The Funny 115 - The Third One

#43. Rustling Feathers
Blood vs Water - episode 12

It's day thirty of Survivor: Blood vs. Water.  

And after an exhausting night tonight at Tribal Council, where we lost Caleb, there are only six players left in the game.

The Magnificent Six

The six hardy warriors who are still standing, and who will be battling it out for the million dollars over the final nine days, are... in order of neatness...



Ciera, who voted out her mom


Monica (left, with friend)

And my grandpa

These are our final six.  

And it's a very tense game.  

From here out, there will not be one moment of rest until one of them is crowned the new champion.

Well okay, starting now

With Caleb being voted out of the game, Hayden and Katie are now dead in the water as the two poor saps stuck alone at the bottom of the six.

And as we head back to camp after Tribal, Hayden decides that NOW is the time that he is going to do something about it.

He gathers everyone around before they have a chance to go to bed, and he picks this moment to (tm Courtney Marit) draw a line in the sand.  He points a big ol' finger at Tyson, and he tells Gervase, Ciera, and Monica exactly WHAT they need to do if any of them wants a chance at winning this game in the next nine days.

Tyson's gonna win, you guys.

You all need to vote him out.  He's running the show.

You need to draw a heart around that fucker and roll him back into the ocean.

And this, of course, sets the stage for the big Hayden vs. Tyson showdown that will overshadow everything for the next three days.

"I'm coming for you, Tyson."
"Awesome, H. Come find me if you ever want soft kisses on your neck."

Which will culminate in Ciera literally being stuck in the middle

So anyway, this is where we stand as we go through the twelfth episode.

Hayden is stuck on the bottom, and Hayden is pissed.  

And Hayden has called out Tyson as being the tribe's kingpin.

Which makes Tyson orgasm because he actually IS the kingpin

Hayden knows he is playing with fire at this point, by publicly calling out the boss, but he doesn't care.  I mean, at this point, what's there to lose?  It's not like it's going to make him go home any faster.

And besides, there's still the big immunity variable looming on the horizon.  As a big strong athlete, Hayden still has a good chance to win immunity over the next three days.  And if he were to win immunity, then the gloves would REALLY come off.  At that point, the rest of the tribe would simply HAVE to vote off the ringleader.

So Hayden busts his butt to win the immunity challenge

As do they all

But in the end, neither Hayden nor Katie manage to pull it off.

Gervase wins immunity, thus foiling their plan

And with that, we will now have a very obvious showdown at Tribal tonight of four against two.

Hayden knows that he's pretty much screwed, and he's pissed.  

Oh darn

Hayden's back is completely against the wall at this point.  There's no chance the four in power aren't going to vote for him.  There's also no chance that the producers will just hand him an idol, since Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers is still a few seasons away.  At this point he only has one option left, and you know what that is.

At this point, all he can do is go for a Hail Mary.

He's going to go for broke and make one of those legendary BIG MOVES.

Good, my young Padawan.  Goooooooood.

Hayden saw that Ciera was not picked to join Gervase, Monica, and Tyson on their latest reward.

Hey guys, aren't the three of us awesome?  Let's go take awesome lessons.

And if you're not one of the three popular kids left in the game, that means you're probably never gonna win.

If this season were the Titanic, these three would be steerage

So as Tyson, Monica, and Gervase chow down on their ice cream reward, right there in front of everyone...

Hayden pulls Ciera aside and he says "Let's make a move."

You, me, and Katie.  We force a tie tonight.

It would be just like voting out your mom, only bigger, and not as overplayed

Hayden pushes at it, and he pushes at it.  And when that's done, he pushes at it some more.  And since Ciera was likely already feeling alienated by not being one of the popular ones, you can tell she is starting to consider it.

Hayden keeps pushing.  He keeps working.  At one point he tries to draw in everyone to pull in five votes against Tyson.

Tyson has to go home tonight.  If he doesn't go home tonight, he wins.

"I'm coming for you tonight, big man."

And with that... with Hayden pulling a kamikaze mission and setting up a head to head battle with the mob boss... we head off to vote.

Either this worked today, or I'm toast

So we get to Tribal Council.  And what follows is one of the most iconic scenes in the show's history.

The final six.  Ready to square off in the big Hayden vs. Tyson vote.

Hayden fires the first shots, as he takes aim directly at the big man.

"The four of them are controlled by Tyson.  The two of us are on our own."

Gervase and Monica take offense with the idea that they are being controlled by anyone

"Again, Tyson's controlling these people.  He needs to be stopped."

"HE'S the one who says who goes home."

And this is where the two sides start fighting over the soul of poor Ciera.  

Who is appropriately sitting right in the middle

"Ciera, was I the one who told you to vote your mom out?  No, they told you that."

"If you came on this side, there is no four."

"There's just one, two, and three."

"No, everyone over there is a backstabber and a liar.  Stick with us, Ciera.  We've always been real with you."

"You're goin' on the jury, Hayden.  BELIEVE THAT."

"Ciera, join us.  Make them draw rocks.  This is a big move."

