Last week’s episode ended with a Survivor First: Russell Hantz getting his torch snuffed. It was such a momentous occasion that I felt it was only fitting to revisit this historic moment by starting this week’s recap with a photo commemorating the event. If you haven’t done so already, take a moment to look up there, breathe it in, and appreciate what nobody in Samoa or Heroes vs. Villains was able to do…vote Russell out of the game.
Before I get to this week’s episode, I want to mention something. For a number of years now, I’ve been having fun at the expense of Jeff Probst’s constant wardrobe choice of blue shirts for Survivor (three different shades of blue tonight, by the way). It’s all in good fun, but with Mr. Probst recently entering the world of Twitter, I thought I’d take a direct approach. Last night, after I saw a couple of updates from him, I Tweeted to him “I have to know…how many blue shirts are in your Survivor wardrobe closet?”
I don’t suppose I really expected a response, but within minutes, he Tweeted back that it was between 10-15 shirts for each season. Now there’s a man who goes with the flow, and I give him credit for embracing his blue-shirted-ness, and all that comes with it. For those of you on Twitter, I highly recommend following him (@jeffprobst), and watching his Comments as the show airs.
But on to this week’s episode… Would Russell be able to stay in the game at Redemption Island? Who will find the Hidden Immunity Idol at Ometepe? And just who exactly is working for who?
My Random Thoughts:
- Previously on…Survivor: Jeff Probst would like to remind everyone that at Ometepe, Rob is the leader, Natalie loves Rob, Phillip is still crazy, and Kristina wants Rob out. At Zapatera, Russell got voted out…what else matters?
- Night vision recap: no, it’s not a new Christopher Nolan movie, but look at all the Bats! Apparently Redemption Island is infested with them. Doubtful, but it’s just another animal we can see in glorious HD shots this season. Matt made a great comment, saying he was “Blindsided by Rob, and Bunking With Russell”, which I believe is also the title of an X-Rated movie.
- Why on earth was Phillip sweeping around camp while people were trying to sleep? And no…I’m not going to go on again about how strategically ridiculous it is to do anything that wakes your tribemates up in this game. What I’m wondering is “why was he sweeping?”Isn't sweeping a way of cleaning up dirt on the ground? What's the point...when the dirt IS the ground?
This conversation then led to Ometepe talking about how annoying Phillip was, as we watched more footage of him chucking spears once again at miniature crabs. Rob summed it up best when he talked about Phillip's wardrobe choices: "It's not only disturbing...it's disgusting." Hands up if you disagree. Didn't think so.
- Ok, how many bathing suits does Kristina have? So far we've seen red, an orange and white striped one, and now a pink one. Seriously, how many does she have? I'm starting to think that the producers provided the teams with new suits because there is a LOT of orange and purple, and it always seems to be on the corresponding tribe.
- With Russell off on Redemption Island, you would assume that Stephane & Krista may feel the need to revisit their strategy within their tribe, but that wasn't the case. Obviously still swirling Russell's kool-aid around in their mouths, they decided that their best way to stay alive in the game would be to find the Hidden Immunity Idol, so they promptly...went tanning on the beach together? Really? This is your plan?
- Ralph told us that he didn't want to tell anyone on his tribe that he had the Idol, and I screamed at my TV, "FINALLY!", since I've been saying for years to never tell anyone you have it because only bad things can happen. But no sooner than I hear him say he's not telling anyone, then he strolls right on over and spills the beans. What the hell?
- The Redemption Island Duel between Matt and Russell is what everyone was waiting for this episode....the ultimate Survivor battle of Good vs. Evil. Hell, based on what Matt was saying, it was God vs Evil.
I loved the domino challenge, and especially loved that the final moment of the challenge was...say it with me, folks...breaking a tile! You know damn well that ball could have rolled down and raised a flag, but this is Tile-Break-A-Palooza, and we were destined to see another one smashed. After a couple of tense trials, we got to see Matt's dominoes all fall over, releasing the ball, and ending Russell's season for good. Be honest...who else fist pumped in their living rooms?
