The following morning, Tina met with Katie and apologized for her own mistakes impacting Katie's game. Tina urged her daughter to further her own game and distance herself from her mother, who had attracted such a large target. However, Katie was hesitant to abandon her mother, and discussed the inner conflict in a confessional.
|“||So my mom mentioned that I need to have a game plan because if Tribal happens and I'm a sitting duck, it's not gonna be pretty. So she told me to try to build my own individual alliances and talk to people and sell my vote. How do I sell myself when I have my mom on the line? The idea of Blood vs. Water... It's hard trying to sell myself without throwing my loved one under the bus. And that's kind of the issue I'm faced with. I don't really know how to say keep me instead of her.||”|
The tribe then assembled for the next Immunity Challenge. Jeff Probst took back the Immunity Necklace from Vytas, and then revealed the challenge: Pesky Palate. The castaways would compete in a series of elimination rounds, with the first people to finish consuming a local "gross food" delicacy moving onto the next round until one competitor remained.
In the first round, Katie, Laura M, Monica, Tyson, and Vytas squared off with a shot glass containing forty live meal worms, with three competitors making it through to the next round. Tyson was the first to finish, whilst Vytas coughed up his serve and began picking the worms off the ground to stay in the challenge. Monica was the next to finish, as Laura struggled. Katie was close to finishing hers, but it was Vytas who secured the last place in the round, eliminating Katie and Laura from the challenge.
In the next round, Caleb, Ciera, Gervase, Hayden, and Tina took on the same delicacy. Gervase jumped up and down as he tried to chew the worms, as Ciera began spitting up the worms to drop out of the challenge. Caleb and Tina also struggled to keep the worms down, and Hayden was the first to finish. Gervase managed to finish his serve next, with Caleb claiming the last place in the next round.
The next delicacy was three ounces of pig intestines. As Tyson asked how they were prepared ("Beautifully," answered Jeff), Monica psyched herself up. Hayden struggled to chew through it and Tyson began spitting up his serve. Meanwhile, Caleb, Gervase, Monica, and Vytas fought through their retching to make slow and steady work of their plates. Telling herself it was "for the kids," Monica was the first to finish. Gervase and Vytas both got their last bites into their mouths, but it was Gervase who finished first, to eliminate Caleb, Hayden, Tyson, and Vytas from the challenge.
For the final round, Gervase and Monica squared off with two butok grubs, harkening back to first season, in which Gervase lost immunity for his tribe when he struggled to eat grubs. Gervase reacted with horror at the sight and tried to psych himself up to get through it. When the round began, Gervase tried to down them both in one go, but dropped them on the table, and began jumping up and down once again as he tried to bite through them. Monica, too, retched as she chewed through one grub at a time. As Gervase powered through both at once, Monica finished her first grub and began on her second. However, it was Monica who finished first, running over to embrace Jeff as she showed her empty mouth. Thus, Monica was rewarded with Individual Immunity and the tribe headed back to camp.
Back at camp, Laura suggested that the Singles Alliance split the vote with the men targeting the primary target Vytas, and the women pooling votes on Katie to counter a Hidden Immunity Idol. In a confessional, Tyson discussed his reticence to complicate the vote, but didn't want to reveal the fact that he had the Idol.
|“||Tonight, the plan is four votes Vytas' way, three votes Katie's way. As of right now, we don't know if anybody's found the Hidden Immunity Idol. Vytas may have it, Tina may have it, Katie may have it.||”|
|“||I wasn't the one who came up with the idea to split the votes. Laura M. was like if there's an Idol out there, we need to split the votes. It's one of those things where: do I tell them I have the Idol so we don't have to worry about us splitting votes, or is that gonna make me too big of a target? I don't want to tell people I have the Idol. So I have to kind've just roll with it.||”|
Vytas returned from a swim and asked the alliance who was on the block, but the group didn't give him an answer. He later pulled Hayden aside and asked him if he was going home. Hayden told Vytas that the vote would be split between him and Katie. Vytas deduced that the split would be 4-3, and urged Hayden to put the four vote majority on Katie. Katie walked up to the conversation, and Vytas assured her that he wasn't turning on her, although in a confessional, he noted that he would write her name down if it kept him in the game.
