“Survivor: Winners at War” Episode 10 Recap – All In the (and “of the”) Family

“Survivor: Winners at War” (CBS)

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Last Week: Nick experienced a new low to him, Parvati shared a treat lacking sodium, and Adam wasn’t saved by a podium.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor Blog

Alright, let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand.

The Koru Tribe (wearing black)

  • Ben, 36 – “Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”
  • Denise, 48 – “Philippines”
  • Jeremy, 41 – “Second Chance”
  • Kim, 36 – “One World”
  • Michele, 29 – “Kaôh Rōng”
  • Nick, 28 – “David vs. Goliath”
  • Sarah, 34 – “Game Changers”
  • Sophie, 29 – “South Pacific”
  • Tony, 45 – “Cagayan”
  • Tyson, 39 – “Blood vs. Water”

OK, we’re not waisting any time learning why Adam was voted out, cause it’s time for…

The Biggest Family Visit EVAR

Honestly, with the family visit coming so early in the season and the sheer amount of people who were brought out, there really isn’t time for much else.

Quick Aside: I usually set an over/under for when I’ll start bawling, but as an expecting father, I’m anticipating it happening immediately.

Kim is first up, getting to see her husband and three children. Aww…the little ones are so shy, which is completely understandable knowing that there are about 40 camera people filming them.

Ben’s wife and his two children are next with his adorable daughter yelling, “Surprise!” Yup, that did it. I’m a mess.

Another Quick Aside: It’s always weird the way Jeff asks them questions during the reunions. It’s like, “What’s it like to have human emotions?”

Sophie’s fiancé Bobby Shady (best name ever) comes out and gives her a monster hug. She hilariously says he’s the only person in the world who wants to marry her. I’m sure there are others, but he’s a great choice.

Batting clean-up is Sarah’s husband and son. And it’s a very different, very beautiful thing to see Sarah so vulnerable for once.

We get to meet Denise’s husband and daughter and she’s so teeny compared to them!

Nick’s fiancé is next, she tells him he looks great, but doesn’t comment on how he must smell after three weeks in the Fijian wilderness.

Whoa…Tony completely breaks down when he’s greeted by his wife and two children. He points out that this is his first family visit with his wife because the first time his daughter was so young. And she couldn’t come to the finale because she was pregnant with his son.

Next up is Michele’s sister who is basically a less tan version of Michele. We’ll give her a pass though because she hasn’t been living on an island.

“Survivor” alum Rachel Foulger is next with one of Tyson’s daughters. To see someone as dry and even-tempered as Tyson melt when he saw that little face…oof…waterworks. Tyson’s daughter does admit that her father is “stinky.”

Finally, we get to see “Survivor” alum Val Collins and Jeremy’s four beautiful children. OK, I’m a wreck.

Afterwards, Probst pretends like there’s going to be a reward challenge, but he can’t keep the façade going for very long. He tells them that they’re all welcome to go back the tribe beach.

We meet up with the families back at camp where they’re greeted by a huge feast. Everybody’s chatting, getting along, all the kids are playing in the water. Just a great moment.

From there, we’re taken to the Edge of Extinction where everyone is very concerned because a boat is headed their way. And I get the concern. My brain immediately went to when Terry Dietz left ”Second Chance” because of his son’s heart condition.

Fortunately, it’s a good surprise as their families have been brought out as well. Rob and Amber’s full crew, “Survivor” alum John Fincher and their daughter, “Survivor” alum Nadiya Anderson and her daughter, Adam’s father, Ethan’s wife, Wendell’s father, Yul’s family, Danni’s son…just amazing.

Wow, the first half of this episode didn’t have a second of gameplay or strategy. It was so weird, but so nice to see.

Good job, “Survivor” production.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will stack letter blocks on a wobbly platform that they’re holding up with a rope. The first person to spell “IMMUNITY” will win two fire tokens and…you know…immunity.

