Rustle Feathers is the twelfth episode of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.
After voting out Caleb Bankston, Kasama returned to camp and congratulated each other on getting to Day 30. Hayden Moss applauded Tyson Apostol's gameplay despite having been misled by him, and he publicly announced that Tyson would have his vote if he made it to the end. Hayden added that everybody else was merely playing for second place as Tyson would win against any of them. This angered Gervase Peterson, who loudly countered that Tyson wouldn't have made it this far without him and that he had his "hand on Tyson's back." Tyson calmly asked why Hayden was throwing him under the bus, and he answered that he had to do something about his position in the game, but it was, nevertheless, the truth: "You deserve to win the game." In a confessional, Tyson worried about being vulnerable after having wasted his Hidden Immunity Idol in light of Hayden's rant, but felt safe in his alliance. In a quiet moment, he, along with Gervase, Ciera Eastin and Monica Culpepper, confirmed that they would vote for Hayden at the next Tribal Council, or Katie Collins if he were to win Immunity.
|“||Tribal Council blew up in our face. We were expecting to blindside Ciera, but gosh! It was just... I mean, good move to them. Kat would say, "Touché." And I'm thinking... Sons of... guns.||”|
|“||I didn't really like how Hayden threw me under the bus when he said, "I'm voting for Tyson. If Tyson makes it to the end, I'm gonna vote him." It was nice to hear, but it does put a little bit of a target on my back. I wish I wouldn't have played the Idol 'cause then I would have it for next time, although I trust my alliance enough that that shouldn't really be of much concern.||”|
The next morning, Kasama arrived at Redemption Island Arena to see Tina Wesson, Laura Morett, and Caleb compete in the Duel. Caleb entered the Arena without looking up at his former tribe, and when Jeff Probst asked him about the cold shoulder, he responded that there were two people he had good words for (Hayden and Katie), but "a man's word is a man's word: in the South it means something and in the game of Survivor, in Utah and Philly, it just doesn't mean as much." This statement referred to Tyson and Gervase respectively. The comment rolled off Gervase, who claimed that Caleb and Hayden had broken their word first, and they had to make the counter-attack.
Jeff then revealed the Duel: House of Cards. Using large wooden cards, the competitors would assemble a card tower, with the first two people to build a tower eight feet tall (or the two people with the tallest towers after 30 minutes) remaining in the game, with the remaining contestant eliminated. In addition, the first person to finish (or the person with the tallest stack) would be able to give out a clue to a Hidden Immunity Idol to any of the members of Kasama.
As the competitors worked to overcome the learning curve, it was Laura who pulled away with the most success, reaching seven feet after 24 minutes, whilst Caleb and Tina bother remained around 2–3 feet. However, Laura's stack began shedding a couple tiles, but she recovered the loss and reached the eight-foot mark to win the Duel.
With three minutes left in the Duel, Tina had a slight lead on Caleb. However, Caleb caught up as Tina struggled to build the next layer of her card stack. Caleb passed her with two minutes to go. Again, Tina lost a few of her tiles, but Caleb's stack was noticeably crooked. With thirty seconds left in the challenge, Caleb's entire stack tipped over. Tina stopped building her own stack to play it safe, and as Caleb furiously tried to rebuild his tower, Tina counted down the last ten seconds of the challenge to claim the tallest stack after thirty minutes, and thus eliminate Caleb from the game.
Caleb hugged Tina goodbye, and bid the game farewell. Jeff asked him about his time in the game, impressing people with his work ethic and his management of his fiancée Colton Cumbie. Caleb said that their relationship would remain "a mystery" to a lot of people, but opposites attracted. Jeff asked how they were similar, and Caleb bluntly answered, "We're both guys." Caleb then burnt his Buff and became the twelfth person eliminated from Survivor: Blood vs. Water and the third member of the jury.
Laura then had the task of giving away the clue to the Idol. She chose to give the clue to her daughter Ciera. Contrary to tradition, Ciera chose to keep the Idol clue. Laura urged her to find the Idol, and with that, she and Tina returned to Redemption Island whilst Kasama headed back to camp.