|“||Going into that challenge, I knew I needed to win Immunity to ensure my stay and I lost it, so right now, I got plenty of work to do if I want to be able to stay around here just another day or two. It's a little bit low to beg for my position here on the tribe, but I really have no other play. Just another two days in this game could lead to another twelve days in this game, or lead to a million dollars, y'know. It's just about scratching and clawing to get through tonight's Tribal. At this point, I'll put Katie's name down if it gets me further.||”|
|“||I'm in a very tight jam. I don't know what alliances people have right now. My mom told me that I have to do what's best for me, so I need to figure out a different gameplan. Whether that includes just me, or me and my mother.||”|
Meanwhile, Monica noticed the many discussions that were going on, and worried that the tribe was scrambling at the last minute because they'd been intending to vote her out if she hadn't won Immunity. She confided her concern in Laura, who reiterated the split vote but was baffled by Monica's paranoia.
|“||I'm getting nervous. Seven of us made a pact that we will split the votes between Vytas and Katie. So that's what the plan was. However, I'm not really quite sure what's happening or who's saying what or who's driving the boat. By why of a sudden scramble? It makes me feel very uncomfortable.||”|
|“||Monica's asking why everyone's scampering around. What the hell does she care for? She has the necklace around– You're not going home. And that just goes to show you how paranoid of a person Monica is.||”|
Vytas approached Tyson to plead his case to split the vote with the majority on Katie, adding that leaving a pair in the game remained a bigger threat. Tyson told him that they were splitting the vote with four votes on Katie, but Vytas underscored his argument by putting his Jury vote on the table, saying he'd be more likely to vote for Tyson at the end if he was spared at this vote. Tyson brought the discussion to his alliance, and proposed taking out Katie instead. However, Ciera argued that it didn't matter who went if they were solid in their alliance, and Kasama departed for Tribal Council.
|“||Vytas made some valid points, but the main concern for me right now is if the girls wise up, they ould perhaps form an all-girl alliance. Sending a girl home would keep Vytas here and still keep the guys in the strong majority. So my list, optimally, right now would be to have Katie go next. This is when it gets dangerous for someone like me. Because I don't want to come off as the kingpin or the decision-maker. I want everyone to feel their input is what matters and not just mine. So right now, I have to be very careful about this vote tonight.||”|
At Tribal Council, Tina was first asked about the response at camp after Aras' blindside. She recounted her mishap in publicly calling out Monica and Tyson. Vytas added that he was happy that Tina had made a scene, because he'd felt the same way, but didn't want to make a bad impression. However, without warning, he launched into a rant expressing his anger at his brother's blindside in which he cussed out the majority alliance. Jeff called him out for allegedly not wanting to make a scene, but then speaking up at Tribal. Vytas argued that it was the natural reaction, but he'd wanted his first impression to be one of understanding. Gervase noted that he understood all of Vytas' emotional response, pointing out that he'd also threatened the rival tribe after his niece Marissa Peterson's elimination.
Vytas acknowledged that it was a smart game move in a game about betrayal given that Aras did have a few alliance going, but then called out Monica's paranoia and unpredictability as the catalyst for such a betrayal. Monica answered that she'd been true to her word in the game, and argued back that Vytas had flipped on her husband Brad Culpepper, leading to his elimination. Vytas countered that flipping was self-preservation, deriding Monica's holier-than-thou attitude, saying she'd broken the trust they'd formed as part of the Galang tribe.
