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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We come back from break to camp right after Tribal. Rob pulls Phillip aside and congratulates him for being a great performer. He tells him that he's not at the bottom, he's at the top with Rob. Rob tells us that Phillip has become a very loyal soldier and he's pretty impressed. "I'm glad Phillip's obeying and doing as he's told. And he'll be rewarded for it." Okay, I love the Robfather personality...but he's starting to go a little over the top now. Get over yourself, dude, it's this cockiness that's gonna get your ass blindsided. Phillip asks why they voted for him and Rob tells him it's because he got the best of them. He then tells us that he's decided that Natalie and Phillip will be with him in the Final Three.

The next morning, Phillip tells us that everyone thinks he's crazy. He says that everyone is gonna want him sitting next to them at the final tribal. He says that he's not crazy and he's actually pretty smart. He knows that he has to make something happen, but now isn't the time. Ralph wakes up determined to make a move. David tells him not to try to talk to all of them. He gets one shot to talk to one of them. Going over to all of them now ruins the opportunity. Ralph makes a move on Phillip and Phil shoots him down on game talk. He'll be happy to talk about his farm and all that stuff, but not the game. David and Ralph are getting completely frustrated with the fact that the Ometepes aren't even willing to play the game with them. David tells us that he's not sure, he may be the next one to go.

Probst sighting #2. Today's challenge is a test of strength and will. They will hang from a bar over water. After 20 minutes, they'll hang only by their legs. Last one hanging wins immunity. However, there are some hamburgers involved. Each player is given a black and a white rock. When Jeff asks, they will choose a rock and if they show a white rock, they won't do the challenge, they'll eat burgers. If they hold out the black rock, they'll participate in the challenge and not eat anything. When everyone holds out their rocks, only Steve and Phillip choose to eat. Everyone else will do the challenge. While it may be stupid to skip a chance for immunity, I think it's pretty obvious that neither Steve nor Phillip would win this challenge. You can tell how Steve walks that his knees are shot. There's no way he hangs longer than the girls or Grant. And Phillip is old and out of shape, he's not hanging for long either. I see nothing wrong with opting out of a challenge you know you can't win.


They all get in position and this challenge is on. And right off the bat, Rob loses his hat. He's also having trouble getting comfortable. After a couple minutes, he drops out first. As he eats, Phillip cheers on Ashley and Andrea and shows concern for David as his head is "starting to turn blue." I love me some Phillip. Now he's trash talking, too. At the five burger mark (20 minutes), they all switch to just their legs. Ralph and David take an odd one-legged approach. Meanwhile, Julie drops out. Next out is Ralph and then, by surprise, Grant drops out. All that is left are David, Ashley, Andrea and Natalie. At the 45 minute mark, Jeff starts talking about will power. David is having a hard time at this point and so is Natalie. With everyone showing signs of fatigue, David finally drops down. With all the Zapateras out of the challenge, Natalie and Ashley agree to drop out, giving immunity to Andrea. As we head to break, Jeff says that whoever is voted out will go to Redemption Island to take on Matt and Mike.

As the tribe comes back to camp, we get a lot of close-ups of a snake. Not sure what that foreshadows, but it usually foreshadows something. As they arrive, Rob tells us that while he hates losing a challenge, as long as an Ometepe wins, he's okay. Ralph goes down to check the fishing net to see if they have any fish. When he gets there, there's like 50 fish in the net. He's jumping up and down about it, but Rob is concerned about the fact that the fish have been dead for a while and you can't eat them. An interesting tidbit I picked up from Rob Cesternino podcast with Tyson Apostle...apparently the Robfather has a very picky appetite. So hearing him refuse to eat those fish isn't all that surprising. He gets his tribe to join him in not eating any of those fish. As the Zapateras eat, Grant finally gets up and decides to try some of the fish. The Zaps are amazed that the Ometepes will not eat because Rob told them not to. Grant isn't too worried about his act of defiance. He's hungry and he'll eat if he wants to.

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