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Hayden has become a desperate, desperate man. After Caleb is voted out of the game last week and sent to Redemption Island to compete for a spot back in the game, Hayden goes into full on scramble mode. It isn’t pretty and it isn’t conventional, but it is entertaining to watch. Before the Hayden scramble saga begins, however, a duel must take place on Redemption Island between Caleb, Laura M., and Tina. The duel is a house of cards-style stacking challenge, which Laura easily wins. She’s becoming a Redemption Island challenge beast for sure. Caleb’s house crumbles, and Tina outlasts him to win second place. Caleb gets eliminated from the game, joining Aras and Vytas on the jury.
Back at camp, Hayden goes off. He tries to flip Gervase but doesn’t have much luck as Gervase is locked in on Final Four with Ciera, Monica, and Tyson. He then tries to work over Ciera, but she is having none of it either. Ciera shares the Hidden Immunity Idol clue with her alliance, and everyone goes off to look for it. Hayden and Katie crash the party, much to the others’ dismay. Heading off by himself, an emotionally fragile Tyson looks for the idol on his own, which he finds after a teary and heartfelt confessional reminiscent of a moment Boston Rob shared during Heroes vs. Villains (a season the two of them would probably like to forget). Tyson ponders whether or not to keep the idol safe, which it seems he does for now.
The combined Immunity/Reward Challenge combines a maze with a balancing act with a carnival game. Katie and Ciera quickly fall behind, as does Hayden somewhat. Monica and Gervase take up the front, quickly making it through their sections with Tyson not far behind them. A Monica/Gervase showdown quickly commences, with Gervase pulling off the victory, winning the Immunity Necklace for himself. As part of the reward, he gets to pick two members to share ice cream treats, and he chooses Monica and Tyson, with Ciera looking visibly upset (a classic Reward Challenge consequence). The three share ice cream on the beach as Katie, Ciera, and Hayden watch.
Hayden goes back into scramble mode, trying everything he can possibly do to keep himself alive in the game. At Tribal Council, he does everything he can do to put the heat on Tyson, with some unintentional help from Gervase and some intentional help from Probst. I’m not really a fan of Probst inserting himself into the game, and this is really what he does as he points out that Gervase continually refers to Ciera as the fourth member of the alliance. Hayden and Katie openly plan to vote Monica, and urge Ciera to do so as well. Hayden hopes to force a tie between himself and Monica, because in the event of a tie, the players will have to draw rocks to decide who will get voted out.
Ciera surprisingly flips to Hayden and Katie, voting Monica with them. Monica and Hayden tie twice in a row with three votes each, and Probst instructs Tyson, Katie, and Ciera (Gervase has Individual Immunity). Tyson and Ciera draw black rocks, meaning they are safe. Katie draws a white rock, eliminating her from the game. I still don’t understand why Ciera would play such a scorched-earth game. She may have been on the bottom of a four person alliance, but she also may not have been. It is highly likely Tyson and Gervase or Gervase and Monica would have wanted to team up with her to take someone else out. As it stands, she’s burned a bridge with the majority alliance and will likely be voted out sooner rather than later. Katie should have realized that she too was in danger of being voted out and just tossed her vote to Hayden. This would have kept her in the game to scramble another few days. As it stands, the only ones who come out on top are Hayden and Tyson, the two who probably had the most to lose. Whoops.