Photo by Christopher Arnold
Zapatera has got to be setting the record for the dumbest tribe ever.
1) They throw a challenge to get rid of Russell who is a good player, they could have evicted him at anytime later in the game. 2) Ralph tells everyone that he has an Idol. That move has been proven to be pure stupidity. 3) It took them three TC’s to finally evict Sarita. She proved to be worthless. 4)They continue to blow the challenges after blowing leads which should have helped them win. “and lord help us all” 5) After merging they fail to bring Matt into the fold for help and then forget to protect him at TC and don’t tell him the plan to vote for Grant.
Matt being so innocent and trusting God, couldn’t see his old tribe leaving im out of all their conversations and not realizing that they were after him again. Dumb, Dumb, Dumb. Zapatera and their “tribe-thinking” still have no leader to guide them and will soon fall by the wayside.
This now becomes Rob’s game to lose unless members of Zapatera can start winning challenges and/or getting some Ometempe members to switch sides. After the stupid move to use the Idol on Steve, they now have no protection and are short on numbers. No one still knows that Rob has the Idol. Phillip and Grant know his has some clues but don’t realize he has the Idol.
The girls on both teams seem totally lost and are following along with whatever they are told to do. None of them seem to want to make an all girl allaiance. Grant is Rob’s tag-a-long buddy with no game of his own. Phillip is a wandering Gypsy and has no idea how close he has come to being evicted. Rob now needs to keep Phillip close to home so he doesn’t go commando and join the Zapatera members to get Rob out.
Phillip is a production gold mine. He has the love/hate combo that makes for good reality TV. As long as he stays weird he has TV time to himself and production will push him as far as they can.
Ralph is a good hearted old country boy with the brains if of an Ox. He links muscle over brain matter will work in this game. Well, Ralph proved himself wrong by playing the Idol on the wrong person. Steve and the girls were clueless going into the TC and I have no idea what David was thinking. I thought for sure David would catch on to what Rob was doing.
Matt, however, basically evicted himself when he voted for Steve. I saw it coming a mile away by the editing of the vote reading. When Jeff got to the fifth vote for Grant and the next one was for Steve, the writing was on the wall. The next six votes were going to be for Matt. Well, Matt now must endore another to weeks on Redemption Island and win a possible seven more duels to make it to the final four. Is it possible he can get there only to be voted out again by Rob?
The duel that sent Sarita home lasted longer than I thought. They made you think Matt might lose because of the cut on his foot but he managed just fine.
We all knew the merge was coming and that would get the big meal. I liked the fact that they had to build a new hut and that the Ometempe tribe put the tarp on their side of the hut and not on the Zapatera side at all making for a wet night of sleep.
At camp there was quite a bit of talk but we never really heard anything about how Matt after he talked to Rob. This in itself was a dumb move because it gave Rob more ammunition to tell his tribe mates that Matt was still a threat.
In this game you have to learn the old addage, “Silence is Golden”. The less you tell people the better off you are in the game. Just follow along with the gang and keep yourself out of the limelite. This way the only way you get in trouble is in the challenges. If you can win them all great, otherwise try to finish in the middle of the pack.
The next big move will have be when you win a challenge and reward goes with it. WHO do you share or take with on the rewards? This will start the rift between players and the bad mouth talking will start. It’s a wait and see game for us now and I for one hope the merge makes for some intgeresting game play. Will they bring another HII into the game? If so, who will find the clue? Will the clue help them find it? Will they share the clue? Hmmmmmmmmmmm, and good old Ponderosa is just around the corner.
I am guessing that almost everybody, short of Sarita’s family, was pulling for Matt to win the last duel before the merge. It has nothing to do with Sarita and everything to do with pulling for the underdog. Matt earned his shot back in the game.
I’m surprised that some of you are not enjoying Redemption Island. I certainly get a lot of comments from people who are enjoying it but I do get some from people who think it’s a bore.
I’m shocked that anybody could be bored with the Matt/Redemption Island storyline. But hey, I get it, everybody has their likes/dislikes.
As I’ve said many times the duels are put on the grid and built long before we know who will be competing. So imagine Matt’s surprise when the one challenge he didn’t want – a challenge that involved using the side of his now injured food – was the exact duel that was on the grid. Crazy Survivor luck.
Had he lost, it would have sucked to lose due to an injury but it would have been completely fair.
Truth is, I thought he was in real danger of losing. These challenges so often favor women and with his cut foot I thought he might be in trouble.
Ah there is so much fun about the merge.
From a show point of view it’s a breath of fresh air as it almost always shakes things up. Solid alliances are now in danger. People on the bottom now have a new shot at moving up.
The Survivors get a merge feast, which always lifts their spirits and anytime you can lift their spirits it’s a good thing. That might sound counter to what you would think we want to have happen, but the truth is there is so much drama on a day-to-day basis, that a bit of happiness is always good. Balances things out.
They get new buffs, which invigorates them and often seems to refuel them.
And if I don’t have to be there, it’s an afternoon off for me!
Rob: (to tribe) Murlonio means from the sea, united.
Rob: (interview)“Murlonio doesn’t mean anything. It’s a joke between me and Amber.”
I’m laughing because I’m imagining the reaction of the rest of the tribe when they heard this for the first time last night while watching the show. It’s so 5th grade and it has absolutely no impact on the show, but it’s still funny. I’m sure Rob and Amber were cracking up last night every time “Murlonio” popped up on the screen. I’ll ask Rob to bring the stuffed animal to the live show.
THE BALANCING CHALLENGE
As simple as this challenge is to recreate it’s still the same creative process as you have with an elaborate maze. You have an idea – let’s do something where they balance a ball on a plate. Then you play around with the idea and decide it’s too easy, we need to add a “wobble” element to it. But it’s still not hard enough, so we add another ball, and then another. Now we’re getting somewhere.
Most of our challenges first take shape months before we go to location. Our challenge team pitches us their slate of new challenges. In fact we’re doing this in two weeks here in LA in preparation for next year. The pitch is nothing more than ideas and sketches. After the pitch, some are approved, some are modified and some are sent back for re-tooling.
