Survivor: Redemption Island 22.05 “We Hate Our Tribe” Recap

If you missed the final ouster of one Russell Hantz last week, get all the details with last week’s recap.

As rain pounds on Night 11, Ometepe returns to camp after Tribal Council. Phillip expected the way the vote turned out. Rob is running the show and Phillip knows he is the odd man out. The next morning, Rob says Phillip is bothering everyone. “He’s completely off his rocker,” Rob notes. Then again, as long as Phillip is aggravating everyone else, it takes any heat off of Rob, so maybe Phillip needs to stay.

The next morning at Zapatera, Steve says that the spirits of the tribe are high as long as they are excelling at Challenges. He says his alliance of six is rock solid, so maybe they should try to bring Stephanie and Krista into the fold to make sure they don’t flip at The Merge. After the drawing of lots, Stephanie and Krista are set to go to Redemption Island Arena. Julie confesses that she doesn’t think the girls are a threat anymore with Russell gone. On their way to the Arena, Stephanie and Krista decide to tell the other tribe they are ready to flip.

RI Arena. Rob and Grant arrive for Ometepe, as Matt and Kristina enter for the Duel. They are to collect puzzle pieces to build a 3×3 cube with a pattern on the outside. Jeff begins the Duel and both players begin to lug the pieces over to a pedestal. Kristina struggles with the weight of the pieces. Jeff says Matt is looking good and getting closer to the solution, but is wrong and has to start over completely. Kristina then has to start over, too. While competing, Matt asks Rob why he was voted out. Rob says it doesn’t take one person to vote someone out, avoiding the question expertly. Matt gets close again, and then slides in the final piece. “Matt stays alive!” After the Duel, Jeff asks Matt if he learned anything from his chat with Rob. He replies that he thought he was tight with Rob and Grant and that should he come back, he will stay true to Ometepe. Stephanie pipes up that she wishes she felt that way about her own tribe. Jeff, seizing on this statement, says that it is great to have people willing to flip. Rob agrees, if the Zapatera girls are telling the truth. They swear they are indeed telling truth. Jeff tells Kristina that she will earn no Survivor redemption, so she burns her buff and leaves. Jeff dismisses the remaining players, and Rob tells the girls to “hang in there.”

Back at Ometepe, while Rob and Grant are gone, Phillip is having funny day. He just can’t seem to make an impression on the ladies of the tribe. The girls remind him of crabs, especially Natalie and Ashley: it’s hard to approach them and they can be dangerous. Andrea is more approachable but wary of Phillip because she doesn’t want to upset Rob. Ashley misses Grant and Rob so the have to make Phillip and Andrea feel like they’re part of the group. Andrea says Natalie and Ashley don’t do very much, but she has to hang out with them. Unfortunately, their conversation always goes to superficial things. Andrea would love to get rid of the girls before Phillip, but she can’t bring it up without winding up on chopping block.

Phillip finally does approach Andrea and tells her that she’s “the best female worker” there (which, is actually a bit demeaning, no?). He says he’s stuck because he hasn’t connected with any of the younger ladies. Andrea asks if he has ever tried to throw her under the bus, to which he replies, “Never.” In fact, if Matt comes back from RI, Phillip think that the three of them should be an alliance because Rob backstabbed Matt. Rob and Grant return from the RI Arena. Phillip confides that Rob is the king. This king, however, is a dictator and he [Phillip] is a lord waiting to replace the king. Over at Zapatera, Krista and Stephanie don’t want to go back, but they decide that they will hang on as Rob instructed. They will tell the tribe everything that happened at the Arena, except that they are two votes for Rob.

