Tears and hugs were the reward during the Loved Ones trip to Fiji on Day 24 of “Survivor: Winners at War.”
The surprise visit brought the weary contestants to their knees on the beach at their deserted island.
Denise Stapley of Marion and Sarah Lacina of Cedar Rapids hugged each other as they found out their family members would soon be joining them for a day of fun and games, including a memorable meal together.
“Wow, that is a family hug,” host Jeff Probst said as Stapley, her husband, Brad, and their daughter, Sydney, wrapped their arms tightly around each other.
Speaking through her tears, Lacina expressed her thanks for husband Wyatt Wardenburg’s “unconditional love” as he and their son Knox, 5, joined in the celebration.
Even the contestants voted onto the Edge of Extinction received a surprise visit from their loved ones. These competitors, who now get to observe Tribal Council votes, ganged up on Probst after the next evening’s vote to hug and thank him for the chance to see their families, which obviously lifted their flagging spirits.
After the families left, the drama continued on Day 25 with a difficult Immunity Challenge, which involved retrieving, stacking and balancing building blocks to spell out “Immunity.” Tony Vlachos won, saving him to play another day in the quest to win $2 million as the Sole Survivor.
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Back at camp, scheming and strategizing put nearly everyone’s name up for grabs as the next person to be kicked over to the Edge of Extinction. But some key plays saved two people from the vote. Jeremy Collins played his Advantage note, allowing him to leave the council. Probst called it “safety without power,” since even though Collins was spared from the vote, he couldn’t cast a ballot.
Lacina played her “steal-a-vote,” taking away Stapley’s vote. That meant Stapley couldn’t cast a ballot, and Lacina would vote twice. And in yet another last-minute move, Kim Spradlin gave up her Hidden Immunity Idol to cancel out any votes Stapley might get. So while two people did vote to remove Stapley, those didn’t count, and Tyson Apostol, who worried earlier that he might get sent back to the Edge of Extinction, was right. He was booted back off the island.
The games continue next Wednesday at 7 p.m. on CBS-TV and CBS All Access.
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