Survivor: Redemption Island
You Own My Vote
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
February 24, 2011
Our first visit to Zapatera sees Ralph showing why they call him Rooster. And the new and improved Russell tells us how stupid Ralph is and that his alliance now consists of Stephanie and Krista. "Dumb girl" alliance indeed. He pulls them aside and tells them that after the next challenge, they should expect to find an idol clue in the reward so they need to find it. He plans to search for the idol without a clue, but he wants them all to be prepared when the challenge is over. So, off he goes to find the idol. Having had the opportunity to see him play twice, the rest of the tribe is just sitting there watching him look for the idol. Well, all of the tribe save Ralph. He's running around collecting rocks. I'm sure there's a method to his madness, but for now, he's just collecting rocks. In one of the most amazing sequences I've seen on Survivor, as Russell diligently searches for the idol, Ralph's quest for rocks leads him right to a hollowed out log and inside? Oh yeah, there's the idol! Are you frickin' kidding me? Who's hiding these idols now, Helen Keller? If a guy picking up rocks can stumble on your idol, you're NOT hiding it well enough. Either way though, that whole sequence was a thing of beauty. I wonder if it'll take getting his torch snuffed to make Russell realize that this season is not going well for him.
We come back from break to the Love Connection. Matt and Andrea (two of Rob's groupies) seem to be getting along quite well. Unfortunately, the Robfather is always watching. He tells us that they're getting a little too close for him. If you have a strong pair, you can really go far in this game, as he showed in All-Stars with Amber. So he runs to Natalie and asks her what she thinks. They share the feeling that that couple is dangerous. Rob feels like Natalie is a good partner in this game, but he worries that he'll have to carry her all the way through. They discuss their options. Phillip or Andrea needs to go the next time they lose. Natalie agrees and then tells us how much she trusts Rob. You can actually see the little hearts in her eyes as she talks about him.
Probst sighting! Today's challenge involves swimming to a platform, climbing a ladder and then jumping off with a stick to break a tile holding a key. There are five keys. Three of those keys will open locks on a box. Inside that box is a ball. Once open, one player will use that ball to break a series of five tiles. First tribe to break all five tiles wins immunity AND reward. Today we're playing for fishing gear. Zapatera sits David out and we're ready to roll.
Grant and Steve are first and Grant almost dives the entire length of the pool. He opens a huge lead or Ometepe. Ometepe is just killing it in this challenge. They're far enough ahead that I have the time to think, "Is that the same pool Fabio peed in last season? And did they change the water?" Oddly enough, as I was contemplating the water condition, Zapatera has caught up and actually taken the lead. Ralph is in charge of tossing the ball for Zapatera, Phillip for Ometepe. They each break a tile for a 1-1 tie. Ralph then hits three in a row for a 4-1 lead. Then he goes cold. Ha actually hits the fifth tile two times, but no break. Meanwhile, Phillip has broken three more tiles to tie it up 4-4. And with one last toss, Ralph breaks the fifth tile and Zapatera wins again. As they celebrate, Matt goes over to them and shakes their hand. You know, it's the sportsmanlike thing to do. But Rob doesn't see it that way. He thinks it's despicable after getting their ass kicked twice in a row. And as Zapatera heads back to camp, Russell quickly grabs the basket of fishing gear.