Upon arriving back at their beach, Ciera, Gervase, Monica, and Tyson went to collect water from the well. Ciera shared the Idol clue with her alliance: Not too far from your water, not too close to the ground hides incredible power but only if it's found. Tyson deduced that the Idol would likely be hidden in a tree and the group split up to look for it. Meanwhile, Hayden and Katie assumed that the group was Idol-hunting and decided to spy on them. They found the majority alliance searching the trees, and they joined the hunt.
|“||This is the first Redemption Island I've gone to where I've been like, Mom, you better pull this one out! We knew Tyson had played an Idol which meant that there was going to be a new one probably in play. Big question has been, y'know, if my mom wins, do I take the clue? And I kind've felt like I needed to 'cause if Katie gets it or if Hayden gets it, then it's bad news for us. So we're gonna open it as a group. We're gonna find it and we're gonna decide what to do with it.||”|
|“||Ciera opens up the clue and reads it aloud and I was like Yes! So now everybody just scatters and looking and looking and looking. And all of a sudden, Hayden walks up.||”|
|“||I cruised towards the well and Tyson, Gervase, Ciera and Monica are all down there, peeking around, looking at trees, like, hunting, searching. And it's obvious. The Idol is down there somewhere. It's really my last hope. I have to keep looking, I have to find the Hidden Immunity Idol.||”|
Tyson ran off on his own, determined to find the Idol knowing he was in a precarious position after being targeted and wanting to simply keep track of who had it. He climbed up into a tree and found the Idol located on a high branch. He hid the Idol in his pants "where no one will suspect a bulge" and debated whether to share the knowledge of his find, or keep it secret. He answered his rhetorical question by deciding to keep it secret. He told the camera that it was dicey to have the Idol out in the open, but having found it, he felt comfortable taking a nap that afternoon. In a confessional, he explained his relief at having found the Idol, particularly in light of how hard he'd played the game for his girlfriend Rachel Foulger after she'd been eliminated.
|“||I'm threat number one and everyone knows that. And I know that. I'm just trying to play the game and trying to get to the end and I told myself when Rachel left that if I was going to stay, I had to get to the end. So... (begins to cry) It's the only way that it would be worth it to stay here and not go in when I could have saved her. So I've just been fighting and clawing and I'm so close. And I still feel like it's getting pulled out from under me. And I hate that feeling because I've worked too hard to get here. I have the Hidden Immunity Idol. It's up to me to just stay focused and don't let Hayden win the challenge. That's the number one thing. Hayden can't win.||”|
Meanwhile, Hayden approached Gervase after his outburst the night before. He tried to convince Gervase to join them to overthrow Tyson, suggesting that if he and Ciera joined with himself and Katie, they'd have the numbers. Gervase was adamant that he needed to be completely certain that Ciera was on board.
|“||I struck a nerve with Gervase, so I think Gervase is open to working with me, blindsiding Tyson. We just have to figure out how to do it.||”|
|“||I think Tyson is playing the game well. I believe it too. But I'm not putting my trust and faith in Hayden at all. Y'know, I have my trust and faith in Tyson and it's got me this far, but I do want those options out there and Hayden's a good option to have.||”|
Two days later, Kasama convened for their next Immunity Challenge. Jeff took back the Immunity Necklace from Monica and revealed the challenge: Ram-Ball On. Each contestant would balance a ball on the end of a pole and traverse a series of obstacles (such as fences and balance beams). Between each obstacle, they would add another length of pole, increasing the difficulty. If the ball was dropped, they would have to restart the obstacle. At the end, they would use the ball to release a key to a chest of sandbags, which they would then use to knock down nine bamboo targets. The first person to finish would win Immunity and Reward in the form of ice cream delivered to them at camp.
Tyson dropped his ball straight out of the gate, though Hayden, Ciera, and Katie dropped theirs at the first fence obstacle. This gave Monica and Gervase the lead going into the second obstacle, with Tyson catching up close behind. Hayden joined them, with Ciera and Katie catching up as Monica extended a lead on the second obstacle – a balance beam. Gervase was close behind her, with Tyson following. Hayden dropped his ball several times, sending him back to the start of the balance beam.
