I didn’t notice this until it was pointed out to me, but they’ve started adding a question mark to the end of Phillip’s occupation. Now he’s a “Former Federal Agent?”. If that’s not a stark indication of how much of a character this guy is, I don’t know what to tell you.
The actual duel was the least interesting thing to happen on Redemption Island this week. What is there to be said? Matt won pretty handily, and Kristina went home. What a storied career she had: she went from having an idol on Day One to being out of the game after the fourth vote. Unfortunately for the rest of Ometepe, she was the only one who could see Boston Rob coming.
Well, no, that’s not entirely true. Andrea has already been on the losing side of Rob’s whims once, and now that Phillip is slowly starting to wake up, the two of them have begun making nice. I’m not convinced this alliance of opportunity will go anywhere, though.
The real story is Krista and Stephanie, aka “Russell’s girls”, making it very clear to the opposing tribe that, whatever they think their numbers are, add two more. They are so fed up with Zapatera that they’re willing to defect only partway through the tribal game.
Unfortunately, that’s a game twist for another season.
Things on Zapatera are pretty copacetic, all things considered. Steve preaches about how the tribe is winning because they’re not backstabbing each other. Russell’s girls, meanwhile, are upset because no one on their tribe is “actually playing”.
Things are pretty boring, actually, right up to the immunity challenge. It was an old favorite of mine: the “blindfolded and bumpin’ into shit” challenge. Hooray! This variation of the challenge called for each tribe to pick a combination caller/puzzle solver, which favors Ometepe because Boston Rob is one of the loudest and puzzle-solvingest players to ever grace the game. Zapatera settles for Stephanie, who, well, is certainly loud.
Stephanie did fine on the calling part. Or, rather, would have done fine if several of her tribemates didn’t have caramel filling for brains. Every time Ralph bellowed about how he wanted to be told where to go, Stephanie lost a few seconds. Those few seconds add up, and Rob was able to use them to put together his word jumble in short order.
Aside: I sort of wish they didn’t show us the jumble solution beforehand. I’m curious to see if I could solve it myself in the time allotted.
Ometepe takes home immunity and reward: coffee, donuts, and other assorted niceties. I usually don’t mention reward, but I felt it was pertinent this week, because we got to see Phillip’s amazing Head Bob of Happiness:
Finally, Ometepe was privy to some neat idol clue shenanigans. Grant found it, Rob saw Grant find it, Rob tricked Grant into giving it to him, then found some pretense to get away from Grant and swap the new clue out with his old, worthless one. Result: Grant got shafted on the clue front, but he felt fantastic about it, and doesn’t know the idol is already in Rob’s pocket anyway.
Rob says he did this because “he has to entertain himself somehow!” Rob has officially lapped the rest of the players.
Zapatera cleanly blames Stephanie for their loss, which is stupid, because they should have blamed Boston Rob. David, the lawyer who is apparently quite good at solving puzzles, had a little meltdown about how butthurt he was about not being picked. Sarita tried to defend the decision, citing her wariness that the lawyer would have been able t perform under pressure. I got the distinct impression the tribe agreed to put Stephanie in the goat-seat specifically so they’d have an excuse to vote her out.
Instead, they voted Krista out.
Neither Krista nor Stephanie did much of anything to save themselves. In fact, they lamented a great deal about how there was nothing they could do. At tribal council they blamed the rest of the tribe for being terrible players. Steve (or someone?) shot back, “If we’re such bad players, how did we manage to take down one of the best players of all time?”
This was said completely unironically. As though every player on every season has had the benefit of two years’ worth of knowledge about their tribe before stepping off the boat. Unbelievable.
How did these non-players beat Russell? They watched him play twice. They watched him play, and decided they didn’t want him to play again. I’m not saying that was a bad move! It very well may have been the best move they could possibly have made. But making it doesn’t mark them as good players. It marks them as Survivor fanboys living out a fantasy.
I remember way back in 2000 NBC aired a “reality TV” episode of The Weakest Link. In this episode, all six players had starred on the very first season of Survivor. Without going into detail about what Weakest Link entailed, part of the show was voting contestants out each round. The first person voted out? Richard Hatch. Why? Because he won Survivor. Duh!
Congratulations, Zapatera. Your gameplan is about as evolved as a bunch of season one drop-outs on a cash-in gameshow.
Who’s gonna win? Rob.