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REVIEW: Survivor Redemption Island “You Own My Vote” S22 E2

I think I am going to love this season of Survivor.  There are so many interesting people and I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface yet of all the “characters” on the island.

Redemption Island

We get to see Francesca on RI and it looks like it is going to suck.  The shelter doesn’t look like much of a shelter, there is barely any food,  and other than Survivor allowing you to have your luxury item, there is nothing or no one to help keep your sanity in check.  I can’t want to see how it plays out if someone is on RI for an extended period of time and enters back into the game.  Do we know how many people come back and at what point?  I assumed one person and my guess was right around the merge.  But you know what happens when you assume!  I would be pissed if I was on RI for 2 weeks, survived that whole time, got back into the game, only to promptly get voted out.  That person could turn into an easy vote out or a huge swing vote for someone or new life for someone.

Philip

Philip is nuts!!!  I’ve heard the comparison to Coach but it’s different for me.  I really didn’t like Coach.  I can’t put my finger on it but he annoyed the crap out of me.  He tried to come off as this big threat and “villain” but he was just pathetic.  I hate to be that mean but that man just rubbed me the wrong way.  Plus I think Coach was playing up a caricature of himself rather than being himself.  With Philip, I think this is who Philip is.  I don’t Philip is pretending to be anything he isn’t.  He’s just nuts…..ha!!!  And I hate to say it but he is great TV.  I can’t wait to see what this crazy man is going to do or say next.  He’s like Michael Scott to me.  Every time he goes to say something or have another one of his post-challenge debriefings, I just cringe at what is going to come out of his mouth.   When he had his confessional behind that tree and started getting choked up about his patriotism…my husband was busting a gut laughing and I was laughing at how hard my husband was laughing.  But as out there as that was, I truly believe that Philip has a huge love for our country and how can you not like someone like that!   AS Boston Rob says, “you know what they say about government jobs…stressful!”   But the Philip line of the day was the following interaction with Probst:

Philip: I will outlast any MAN over there.
Probst: How about the women?
Philip: Well that’s for another day.  We’ll have to see.

Ha!!!  Cuckoo!!!!

Team Rob and the Big Blindside

One of the most perfectly executed tribals ever for Rob.  Tyson screwed him on Heroes vs. Villains but luckily for him, this set of groupies know how to follow direction.   Rob had three goals with this tribal…1. split up Matt and Andrea 2. get Kristina to play her idol and 3. get Philip to trust him.  Rob was starting to notice how close Andrea and Matt were getting.  He knows from personal experience how dangerous a powerful twosome can be.  So he thinks these two need to split up pronto.  His main target is Andrea but that changes after the immunity challenge.  After the challenge, Matt goes over to Team Russell and shakes their hands after losing.  This did not sit well with Rob (and other members of the tribe) AT ALL.  Not only was it stupid to shake the hands of the people who just beat you for immunity, but it shows a social element Matt is playing that can be dangerous.   Strike #2 against him.  So Rob decides to switch his target from Andrea to Matt.  So within his 6 person alliance, we see the true 4 person alliance formed between Rob, Natalie, Ashley, and Grant.  In order to make goals #1 and #2 happen, Rob sets up a plan.  With the 6 person alliance, he tells the girls to vote for Kristina, the guys to vote of Philip (3-3 split), Kristina will play the idol and Philip will go home.  Then he pulls the real alliance of 4 aside, explains the danger of Matt and Andrea, to which they all agree, and the four of them decide to vote for Matt.  Great plan!!!  Now you have the Philip factor.  Earlier in the show, after the last tribal council, Phil pulled Rob aside and told him that as long as I am not on RI, you own my vote.   How great for Rob.  He doesn’t even need to sell them on the idea of aligning with him because people are walking up to him and telling him they are on his side.  Crazy Philip!   Of course while all this is going on, Philip wants to know what the plan is.  Rob pulls him aside and I immediately hit the pause button on my TV.  “Tell me Boston Rob is smarter than this and he will NOT tell Philip the plan considering what happened at the last tribal council” I say to my husband.  After some back and forth we both agree that Rob isn’t that dumb and won’t tell him what is up.  Pressing Play and resuming the show.  Rob tells Philip that the final vote isn’t decided yet but to trust him to know that what ever happens tonight, you are safe.  He tells Phil that he will tap the shoulder of the person he wants him to vote for.  He also tells him that just know, however crazy this TC turns out to be, it’s for the long-term interest of the tribe and he (Philip) is totally safe tonight.  Brilliant move!   We get to TC and everything falls perfectly into place for Rob.  Kristina thinks she is going home possibly so she plays her idol, Rob tells Philip to vote for Kristina (which he does) and Rob holds true to his word that Philip is safe, and the 4 alliance members are able to blindside Matt (and Andrea for that matter.)   Other than Parvati, Cirie, and Natalie convincing Eric to give up his immunity necklace to Natalie, this may have been one of the best plays I’ve seen at tribal.  It may be better because the girls came off looking like bitches where Rob is still coming out smelling like a rose…except to Andrea.

