‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Recap: The Crispy Rice Incident

Last Week: Grant dominated a challenge, proving he’s quite good at games, Phillip made an imaginary alliance and handed out nicknames, and David’s attempt to save Stephanie went down in flames.

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, Former Federal Agent?
Rob – 35, “Survivor” Hall of Famer

The Zapatera Tribe (wearing purple)

David – 31, Defense Attorney
Julie – 50, Firefighter
Mike – 31, Former Marine
Ralph – 45, Farmer
Sarita – 36, Visual Effects Producer
Steve – 51, Former NFL Player

Currently Residing on Redemption Island (wearing very little in common)

Matt – 22, Pre-Med Student
Stephanie – 26, Waitress

We start off over at Zapatera beach after Tribal Council where David is telling Sarita that he doesn’t trust her, but he doesn’t have a problem with her. I’d consider not trusting someone a problem. But, I’m sensitive.

Sarita tries to make peace, but David isn’t having it. What’s with people not knowing when to make nice this season? David’s on the bottom of this alliance, he should be everybody’s buddy. Andrea gets it, why doesn’t he? It’s like David has come down with a case of Stephanie-itis.

Speaking of Stephanie, she’s at Redemption Island telling Matt about the food she can’t wait to eat. He’s ready for the challenge to start, because Stephanie would rather talk about chocolate shakes and snickerdoodles than God.

Invitations go out for Redemption Island, Phillip wants to go with Rob so he can keep an eye on him. Phillip compares his strategy to a book by famous Japanese horseman, Miyamoto Musashi.

For real! Does Phillip’s Coach impersonation know no bounds? Can I pitch Coach vs. Phillip for next season? Can we call it “Survivor: I-Have-No-Idea-What-to-Believe Island”?

Rob has a similar plan. He wants to keep Phillip close so he can keep him out of trouble. He refers to him as the most unaware person he’s ever met in his life.  Wait, Rob and Coach were on the same tribe. Maybe Coach is doing a Phillip impersonation?

In other news, David and Ralph will attend the challenge for Zapatera.

Redemption Island Challenge: The players will flip tiles looking for matching symbols. First person to match five pairs wins.

Matt goes first and finds a match with two random symbols.

Stephanie follows this up by finding a match with two random symbols.

Both go again and have no luck.

Matt gets the next match.

Steph misses with her next turn.

Note: It’s at this point that it occurs to me that I’m basically doing play-by-play for a great big game of Memory. My parents are so proud.

Both of them find matches on their next try.

Matt gets another match.

Steph answers with a match of her own.

The current score is Matt 4, Steph 3.

Matt fails to get his next one…as does Stephanie.

Matt finishes her off, finding a final match.

I know it’s too late to make challenge suggestions, but maybe they could do a big game of Operation using the Jack Black “Gulliver’s Travels” dolls from last season.

Before Stephanie heads off, she tells Ralph that Zapatera will be in trouble if they don’t get rid of Sarita. She then warns Rob that they’re going to be gunning for him. She’s like a little, adorable Russell.

J-Pro asks Phillip what he thinks of Matt. Phillip says that Matt is a samurai warrior and follows the bushido code.

And…I’m officially out of Coach/Phillip jokes. Feel free to make up your own.

When Rob and Phillip are on their way back to camp, Phillip asks Rob if he wants to share all of the information with the tribe. Rob says he wants everyone to be open so they can remain a solid unit. Later, Rob confesses that he’s glad Phillip asked about that so he can use it against him. Rob is convinced that Phillip is ready to flip.

Rob relays this little tidbit to the rest of his tribe while Phillip takes a break to climb a tree. To punctuate Rob’s point, Phillip promptly falls out of the tree.

Phillip’s fun.

Over at Zapatera, the Brady Bunch has decided that David is going to be bad luck after the merge like a Hawaiian tiki idol. I wonder if anyone under 30 gets that joke.