Cue the soft music and tears from Russell. Johnny Blue Shirt pensively asked questions as to why Russell was so devastated, and everyone seemed genuinely moved. I almost expected a rainbow to appear off in the distance with a unicorn flying over it.
But then Russell became Russell again, and went out in a blaze of glory, swinging wildly at anything he could find. "It's hard to be a professional quarterback, and have Pee-Wee Leaguers on your team. Cuz I've gotta run the ball, I've gotta catch the ball, I've gotta throw the ball. I gotta do everything."
First of all, somebody needs to tell Russell that if he's doing all of that, he should throw the ball BEFORE he catches it...not after. That's why he's all screwed up. He's catching the ball and then just chucking it away. Ask Grant or Steve...not a good football strategy.
Second, it was the same argument he used when Natalie won in Samoa. That taste is still the same as it was 3 seasons ago: sour grapes. Russell, your fifteen minutes has finally expired.
When I read today on CBS.com that “the second duel reduces one castaway to tears when he is eliminated from the game for good“, it was pretty apparent to me that Russell was going to lose tonight. With all the media attention surrounding Russell’s supposed leaking of spoilers over the past few seasons, I expect this is the first part of his comeuppance from CBS, who are rumoured to be suing him. There’s no way they could start legal proceedings against him after they made him the focal point of every promotional tool for this season, but now that he’s gone, wouldn’t you love to see that lawsuit get announced tomorrow morning? You may think I’m joking, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
- Rob faked constipation on his proposed beach day in an effort to look for the Idol. Come on, who else but Rob could used his bowels to further himself in the game? Did you see him BUST IT back to camp, then start climbing every tree searching for the Idol? He was like some bizarre hybrid of Usain Bolt and an urban runner. But it worked. Man he's good.
- Rob on Phillip: “Hey dumbass, aren’t you in my alliance? Don’t you work for me?” What else can I say...that can stand on it's own.
- Before I talk about the Immunity challenge and Tribal Council, I want to take a tangent for a moment. I’ve noticed some similarities between this season’s cast and some famous faces. I’ve mentioned some of these before, but I thought these photos would get the point across better. What do you think?
- OK, back to the Immunity/Reward challenge, sponsored by Craftsman. More Tiles to Break! YES!!!!! And I'll just say it, any challenge where one of the instructions is “You must saw through a wall” falls under the category of AWESOME. Thoughts from this challenge: Grant is a physical monster, and reminds me of Ozzy (He will dominate late in the game); the teams were actually running with saws in their hands. I know they weren't scissors, but come on...safety last?; and don't even try to tell me Probst's shirt was black...it was dark blue.
- An uneventful reward celebration back at Zapatera, where we learned that Mike hasn’t thought about sex in 2 weeks, and that Ralph wants to lick mustard off Steve’s nose. Ummm...ok?
- Howler monkeys, jaguars, snakes, spiders, bats, red eyed tree frogs, buzzards...was this Survivor or Wild Kingdom? Eventually it'll just be wildlife shots and audio clips. What the hell was with the unannounced GIANT HAIRY SPIDER that made me scream at my TV like an eight-year-old girl? Did we really need to see that twice? Dammit man, bring back the lizard running on water.
- Tribal Council was uneventful. Phillip rambled about "the Sheppard stamp", his mom dying, being in the army, his honourable discharge (I bet THAT'S a story and a half!), his medal in "field sanitation" (did I hear that right?), and then adjusted his sleeves so we could take in both the Lion and the Gorilla. Kristina, meanwhile just said "I’m smart and I can be trusted."
And Kristina got voted out. Maybe a better argument would have been "I'm NOT a ticking time bomb in saggy pink briefs." Nice touch with the thunder as the votes were being read. So, it's off to Redemption Island for Kristina, where a duel with Matt awaits, along with presumably another new bathing suit.
Next Week: Ometepe gets a bad case of Phillip's ass in the face, and Russell's minions are up to no good.
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