Once they’re approved they have to be built. This process can take between one to six weeks depending on the scope and size.
Once built they are then tested. During a test there are no cameras. Just our director, our dream team, our challenge producers and me.
Once we’re satisfied with the test block we move to a rehearsal. This requires our entire camera/audio operators, our director, challenge producers, dream team and all the support people.
We rehearse the challenge and give our final notes. Then the challenge is ready for the Survivors.
We do this whether it is a three person final episode endurance challenge or a two-tribe, 20 person boat race. We always follow the same process.
THE BIGGEST BLINSIDE OF THE SEASON
The second blindside of Matt was a great move by Rob and not a surprising one. Rob blindsided Matt the first time around so Rob had to believe he was a target. I’m not sure Matt had any real shot at surviving but he sealed his fate when he told Rob the truth that he considered switching to the other side. He just gave up way too many details. It’s like telling your girlfriend, “I was thinking about breaking up with you, but I decided not to.” What? You don’t tell them that. You either do it or you don’t — but sharing e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is not always the right choice.
It makes sense that Matt was honest. It’s in his nature. But like the tale of the frog and the scorpion, nature can work for you and against you. This time the “nature” of Rob worked against Matt.
Mike gave it a great shot. He said all the right things. Offering to sabotage his own alliance and join forces with Matt in order to further his own game. He made the only real move he had at that point and it’s exactly what I would have done. It was a big move. Just because it didn’t work doesn’t mean it wasn’t a smart move.
The big question I have with Matt centers around how this impacts Matt’s faith in people.
Blindsided two times by people you trust… I wonder if it has changed Matt’s view of his fellow man or is Matt wise enough to realize that Survivor is just a game. It’s an ugly game at times but it’s just a game.
REDEMPTION ISLAND BEGINS AGAIN
Yes this was in the plan from the beginning. Redemption Island was going to resume immediately after the merge. In fact, when we pitched CBS one of the scenarios we gave them was the person on Redemption Island could earn their way back into the game and then be voted right out again. But nobody imagined that one guy would win six straight duels get back into the game at the merge and be the first person voted out again.
If there is a silver lining for Matt, it is the fact that if he can survive Redemption Island again and make it back to the final, his odds for winning are huge. At this point he is one of the biggest underdogs in Survivor history.
See ya next week!
Rob tossing the clue for the idol into the active volcano
was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
All credit goes to Rob for that one.
He could have just tossed it before getting back on the helicopter, but
instead he saw the opportunity — ah forget it.
Just refer back to my earlier comments about Rob.
SARITA HAD TO GO
Sarita, I know I have to see you at the live show so I hope
you won’t be frustrated but this was the right move. Your heart wasn’t in it.
Unfortunately for Sarita, she doesn’t get to go home. Instead, it gets worse. She has to go to Redemption Island where the
worst thing that could happen is that she beats Matt and has to stay in the
game even longer.
Matt may have his easiest duel yet.
See ya next week!
I’m starting to get bored with this Survivor season. The
biggest antagonist has been booted from the game because people knew who he was
and how he played. It took throwing a challenge to get rid of him. Instead of
maintaining a strong team they let Ometempe win a challenge and lost the
advantage they had and left the other tribe keep someone in the game. Russell’s
team is now a bunch of wusses and no one is in charge. They rule by
committee. And now that Russell and his girls are gone and they now are at even
numbers of tribe members with Omtempe, they will need to fight amongst
themselves for domination. Who will end up aligning with whom? They also are
down to six per team. Merge usually happens around ten. Matt should be close to
staying if he comes back at the merge and will add one more to Ometempe.
Rob has sole leadership of his team. He also has a blind allegiance
from the girls and Grant with Phillip the lone man out. And most importantly,
“He has the Idol”. They have been on a roll in the challenges and look tough
going into the merge. Phillip is expendable and could be sent packing at any
time, but, could be an asset and pawn to take to the end of the game.
The only excitement is Phillip and he gets on my nerves.
Special Agent Tighty Pinky’s is just too weird. The girls are boring while they
lay around pulling pit hair. Grant is almost invisible! Then there is Rob who
just sits back and laffs at it all.
At Zapatera, there is no game play going on. David tried to
get something going by keeping Steph.
The rest of the bozo’s wimped out and evicted her. I now see another
Zapatera loss in the next challenge and then who will the wimps send home?
Ometempe seems to have a slight advantage and some information which is being
supplied by the girls that have gone to the
duels from Zapatera.
The duel between Matt and Krista was another close one until
Matt got his ball out of the bag and maneuvered the puzzle quickly and won. He
remains at redemption island and should be considered a threat by both teams.
Phillip is getting upset with the girls and has started
yelling at them for being lazy and not helping around camp. I don’t know what
kind of power the man thinks he has but he is close to being evicted.
The challenge was quite simple. Both teams shoot a ball into
the air and the first team to catch five in their basket poles wins. In a
route, Ometepe shut out the “Zaps”.
Again Stephanie takes the blame for their poor performance. Back at camp, David
makes a move to try keep Stephanie in the game but no success when they go to
Next up …… Stephanie and Matt duel for Redemption.
No one at Zapatera seems to care that Ralph has the Idol and
don’t want to get rid of it. Use it on Ralph and see if he plays it! They
better before he uses it to get rid of one of them. Steve and Mike seem to
careless. David looks ready to make a move. Julie is unsure what’s going on and
Sarita’s toothache seems to bother her a lot. A tribe of total misfits!
I now watch only to see who wins the duel, who wins the
challenge and who gets evicted and sent to RI.
Like I said, to me it is getting boring.
By Jeff Probst
RI is starting to feel like Matt’s house. He now has a big home court advantage because
he is so comfortable on the island and at the Arena. It’s like a sports team that has been to the
finals taking on a team that has not been to the finals. The experience is often the difference.