Katie was asked if it was obvious that it would be herself, Tina, or Vytas on the block, and she wholeheartedly agreed. She added that if she survived the vote, then she'd hope to find some cracks in the majority alliance. Asked about his argument for staying, Vytas pointed to a potential women's alliance if he was sent home, suggesting it would be the smart thing for the women to do after his elimination as Tyson and Gervase were the people in power.
Laura was called to vote first, followed by Katie, Vytas, and Caleb. Monica then voted for Vytas, switching from the split vote plan at the last minute. Tina and Ciera followed, with the later casting her vote for Katie. Gervase, Tyson, and Hayden concluded the proceeding and Jeff tallied the votes.
Nobody chose to play a Hidden Immunity Idol, and Jeff read the votes. The first was for Vytas, followed by one for Katie. The next vote was for Tyson ("Thai Sun"), to even the score at one vote each on Katie, Tyson and Vytas. However, the remaining votes all fell on Vytas, to make him the 11th person voted out of Survivor: Blood vs. Water. Silently, his torch was snuffed and he departed for Redemption Island. Kasama then returned to camp, with Jeff noting that whilst Katie and Tina were now on the bottom, it also meant they had nothing to lose.
Kasama returned to camp, and Monica boasted of her decision to switch her vote to Vytas, repeating her voting confessional to the tribe. However, Gervase was disgruntled by her last minute choice, and entertained the idea of getting rid of Monica at the next vote.
|“||I went to Tribal Council and I was told to vote Katie. But with the pressure that I had been given by Vytas, and the vitriol attack that I had been given by him at Tribal, I chose to write down Vytas.||”|
|“||Monica at Tribal Council decided to switch her vote. She was supposed to vote for Katie, but she decides to vote for Vytas. If anything happened and that was the reason why Tyson got voted out, I got voted out or anybody else on my alliance, I would have lost it! It's simple. Don't rock the boat. Moves like that make me say, you know what? Let's get rid of Monica next. One more straw and the camel's back will be broke.||”|
At Redemption Island, Aras and Vytas sat on the shore and discussed their predicament. Vytas was frustrated, and blamed Aras' misjudgement of the alliance for his own elimination. Aras, however, remained optimistic, arguing that they were still in the game, but Vytas countered that Redemption Island was merely "purgatory." Aras continued to disagree ("If I wasn't in the game, I'd be eating a cheeseburger right now"), and was optimistic that he could make it back from Redemption. Vytas insisted that he would win Redemption, and Aras insisted that he'd be happy either way – a view that the older brother did not share.
|“||I think Aras is responsible for getting me here because he said he was good. I mean, like, I'm not going to bring anybody into an alliance with my brother and say we're a hundred percent if we're not a hundred percent, so he made that mistake and now I'm here just guilt by association.||”|
|“||My brother has got a very negative energy and I've got a much more positive energy. I love him no matter what, but best things don't come when you're pessimistic. They come when you're open and you're light.||”|
The next day, Kasama convened for the next Immunity Challenge. Jeff took back the Immunity Necklace from Monica and revealed the challenge: Balancing Point. Each castaway would balance a sword on a rounded shield with one hand, and use the other to stack coins of different sizes on the hilt of the sword. If the coins fell off the sword they would be eliminated from the challenge, and the last person standing would claim Immunity.
Barely into the challenge, Ciera's hands began to shake, but it was Monica who fell out of the challenge first. However, Ciera soon followed. Tina was the next person to slip out of the challenge, and she offered support to Katie from the sidelines. Gervase dropped out next, followed closely by Laura. Caleb's coins were the next to fall, leaving only three: Hayden, Katie, and Tyson. The three made it through the next couple coins, but in one fell swoop, Hayden and Tyson dropped their coins. Thus, Katie won Individual Immunity.
