Descension, will it begin to creep into camp?

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
the Duel.

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.


Jeffs Blog


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.

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.

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!”

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.

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.

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.

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 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.”

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



76 thoughts on “Descension, will it begin to creep into camp?”

  1. Phillip should have gone because he’s driving the morale of their team right into hell’s kitchen. He’s not even useful in the challenges. Did you see him with the saw?

    I still don’t have a favorite but I sure know who I don’t like and Phillip heads the list!

    Prayers for Japan!

  2. I hope Matt keeps winning on Redemption Island, I don’t see that happening though he will be there till final 3, that really sucks it should be just one time and he is back in the game with everyone :roll:

  3. I loved seeing Russell cry.It made his time on Survivor seem like it truly was over. And until we get to the Finale and I don’t see Russell competing for the title I’ll still doubt that he is actually gone for good. Russell does have a large fanbase so I would expect a load of comments and well wishes for him
    I for one will miss all the tension he caused and I agree with you Jeff, Ralph had better be careful as we all know about blindsides. Even without Russell I look forward to watching the show all season and I wonder if Rob can make it to the Finale.

    1. I think might come back for a lot of money. Thing is though .. the guy’s a sore loser, and he now knows he cannot ever win. I don’t think his ego can suffer another loss. However, on a team of nasty evil villains .. he might go farther, especially if the other team is super good guys and they lose challenges.

      I find the troll disgusting but I have resigned myself to the fact that I will likely see him again. Maybe because he has deluded himself into thinking he has a chance (with his ego it’s possible), or maybe he could need the money. I can wait, though.

  4. I don’t like the redemption setup at all.. Poor Matt, has to beat everyone that comes to his domain to remain in the game. Suppose he gets past 10 of them and then just one slip and he is out of there completely…its not fair. He should have been put back into the group after he defeated Francesca. Obviously, Philip is going to be going to redemption island eventually and don’t sell him short on the duels. Matt was lucky to win both times…remember the first time he was down 2-0 and just barely won…the same against Russell. As for Russell, I hate fanatics of any kind of sport….play the game and if you lose, you lose, and take it like a man..crocodile tears …ugh..good riddance.

  5. Jeff Probst, Will you please get over your Love Affair with Russell Hantz, enough already, He’s on that damn video, trying to get this guy to come back yet another season, enough already, Time for some new people :roll:

    1. If Russell comes back in a future “Survivor” than that is the end for me to watch anymore, and that goes for Rob too. Perhaps not many people are willing to get on…they are doing the same to “Amazing Race”..get new faces, Jeff…BTW, Russell said at the beginning that he does not need the money, he is doing it for the sport of it…than why deprive others that are doing it for the money? I thought the entire game was to win the jackpot, not just for the sport of it. Stay away Russell and let others who do need that jackpot try for it..go home and count your money.

    2. I have to agree with both of you. If Russell gets back on Survivor….that is the end for me too. That is total BS!! Give others a chance already. Too many people know your game dude…retire from ALL television. Please don’t let him get on anything else I watch, like Amazing Race and Big Brother. PLEEEEASE!

    3. I think people who don’t/won’t watch because of Russell either being there or not are just silly.

      The only sillier ones are those (both pro and con Russell) who make the same claims and watch anyway. (And there are lots of these out there)

      CBS will not lose if some viewers actually stop watching. Much as I hate the troll, he has his following and is clearly a worthy survivor player.

    4. You’re probably right Leslie…I will most likely watch again just to see how fast his ass gets voted out the next time, and the next time, and maybe even the time after that. Oh, and BTW, I don’t think it’s necessarily silly for someone to not watch a show if Russell would happen to be on there again. I think it’s more like bored with looking at him or listening to him TIME after TIME! He can have his following, it just won’t include me.

  6. I do not believe for a minute Phil is ex-fbi or secret service or whatever he claimes and I hope if he is lying that the real FBI will be waiting for him at the airport! I am and always have been a Russel fan, he kept it interesting and fun and you always wonder…..what will he do next

  7. P.S. what does CBS have against Canada? I can not watch any of the video links it keeps saying not available for my area :(

    1. Not in Canada or from other countries who complain about these clips, but even I would appreciate CBS making a clear public statement about why these clips can’t be seen in these countries or solve the problem.

      The complaining is annoying … and they should at least have an explanation as to why they cannot/shouldn’t see the clips.

