Survivor: Redemption Island
Keep Hope Alive
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
March 3, 2011
As we join Ometepe, Rob is telling us how perfectly the Tribal went. Kristina played her idol, Matt was blindsided and Phillip played his role perfectly. We join a conversation between Rob and Phillip that is quite interesting. Rob decides that Phillip did so well, that he can be brought into the fold of the alliance. But he does so in a way that is very...um...odd. Here's the quote, "There's obviously...an alliance. The two girls, Natalie and Ashley and me and Grant. You're fifth." Really? Did he really just tell Phillip that he can be part of the alliance and that he's fifth? Phillip is glad to be a part of it and offers his former federal agent's hand to lock it in. This whole scene is weird to me. Rob just told him he was bottom of the totem pole in their alliance, and Phillip was fine with that.
I don't think Rob meant to say it in that way. And this makes me wonder if Rob isn't just a bit off his game. Sure, his plan for Tribal worked perfectly, but I still think he picked the wrong person to get rid of. And now he's not choosing his words very well, which is usually one of his strongest attributes. I don't know, something just seems wonky. In retrospect, I'm sure he's glad that it was Phillip...because he didn't notice it at all.
We come back from break as Francesca and Matt receive some Tree Mail announcing their first duel. Each tribe gets Tree Mail as well. They are to choose two people to send to Redemption Island to watch the duel. Each tribe is given a bag of stones and the two people that choose the colored stones will go. At Zapatera, Steve and David (Steve-Dave...heh) will go. At Ometepe, Ashley and Andrea will make the journey. Andrea is pretty pumped to see her boyfriend. She's mostly stoked to let him know that she didn't vote for him so that if he gets back in the game, he may join back up with her. Rob is a little concerned about Andrea "getting smaht" and talking to Matt. Uh oh, maybe you should have dumped her after all, eh, Rob?
Probst sighting! As the competitors are brought in, Jeff breaks down the arena, Andrea does get the opportunity to chime in that she didn't vote for either Francesca or Matt. After a brief discussion about doing or dying and an acknowledged respect between the players, it's on. The first duel is a simple one. Each person has sticks and twine. They must make a longer stick to retrieve three keys. These keys open three locks. First person to unlock all three locks and step through their door wins the right to continue on in this game. The loser gets the top left-hand seat and about 45 seconds of screen time at the Reunion.
As the challenge begins, Francesca is quick out of the gate with a pretty strong looking stick. In a matter of a quick minute, she has her first key. As she pulls in her second key, Matt's stick basically bends in half and he is most of the way to one of the more embarrassing performances in a challenge ever. As Francesca goes for the third key, her stick proves not strong enough to handle it and she needs to do some maintenance to her pole. As she works, Matt gives it a shot again. This time the pole is strong and he quickly grabs two keys to tie this challenge up. After a little more maintenance, both players go for the third key at the same time. Matt hooks his and Francesca's pole comes up about a half inch short and she cannot grab it. In an amazing three key comeback, Matt wins the first ever Redemption Island duel and Francesca is told to put her buff in the fire and becomes the first person sent home from Survivor: Redemption Island. Before the others go back to camp, Jeff lets them know that what they share from RI is completely up to them.