RELIGION ON REDEMPTION
The religious aspect of Redemption Island is not something
we ever anticipated when we called it Redemption Island. Having a religious and very likable person
like Matt last this long in the first season of RI was a fascinating
development. It brings an entirely new
texture to the island and one that has a lot of people in the church community
The Bible was Krista’s choice for her luxury item. We gave them their luxury items when they
arrived at Redemption Island because we knew they would be lonely and might
need a pick me up. We did not plan it or
decide on it because we thought it would give us extra story from Krista and Matt. It was already laid out.
I respect people who have faith in whatever brings them
comfort and security.
When Krista gave her bible to Matt I was moved. It had nothing to do with my thoughts about
the Bible. It was the human kindness
shown in a game that rarely sees the good side of people. Despite losing and being out of the game for
good, Krista still had the presence of heart to think about helping out Matt.
ANDREA GETS JEALOUS?
Man this game is tough.
Matt is alone on Redemption, battling as hard as he can to stay
alive. A competitor gives him a Bible on
her way out and as a result, his one ally in the game, gets jealous and turns
on him. WTF? Were they going steady? Did I miss the engagement? It was a Bible, not a love note. Man.
Survivor is a tough game.
IN DEFENSE OF THE SPA DAY
Spa days and other seemingly mindless, wastes of time that
seem to consume the girls days of late…aren’t as outrageous as they
seem. The contestants do have a lot of
free time on their hands. On days when
there is not a challenge or tribal and their shelter is built they really have
very little to do. However reasonable it
may be, it doesn’t change the perception of others when they see you lying
PHILLIP WANTS TO BE APPRECIATED
Ah yeah, baby. The
ego of the lion and the gorilla is coming out and I like it. Phillip’s explosion was not about the girls
not helping with the fire. His
frustration came from not being appreciated.
That’s all he wants, is a little credit.
One of the lessons I’ve learned from Survivor goes like
If you have a goal, and your success in achieving this goal
requires the support of other people, then you have to remove your ego from the
In other words, when you’re playing a zero sum game, ie a
game in which there is only one winner – and the losers of the game are the one
who will decide who wins – leave your ego at home.
Otherwise your chances for success plummet.
I’m not saying it’s easy.
Not saying I can do it myself.
But from a back seat point of view it’s quite clear.
Phillip wants credit.
Nobody is giving it to him. The
more he complains the more annoying he will become… because Phillip – nobody
Stoke the fire and stay out of the way. You’ll last longer.
THE GODFATHER INTERVENES
Once again the wisest person on the tribe is Rob. I know you hate me talking about Rob, but the
proof is in his actions regarding Phillips and the fire tending duties.
Four of them to be exact:
1. During the argument he was the only one still focused on
the big picture. His biggest overall
goal was to keep the tribe strong.
2. Simultaneously, he understands how beneficial the fight
between Phillip and the girls can be to his game. The more they fight, the more likely he is to
stay in control and the more they hate each other the better for him if he
makes it to the end against any of them.
3. Rob then talked to Phillip to ensure that Phillip doesn’t
do too much damage to the tribe dynamics while also letting Phillip know that
he understands him.
4. After Phillip walked away, Rob then mocked him which in
turn endeared Rob even more to the angry girls.
Mission complete. It was deft handling of a very delicate
Krista was no joke.
Growing up on a farm she knew her way around the rope. Three tosses, three connects. It was amazing. I really thought Matt was going to lose. Krista gave Matt his biggest challenge so
One of my favorite exchanges of the season thus far was
between Phillip and Steve when discussing the Gorilla and Lion tattoos. I really appreciate Phillips simultaneous
earnestness and sense of humor. Is that
even a proper sentence? What I mean is
that he really believes everything he says and yet he has enough awareness to
know that I’m poking fun at him for those same things he takes so
seriously. Hmm, was that sentence any
better than the first one?
Philip gets it. How about
that? He gets me anyway. Moving on.
We’ve done this challenge many times over the years and it
never fails to deliver.
This challenge is both physical and frustrating. Ralph for one was clearly irritated that he
wasn’t getting enough action. But the
star of the challenge was Grant. Stud. Dude is the real deal. Mike did his best to defend but there was no
stopping him, not even by ripping off his shirt. If Grant is allowed to stay till the end he
could be a millionaire come mid-May.
HIDDEN IDOL CLUE
I’m a broken record but Rob played this moment very well. So
far this season he has done a good job of assessing, adapting and then
executing very well. Letting Grant find the clue to the hidden idol was a great
call as it further solidified Grant’s trust in Rob.
Getting caught with the note however, was a rookie mistake:
Phillip: Whatcha got there boys? I saw it.
Phillip: What’s it say?
Rob: Back at camp?
Rob: Back at Camp.
Phillip: (interview) I have been in an alliance with Rob,
Grant and myself. In fact, I call
ourselves Stealth Are Us. I’m… the
specialist… Rob is the mentalist…and Grant… is the assassin.
Phillip: (interview) and yet today when Rob and Grant found
the clue for an idol they tried to hide it.
Well, Hell hath no fury like a… lion and a gorilla when he thinks he
has been provoked.
Patriotic. Strong. Preparing for battle.
Phillip: (interview) If you’re gonna make an alliance with me you better adhere to
it because I am all about integrity. I
served my country for four years, eleven months and thirteen days for duty,
honor, and country. That means something
When you try to trash on that… me and the United States
got something for you when you try that little baby…
I could dwell in the place of negativity right now based on
what I just saw, but I’m not gonna do that.
I’m gonna smile and when the time comes…. I’m gonna kick a
little ass around here.
Let it breathe. Gonna
just let that little piece of poetry sit there.
No comment needed.
But I can’t resist.
F*&king genius. Phillip
please grab Coach and come back and play again as soon as possible.
I think a lot of you are glad to see Stephanie out of the
game. I’m not sure what it is about me
that likes the spunky, lippy folks but I am bummed she is gone. She’s definitely a competitor and she’s a
I’ve said it before but I think Zapatera’s biggest problem
is they are playing a “too cool for school” game and it’s biting them in the
It’s the Russell factor. They are so happy to “defeat”
Russell and his two “girls” – Krista and Stephanie – that they’re in danger of losing
the big picture.
David realized that tonight.
