Matt, Merge and More Phillip oh My!

Redemption looks like it is coming to an end. More on that later!
Stephanie is driving Matt crazy with constant chatter. Her mouth is running a mile a minute. Matt is ready to get to the duel. Phillip and Rob for Ometempe along with  David and Ralph for Zapatera are the visitors. This became another run-away in a memory game when Matt matches the first two blocks and sets the tone for the game.  Matt stays on as the only player to win a duel at Redemption Island.
Rob didn’t trust Phillip so he went to the duel with him. He believes Phillip is so stupid because he thinks Phillip is totally unaware of whats going on.
Stephanie tells Rob and Phillip about the goings on and that he is the target when the teams merge. Rob is also worried that Phillip will head up the move to get him out when the teams merge.
Phillip asks Rob if they want to withhold any information and tell him we’ll tell them everything and then tells the tribe that Phillip wanted to withhold the info.
Everyone on Zapatera is down on David. No one seems to have a good word about him and he looks like the next one to go. They act like he is stupid and is getting on their nerves.
Phillip gets in a fight with the girls about the crispy rice that sticks to the pot and the girls say it belongs to Rob. Back and forth for what seems like 15 minutes and then after Phillip leaves they go tell Rob about it! Phillip rants on when they interview him. Rant baby rant!
The Immunity Challenge turns out to be an obstacle course of up, down, over, under around and through the brick wall. Along the way they need to grab bags with balls in them. At the end they must put the balls in a small hooped basket that is about fifteen feet high. The lead changes a few times when teams struggle to get the balls down from the screwed hooks.  Zapatera gets everyone through first and begins taking balls from the bags. Zapatera has five balls in and struggles to get the last one while with only three in their basket Grant goes on a roll and puts the final three in to win it for Ometempe.
For their reward Ometempe are flown to the top of an active volcano and get a great meal.  Again, Rob finds the clue without getting caught. This time however while he stands near the volcano he tosses it in and down the side of the volcano wall it tumbles. He has the idol so why worry about another clue.
Back at camp Zapatera start talking that they might need to vote out Sarita because of their bad performance at the challenge. This makes the eviction a choice between David and Sarita. Sarita I believe made a mistake by starting the conversation about evicting David instead of just staying quiet. I think that the doom is in the wind.  There were vultures on the beach eating a big turtle. Zapatera tribe mates will be next on the menu.
At Tribal council the talk is between David and Sarita and they argue with each other about the weak link. After they get done grumbling the vote is on. By four to two vote, Sarita is surprised that she was voted out. She will be Matt’s next victim.
From the previews it looks like the merge will come next episode and that the duel winner will be back in the game.  HOWEVER,  don’t be surprised when Jeff announces that Redemption Island will again come into play during the rest of the game. This means one person will need to win there to get back in the game at the final four!
The game will be on and the hidden idols may finally come into play. Alliances will definitely be changing as well as the game. Hopefully the excitement factor will get better as we head to the end of the game.
Jeff’s Blog
Okay onto the last episode…
I like David.  He’s the kind of player I’d like to have on the show every season.  He’s playing a long-term game and he’s willing to make big moves.  He came to win, not make the jury.
I don’t have much time for people who are satisfied with making the jury.  I’m not convinced Sarita wants to make it to the end.  So far I haven’t seen the killer instinct.  Maybe it will come out next week on Redemption Island.  I had huge expectations for Sarita. I loved her in casting, but I really believe the game was much more than she anticipated and ultimately just too difficult.  Now she faces an interesting dilemma.  Does she give it her all and try to beat Matt or just throw in the towel and call it a day?
What’s to say?  Matt is unstoppable.  Five straight duels without a loss.  Our duels are scheduled long before we know who will be competing so whether it’s physical, mental or both, it has nothing to do with who is at Redemption Island.  It’s just luck of the draw.
Watching this episode reminded me how damn hot it gets while shooting Survivor.  Redemption Island was especially hot because there was absolutely no breeze.  I always seem to sweat more than the Survivors and that’s annoying.  I guess they acclimate since they are living in it, and maybe because they’re dehydrated most days, but I always notice when I’m the one dripping from the forehead and they’re not.
I continue to be impressed by Rob’s game play.  Granted it’s his fourth time so he should have something figured out, but seven episodes in I think he has played as close to a perfect game as anyone ever has in our 22 season history.
He hasn’t missed a single opportunity to gain favor or advantage.  He is squeezing every bit of juice out of every opportunity.
I’m going to take a moment for all the “Probst loves Rob” haters to scream at me… go ahead.  Let it out.    Let it breathe…
I like Rob.  Always have.  Going all the way back to Survivor: Marquesas when he told me after he was voted out, “Give me another shot.  I’m not finished.”  I liked him in All-Stars when he took advantage of Lex to keep Amber in the game and then asked Amber to marry him just before the reading of the votes, thus ensuring the million dollars would be his no matter what.  I liked him in Heroes v Villains when he miraculously changed his stripes and went from the dark side to the light.  Still not sure how that happened.
And yes… I still like him today. ZAPATERA
While we’re shooting the show, I’m unaware of most of what goes on out on the beaches.  I don’t know the nitty-gritty and truth be told I really don’t know all that much about how the individual players are playing the game.  But when I get home and start watching the episodes, I’m no different than you guys – I find myself rooting for and against different players and different tribes.  Right now, Zapatera is driving me nuts with their infighting and complaining.  I know it must be frustrating to read this if you’re a Zapatera member but it’s really how I feel.  I can’t take much more of their whiny-ass complaining.
Enough philosophical chats, for crying out loud.  Do something.  Change your fate.
I want someone to stand up and take control of the tribe and start leading them.  Specifically…David.  That’s who would get my vote for leader and the reason is I think he’s the only guy capable right now of making bold moves to get his tribe back on track.  Ralph makes fun of him for being an attorney.  The truth is, the guy is the only one right now who is looking at the “big picture” and is trying to right a quickly sinking ship.
Zapatera is a great example of  the psychological phenomenon “group-think.”  In Zapatera, you have a group of people who are making decisions that match the group consensus but without ever truly evaluating the worth or long term effect of their decisions.   They so desperately don’t want conflict that they get rid of anybody who doesn’t peacefully agree with the group.  It’s not working.  You have to have the balls to stand up and tell the Emperor that he’s naked!  Zapatera is naked!
I think they made a great move in voting out Sarita and that may just be the first move in the right direction.
The scene in which they debated about saving Rob some crispy rice was funny and caused great drama surrounding Phillip who was clearly picking a fight because once again he WANTED TO BE HEARD!
Beyond that though, it was a great visual reminder of how little they are living on every day.  They are given a tin of rice on day one and told to ration it so it will last the entire time.  They know from past seasons that if you run out, it will cost you something valuable to get more rice.  So that is why they eat only a few spoonfuls each day.
I love this ongoing love/hate, mentor/student relationship between Rob and Phillip because it highlights the truth about how we treat each other in our society.  Age doesn’t mean a damn thing.  Nobody respects you simply because you’re an elder.  Should we respect our elders?  Hell yes!  Do we?  Hell no.
We respect you if you’re powerful or rich or famous or hot or really good at sports, but age?  Ha!  You’re just an old dude whose ass I can kick, so get the F out of my way before I run you over with my Prius.
There is a guy at my gym, Abraham.  He’s a very nice guy who fancies himself a comedian and as a result he is constantly spouting one-liners.  All day, long.  He’s a bit of a wordsmith, I’ll give him that.  He has a turn of the phrase or a corny joke for every moment.
The truth is if he was a twenty-something I’d probably give him some attitude and tell him “not everything is an anecdote.”  But Abraham, is in his 80’s and because of that, I have a different attitude about the whole thing. I listen and I laugh and I always appreciate that this man has lived a lot longer than me and if he wants to tell a few jokes we should all be happy that he’s still sharp enough to pull it off and support him.
But Survivor doesn’t care.  Outwit, Outplay, Outlast.  Being older on Survivor is rarely a plus but instead just a great reason to get rid of you.  Is it fair?  Doesn’t matter?  Would I feel the same way if I was in the game and had some “old dude” slowing my tribe down?  Probably. Then again, I’D be the old dude.  Maybe that’s the real truth. I’m just channeling my own frustration that on Survivor, I’D BE THE OLD DUDE!
Survivor blogs.  Humbling and cheaper than therapy.
This was without question one of the greatest challenges in recent Survivor history.  We had all the elements.  Great stakes – a helicopter ride and afternoon picnic.  Great weather – pouring rain and deep mud. Great competition – it was back and forth until the last shot!
A massive effort by both groups.  This challenge was no joke. Busting through the hay, crawling through the mud, climbing through the sticks, over the net craw and finally through an amazing “brick” wall.  It was awesome.
The brick wall was made out of wood and each brick was hand placed by our art department.  It took hours to get the walls just right.  We had to think long and hard before deciding to rehearse this challenge because of the amount of work required to set it up.  I could see our art department team watching the rehearsal with equal amounts of excitement at watching their challenge play out and dread knowing they’d have to replace every.. single.. brick…brick-by-brick on the wall.
I loved this challenge.  Look for it again next year.
When I see them at the end of a challenge like that, there is no question in my mind as to why so many of you want to play this game. It really is the ultimate adventure.  A chance to test yourself on every single level.
Another great moment in this episode.  A helicopter ride is still a special treat for most people as it’s not something many of us ever get the chance to do.  When you add in that you’re flying over and then landing on an active volcano it makes it all the more special.
This reminded me of the old days when we had enough time in our show to have some amazing rewards.  Strategy has taken over the game and so now our time is limited and that’s why you see fewer epic rewards.

