Survivor: Redemption Island (Page 6)
StuckInTheSixties: The three-way duel was a form of shuffleboard, again, with two winners that would remain on Redemption Island and one loser that would become the second Member of the Jury. The loser was Julie. She delivered a sad speech when prompted by Jeff that her house had just gone into foreclosure, and she was hoping for a big payout to keep help out herself and her kids economically.
During the duel, a poignant and intense look was exchanged between Matt and Andrea, whose betrayal of Matt was instrumental in his return to exile. Afterwards, and an aside to viewers, Andrea fatalistically acknowledged that Matt probably hated her, and that she couldn’t really blame him for that. Back at camp, the three Bikini Girls were remarking about Matt and his obvious emotional distress. Andrea let her social game take a huge stumble by letting the others have an impression that she feels some guilt about her betrayal, thus making the others wonder just where her loyalties lie, and reminding them that if she betrayed Matt, she could always betray them as well. Grant zeroed in on this, and while off on a walk with Rob, began a very strong campaign to get rid of her next.
The Immunity Challenge was one familiar to Survivor fans: the “Log Roll.” Grant emerged triumphant. Along with Immunity, he won a huge chocolate cake, ice cold milk, and the right to choose two other players to join him in a measured two minutes of frenzied cake gluttony. The two lucky players to join him were his main man Rob (of course), and he also chose Andrea. He chose her purely as a strategic move to reassure her before betraying her.
Along with the Immunity for Grant, and cake for the three of them, the tribe was given a small package by Jeff, a “Twist,” as he called it, and was instructed to keep the package intact and unopened, and to bring it with them to Tribal Council that night. The speculation was, of course, that the Twist would involve a second person being voted out in the Tribal Council. Regardless of speculations, Steve and Ralph basically played the parts of two condemned prisoners waiting for a sundown date with the hangman. Rob watched them closely, and analyzed the situation as being that Steve has pretty much given up hope, and therefore, is less of a threat then Ralph. He basically instructed his puppets that Ralph was the priority.
Rob also cornered Ashley and Natalie, and related the conversation that he’d had with Grant about their uncertainties about Andrea. They were completely compliant with the notion of putting the axe to her, particularly in light of Andrea’s guilt over Matt that she’d foolishly allowed the tribe to perceive. This demonstrates just how careful one must be with one’s social game in Survivor. Andrea, when previously speaking in an aside with viewers, had admitted feeling a little guilty over being the key player in the move that placed Matt in his personal hell over in Redemption Island, but she had also made it clear to viewers that there was a distinct divide between how she felt personally about Matt, which was with compassion, and how she was playing the game, which was with the ruthlessness that’s necessary. Unfortunately for her, the other players weren’t able to see that aside. All they know is that she now represents a threat because she’s feeling guilty about Matt. A bad blunder for Andrea.
StuckInTheSixties: But there was the looming “Twist,” the presence of which injected a great deal of uncertainty into the situation. Who knew what was going to happen with it? Viewers were left with the same uncertainty as the players. What would happen with the “Twist”? The best that could be done was to put two people on the chopping block. Rob, in complete control of his tribe, made the decision: Ralph would go, for certain, and if another had to go, it would be Andrea.
Steve cornered Ashley and Natalie and divulged that he and Ralph were voting for Rob. He made a plea with them that this was the time for the three Bikini Girls to make their move. It was obviously a complete and total gesture of futility. While Ashley and Natalie didn’t say so in words, the response to Steve’s overture said plain and loud: “Ain’t gonna happen, Steve.” When Steve wandered off after his speech, Ashley smugly pointed out to Natalie, “That would work if we actually wanted Andrea in on it … but we don’t.” Shortly after that, those two encountered Rob on a foot trail, and dutifully recounted Steve’s overture to them. This little development changed Rob’s mind about the pecking order, and who should be voted for. Ironically, Steve’s attempt to turn the Bikini Girls had the unintended consequence of immediately putting him second in line for execution, apparently sparing Andrea. As Rob perceived things, Steve, rather than giving up hope as Rob had previously figured, actually had his head back in the game, and therefore was promoted to spot number two on the execution list.