I wonder if the only thing that may come back to bite Rob is the RI factor.  Did he think about sending a young, strong, pissed off man to RI with the very real possibility that he could dominate over there and come back in the game?  That’s the one element of the game, Rob doesn’t have a plan for because it is all new to him.  This is where RI will become so interesting because blindsides this early on in the game could hurt you if that person comes back.  Whereas before, they were gone never to come back so who cares.  Guess we’ll have to wait and see.  But as of right now, Rob is in full control of his tribe.  But if they don’t start winning some challenges, he won’t matter because he won’t have the numbers.

Team Russell vs Team Man Sweater

For a tribe that has been winning every challenge, they are the most unknown group to me.  Other than Ralph, Russell, and Mike, there really isn’t anyone else we have gotten know very well yet.  We got a little more with Stephanie and Krista but not much.

I said it from the beginning that I don’t think Russell is long for this game.  Other than the dim wits Stephanie and Krista, NO ONE on his tribe wants him around and the first chance they get, they are going to vote him out.  However, if they keep winning challenges, it’s a whole other story!   And that is where Russell can get dangerous.  He’s got Stephanie under his wing and I’m not about Krista’s motives yet (maybe she is playing him) but from a surface level, she looks to be aligning with him.  Russell has managed to get to the end 2 times even without the majority of people on his side.  But he did have some help…the immunity idol.  Russell may have the clue, but Ralph has the idol.   The best part is, he wasn’t even looking for it!!!  He was picking up rocks for whatever reason and happened to stumble on the idol!!    I’ll say this again too…weren’t the idols supposed to be more difficult to find due to the “Russell Factor?”  Both Kristina and Ralph found idols without clues and Ralph wasn’t even looking!  Anyway, Russell has no idol and his tribe is on to him and his antics.  Russell, like Rob, knows what’s up having played multiple times.  So Russell knew there would be a clue in the fishing gear they won.  He was right and he snagged it.  The problem is, Ralph saw him do it and proceeded to tell the rest of the tribe.  When Russell went off with Steph and Krista to read the clue, Mike and Ralph followed him and confronted him about it.  Ralph directly asked him if he had the clue and Russell said no (shocker.)  They don’t believe him and since the clue was in the group reward, they think the group should see the clue because it belongs to all of them.  Russell tells him that isn’t how the game is played and we get the typical “you are either with me or against me” and “I don’t like how you’re coming at me.”  Looks like Russell hasn’t learned anything.

Here’s what I think about that confrontation.  First, Russell is 100% right.  This is Survivor dude.  If I find a clue to an idol, I am under no obligation to share it with you.  Remember the motto?  Outwit, outlast, outplay?  How do I do that if I am sharing information that could save me?  Especially someone like Russell who is already on the chopping block.   Again, have you people not seen this show before?  God that drives me nuts.  If Ralph wants to use that logic, then shouldn’t he share the idol he found with the tribe?  Just like Russell found the clue in the tribe’s reward, Ralph found the idol at the tribe’s camp.  That’s another thing that drives me nuts about some people in this game.  You can be deceitful about something but you call it strategy when you do it (which it is.)  But if someone else makes a deceitful move, it’s untrustworthy and that person is a scum ball.  Huh?  Granted Russell has mad some pretty questionable moves that has sky-rocketed his unlikability and he has set a precedent for being an asshole.  But being a jerk is different from being untrustworthy.  If you look at Russell’s alliances in the past..Natalie, Parvati…he was very open and honest with them.  He never lied to them and he trusted them and they trusted him (kind of.)  But he never strayed from that alliance.  He only messed with and lied to the people he didn’t trust or need.  Believe me, I am NOT sticking up for Russell Hantz.  He’s a douchebag with a capital D.  But people are being hypocritical for saying that when Russell makes a strategic move, he’s a jerk but when other people do it, it’s just plain strategy.  Boston Rob already turned on one of his alliance-mates.  But you don’t see anyone ready to call him the worst guy ever (except for maybe Andrea.)  The difference is, Rob is much smarter about it because he knows how to play the social game.   Something Russell has never and probably will never, figure out how to do.