Monica was the first to start on the final balance beam obstacle, though Gervase was not far behind. Hayden finally finished the second obstacle, whilst Katie dropped the ball on her head and Ciera inched her way across the balance beam. At the third obstacle, Tyson dropped his ball, allowing Monica and Gervase to extend their lead. Monica and Gervase completed the obstacle and began untying the rope gate that barred their path to the key. Tyson passed Hayden on the third obstacle as Monica and Gervase reached their key station and unlocked their sandbags.
Despite her slight lead, Gervase overtook Monica, quickly knocking down three targets to her two. Tyson completed the third obstacle as Katie, once again, dropped the ball onto her head. Gervase increased his lead, knocking over three more target with a single throw, with another two to follow, to give him a 8-5 lead over Monica. Monica knocked over another to give her 6 targets, as Tyson unlocked his sandbags and knocked over two targets, as Monica hit another to make the score 8-7-2. Yet Gervase pulled out the win to win his first challenge of the season.
After receiving the Immunity Necklace, he was instructed to choose one person to share his ice cream reward with. He decided to take Monica, saying it was "even" after Monica had given up her hamburger reward for the tribe. Gervase was then told to choose one more companion, and after much deliberation, he shared the reward with his "left-hand man" Tyson. The tribe then returned to camp.
The tribe congratulated Gervase on his win upon their arrival back at the beach. Gervase expressed confidence in his alliance during a confessional, as the "East Indies Iced Cream" cart arrived with his reward. The cart parked right next to camp as Gervase, Monica and Tyson indulged in root bear floats and ice cream. Meanwhile, Ciera, Hayden, and Katie watched, disappointed, from the sidelines. Lying in the hammock, Hayden tried to swing Ciera's vote by asking her what she thought the voting order would be, suggesting that she was the fourth member of her alliance. Hayden told her that Gervase was on board to flip if she was and suggested they try to convince Tyson to flush his Idol (assuming he'd found one), whilst actually putting four votes on Monica, or alternatively blindside Tyson. Hayden told her that she needed "a resume to win" and that she needed a big move to point towards. However, she argued that if she joined them on her own it would be a 3-3 vote, resulting in a Tiebreaker.
|“||So, finally, thiry-two days into the game, I win Immunity. I'm in a great position no matter which way I play things. I'm in a secure alliance. Me, Tyson and Monica – the three. Together. We have Ciera, which makes four. We pretty much control the game.||”|
|“||Gervase decided to choose Monica and Tyson to eat ice cream with him and that left the door wide open for me to really talk to Ciera and pitch her the idea: hey, Ciera, let's make a move here.||”|
|“||Part of my strategy has been making Hayden and Katie feel like they have a glimmer of hope, but I have no intention of doing anything with Hayden and Katie.||”|
Later, Hayden played board games in the shelter with Gervase and Ciera, and once again pitched the idea of them flipping. He told them that it was time to take Tyson out whilst he was comfortable thinking he was going to the end, where he would easily win. Gervase rebutted that he believed he had a chance to beat Tyson since they'd played the same game. Hayden disagreed, but Ciera pointed out that Katie was just as much of a threat given her former alliance was sitting in the jury. Hayden argued that getting to the end, but placing second or third was not worth it: "Second place is the first loser." After some time had passed, the rest of the tribe joined them in the shelter and Hayden told Tyson directly that he was trying to convince everyone to vote him out, but it wasn't working. Tyson coldly answered, "Good," and Hayden elaborated that it was nothing against Tyson personally, but just the game.
|“||Gervase and Ciera, right now, can make a huge move and get out Tyson. If they make this move, they probably deserve to win this game.||”|
|“||Tonight is simple. Hayden's got to go. And then, thank goodness, we can get Katie next. I don't know how she's still around.||”|
|“||What I was hoping was Ciera and Gervase were going to roll with me to blindside Tyson. And they're not doing it. I don't like to lose. I'm the worst – the worst – loser. God! ____! (sighs) Tonight, I'm going to Tribal guns blazing. I'm gonna go in, blow it up and kinda let things fly. Go down swinging. But maybe it's not going to be me. We'll see. We will see! Y'know, the chapter is not closed yet!||”|
At Tribal Council, Jeff first welcomed the jury: Aras Baskauskas, Vytas Baskauskas, and Caleb, eliminated at the last Duel. He first asked Hayden about the division between the Singles Alliance and himself and Katie. He answered that it was still divided, but the four were all being controlled by Tyson. Ciera dismissed the idea that she was being controlled, saying she was comfortable in her alliance. However, Jeff pointed out that Gervase hadn't chosen her for the reward, though she hadn't taken offense. Gervase interjected that he'd chosen the original Galang members who he had "put [his] blood, sweat and tears into." Ciera agreed with Jeff's observation that Gervase's statement didn't sound to great for her.