This Tribal Council was actually kind of relaxed, and had none of the fireworks we witnessed last week. The most significant thing that happened in Jeff’s usual pre-vote interrogation was that Steve made another heartless overture to the players. Notably, when questioned, Andrea admitted the obvious, that to some extent, Steve’s overture had merit, but she made it plain that Ometepe was a cohesive, tight, loyal unit: “I feel completely safe that we’re all rock solid because we all feel we worked hard to get to the place that we’re at.” She has no idea that she is in real danger, that her friends don’t trust her, and have set their sights on her for elimination in the near future. The conspirators managed to keep a straight face as she said that. The voting followed the s*****, and Ralph was sent off to Redemption Island.
Then there was the “Twist.” It was another Immunity Challenge right there and then, a simple memory game. Each player was given a set of seven cards, each with a simple, iconic symbol on it. Jeff also had a set of the same cards. He ran through a sequence of cards, holding them up one at a time, asking the players to memorize which card came in which order. Rob won the bout, and the players then went straight into the vote.
This, of course, gives those of us who like to speculate about the show a big bone to gnaw on. There are now FOUR players on Redemption Island.
What will happen next?
lois_lane: Well dude, the only tribe thats left is who I am calling idiots. They should have gotten together and voted out Rob. HELLOOOOOOOOOOOO do I have to mention that whole Lex back stabbing thing again. That of course Jeff brings up (love him) to the tribe which I thought was hilar, but didnt seem to sway anything or anybody ,IDIOTS!!! Those 2 stupid little girls have no idea that Rob will slit their throats as soon as the time comes. They should have banned together and got him out. No one even suspects him of having the idol why isnt anyone else looking for it?(Idiots)
StuckInTheSixties: I have no doubt that each and every one of them fully understands how Rob can ... and will ... turn on them at the time of his choosing. Keep in mind that the producers don't show every thing that happens. The game is played, and the show is taped, months in advance, and after that, it's, edited together into the programs which we see. So keep in mind that there's all kinds of stuff going on that we don't see, that they purposefully keep us from seeing in order to better tell the story of the entire game. I'm guessing that in all likelihood, there's stuff going on, plans for dealing with Rob, that we simply aren't seeing. But also keep in mind that Rob has his own machinations going on, too.
Actually, in the way I write about the individual episodes, I try not to dwell on that sort of speculating. It's somewhat pointless, because while we can be sure there's STUFF GOIN' ON, we don't know what stuff, so I tend to dwell on what we actually know. That's why I sometimes refer to people as being puppets, because that's the picture we're given. But I don't think those people are "stupid," certainly no more than Stephanie and Krista were with Russell. Don't be surprised if those "2 stupid little girls" (I assume you mean Ashley and Natalie) drop the hammer on Rob, or at least attempt to.
Don't forget that Natalie has already shown the capacity for some deviousness - remember last week she played Rob, lying to him, telling him that Ashley had broken a trust by not reporting on an attempted play by Ralph, telling Rob that Ralph had asked her to keep quiet when that had actually never happened. So we know for sure that Natalie is capable of outright lying. Who knows what those people are up to? Regardless of what it is, Rob is a formidable opponent, and he's going to be taking into account that eventually those people are going to turn on him.
As Grant said at one point last night, timing is critical in this game. Riding Rob to a point near the end of the game, and then slitting his throat, would arguably be a very good strategy ... at least if it works.
Let's say that early in the game, things had gone in a totally different direction, Rob had been eliminated early, Ometepe was being whittled down by Zapatera, and Russell was where Rob is now. Would you be saying the same thing? One thing Rob has done really well is to minimize the numbers of people that hate him. Even Matt is likely blaming Andrea for his predicament, and most everyone else is focusing their ire on Crazy Phillip, not Rob. This is an ever-present problem with Survivor: How do I cut people's throats, and still not have them hate me? Russell never won because he could never solve that problem.
The social game really gets interesting when the numbers dwindle, as they are now. Who can you trust? How can you prevent yourself from being blindsided? The ability to solve those problems can make all the difference in the world for how far you go in the game.
You bring up a really good point about the Hidden Immunity Idol. Other than Jeff Probst intoning, "If anyone has a Hidden Immunity Idol, and wants to play it, now would be the time" during Tribal Council, there has been absolutely no attention given that dimension of the game. It really makes one wonder if there is even another one to be found, or if Rob has possession of the only one.
