Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Survivor Recap: "It's Us vs Them, And We're Better Than Them."

Tonight’s episode of Survivor Redemption Island promised Two Tribal Councils, which I always have a problem with. Generally it comes up prior to the Merge, and I’ve always felt that is so ridiculously unfair…that you can win a challenge as a Tribe but still have to go to Tribal Council and vote someone out. I know that they cast extra players in the event that people either quit or have to leave due to injury, but when that doesn’t happen, and the extra Tribal Council shows up, it just throws the “Keep winning and we won’t have to vote anyone off” mindset out the window. At least this season, the Double Tribal (all the wayyy…) came after the Tribes have merged, so it wasn’t as bad.

My Random Thoughts:

- To start this episode, Matt found his way back to Redemption Island, and congratulated himself on being “the most naïve person to ever play the game of Survivor.” Somewhere, Erik Reichenbach dropped his ice cream scoop, jumped up in the air and screamed “YESSSS!” Not so fast, Erik…you handing over that necklace to Natalie and then getting voted out still keeps you heavily on the top of the “Most Naïve” list.

- Back at camp, the Zapatera Five (or as I like to now call them "Dead Tribe Walking") were telling Rob what a great move he made voting Matt out. I agree that it was a great move, since Matt was the only person that Rob could be guaranteed wasn't playing an Idol last week, but I thought that the constant ass-kissing of Rob telling him how brilliant he was seemed unnecessary. Julie said it best when she described Rob as "cold blooded." Take it away Gus Johnson... (:27 mark)

- Ralph started talking to the Ometepe girls and asking if he was on the "chop block", before telling them  that he would vote for them and not Rob in the Final vote. Great strategy Ralph, no plan at all...not even an attempt to sway them to your side? Just "Is it me?" and "I'll vote for you" without offering anything in return. Ralph, I'd like to invite you to my next poker game.

He then went on to say “I have no clue what’s going on”, which I think means more than just that specific situation, and followed it up with “How can we play a game when we don’t know where to start?” That's what I've been saying for WEEKS about Zapatera! They have no clue how to play Survivor. None whatsoever. They might as well be on Temptation Island.

- Natalie has said nothing for weeks, and now the first thing we really hear from her, is her telling Rob that Ralph was in Ashley's ear and that Ashley wasn't planning on sharing that info with him. From silence to snitch in 15 seconds flat, and we don't know if she actually said that or not. I sure hope that Natalie was just making it up, because that will make her about 100 times more interesting.

- The first Immunity Challenge (with no reward, surprisingly) started with another classic Phillip rant, as he went on and on about his new feather that he found "out of thin air." Jeff even called him out on that, but he insisted that it was indeed "out of thin air" as opposed to...oh, I don't know...FROM A BIRD! He them went on to butcher his own Tribe name repeatedly, calling them Otempo and Otempe, which I'm guessing is a city in Arizona populated entirely by Irish people.
But more importantly, this challenge was a another Tile-Smash-A-Palooza, with 6 players advancing to Round 2 after smashing tiles, and 3 advancing to the final after another water-spitting game. 5 men and Julie predictably won the first part, with Grant, Mike, and David advancing to Round 3, which was a puzzle.
That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Puzzle Master Dave had advanced to the puzzle phase of this Immunity Challenge. Stop the show right now Jeff, just give the necklace to Dave...he's the DAMN PUZZLE MASTER. PERIOD. POINT BLANK.

Wait...we still have to do it?  Ok Jeff, if you say so...

And...Dave finishes THIRD.

That sound you heard was me laughing uproariously at Johnny Puzzlemaster shitting the bed in that challenge. Stick to Jenga in your law office, Dave.

-Grant won the challenge, and I have to say, I love the flashy glint they show on the Idol with the dramatic DING! They did it last week too when Jeff unveiled it, but it was awesome tonight as Grant was putting it on.

- Paranoia was setting in with "the Mariano crime syndicate", as Dave called them. Between the implementation of the Buddy System at camp, to the mad scramble digging for a non-existent Idol at the base of the Tribe flag, Rob was feeling it. I'm wondering if the Idol is actually back in the game. In the past, Jeff has announced at Tribal that it will go back in the game, but since he said nothing at the last Tribal Council, and Rob didn't know whether it was in again or not, I'd have to say it's not.

But then again, at the end of the first Tribal Council, Jeff told Zapatera that to get back into the game "you're going to have to keep digging." A clue to a potential Idol...or just typical Probst verbage? Food for thought.
- The only good thing about Redemption Island is how it has changed the strategy of who to vote out. You heard it with Ometepe tonight before the first Tribal Council, as they were not only talking about who needed to go, but who had the best chance to beat Matt at Redemption Island. A whole new layer to the game.

- At the First Tribal Council, I shielded my arachnophobic eyes once again from the GIANT HAIRY SPIDER as the teams were walking in. We were then treated to a wonderful panning-down camera shot of Phillip and his Feather-Headband...and for a moment it looked like Phillip winked at Jeff. So I (foolishly) backed up the pvr to see if I was right...and walked right into the DAMN SPIDER AGAIN! Idiot!

Phillip then ranted on and on about his great-great-grandfather, but I didn't catch most of what he was saying because I was noting how impressed I was that he finally said "Ometepe" correctly. I didn't understand why Zapatera chose to gang up on Phillip. If they view him as the bottom of that alliance, then he would be the logical choice to try and sway to their why would you verbally assault him and then vote for him? Didn't make much sense to me.

Phillip: “I enjoy being on the bottom.” I originally wasn't planning on making the obvious comment about that statement, until it was followed up with him saying“You’re the one that’s always getting the wood.” Nice try, Survivor editiors, but I won't take your cleverly disguised bait.