The next day, Day 13, Steve says that if they always put the team first, Zapatera will keep winning. Krista confesses that all anyone talks about is how awesome they are, never any strategy. Mike confesses that he knows the girls are plotting against the rest of the tribe, but he doesn’t see how it plays into the game at this point. Julie tells the camera that the tribe is a little overconfident. She’s superstitious and worried about the karmic effects of throwing that…

…Immunity Challenge. For this Challenge, one person is a caller while the others are blindfolded. The caller will guide the tribe through a maze to collect four bags of puzzle pieces. When all of the pieces are returned to the start, the caller will arrange the pieces to solve a word puzzle. The winners will receive Immunity and a Reward of pastries, donuts, coffee and tea. Steve and Julie sit out for Zapatera. Stephanie is the caller for Zapatera because she’s bossy, and since Rob is good at puzzles he will call for Ometepe. “Survivors ready…..Go!”

Mike quickly grabs a bag for Zapatera, and Grant gets one for Ometepe. Sarita snatches a bag, followed by Krista securing bag number three for Zapatera. Grant gets the first Ometepe bag back to the start while Ashley finally grabs bag number two for Ometepe. Sarita and Krista return bags two and three back to the start. Grant finds Ometepe’s third bag. Mike finally brings back the first Zapatera bag. Ashley brings back Ometepe’s second bag, followed by Grant bringing back the third Ometepe bag. Grant grabs the fourth Ometepe bag, and while Ralph snags the fourth for Zapatera, Grant find the start table, allowing Rob to start the puzzle. Ralph rushes back to the mouth of the maze, meaning Stephanie can start on the puzzle. Stephanie actually zooms past Rob and gets her bags open first. Rob then unknowingly drops a piece beneath his puzzle table. He notices the missing piece, picks it up, and the recognizes something in the puzzle. Steve doesn’t think Stephanie is smart enough for the puzzle; the caller should have been David. Rob switches around a few letters and thinks he has the solution: “The sweet taste of victory.” Ometepe wins Immunity and Reward! Stephanie cries as Jeff hands out the Reward and Immunity Idol. As they head back to their beach, Julie confesses that they really won because now they can get rid of Stephanie or Krista.

Post-Challenge, Ometepe feasts on donuts and muffins. Ashley can’t choose a favorite because she loves muffins in general. Phillip offers a donut for a massage but, surprisingly, he has no takers. Grant looks in the jar of coffee beans (do they have a grinder?!?) and sees a Hidden Immunity Idol clue. He makes a point of having Rob sniff the coffee, and the latter gets the hint. Grant sets a pick so Rob can go off into the woods with the jar. With Grant distracting the tribe, Rob quickly swaps the clue with the first clue he received to show Grant. Grant asks him if he found the HII, but of course, he denies it. They agree to bury the clue. Rob is thoroughly entertained by his ability to snooker Grant. He has to entertain himself out there.

Over at Zapatera, Sarita understands everyone’s frustration with Stephanie’s performance in the Challenge and desire for David to do the puzzle, but she thinks Stephanie was a better choice because David gets frazzled under pressure. David takes exception with this, retorting that he deals with pressure every day for his job. Maybe his intensity just clashes with Sarita’s personality. David finally declares that he will do all the puzzles from here on out. For his part, Steve is upset with his whole tribe for not letting David solve the puzzle, not Stephanie. Mike confesses that he can’t trust either of the girls, but he might put Stephanie up first because she foundered at the Challenge. Julie tells Sarita that she wants to keep working on Stephanie as a potential ally. On the other hand, she just doesn’t like Krista, so she can go. Sarita says she doesn’t trust David because he’s a lawyer, and is therefore only out for himself (Hey! I’m a lawyer!). Then again, the girls doomed themselves from the beginning, by separating themselves from the rest of the tribe. Stephanie wants Steve out because he brings nothing to the tribe. Krista says the tribe’s lackadaisical attitude is going to bite them in the end because no one is playing the game; no one is thinking about The Merge. If she were a betting woman, her money says none of them are going to make it to end. “I just wish I was going to be around to see it,” Krista concludes before heading to…