Next Week on Survivor…

So we finally get a RI showdown.  I wonder what part of the show, this will happen?  I always like TC being the end of the show so I don’t think the RI showdown will be at the end.  My guess would be sometime after we see the reward/immunity challenge.  And can I just say that I love the fact that the challenges are now combined into one thus giving more time to see the camp life dynamic.  I guess it can be a good and bad thing.  If you have interesting people, it’s awesome to see all that footage.  But if the people suck, that gives more airtime to boring people. In any case, I like it.  I would rather see more time with the cast than with the challenges anyway.

My guess for who wins at RI?  It’s hard to tell.  If it’s a straight physical challenge, I would have to go with Matt.  And not because he’s a guy.  I just think he is physically stronger than Francesca.  If it were Matt vs. Julie, it’s a toss-up.  If it’s a mental challenge, it looks even but I have to give the edge to Francesca.  It’s hard to say because I have no idea what type of “duel” they are going to have.  It could be fire making.  It could be swimming.  It could be standing on one foot the longest.  Who knows.  No matter what, I am giving the slight edge to Matt only because he was so blindsided and therefore pissed that I think his drive and determination to stay in the game will propel him to victory.

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Posted by on February 24, 2011 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Survivor Redemption Island “You’re Looking At the New Leader of Our Tribe” S22 E1

I do not like reality TV.  It’s just not my thing.  I guess the reason is because I don’t like what reality TV has become…Jersey Shore, Real Housewives, etc.  It’s a bunch of crap and it’s pathetic.   For me, there is only one reality show worth watching.  It was the first, it was the best, and it still is one of the best hours on TV…Survivor!!!!   Why do I love Survivor?   It’s because there is no better juxtaposition of the social, physical, and intellectual elements that make up this show, on TV.  It’s fascinating to watch and it’s different every time.  I’ve never missed a season.

This season introduces a new element…redemption island.  I don’t know how I feel about this but I am willing to keep an open mind to see how it goes.  They had an element like this in a previous season where some previously voted off people came back into the game and I hated it.   But it was twist and no one had any idea it was coming.  Now it’s front and center and every one is aware of this new part of the game.   RI also brings back 2 very popular if not polarizing players…”Boston” Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz.  Talk about a controversial decision on the network’s part!  People are either loving or hating this.  I love it. I don’t care that Boston Rob is playing for his 4th time.  That guy is GREAT TV.  I would watch him all the time.   But I can also understand why people are sick of seeing him.  As for Russell, I hate the guy.  I think he’s an asshole and I don’t think there is one likable thing about him.  But having said that, he is also great TV.  Every show needs a villain and Russell is one of the best TV villains I have ever seen.  I also think he got royally screwed in Survivor Samoa.  The guy is a jerk but there is no way Natalie should have beaten him that season.

You know what always bugs me.   Seeing people come on Survivor and making the same mistakes over and over again.  I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have yelled at the TV, “HAVE YOU PEOPLE NEVER WATCHED THIS SHOW!!!!”   If you are ever planning on going on Survivor, here are a few tid bits that may help you stay around for a while:

  1. Don’t be a bossy, know-it-all the first 3 days out there.  No one likes to be told what to do and no one likes to be bossed around.  Don’t be obnoxious and don’t be an ass.   You can assist and offer suggestions in a calm and respectful manner.  You don’t need to bully people.  This one has always been a no brainer to me and still amazes me every time I see people do it.
  2. Don’t align yourself with someone too quickly.  Wait it out a bit.   Be observant.  Go with the flow.  Be a team player and start to learn who will best suit your needs to get you to the end.   It AMAZES me when I see two people who just met 3 hours ago making an agreement to trust each other until the end.  Are you kidding me!
  3. When you find a hidden immunity idol, DON’T TELL ANYONE!!!!   I cannot believe how over and over again, people find hidden immunity idols and then proceed to tell someone.  If you can’t 100% trust the person you are about to tell, don’t tell them!!!  It usually leads to problems and issues because word quickly spreads around camp because inevitably someone is told who can’t be trusted.  Stop sharing this info people!
  4. Don’t get rid of physically strong people early.  In the early stages of the game, you need to win challenges.   The more challenges you win, the more you don’t have to go to tribal council, the longer you stay in the game.  It’s that simple.  I know there are annoying people but suck it up if they can help you win.  They will eventually get the boot anyway.  And by getting rid of physical “threats” too early in the game weakens your tribe to the point you will start to lose.  Which means a higher chance of you possibly going home.

