Before we get to the finale of Survivor: Redemption Island, make sure you know where we are by catching up with last week’s recap.
The finale begins on Night 35 at Redemption Island. Grant arrives, saying he didn’t think he would be voted out. It’s possible Rob or Phillip betrayed him, but he’s A-OK with that. Andrea didn’t want Grant showing up because the Duel will make her the under-underdog. Over at Murlonio, the final four Ometepes return to camp. Rob says he is sure Grant feels bad right now, but that’s the game. As much as Rob likes to think he’s a cold, calculating player, it still hurts to vote out his friend. Grant might be the only person to come back from RI that he might vote right back out. Ashley needs to go next in Rob’s opinion.
The next morning at RI, Matt feels really great. RI has become home for him on this 29th day for him on RI. Grant and Andrea get Tree Mail about the final Duel. They will be required to “dig deep.” Mike has been out on RI for 14 days, so he’ll miss it a bit. “RI purgatory is coming to an end,” he remarks. Matt says a prayer for all of them, and then runs through the stats of his game (seven days in the game proper, eleven RI Duels), and gives glory to God.
RI Arena. For the final Duel, each player will place a foot on one end of a balancing board with a vase on the other end. If their balance falters, the vase will crash to the ground. The last person with his or her vase unbroken rejoins the game. The other three become the fifth, sixth and seventh members of the Jury. Each player takes his or her position and the Duel begins. After 20 minutes, Grant starts to falter, as do Matt and Mike, but they recover. At the 40 minute mark, Grant tries to stretch his leg, but his vase falls, and he is out. One hour elapses, and Matt’s vase falls. After 36 days in the game, Matt fell short and became the sixth member of the Jury. Mike sways a bit, but recovers. When Andrea begins to lose her balance, Mike looks toward her, loses his balance, and eventually, his vase falls. Andrea stays alive and reenters the game!
The players congratulate Matt for his hard work. Grant is Juror Number Five and places his buff in the fire. Matt is Juror Number Six, places his buff in the fire and leaves to applause. He believes God’s will was ultimately done. Mike is the seventh member of the Jury. He, too, places his buff in the fire. He says it wasn’t meant to be, but that’s alright. Jeff brings the other players down to greet Andrea. Does she feel like part of the fivesome, when she was blindsided by them not too long ago? No, because now it’s an individual game. Rob confesses that as long as Ashley doesn’t win Immunity, Andrea gets to stay another day.
Day 36 at Murlonio. Andrea notes that no one is happy to see her. She doesn’t feel completely welcomed, but she needs to try something to stay in the game. Andrea tells the girls that the guys at RI told her that they thought all of the girls were Rob’s puppets. She then lies and say the guys were considering giving their final votes to Phillip. when Andrea leaves, Ashley asks Natalie if they are going to vote our Phillip if Andrea wins Immunity.
Rob and Phillip discuss how Ashley is telling them that they should vote out the other of the guys. Rob confides that Natalie is a pure soul and Ashley is corrupting that. He tells Phillip that they need to convince the girls they are voting for Andrea. The next morning it is time for the…
…Immunity Challenge. The players will race across a balance beam collecting bags of tiles numbered 1-100. Once they retrieve a bag, they must place the tiles in order on a game board. The first to have all 100 numbers in place wins Immunity. “Survivors ready…go!” Rob has first bag, but is quickly followed by the others. Rob gets his tiles (1-10) in order, followed by Andrea and Ashley. Rob is back with his second bag before Phillip returns to the beginning of the balance beam. The girls get back with their second bags, which contain twenty tiles each. Phillip falls off the beam and has to go back to the beginning. Ashley and Rob finish at the same time and hustle back for their third bags. Ashley and Rob work on their third bag’s tiles. Phillip is way behind and Natalie may as well sit down. Ashley goes for her fourth and final bag, and is back with the bag before Andrea and Rob can go for their last bags. There are forty numbers in the final bag. Rob and Andrea start working on their final set of pieces, but Ashley is on her final row. Ashley pops in the number 100 with Rob on 98. Ashley wins Immunity! She is at a loss for words because this win was so huge. Andrea confides that’s it. It makes sense to vote out Rob, so hopefully the girls will see that.