…Tribal Council. Jeff comments to Krista that the last time they were at Tribal Council, Russell was voted out, and she was vocal that it’s just her and Stephanie versus everyone. Is that still the case? Krista replies that it is, and that it seems like it’s just the Brady Bunch going camping, with no one playing the game. Sarita says that they have been playing so fast and furious that they got out one of best players ever in Russell. Mike says Krista is the one who hasn’t played a strategic game because she hasn’t reached out to anyone and is generally abrasive. Krista replies that no one is thinking about later in the game when they will have to start voting each other out and plan for the Jury’s vote. Jeff asks if Krista is implying that there are no smaller alliances within the tribe. Krista answers by calling out those smaller alliances: Mike and Steve, Julie and Steve, and Sarita and Ralph. David is alone, so maybe he should jump on aligning himself with Krista and Stephanie. Mike assures Jeff that everyone is strategizing, it’s just that Krista hasn’t been privy to their strategy. Jeff says it is clear either Krista or Stephanie is going to go, and asks Steve which do they keep. Steve replies by noting he wanted David doing the puzzle. Stephanie defends herself, saying she hopes they realize she’s trying hard. She finishes by telling Jeff that she and Krista have to keep their faith in each other alive because of the possibility of returning through RI.

It’s time to vote. The players do, and Jeff collects the ballots. The first two votes are for Steve, and the next two are for Krista. Vote Five is for Krista. Jeff reads Vote Six, “The fifth person voted out of Survivor: Redemption Island…Krista!” Jeff snuffs her torch and she marches off into the Blue Light of Death to make her way to RI. Jeff dismisses Zapatera by noting that the good news is that this was an easy vote. The bad news is that Krista didn’t go quietly. What damage did she do to the alliances within the tribe?

Next Time On…Survivor!

At Redemption Island, Matt’s winning streak is in trouble, and Natalie and Ashely’s spa day causes Phillip to have a meltdown.

As far as next episode is concerned, to be honest, I’m not expecting much. At least, I’m not expecting much in the strategy/game-play aspect of the game. Both tribes have, at this point, obvious nominees for ouster (Phillip and Stephanie). It’s possible that Stephanie could muster a coup within Zapatera, but I doubt it will happen. If it’s true that Phillip loses his mind again next week, I think it’s pretty safe to assume he will be voted out next at Ometepe, regardless of Rob’s desire for Phillip to be his human shield. Combine this with what is certain to be Matt’s victory at the RI Duel (the preview clip is a classic reality TV misdirect), next week’s episode shouldn’t be all that exciting. I sure hope I’m wrong though!

Odds to Win

Well, another one of my pre-season favorites bites the dust. Krista showed a little bit of spunk at that Tribal Council, but she could never recover from aligning herself with Public Enemy Number One, Russell. Sometimes the best laid plans, and all that. Let’s see how Krista’s ouster, and the other events of the evening effected the Odds:

Mike: 3-1. It’s never helpful when someone on your tribe calls out your “secret” alliance, but I’m sure it’s clear to everyone on Zapatera that Mike and Steve get along pretty well. With David and Sarita starting to butt heads though, Mike is still doesn’t pop up on anyone’s radar, so he should be safe for a while.

Grant: 6-1. With Ometepe winning a Challenge, and keeping their numbers, it just makes it all the more likely someone from Ometepe can win the whole shebang. I have to imagine that someone will figure out to knock off Rob at some point. That would give cover for his lieutenant, Grant, to win some Individual Immunities and take home the prize.

Steve: 7-1. Steve is still sitting pretty over at Zapatera, but if what Stephanie says is true, that Steve doesn’t really do anything around camp, that could irk members of the tribe. Further, Steve’s general feelings of superiority are starting to show through, and if they become more vocal, it could lead to a falling out, putting him in danger.

Julie: 10-1. I am hesitant to move Julie up based on some rather stupid comments during tonight’s episode. Namely, she said that her tribe really won the Challenge because now they had the opportunity to vote off Stephanie or Krista. No, your tribe never wins by reducing their numbers. Moreover, this is coming from a woman who just earlier in teh episode was still worrying abou the karmic effects of throwing a Challenge. All that said, however, she has no target on her, and if anyone could roll off a few Individual Immunity wins in a row, it’s Julie.