Back at camp, Katie and Tina discussed their next move. Tina decided to spend the afternoon trying to track down the Hidden Immunity Idol, and elsewhere, Tyson pulled in Caleb and Hayden to trail Tina to prevent her from finding it. Sure enough, when Tina disappeared up the beach, Ciera pointed the men in her direction and the trio pursued her down the beach. Although Tina didn't have clear clues to work with, she managed to give her pursuers the slip. Nevertheless, they eventually caught up with her, locking Tina and Caleb, Hayden, and Tyson in a stalemate. After biding her time long enough to hopefully cast some suspicion, Tina agreed to return to camp.
|“||Winning the Immunity feels like winning the lottery. But, right now, we don't have an alliance. It's just me and my mom.||”|
|“||I don't even have any clues to where the Idols are except Katie said that it was between salt water and fresh water. Like finding a needle in a haystack.||”|
|“||We head out and we lose her! We lost her on the waterfall trail. I'm thinking what the heck! She did get the slip on us.||”|
|“||The idea was a few people would follow Tina around in case she found the Idol, but we don't have to. Like, I could go to everybody and be like, "I have the Hidden Immunity Idol. We can all just take naps." But then I become a target. So today we have to babysit Tina all the time. She looked in the right spot, but it was gone because I moved it to a safe place.||”|
|“||I'm definitely in a Mexican standoff and I've got to find the Hidden Immunity Idol. They don't know if I have it or not and if I start searching for it, then you're gonna know that I don't have it. So I'm just gonna stay here for a while. I don't know how long.||”|
Later, Monica discussed the possibility of Tina having the Idol with Laura and Tyson. They entertained the idea of splitting the votes, but realizing they'd have to split a vote onto a member of their alliance, they dropped the subject. Nevertheless, Monica was rattled, and worried that she might be the mark, but Tyson assured her that Tina was being closely watched.
|“||I'm not sure what's happening. We'll just split the votes between whom? Somebody's gotta go home. So the question is could it be me?||”|
|“||Tonight, it's more complicated than I thought it was going to be. The thing is you can't split the votes because then Monica feels like she's on bottom. And she's a real wildcard, that girl. You never know what she's gonna do. That's what makes her dangerous.||”|
Tyson brought up Monica's paranoia in conversation with Gervase, who referred back to her impulse decision of switching her vote to Vytas. Gervase didn't mind targeting Monica instead, and confirmed that back-up plan with Hayden. Hayden relayed the thought to Caleb as the alliance considered cutting their ties with Monica.
|“||Loose cannons will always shoot off. And when they do, nine times out of ten, they're gonna sink something you're riding. So I wouldn't mind voting Monica out and keeping Tina and Katie for another day or two.||”|
|“||Monica's on the outs because we can't trust her. So even if Tina does not have the Idol, we might have to cut our ties and say, "Hey, sorry Monica, we gotta cut you loose."||”|
At Tribal Council, Jeff first asked Tina about her plan knowing she was outnumbered by the alliance and the obvious mark, and she said the only course of play was to find the Idol. She recounted her escapades with Caleb, Hayden, and Tyson babysitting her on her Idol hunt and revealed that she'd managed to lose them twice. Jeff asked about the alternative solution of finding a crack in the alliance, which Tina affirmed and turned the attention to Monica, bluntly telling her she was on the bottom of the Singles Alliance.
Monica countered that that was a mere opinion and that she had her own relationships people within her alliance. Tina asked her if she didn't think she was on the bottom, and Monica took a moment to think. She pointed out that Gervase and Tyson were a team, as were Caleb and Hayden, and the mother/daughter pairs. She agreed that she sometimes felt like an outsider.
Tina interjected that Monica was always the last to know about the vote because she talked too much and was therefore a liability. Gervase agreed that a talker was an "instantaneous" problem, adding that wildcards could pull down an entire plan in a second. Jeff asked Monica about the possibility of her going home and she agreed that there was always a fraction of doubt, and brought up the abandoned plan to split votes.