I agree with David. I would have
voted out Sarita. Nothing personal,
Sarita, but I think Stephanie wanted it more and the tribe could have used her
Okay I know I’ve been ignoring everybody else in the game…
so here we go.
DAVID – If memory serves I think David scored the highest on
our IQ test during casting. He is a
smart dude. We fought to get him on and
I’m glad we did. He’s giving us great
story and he’s a legit threat to win the game if he can get his alliance
STEVE – I like him. He’s laid back and probably a pretty
nice guy in his normal life. He would drive me a bit crazy as a member of my
alliance because he is so laid back! I
want the guy who played in the NFL for 13 years. Maybe he’s saving that for the
individual portion of the show.
SARITA – I think she’s too soft right now. I liked her in casting but I think the game
is overwhelming her right now. She needs
to get over the toothache and find that inner strength otherwise she is going
to be seen as a pain-in-the-ass.
MIKE – How can you not like Mike? He’s strong, seems pretty bright. A major threat to win this game. If both are still in the game when they merge
– he could prove a worthy adversary for Boston Rob.
MATT – The undisputed underdog. If he can win long enough to get back in the
game, people better watch out. I have a
feeling that even his faith will not be able to contain his desire to get even.
NATALIE – I’ve said it before I am so impressed. She is 18 years old. Think about the 18 year olds you know. How many of them could handle themselves this
well in this cut-throat environment. Natalie
is a long shot to win but IF she can get to the end the jury may feel like I do
that based on age alone she has earned the money.
JULIE – Julie confuses me.
I like her and I think she’s a fairly good player but I haven’t seen any
moves yet that make me think she could make it deep. She’s a mom which helps in dealing with
people and she’s very reasonable and that could take her a long way into the
game. But a big move will be necessary.
RALPH – I love Ralph because he’s so fun to listen to and so
fun to watch. He so very smart in his
own way but his liability is that Ralph hasn’t found himself in this kind of
social situation and it shows. If Ralph
can figure out how to deal with the others in his alliance he could last.
ANDREA – She’s a bit wishy-washy regarding Matt but she is
definitely a fighter and a player. She
will not lie down for anybody. I like her
but her problem right now is her status within the alliance.
ASHLEY – Dark horse to win the game. She’s very good in the challenges and in the
individual portion of the game she will be a threat. She also has friends in the girls and will
probably make more friends if she makes the merge. If I was Rob I’d be most worried about her in
the end game.
GRANT – Grant is a bit ill equipped socially because he is
so trusting. At this point he believes in Rob 100%. So long as that lasts, these two could go deep. But if that trust is ever broken, my hunch is
that Grant will turn on Rob and vote him out.
NEXT TIME ON.. Survivor.
One of the greatest challenges of the season… and one of
the funniest moments in our history.
the duel and stay on at Redemption Island. After a so-so start in a block
building game, Matt suddenly finds the way the blocks go together and wins the
game and Katrina heads home.
and where I sit he has to be the next evictee without coming up with a miracle.
on the outside. The girls, Stephanie and Krista went to the duel from Zapatera,
while Rob and Grant came from Omtempe. The girls tell Rob they are willing to
align with his team if they make it to the merge because they are on the outs
with there tribes large alliance.
to Ashley but she’s afraid to go against Rob.
in the game. No strategy talk goes on and the girls days seem numbered. No one
even seems worried about them.
and guided by one other person. The guider has to lead them to bags of puzzle
pieces and back out where the guider must put the puzzle together. Ometempe gets
their bags back first. Rob and Steph are working on the puzzle. Stephanie took
an early lead and Rob dropped a piece. After a little while Rob figures out the
puzzle and wins. Steph struggled and her tribe says they should have used David
to be the guider/solver and that puts Steph on the block for eviction.
themselves and these guys were no different. Rob found the clue but Grant also
saw it. Rob told Grant he would hide it until later. Rob runs out and switches
it for the first one. When he takes Grant to see it, all Grant see’s is the first clue.
Stephanie lost it on the puzzle. Everyone knows it has to be one of the girls
to go at TC.
girls alliance and the girls try to blame other players. After all the talk
Krista goes to RI and will have to unseat Matt to stay.
gone. It’s kinda like having a really
funny friend leave your big summer party a few hours too early. You miss him. The party misses him. It takes a moment to adjust.
have hoped for when we started the season.
Dramatic duels, lots of surprising and game turning information
revealed, and a hero emerging in faith-based Matt.
first Redemption Island representative we couldn’t have hand picked a better
one than Matt. He’s humble, he’s
competitive, he’s kind, he has a strong moral compass, he’s handsome and asof
yet, he can’t be beat.
dominate? How long before the person on
Redemption gets to come back into the game and continue their pursuit of the million
threw, their confidence is up and it shows.
well, there is always something to complain about. For Ometepe, it’s Phillip.
Phillip is both a pain in the ass (if you’re an Ometepe member) and a “star”
(if you’re CBS).
yourself as you watch from home:
more we know we have a star. Phillip is
voted out, Rob is working hard to make sure Phillip doesn’t go home. He realizes what the others don’t – Phillip
is worth more to him in the game than he is being sent to Redemption
Island. For now anyway…
chores around camp. I wish we could more
of these types of scenes in the show, but we just don’t have enough time. Whenever we show the Survivors truly earning
their keep, it reminds the audience that this is a major adventure. It is no joke. There are no commercial breaks where you can
grab another slice of pizza from the fridge.
These guys earn every single thing they get on this show. I always respect the people who choose to
partake of the Survivor adventure because there is nothing else like it on
she said that “Krista and Stephanie” are just pawns in this game and are not a
threat any longer. Anybody that is in
the game is a threat and anybody who is low on the totem pole within a tribe is
a MAJOR threat What if we have a tribe
switch coming up? Or an early merge?
point that you can NEVER let your guard down in this game. The moment you lay your sword against the
tree while you go take a leak, is the moment your sword ends up in your back
potential problems and that person… would be right.
the challenge. Literally. It was so
hot, she was so tired, the puzzles pieces were so heavy and the pressure was so
much… that she nearly fell flat out.
genius, Dan Munday and it proved much more difficult than it appears when
finished. Both Matt and Kristina had
trouble with the puzzle – the difference was Matt never lost his mind or got
frustrated. He just kept studying it
until it finally became clear.