"Don't go with them, Ciera.  I've never betrayed you."

Naturally, poor little Ciera is a little overwhelmed by this.

"Oh my gosh."

And now, we get the moment that EVERYONE was talking about the night that this episode aired.  

Here comes the unintentional comic relief that interrupted one of the tensest Survivor showdowns of all time.

Which side will Ciera choose tonight?

Will it be the popular kids?

Or will she join the Garbage Pail Kids?

And now here comes the fun part.

This is a big deal tonight, guys.  Do you get that?


"It wouldn't make sense for Ciera to flip because fourth is better than sixth."

"Monica just said four is better than six.  That tells her everything right there."

Come with us tonight.  We have your best interests at heart.  Join with Katie and me.

Yes.  Do that.

And this is where Gervase buts in that you might not want to believe in Hayden's nobility at this moment.  

Ciera, what did he say when he came back to camp after Caleb went home?  Who did he says was getting his vote tonight?


At this point, Katie decides to jump in and join the action.  She explains that Hayden only said that to get under everyone's skin.

Or, as she puts it...

"But that was to rustle your feathers, Gervase."

That's right.  Never let it be forgotten that Katie actually said that phrase first.

The Feather Slayer

And so here we go.

"Ciera, we've been one hundred with you!"

"Ciera, it was to rustle feathers."

"It was to rile Gerv up."

And, of course, leave it to Tyson to interrupt the drama and immediately insert a grammar correction.

"Ruffle.  Ruffle feathers."




Everyone just stops the argument for a moment so they can process what Tyson just said.

"........ Huh?"

"You said rustle feathers."

Hayden is completely taken aback by this.  He had been so caught up in his argument over Ciera that he seems to have no idea what the hell Tyson is talking about.

"Rustle, ruffle... whatever.  I don't care."

And, of course, this is why Tyson is the world's greatest cold blooded Survivor asshole.  Not only has he completely defused Hayden's momentum and his pitch to Ciera, now he doubles down and he just keeps going with his smug little grammar lesson.  For no other reason than because he's Tyson and because Tyson is a dick.

Like a boss

Take it away, Grammar girl.

"Russell is a first name.  Ruffle is a..."

"Rustle.  R-U-S-T-L-E."

"Rustling LEAVES."


"You can also rustle FEATHERS."

And then Hayden pulls out the most wonderful impression of an annoyed, exasperated Napoleon Dynamite.



This whole exchange only lasts about fifteen seconds.  And off to the side, Probst is just watching the whole thing in awe.


And then... our beloved host breaks.

And once Jeff breaks, everyone else does too.

Everyone but Hayden, anyway.

And with that, one of the tensest showdowns in the history of Survivor has quickly been shut down.

All because of a grammar correction.

"That is the craziest conversation before a potentially million dollar vote I've ever heard."

I know, right?

Oh, and also, some other stuff happened too.

You fuckers are drawing rocks.

But that's not really a part of this writeup.

P.S.  When I first sat down to do this entry, the idea I had in my head wound up being completely different from the entry I wound up writing.  And it's all because of those stupid hashtags.

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, when an episode airs in America live for the first time, the network will often put a hashtag on the screen whenever there's a moment they want people to talk about later on social media.  It will generally look something like this.

They've been putting these hashtags on the screen for a while now, and I've always hated them because I think they look dumb.  And I was looking forward to making fun of them in this entry.  Because you better believe that when "Rustle Feathers" happened, the show and the hashtags were all over it.

What Survivor on TV sometimes looks like

So here's the deal.  When I sat down to write this entry, I expected I was going to make fun of the hashtags.  I mean, come on, that's just what I do.  But when I went to Amazon Prime and I watched this scene one last time to take notes, I realized to my surprise that THE HASHTAGS DON'T EXIST ANYMORE IN ANY OF THE EPISODES.  

Now, maybe this isn't a surprise to you.  Maybe you watch old episodes on Prime or on Hulu or on CBS All Access all the time, and you already knew that.  But I didn't.  I normally only watch episodes off recordings I made when they originally aired, so my versions always have the hashtags in them.  This was literally the first time I had ever watched an old episode of Survivor anywhere on the internet.  And I was shocked when I realized that... when I make jokes about Survivor episodes that have hashtags in them... a good chunk of my readers might not even have any idea what I'm talking about.  After all, if you've never watched an episode live as it airs on TV, you never would have seen them.

On one hand this is a good thing, of course, because hashtags are stupid and because fuck hashtags.  But on the other hand, to paraphrase Mouth from the Goonies, GOD DAMNIT CBS YOU RUINED MY JOKE.

So anyway, there are no hashtags in the official episodes anymore, so I can't make fun of them anymore like I had intended to in this entry.  Oh well.  But please just let me have this last one.  Pretty please?

P.P.S.  Never forget.

Russell Feathers

** Thank you to Will Holston for creating the Christy FUBC picture **

If you enjoy the Funny 115 (and my other Survivor projects), please consider becoming one of my Patrons.

<------ #44

Back to The Funny 115 - The Third One

#42 ------>