Survivor: Did Rob Make the Right Tribal Vote?

Wednesday night’s episode of Survivor: Redemption Island played out so predictably that it bordered on suspenseful. Crazy, I know, but also kinda true. I can’t be the only one who kept thinking, “It’s just too easy for the Ometepe Six to wipe out the final two members of Zapatera. Surely someone somewhere somehow is going to shake things up.” But nope, neither Steve nor Ralph could get any blindside traction — even after trying to convince Natalie and Ashley that Ometepe’s three ladies could team up with them to oust Rob, Phillip, and Grant, and still have the numbers to knock out the former Zapateras. It would’ve been priceless to see how/if Boston Rob managed that kind of mutiny, but right now his control of the game is simply too absolute, and the furry farmer and concave NFL vet paid the price in back-to-back eliminations.

On the subject of blindsides, however, Rob gave serious consideration to sparing a Zapatera and ousting Andrea, who made the foolish error of expressing regret in front of her alliance members over their blindside of Matt. Yes, her regret was only “on a human level,” but these are the kinds of emotions better left unexpressed in the Survivor-verse. I loved that Grant had enough brainpower at Day 30 to recognize the value of choosing Rob and Andrea to share his cake reward after the immunity challenge: Why give the lowest member of the Ometepe totem pole any reason to doubt her status? And I found it a little amusing that Steve almost saved himself by lazing around and complaining about his hunger, but felt the sting of Rob’s axe for attempting to get some strategy going.

Also interesting: The “surprise” second immunity challenge — a classic “match the sequence of Jeff’s tiles” game — tested the remaining eight island-goers on their mental alertness, yet only Boston Rob was able to get past Round One.

Before we get to this week’s poll question, a couple other highlights:

* Anyone else surprised that Phillip didnt truly accept Steve’s post-Rice War olive branch. “I didn’t feel it was totally genuous [sic],” huffed Crazy McLooniepants.

* Quote of the night (after Phillip found his hidden shorts): “Don’t mess with the undercover specialist because he makes his living uncovering truth!”

* I didn’t know whether to chuckle or say a little prayer for Matt after his tearful admission that he couldn’t understand why God was allowing him to stay on Redemption Island and in the game (accompanied by an angelic chorus) (subtle, CBS!). Later, after Matt and Mike survived another day in the game over Julie via a rousing game of shuffleboard (seriously?), we got his bon mot from Jeff: “God wants you here whether you wanna be here or not!”

All right, Survivor buffs. Vote in the poll below, then sound off on last night’s episode in the comments. Can Rob be stopped? Is there any way Andrea’s not the next one on the chopping block? Who’s likeliest to be the last one standing at Redemption Island? Sound off below, and for all my reality 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. Sean says:

    My Random Thoughts:

    – The (Non) Duel, was predicated by another sugary Matt speech about how he’s at peace with everything, and God loves everyone…and I’ve never in my life loved the gloriously dimply Jeff Probst more than when he took it all in and essentially responded with, “OK then, let’s play some shuffleboard!”

    – Grant suggested Andrea as a potential candidate to vote out, partially because she was feeling guilty about Matt, and partially because she’s good at puzzles. (BUT NOT AS GOOD AS DAVE!) It was an interesting bit of strategy, but I couldn’t get past the fact that he was wearing pink slippers in his confessional.

    – Look Steve, I get that you’re frustrated with Phillip for his rant last week, but if you’re going to call him names, did you not have the presence of mind to think that the first TWO names you call him shouldn’t be “N-Word’s”. Nimrod and Numbnuts? Really?

    – I had a better idea for the “Twist.” How awesome would it have been if the card said, the three people on Redemption Island will compete RIGHT NOW, the winner is back in the game, and THEN there is an immediate vote…and the Redemption (Non) Island returnee has immunity.

    After you’re done here at TVLine, I hope you’ll check out the rest of recap at, or you can just click on my name.

    • John Berggren says:

      Any auto-immunity for a RI returner would not be in keeping with the spirit of the game (nor fair). When they return they’ll have to compete for immunity before the next tribal.

    • Liz says:

      He wasn’t wearing pink slippers, they were red Tom’s shoes

  2. AlistairCrane says:

    I love that Rob’s tribe has made it intact to the final six! Everyone, even Phillip, is just so much more appealing than the whiny losers of Zapatera. The only good thing that tribe ever did was finally get rid of Russell.

    Sooooo done with Matt’s God speech. So damn annoying!

  3. John Berggren says:

    Rob continues to play the master game – and I’ll be very disappointed if he doesn’t get the million dollars. He deserves it. I can’t imagine Andrea not going next, but I also can’t imagine Rob not eyeing an elimination spot for Grant soon. I don’t think he wants to risk sitting next to him in the final.

  4. Riz says:

    I am so sick of this being the Rob show, with the Rob Zombies as extras. And for all you that say Rob is so fantastic and a genius, blah, blah, blah – remember that this is the 4TH time he is playing this game. I would be a mastermind strategist too. What a disappointing season.

  5. holly says:

    It’s just a boring season at this point.

    • Amy says:

      I agree. It’s gotten so predictable that it’s not even fun to watch anymore. I used to look forward to Survivor every week as the highlight, I guess that kind of ended last night. Survivor used to entertaining because you never really knew going into each episode who would go home, but that’s clearly not the case anymore.

