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Survivor 22 Redemption Island – The Buddy System

I’m afraid I like this season less and less. I mean what”s fun about watching the pagonging of a tribe? It was in the very first season, but since then, hell no. And if at least it was a tribe pagonging another one, but no it’s a player doing it to everybody else. And if at least this player was a genius, but no he’s able to do that because it’s his fourth time playing and he was put in a tribe full of recruited clueless people.The audience of Survivor is at an all time low right now, and I hope the producers are taking a clue from it.

  • Stupid publicity stunts like having old contestants playing with new ones are lame. Didn’t they learn from Guatemala?
  • Recruiting people that are not fans of the game will lead to too many boring contestants for just a few rare gems.

I really hope that Probst, Burnett and whoever else learn from those mistakes (but do they? not only they repeat them but make them worse) and that they fix this for the upcoming shooting of Survivor 23, but I’m afraid they won’t.
They want Survivor to be the hit it used to be? They won’t succeed with stupid stunts and stupid pretty girls, but with going back to the basics :

  •  A cast made of most if not all applicants that are there to play it and win the million, not just look good on TV.
  • No stunts, no returning contestant unless it’s an All-Stars season (strangely I’m not against more All-Stars seasons).

Simple. Why is it not being done?
I’m not sure.

The Mariano Tribe

Jeff Probst always says that Survivor is a social experiment, and you know what? He’s right. For example, this season we are learning how cults are started. I mean it. This is exactly the recipe to do it: you put a charismatic figure with easily impressionable and weak minded people. He makes friends with them, then pits them against the rest of the world, makes them feel special and in a “Us Vs Them” mentality and there you have it, after that he can do whatever he wants with them, even starve them when there’s plenty of good fish to be eaten.
Interesting, but painful to watch.
At least, the editors were kind enough to us to squeeze all of those things in one episode so that we don’t have to suffer through it during two full weeks. I really really hope things change next week, or I may be tempted to do what I’ve never done before: not watch the rest of the season. I mean, at this point even Nicaragua was more fun to watch.
Andrea Boelhke: I don’t really understand her. Her chance was last week, but apparently she’s solid with Rob now. How can she trust him? I thought she was smart. Apparently not. Or Rob has actually succeeded in brainwashing these people, herself included.
Ashley Underwood: Ok, I admit, I found one thing I like about Ashley: her butt. That’s all. I could talk about her exchange with Ralph, but I’m not sure what there is to say, really (there is some, but that will be in Natalie’s paragraph).
David Murphy sent to Redemption Island: I really like(d) David, more and more as time goes. He’s the only one out there (with Rob and Mike) that has an ounce of strategic play, and it is really frustrating to see him being unable to do anything because the Ometepe cult members don’t have a mind on their own. Once thing I disagree with him though is when he told Ralph to not talk to all of the Ometepe people at the same time. I disagree because seeing how they decided to be unreachable individually with the “buddy system” the best option would have been to mess with their mind collectively. Talking to one in particular we’ll get you being ratted to Rob about it. Exposing Rob to all of them in their face, including Rob’s could maybe stir something up. He could fail too, but it is the only thing that had a remote chance to work. Now, I think that David is far from being done. Is it just me or did he get the “underdog that’s going to overcome” edit today? I don’t know if that means that he’s going to win, but it could mean that he’s going to come back from Redemption Island. We’re still not sure when and how the next person to come back from Redemption Island will, but we can safely assume it will be when there are only ex-Ometepe members left in the game (unless Julie or Ralph goes on an immunity winning streak – unlikely), then as the returning member will most likely be Zapatera, he will end up in the middle of Ometepe turning on each other. There will be plenty of big moves to be made then, and I think David is the best person to make them (I don’t exclude Mike either). After all, he said it best: his best chance right now was to go through Redemption Island. Foretelling?


Grant Mattos: Grant, you’re not in a team anymore, and Rob is not your QB. You say you have a mind on your own in interviews, so why exactly didn’t you ate the fish that was offered to you?
I liked him, I thought he was playing a smart game, hiding in Rob’s shadow until it’s time to ditch him. Now, I don’t think he’s doing this anymore, he may just be one of the pretty dumb girls too.
Julie Wolfe: Still not much of her, except in a scene from when she talks about Grant and the fish and that she felt bad for Grant and didn’t want him to get into trouble with Rob. Hello!?!? Is Rob’s influence hitting her too? Julie, are you stupid? You want trouble to happen among Ometepe! You want Grant or whoever else to get into trouble with Rob! What’s wrong with you?

Mike Chiesl sent to Redemption Island:Goodbye Mike, I started to like you. I thought that maybe you could win this thing. Instead you’re joining the long list of strong guys being voted out after the merge (yeah I talk about him in the past, because I have the feeling that he won’t last too long on Redemption Island).

