Survivor: Redemption Island (week ten)

Survivor: Redemption Island

Maybe it’s just the lighting, but Matt is starting to look a little bit like Jesus out there.

Ahem. Let’s talk rice.

Oh my god, games of Suvivor have been won and lost on cups full of rice. At one point in the game, Ometepe and Zapatera had about the same amount of rice. Of course, because their merge was a merge in name only, each team kept their own rice canister. You had the Ometepe rice and the Zapatera rice, and right after the merge, probably nobody thought much of it.

But then they started throwing Zapateras out of the game, one after the other. So you had a smaller amount of people eating from the Zapatera rice canister. And so now you have Julie, Ralph and Steve eating from one can, and Rob, Ashley, Andrea, Grant, Natalie and Phillip eating from another. The result (duh) is that Ometepe’s individual rations are much, much smaller than Zapatera’s.

Phillip absolutely flipped out at this turn of events. He was livid when he discovered, for example, that he was only getting two scoops of rice every day, while the “losers” were each getting seven.

Things heated up when Ometepe noticed maggots writhing around in the bottom of what was left of their rice. Phillip responded by pouring all the rice onto a blanket and throwing away the tainted canister. While the Ometepe girls separated the maggots from the grains (I can hear Richard Hatch here saying, “That’s good protein!”), Phillip went over to Steve to negotiate terms for putting everyone’s rice into Zapatera’s canister.

Steve, in a polite but firm manner, told Phillip no. No, Ometepe would not be allowed to touch their rice.

Let’s pause a minute. Was this a dick move on Steve’s part? Sure. But, you know, he had a pretty good case: if there really is such a thing as a “Murlonio” tribe, why are the ex-Zapateras excluded from Ometepe’s reindeer games? Why won’t anyone cut a deal with them to shake up a vote? Why are they outcasts and enemies?

If the game is two separate tribes still, and by all indications Phillip and his alliance have made sure it is, why should Steve’s tribe jeopardize their rice supply?

Now, whether Steve saw an opening to use his rice later as a potential bargaining chip, or whether he just wanted to see Ometepe suffer, I don’t know. I couldn’t fault him either way.

Phillip responded by going absolutely apeshit. He threatened to steal the Zapatera rice canister as soon as they were asleep. He stomped and heaved and threw up his arms. He accused Steve of being a racist. He threatened violence. Everyone on the beach was absolutely stunned.

Hoping that a second Phillip meltdown might convince some Ometepe members to flip on him, Julie stole his shorts off the clothesline and buried them. Again, whether she thought this would legitimately improve her position in the game, or whether she just thought it was funny, I do not know. But it worked like a charm. Phillip stomped and heaved and threw up his arms, only now he did so while wearing his adorably pink briefs.

The meltdown, the shorts, the race card… Phillip Phillip Phillip. That’s what dominated tribal council. The man is self-destructing out there in the most impossibly entertaining way imaginable. I keep half-expecting him to grow another head. And the whole while Rob keeps smiling to himself: as long as Phillip is bursting into flames, nobody is looking at him. “One man should not have this much power on an island,” he said in a confessional, “but I’m grateful that I do.”

Rob isn’t worried about rice. He knows rice can only lose the game for you if you let it. The guy who Gets Mad About Rice never wins. Rob wants to win, so he’s not that guy. Q.E.D.

The actual game game wasn’t as interesting. Three way duel, David lost, he’s first juror. Sorry your tribe sucked, dude. Julie got voted out at tribal council, gloating about Phillip’s panties. Two Zapateras left, world keeps spinnin’.

Who’s gonna win? Instead of throwing people off Redemption Island one by one, they’re starting to stack them up there. I think Rob is looking very carefully at who’s over there, and considering the possibility he may have to face them head on again. He said, very pointedly, that David and Mike were sent over to beat Matt — and neither were able. I think Rob is still the safe bet, but if Matt ends up going all the way I honestly cannot say I didn’t see it coming.

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