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Survivor: Redemption Island - Episode 3
  Commentary by Lib Bastard 

"I’ll be back. You be ready”
-- Russell

Hi all! Welcome to episode 3 of Survivor: Redemption Island!

This season, so far, seems to have created an excellent level of entertainment – I’ve actually
become interested in what happens to certain characters. I did not ever get interested in
Nicaragua last time til the second half of the season.

Well, Russell, Russell, Russell! I can’t believe that the Russell magic/seeds didn’t work this time!
I guess that it comes from having all of the other players know what you are up to. Being an
asshole has its drawbacks, after all! How much of a horse’s ass must you be to goad a tribe into
throwing a challenge (with a TARP, blankets, and chairs as reward!) just to get rid of you?
I wonder if there were any misgivings amongst the tribe when Jeff revealed the reward?

Question: There was a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol (HII) in one of the chairs.
If Zapatera had won the challenge, would they have gotten the same clue? I’ve been looking
at this lately, and I think the clues are generic enough to fit either tribe. (Either that or the
producers fix the rewards after the challenge.)

Russell showed his desperation in this episode – he was almost frantic looking for the
Hidden Immunity Idol (HII) he obviously realized that his head was on the chopping block.
The fake idol ploy that Stephanie came up with was totally mishandled though, I think the
others were laughing at the attempt.

Notice that Ralph apparently did not tell anybody he had an idol. I thought that this might
be a mistake. He almost got voted out; if he had told just a couple of people (Steve and Mike)
that he had the idol, the entire TC would have been different – they would have just voted
Russell out straight, without the splitting of the votes.

Gross moment of the week: Russell’s armpits! Yeeecchhh! I know that hurt! Looked like
shingles to me, but I’m not a doctor. Note to future Survivor players: If you aren’t used to
shaving your armpits – DON’T! The one thing you want to do before Survivor – let’s shave
something that is not normally shaved, so that it gets wet, infected and nasty. It’s not like
it’s ever been done before – Shane did the same thing in his season, but in a more (personal)
place. It got infected, and he got Cerie (a nurse and the most intelligent person not to win
Survivor) to look at it.  {EWWW!}

The Duel at Redemption Island (RI:) In one corner we have the defending RI inhabitant: Francesca!
And in the other corner we have the new resident: Matt! We see just enough of ‘em to get the idea
that Matt is really pissed at Rob. This may not bode well for Rob if Matt makes it back and
Andrea is still in the game. The duel is a basic one, the old, tried and true Jailbreak challenge.
Francesca led early, but Matt came back to win. I sortta saw some phallic symbolism here,
but that’s just me. Bye, Francesca, we never got to know ya’!  Matt crawls back into his lair,
waiting for the next victim.  
(Note: Matt has help from his Heavenly Father - is that fair? :)

Why did Steve lie about the duel winner to Russell? I guess it was pure spite, since it made
no sense strategically, and might just get Russell even more pissed off (if possible).

Somewhere in here, Steve, Mike and the others put together the plan to throw the challenge
and oust Russell. Now this has been tried in seasons before: Ozzie got one of his tribe mates
ousted in Micronesia, and Burton got tossed in Pearl Islands due to a thrown challenge.
In neither season did that help the perpetrators of the plan. Here, it actually worked as
planned, booting Russell, but it remains to be seen if this is a good thing.

The Challenge: Round and Round we go… This is the same challenge from Nicaragua,
in the same pool. I’d hate to be one of the poor girls who had to take mouthfuls of that
nasty looking water, especially tied face down on a wheel. I hope it was cleaned from
last season – Fabio did take a piss in the pool, after all. What would be spewing into the
bucket from me wouldn’t be water. Since Zapatera was going to throw the challenge,
they asked Julie to deliberately miss the bucket. I think she did as they asked, though
she was not a happy camper. Note that she was smart enough about it not to loudly bitch.
David also played a part, and did a horrible attempt at solving the puzzle. Of course,
Russell noticed this and was not happy about it, after the loss. He mentioned “bitch-slapping”
his tribe mates – I’m sure Steve and Mike would take that easily.

Rob showed why he was such a good player after the challenge by looking for, and finding,
the HII clue in the reward. The fact that he was sharp enough to see the clue in the chair that
Phillip was draped over is an indicator that he is in the game to win. He also showed a
presence of mind to get Phillip to move his lardy butt from the chair. Rob also attempted
to make up with Andrea, but I don’t think this worked; Andrea still harbors a large feeling
for the departed Matt. I think this may come back to haunt Rob if he’s not careful.

Sidebar: I know what Rob should've said - "If you came here to find a boyfriend, then stay
mad at me.
If you came to win a million dollars, let's work together to make that happen."

It was classic Survivor in the Zapatera tribe after the challenge: A majority of the tribe wants
a certain player out, but that player might have an idol. That player, Russell, had his own plans,
and he almost made them work. If Julie had jumped to Russell’s side, Ralph would have gone
home instead, holding an idol. That being said, Russell and his pair of acolytes did a crappy
job of trying to turn Julie. (It didn’t help that Julie had expressed some dislike for Russell
before.) She also made the day by acting as if she was gonna jump ship, but she voted in
the alliance as planned. (Good acting!)

Tribal Council:  This was one of the more enjoyable TC’s. I found it fascinating that Russell
let Stephanie do most of the talking – to the point where I was telling her to STFU if she
wanted to stay in the game. By defending the target of the majority, she plastered a huge
target on her own back for the next TC. Notice that Krista basically was invisible, though
she followed through with votes for Ralph each time. Julie proved to be a good soldier,
voting for Russell each time. Julie’s vote was a good thing for Ralph, since he stayed in
the game due to her vote. It was also entertaining watching Stephanie’s face fall when the
tie vote occurred.  I was a bit surprised that Krista voted for Ralph again – that was a
bonehead move since it puts a huge sign above your head that says, ”I’m clueless, vote me out!”
She should have voted for Russell, which would have at least given her a chance to switch
over to the power alliance. Too bad; I thought she might make it through to the end.

Stupid Move of the Week: This week, we’ve got another tie for the award. When you look
at this episode, you see Rob enjoying a perfect TC from the last week, cleaning up the mess,
and finding the clue; and Steve and company pulling a perfect TC over Russell, sending him
to RI.  Throwing the Challenge was a questionable move, but the ultimate result remains to
be seen. However, there were a couple of things to look at AFA stupid moves go. Stephanie
spent a great deal of time defending Russell in TC. That was a FATAL MISTAKE. Stephanie
probably wrote her ticket to RI from that little action. The catty comment, “Storm’s a comin’”
to Julie didn’t help matters or make friends, either.  Krista, even though she kept her mouth
shut, didn’t do herself any favors by voting for Ralph in the re-vote – his only vote, and
obviously from her. In that one thing, Krista put herself in the same bad, dark place as
Stephanie. Because of their actions, I give it to both of these players. I’d bet we’ll see
‘em gone sooner rather than later.

This episode was a tutorial for what to do, and not to do in Survivor. The strong players
made big plays which succeeded, and the lesser players proved that they didn’t have a clue.
I see storm clouds on the horizon for both tribes – this is going to be an interesting season!

That’s it for now. I’ll be back with more incomprehensible commentary next week!

Note: I should've run this last week.
Last night's episode was EPIC, I can't wait to read LibBast's report on last night's show.

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