Result: Tony pulls off the win. He hilariously can’t believe he won a game of patience.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Things kick off with Jeremy running the idea of splitting up Sarah and Sophie by Tony. Then Sarah pitches the idea of getting rid of Kim to Tony.

Two things: One, look at Tony in the middle of everything! And two, it seems like Sophie didn’t tell Sarah about Kim’s idol. Interesting…

Later on, Kim pulls Jeremy aside in full view of Tony, Nick, and Ben. This encourages the guys to target Jeremy because he’s trying too hard to protect people. Tony later spins this to Sarah saying that they should go for Jeremy because he targeted her.

Sooo…it seems to be coming down to Jeremy, Kim, Denise, Tyson, and Michele working together against Sophie, Sarah, Tony, Nick, and Ben.

Kim tells Tyson and Jeremy that she’s willing to play her idol so they can target Sophie who she thinks will never see it coming.

Also, Jeremy breaks the news to Tyson about his Get Out of Tribal Free card. However, Tyson tells him that he needs to stick around because his vote will be crucial.

Later, Sophie reminds us that Sarah has the ability to steal a vote.

Man…following all of this is like doing taxes. If this, then this…

Tribal Time

Oh snap, a live Tribal breaks out immediately. And it’s so extreme that Jeff doesn’t get to ask many questions of substance.

Finally, Jeff tells them it’s time to vote and…both Jeremy and Sarah ask him to wait. But, neither of them wants show their hand first. So, they go to vote again, and again Jeremy and Sarah speak up. Finally Jeremy has had enough and decides to call it a day. He plays his Safety Without Power advantage and leaves Tribal.

Quick Aside: Hilariously, Tony was very worried that Jeremy had an advantage that would allow him to nullify the immunity necklace.

The two alliances split into groups to make a decision. And, the jury points out that Jeremy left his group high and dry.

Before they can cast their ballots, Sarah decides to steal Denise’s vote.

OK, so Sarah’s alliance has six votes and Denise’s alliance only has three. So, this should render Kim’s idol useless. They can split their six votes between two players and it’s a three-way tie.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and Kim does…for Denise.

Huh…the way the numbers work…she can’t protect her whole alliance, right? And if that’s the case, why wouldn’t she protect herself? Am I missing something?

OK, we’ve got two votes for Denise, two votes for Sophie, three votes for Tyson, and the twelfth person voted out of “Survivor: Winner at War” is…Tyson…again.

Fire Token Bequeath’n: Tyson has no tokens, so he leaves the group a blurred middle finger.

Before the show finishes off, we get to see the jurors give Probst a big hug to say, “Thank you.” Aww…that was nice.

Verdict: Am I missing something? Why did Sophie only get two votes? Why did they split their votes four for Tyson and two for Denise? Why don’t they show the votes over the credits anymore?!

If you figure it out, please drop me a line on Twitter.

Otherwise, this episode had such a different tone with so much of it dedicated to the players getting to see their families.  But, I loved it. Seeing Tyson’s daughter running around the beach wearing a buff warmed my cold, dark heart. I’ve always been a big proponent of showing more of the players getting along and having fun.

  • Tony – A big challenge win and he was able to twist his move into pulling Sarah closer. Not bad.
  • Sophie – She didn’t do much that we saw, but she is as cool as a cucumber out there. I’m loving it.
  • Nick – I don’t know exactly what he did, but he went from the bottom of the tribe to firmly in the dominant alliance.
  • Kim and Denise – They lost the vote and they lost an idol, but they seem tight as can be. They’re not out of this yet.
  • Jeremy – Even if people are willing to work with him again, the jury noticed him bail on his alliance.
  • Sarah – I think it’s a big deal that Sophie probably didn’t tell Sarah about Kim’s idol. Also, she probably wanted Tyson to stick around.
  • Michele and Ben – I can’t give you a grade if you don’t show your work.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @GordonHolmes