‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Recap: Moon Over Ometepe

Last Week: Ralph almost let the cat (er…immunity idol) out of the bag, Phillip’s pink panties and power play annoyed Boston Rob, and Kristina was sent on an all expenses-paid trip to Redemption Island. [Watch last week’s episode here.]

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
Natalie – 19, Dancer
Phillip – 52, Technology Executive
Rob – 35, “Survivor” Hall of Famer

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 sadness)

Matt – 22, Pre-Med Student
Kristina – 46, Law Student

We kick things off with the Ometepians returning from Tribal Council.  Phillip asks Boston Rob to scoot over in the hut as they all cuddle up to go to sleep. Boston Rob is OK with this suggestion as long as Phillip has his underwear on. Phillip assures Rob that they are on, but that wouldn’t stop him.

Sorry, I had to go wash my brain out with soap.

The following morning, Rob is upset because he had to sleep with Phillip’s knee in his back. Well, he hopes it was his knee.

Rob realizes that everyone hates Phillip and that might be a reason to keep him around. Ahh…the old NaOnka strategy.

Over at Zapatera, Steve lets us know that his six-person alliance is super strong, but that he’d like to bring Krista and Stephanie on board. Not sure about that strategy, I can’t imagine either one of them wanting to be the seventh or eighth person on the totem pole heading into a merge. I’d assume they’d want to join Boston Rob’s Mouseketeers.

Invites for Redemption Island go out to both tribes. Zapatera sends Stephanie and Krista, while Ometepe sends Boston Rob and Grant. Apparently Stephanie wants to get word to Boston Rob that they’re ready to jump ship. Hey, I was right for once.

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Redemption Island Challenge:
The players will race to collect Tetris-esque puzzle pieces. The first person to fit those pieces into a cube gets to stay on Redemption Island.

Matt gets his pieces to the podium first, Kristina is right behind him. During the puzzle portion, Matt asks Rob why he voted him out. Rob responds that it takes more than one person to vote someone out.

Asking questions during a challenge? Focus, Daniel-san.

Anywho, it didn’t matter. Matt was able to complete the puzzle first and send Kristina on her merry way.

Matt says he’d love to get back to Ometepe. Krista and Stephanie let Rob know that they’d like to jump to Ometepe too. Rob isn’t sure if he believes them. If only he had a former federal agent who could read minds for him.

Afterward, J-Pro tells Kristina that she has to burn her buff. She doesn’t want to, but is told she has to. She must know what those things go for on eBay.

Back at Ometepe beach, Andrea is frustrated that Natalie and Ashley don’t do much around camp. She’d rather vote out those two before Phillip. Then we’re treated to footage of the girls showering. That’s how you compete with “American Idol,” shower footage.

Phillip pitches Andrea the idea of teaming up with her if Matt can make it back into the game.

Speaking of which, Rob and Grant return from their stay on Redemption Island. Rob jokes with the tribe, originally saying Kristina won. Seriously, I bet that was a test to see how Andrea would react.

On the way back to Zapatera, Steph fills Krista in on her plan. She thinks their best bet is to keep winning challenges and then to join up with Rob after the merge. Makes sense, but any strategy that relies on winning challenges is troublesome. What if the challenge is Red Sox trivia or lie detecting?

Immunity Challenge Time: One person from each team will be a caller, the others will be blindfolded. The caller will have to lead the blindfolded members through a maze to collect bags of puzzle pieces. Once all four bags have been retrieved, the caller will use the pieces to solve a word puzzle. First tribe to unscramble the words wins immunity, coffee, and pastries.

Steve and Julie will sit out for Zapatera.

Stephanie will be the caller for Zapatera. Krista thinks she’ll be good at it because she’s so bossy. David is concerned because he thinks he’s better at puzzles.

Boston Rob is going to be the caller from Ometepe.

Not much to explain here. The highlight is easily Ralph freaking out when Stephanie is busy leading other people and then not knowing his left from his right when she starts telling him where to go.

Ometepe gets all of their bags first, but Boston Rob accidentally loses one of the pieces. Stephanie manages to take the lead by opening the bags faster than Rob. Rob eventually finds his lost piece and it looks like the two are pretty even.

During all of this, the Zapaterans are realizing that they should have let David do the puzzle.

Rob completes the puzzle first, winning immunity and goodies for his tribe.

Back at Ometepe, the tribe is enjoying their donuts. Phillip says he’ll trade half of a donut for a massage. For some reason nobody takes him up on it.

Grant and Rob find an immunity idol clue in the coffee. Rob swaps the clue with his original clue so Grant won’t know there ever was a first clue. Yeah, Rob’s on a different level than the rest of Ometepe right now.

Meanwhile, the Zapatera Six are discussing the afternoon’s challenge. Sarita defends picking Stephanie to be the caller because she doesn’t think David does well under pressure. David takes this the wrong way and throws a minor fit. David decides that he will be doing puzzles from now on. However, Sarita is still allowed to play with Lincoln Logs and Chutes and Ladders.

Politicking around the camp comes down to Krista vs. Stephanie. Although, Sarita lets us know that she wouldn’t mind if David goes home because she doesn’t trust lawyers. Well, you can’t argue with that logic.

Stephanie would like to see Steve go home because he doesn’t help around camp and he isn’t an athlete. Wait, NFL Steve isn’t an athlete?

That night at Tribal Council, Krista compares Zapatera to a Brady Bunch camping trip where they aren’t talking about strategy and have brought two step children along. Does that make Probst Alice?

Mike thinks the Zapatera Six have been playing the game, but Krista hasn’t been reaching out to any of them.

Krista then says the sub-alliances within the Brady Bunch are Steve and Mike, Julie and Steve, Sarita and Ralph, and the youngest one in curls.

Stephanie doesn’t think she should be booted over one challenge as she’s given her all in other challenges.

Voting Time: No votes are shown…boo…

Two votes for Steve, four votes for Krista…and the fifth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Krista.

War Eagle, Krista. War Eagle.

Verdict: I’m thinking there’s a lot we didn’t see there as Stephanie seemed like the more disruptive of those two.

Kind of a down episode after last week’s Russell bombshell. But there are still half-dozen fascinating characters and Boston Rob is playing a really solid game.

Who’s Going to Win?
We’ve been giving David a lot of credit as a Fishbach/Cesternino-esque strategist, but his little snit with Sarita seemed really unnecessary. That, and he wasn’t outted in any of those sub-alliances. So, for right now I’m going to lean…toward…um…Julie?

Power Rankings Update: Apparently great minds think alike. Sash picked Matt to win, I picked Matt to win. Sash had Krista in spot 12, I had Krista in spot 12. The current score is now Team Sash 51, Team Gordon 47.

Any questions? Any comments? Our commenting system is down for the time being, but feel free to drop me a line on Twitter at @gordonholmes or chat with fellow “Survivor” fans at the XFINITY TV Facebook page.

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