The episode begins on Redemption Island on Night 30. Ralph arrives at RI. He says he and Steve were fighting with Phillip over rice. Immediately, Steve shows up. Mike says things at RI are getting crazier and crazier. Steve is just happy to see really good people. What are the Ometepe folks going to do now, especially with the whole Jury made up of Zapatera’s?
Over at Murlonio, the Ometepe Six celebrate eliminating all of Zapatera. Andrea is excited to really play the game now. Natalie cries some “hormone tears.” She is emotional because now they need to knock each other off, which turns into thoughts of family and friends back home. Rob confesses that there have been times where Natalie has been really mature, and times when she has acted 19 years old. She’s his main alliance, so he needs to make sure she’s OK. There are only eight days left, so Rob needs to keep everything together, and make sure no one talks to each other and realize that he should be the one voted out.
Day 31 at Murlonio. Andrea and Ashley retrieve Tree Mail. The top of the box says it is from Sprint. Is it their Loved Ones? It’s time to go to the Duel, but first they have to check out videos on the Sprint Epic 4G phone (Blatant Product Placement!!) from their family members. At RI, the guys get the same Tree Mail, and the same videos from home. Will God appear in Matt’s video? Nope, it’s just his brother. Seeing his brother makes every RI struggle worth it. If he can see his brother in person, he will do what ever he can to win the Duel.
Everyone heads to the RI Arena. Jeff explains that the Sprint Epic 4G (BPP!) was received by all of them. Love from home is nice, but love in person is better. The winner of the Duel will win time with his Loved One. Fr the Duel, each player will have four tiles that must be broken with a tossed ball. The first three to break all of his tiles will stay alive in the game. Whomever is the first to break all of his tiles gets to see his Loved One.
Jeff starts the Duel. In Round One, Matt chips his tile, but doesn’t break it. Mike breaks his, Ralph and Steve miss. Round Two: Matt breaks, Mike breaks, Ralph breaks, Steve breaks. Round Three: Matt breaks, Mike breaks, Ralph breaks, Steve misses. Round Four: Matt misses, Mike breaks. Mike stays alive, but also wins some in-person love from his family. Ralph misses, and Steve misses. Round Five: Matt breaks, Ralph breaks, Steve misses. Round Six: Matt breaks and stays alive. Ralph breaks and stays alive. Steve is out of the game.
Jeff congratulates Mike for winning some family love. Steve puts his buff in the urn and joins the Jury. Now it’s time for the Reward. Mike’s mom, Jane, comes out. Before they embrace, Jeff tells Mike he can forego his visit with his mom to try to buy good will with the others by giving family love to Matt and Ralph. That’s his first choice. His second choice is he can give love to everyone left in game (the Ometepe Six). Mike says he has been reading the Bible which instructs him to “do unto others,” so if he can gives the most good to the most people, that is the only play. He’s giving up love for him, Matt and Ralph to give it to everyone else. This doesn’t surprise his mom, as Mike has always done the right thing. Mike, Matt and Ralph’s Loved Ones head out, and the guys head back to RI. The Others get to join their Loved Ones and head back to camp.
The guys return to RI. Ralph is pissed that Mike made the decision he did. The way Matt and Ralph were treated by Ometepe, they wouldn’t have given them anything. Mike confesses that he wasn’t making a strategic move, he just thought it was the right thing to do.
Over at Murlonio, Ashley says it is surreal that they have their family members there. Grant confides to the camera that it is motivating to have them there. Natalie has never been away from home for more than two weeks, so it was great to see her mom and be told how proud her mom is of her. Phillip tells his sister that acting crazy has been his strategy. He is renewed, and ready to continue his “domination” of the game. Rob says Phillip is crazy and he’s going to bring him to the end because Phillip won’t get any votes. In fact, everyone thinks Rob is going to the end with them, so all they have to do is talk to each other to blow up his plans, but he knows they won’t. He has to win Survivor, as he’s been trying to for ten years, so he can’t screw it up one.
More Tree Mail arrives, and it regards the next Immunity Challenge. Rob doesn’t feel too bad about his position in the game. He states that only Andrea can’t win because she’s good at Challenges and knows a lot about the game. Whatever happens, from Rob’s standpoint, Andrea can’t win the…
…Immunity Challenge. As they enter the Challenge space, the players are awed by the structure before them. For the challenge, the players will race to collect puzzle steps, then put the steps in order to build a staircase. First to the top wins Immunity. Jeff wrns them that whatever they have in their tank, they need to use right now. “Survivors ready…go!”.
Rob, Grant and Andrea get their first boards in place. They can only bring one plank at a time. Andrea is the first to work on her second set of steps, with Rob and Grant quickly behind. Phillip, Ashley and Natalie almost immediately fall out of contention. Andrea opens a couple step lead over Grant, but then makes a mistake. Now Rob and Grant roar back. Grant has his second set of steps done first. Jeff notes that it is about 110 degrees. Rob finishes his second set, as does Andrea. Grant is wrong with one of hissteps, so Rob and Andrea jump ahead. Rob struggles to make it up and down the stairs. Andrea needs a mistake from Rob to win, but it never comes. Rob may struggle, but he gets to the top.. Rob wins Immunity!
They’re all dying from exhaustion after the Challenge. Rob wants to get up, but Jeff tells him to sit still. Rob calls for water, but doesn’t want Medical to look at him. He asks for Grant and Jeff to help him up. He staggers, but says he’s OK. Rob is safe at Tribal Council, and after the six of them fighting together, they now have to turn on each other.
Murlonio Day 32. Rob says his legs are like a Jell-O. He had to give everything he had. All of his options are open, so he can decide who will go home. Natalie says they are voting for Andrea because she is strong and still has a relationship with Matt. Andrea thinks they are voting for Phillip.
