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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Very quickly, Grant and Rob are through to the next round. Next up are Ralph and Mike. Rounding out the top six are David and Julie. As we saw the first round, Grant takes off like a mad man, with Rob right behind. As the challenge continues, Grant pulls away and dominates this leg finishing first. Surprisingly, Mike is next to finish and it comes down to a race between David and Rob. And David, the puzzle master, moves on the final. The puzzle is a small version of the puzzle they had in the first challenge. I love hearing who the others root for. Obviously, the Ometepes are rooting for Grant. Ralph chooses a Zapatera horse and it's Mike. I find that kinda dumb. If Mike wins immunity, who does Ralph think Ometepe will target? Duh. And while I'm shaking my head at Ralph, Grant finishes up the puzzle right before Mike. Puzzle Master David wasn't a factor. Hmmm...

As they return to camp, the "It's Anyone But Mike" game really heats up and Mike knows it. As they talk, Mike notices that the flagpole has been moved. So they start digging for a hidden idol. As Rob and Co. celebrate, they see the others digging in the they all rush back and start digging also. As he's done all game, Rob just takes over the dig. What happens next is just a very uncomfortable scene where Phillip and Rob are using shovels to dig under the flag, while Mike, David and others look on. Mike jokes that the Zapatera tribe could use an idol...but it's just very odd. After the dig, Rob tells us that he just can't shake this "idol paranoia." He says that idols killed him last time and he's still struggling with it. Since Ralph played an idol last night, he feels there's another one hidden.

The tribe gets together to decide who to vote for. Rob asks everyone who they think. Some say Mike and Phillip suggests Ralph. Grant mentions Mike and David as the biggest threats. Rob agrees that David is strategic, but the question here is, "Who can beat Matt at Redemption Island?" They're still torn between David and Mike. And Rob is still worried about the idol. The pow wow breaks up and it's off to Tribal Council #1.


First off, Jeff asks Phillip about his feather again. Phillip says that his great-great-grandfather, a full-blooded Cherokee Indian appeared to him and told him Ometepe would win that challenge. He also told him that an Ometepe will live LONG in Survivor lore. He asks Mike the obvious. Zapatera's in trouble. Mike admits that he doesn't have much he can do about this. Julie and David suggest that Phillip is on the bottom of the Ometepe alliance. Phillip says that if that's the case, he's happy to be on the bottom and as a member of a 12 person family, he's used to it. Julie gets out one last zinger, "Matt thought you were his family too." And Jeff moves on to Ralph. Are they blocking everything? Ralph says that if he's still there tomorrow he's gonna keep on pushing and who knows...he may get his own feather tomorrow. And then came the line of the series so far, "It takes courage and determination and knowing when to hold your tongue to get a feather." My God, Phillip is money. Jeff asks what Mike thinks of Phillip's feather. He says that he thinks Phillip doesn't really know who he is. Phillip lists his resume, including the fact that he was a special agent. David tells him to give it up...that he sounds like a lunatic. Phillip says that David sounds like a guy at the bottom of a cesspool that can't get out. Phillip can never go home. Do you hear me??? Phillip can NEVER go home.

And with that, it's time to vote. We see Steve's vote for Phillip saying that he's "one odd duck." We see no other votes. And now, Jeff will tally the votes. And here they come. Phillip, Phillip, Phillip, Phillip, Phillip. Now, who's going to Redemption Island? Looks like Mike. As Jeff reads the sixth vote, I wonder if Mike realizes that he's actually acting as an assassin for the Mariano Crime Syndicate, as David called it. If he goes to RI and takes out Matt, Rob's plan will have worked to perfection.

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