Personally, I'm guessing that's the case. I'm guessing that if, indeed, people are looking for it, they're looking in vain, and the producers of the show aren't showing that fruitless search for the simple reason that it's only a one-hour show, and they have more interesting things to show us. One would assume, however, that if for some reason Rob actually did play his Idol, the producers would then hide another one and provide a clue for whoever found that, perhaps stuck in with some food, as has been the typical procedure in this game.
But yeah, I've been wondering what's going on with Hidden Immunity Idols, too.
Sables: OMG those girls just really blew it last nite, they had a chance to get out their biggest competitor and they blew it, Rob is taking Phil to the end because he is the one that Rob can really beat
They are going to realize how much they screwed up in the next game, unless they can get Grant to side with them they have no hope, because they won't get Philip to.
StuckInTheSixties: Just to be sure what you mean, are you saying that the three Bikini Girls, Ashley, Natalie and Andrea, should have sided with Steve and Ralph and voted out Rob?
Sables: I believe they should have voted with Steve and the hillbilly. The only other possible chance that they may have now is because there are four on redemption island, in the next challenge maybe one will become juror and one will come back, leaving two for the next elimination to make three on redemption island, if this occurs and the girls go with the Ometepe member that (possibly) comes back they could out Rob in this scenario...
Sables: and yes I have been wondering about the idols as well, we know Rob has one, and lol wouldn't it be funny if Jeff asked if anyone had one to play to play it now and no one does and Rob gets voted off....
StuckInTheSixties: Actually, there are a lot of scenarios where they could get rid of Rob. It wouldn't be easy. It would involve risk ... and treachery ... but that's how the game is played, isn't it? I've maintained for a long time now that Rob has a great strategy, and he's playing his game brilliantly, but I think his game is brittle. It could shatter at any time. He's very confident, even cocky. So long as he thinks someone else's head is on the chopping block, so long as he doesn't play the idol, he can be taken down at any time.
There is real danger in turning on Rob. By doing so, how could you be sure that your co-conspirators were not betraying YOU? That's the nature of the game, isn't it?
Remember, the players walked into that last Tribal Council knowing that there was a "Twist," and correctly figuring that it would involve voting out two players, not one. So let's hypothesize about the three Bikini Girls going after Rob. Let's put ourselves in the place of ... oh ... say ... Ashley. Ashley, Natalie and Andrea are approached by Ralph (as they actually were). If you're Ashley, are you gonna be the one to suggest to your Bikini pals, "Hey Girls! This is the time! Let's join Ralph and Steve and backstab Rob!" Can you be sure that neither Natalie nor Andrea won't hang you out to dry?
That's the rub in mounting an attack on Rob. Someone has to stick their neck out, take that risk, and be the person to suggest it, knowing that by doing so, there's a good chance it'll backfire. It's kind of like a game of chicken. It's like two insecure nerds wishing the other would ask them to the prom, but not willing to do it themself for fear of rejection. If you were one of those girls, would you stick your neck out, or play it safe (for the time being), and continue to vote out the Zapatera members, knowing that it's the safe thing to do?
Let's go back to pretending we're Ashley. We're sitting in our deck chair, sunning outself in our cute yellow bikini, and Natalie leans over and says, "Ashley, sooner or later we need to take out Rob. This is the time to do it." Are you going to join that conspiracy then and there, or are you going to wonder if Natalie and Rob are testing your loyalty, when the penalty is death?
It's not only the Bikini Girls that are in that box. Grant is in there, as well.
But now, as you say, SABLES, that option is no longer there. Now they're down to being Ometepe cannibals, and eating themselves. This time was coming, and unless some surprise happens with the exiles from Redemption Island being re-entered into the game, we're down to that time that always comes in Survivor. The bond of trust that has kept them together is no longer there. The cannibals are going to have to start eating each other.
Of course, this oh-so-well-thought-out analysis of mine could go right down the toilet depending on what happens with the FOUR ... I repeat ... FOUR ... exiles on Redemption Island.
So I see it this way:
~ If the game structure continues as it has been - either win and remain on Redemption Island, or lose and become jurors - then the cannibals will begin eating themselves.
~ If the game structure changes, and the exiles begin to be able to return to the game ... then all bets are off, and anything can happen.