  6. Dana says:

    I love the fact that this alliance has stayed intact. It’s a testament to what could happen when you accept that you don’t like everyone in your alliance (Phillip) yet you stay together anyway because you have a common goal. I can’t remember the last time a large group stayed together this long.
    How many times has turning on an alliance backfired on someone and if they’d just stuck with the original alliance they would have made it to the end. The fact is, Rob has managed to isolate this group so much that the normal doubts and second-guessing hasn’t had a chance to set in.
    Now that we’re down to the final 6 the three girls will have to start playing the game – maybe. Despite the fact that someone is going home, everyone still feels safe. By the time that the girls realize that they’re not, it’ll be too late because Rob has such a huge headstart on game play.

  7. Karen says:

    No if Rob and the crew voted out Andrea – she’d have special time with Matt on Redemtion Island to be bitter betties. It was best to go as predicted. Also you wouldn’t want the other ladies to risk thinking Rob could betray them like he did and blindside them too.

  8. JGM says:

    Have you ever found or bought an old locked safe? You anticipate the bounty inside, track down a locksmith to get you inside, and discover… nothing. It’s empty. That’s how I felt last night.

    The mystery package had the potential to end the show in amazing fashion, but instead it was a huge disappointment. I certainly don’t blame the players — they’re doing what they should within the show, but the votes are becoming so predictable (and even when they’re not, we still know it’s one of two people) that there are no surprises.

    I would like them to stop showing the strategy before Tribal Council. Let us be surprised who’s voted out, THEN go back and show the clips of how the votes were determined.

  9. Brent says:

    It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a good old-fashioned “Pagonging.” For those of you who don’t remember the first season of “Survivor,” the original Tagi Tribe picked off the members of the original Pagong Tribe one after another so that the final five were all from the old Tagi Tribe.

    There are a lot of questions about Rob’s end game strategy but I think he has to go up there with the other masters of the game. Yes, this is his fourth time on the show, but he has shown that he learns from his mistakes. In “Heroes vs Villains” he was able to get a read on Russell despite not having seen the “demented Hobbit’s” original season, but was beaten because he wasn’t able to keep his alliance in line. He learned from that and the result is the discipline he’s maintained this season. More than any of the others he has a vision of how things are going to go, and I think he’s rewriting the textbook on how to win the game.

  10. Mike says:

    Looks like Sean has branched out from…

    I really enjoy Rob, and think the game he is playing is awesome. With that being said – I really wish the three girls teamed up with Steve and Ralph. That would have been the most EPIC blindside ever and would have all but ensured they made it to the final 3. They are so dumb and manipulated by Rob they couldn’t see the power that would have given them. So dissapointing, but then again they are all muppets for Rob, so I shouldn’t have expected any less.

  11. Tahoe Mike says:

    I loved that shot of Andrea with chocolate all over her face. That was a happy girl.

  12. jef says:

    Totally boring season. No suspense at all. Anyone with half a brain would have gotten rid of Rob as quickly as possible. And does no one even wonder what happened to the immunity idol?

  13. John Harnes says:

    The curse of Russell!!!

    Rob is great! Hero, Villain, he told the truth. He found Amber and he has not betrayed her. They make such a great team. I wish they both were on something together again!

  14. Lee says:

    As to the poll question, it didn’t matter whether Andrea went now or later, because she is a sheep, as weak and ineffectual as Ashley and Natalie, though not (quite) as annoying. I cannot believe how Ashley and Natalie are NOT EVEN PLAYING THE GAME! They went on Survivor so they could get tan! Steve gives them a great opportunity to PLAY the game and make a bold move and they don’t even consider it, not for one second. They are just going to sit there and wait for Rob to tell them what to do until he decides to vote them off. If someone on this beach doesn’t develop some kind of spine, this will go down as one of the most disappointing Survivor seasons. It’s not that I don’t want Boston Rob to win, but come on people, at least play the game and make him work for it!

  15. Bill Dauphin says:

    I cannot believe how Ashley and Natalie are NOT EVEN PLAYING THE GAME!

    I disagree. I don’t know for sure what they’re thinking, of course, but in their shoes here’s what I’d be thinking: Rob is a great bet to make it to the final three, and to control who comes with him. He won’t take Grant, who’s too much of a threat; he will take Phillip, whose such an annoying crazypants that no sane person would vote for him regardless of who else is in the final 3. If those two girls are the perfect quiet, compliant soldiers, they might well think one or the other of them is a shoe-in for the remaining final 3 spot, and once there, no worse than a 2nd place finish. Probably no better, either, of course, but you never know whether there’ll be an anti-Rob backlash based on previous seasons or whatever… and in any case $100 grand ain’t bad. Plus, since they’re both adorable, they have to be thinking about the fan favorite prize.

    I actually think that the best available strategy for those girls is to surf the Boston Rob wave all the way to the end, then fight it out between themselves for the final spot.

    • Bill Dauphin says:

      D’Oh! The first line of my post above was supposed to be a quote from Lee’s post; must’ve misspelled bloqkctoe. 8^(

      Also, I didn’t see the Reply link ’til after I’d hit Submit. I’m not used to threaded comments in most of the places I post.

  16. Asiantv says:

    I have tired of Boston Rob, on anything. He’s milked his 15 minutes way too long…