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Survivor 22 – Redemption Island: A Mystery Package

At first I thought the title of the episode would refer to something much nastier and related to the fact that Phillip wouldn’t find his shorts. I’m relieved.
However, this is the only thing I’m relieved about really. And I’m pissed at Jeff Probst. I’m pissed at him, because after two disappointing non All-Stars seasons (Samoa and Nicaragua) I had high hopes for this season, the cast seemed very interesting and Probst promised this season was going to be in the Top Five. Or did he mean the Top Five of the worst seasons ever?Seriously? Is there anything to redeem this season at all? First, the most interesting female players are voted out, then Matt is a huge disappointment, and finally the most painful to watch pagonging ever, painful to watch because the winning people are not playing the game a single bit, and the people that are trying to do so are  getting picked out one by one with no possibility to do anything, as the other idiots refuse to play the game and just want to hand out a big fat check to Rob, because they’re brainwashed this way.
Yes, it was a long sentence, I know, almost as long as my frustration is intense right now.
Seriously, what’s wrong with those girls? Do they all secretly hope they’ll be the one next to Rob in the final? So this is why they won’t gang up on him together when every member of Zapatera, one by one, show them their options and show them what Rob’s doing? What about Grant? More on him in his paragraph.

So seriously Probst, why did you lie to us like that? Or are you just so in love with Rob that you too just spent the entire season drooling over him and not paying attention to anything else? (yes, I’m foolish and pretentious like that, talking to Jeff Probst as if there was the slightest chance on earth he reads this)

Redemption Island


Julie Wolfe is the second member of the jury: The editing has a huge influence on how we perceive these people and the game (more on that next paragraph). Take Julie, I really disliked her at the beginning, I thought she wouldn’t be interesting at all, and that she should be one of the first ones to be voted out. 11 episodes in, I really like her and I really wish she had stayed longer. Also, I want to mention one thing she said as she was leaving the game (we see more in the Ponderosa video clips on is something we almost never hear anymore on Survivor (I admit it would get old if we heard it every season), it is how much this experience has changed her life and gave her a new outlook on things. On Ponderosa, that scene where she watches the sunset from the pool was very moving somehow. First I really had my reserves about her, but now I think she’s a genuinely good person.


Matt Elrod lives another day: Ok, Matt, the “God this, God that” is really getting old. You’re tired of being on Redemption Island? You just have to let other people win and your torture will end automatically. Thing is that it seems more and more obvious that Matt will be the one re-entering the game once again. Why am I saying this? Well, the edit makes me say that. See, pre-merge, it made sense that the editing focused so much on him as his run at Redemption Island was pretty amazing and that he’ll end up re-entering the game only to be send to Redemption Island again at the next vote. But the editing still focuses on him a lot, we barely saw Mike for example. So it can only mean one thing: his story is not over yet. And seriously, at this stage, is by any chance, he manages to make it to the final, I don’t see how he’s not winning it all. Will it be fair? At first, I’d be inclined to say that it isn’t, after all he hasn’t really played the game (and the little he has played it, he really sucked at it). Then, again, Ashley and Natalie are not playing it either, they’re ostentatiously refusing to play it, and Matt definitely deserves to win over them. Still, is it fair that somebody that got voted out not once but twice gets to sit in the final and win the game?
Well, when they had the Outcasts twist in Pearl Islands it was definitely unfair, because the other players didn’t know the people they were voted out would have a chance to come back. This time they know, so that fact has to play a part in their strategy, and it does to a certain extent, Mike and David were sent to Redemption Island by Rob so that they beat Matt. So if Matt wins, on the one hand, yes it is somewhat unfair. On the other hand, that would never have been an issue if Ometepe hadn’t been a bunch of clowns and tools. And I have to admit that I would love it if Rob was beaten by Matt, maybe only that could redeem this season at this point.

Mike Chiesl lives another day: Well, not much about Mike today. He’s still in the game, he still has a good chance to re-enter the game and win, but I don’t think it’s going to happen, because of the edit he’s getting now (the one of the guy that’s almost gone anyway, so why bother).

The Murlonio/Mariano Tribe

Andrea Boelhke: Unfortunately she keeps on disappointing me. She’s passing every opportunity to make a big move, now she’s on the chopping block and doesn’t even know it. Is there anything that is not disappointing this season?
Ashley Underwood: How can anyone so stupid be so far in the game. We’ve seen a lot of coattail riders over the seasons, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen one that refused to play the game to blatantly. It really seems that the only thing she cares about is that Rob wins. How lame is that?
Grant Mattos: It was a very nice and good reminder from Steve about what happens to Rob’s “friends” when he doesn’t need them anymore. What’s crazy about Matt, is that he also has the insight of Natalie Bolton (they’re friends, remember?) who got burned by Amanda Kimmel, Parvati and Cirie in a similar fashion that Grant will most likely get burned too. He’s a likable guy and he’ll definitely win against anybody in the final at this stage of the game. This is why his chances to make it to the final are slim to none. Grant will be the new Lex van den Berghe/Big Tom/Natalie Bolton. What’s infuriating is that both Steve (and hopefully Natalie) have warned him about that. Yet, he will join that group, I don’t see how he won’t.
Natalie Tenerelli: Wow, she spoke today. I can’t remember what she said, but she spoke. Pretty amazing! Strangely, I won’t blame her for not trying to win, just like I blame Andrea, Ashley and Grant, because her way of not playing the game is what is going to make her win, as the final three right now looks like it’s going to be Rob, Phillip and her, and she knows it and she knows that she has every chance to win against them. So ironically (sadly and infuriatingly) not playing the game is for her the best way to play the game.
Former Federal Agent Phillip Sheppard: I’m actually impressed that he’s found his trunks. Apart from that not much about him this week, which is surprising.

Ralph Kiser sent to Redemption Island:What can I say really? His only chance to not be voted out was to win every immunity at this point. Sad.

Boston Rob Mariano: I don’t really have anything to say about Rob that I haven’t said in the previous weeks today. It was a nice reminder from Steve about his real nature (evil bastard, ready to backstab his real life friends if needed) and I’m sure that if that was left in the edit, it’s because it will happen again (rarely obvious references to past seasons and past contestants -Lex was named- are left in the edit, while we can assume a lot of them are made everyday, especially when you have returning players).

Steve Wright sent to Redemption Island: A little bit like Julie, I disliked him at first, but I really came to like him in the last few episodes. What’s infuriating, is that just like with Julie, he tried to play the game, he tried to make big moves, but there just was nothing he could do.


Next person voted out: 
Andrea is obviously next to go, unless Rob decides to send Grant to Redemption Island.
At Redemption Island, I doubt Steve will survive the next “duel”, if more than one person is eliminated, anyone of the three remaining ones could go.

Final and Winner:
For a while now it has looked like the final will be: Rob, Natalie and Phillip, in that case, as painful to watch as it can be, Natalie has every chance to win (unless Phillip reveals that he’s the best actor on Earth). However, that Matt edit, makes me believe more and more that he’s going to be the winner.

And you? What do you think? Who do you think is out next, will come back from Redemption Island and who will win it all?

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