Survivor: Redemption Island has been a delightfully treacherous affair this season, and Wednesday night’s episode proved no exception. After Zapatera suffered a crushing defeat in a launch-and-catch-the-ball challenge, David tried to sway members of his six-person alliance to turn on Sarita and replace her with Russell’s former main squeeze Stephanie (or “Stifinie,” as one Zapatera member spelled it). It seemed like a long shot, but Survivor’s clever editors peppered the episode with enough complaints about Sarita and her sore tooth — she’s “a drama queen princess,” said Julie; she’s “too fancy of a girl for this kind of game,” added Ralph — that I thought she might be at risk.
Tribal Council brought more vitriol against Sarita, with Steve dismissing her as (gasp!) an “uptown girl” and David arguing that the overall strength of the team was more important than trust — particularly with Ometepe and Zapatera about to have an even number of tribe members. In the end, though, David’s plan went kaput: The Zapatera alliance stayed loyal to Sarita, and now it looks like the wily attorney could be the odd man out should his tribe lose another challenge. Then again, I wouldn’t exactly be filled with confidence if I was Sarita, either. (Quick thought about how the votes shook out: Maybe Stephanie could’ve secured some additional support if she’d chosen not to sound like such a petulant child at Tribal Council?)
There was intrigue at Ometepe, too, but mostly of the comical variety. Phillip railed against “beauty queens” Ashley and Natalie for their lack of work ethic. Boston Rob would up “playing Arafat in the peace process” (his words, not mine), while secretly delighting in the uselessness of the two women in his alliance. “I want them to annoy the crap out of everyone as much as possible,” he chuckled. Later, when Rob and Grant absconded with the clue to the hidden immunity idol (that Rob already has in his possession), Phillip felt betrayed. “Hell hath no fury like a lion or a gorilla when he thinks he’s been provoked,” said the man in the hot-pink skivvies, pointing to his dual animal tattoos. Didn’t Rob and Grant know they were playing “mentalist” and “assassin” to Phillip’s “specialist”? Uff da. I’m looking forward to another Tribal Council meltdown for Phillip in the not-so-distant future.
And finally, there’s the matter of Matt’s total dominance in Redemption Island Arena. The upbeat Christian fellow has repeatedly surmised his status in the game is in God’s hands, and if he’s right, it’s starting to look like God wants Matt back in the game of Survivor. We’ve already seen him vanquish Francesca, Russell, Kristina, and Krista. Next week he’ll take on Stephanie. Is there any way the guy can lose in a head-to-head showdown? And how are you feeling about the idea of Redemption Island overall? Take our poll below, then hit the comments to give your thoughts on this week’s episode.
Slezak on Twitter: @MichaelSlezakTV.