Back at Ometepe, the tribe is fighting over the crispy rice at the bottom of the pot. Apparently this is some kind of “Survivor” delicacy like cherry Starburst jelly beans.

What? They’re totally the best ones.

It seems like Rob is a big fan of the crispy rice and the girls were saving it for him. However, Phillip only had non-crispy rice.

No, I’m not making this up.

As you’d expect, this lack of crispy rice respect sends Phillip over the edge. He feels like all of the tribe members should have equal access to the crispy rice. In fact, as the oldest member of the tribe, he deserves more crispy rice than everyone else.

It never fails, after twenty two seasons, “Survivor” always comes down to food.

Immunity Challenge Time: Both tribes will rush through a series of poorly described obstacles and collect bags of balls along the way. At the end, they’ll shoot those balls into a basket. The first tribe to sink all six balls wins immunity and a super fun picnic.

Both teams are dead even until they have to retrieve their first bag from a large corkscrew. Rob ingeniously tries a tetherball-esque method and gets the bag quickly.

Ometepe maintains this lead until Phillip gets caught climbing through a ropes course. Next to him falling out of the tree, this is the second funniest bit of physical comedy he’s done this episode. Dick Van Dyke would be proud.

At the second large cockscrew obstacle, David uses Rob’s technique to give Zapatera a lead, while Rob accidentally pushes the bag the wrong way.

Things even up once it comes to the hoop shooting. In fact, the score was tied five to five until Grant sank the final shot to give Ometepe the win.

After a commercial break, we meet up with the victors as they enjoy a picnic on the edge of an active volcano. Rob, of course, immediately figures out where the clue is and snatches it up. During a confessional, he explains that he doesn’t need the clue and throws it into the volcano. Wait, what’s he gonna tell Grant?

Early consensus around the Brady Bunch seems to be that it’s David’s turn to go home. However, Ralph and Steve were both impressed with how well David did in the tetherball portion of the challenge, so Sarita could be in trouble.

That night at Tribal Council, Ralph makes an excuse as to why the tribe didn’t win immunity.

J-Pro busts out some Mad Libs for David and asks him to finish the sentence, “Excuses are for ___.”

David promptly responds, “Losers.”

Ralph shrugs it off, saying he must be a loser.

Finally, Ralph and I agree on something.

Again, Probsty brings up the Curse of the Thrown Challenge. Julie seems to buy into it. Does anyone else remember the challenge they won a few weeks ago?

Jeff asks Ralph how important it is for the group to be cohesive. Ralph responds that he doesn’t know what “cohesive” means.

Again, I am not making this stuff up. If you missed the episode you can watch it on XFINITY TV the morning after it airs.

Jeff doesn’t have a dictionary handy, so he changes tactics, asking Ralph if he’d rather have a team of strong players that doesn’t get along, or a team that’s less strong and gets along.

Ralph chooses the stronger team, Steve disagrees.

Voting Time:
Sarita votes for David, David votes for Sarita, and the rest of the votes will wait until some serious tallying takes place.

Fortunately, Jeff Probst is just the guy to perform such tallying. One vote for Sarita, two votes for David, two votes for Sarita…and the seventh person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Sarita.

Verdict: I was getting ready to type that all of the eliminations have been predictable, but then David threw us that curveball. I think I underestimated him. Well played, Mauer.

That said, I’m ready for mergeville (which we will see next week, along with the Redemption Island winner returning to the game). With Andrea, Phillip, Matt, Sarita, and David as possible flippers, it should be interesting.

Who’s Going to Win? Still anybody’s ballgame at this point. But I’m still liking Julie as my dark horse.

Power Rankings Update: Both Sash and I had Matt as the Redemption Island winner. He had Sarita in spot 11, I had her in spot 9. So, Sash added two points to his lead. The score is now Team Sash 76, Team Gordon 69. On Twitter, I was bested by both @SherriErwin and @JohnSActon.

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 “Survivor” Hall of Fame Facebook page.

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