Rob says they were all ready to get rid of Andrea, but then Phillip started annoying everyone again by taking down parts of the shelter. Phillip confesses that though he could be wrong, he feels safe. From the beginning, he made himself the villain so they will take him to the end. This means that every now and then, he needs to play that card again. Phillip says he has an oral argument that no one has thought of to defeat Rob in the Final Vote.
Rob tells Grant that maybe they should get rid of Phillip, even if he is the perfect person to bring to the end. What if Phillip is playing him? Then again, Andrea is a great payer that could beat him in the end. Who will he vote for at…
…Tribal Council. The Jury is brought in. Jeff notes that the time has come for Ometepe to vote one of their own out of the game. Andrea feels confident in the relationships she has built. Natalie, is it exciting to be at Tribal Council? No, it’s not fun, its nerve wracking. Jeff nots that Phillip had said he had no problem being number six in the alliance. There’s only six people left. Did he even try in the Challenge? Phillip says he just hasn’t had the right Challenge yet. Andrea says they need to keep the tribe strong to defeat the person coming back from RI.
Phillip, can you make it to the end being truthful? Absolutely. He hasn’t broken an alliance. Jeff asks if anyone feels insecure bout the vote, but no one raises his or her hand. Rob feels good that he has the Immunity Necklace around his neck. Jeff asks what Phillip’s great-grandfather would say. “You’ve done everything right until this point, so hold the faith,” Phillip replies.
Its time to vote. They do, and Jeff collects the ballots. Rob doesn’t play the Hidden Immunity Idol, so Jeff reads the votes. Andrea, Phillip, Andrea, Andrea, “The fourteenth person voted out…Andrea.” “Tricky, tricky,” says Andrea before having her torch snuffed and marching off into the able Light of Death. Jeff says that was the first blindside of the season, but figures it won’t be the last.
Next Time On…Survivor!
Ashley loves blindsides. Rob says Ashley can’t be trusted. Phillip flips out again.
There are only two more episodes left (May 11, and Sunday, May 15), and Rob shows no signs of slowing down. He still has Phillip out there as a distraction vote should the heat be turned up on him. Further, he still has the HII, which must be played in the next two Tribal Councils. Therefore, he only needs to win one of the next two Immunity Challenge, or convince everyone else to boot Phillip at their next opportunity. If he then plays the HII, he will be automatically in the Final Four.
Phillip insists that he’s purposefully playing crazy so that he will bet taken to the end. Of course, I don’t believe him, but let’s say he’s telling the truth. What do you think this miraculous “no one ever thought of this angle before” speech aphillip plans to give? I have to admit, I hoope he gets that far just so I can hear Phillip’s Grand Unified Theory of Survivor.
It was no surprise that Andrea was going to be the one going. Her fate was ordained the moment shenbecame buddy-buddy with Matt. Maybe she can pull off some Duel upsets, but can she makemit until the end? Well, let’s see how her ouster has been reflected in the Odds to Win:
Rob: 2-1. Really, what more can be said about Rob? He has the HII to get him to the Final Four, and he knows Natalie and Ashley aren’t going to turn on him. Let’s face it, Aron is going to make it to the end of the game.
Grant: 6-1. Grant’s odds are worse this week because I believe he missed his opportunity (with Andrea) to bring down Rob. He could go on an Immunity Challenge run, but I don’t see how Rob doesn’t cut his head sooner rather than later.
Natalie: 13-1. Wow, Natalie was actually featured in this week’s episode! While ir seemed that it was just a nice “the teenager misses her mommy” moment, it was rather conspicuous to me. It felt more like a “the youngest player in the game’s history is sticking it out. Isn’t that impressive?” moment. Something tells me Natalie is making it to the Final Three.
Mike: 27-1. I understand Mike’s decision regarding the Loved Ones, even if he insists it was net a strategic move. He’s trying to currry favor with the Ometepe Six, and figures that no matter how pissed Matt and Ralph may he, if Mike makes it to the end, he’ll have their votes, regardless. People on Survivor are notoriously selfish, and don’t reward moments like Mike’s generous decision. Then again, he seems to have the RI momentum, so if anyone is going to survive RI and win, I think it’s Mike.
Matt: 47-1. Matt seemed to have his tank refilled when he had the chance to see his brother, but he is now consistently losing Duels to Mike, who is just fresher at this point of the game. I’ve said consistently for the past few weeks, if Matt makes it to the Final Vote, he wins, but I’m not sure he can make it there against Mike.
Andrea: 50-1. Arrrrrgh!!! My favorite finally met her invetible end, and was blindsided by the rest of Ometepe. She is pretty great in Challenges, so she could go on a Duel winning streak, but even then, I’m not sure she has the right relationships to garner enough votes to win the game. It will be interesting to see how her and Matt get along at RI though.
Ashley: 68-1. My distaste for Ashley is well-known by this point, so I wont hace much to say about her chances. Can you think of a scenario or Final Three situation where she actually wins? Stranger things have happened in Survivor history, but I just can’t see Ashley winning this game.
Phillip: 50-1. Phillip’s odds take a nice leap because there is the possibility, slight though it may be, that he is telling the truth about his game strategy. I hope he makes it to the end because I am very interested to hear his special speech during the Final Tribal Council.
Ralph: 152-1. Ralph is hanging on by the skin of his teeth. There is really no chance that he will win the final Duel, whenever tht may be. Sorry buddy, but you’re done.
Alright, that’s this week’s Survivor: Redemption Island. What did you think of the episode? Is anyone going to take on Rob at any point? Do you think Andrea can win enough Duels to make it to the end? What do you think about Redemption Island at this point of the game? Please leave your comments below. I’ll be back next week with another recap. Until then, I’m off to carry my family on my back.