Boston Rob and Matt where Matt quizzed Rob about why he voted him out. Redemption Island continues to deliver.
Krista were no longer loyal to Zapatera, she gave away so much information that
Rob and Ometepe can now use.
that the tribe has drawn lines in the sand.
He now knows there are two people that might come to the other side if a
switch or a merge happens. Those two
pieces of information alone can swing the game completely in his favor. Krista and Stephanie are not just pawns, they
are still players in this game.
It was very exciting on the day.
I like challenges that put someone in the “hero” or “goat” role, it
almost always produces good drama.
important it is to remain calm. Panic never helps. Ah but it’s so easy to say “don’t panic” yet
much tougher to actually remain… calm.
last deep into this game he is going to move from the “quiet dude with
dreadlocks” to a major threat to win the game.
The girl does not shy away from asking for responsibility. Say what you want but Stephanie has never
backed off of a challenge. She wants the
ball and when there is no time left on the clock, she’s the one who wants to
take the shot. When your ass is on the
line, it’s the only play you have.
everything. First it was Russell being a
bad seed and in last night’s episode it was Stephanie not being smart enough at
the challenge. Does it all go back to
throwing the challenge to get rid of Russell?
Have they simply given Ometepe too much confidence?
challenge, they still managed to find a bright side, however misguided it may
lost the challenge today, we really won.
It’s going to be between Krista and Stephanie.
point in the game does not make your tribe stronger. There are so many cons that come with losing
a tribe member, not the least of which is the more Ometepe wins, the more
unified they become. This is a
potentially disastrous situation come the merge.
going to continue to fall apart day by day.
throwdown. Sarita hit David’s sweet spot
and he lit her up:
pressure! My entire life is based on
being under pressure!! There’s no butts, I’m the only one who is doing puzzles
from here on out!!! Period!!! Point
blank. No questions.
win a challenge.
so hard I couldn’t stay in my chair. Rob
often approaches Survivor like an organized game theory expert and other times
he plays it like a 5-year old. This was
old school playground shenanigans.
Grant covering for Rob while Rob is double-crossing Grant. Wouldn’t surprise me if Rob had his fingers
crossed the entire time.
operator, “We gotta move” as if to say — if you want to get the shot of me
trading out the idol notes, then you better start running, because I have no
time to waste!
Krista or Steph and truthfully all we could hope for is that Stephanie stayed
longer than Krista, only because she is significantly lippier and therefore a
more interesting character.
Krista is a farm girl and is a legitimate threat to beat Matt in a
challenge. This may be Matt’s biggest
competition to date.
Russell makes his way to RI and discovers his tribe also lied
to him about who won the duel. Matt was surprised to see Russell. Of course,
Russell swears he will win all the duels and go back to wreak havoc.
Back at camp:
Phillip continues to make an ass of himself in the Omtempe
camp. He also is starting to tell himself he can win the game.
Nooooooooooooooooooooo, the damn farmer told everyone he has
the idol. Zapetera now has the idea they can control the game because Ralph has
the idol. Foolish people, the idol will only save 1 person.
Sarita and Ralph choose to go to the Duel for Zapatera.
Phillip and Kristina go for Omtempe.
A simple domino challenge with a few up and down ramps is the
duel, but trip wires along the course can knock down the dominos before your
ready. Jeff starts them off and they stay even until Matt takes a lead. Matt
finishes and starts his dominos but comes up short. Russell then hurries and
completes his dominos. He starts his row and also comes up short. Matt works to
finish his and starts the toppling again. This time he has it go all the way
and drops the ball thru the tile at the end. Matt wins, Russell has to go home!
Russell breaks down and cries, but not for long. After Jeff questions him why
he cried he spills the beans on how his tribe had to throw a challenge to get
rid of him. He also tells everyone who the kingpins are in his tribe. Then the
current HII dumbass says, “Hey, I already found the idol”. Only after Sarita
whispers “don’t” he quits looking and says he is only kidding. Phillip thinks
he knows Ralph really has the idol.
Rob gets the rest of his tribe to hang out on the beach while
he looks for the idol. He runs back to camp and searches high and low. Finally
he sees it in the Y of a tree and gets it.
Rob and Ralph now control their own destiny.
Sarita and Ralph tell the tribe about Russell’s conduct after
Phillip gets a plan to not give out the info that Ralph has an
idol. Phillip starts to give Rob info but Rob knows he’s a dickhead which
leaves Katrina and Phillip at the bottom of the pecking order.
The challenge has them using the tools they were given at the
beginning of the game to complete the challenge.
First they have to run out and open a box with a crowbar to
get an shovel and run back, the next person uses the shovel to dig for an axe,
the next person uses the axe to cut through a log and rope which drops 2 saws.
After that person gets back, 2 people run out and use the saws to cut down
planks which will be stairs. The next two people race out And put the planks in
the proper order and then return. Finally
the whole tribe runs up on the platform where someone hammers in three
large nails which break tiles under the board. When the nails are in they can
put their tool bax up onto the table and win the challenge.
The reward is a bar-b-que set and food to go with it!
Rob and Ralph go out to
open the box with Ralph getting an early lead. Julie go’s next and Grant races
out to catch up. Julie finds the axe just ahead of Grant to keep Zapatera in
the lead. Ralph and Rob go out again to cut the log. Ralph makes quick work of
his and drops the shovels. Mike and Steve rundown and get the saws and have
them untied before Rob finishes the log. Phillip and Grant race out and start
cutting but the Zapatera’s have a 2
plank advantage. Mike and Steve outrace them and Steffanie and Sarita run out
and start putting the ramp together. They complete the ramp and run back. The
tribe then runs out and up the ramp. Rob and Kristina finish as the other team
runs up the ramp. Omtempe hurries down anfer makes a slight comeback. Ashley
gets the hammer untied before Steffani. Ralph gets the hammer and makes quick
work of the nails and put their toolbox up for the win! Ralph jumps up on the
table and does his Rooster routine.
