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Survivor: Redemption Island

The Buddy System

By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst

April 13, 2011

Never turn down the cheeseburger, son

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Hello, good people and welcome to an all-new edition of the BOP Survivor recap! Tonight's episode promises to be a doozy, so let's not waste any time. When last we hung out, Matt earned his way back into the game, the tribes merged and Matt earned his way back out of the game. Somewhere in there, Rob took full control of the game, David developed a crush and Ralph wasted his immunity idol.

Previews and promos for this week suggest that there may be a crack in the Boston Rob alliance and that crack may just be his right hand man, Grant. One can only assume that the close call (Grant came within a vote of going home) last week has opened Grant's eyes a little bit. Promos have also told us to look for two Tribal Councils and two people getting voted out. What does that mean for Redemption Island? I guess we'll have to watch and find out.

Before we get to this week's episode, it's time for the weekly power rankings. I'd like to mention that I don't think my rankings could have been any worse last week as I totally didn't see Matt leaving again. With the removal of Ralph's idol and the way last week went down, I'm feeling a shake up in the rankings.

Rob - 5-1. I'm leaving Rob at the top, for now. He's still in control of the power alliance in the game. Survivor's previews are almost always misleading AND he's still holding an immunity idol that no one else knows about. However, the Grant talk and the fact that there will be two Tribals makes me knock his odds back a bit.

Andrea - 10-1. I'm moving Andrea up this week. She showed some spunk last week in voting out her boyfriend. She totally earned her place with Rob by doing that. And I really don't think ANYone is paying attention to the fact that she's playing a very low-key, but savvy game. When the time comes, she'll be the one to organize Rob's ouster...not Grant.

Julie - 15-1. This will be my surprise mover of the week, I'm sure. But one thing came clear last week. Steve and Mike are seen as the threats from the former Zapatera tribe. Ralph puts himself out there and David is an ass. That pretty well leaves Julie as completely under the radar from the Zapatera tribe. Because the focus is shifting to the stronger guys from that tribe, I think Julie has a good little run left in this game.



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Natalie - 20-1. Natalie has an outstanding shot of being one of the last people standing. She showed last week that she's not a slouch in a challenge and she is still at the top of the Ometepe pecking order with Rob and Grant.

Phillip - 25-1. Also jumping up this week is Phillip. He feels like he fits in with his alliance right now. He obviously doesn't care for the other tribe. And Rob is going to need Phillip's vote if he's to make it to the end. Phil's also got his side thing going with Andrea and it would not shock me at all to see them mix it up and some point and take over this game.

Ralph - 30-1. Ralph drops this week, because he played his idol. He doesn't drop too far, though, because he'll be underestimated. Assuming that Rob is in control, like I think he is, he'll see Ralph as a stupid hick and won't really ever consider him a threat. Mike is strong and smart. Steve is the leader. David is whip smart and strategic. I would think Rob would see all three of them as threats before Ralph. That could be a mistake.

Grant - 40-1. Grant drops a lot this week. The Zaps see him as a better target than Rob, as shown by their votes last week. He's been a stud in the challenges, which makes him an even bigger target. And he doesn't seem to be playing a very smart game. He's on board with Rob and he's been real good about letting Rob do all the heavy mental lifting. It'll be interesting to see how he fares when he has to make the decisions and the plays on his own. I don't think it'll work out so good for him.


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