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, 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!

74 thoughts on “Matt, Merge and More Phillip oh My!”

  1. I really hope Matt wins but boy will they be gunning for him.
    Who would want to go to the end with him, he’d be a shoe in.
    What scares me is that anything can happen “On any given
    Wednesday” Go Matt

  2. Matt deserves to win, I hope he does, and i surely hope he beats Sarita this week, If he doesn’t that would really suck. GO MATT!!!!

  3. How great would Phillip and Coach be on the same tribe together? Must see TV. Hope Probst and the powers that be will consider this.

  4. It would totally SUCK and seem to be from a parrallel universe if Sarita won in RI!!! I like Matt, the way I liked Hayden last year on BB, and hope/feel he could WIN this!!

    And after reading Jeff’s blog, I have to agree with him about Rob. I was only a Survivor fan for about the last 4 seasons. I wasn’t a Rob fan, to say the least. He seemed cocky and egotistical but…I find myself appreciating his game play this year!! I LOVED last week when he threw that clue off into thje bowels of the volcano!! How cocky yet right was THAT??!!lol

    Also agree about David. I like him. He’s smart, not emotional and the only one on Zapetera I can tolerate!!! I hope when the merge happens, he goes over to Ometempe and they accept him with open arms!!! They would both be winners!

    1. I don’t think they will, as he will probably make an alliance with the other tribe. Boston Rob will be the target.

  5. God is great beer is good
    BR got you again Matt just ’cause he could
    Time to leave the Bible for another day
    ’cause two times a sucker ain’t God’s way

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