The bar-b-que begins and the feast is on! Zapatera is fat and
Phillip makes one of his dumb speeches. More dickering about
how bad Phillip is being. The discussion goes on about whether Phillip or
Kristina should go home.
At the Tribal Council Phillip keeps voting out any real
alliance he might have and definitely doesn’t see the righting on the wall.
Kristina goes to Redemption Island and Rob’s power grows.
In Zapatera the Troll’s Dolls must create discension in order
get into the power of their tribe. Who and how remain to be seen, but there is
no clear leader to the tribe.
AN ERA ENDS
It’s still settling in. Russell is gone. The evil, tattooed, sock stealing, water dumping, idol finding Survivor gnome is gone. His reign is over.
For any of you who are already frustrated that I’m going to dedicate most of this blog to Russell, you might as well stop reading.
This time, let’s skip the beginning and save that for the end…
Am I still the only one who enjoys Phillip? I read your tweets and your comments on the site and I am surprised that Phillip annoys so many of you. Don’t you see any fun in watching him? It’s not like you’re stuck on an island with him. He’s on your tv. For my money he is gold every time he opens his mouth.
Even something as simple as grabbing the tree mail becomes an adventure as he peers through the rolled up scroll like a telescope.
My favorite Phillip moment of this episode was after the Duel when Phillip was walking with Rob and Grant – holding court, stretching out the story of what he learned at Redemption Island, much to the frustration of Rob.
Rob: Hey dumbass, aren’t you in MY alliance? Don’t you work for me?
Even simply writing that sentence makes me laugh.
THE GAME CONTINUES
Despite losing one of the biggest players of the season, the game continues and Boston Rob is on fire. On fire. This is why Rob gets invited back so often. He’s really good and he’s really fun to watch. After four times playing, Rob has his PhD in Survivor.
For those of you who complain about it being unfair because Rob has played before – let me remind you of the basic rule of Survivor – the tribe votes out whoever they want. Just like Zapatera did with Russell, Ometepe could have chosen to get rid of Rob early on, but they didn’t. They gave Rob a chance and now Rob is starting to prove his worth as a leader, while simultaneously playing a very good game and positioning himself as a threat to go deep. As many days as he lasts in this game, he earns them all. I feel that way about every contestant. Whether they sand bag it like Sandra or come out swinging like Russell. You earn it.
THE RACE FOR THE IDOL
Rob searching for the idol while the rest of the tribe was playing “Sunday at the beach” was one of the most riveting scenes we’ve ever had. We had to cut it significantly for time. He was really hustling to make sure he got back before Grant and the girls realized he had been gone.
As I watched the first cut of this at home on my MacBook Pro, I was literally squirming in my seat. Remember, I’ve never seen this footage. I was screaming “Hurry up! Find it! They’re gonna be out of the water soon and wonder where you are!”
I’m really not as biased as I sound, it’s just that I love good drama. If it had been Ralph or Natalie or Russell or even Sarita I would have felt the same way – “Hurry! Hurry!”
THE REWARD/IMMUNITY CHALLENGE
Let me educate you about the future of television. Product integration. It’s a phrase you hear in every conference room of every advertising agency in New York and every television network in Hollywood.
On Survivor, product integration is when you take something like the Sears Craftsman tool kit or the Sprint Evo phone and you build it into a challenge or a reward. Lots of you guys complain about these product integrations. But here’s the thing – you are the same people who are DVRing your show to watch it later at a more convenient time. The problem is when you watch it later, you skip through the commercials. The advertisers know this, so their only option is to get their products inside the show so you can’t avoid them.
This is not going away. This is the present and the future of television. Product integration. Don’t waste energy fighting it. Embrace it.
While we’re talking about it, let me brag on Survivor for a moment. Nobody integrates product as well as we do. Last night you watched an incredibly dramatic challenge that was built all around tools from Sears. The tools were used to complete the challenge. The tools were necessary. It worked really well.
Many shows just shove product integration into their show. We work hard to make it work as well as we can even though the products don’t always lend themselves to the middle of a jungle.
But the bottom line is this…without Sprint, Sears and our other sponsors, we aren’t on the air. It’s that simple.
WHAT IS RALPH CROWING ABOUT?
Fortunately, Zapatera won the challenge, because if they hadn’t I would have been on their ass for throwing the challenge in the last episode. But I will say this, if I was on the Ometepe tribe I would have a hard time not knocking Ralph right off that perch as he crowed like a Rooster. That is one annoying move.
Ralph’s ego is going to be his biggest obstacle. He’s not alone. It happens to a lot of people. They do something amazing, like finding the idol, but then they so badly want to share their brilliance with everybody else that they weaken their position by telling everybody.
I do it in my life all the time. I’m constantly giving away information that would be better off kept to myself. It’s so hard to just shut up. Ralph – shut up. You’ll go further.
On the other hand, the fact that his crowing annoys me, means it probably annoyed Ometepe, which means it’s working!
I offer proof once again that Survivor is the toughest reality show of all time. Note this conversation from Mike and Ralph regarding the food reward:
MIKE: I’ve never been this hungry in my life. I haven’t thought about sex in two weeks. All I’m thinking about is food.
RALPH: It tasted great. I sucked stuff out of my fingernails that haven’t been cleaned since I got here. And I asked any of the others ones if they wanted their fingers cleaned and licked, I’d work on them too.”
RALPH: Steve, can I lick that mustard off your nose? Your tongue ain’t long enough.
Once again Ometepe is back at tribal council and by a 4-3 vote, Kristina is sent to Redemption Island where she will have to face Matt in a duel.
Okay now to the guts of what made this episode historic. The Fall of Russell. It started with a late night arrival at Redemption Island.
Russell was not expecting to find Matt sleeping in the shelter. He was expecting Francesca. I think that tiny little “lie” that Zapatera told him had a big impact on Russell’s psyche. I think expecting to find Francesca and instead finding a young, very fit Matt threw him for a loop and began his downfall.
