Survivor: Redemption Island

Keep Hope Alive

By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst

March 3, 2011

It is very, very difficult to say Francesca with a dry mouth.

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So Zapatera arrives at Tribal Council and lights their torches. Fire represents life, sorta, yadda, yadda, yadda. Jeff starts out with Ralph. Ralph says being there is good and bad. Jeff asks how it can be good. "Well, I was told that we had two parts there in our game." Translated, this means there are two alliances in the tribe. Steve confirms this and Sarita claims it's about Russell and his legacy and his opening speech. Jeff asks Russell about this and he says that is part of the problem. That people expect him to be there sabotaging the tribe and trying to lose. He's not playing that game and he wants to win challenges. And he calls them out for throwing the challenge that day. Mike admits they didn't go 100%, that they tried to win but they also have some fat they could trim off the tribe.

Julie mentions that she would like to go into the merge with a numeric advantage. Stephanie is asked what she believes. She says that people seem to be forgetting that they're in the game of Survivor. Then she goes on some tangent about how great Russell is and finishes up by telling the six-person alliance that the people they're becoming best buddies with are gonna stab them in the back down the road. She also mentions that the idea is to have the numbers at the merge to get rid of the other tribe and throwing a challenge isn't strategy, it's stupidity. Jeff does suggest to Steve that going into a merge with a dysfunctional nine is better than going in with a cohesive six that is down in numbers. Steve agrees with him and outright denies throwing the challenge.

Jeff then mentions to David that Rob kicked his ass on the puzzle today. David says that yeah, Rob beat him. To which my now least favorite player, Stephanie chimes in, "Really?" David then says something about his hands not moving doesn't mean the brain wasn't working. Sarita says that Russell is a huge black cloud over their camp and that he doesn't do anything. Stephanie, who has gone completely over the top, now speaks up about all the stuff Russell does and is defending him with a fervor that I honestly can't explain.


You know, when she decided she was going to join Russell, I poo poo'd the notion that she was star struck by him and suggested that she was planning to play him, the way Parvati did. Yeah, I was wrong. WAY wrong. This seems to go way beyond "star struck". Russell hasn't had to say a word because he's got his little chippy down there defending him to the death. I don't exactly know how to explain what I'm seeing. But back to Tribal...

Ralph chimes in and I have no idea what he said. He devolved into some cartoonish Boomhauer rant that Jeff actually has to translate to something like, they don't do anything to catch fish, but they sure eat the fish. Russell talks some more about keeping hope alive and things aren't what they seem and...seriously, can we just get to the vote?

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