Hayden reiterated that Tyson had been calling all the shots, pointing the finger at Aras, Vytas and Laura, though Tyson interrupted to ask Ciera if he had wanted to get rid of her mother. Ciera pointed out that it had been Hayden and Caleb who had pitched the idea of voting Laura out. Asked how she fit in, Katie began, "During this whole political what-have-you..." However, Jeff interrupted her to say that the "political what-have-you" was core to winning the game, but Katie argued that since she'd been at the bottom of the tribe, she hadn't been able to get involved in the conversations.
Monica said that it was a "bad move" for Ciera to flip, since "four is better than six." Hayden observed that Monica had implied Ciera was the fourth in the alliance, and pointed out that if she joined them, there were only three. Gervase stated that that was incorrect, which baffled Hayden (and saw the jury laugh). Gervase continued that if Ciera flipped, she would join liars and backstabbers, as opposed to sticking with the honorable people who kept their word (again, eliciting laughter from the jury). Hayden asked why the jury was laughing if that was true, and Gervase argued that Aras, Vytas, and Caleb had just gotten played first. He added that nobody in the alliance was jumping ship as they were a solid "one, two, three, four" (in which he numbered Ciera as four), and threatened Hayden with a spot on the jury.
As Gervase explained that Ciera wasn't necessarily the fourth in the alliance, Hayden nudged Katie and they agree to vote Monica, and he passed the name to Ciera. Tyson was asked if it was possible that the vote could end in a three-three tie and a rock draw, but he insisted that Ciera wasn't four. When Monica batted away the idea that if Ciera wasn't fourth, then she was, Hayden pressed the point and insisted that Tyson and Gervase were the top two in their alliance. Tyson caught Ciera's attention and stated that he hadn't betrayed her, whilst Hayden and Katie had both written her name down in the past. Hayden then turned to her and reiterated that she could join them and force rocks, pointing out that it would be a big move.
Gervase interjected that Hayden had told everyone that Tyson would get his vote at the end, which Katie interjected was just a ploy to "rustle his feathers." Gervase persisted, saying that they'd been "one hundred" with Ciera. Hayden and Katie continued to address Ciera, stating that it had been to "rustle feathers" and rile Gervase. Tyson suddenly interrupted Hayden to point out that the phrase was "ruffle feathers" and that "Russell" was a first name. Everybody looked perplexed, and Hayden argued back that he'd said "rustle – R-U-S-T-L-E – rustling leaves – you can also rustle feathers." The bizarre argument saw Jeff unable to restrain a laugh, and the jury followed.
Turning serious again, Hayden again told Ciera that if she made the move to jump from four to three, and the move worked, she would be a millionaire at the end of the game. Tyson returned that if it didn't work, she could be sent home that night by drawing the wrong rock.
Katie was called to vote first, followed by Gervase, who cast his vote for "Hay done" and spoke so loudly in his confessional that everybody could hear him. Monica and Hayden cast their vote, and Tyson leaned over to Ciera, urging her to stick with himself and Monica. Tyson then cast his vote for Hayden. Ciera was the last to vote, before Jeff tallied the results.
Tyson chose not to play his Hidden Immunity Idol, and Jeff read the votes. The first two votes came up for Hayden, followed by two for Monica. A third vote for Hayden put the tally at 3-2, but when the final vote came up for Monica, a re-vote was forced. Tyson whispered to Ciera, asking her what she was doing, but she ignored him. With neither Hayden nor Monica voting, and the remaining four forced to choose between them, the revote commenced with Katie, followed by Tyson, Gervase, and finally, Ciera who cast her vote with a smile on her face.
Jeff then read the results: two votes each for Hayden and Monica, deadlocking the vote. Ciera, Gervase, Katie, and Tyson were then given an ultimatum – if they could make a unanimous decision to vote out Hayden or Monica, that person would be sent to Redemption Island. If not, Hayden and Monica would become safe, as would Gervase with the Immunity Necklace, and Ciera, Katie and Tyson would draw rocks.