Mike was voted out, despite Ralph's stellar spelling continuing (Philite?), and Steve's reassuring pat on the back (seriously, does this guy do anything?) in a very anti-climactic Tribal Council, but let me ask you this: with Rob's paranoia so prevalent, how funny would it have been when Probst asked if anyone wanted to play an Idol, if someone from Zapatera stood up and said "I do, Jeff", just to see the look on Rob's face before saying "Just kidding!"

- One thing Phillip showed in this episode is that he is fiercely loyal, just like Coach was. Call them crazy, but they certainly are loyal. At this point, it would be a smart move for Rob to take him to the Final, but it seems like Phillip may be on to his plan. Maybe not as crazy as we thought?
- Ralph wanted to try and get in the ear of some of the Ometepe Tribe, but David (correctly) told him that if they wanted to do that, they would only have one shot to make progress. He was absolutely right, but why was that one shot Ralph talking to Phillip? Really? Is this what you want your"one shot" to be??? David was trying so hard to disassociate himself with that idiotic move, that all he could do was sit off to the side and wash his toes with water from his canteen.

- The second Immunity Challenge was a great one, because it was the new Survivor standard: Eat or Compete? I love this choice, and I think it's great that it has essentially replaced the old "pecking order" challenge that would always show up once the Tribes merged. The choices in these challenges always speak volumes.

I wasn't shocked that Phillip and Steve chose the burgers, because neither of them would have had a shot at that challenge. But the message Steve sent to everyone is that he is indeed just as lazy as he appears, especially after moaning how good the burgers were. On a side note, I loved that the burgers came PLAIN, with the condiments and garnish on the side to be added if you choose. Read my post on the horrors of condiments to fully understand my view on this.

Best exchange of the episode:
Probst: “No love lost between David and Phillip.”
David: “I’ve got no problem with Phillip.”
Phillip: “I’ve got LOTS of problems with David.”

Andrea won after Natalie and Ashley double-dropped to give her the win. Team solidarity, but it was irrelevant who won as long as no one from Zapatera won.

- At the second Tribal Council, Phillip went on another rant, this time about "Stealth R Us", which we learned about a couple of episodes back. I have to say that if you're going to reveal everything about it...then it's not really so stealthy anymore, is it now, Phillip? Neither is your Buddy System plan. You know Rob was sitting there thinking "My God he needs a muzzle."

David was smart to comment that maybe trying to win at Redemption Island was a better tactic because at least the odds are better than sitting at camp and watching the dramatic dismantling of Zapatera continue. Despite his humourous attempt at 4 votes on one parchment for Rob, David will get his wish as he joins Matt and Mike at Redemption (Non) Island.

But let's acknowledge the biggest story coming out of Tribal Council...that Ralph finally spelled someone's name right! I know it was only 3 letters, but you know that with Ralph, it was still touch and go.

- So, what's going to happen next week at Redemption (Non) Island? Will Matt duel Mike, and then the winner faces David? Or will the 3 of them compete at the same time with one winner? Not really a Duel, then, is it? We'll have to wait and see.

- To be honest, I don't think this was a planned Double Tribal episode. I just think that with the predictability of what happened, that instead of drawing it out over 2 weeks, they sandwiched 2 boring episodes together in one. Maybe not since we didn't see a Redemption (Non) Island Duel, but you never know. Your thoughts?

Next week: Steve vs Phillip…Old vs Crazy.

Survivor Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook or on Twitter, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Thanks for reading.

Related Posts:
Survivor Redemption Island Recap by Dalton Ross
Jeff Probst’s Blog
Spoiler TV Recap


Anonymous said...

Fun read Sean! I always enjoy your take on things (especially the captions!).


Michelle said...

I googled to see if anyone else noticed that Jeff gave what I also believe was a hint to wear an idol was hidden by saying "to survive, you have to KEEP DIGGING!" I believe Mike & David were correct that an idol WAS where the flagpole changed (or even where it USED to be), they just had to keep digging around for it.
Also, did you notice at the end of the 2nd tribal council, Jeff once again advised the Zapatera tribe by saying to stay alive, you're going to have to "CRACK" (and he paused after saying crack) the Stealth-R-US!"? I believe keep digging deeper & crack are both clues. I think we're going to keep seeing clues to the idol in this manner, by Jeff giving the hints at the end of each tribal. I'm actually surprised Rob didn't pick up on it.

Michelle said...

*where and idol, not wear! LOL, that's what I get for posting late at night when I should be in bed. There's probably a few more mistakes but the wear instead of *where made me cringe. LOL

Andrew said...

Michelle, I thought the very same thing! Jeff's words were carefully chosen, so I am sure this is the first time that they're giving verbal immunity idol clues (since Rob is apparently the only one looking for, and finding, the written ones)

M.T. said...

Phillip is growing on me, I think he is smarter and 'stealthier' than we give him credit for.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the fun read Sean!

Choirchick22 said...

I love how you always pretty much say everything on my mind about the episodes! I almost died laughing every time "Philite" opened his mouth. They should seriously stick him and coach on the amazing race.

Anonymous said...

I think Phillip is an actor. Leaving aside all the crazy stuff he says, he has the looks and voice.

Michelle said...

You had me laughing out loud over some of your comments.

I'm glad I read this because I hadn't noticed jeff saying the I think they are clues. I heard him...I just didnt interpret it the right way.

And I hate to comment on Ralph's spelling but I'm glad you do. I don't want to hurt his he reads my blog. LOL

Michelle said...

Quick question: where do you get your Survivor photos?

Aitutonga said...

Haha, I knew you would love David losing the puzzle.