MATT v RUSSELL: GOOD vs EVIL
This duel was the closest thing we’ve ever had to Good v. Evil. Matt, the young man who puts all his faith in God, battling against Russell, the older man who many believe is a force of evil. It was historic before it began.
THE DUEL –
As many of you already know – challenges and duels are created and built weeks in advance. We had no idea who would be playing this duel but I couldn’t have been happier that it involved so many different skills: balance, patience and thinking ahead.
Everybody on the crew was invested in this duel. We all loved Matt, he was a favorite, he had been on Redemption for days and he was very likable. On the other side, you have Russell – a guy that has been such a polarizing force on our show that you couldn’t help but want him to win simply because it is such a huge story if he does. It’s also a huge story if he loses. So in that sense, it was a win-win.
The drama was fantastic. First Matt thought he had it… but he was short. Then Russell thought he had it, but he too was short. I was pacing back and forth, as excited as I’ve been at a challenge in a long time. Finally Matt, who never panics, got it together and won the duel. In doing so Matt single-handedly put an end to the Russell era. It’s over.
THE TEARS OF A WARRIOR
The tears that Russell shed were real. It was a very emotional moment for a guy who has spent most of the last two years of his life playing this silly little adventure game called Survivor.
It was emotional for all of us to watch him break down. It was a gift from Russell to let us see the emotion. We all knew the day would finally come –when Russell was finally sent home- and we all wondered how he would respond. I loved that he shared it with us. That’s how Russell did everything – full tilt boogie.
I’m guessing that a lot of the Russell haters were moved as well.
Like him, love him, hate him, despise him – there is simply no denying that Russell has given Survivor as much if not more than Survivor has given him.
If you are a fan of Survivor, then you too owe Russell a nod of the head. The dude brought it. Every single day he played – he brought it.
In some ways he reignited our franchise as he brought in a new kind of villain. An unscrupulous terror.
To give context… Johnny Fairplay is a clown… Russell is a villain. I’m not sure Russell is a nice person. I wouldn’t want Russell to know where I live. There isn’t much I would want to do with Russell outside of Survivor.
But within the world of Survivor, Russell is family.
When you make a deal with the devil, you must be prepared to get burnt. So complaining about Russell would be hypocritical. We put him on the show in Samoa, we invited him back in Heroes v Villains and he completed the trifecta with Redemption Island.
Russell will go down in history as one of the most notorious contestants of all time. Maybe THE most notorious.
For all he has given us, I have to take my hat off to him and say “thank you.”
RUSSELL LIVES ON
Before the tears could even dry, the Russell of old was back, once again stirring up trouble. As with Rob, this is another example of why some players get invited back and most don’t. Russell played Ralph like a finely tuned fiddle. He baited the hook, dropped it in the water, let Ralph nibble on it and then hooked him. As charming as Ralph is, he was so outmatched it was hard to watch.
Russell suckered Ralph into bragging about the idol in front of the Ometepe tribe. They now know he has it and if a merge comes, and Ralph still has the idol, it may cause him more problems than it will help solve.
In that moment, Russell flipped the game once again and he did it after he’d already been knocked out of the game. That’s why he’s played three times and… despite his claims that he’s finished… that’s why he’ll probably end up playing yet again.
Thanks for the memories, RH.
I hope you will all leave your thoughts about Russell departure on the comment section. Love him or hate him, if you’re a fan you have to have an opinion.
You can watch the emotional and dramatic conclusion of the duel again http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor/video/?pid=m8w62dYF9EWwwJ2Xa_P0cWzuhXCDeAma
Well, now that Zapatera got rid of the troll, who will take the role of leader in their camp? If Russell wins the duel against Matt will they begin to worry about Russell coming back and let it interfere with the game?
Rob clearly leads the Ometempe’s. He controls five other people but soon individual decisions will need to be made and the idol is in play again.
Redemption Island is a cool twist. However, if you keep winning your alone for a few more days. Will the loneliness effect somone enough to hurt their game?
Lots of interesting things appear to be played out in the coming episodes and the duels look to be getting worth more as the weeks go along.
Can King Troll rule over the Gladiator stadium and return to the game? Will someone overthrow him and make for interesting duels to come. Will we have someone who can rule over Redemption Island?
Having survived the attempt of the King to retain power, Prince Ralph begins his reign on Survivor! He has the power and the Idol. Now he must gather up his troops and maintain peace in his tribe. As Russell’s ego deflates, Ralph’s is growing! It took the biggest move in Survivor history to get Russell out of the game! But, what are the consequences? He’s not totally out of the game. What happens now that Omtempe has confidence and Zapatera is short one strong player? Can Zapatera get back on the winning ways and not deplete their team?
Redemption Island will now create a new threat in the game. Who will survive the duels? When will they be brought back into the game? Hmmm, intriging. And the ability of the viewers from the teams to lie about the outcomes of the duels and/or worry if someone goes on a run and looks like they will get back into the game!
Ok, The first ever duel on Redemption Island. With Matt going to RI we are now in line for the first duel. Another twist in the game also comes when it is announced in tree mail that 2 members of each team will be allowed to watch the duel.
At Omtempe they are beginning their plan for their alliance and who to trust. Rob leads the way and makes sure he has everyone where he wants them. Putting Andrea at ease after breaking up her alliance with Matt is a priority.
Steve and David select the stone to go for Zapatera while Andrea and Ashley get the rocks to go for Omtempe. At the Arena it looks like a simple challenge for this duel. The need to build a pole from short pieces tied together. They then reach threw a gate to reach 3 keys which will open the door and win the duel. Francesca took a big early lead and gets 2 keys quickly. While she works to get the third key, Matt slowly but surely makes a comeback. While struggling for the third key Francesca lets Matt quickly catches up. After a few misses Matt gets the third key and wins after opening the door. When Francesca leaves she has to burn the her buff. That is an interesting move, burning the buff. Not sure feel about that move!
