Survivor: Redemption Island
You Mangled My Nets
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
May 5, 2011
Probst sighting! Today's duel is a simple one. Each player has a board with four tiles on it. They will stand on a platform and toss balls at the tiles. First one to break all four tiles wins love from home. Last one to have a tile remaining is out of this game. In the first round, Mike is the only one to break a tile. In Round 2, everyone breaks a tile. In Round 3, Matt, Mike and Ralph all break tiles, Steve misses the mark. In Round 4, Mike makes it four for four and wins the challenge, winning love from home. All three of the other guys miss. Round 5: Matt and Ralph each break their third tile while Steve misses again. Round 6 sees Matt stay alive in this game and so does Ralph. That means it is time to say goodbye to Steve. He tosses his buff in the fire and heads off to Ponderosa.
Now it's time for love from home. Mike, here's your mom. But wait!! You have a decision to make. You can either spend time with your mom, give the love visit to your RI buddies, Matt and Ralph, OR you can give the love to the entire Ometepe tribe still in the game. In a complete upset, Mike chooses to give love to the Ometepes. He says he felt like he should give as much love to the largest number of people. Honestly, had it been me, I'd have bartered. "C'mon Probst, if I'm giving up love from my mom...everyone else out here should get their love." Put Jeff on the spot...you KNOW he'd have gone for it and Mike could have been a hero to everyone left in this game. As it is, however, only Rob and Co. get to take their relatives back to camp.
We come back from break and Ralph is pissed about the family visit. He would have understood if Mike took the visit for himself, but he was pissed to see him give love to the people who treated them like crap. Mike tells him there was no thought of the game in his decision. Matt joins in and says he couldn't have given them anything either. Mike tells us that he felt it was the right thing to do and if he gets deeper in the game because of it, then that's a bonus. He feels bad for Matt and Ralph and he has apologized to them. And in fairness, it's not like he's spending any time with his mom, either.
Back at Murlonio, it's a mix of talking and showing the camp. All of the players seem energized by the visit. Natalie and her mom share tears, Andrea and her dad discuss her hair and not surprisingly, Rob and Phillip and their sisters are talking game. Phil tells us that this visit has renewed him and he will be able to continue to dominate. Rob tells his sister that Phillip is the perfect guy to take to the end. He lays out the game for her, and then tells us that he feels like he's playing his best game. But he's still got a ways to go and he is completely focused to win the game he's been trying to win for 10 years. I almost have to think, it's this focus that very well could lead to his victory. He's not resting on his laurels feeling like he's in control. He's constantly thinking and adapting as the situation changes. At some point, you'd think the tribe would wisen up, but they're certainly not showing any signs of it.