Before Cochran in Survivor: Caramoan, I did a poor job of picking bets because none of my picks ever made it as far as Final Four. In fact, a few of them did not even make the merge! I cannot believe it took me 26 seasons to pick a winner as part of my initial bets and now it seems that I am on a roll. For the second season in a row, I picked a winner and I could not have been more happy with my choice - Tyson Apostol is the official winner of Survivor: Blood vs Water!
This was a bittersweet win for Tyson because this season was ridden with emotions, drama, and strategic play that we haven't seen in any previous seasons. I was one of those who were skeptical about the twist from the start and even despised it. But sometimes, what doesn't look good on paper actually does work! And this is one of those few moments when it does!
Right from the get-go, Tyson was in it to play. No one took him seriously. Who could, really? He was the skinny guy who was running around the river naked in Tocantins. Then, he was Boston Rob's right-hand man in Heroes vs Villains who fell for Russell's trap and voted himself out of the game. I was glad that Tyson did not give up on the game and went for a third time (guess this was his charm?) wherein we got to see a different side of his personality.
To look back on this fantastic season, read on to find out my favorite Tyson moments in Survivor: Blood vs Water:
5. On the finale episode, Tyson won a crucial immunity challenge because 1) he needed to keep Ciera or Tina from winning it, and 2) he still had the idol at that point, which gives him huge power heading into the Final Four. For his first individual immunity win this season, Tyson asked Jeff if he could kneel as the latter put on his immunity necklace as if he is being knighted. It's small details like this is what makes Tyson stand out as a character (to a point that his gameplay is often overlooked). But funny things aside, he got the job done and secured probably the most important challenge of the season for him at that point.
4. The coconut bandits alliance of Tyson and Gervase was another comic relief from the game. The two formed a bond early on in the game by sneaking out and drinking coconuts without sharing it with their tribe mates at Galang. There was no strategy in this particular move whatsoever. And yet, it was pure entertainment gold (especially as they had their tribe mates wondering how all the coconuts had mysterious holes in them).
3. On Episode 3 of Survivor: Blood vs Water, right after Rachel (Tyson's girlfriend) was eliminated from Redemption Island, Tyson suffered an injury to his shoulders during the Sumo at Sea immunity challenge. He was matched up against Hayden when his shoulder popped out of place. Having picked Tyson as my bet to win, I was quickly worried for his future in the game. We've seen a few people taken out of the game for less serious injuries (he had to wear a sling for several episodes) but it was good to know that Tyson recovered from that injury and even made it all the way to the end.
2. The third episode was one of my favorites because seeing Rachel and Tyson interact at Redemption Island was one of the sweetest moments this season. Tyson has shown a sensitive side to him and it was nice to know that he can be vulnerable, too. The sacrifice that Rachel made was also endearing. She knew that Tyson has a better spot in the game so she was willing to fight for her life in the game so he can continue on with his journey. But when she was beaten by Marissa during the duel, Tyson approached her and asked if she had fun and it was heart-wrenching but sweet. Don't tell me that did not tug at your heart even for a little bit.
1. Tyson wins Survivor: Blood vs Water! Third time is the charm. Tyson has come full circle with his Survivor experience. The first time he played in Tocantins, he was the goofy athlete best known for his one-liners and wacky confessionals. When he returned in Heroes vs Villains, he still had the same goofy side to him but Boston Rob took him under his wings. This time out, he had his strategy in full effect from day one and to have shared that experience with Rachel must have made this win extra special.
Are you happy with the winner of Survivor: Blood vs Water? How does the season rank from the other seasons?