Natalie Tenerelli: So for what? Eight, Nine episodes, she didn’t say anything and today, the first time she speaks, she first say something lame “it’s a hard game” and then she rats out on her buddy Ashley for not telling every single one of her thoughts to Rob. What’s funny is that I don’t think Ashley considered one single second to betray Rob, she just thought there was no point in telling about her conversation with Ralph because there was nothing to be told. But thanks to her peeing buddy Natalie, and unbeknownst to her, she has now her head on the chopping block. And just like that, Natalie secured her spot as Rob’s number 2, and I’m really scared that just like that she won one million dollar. Let’s hope this is not what is going to happen.
Former Federal Agent Phillip Sheppard: OK, I can’t even believe I’m typing this, but I’m more and more convinced of what I have been suspecting for a couple of weeks now. What is it? That Phillip is actually former CIA and that he is able to play a role 24/7 several weeks in a row, and that everything about him, every single thing is an act. First he played the fool to appear nonthreatening, managed to have people that could threaten him (Franquesca – even the name thing is an act – and Kristina) voted out early, managed to be in Rob’s good graces, just enough to not be targeted by him first and then just enough so that Rob considers taking you to the final tribal council. And after the merge, totally acting in a way to antagonize and destabilize the other team (noticed how he behaves with Ometepe pre-merge and now and how he behaves with Zapatera). Do I actually believe that? I don’t know, but if it was the case it would be awesome and if I was in the jury and at the final tribal council Phillip explained to me that and how this was his strategy all along, I’ll give him the million without a second thought.

Ralph Kiser:He’s a strange guy. I think he has good ideas and that he could be a great player, but he’s not sure enough of himself with other people. I see how he could be dyslexic – see his votes – and has been labeled “dumb” from it his whole life, is not educated because of it, and now when faced with people more eloquent, and more “civilized” than him he could feel impressed, hence his attempts at strategy that start well, but don’t get pulled to the end. Sadly, I also think he’s definitely next to go to Redemption Island.

Boston Rob Mariano: “Rob is playing a perfect game” “Rob is unstoppable” “Rob this” “Rob that”. Well, first, I said it before and I’m saying it again: it is just unfair to pit him with new players like that. he’d do that in an All-Stars season, yes, it’d be a perfect game, not now. Also, I’m almost scared of how easily he controls those people (although I’m sure it would have been very different had he end up playing with people having a real personality, such as as if he had ended up with Zapatera). One thing about the “fish episode.” From Rob’s deleted scene from and some inside info about him from Rob Cesternino among other people that played with him, here is Rob’s Achilles heel: he’s extremely picky with food. We saw it with the crispy rice the other day, and this is exactly what was going on there too. Not a way to belittle Zapatera, not some attempt of asserting control on his tribe even more by keeping them hungry. No, it was simply Rob being scared of food that may have turned bad.
One last thing about Rob, but an important one. We always talk about Rob’s experience of playing Survivor, but there is one aspect of the game where he doesn’t have that much experience, this is post-merge! Sure he made it to the end in All-Stars, but do you remember how? By betraying his actual real life friends, something nobody could see coming and something he can’t repeat. So, sure this time again he may most likely make it to the end, but once again, he’s showing us how to lose jury votes. Actually, right now he’s playing exactly like Russell: an iron grip on his allies who will be very angry at him once he send them packing, and going out of his way to alienate the other tribe who won’t send many votes his direction at final tribal council.
If you ask me whether Rob will make it to the end, right now, it sure looks like it. Will he win? It sure looks like he won’t. And is he makes it to the end with Natalie and Phillip, that could mean a million bucks to Natalie and that my friends, would make me sick to my stomach.

Steve Wright:Big old weak guys don’t do too well at Survivor, and Steve is showing us why again. Although, I usually hate people that will forgo a chance at winning immunity for food, but in his case (and Phillip’s too, as he said that he had a bad knee) I see nothing wrong with what he did. He knew that there was no chance on Earth he could win this challenge. He also thought that his head was on the chopping block. So eating lots of food and trying to regain some strength from it in preparation for the Redemption Island duel was the best thing he could do. Almost unfortunately for him, he didn’t get send to Redemption Island and unless somebody make a big move he’ll be the last remaining member of Zapatera (not considering the one that will most likely come back from Redemption Island).

Redemption Island

Matt Elrod: is waiting patiently for his next opponent, but surprise! When Mike arrives, they don’t battle it out the following day. What does it mean? Is it going to be a “duel” with three people next week? Or will every new booted person be sent to Redemption Island until the moment to re-enter the game and then they will have a big challenge all together? I guess we’ll know more about this next week.
Next person voted out: 
Well, unless something big happens, it’s obviously Ralph and if he wins immunity, Julie goes.
At Redemption Island, if it’s a challenge with three people, I could see David winning it. I’m sure Matt has mentally checked out at this point. Mike? I don’t know.

Apart from that, not sure what is going to happen. Probst is talking about another amazing tribal council, but I’m not sure what could be amazing about another pagonging. I want to believe in somebody from Ometepe finally turning onto Rob, but I know it won’t happen. But what could happen is Rob becoming so paranoid that he starts turning on his allies too early… Mmmm….

What are your thoughts?  What did you think of this episode? Don’t be shy, tell me.

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