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Survivor: Redemption Island
  Commentray by Lib Bastard 

"That was simple as wiping your hiney with toilet paper."

And here we are with week two! The situation so far: Francesca is wandering around
Redemption Island, Russell is being Russell (again!), and Rob has established a firm
six person alliance. Ometepe is down one person, and Zapatera is sitting pretty.
Ralph is crowing like a rooster, and Phillip is on safari!

Who will make a good move this week? Who will screw themselves up?
Will Phillip eat a rock? Will Ralph go live with the monkeys in the trees?

After watching the first episode a couple of times, I’ve come to the conclusion that these
are probably the most promising group in several seasons, even with the number of recruits
in the game. (BTW, recruits are people that the producers ask to play, rather than apply.
On occasion, these people know NOTHING about the game, and it usually shows.
What do you expect when you pick somebody up in a BAR?) There are a couple of
people, however, that are golden: Phillip, Ralph and Matt in particular.

One thing I took away from the second episode: You can act Bat s—t crazy and people
will keep you (Phillip) but interact with the other tribe and you are toast (Matt), even when
your alliance and tribe is significantly weakened by the vote.

When Rob saw Matt congratulate Zapatera on the challenge win, you could see that
Rob was livid about what might be considered a gentlemanly and Christian gesture.
Unfortunately, this is Survivor, where this kind of thing will get you voted out.
(See Chad in Vanuatu.) Even though voting Matt out was strategically questionable,
Rob when ahead and did it.

Will this come back to bite Rob? I think so. He’s now down two players, one of them
a strong male and the other a smart female, and facing a full strength opposing tribe
that has two wins and confidence under their belts. This is not a good thing. The only
saving grace for Ometepe is that the other tribe has Russell, which is also not a good
thing. Russell could tear his tribe apart with his antics, if they let him.

Speaking of antics, what is Phillip smoking, and can I get some? ha ha  He is starting to
make Coach seem sane(!). His “hunting” expedition against the crab was observed by
his entire tribe, to their entertainment. Jeff Probst blogged that the entire event went on
much longer than broadcast, but the producers could not show it all. I’m hoping that
the CBS videos will include this. I think the tribe may keep Phillip around for giggles,
but he is probably second in line behind Kristina to be axed. He’s got to perform
better in challenges to stay in the game.

Comment: They got their swimsuits! We don’t have to see Phillip’s nasty boy-shorts
any more. I will miss the blurred out bottoms, though. Is it just me, or are these guys
being given LOTS of stuff? In Australia, they ended up trading a tarp (actually a Texas
Flag) for more rice, because they were starving.

RUSSELL: It didn’t take long for Russell to return to his normal game. Unfortunately
for him, the others are on to him, and are watching him like hawks. They knew that he
snuck out the HII clue from the basket, and when he lied to them about it, I think he
wrote his ticket to Redemption Island. His alliance of three people is not enough to make
any strong moves, and he will not find the HII (Hidden Immunity Idol) because Ralph
lucked into it. I doubt that any amount of browbeating from Russell will make Ralph
give it up, either. Without the HII, Russell is a dead man walking. I wouldn’t bet the
farm on the two girls that allied with him either.

RALPH: Ralph the Man-sweater has become a player, even though he sounds like a boob.
Under that hairy coat, I think there is a sharp, canny player. I noticed that Ralph did not
make the mistake of telling anybody about the HII after he found it. In the past, people
who bragged about finding the HII usually bought the farm shortly thereafter. Those who
keep the secret usually go pretty far, if not win the competition outright (Earl). Challenging
Russell may not have been a good move, however. Russell will now look at Ralph in a
different light, and there is no chance that any alliance forms here. Russell will start looking
for ways to get rid of Ralph as well, and I’d bet on some ‘hi-jinks’ on Russell’s part.

ROB: Rob has consolidated his power base, but he may have made a serious error in
voting Matt out. This is a bad move on several levels. Matt was a devoted follower of Rob,
so that is a solid vote that will never come back, even if Matt survives Redemption Island.
(Revenge is a bitch.) Rob also alienated Andrea, who was starting up a shomance with Matt,
breaking up the alliance further. Finally, this vote cost a tribe that is already weaker one of
their stronger players. BTW, did anybody notice Kristina’s reaction when Rob put his hand
on her shoulder at Tribal? I thought she was going to scream! You have to hand it to Rob,
however, he played the Tribal Council perfectly, and got everything he wanted.

PHILLIP: Well, if you want attention, this is ONE way of doing it. Only problem, you have
no chance of winning the game since you have no respect from the other players, only contempt.
This is too bad; Phillip appears to be a genuinely good person. If he had presented a more
disciplined persona, I think he could have won. I won’t write him off, yet, but he has to
totally change his game next week, or else take that long walk after TC.

KRISTINA: Wave bye-bye to any chance to win the game, lady, ‘cause you are gone at
the next TC, unless somebody does something really dumb (calling Phillip..). Kristina has
no allies, no HII, and, unless something changes between the tribes, no hope. She had no
clue about Rob’s strategy towards TC, and did little to find out what was going on.
She might have a chance if she tries to create an alliance with Andrea and Phillip,
but it’s not very likely. Makes you wonder if she can find the HII again.

ANDREA: She is on really shaky ground at this point, having lost Matt to TC. If Andrea is
not careful to hide her feelings, she will become a candidate if the tribe goes to TC again.
She already has a couple of people bring up her name; if she makes a scene she’ll rapidly
move up the list for votes at TC. She may have a chance if she forms an alliance with the
other outcasts, but they’ll need more help (the HII?).

MATT: The one rule that is always true in the early part of Survivor: players look for ANY
reason to target somebody else. All Matt did was congratulate the other tribe on the win,
but that was enough. It upset Rob because Matt was playing the good guy/social game that
early, and it cost Matt dearly. Even Grant (who?) commented on Matt, saying that it wasn’t
 something you wanted to see after a close loss. It will be interesting to see how the
Redemption Island challenge goes. 

Stupid Move of the Week: There are several good candidates for the award this week.
Matt earns a mention for congratulating the other tribe. Kristina earns kudos for totally
misplaying the HII, wasting it without knowing what the situation is. Phillip gets a second
award for being a general wackjob – again. Russell gets his first for lying to the rest of his
tribe about the clue. I give the actual award to Rob this week, for letting his emotions take
control, voting out Matt and angering Andrea, and weakening his tribe greatly.

Next week promises to be really interesting, with an RI challenge, a pissed off Andrea,
what’s Phillip gonna do this time?, and Russell being Russell.

That’s all this time, see ya’ next week!

Phillip has said a said a half-dozen times that "I'm a former federal agent."
Funny, he never mentions who he once worked for -  I'm guessing the DC Zoo :)

Rob has his team solidly behind him, IMO but Russell is, like Lib Bast said, Dead Man Walking.
Russell's team hated him the second they saw him, and now he's been caught lying to them.

Rob's team needs to win a challenge so the other tribe
can vote Russell off - how humiliating that will be for him.

On CBS's Big Brother, you
can watch  24 hours in each week, and 24 hours a day if you subscribe.
I wonder why they don't do that with their more popular Survivor?

Last thing, I wish  brain-dead TV pundits would stop talking about Survivor's ratings being down 10%.
They're up against American Idol, for Koresh's sake.


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