Hayden said that they ran through all possible scenarios, and concluded that it could be a safer play to counter the Idol and just vote out the seventh member of the alliance. Monica countered that voting her out was a stupid plan as she was a trustworthy member of the alliance. Tina argued that it was better to keep her around, as it offered the alliance an opportunity to get rid of Monica without the hassle and drama of a blindside, and concluded that the only way to ensure a blindside would be to pile votes on Tina only for them to nullified by an Idol.
Laura was called to vote first, followed by Tina and Caleb. Katie then cast her vote for Monica. Hayden and Ciera voted next, with Monica then casting her vote for Tina. Gervase and Tyson finished the votes, and Jeff tallied the result.
When asked if anybody had the Hidden Immunity Idol, Tina fumbled in her bag, but came up empty, joking, "I wish I found it, but I didn't!" Jeff then read the votes. The first was for Monica, followed by one for Tina. A lone vote then emerged for Tyson, to leave the score at 1-1-1. However, the remaining votes were for Tina, and she became the 11th person voted out of Survivor: Blood vs. Water. Tina kissed her daughter goodbye, and her torch was snuffed. She bid her former tribe farewell as she departed for Redemption Island. As Kasama headed back to camp, Jeff noted the emerging instabilities of the Singles Alliance.
Tina arrived at Redemption Island to greet Aras and Vytas. In confessionals, both Tina and Vytas were thinking about the upcoming Duel, with Tina optimistic that she might be able to survive despite the competition, but Vytas was confident she would be eliminated.
|“||It's nice having Redemption Island because you get a second shot. I'm going up against two really tough competitors, but everybody has a chance.||”|
|“||I'm just real happy we can give Tina a hug, set her up like it by the fire and send her on her way tomorrow.||”|
Challenge: Pesky Palate
Castaways would have to eat exotic dishes in which they must eat all of it in their mouth and show their empty tongues to finish, in which a certain number of fastest finishers would advance to the next round. The castaway that finishes all stages wins immunity.
Winner: Monica Culpepper
Challenge: Balancing Point
With one hand they will balance a sword on a shield. With their other hand, they will stack (unevenly sided) coins on the handle of the sword. As the stack of coins gets higher, it will get more difficult to balance. When the stack becomes too high, the coins may fall and they will then be out of the challenge. The last person standing wins immunity.
Winner: Katie Collins
Because Aras was the only inhabitant of Redemption Island, there was no duel.
|Tribal Council 9:|
Vytas (8 votes)
Caleb, Gervase, Hayden, Katie, Laura M., Monica, Tina, Tyson
Katie (1 vote)
Tyson (1 vote)
(sent to Redemption Island)
Ciera is shown writing Katie's name down on the parchment.
|“||(voting against Vytas) What up, Brad?||”|
|Tribal Council 10:|
Tina (7 votes)
Caleb, Ciera, Gervase, Hayden, Laura M., Monica, Tyson
Monica (1 vote)
Tyson (1 vote)
(sent to Redemption Island)
Katie is shown writing Monica's name down on the parchment.
|“||(voting against Tina) Wonderful inspiration. Thanks for the fun.||”|
Still in the Running
- This episode marks the first time Tina has been voted out during the post-merge phase of the game, as she won her first season and was eliminated pre-merge in her second.
- As of this episode, Aras and Vytas became the second loved one pair to live together on Redemption Island, the first being Candice and John Cody.
- An additional round of the Pesky Palate challenge was unaired. Gervase, Monica, and Vytas advanced from the second round featuring pig intestines. During the next round, the castaways left in the challenge ate cow eyeballs. Vytas was eliminated, whilst Gervase and Monica progressed to the final round. This was confirmed via a picture seen in CBS's official episode pictures, and also Monica Culpepper's and Vytas Baskauskas's Twitter.
- In the Immunity Challenge, the contestants eliminated in the first round were the remaining pairs of loved ones.
- This is the only episode of the season where Laura M. attends Tribal Council and doesn't receive any votes.
- The episode title was said by Vytas during Day 22's Tribal Council when talking about Aras's elimination.
|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"|