Either way, every remaining player has good reason for extreme paranoia now - Rob included - except for one person:
Sables: oh I agree, it would be really interesting if they didn't send someone back from Redemption Island this upcoming week, and well we know that the "cannibalism"
has to start that week...I know the one girl that voiced (stupidly) how bad she felt about voting Matt off will be the one to go, as she is the loose cannon in case ometepe does come back next week, Rob has to make sure she goes...then one by one they will get their marching orders...I think that it would make a much more interesting game that way....but it is all conjecture until we see what does go down...
StuckInTheSixties: Seems pretty likely that if Ometepe begins eating each other, Andrea will be the first eaten ... unless ...
... something unforeseen happens, and somebody does something to earn themselves a trip to Redemption Island.
But you never know. A successful conspiracy could always be launched against Rob. Risky, but risk is part of the game.
Sables: I think that Grant may do something surpising, he seemed unhappy about Rob's control the night the other tribe were eating fish...he quickly backed off when Rob said something to him, I think it was wise as they really need to pick their time to make a move...maybe he will be swayed and talk a couple of the other girls into getting rid of Rob...5 more days till we know wht happens next
StuckInTheSixties: That's very perceptive of you. I can think of two examples where Grant didn't exactly fall in step with Rob's cadence. First, as you mentioned, a couple weeks ago, when Rob was essentially demonstrating his control over his tribe members, the incident with the dead fish in the net, Grant was the only Ometepe member to take a nibble or two of the fish being eaten by Steve, Ralph, Julie and David. I'm sure Rob noticed that, and didn't approve. And in the last episode, Grant badly wanted to get rid of Andrea, but was apparently overruled by Rob, and Steve was voted out instead.
It's entirely possible that Grant has been totally faking his "Man Friday" allegiance to Rob, just waiting for the right moment to put a knife in his back.
Sables: I think that if no one comes off of redemption Island, that they could let Andrea go, because then the other girls will be worried about who is going next, they know Phil won't be because from a strategic point of veiw it would be better to go to the end with Phil as he would be the easiest to beat, mentally as well as physically. But once Andrea is gone they have to make a move before their numbers get too low, they need at least three to the two votes, I think that Rob may be cocky enough to not play his idol, what a laugh that would be if he didn't and he got voted off....
Sables: lol well there are alot of variables that could change things, but you don't want to go to a movie with me, I generally have it figured out in the first fifteen minutes max
Sables: there are too many variables to make a calculated guess, You can see what they need to do to make it work but that doesn't mean that they will, and with having some coming back from Redemption Island, that really leaves alot of unanswered questions, are anymore coming back, or are they all just going to end up as jurors?
I think we are in for another surprise this week having four on the island....will two come back or will both be sent to the jury box, will two come back and a third go to jury, maybe all of them will come back as a new tribe and start eliminations with the possibility of more than one being eliminated...
StuckInTheSixties: The thing I love about Survivor, the thing that makes it such an interesting game, is the thing at work here with the situation with Rob and his five allies/enemies. It has a zen quality to it.
Whatever a player does SIMULTANEOUSLY helps and hurts them.
So by keeping a tight control over his puppets, Rob helps himself. But by keeping a tight control over his puppets, he is an obvious threat to them, and therefore hurts himself.
By conspiring against Rob, if you eliminate him, you obviously help yourself. But if you fail to eliminate him, you obviously hurt yourself.
It's all very Yin-Yang. That's why I like it.
The help/hurt aspect is ALWAYS there. There is no way to avoid it. Those that win this game are those that somehow find a way to maximize the help while minimizing the hurt. And that can be accomplished in an infinite number of ways.
I've pondered a lot on just what might happen with Redemption Island, and how the game structure will work. It started out with two exiles, then three, and now four. There's just no way to know what they'll do next. Any one possibility is as plausible as any other. There are only two things that seem certain:
~ They've started the process of converting losers into jurors. I don't see that process being interrupted. So I think it's a safe bet that at least one of those four exiles will become the next juror.
~ They also have a procedure where the loser in Tribal Council is sent to Redemption Island. I think it's a safe bet that will be continued.
Other than those two obvious things, nothing else seems certain to me.
StuckInTheSixties: Rob gave it his all, and climbed the Stairway to Immunity. What a stunning performance in the Immunity Challenge of Episode #12!