Ashley: 15-1. Ashley is starting to move into rather annoying territory for me. If there is one type of Survivor player I really can’t stand, it’s the pretty girl who does absolutely nothing and rides on other people’s coattails. Plus, I think she thinks this is a great strategy, when really she’s just not trying. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this type of player win before (see Natalie from Survivor: Samoa), so I can’t count Ashley out as a possible winner. She’s certainly not as bad as Natalie though.

Rob: 17-1. It really is a pleasure to watch Rob play Survivor. Swapping out the new, more explicit HII clue for the first, more vague clue was absolutely brilliant. There was the possibility that Rob was getting too complacent, and not really paying attention to the game, but that move proves Rob’s head is 100% in the now. He’s thinking of every possibility and contingency, and is moves ahead of everyone else. With the HII in hand, the only thing that can bring him down is a complete blindside, but can you see anyone on his tribe successfully manufacturing that? Me either.

Andrea: 18-1. Andrea is smart. Andrea knows how to play the game. She got screwed by Rob because she was friends with Matt. If Ometepe can win two out of the next three Immunity Challenges, and Andrea can make The Merge (assuming Phillip is voted out if Ometepe has to go to Tribal Council), she will have a whole new lease on life in the game, and I think she is smart enough to take advantage of that situation.

Ralph: 23-1. There was very little Ralph this episode, save his not knowing his right from his left. This is a good thing for Ralph. The less attention he draws to himself the better because he certainly stole the spotlight in earlier episodes. I still think his ego is going to be his downfall, but for now, he stays put.

Natalie: 40-1. I have to make Natalie’s odds a bit better simply because Ometepe won a Challenge. Further, Jeff Probst keeps tweeting and commenting on how smart of a game and how tough Natalie is playing. Would he be saying this if she didn’t make it pretty far into the game? God, I hope he’s pulling our leg because she’s more annoying than Ashley.

David: 50-1. And so it begins. David’s ego is super-sized, as was evident from his pre-season videos. This dude thinks he’s smarter than everyone, plus, he’s very defensive of his own ability. His attitude is going to get him in trouble, and should he not regulate himself, Rob is going to put him square in the cross-hairs come The Merge. Rob will not abide someone who thinks himself smarter than he is.

Matt: 55-1. It’s still a large mountain to climb, but Matt is already halfway there. He really should have no problem with Krista, and as I mentioned above, the tease that he runs into trouble at the next Duel seems like a complete fake-out. So far, Matt seems to be dealing with the boredom and lack of provisions at RI quite nicely. Let’s see if that can continue.

Sarita: 60-1. And so it begins. Sarita believes that a free exchange of ideas is the best way to deal with people. Why not helpfully critique someone’s attitude and ability to deal with pressure? Sarita has begun to step in the proverbial pile, and unless she checks herself quickly, she is going to be the first of the Zapatera alliance to say goodbye.

Stephanie: 110-1. Stephanie is clearly a firecracker. She knows how to start trouble, and is certainly trying to outwit everyone out there. Her problem, however, is that her first strategic move was completely wrong: aligning with Russell. She could well be an asset to someone, but no one is willing to give her a chance because she branded herself with a scarlet “R”. She made a great move in telling Rob and Grant that she will flip at The Merge. While that may save her for a couple votes come that time, 1) she is likely the next to go if Zapatera has to go back to Tribal Council, and 2) flipping will only put her at the bottom of Rob’s alliance. Yes, a smart flipper can get all the way to the end, but I don’t think Stephanie is that good.

Phillip: 500-1. Well, at least seeing Phillip have a breakdown next week should be fun, right?

Krista: 1,000-1. Does anyone think she can win four Duels in a row, and then find someone willing to take her on as a partner? I thought not.

Alright folks, that was this week’s Survivor. What did you think of the episode? Do you like Stephanie’s move to tell Rob and Grant about her dissatisfaction with her tribe? Is Rob the smartest player in Survivor history? Will David’s ego be his downfall? Please leave your questions, comments and theories below. I’ll be back next week with another recap. Until then, I’m off to sleep with my underwear on.

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Email: michael@tvovermind.com

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