'Survivor: Winners At War' recap: Tyson Apostol blindsided and voted out at Tribal Council
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/05/2020
Survivor: Winners At War featured Tyson Apostol getting blindsided and voted out of his Dakal tribe at Season 40's fifth Tribal Council session and heading to the Edge of Extinction during Wednesday night's episode on CBS.
Tyson -- the winner of Survivor: Blood vs. Water, who also previously appeared on Survivor: Tocantins and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains -- was voted out of his Dakal tribe on Night 11 of the game instead of Survivor: One World winner Kim Spradlin and Survivor: David vs. Goliath winner Nick Wilson.
Adam thought Parvati was going home but had revealed his alliance's plan to Rob, so Adam acknowledged Rob had betrayed him and he was "castrated" in front of everybody.
Parvati thanked Rob for having her back, and Adam admitted he had done everything you're not supposed to do inSurvivor. He had been left out of the vote executed by the people he was supposed to be working with.
"I was playing all sides and unfortunately everybody knows it, and I'm lucky to be here. Now, I feel like everything has changed and so I need to make an apology tour," Adam said in a confessional.
Adam told Ben, for example, he was sorry and promised he'd never work with Rob again. No one in the tribe appreciated Adam right now, but Ben noted Adam was lucky since the two biggest threats on their tribe remained -- Rob and Parvati.
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Over at Dakal's camp on Day 10, the castaways appeared to be having a good time and getting along.
Yul said his tribe was on a roll, as they were winning challenges and had plenty of food.
Yul said the tribe had this illusion everyone was tight but Nick, Wendell, himself, and Sophie were the strongest alliance in the tribe -- although no one was expecting that to be the case.
Edge of Extinction
Meanwhile, on the Edge of Extinction, the voted-out castaways learned they could each earn a Fire Token if they could climb to the top of the steps of a massive hill, grab 20 pieces of firewood, walk them back down the hill, and then place them it into a pile.
But there was a catch: The castaways could only take one piece of firewood at a time, meaning they must make 20 trips back and forth in order to get the job done. They also had to finish the task before sundown.
Everyone was blown away by what was being asked of them, but Ethan Zohn had faith he could do it since he had already survived cancer, played professional soccer, and ran marathons.
All of the players on the Edge of Extinction went for it, including Natalie Anderson, who had already obtained three Fire Tokens. She called it "the hardest thing" she had ever done, both mentally and physically.
Ethan started struggling on Log 10 and admitted doubt had started to creep in that he could finish.
Amber Mariano said she was "completely depleted" and had "nothing left" in her as she was nearing the end of her quest.
And then suddenly, after 16 trips and only four more to go, Ethan collapsed onto a rock and grew very faint. A medic tended to him and revealed his blood pressure was low and if he didn't allow himself to rest, he would, in fact, faint.
Ethan, however, decided he wasn't going to stop in order to prove to himself he could do it. He remembered how he had gone through much worse -- including spinal taps, radiation and chemotherapy -- and so he could accomplish this.
When Natalie and Amber were finally finished, they both broke down into tears and released everything they had built up inside of them.
Considering Ethan inspired everyone, the other castaways joined him for his final leg to show their support and be a part of something pretty historical.
Amber acknowledged the handful of castaways had created a very "strong bond" in such a short period of time, and Ethan said he'd remember that moment for the rest of his life.
Day 11 - Sele tribe
On Day 11, Michele and Rob were shown chatting and bonding a bit on Sele while Adam suddenly became very helpful around camp.
Adam worked very hard on the island, knowing his tribemates were disappointed in him. Jeremy recognized Adam was desperately trying to save himself, and he said as long as Adam didn't resort back to his sneaky, weasel-like old ways, they could resume working together.
Rob and Parvati hated being at the mercy of others, but Parvati had an extra Fire Token from Ethan.
The pair was hoping Adam would say something he shouldn't so they could rat him out to the others and paint a target on his back, but Adam noted he wasn't going to give them that satisfaction and ammunition.
Rob, however, told the cameras he could easily lie about Adam since that's what Survivor is all about. Although Adam hadn't said anything or backstabbed anybody, Rob told Jeremy that Adam had been trying to talk strategy with him.
"Wow, Adam went and opened his big mouth again. He's playing both sides over and over again," Michele said in a confessional. "I am so sick of it.:
Rob therefore suggested Adam needed to go next, and Jeremy and Michele agreed.
"He can't switch it off. [Adam] can go. I can't keep babysitting him and keeping him around. It's driving me crazy and I'm done with it," Jeremy told the cameras.
Day 11 - Dakal tribe
Over at Dakal's camp on Day 11, Sarah and Tyson were getting along great, but she knew no one else trusted him.
Sarah said she was having so much fun out there and meshed well with Tyson, so she hoped to continue having him as an ally.
Tyson said the game was "eerily calm" but gaming was going on "nonstop."
Tyson explained the bigger threats weren't going after each other and the not-connected players -- who had only played the game one time -- weren't even on anybody's radar. Tyson was talking about Wendell, Nick, Yul and Sophie.
Tyson told Sandra and Tony they were going to get "popped one at a time," but Sandra thought Tyson was making "shady" moves just trying to keep himself safe.
Sandra said Tyson had come after her days ago and so he was in "deep doody" and needed to go next.