      Even if it is not standard CBS policy to let foreigners what their shows on-line, I think there is a reasonable justification for making SURVIVOR an exception

  8. I am one to appreciate the deviousness of Russel and am sad to see him go. I too, would not want to know him in real life, but I would like to shake hands with Rob. I watch the show just to see how people upset their own applecarts and the rest of the team usually steals their apples and even the wheels from the cart. You gotta be something special to be able to come back to the game over and over and I hope that Russel does make an appearence again…

  9. Like Jeff I will miss Russell and his harem and I find Ralph and his man suit to be probably the most annoying player EVER

  10. I really don’t like Russell, but he was the one you loved to hate. As for Phillip.. surely he is not that dumb. I do hope he is playing this up, I feel sorry for the man. My favorite is Matt, of course he is from TN and he is a great player, get him back and we’ll see how well he can play. And I like Andrea, Julie and Mike they all seem to want to play this game and play as fair as Survivor will allow. So we will have to see. If your going to bring back people bring back people that are tough and likeable, like Stephanie or Yao Man. Love you Jeff, wish I could play someday, I might be older but I’m still as tough as whitleather…lol

  11. I am sooooo glad that Russell is gone. I kind of get Phillip which makes me question my own sanity sometimes. He just wants to be a leader and try to “rally the troops”. I can’t stand the stupid underwear but I really think I do understand what he’s doing. There is always someone in every group who can’t stand to see people with long faces and that’s what he’s tryng to do. They are frustrated with him and if I was there I might be too but he kind of makes sense. I listened to him on the last show and he basically was a garbage man in the military so I don’t know where this “former Secret Agent” thing came from. I know that’s what he’s been saying but then he said that he was a sanitation something or other and that he got the highest military award you can get in peace time. Wish I knew the truth.

  12. I’m going to miss Russell. Yeah, I’m a fan. Just watching and waiting for what he was going to do next was great. He added spice to the show. He played to win and isn’t that what it is about? Boston Bob does the same thing. Finagles, plays everyone with the same goal to win. If you were on Survivor wouldn’t you do the same thing. At least it is not a popularity show like American Idol!!

  13. i’m glad russ is gone, i liked him the first two times but his gameplay was getting dull, the only nice move he did was outting ralph and the Zapatera when he lost, he should have done this a lot earlier when he was still in the game. at least rob is playing a different game this time – ‘everybodies friend’, the whole ‘beach party to distract everyone while i find the idol’ was genius.

  14. I can’t begin to imagine the craziness that Phillip will cause this week … and I cannot see it going well for him, still I cannot wait to see it.. Should make for another great week.

    I am Phillip fan too… cause he is so awesomely nuts.

  15. Russel was a great player (hated him), but the group knew too much about him already. He never had a chance and I don’t think he will if he plays again. He plays too good to keep around.

  16. “In what sounds like a plot twist straight out of Xanadu, Phillip was recruited for the show when casting director Lynne Spillman saw him rollerdancing.”

    Who knew they included rollerdance training at the FBI Academy?

    1. yeah, she is pretty tough. He’ll never be able to live that down if he’s beat by a woman.

    1. no…dammit!! It does work from my work computer. I tried to get it but I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. :roll:

    2. Where has Ted been anyway? I haven’t seen him anywhere. Look out when he does come back…he’ll be full of witt! (or something else)

  17. Krista is gone! Hurray! She mouthed off too much during tribal, thus saving Stephanie.

    Have to go – Hockey game is one.

    Have a great evening everyone!

  18. Don’t you all love my man BR???!?!?!?! Hot, funny and smart………. his wife is one lucky little girl. What happened to Ted? Please tell me he isn’t still crying over the former TGO??

  19. Russell by far is the best player ever. He should have beat Natalie hands down in Samoa , she really did not deserve to win.
    Its the same thing in Hero’s Vs Villlians , Sandra did not deserve it either.
    I have been watching survivor since Richard Hatch , I have not missed one Season or episode for that matter, and the last two seasons were amazing.
    When Russell lost against Matt, I feel like I got kicked in the Stomach, as this season would have been much better with him, his tribe will miss him as when they merge I believe that Boston Rob’s tribe will have the numbers, this might not have been the case if Russell was still around. Thank you Russell for making wednesday nights so much fun, and I hope that you do return as the show is much better with you on it . You are by far hands down the best player that has ever played this game. I love your style and how you were true to your allaince. Good luck and go Rob, I hope you make it to the end !

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