The Blog Has Spoken: ‘Survivor’ episode 5

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Claire Cinquegrani, Columnist

After perhaps the most heart-wrenching Redemption Island duel this season, Candice loses and finally has to throw her buff in the fire. Brad may no longer have to endure Candice’s venomous statements, but the drama between them proved just how deep “blood” runs.

John and Candice aren’t the only couple that share a deep bond — Brad and Monica are clearly very close as well. But unlike Candice — who never had a tribe to owe her alliance due to being voted out before the game even started — Monica has had time to convince her tribe of Brad’s good qualities, in hopes her alliance would welcome him with open arms come the merge. Even at the Redemption Island challenge, Monica and her tribemates were cheering Brad on to beat Candice in the final moments of the duel. Perhaps this deep connection with his wife is why Brad was so intent on playing the loved-one card so early on in the game. If he got rid of others’ loved ones before they could get rid of his, then he and Monica would be able to take out any other opposition after the merge.

This season of “Survivor” is certainly showing that blood runs deeper than water, even before the merge.

Unfortunately for any remaining couples, once the merge happens I doubt anyone — especially those without loved ones — will allow couples to stay together for long. Remember “Survivor: All-Stars” when Boston Rob and Amber fell in love and dominated the game? In the following seasons, players have been wary of power couples, voting off a player for expressing even the vaguest suggestion of a couple. And each week (or every few days within the game itself), as another player gets voted off, the tribes come closer and closer to the merge and the potential to reunite with their loved ones.

But even after five tribal councils (plus the two voted off at the beginning), only three couples remain in the game: brothers Aras and Vytas, mother and daughter Tina and Katie and dating couple Kat and Hayden. On Redemption Island, Brad and newly voted-out Laura M. are fighting to return to the game and their loved ones (Monica and Ciera respectively), while John is as unattached as Tyson, Gervase, Laura B. and Caleb.

Does having a loved one still in the game make a player a threat or an asset? Tina struggles with this same question as she tries to assess whether Monica’s bond with Brad will make her a help or a hindrance if Brad manages to make it back into the game. At the end, only one player can earn the title of “Sole Survivor,” not a couple, so any couple that can make it all the way has a far better shot at one member winning the title and the money.

I highly doubt any couple will make it to the end. Everyone hates a power couple, even if it’s in an alliance with other players. Plus, all alliances collapse sooner or later, as we already saw this season with Brad.

But with the teaser showing a switching up of the tribes, perhaps one of the three remaining couples will reunite — and be broken up — next week on “Survivor.”

— Claire Cinquegrani

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