Immunity and Reward Challenge
Later that day, the two tribes met Jeff for the season's next Immunity Challenge, which also served as a Reward Challenge.
For the challenge, four tribe members were attached to a boat, with three others in it.
On Jeff's "go," the four tribemates had to jump into the ocean and pull the boat to a nearby tower the castaways must climb in order to retrieve three keys hanging high above a narrow wooden beam.
Those keys would unlock puzzle pieces, and then each tribe must solve the puzzle.
In addition to immunity, the tribes were playing for Reward in the form of four egg-laying chickens.
Sandra decided to sit out of the challenge, and Parvati joked they should rename the bench "The Sandra Bench," which surprisingly didn't offend Sandra at all. Sandra actually liked that idea and thought it was funny.
Dakal got off to a solid lead because Adam and Parvati failed to retrieve their third and final key for Sele after numerous attempts.
Nick and Sarah therefore began their puzzle way before Sele had even made it back to the beach. Nick also had an advantage because he had worked on this same puzzle during his Survivor: David vs. Goliath season.
"This is a disaster for Sele -- an absolute disaster," Jeff announced. "This is becoming one of the biggest blowouts ever on Survivor."
But Adam didn't give up, and after several failed attempts, Adam finally grabbed the last key.
Once Sele swam their boat back to the beach, it appeared panic had sunk in for Dakal.
Sele members Michele and Rob put one piece of their puzzle into place one after their next, quickly catching up. Michele and Rob worked very efficiently together, and so Sele was back in it and able to catch up.
Suddenly, Sele grabbed the lead as Dakal was taking their nearly-completed puzzle apart.
"Sele is inching closer and closer to pulling off one of the biggest comebacks in the history of this game!" Jeff yelled.
Sele ended up winning immunity, sending a "stunned" Dakal to Tribal Council, especially since Nick had experience doing this puzzle.
Sele also walked away with the chickens, and Adam was so proud of himself for giving the challenge his all and not giving up.
"My mom told my teachers when I was in eighth grade, 'When Adam decides he is going to do something or accomplish something, there is absolutely no stopping him.' And she was right!" Adam told the cameras in tears.
Dakal scrambles before Tribal Council
On Day 11 after the challenge, Dakal had to determine which player they wanted to send to Extinction Island.
Tyson wanted to take Nick out, which he thought would be an easy move since Nick had failed at the puzzle and allegedly contributed very little at camp. Tyson also said he wanted Nick out because Nick was "an unconnected player."
Tyson got one castaway onboard after the next until the entire tribe was in agreeance that Nick would be the next target, but he realized the vote suddenly seemed too easy.
Regardless, Tyson assumed it was going to be a unanimous vote.
Wendell, however, told the cameras everyone's eyes were actually on Tyson because he was extremely dangerous and "the biggest threat on this beach."
Wendell said Tyson was a huge threat because of his connections and bonds on the other tribe. Wendell said if Tyson managed to link up with Rob and/or Parvati, they could do a lot of damage together in the game.
Tony, Yul and Sandra warned Nick that Tyson was gunning for him because Tyson thought Nick was an easy vote, but Yul promised Nick the plan was to vote out Tyson.
Nick called Tyson "a troublemaker" and said they had entered a war. Nick admitted Tyson was one of his favorite players but he clearly had to go now.
Nick wasn't 100 percent positive on where each castaway stood, and he had every right to be concerned because Tony preferred Nick being the target over Tyson. Tony apparently liked having Tyson as a shield as well as a number, and he didn't think Nick was a threat at all.
Tony therefore talked to Sarah about how they needed to keep Tyson as a shield, and Sarah talked to Kim about being locked in on the Nick vote with Tony and Tyson. The group just needed one more person, and the plan hinged entirely on Sandra.
Sandra argued Tyson needed to go because if there was a swap or something, one of them would definitely go next instead of someone like Kim.
Tony announced the personal bonds his tribemates had established surpassed anything on a game level. Tony therefore said as hard as it was to vote someone off, it made perfect sense on a game level.
Yul said there were groups within the group but lines could change at any time, but then every member of the tribe promised to stick with Dakal if a swap were to happen.
Sandra admitted she was going to do what everyone else wanted to do so everyone would be happy once they returned to camp.
Sophie added it was important for everyone to become less starstruck of each other and view each person for whom he or she really is. But Tyson said another approach is a person proudly trying to vote his or her idol out of Survivor.
Sandra joked she wasn't starstruck by anyone on her tribe, and then Nick admitted he had a huge crush on Parvati when he was in high school and needed to focus on the game -- not on her giggles on the other tribe.
Nick hoped the plan was going to go his way, but he felt vulnerable since he was partly responsible for losing the Immunity Challenge.
"We're all exactly on the same page, and that makes us all on different pages maybe," Tyson declared before votes were cast.
Nick was shown voting for Kim -- although he thought Tyson was going home -- in fear Tyson had a hidden Immunity Idol to play.
But when it became time for Jeff to read the votes aloud, no one played a hidden Immunity Idol.
Jeff then read the votes in the following order: Nick, Kim, Tyson, Tyson, Tyson, Tyson, and Tyson.
Tyson had clearly been the person to vote for Nick.
"It's too easy. I should've seen it coming," Tyson said on his way out of Tribal Council.