Survivor: Which Tribe Were You Rooting For in This Week's Immunity Challenge?

CBS aired a tense, thrilling game of hoops on Wednesday night, and it had nothing to do with the NCAA College Basketball Championships. Nope, I’m talking about what was undoubtedly the most exciting Immunity Challenge of the Survivor: Redemption Island season.

Before we discuss that showdown, though, let’s recap a few points of interest about an hour that was alternately unpredictable, hilarious, and suspenseful:

* Was anyone else shocked by the way David refused to play nice with Sarita in front of his tribemates? The “uptown girl” went and extended an olive branch, telling David she had a ton of respect for him despite the fact that he voted for her at the previous Tribal Council, and how does he respond? “You don’t need to give me a speech. It doesn’t matter.” Um, well, it might matter if somehow Sarita makes the jury and you need her vote to take home first prize, dude.

* Who else got a kick out of the fact that Stephanie’s yammering tested even the patience of gentle Biblical scholar Matt?

* Is Phillip truly following The Book of Five Rings and letting his enemy move first, or is Boston Rob correct in describing the man in the ill-fitting pink undies as “probably the most unaware person I’ve ever met in my entire life”? (I’m going with the latter.)

* I’ve never really believed God cared about the outcome of reality shows, but after watching Matt correctly flip over two skulls on his first game of Redemption Island Arena Concentration, I’m starting to think the man upstairs actively wants the guy back in the game. I don’t even think that foot injury hinted at in next week’s previews are going to be enough to help Sarita vanquish this Terminator-like competitor.

* After Phillip’s “crispy rice” tantrum and declaration that he’d take the first opportunity he could to ELIMINATE Boston Rob, I was a little worried when both men were perched near the mouth of an active volcano. Also, Rob tossing the immunity idol clue into the aforementioned fiery pit was one of the most unexpected, hilarious things I’ve seen on TV this year.

* How absolutely thrilling and brutal was this week’s Immunity Challenge? Anytime players have to bash their way through brick walls, you know it’s gonna be good, but the addition of hideous mud and that game of hoops with the world’s most narrow baskets had me perched on the edge of my seat, fists clutched in a moment of pure suspense. Please tell me I’m not alone on that.

* Was anyone else surprised Zapatera voted in favor of David over Sarita, even though the former player admitted he did not do a lick of scrambling to convince his tribemates to keep him around? (Then again, that giant log he dragged back to camp was worth 1,000 pleas for mercy.) I can’t say for sure how I would’ve voted in their shoes, but Zapatera had better hope the wily attorney stays loyal after the merge.

* And how about this brutal post-vote parting shot?
Sarita: “I wish I’d brought my stuff.”
David: “Don’t get too confident.”
Way to gloat in your victory, buddy! Though I’m still not sure what’s the source of David’s deep well of vitriol.

Were you as thrilled as I was with last night’s episode? Which tribe did you root for at the challenge? Vote in our poll below, and for all my reality TV recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. sneakin says:

    The tribal council vote may ahve been a “you were right, we were wrong” vote for David. I don’t think he was being disloyal to the tribe, he was trying to keep the numbers up. And while you think strength doesn’t matter after the merge, think again. If you have a loyal, strong allaince, they have a better chance to win more individual immunities. This keeps your group around longer and then it’s every man for himself. Well- that’s one way to play the game anyway.
    Rob’s throwing the clue in the volcano was probably my favorite moment last night.

  2. Sabrina says:

    This challenge was a very close replica of one done last season when they “randomly” chose teams and the women went up against the men. It is physically a very hard challenge and thus, very fun to watch. Due to some weird editing mix up those of us here in the Mountain time zone apparently missed the “crispy rice” conversation. We got a repeat of the Zapatera camp conversation again. I was not surprised they voted for Sarita to leave, they seem clueless as to how to play Survivor. Clearly they are approaching the merge and unity is more important than puzzle ability. But they still voted off someone loyal for someone who will negotiate with the devil if he can. I find it fascinating that Rob seems to have successfully kept Matt on his side. It is going to be very, very fun to watch those dynamics after the merge next week, because be honest, I don’t think Sarita can beat Matt at an endurance challenge (shown) even if he is injured. Each of the Redemption Island challenges has been a tried and true Survivor challenge from the past, this one appears to be the balance on small wooden pieces until one of you falls.

  3. Gen says:

    Great review! I definitely shared a lot of those thoughts. I was surprised they kept David around. I think Sarita is better at playing the social game than David. I’m a bit worried about Rob’s fate with the potential merge next week. Phillip was hilarious again this week, but they still need to get him out before he tries to get Rob out. I’m hoping they bring Matt back into the game next week. I think he’s proved himself.

  4. John Berggren says:

    You know – I wasn’t a fan of Rob to start, and I wasn’t a fan of his returning – but right now I want him to win. The other players either don’t rate for me or are plain annoying.
    No matter how much practice he’s had, the way he’s playing this game, he deserves to win.
    Maybe it’s unfair that he’s had so many tries – but you see how quickly Russell was evicted.

  5. JayK says:

    Every week I am blown away by Rob. He is so freaking good at this game. And let this season be the final lesson to all future Survivor contestants: THROWING CHALLENGES = NOT GOOD. I love watching Zapatera fall apart and am definitely amused they got rid of Sarita – just in time to NOT have any more tribal immunity challenges!

  6. darclyte says:

    I think they made the right choice based on the info that they had. David was doing what he thought was best for the tribe when he voted for Sarita last week instead of Steph. I think the tribe was correct last week because Steph would be more likely to flip to the other tribe at a merge than Sarita, but while David might also be more likely to flip, he’s MUCH better at challenges and “loyal” to the tribe it seems because he did try to improve their chances. If they’re thinking there won’t be a merge until 10 people, then keeping David was the smart move. but, seeing that the merge will come with 12 people (the Redemption Island winner will return) then perhaps they should have voted David out. But they didn’t know that at the time, so I think they did the right thing based on the info that they had.

    I thought that the immunity/reward challenge was one of the best ever. If they can have variations of it every season, it’d be great. Maybe add a direct physical confrontation twist at one point, or a puzzle, but that was really awesome…especially how close it was between the 2 tribes.

    When they make the rice, most of it is “fluffy,” but the bottom gets “crispy.” So, Rob told them to have the fluffy and he’ll eat the crispy. Big deal. He wasn’t even there when they were eating. Look, if I’m out there and someone volunteers to eat the crispy and leave the rest, I don’t care if it’s Rob, Russell, or Jesus himself, if it makes him stronger around camp and at challenges, then I’m all for it. Once it gets to individual immunity, forget it dude, you get what you get.

    When they were interviewing Rob at the edge of the volcano, I thought, “He’s gonna throw the clue into the pit.” When he did I LOLd. Good stuff!

  7. shaunna says:

    I was surprised Zapatera voted in favor of David over Sarita

    thought Boston Rob made a mistake in throwing clue into volcano, because it might have been a clue to a second IDOL.

    Plus he could have showed it to Philip and Rob, to keep team tight.
    but who am I to second guess Rob. Go Rob Go.