After Ralph, followed by Steve, arrived at Redemption Island, Mike pointed out something, a glaring, obvious aspect of the game that has somehow been completely overlooked by those of us yakking on this thread: While Ometepe has functioned like a well-oiled machine, methodically picking off Zapatera members one by one until they were all eliminated, they have been creating an All-Zapatera jury!
We know that at some time in the future, at least one person, perhaps more than one … who knows? … will rejoin those players in the main game. If, somehow, one of the Zapatera members makes it to the final two or final three, when it’s time for that Zapatera-dominated jury to cast votes for an ultimate winner, I’d be very, VERY surprised if that Zapatera player didn’t receive the winning votes.
But I’m getting ahead of myself …
As they were returning to camp, Ometepe simply bathed in their victory, but Natalie had a little emotional overload, and broke down into tears. It seemed to be an combination of relief, concern for the future, and probably more than anything, it was just a necessary means of letting loose some pent up emotion. As she explained in an aside to viewers: “I think I started getting kind of emotional just because now we have to start knocking everybody off, and from there, I just started thinking about home, and missing my family, missing my friends, missing regular life.” She was smart enough to reassure everyone that it wasn’t one of those breakdowns that are common in Survivor, where the player announces they no longer want to continue in the game. She made sure they didn’t think that. It didn’t seem to cause any real concern amongst her fellow players. Rob had a take on it that provided some insight as to his strategy: “It’s critical for me to comfort her. She’s my main alliance in this game, and I wanna make sure she’s alright. I got eight days left, eight days. I just gotta keep everybody happy, and as long as they don’t start talkin’ to each other, and realize that I’m the one that should be goin’, I’ll be all set.” Rob and the others affectionately reassured Natalie that things were alright, and the episode easily blew over and was of no consequence.
The morning’s Tree Mail revealed that this episode was going to be the one where someone got to have an encounter with a loved-one from home. A little wooden box contained a “smart phone” type device, which provided a little video of a loved-one’s message for each player. Needless to say, this provided a nice boost to their spirits. The same procedure was repeated for the four exiles on Redemption Island. Both groups were instructed to bring the devices with them when they all gathered for the Redemption Island duel/challenge.
The duel was greatly anticipated by Survivor addicts. Just how in the heck was this duel going to be structured? And would this twist of the messages from loved-ones play a part in it? Jeff Probst spelled it out for us all: “The winner of today’s duel will get the opportunity to spend time with their loved-one in person. But first, you gotta win the duel. It’s a four-person duel, first time we’ve had one of these.” He further explained that the first three to win a pretty conventional “break the tiles” contest would remain in the Survivor game, while the loser would, of course, become the next juror. He elaborated: “In addition, the first person to finish this challenge wins love from home,” a chance to spend time with their loved-one.
StuckInTheSixties: Steve was the unfortunate loser-juror, while Mike was the ultimate winner … but … of course … there was yet another twist. Jeff brought out Mike’s loved-one, his mom, and as she stood only steps away from her son, Jeff further explained that Mike had won himself one of three choices:
~ He could have time to spend with his mom
~ He could forgo that reward and instead, give that gift to Ralph and Matt, his fellow exiles (their loved-ones entered the arena)
~ He could sacrifice that reward and instead, give that gift to all six members of Ometepe (their loved-ones entered the arena)
The ramifications of this decision were very obvious. But in front of the audience of all remaining players, and everyone’s loved-ones, Jeff spelled it out, and beckoned Mike: “Very big, potentially million dollar decision … take me through the thought process.”
Unbelievably Mike went religious, and once again, a HUGE decision was made on a Biblical basis: “The decision is almost clear in my head. Yesterday, I was reading … it was either Matthew or Mark … and Jesus was asked, ‘Of all the Commandments, what are the greatest?’ He responded, ‘Love your brother like yourself.’ So, I think if I give the most good to the most people [he gestured in the direction of Ometepe], and make friends from enemies, I think that’s the only play here.”
Everyone (including me) was stunned! Jeff had to be certain he was hearing this correctly: “Let me make sure I’m clear on what you’re doing. You’re giving up your love with your mom, and you’re giving up the love for Ralph and Matt, and you’re giving it to the six people that singlehandedly decimated your tribe. I gotta tell you, I thought the odds of that happening were less than zero.”
