‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Recap: ‘Boston’ Rob Shakes Up the Game

Last Week: Russell sold a new persona that no one seemed to buy. Kristina found an idol but trusted the wrong guy. And Francesca was sent to Redemption Island by an agent whose mouth was dry.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…

The Ometepe Tribe (wearing orange)

Andrea – 21, Student
Ashley – 25, Nurse
Grant – 29, Yoga Instructor
Kristina – 46, Law Student
Matt – 22, Pre-Med Student
Natalie – 19, Dancer
Phillip – 52, Technology Executive

The Zapatera Tribe (wearing purple)

David – 31, Defense Attorney
Julie – 50, Firefighter
Krista – 25, Pharmaceutical Rep
Mike – 31, Former Marine
Ralph – 45, Farmer
Sarita – 36, Visual Effects Producer
Stephanie – 26, Waitress
Steve – 51, Former NFL Player

Currently Residing on Redemption Island (wearing shame)

Francesca – 36, Attorney

We kick off the festivities with Francesca (Francesqua?) arriving at Redemption Island. For some reason she’s still annoyed with Secret Agent Man for selling her out. She has a great attitude though, saying that she could make a comeback and win the game. Yup, just win like 14* consecutive immunity challenges.

*That’s an estimate. I have no clue how many it’ll take.

Meanwhile, Boston Rob considers that Tribal Council to be one of the wildest ones he’s ever participated in. Double-0 Phillip pulls Rob aside to tell him that Rob owns his vote until he goes to Redemption Island. Apparently Phillip prefers to align with people with easily pronounceable names.

The next morning we meet up with Phillip and his fuschia underpants in the midst of a crab hunt. Phillip gives a heartfelt speech about how important his word is to him. He’s good enough, he’s smart enough, and dog-gone it, people like him.

Phillip punctuates his point by beaning a crab with a rock.

Fun Fact: Those crabs are everywhere in Nicaragua. You have to be careful not to stomp on them while walking around the forest.

Over at Zapatera, Ralph wakes the crew with a rooster crow. For some reason Russell takes this to mean Ralph is a moron.

Russell also lets us know that he wants to bring Krista on board as part of his dumb a— girl alliance.

The other part of his plan? Finding an idol. Russell rummages around, not caring if anyone sees him. They’ve seen Samoa, they know what’s up.

However, the same player Russell wrote off as a moron earlier beats him to it. Ralph uncovers the idol while digging in the rocks.

OK, seriously? What happened to Russell-proofing the idols?

Ralph describes finding the idol as being as easy as “wiping your (rear) with toilet paper.” Do you need a joke for that, or should we just move on? Let’s move on.

Back at Ometepe, Andrea and Matt are developing a bit of a showmance. Rob’s seen this tactic before and doesn’t like it. Matt won’t impress him until he marries her, has kids with her, and stars in 40 reality shows with her.

Rob and Natalie discuss their options and decide that if Phillip doesn’t go next, then Andrea should.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will swim out to a platform, jump off, smash a tile with a branch, and retrieve a key. Once five keys have been returned, the players will use them to unlock boxes that have balls in them. The players will then use the balls to smash another set of tiles. First team to smash all their tiles wins immunity and fishing gear.

Before the challenge gets started, Phillip vows to outlast any man in the game. When J-Pro (complete with sweet blue hat) asks him about the women, Phillip deadpans, “That’s another day. We’ll see.”


David will sit out for Zapatera.

Grant flies into the pool and gives Ometepe a lead. Ometepe retains that lead throughout the swimming portion. However, Stephenie takes the lead as Natalie has trouble unlocking her tribe’s boxes.

Ralph and Phillip pull tossing duties for their teams. Ralph jumps out to a huge lead, but Phillip uses his super agent powers to come roaring back. However, Ralph manages to win it.

Uh oh…Matt goes over and shakes Zapatera’s hands during their celebration. That does not sit well with Boston Rob.

Russell volunteers to carry the fishing gear back to camp knowing that the immunity idol clue is probably hidden in it. Sure enough Russell manages to pocket the clue, but not before Ralph catches him.

As Russell is sharing the clue with his lovely ladies, Mike and Ralph swing by to pay them a visit. Ralph calls Russell out on swiping the clue. Russell claims he doesn’t have it and lets them know that they’re either with him or against him.

You’re either hobbit or hobbait.

That sounded way better in my head. Sorry.

Over at Ometepe, Phillip holds his pre-Tribal Council speech saying everyone performed “galantrantly.” He regrets that he didn’t perform as well as they did.

Kristina breaks out her immunity idol and lets us know that she’ll be playing it at Tribal.  Smart move.

Rob meets with his alliance and they decide that Matt’s post-game handshake was too serious a breach of etiquette to ignore. So, it’s time for him to go home. Not such a smart move. You’ve just been beaten in two straight challenges. You need all the young blood you can get.

Afterwards, Rob takes Phillip aside to assure him that he doesn’t need to freak out at Tribal Council again.

NOOOOOOO!  Phillip freaking out at Tribal Council is all I have to look forward to now that Adam Wainwright’s elbow has ruined the Cardinals season.

(…I don’t want to talk about it.)

Rob tells Phillip that he’ll signal who Phillip should vote for by putting his hand on that person’s shoulder at Tribal. Rob considers this a test to see if Phillip can be trusted.

Quick Aside: People give Rob grief for not making it to the jury twice, but he gets this game. I disagree with this Matt move, but I see its merit. And this Phillip thing is genius. Two episodes in and I am crazy impressed.

That night at Tribal Council, Phillip flashes his many zoological tattoos and gives a little explanation speech for each one. Love him.

Boston Rob lets Phillip off the hook for losing the challenge.

Matt says it’s messed up to vote Phillip out over a single mistake. But that’s the game. He then says it’s like rain on your wedding day, or a free ride when you’ve already paid.

Phillip then lets us know that he’s OK with going to Redemption Island so he can square off against his nemesis. Oooooo…look out Francesqua.

As Jeff preps everyone to vote, Boston Rob puts his hand on Kristina’s shoulder. Kristina looks understandably freaked out.

Voting Time: Matt votes for Phillip, Phillip votes for Kristina (and says “Francesca” properly! No more dry mouth!) Kristina votes for Phillip, and the rest of the votes are secret.

Hmm…no Matthew votes.

Before Jeff can finish his spiel, Kristina stands up and hands him her idol. No Kristina votes will count.

Two votes for Kristina, two votes for Phillip, three votes for Matt, and the second person to be banished to Redemption Island is…Matt.

Ironically, he didn’t shake anybody’s hand as he left.

Verdict: Another strong episode. Can’t wait to see more of Zapatera though.

And, the more I think about it, the more I hate the Matt vote. First, they need all the challenge power they can get at this point. Second, Boston Rob had a good thing going as the leader of his merry band of Mouseketeers. Now, they’re all going to be watching their backs.

But, as long as it keeps Phillip around you’re not going to hear any complaints out of me. Well, any more complaints.

Who’s Going to Win? If David can see the benefit of teaming up with Russell, he’s going to be my pick to take it all.

Power Rankings Update: Sash clobbered me like an Ometepian swinging a branch at a brightly colored tile. He currently leads by a score of 13 to 5.

Any questions? Any comments? Drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes.

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