Back at camp Steve lies to Russell about Matt winning the duel. He lets everyone also know the truth. The girls and Russell make an attempt at finding the HII but can’t decipher the clue, hmmm, another sign Russell is in trouble! They make a move and pretend to have found the HII. The rest of the team makes plans to throw the immunity challenge so they can evict Russell. However planning to due it with a split vote is dangerous. He tries to get Julie to side with his alliance to blindside Ralph. Stephanie seems to have some smarts but is in the wrong alliance. The ploy to have idol in the bag Steph is carrying doesn’t seem to have anyone fooled.
Russell has an ugly rash in his armpits and is laying around letting everyone talking about him and begin there talk of throwing the challenge to get Russell out. At the challenge they give the thumbs up signal that the throw is on.
It’s a challenge from last season. Three people are attached to a water wheel where they collect water, then spit it out to release a ball. When the wheel gets down the chute the person down there must complete a slide puzzle and then move the ball threw the puzzle to win. With the fix in Ometempe easily wins the challenge.
The reward was a basket full of tarps, blankets and comfort items including two chairs. Back at camp, no one seems to be looking for the clue really well but Rob. After a thorough search Rob comes up empty. He then checks under a chair. Not finding it he sees Phillip in a chair that’s almost breaking. He gets Ralph to move and when looking under it he finds the clue. The clue isn’t specific enough to find the idol.
Russell made a last ditch effort to get a vote and Julie is his target. He hope she will hope them vote Ralph out. She doesn’t really commit and we”ll have to wait.
No major talk at the Tribal Council and the vote is on. 3 votes Russell, 3 votes Steph, 3 votes Ralph, After a tie vote it’s simple because Russell, Ralph and Steph don’t get to vote and it’s a whitewash and Russell is headed for RI.
All hail the new Prince! Ralph is lead man.
Jeff’s blog found here
Man…I do not know about you but when I saw the look in Russell’s eyes….I thought for sure he pulled some magic on Wed.
So the secret has been revealed as to what exactly is Redemption Island…I have to admit. I kinda like it. Kinda a purgatory for survivors who had a hard time getting along with their neighbors!
I like the old school gladiator arena. I like the fact that 2 people from each camp get to watch to “validate” what happens. So people will know if Russell gets eliminated or sticks around.
My personal opinion is I want Russell to stick around at Redemption Island for a long while. It would be nice to see if he can “get back” into the game…
But enough about what I think….what do you think? Are you happy with Francesca being beat by Matt and having to leave and burn her buff? Are you happy that Russell is now off his tribe and having to fight to not Give Up Hope?
Tell us your thoughts!
The fallof the Troll King
Is this the beginning of the end for Russell? What the heck
was he thinking by not searching for the HII on day one? And now,
underestimating the “poor little farmer boy”, whoa is me! Mistake #1 Mistake
#2, being foolish enough let someone see you pull the clue out of the fishing
gear container. And last but not least, lying about not having the clue! Damn
fool, tell them you have it, this is also an individual game and all you have
is a clue and not the idol. Be man and earn some respect you foolish troll!
The wussie in the drooping pink undies swears his vote to
Rob. Rob agrees, under one condition, “Keep your yap shut”. Rob can see the
loony for what he is! The man is “STRANGE
TO THE MAX”. He can’t truly be a former federal agent, there isn’t a way this
guy worked for the government, unless working for the US Gov. did this to him!
Turning on what were supposed to be your friends wouldn’t sit well with me in
making an alliance with you. Add that he also is one big egotist seems to say,
he is in the game for himself even while on a team.
The early target was Phillip when the talk was happening on
the return to camp for Omtempe. Phillip once again shows his weirdness when he
went hunting for crab with a spear. It’s a showdown between Phillip and the
Crab. With everyone watching the sideshow, they look at him as the nutcase he
is. But watch out, he was “a federal agent” ya know!
Kristina is soon to
go if she gets no help. The idol was played way to soon and now she will need
an alliance to save her!
Zapatera, Day 4.
Ralph jumps up on a log and crows like a rooster. I’m not
sure the old boy is acting or it’s real! Is he live or is he Memorex? After
Russell calls him the dumbest player on the face of the earth, Ralph proceeds
to stumble his way to finding the HII. What, on day 4 and Russell hasn’t looked
yet, sheesh. Was it dumb luck or was he really trying? He was looking for
Russell appears to have found himself another little
sweetheart to help him out. He had Stephanie and now Krista. He tells Krista to
watch for the clue if they win the challenge and also that he is starting to
look for it without the clue. He has people watching him look this time. Why
does he seem so careless this season? I’m not sure the old Troll has what it
takes this time! He’s being sloppy!!
Andrea is flirting with Matt to make an alliance. Rob is
worrying about it as a threat.
The challenge is for both immunity and reward. Phillip is ready to kick some butt.
The challenge is simple. Five people must collect some keys
by recovering them after breaking a plate. They must then open three locks and
open a box to get a ball. The ball must be used to break five tiles to win the
game. Again Omtempe loses after a great comeback. Ralph wins it over Phillip 5
– 4. Zapatera wins reward and immunity. After the game Matt goes over and
congratulates the other team. That is a big no-no in Robs mind and adds fuel to
Back at Omtempe there is lots of talk on who to evict and
finally come up with a plan to backdoor Matt.
Back at Zapatera, Russell pulls the clue out of the basket
but is caught by Ralph. When confronted by a few people after Ralph blows the
whistle, Russell denies, denies, denies that he has it. The beginning of a
mutiny is in the wind and a fight between the Farmer and the Troll is brewing,
and we might see and old fashioned showdown coming.
Francesca at RI and it looks like a boring place for now. I
can’t wait for the first duel!
Before going to Tribal, Ralph goes off on one of is rants
while everyone looks at him as the fool one more time. Kristina wears the idol
and plans to use it.
After the usual bull shit talk at tribal Jeff sends them to
vote. When he is ready to announce the votes, Kristina plays the Idol. The
votes for her will not count. The votes went:
The last four votes went against Matt and he became the second eviction.
PS - The Idol will be hidden again.
For those who want to read Jeff’s weekly blog-Go Here