Ciera started the discussion, telling her former alliance that she was clearly the fourth. As Monica tried to assure her that wasn't the case, and Ciera persisted, Gervase interrupted to argue that they might as well draw rocks. Ciera agreed to draw rocks, and asked Katie, who also agreed. Ciera cut off Tyson to say that that unless they voted her way, they were going to rocks, and Tyson acquiesced to draw rocks.
Jeff established the rules of the rock draw. Three rocks were in a bag – two black, one white. Ciera, Katie, and Tyson would each take a rock, and the person who drew the white rock would be eliminated and sent to Redemption Island. Katie drew first, followed by Ciera, and finally Tyson. The three held out their palms and revealed their rocks. Katie drew the white rock, and was eliminated.
She hugged Hayden and Ciera goodbye, telling them that "it was worth a try." Meanwhile, Tyson turned to Monica and urged her to stay with them, and then stood to hug Katie goodbye. He told her that it was a "dangerous move," and after hugging her goodbye, he threatened her as he pointed to the jury, "That's your chair over there. One of those." As Katie also hugged Monica goodbye, Ciera turned to Tyson and told him not to glare at her, which he claimed he wasn't doing. Jeff then snuffed Katie's torch and she departed for Redemption Island, turning back to wish Ciera and Hayden luck. Pointing out that it was only the second time in Survivor history that the vote had gone to rocks (the first had been in Marquesas), Jeff observed that it would be a fight to the finish, and sent Kasama back to camp. As Tyson muttered that the line was in the sand, he recalled Hayden who almost left without his torch.
Katie arrived at Redemption Island and informed Laura and Tina that the vote had gone to rocks, shocking them.
|“||Tonight was my shot to knock Tyson off of his throne, but I had the white rock, so... I was rocked out.||”|
Challenge: House of Cards
Each competitor has 150 to 200 wooden tiles. They must use the tiles to build a house of cards up to certain height within a specified time period. The first person to reach the target height wins. However, if the clock runs out, the contestant with the tallest house of cards wins the challenge.
Winners (in order of finish): Laura Morett and Tina Wesson (Laura M. gave the Hidden Immunity Idol clue to Ciera Eastin)
Challenge: Ram-Ball On
Castaways must race to balance a ball on the top of a pole while maneuvering through a series of obstacles. Along the way, they would add another section of the pole, making it harder to balance the ball as they make their way through the course. After they got past the balance beam, they would have to untie knots to get to a table, where they would place the ball on it to retrieve a key, then using the key to unlock a chest of sandbags and shoot the sandbags at a series of bamboo targets. The first castaway to finish wins.
Reward: Ice-cream stand to be brought to camp for the afternoon.
Winner: Gervase Peterson (reward shared with Monica Culpepper and Tyson Apostol)
| Redemption Island|
(according to finish)
| Tribal Council 13:|
Hayden (3 votes)
Gervase, Monica, Tyson
Monica (3 votes)
Ciera, Hayden, Katie
Hayden, Monica (3 votes each)
(Hayden and Monica ineligible to vote)
Hayden (2 votes)
Monica (2 votes)
Hayden, Monica (2 votes each)
|“||(voting for Hayden) Don't hate the players, homie. Hate the game. This isn't Big Brother. It's Survivor. We do things different here. You're about to get a lesson in how to play the game.||”|
|“||(voting for Hayden) Never tell an insane person they're going home next.||”|
Still in the Running
- This episode was voted the 10th best Survivor episode of all time in the "Top 25 Greatest Episodes of all time" poll by Survivor Oz in 2015.
- No footage from Day 31 was shown.
- This is the second time the rock draw tiebreaker was used. The first was in "The Sole Survivor" during Survivor: Marquesas.
- This is the first time the tied castaways did not draw rocks, as the first time it was used, only one castaway would have drawn rocks otherwise.
- In an interview, Jeff Probst stated that this was his fourth favorite blindside of all time.
- The episode title was first said by Katie during the heated debate at Tribal Council, and was repeated by Hayden and Tyson who argued about the terminology ("ruffle feathers" or "rustle feathers" or "Russell feathers").
|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"