Amidst a whirlwind of emotions from everyone there, Jeff summarily dismissed Mike’s mom, Matt’s brother, and Ralph’s buddy. He then sent the three exiles away, back to their camp, and finally, beckoned Ometepe to join with their loved-ones for an afternoon back at the Murlonio camp. The visit, as it always is in this game, was a tonic for those able to be with their loved-ones, every bit as good to the soul as a big meal would be for the body, and probably every bit as valuable in helping one play the game. What a gift!
Yet again, the game has taken a HUGE turn on the basis of someone’s ardent religious beliefs. He explained it to his fellow exiles: “I asked God to help me win, and I think that’s what he asked of me.” He elaborated in an aside to viewers: “The decision I made today was not a strategic one. It wasn’t to earn the good graces of the Ometepe tribe. It was just the right decision to make and the right thing to do. If I make it deep into this game and it earns me a vote or two from the jury, then that’ll be a great bonus.” He earned empathy from fellow religion-nut Matt, but Ralph was none too pleased, and thought the decision was “stupid.”
StuckInTheSixties: The Immunity Challenge was superb! It was a test of concentration, of endurance, and most of all, a test of will. The battlefield was a long, tall staircase. This challenge apparently took place on a day when the jungle humidity was oppressively high, and the temperature even higher. Each player needed to (typically) untie knots to free planks needed to make stair-steps, and then fit the puzzle-piece stair-steps one at a time onto the right stair, and in the right order. This meant that as the game progressed further and further, with contestants allowed to carry only one plank at a time, they were forced to run up the steps, fit the plank in place, and run back down for the next plank. It also meant that if a contestant grabbed the wrong plank, which wouldn’t fit, they would have to descend with it to the bottom, grab the right plank, and repeat the process. It was a wonderful balance of concentration, avoiding making mistakes, and physically enduring the humidity and heat while running up and down the ever-growing length of stairs, a contest that would get harder and harder the further into it one went.
Natalie, Ashley and Crazy Phillip were quickly outpaced by Andrea, Grant and Rob. Those three essentially kept pace with each other. But there were two factors that made this a dramatic, nail-biting contest. First, Rob was able to pull slightly ahead of Andrea and Grant by making one or two fewer errors early in the game. But as the game reached its climax, Rob became exhausted. He began to run out of physical stamina, while Andrea, younger, apparently in better physical condition, began to catch up with him. In the last moments of the contest, Rob dug deep, and forced himself to keep going, barely finishing ahead of Andrea. It was an amazing display of sheer will, and left Rob almost completely spent, moaning in pain, staggering, almost unable to stand, cramps racking his legs, begging for water. Jeff was concerned, and asked if he needed to be seen by the medics on hand. Rob waved him off, but he actually had to ask for help in standing up. He then staggered, nearly falling, again causing Jeff to voice concern, and then finally made an exhausted, but victorious descent of the staircase for a wobbly walk back to camp.
As Rob recuperated, the pretty obvious decision was made. Andrea would be the victim tonight. She was, of course, led to believe it would be Crazy Phillip. Phillip actually seemed to go out of his way to persuade players to vote for him, becoming totally obnoxious and crazy in the way only he can do. Apparently for no good reason, he began ripping palm fronds from the roof of the smaller, now vacant Zapatera shelter to use as kindling for their fire, leaving a wide gap in the roof. He also exhibited the same hunting “skills” he’s shown before in trying to spear crabs, this time, to exterminate a wasp. He made a smoky fire, the clouds of which swept over everyone. Basically, he just seemed to be finding ways to bug the shit out of everyone. Phillip crazily explained that he liked playing the part of the villain, expressing in an aside to viewers, “I could be wrong, but I’m not concerned about going home tonight, because early on in this game, I made myself the villain. Everyone in my tribe feels their best chance of winning against anybody … is ME! It’s brilliant strategy, and I need to kind of put a little salt on that wound every now and then and make sure folks don’t forget that.”
Apparently, it hasn’t crossed his crazy mind that if he makes it to the final vote, there’s a HUGE likelihood that people will be considering just how annoying he has consistently been from Day One, and vote the other way. His final little act of craziness for the day was to freak out because the fishing nets had become tangled, and to rant accusations to everyone that it had been their fault.