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Surviving Redemption Island, Episode 3: “The Game Is Always On”by David Bloomberg -- 03/03/2011
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Last week on Survivor, we saw Matt get voted out, much to his surprise. He joined Francesca, who had been voted out the previous episode on Redemption Island. Tonight, they will battle to stay in the game, with one of them leaving for good. In the main part of the show, we’ll see how Matt’s buddy Andrea reacts after the blindside and also find out if Zapatera’s winning streak will come to an end – which could potentially mean the end of Russell’s time on the show. That’s a lot to cover in one hour of television, so let’s see what happens!
We begin on Night 5 at Redemption Island as Matt arrives. He wakes up Francesca in her shelter, who tells him how shocked she is.
Francesca: “Why are you here instead of Phillip?”
Francesca didn’t think it would be possible to see any part of Rob’s alliance at Redemption Island. They agree that Rob is a scoundrel and Matt adds that he feels sick to his stomach. He talks about how difficult it is to pull himself together after a blindside like that, but adds to us that it’s a great opportunity to be the underdog and have the ability to come back and win.
We shift Ometepe beach, where Rob and Grant are talking about how well things went at Tribal Council. They blindsided Matt and got Kristina to use the immunity idol and Phillip was a good little soldier. Rob and Grant take the soldier aside and explain the situation to him – they have an alliance with Natalie and Ashley. And now he’s in!
Rob says he’s in a good spot right now but tomorrow morning he needs to work on getting Andrea to be okay with everything. “She’s smart enough to know that we double-crossed her.” Uh, yeah, you don’t have to have an IQ much higher than the crabs skittering around your beach to figure that one out, Rob!
The following morning, the twosome at Redemption Island get treemail. It tells them to follow a path to an arena, where they will compete to stay in the game. Zapatera gets treemail as well, telling them to randomly draw rocks to choose two people to go watch the Redemption Island duel. Steve and David pick the purple rocks and head out. Ometepe goes through the same ritual, with Andrea and Ashley getting to go. Andrea is most happy to see Matt so she can ensure he knows she didn’t vote him out.
The two members of each tribe sit across the arena from one another so they can’t really talk. Matt and Francesca enter and are told all the duels will take place in this arena. Probst talks about how they were both voted out by their fellow tribe members and Andrea chimes in, “I didn’t vote for either of them.” Way to be subtle there. Matt smiles.
Probst wants to know: What’s going through Matt’s head right now? He wants to have a great comeback. Does Francesca consider herself and Matt to be adversaries now? (Kind of a dumb question there, Probst.) She wishes Matt well in his life but she’s here to beat him.
For the duel, they will use sticks and rope to make a long pole and retrieve three keys, which open three locks. First person through the door stays alive in the game. Yes, we’ve seen this challenge before, but Probst livetweeted to note that the producers used old challenges because they know they work and it’s fair to everybody involved. Sounds reasonable to me!
And they’re off! OK, the beginning is not very exciting as they kneel/squat down to start lashing together sticks. Francesca is first to give it a shot, but will the stick hold? At least for the first key, the answer is “Yes!” Matt tries to get his stick going but it falls apart almost immediately.
Francesca gets key number two! Matt tries once again and barely reaches the key… before his stick starts breaking again and he fails! Francesca almost has the third key, but that one is at a longer distance and her stick breaks!
Matt gets the first key and then quickly gets the second as his stick is finally holding together. Both of them are now going for the third key. Matt’s stick is maybe half an inch too short! He’s got his body pressed up against the door as hard as he can but he just can’t quite reach! Francesca, however, does reach. She has the— nope, the key slips back onto the peg.
Matt finds a way to get that extra half inch out of his body and gets the final key. He brings the stick back and retrieves the key! He has the first lock open. And the second! And the third! “Matt stays alive!” (I was wondering what Probst would say – normally he says “wins immunity” or “wins reward.” Here Matt just won the right to not lose!)
Matt and Francesca hug and she tells him to “Give ‘em hell.” Steve and David don’t look terribly happy at the outcome – they seemed to be rooting for the older woman instead of the young, strong guy.
Probst tells Francesca she’s out of the game. To symbolize this, she is told to drop her buff in the fire on the way out. In this case, fire does not mean life!
Now it’s time for Matt to head back to Redemption Island camp. He gives a derisive snort and, after questioning by Probst, explains that camp on Redemption Island sucks compared to Ometepe, not to mention how bad it will be to go it alone.
Probst sends the other four back to camp, specifically telling them that it’s up to them how much they share with the others about what they witnessed. Steve tells us he might want to throw Russell a curve ball by telling him Francesca won the challenge and sent Matt home. Personally, I don’t see why Russell would care or how it would benefit Steve. Russell doesn’t know either of these players at all. And what happens when the next couple of players end up going to Redemption Island and see that Steve and David were lying? It’s just stupid and pointless to even think about.1 2 3 4 Next-->
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