‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Recap: Round-Trip Redemption?

by | April 6, 2011 at 8:44 PM | Survivor, TV News

Last Week: David had an alliance and crossed it, Rob found a clue and tossed it, and Sarita had an advantage and lost it.

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
Steve – 51, Former NFL Player

Currently Residing on Redemption Island (wearing a win-and-in shot at redemption)

Matt – 22, Pre-Med Student
Sarita – 36, Visual Effects Producer

Buckle up, alliance. With several swing votes in play, tonight should be interesting.

We kick this party off at Zapatera, and apparently Ralph was the only person who didn’t vote for Sarita. Kudos to the rest of the Brady Bunch for outsmarting him. That’s quite an accomplishment.

Meanwhile over at Redemption Island, Matt is very happy to see Sarita as he thinks he can take her in a challenge. Your God would not smile on you being boastful, Matthew.

Matthew asks Sarita if Zapatera is as bad as he’s heard from Russell, Stephanie, and Krista. She says they’re good folks and proceeds to talk up the people who just booted her out. Huh…she might not get this game.

Fun Fact: Last week I interviewed Stephanie from “Survivor” and foul-mouthed, beer-drinking “Stone Cold” Steve Austin from the WWE. Guess who I had to bleep the most? It wasn’t Austin.

Redemption Island invites go out…but this time everybody is invited. Phillip uses his Secret Agent powers to deduce that it’s merge time. He should watch the previews like I do, it’s much easier. Although, it’s not always terribly accurate.

Over at Redemption Island, Matt decided to give Sarita a bit of an advantage by accidentally slicing his foot open. He’d better hope the challenge isn’t one of those ones where you stand still for a long time…
Redemption Island Challenge: Players will stand still for a long time (on little pegs in between walls). As the challenge continues they’ll move down to smaller pegs. First person to drop loses. The winner is allowed back into the game.

During the challenge, Probst gets Phillip to expound upon the Bushido code. I’m pretty sure he did this to try to get someone to quit. Unfortunately, nobody bites.

Matt seems to be having difficulty with his injured foot, but he holds out longer than Sarita. She’s gone, he’s back into the game.

To nobody’s surprise, the tribes merge. J-Pro tosses out clean black buffs and they’ll all head off to a new beach. And as an added zinger, Redemption Island is back in play after the next Tribal Council. So conceivably, Matt could be voted out twice and still win “Survivor.” Crazy new world.

In other news, Zapatera’s “keeping the guy who’s good at puzzles” vs. “keeping the woman who’s loyal” move is looking pretty stupid right about now.

After the commercial break we meet up with the tribe on their new beach as they enjoy their merge feast. If you’ve never seen one of these before (and if you haven’t, why would you read this recap?) imagine half-naked people gorging themselves while squealing…except grosser.

Rob continues the proud tradition of giving the merged tribe a nickname that supposedly means something deep but is actually an inside joke. In this case, the tribe is named after one of Amber’s stuffed animals, Murlonio. I stand by my belief that any merge tribe name is better than “Nobag.”

Mike realizes that now is the time for the Bradys to swing the numbers in their favor. He takes Matt out for a moonlit walk (OK, it wasn’t moonlit) and makes his case for bringing Matt and Andrea on board. Mike even claims to have access to Ralph’s immunity idol if he needs it. That is very dumb.

That night, a clear division is shown between the tribes as the Ometepians cuddle up under their tarp while the Zapaterans are left to get drenched during a rainstorm.

Matt takes Andrea aside and explains to her his plan to get revenge on the former members of Ometepe. Revenge? God’s totally against that. Andrea pretends to be into it, but realizes that stabbing all of her allies in the back might not be the best move. Smart girl that Andrea.

The next morning we meet up with Mike, Ashley, and Matt as they read the Bible. Rob lets us know that he doesn’t have a problem with God, but he doesn’t like anyone bonding over anything during the game. Oh man, Rob vs. God next season. Make this happen, CBS!

Immunity Challenge Time: Each player will perch on a log while balancing a ball on a disc. As time goes on, the players will have to add balls to their disc. If you drop a ball, you’re eliminated. Last player standing wins a sweet immunity necklace.

No, you’re not getting any ball, disc, or log jokes out of me. However, feel free to make your own.

Not much to describe here except a bunch of standing and wiggling.

Julie is the first to go.

The second ball is added and quickly claims Ashley. David doesn’t make it through this round either.

The third ball is added. Andrea, Grant, and Matt go first. Then we lose Rob and Phillip. It’s down to Mike, Steve, Natalie, and Ralph.

Ralph tried to coax his balls toward the center of his disc with some whistling, but is unsuccessful. He’s out. Steve goes next.

Mike and Natalie are the final two. Mike seems like he’s got this under control, but a fly lands on one of his balls.

Again, no jokes.

He eventually loses his balance and steps off of his log. Natalie wins immunity.

Politicking around the Murlonio tribe centers around the Zapaterans gunning for Grant because they think people will expect them to go for Rob.

Meanwhile, Rob takes Matt aside to discuss what happened earlier in the game. Matt decides that he’s going to stay loyal to his side and go as far as God wants him to. He then tells Rob about his talk with Mike about Ralph’s immunity idol.

I don’t know how far The Almighty wants Matt to go in this game, but God is clearly giving all the breaks to Rob.

Rob of course doesn’t take this at face value and decides that Matt can’t be trusted and should be sent back to Redemption Island.

As Rob goes to alert the troops, Matt starts to feel a little paranoid. Mike takes this opportunity to try to get Matt back on his side. Mike slips Matt a note that says he’ll take him to the final three if he votes for Grant. The writing on the note was very light, so I couldn’t tell if he signed it with Xs and Os.

Matt shares the note with Andrea. Then Rob tells Andrea about his move to boot Matt. Andrea is between a rock and a religious place.

That night at Tribal Council, David points out that the Zapaterans weren’t welcome under the tarp.

Ashley thinks that since they won it, they should get to use it. David doesn’t think they really won it because Zapatera threw that challenge. Yeah, but they still won it.

Phillip says that Ometepe would never throw a challenge. David tried to interrupt him, but you can imagine how well that went.

Matt admits that the politics on Redemption Island were a lot easier.

Ralph makes the point that Matt should join the Bradys because Ometepe voted him out before.

Matt says he’s starting to see the big picture…oooh…elusive.

Voting Time: No votes are shown…oooh…double elusive.

J-Pro asks in anyone wants to play an idol. Ralph stands and plays it for Mike. So why not just give it to him earlier? Not dramatic enough?

Five votes for Grant, one vote for Steve, five votes for Matt…and the eighth person to be sent to Redemption Island is…Matt.

David greatly appreciates this bit of strategy from Ometepe. The rest of Zapatera feels terrible for poor Matt.

Verdict:
Oh man…that is hilarious. Poor kid. At least he’ll be comfortable back on Redemption Island.

I don’t love this move by Rob. Anything that depends on putting your trust in Phillip seems super risky. But, at least it’s entertaining. Go “Survivor.”

Who’s Going to Win? You’ve got to like the girls from Ometepe who aren’t making a lot of noise. Natalie’s got to be a strong pick at this point.

Power Rankings Update:
Sash and I both had Matt winning the Redemption Island challenge. (Yeah, we really went out on a limb there.) Sash had Matt in spot ten, I had him in spot six. So, Sash jumps up to a big 87 to 76 lead. Readers Jacob and @SherriErwin got the best of me.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes