Survivor: Redemption Island
You Mangled My Nets
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
May 5, 2011
The next morning, with relatives gone, Tree Mail is received and announces an immunity challenge. Rob tells us and the tribe that Andrea is the vote tonight and she's the last one they want to win the challenge. He feels that Andrea has the most knowledge of the game (other than himself and Grant) of anyone still out there. He promises to do everything he can to be sure she doesn't win immunity.
Today's challenge has been promised as one of the most grueling ever. What we see is a staircase with about 40 stairs (yep, I paused and actually counted them). Each person has three groups of puzzle steps to add to their staircase. They will need to untie a bundle and then put them in order. First one to the top wins immunity. Since this is a longer challenge, I'll throw in an opinion here. Think about running up stairs several times, when you feel good, when you're rested and well fed. Now imagine doing it with no sleep or food. I can't even imagine how tough this one must be.
As the competitors get to their second set of step pieces, Rob, Grant and Andrea have pulled away from the rest of the pack. They can only take one board up the steps at a time, so if they climb 20 steps and are wrong, they have to go back down and do it again. Grant and Rob are the first ones working on the third set of steps with Andrea right behind. After two mistakes in a row for Grant, Andrea and Rob have taken control of this challenge. However, Rob is slowing down considerably, using the puzzle piece as a crutch to get up the steps. As we get down to it, they all have two steps left. Rob is still a bit in the lead as they get to the last step. After a walk that seems to take forever, Rob finally places the last step and struggles to the top to win immunity. There's very little celebration as Rob collapses from exhaustion at the top of the steps.
Natalie brings Rob some water as his legs cramp up. While I'm sure he's hurting real bad, anyone would be, I can't help but be reminded of Coach when they had the endurance challenge and he and JT battled it out. When he finally gave in, he collapsed to the ground like he'd been shot. Yeah...it was kinda like that. Finally able to walk again, Rob and the tribe head back to camp to finally oust one of their own.
With the game of "It's Anyone But Andrea" in full swing, it's also time for the producers to try to throw in a curve ball. It starts with Rob telling us that he loves having immunity because it leaves all his option on the table. Natalie tells us Andrea is going home, while Andrea confirms that Phillip is the vote. Rob and Grant confirm that the "lovers" will be reunited on Redemption Island. Just as everything is all set up, Phillip decides to up his annoyance game. He starts by taking part of the roof off the old Zapatera shelter and burns it. He tells Andrea how to avoid a wasp. And he's found himself back on Rob and Grant's nerves. He tells us in confessional that he feels very safe tonight. He tells us that he set himself up to be the villain so that everyone in his tribe would consider him the best option to take to the finals. He says that every now and then, he needs to remind them of that. So the next scene we see if him complaining that the fishing nets are all tangled up and not out in the water like they always were when Zapatera was there. He tells us that he knows that Rob feels that he will win if he goes up against Phillip. But he has a speech all planned out that no one else has thought of. He is sure that he can go up against Rob at the final tribal and beat him.