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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The first vote we see is Ralph voting for "Ressell". Sarita votes for Stephanie, talking about how rude she is. And we see Russell vote for Ralph saying, "This is my game, sucka." And after tallying the votes, we're down to three votes Russell, three votes Ralph, two votes Stephanie and one vote left. Last vote: Stephanie. Oooh, cool. Our first three-way tie ever. Sweet. Of course, this means Russell is going home. The tribe is instructed that they must vote for Russell, Stephanie or Ralph and they head back up to re-vote. And in the biggest non-shock ever, one vote comes up Ralph, the rest go to Russell. And Russell Hantz finally has his torch put out and heads off to Redemption Island.

Let me just say that Russell may have done his best playing in this little stretch of game. His reputation preceded him. He was behind the eight ball from the get-go. He had his three-person alliance going up against a solid six. Somehow, they managed to convince the other alliance that splitting the vote was a good idea. They targeted the only person that even had the slightest inkling toward defecting. And they played it as perfectly as the minority group could play it. This being said, it cannot be lost on us how well Julie played this. She found herself in a nice position. She could stay with her alliance and send Russell home, or flip to Russell and move further in the game. She listened to Russell and I think she actually considered it. At the same time, she told Stephanie and Russell she was with them. What this did was gives Russell the numbers he needs, so they stopped scrambling. They stopped talking. They sat back convinced that they had the numbers and that they would emerge victorious. Had Julie wavered at all or turned them down, they'd have likely kept trying. And when an alliance is scrambling, you never know what can happen. Julie played this one perfectly and deserves credit for it.

The episode ends with Russell arriving at Redemption Island and finding Matt instead of Francenbeans. He tells us how pissed he is to get voted out and how he plans to take Redemption Island from Matt. Same ole, same ole.


The previews show Phillip still hunting crabs with a spear and suggest that he's in trouble with his tribe. There's also a hint that the hidden immunity idol could be a factor. Meanwhile, at Redemption Island, Russell says that in the real world, he'd be rooting for Matt, but this ain't the real world.

So next week we get another Redemption Island duel, some more searching for the hidden idol and some more Phillip crazy. What else could you possibly ask for? Until then, take care!

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