Day 37 and Murlonio returns to camp. Ashley wishes this Challenge was the Final Immunity Challenge. Rob tells Andrea, to her face, that he’s sorry, but she’s next. Rob tells the camera that Andrea is a hard worker who has good relationships, so it “seems like a no-brainer” to vote her out. He then confesses he has the HII, but he’s so in charge of the game that he doesn’t even need to use it.
Ashley tells Natalie that if it comes down to it in the next Tribal Council, she wants to make sure Phillip is the next one to go instead of her. They pinkie swear, but Phillip saw the whole conversation. When Rob gets back, Phillip gives him a full report. The guys have this whole conversation right in front of Andrea. Hearing this plotting, Andrea thinks there’s a chance she can make a play. She approaches the girls and tells them that she wouldn’t want to be up against Rob in the finals. It makes more sense to get rid of one of the guys. Rob and Phillip talk in the woods about the situation, while Natalie confides that it is tough because Rob will likely win if he gets into the finals.
Rob tells the camera that on Day 37, he can predict what the girls are going to do. He can dictate the vote as long as he has Natalie on his side. He doesn’t even need the HII. He likes to gamble, so he likely won’t play the HII at…
…Tribal Council. Jeff asks Rob how high the paranoia is. Very high, with lots of different stories and conversations floating around, he responds. Has Phillip been part of this conversations? Phillip replies that Jeff must have forgotten his name, the “Undercover Specialist.” Of course he’s been part of the conversations. Rob admits he asked Phillip to keep his ears open and listen to any grumblings that Rob might be voted out. Ashley says who wouldn’t want to take out Boston Rob? Jeff asks Andrea if it would make sense for the girls to band together. She answers that the Jury is smart and will reward payers who make a strong move, as opposed to how the girls have played so far. Natalie says it is obvious Rob is a strong player. Rob says Andrea is also strong with a lot of friends in the game.
With that, its time to vote. They do, Andrea votes for Rob, and Jeff collects the ballots. He asks if anyone wants to play an HII. Rob says his mother told him it is better to be safe than sorry, and gives Jeff the HII, so votes for him don’t count. The first vote is for Rob. The second is for Andrea, as is the third. Jeff reads the fourth vote, “The sixteenth person voted out of this game…Andrea!” Jeff snuffs her torch, and off she marches into the Blue Light of Death, bound for Ponderosa. Jeff offers his congratulations to the Final Four who will compete the next day in the Final Immunity Challenge.
Night 37 and the Final Four return to camp. Phillip suspected Rob had the HII, and thought he played it brilliantly. He can’t believe he is in the Final Four. Ashley says Andrea tried to throw her and Natalie under the bus by saying they didn’t play strategically, but she’s out of the game and they aren’t. When Phillip leaves for water, Rob gets the girls to swear their allegiance to him, which they do. The next morning arrives not with the loathsome Trail of Fallen Comrades montage, but with the…
…Final Immunity Challenge. For this final Challenge, the players will race through a huge (and quite awesome looking) maze for four bags of puzzle pieces. After collecting the bags, they will race to the top of a pyramid and use the pieces to solve a puzzle that says “Only You Are Safe” to win Immunity. “Survivors ready…go!” Ashley, smartly, follows Rob wherever he goes, while Natalie quickly gets lost. Ashley and Rob get their first bags, as does Phillip at another station. Natalie finally gets a bag, while Ashley and Rob find their second bags. Rob tries to lose Ashley, but they end up at their third station together. Phillip has slowed and Natalie is pretty much out of it (as she always is during Challenges (except for the first one, which she won, of course)). Rob finds the final station, and he successfully loses Ashley for a bit. Rob gets his final bag, but needs to figure out how to get atop the pyramid. Ashley grabs her final bag and makes her way to the pyramid as well. Jeff, in one last hysterical bit of Challenge commentary shouts out the status of the players: “Rob and Ashley have all four bags. Phillips has two. Natalie…one bag!” Rob climbs the pyramid with Ashley right behind. Natalie and Phillip are effectively out of the competition.