There were many mistakes made by people in this season very early and it led to one of the BEST first tribal councils in the history of the show.  When you are playing Survivor with former players on your tribe, you have to be so careful.  Especially with players as crafty as Rob and Russell.  They will notice what you are doing and they will use it to their advantage.  Prime example…Kristina started looking for the hidden immunity idol clue in the Craftman’s tool box.  Smart girl and it was a great idea.  Her only problem, she was so obvious about it that Rob noticed it.  Now she put herself on Rob’s radar as someone to lookout for.  And it comes back to bite her at tribal council.  She doesn’t find a clue but goes searching for it anyway and ends up finding it!  I give her mad props because I read that after Russell’s season of finding idols so easily, they made the hidden locations and clues, much more difficult.  She ends up telling Francesca and she wants to put a plan in place to get out Rob.   While I understand wanting to get Rob out of the game, it’s too big of a move too soon.  Rob has his little newbie crew that when he says jump, they say how high.  If you get rid of their hero, you will be next because they will hate you for it.  While I applaud wanting to make a power move, it was way too soon for that.  Kristina wasn’t thinking 6 days ahead.  She was only thinking about the immediate future and that can kill you on Survivor.  Kristina’s other mistake was aligning herself with Phillip.  Phillip is a nut job.  How was that man a federal agent?  Oh did you know?  Phillip’s a federal agent.  He seems nice enough but with him being a federal agent, he felt the empowerment to boss everyone around camp.  Did you hear Phillip was a federal agent?  In case you didn’t know he was a federal agent, he will have no problem telling about every 30 seconds.  Yikes!  This guy is a complete loose cannon, he doesn’t listen to anyone, he thinks he has all the answers…there were so many warning flags with this guy, it was ridiculous.  But in one of his paranoid filled rants, Kristina shows him the hidden immunity idol and tells him the whole plan.  Oh God!  You knew this wasn’t going to be good.  Fast forward to tribal council where all hell breaks loose.

At tribal council, the usual questions come from Jeff about how the survivors are feeling and how camp life is…pretty innocuous questions.  The next thing you know, Phillip has diarrhea of the mouth and starts telling everyone the plan to vote out Rob.  So of course Rob is going to use this to his advantage in front of his harem and questions Kristina and Francesca about voting him out.  Kristina says that was not the plan and Francesca never wanted to vote out Rob.  Francesca agrees with her and when that happens, Agent Phillip shoots his mouth off again.   He starts kissing Rob’s ass by saying that isn’t true and that the plan was for the 3 of them to vote for Rob and convince everyone else to vote for Kristina since she has a hidden immunity idol.  SAY WHAT!!!!  My husband and I couldn’t believe he just did that!!!  Not cool Phillip, not cool.  Again, have you never seen Survivor before?  You don’t rat out your alliance like that and give out that information.  But I also blame Kristina because you should have known that Phillip had a screw loose and you couldn’t trust anything about that man.  So Rob asks to see the idol and makes a deal with Kristina…give him the idol and she doesn’t get voted out.  She says no. They vote and Kristina makes a bold move and doesn’t play her idol. Unfortunately, Francesca gets voted out.  She is probably the first person ever voted out of Survivor (that wasn’t some sort of All Star or Reunion show ) that I was really sad to see go.

If this is the type of fireworks we can expect to see from this season, I am really looking forward to RI.  I didn’t hate Nicaragua as much as some other people did but it was certainly a let down after the INCREDIBLE season that was Heroes vs Villains.  I am very anxious to see the RI element but we probably won’t see that until around the 3rd episode since someone else needs to be kicked off before we have a showdown.

What do you guys think about Rob and Russell?  Do you see them sticking around for a while or do you see them getting voted out?  I see Rob sticking around since his harem lives and dies on every word he says.   If Rob can make it to the merge with a strong alliance, I can see him getting to end and possibly winning.  Russell has a much bigger target on his back.  He is already despised and not trusted so I really don’t see him lasting until the merge.  If he does go far, I will have a whole new respect for that man (still hate him though.)  But I think his days are numbered.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2011 in CBS, Quick Reviews/Recaps

 

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