The pieces are like those middle school fortune tellers (if you don’t know what I mean, check out the credits for the fantastic comedy Community). Ashley solves the word “Only,” but removes it from her game board. She then gets “Safe” and places it on the board. Rob is lost so he asks if they can work together, but Ashley says she doesn’t have anything. Rob, peering at Ashley’s board, gets “You Are Safe,” with Ashley placing “Only You Are.” Rob drops the first word in and wins Immunity!!
Everyone celebrates, and Rob starts crying. He now gets to make his case why after four tries he deserves to win. Rob confesses that Amber encouraged him to play again. He did this for her and his daughter. Actually, no matter the outcome, he is satisfied. This is ironic because he only came back so he could win the game, finally. Now he just needs to decide which “of these other idiots” to take with him to the Final Three. He also must convince the Jury to give him a million dollars when his wife already won a million dollars.
Day 38. The members of Murlonio hug it out. Rob wants to make Phillip and Ashley feel like they are safe, but if he wants to get rid of Ashley he needs to get Natalie on board. Phillip disappears, so Rob tells Ashley that she shouldn’t sweat anything. Ashley confesses that she feels safe, but there is about 5% that worries. Natalie says she can’t wait to spend a Phillip-free day with Rob and Ashley.
Phillip talks with Rob and confirms Ashley is going. Natalie assures Ashley that she is safe. Rob worries that Ashley made too many friends with Zapatera. He tells Natalie that Ashley has to go, but she questions him. Rob says Ashley will win too many votes. He promised he would get Natalie to the end, which he has, so she should trust him here. Natalie confesses that she didn’t intend to make friends, but she did. Ashley asks Natalie if Rob said anything, but Natalie lies and says only that the plan to vote out Phillip is on. Natalie tells the camera that she would rather lose the game than lose a friend. So, who will she vote for at…
…Tribal Council. Jeff tells Ashley that losing the Challenge could have been a million dollar loss for her. He then turns to Rob and says he has a big vote. Ultimately, Rob replies, he wants to sit with people he thinks he can beat, but he doesn’t know what the Jury thinks about the moves he made. Natalie says they have all been together, and hopes that Rob thinks she should be next to him. Phillip says he was the Specialist, and won no Challenges. Ashley says that she could have thrown Rob under the bus but stayed loyal.
It’s time to vote. Phillip votes for Ashley and vice versa. Jeff collects the votes. The first vote is for Ashley, and the next is for Phillip. Vote Three is for Ashley. Jeff reads the final ballot: “The seventeenth person voted out of the game…Ashley!” Jeff snuffs her torch, and out of Tribal Council Ashley goes to become the final member of the Jury. “Boston Rob, Natalie and Phillip, you have gone as far in this game as you can go,” Jeff says. They have one more night under the stars of Nicaragua, so they should try to get some sleep. Ashley confesses that she really thought she wasn’t going home, which means she was probably an idiot. She knew she was Rob’s biggest threat, but she wouldn’t have changed anything about how she played.
Day 39. Phillip finally got to experience the feeling of “I did it.” His great-great grandfather Jessum came to him in a vision to help him through some hard times. He learned a great deal about himself: it’s OK to have a relationship with someone who has been dead since 1870. Now he just needs to convince the Jury he deserves the money.
The players find the Final Three Feast. Natalie says Survivor is the hardest thing she has done in her life. It has been about overcoming her fears. She needs to prove herself to the Jury, but she thinks she can win. Rob confesses that playing Survivor for 117 days over the last ten years is overwhelming. There is only one step he needs to overcome to win. He tells Natalie the errors he made in the past with the Jury, and what they should do to argue they are deserving of the money. Rob confesses that it may look like he’s giving pointers to Natalie, but he’s actually giving her pointers on how he wants her to play. Phillip says to Rob and Natalie that like all good things, this too must come to an end. With that, it is time for the…
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