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An “Insider” Look at Survivor: Redemption Island, Episode 3, Part 1 – “The Game Is Far from Over for Me”by Kari Kennedy -- 03/07/2011
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My car is in the shop and it’s windy and cold outside. Okay, cold is a relative term to those of us living in Texas compared to some of y’all up in the Northeast, but really, it’s too chilly to go ride my bike or play. So this is a perfect time to get this week’s Survivor Insider recaps to you!
You have to just smile at young love, especially gorgeous couples in love. Take Matt and Andrea. Their love still lasts even though they are separated by the miles between them. But while these two wish they were together, the others are plotting and scheming, or otherwise telling us their stories. Read on.
I Hate Redemption Island
Ashley and Andrea were chosen by a random rock draw to be the representatives of their tribe to view the first challenge at Redemption Island. Jeff mentions in his blog this week how beautiful and creative the set is, so why not use it to its fullest, right? So what does Ashley think of her experience viewing?
For her, watching the duel was uncomfortable at first. She realized that she had a part in voting both of them out. “I hate Redemption Island; I never want to go there. The whole thing is intimidating and I never want to get to that point.”
She describes part of the reason it’s intimidating. Like Jeff said, it’s a huge coliseum where the contestants have to go head-to-head for survival in the game, “gladiator style.”
“I wasn’t really cheering for anyone during the duel,” she says, but follows up with that saying that secretly she was hoping “Fran” would win so she could stay on a little longer. She was the underdog with a better story, though Ashley knew Matt would win.
She also tells us that Jeff asked the viewers what they thought of the duel. As we saw on the show, Andrea made a point of saying, “I didn’t vote for any of them,” making it known to Matt that she wasn’t part of his ousting. Ashley correctly points out that Andrea made a mistake in doing that because she gave information to the guys watching from the other tribe about how the division on their tribe is laid out.
Ashley also gives another great observation that she realizes just how close Andrea was to Matt by her reaction to Jeff’s question. Ashley came back after the challenge and made sure that the other three in her Robfather alliance knew about the comments Andrea made. They weren’t happy, of course. There’s a lot more in Ashley’s head than I initially gave her credit for. Maybe she’ll be around for the long haul?
Redemption Island – It’s a Huge Deal
Russell’s tribe took a huge risk in throwing the challenge. Sarita tells us that everything went as they’d planned it. She says that when Jeff revealed that it was a combined reward and immunity challenge, they weren’t surprised, but she felt a bit of a relief that it was “just comfort items,” then listed them. She cringes a bit when she mentions the tarp, which she admits they did need, but they think that they can get by without it – and without Russell. They did give it their best in the challenge, according to her, except when it came down to Dave doing the puzzle. She thinks he could have done it better, but slowed down.
She has mixed feelings about throwing the challenge, though. She worries that they have lost their momentum and that they are down a strong body. Sarita tells them that they did weigh the costs and benefits, mulling it over for days and days, but they did know that they had to get Russell to Redemption Island as soon as possible.
“We do feel like we have a beast of a team and are not worried. We have such a dynamic group, that he’s gone, we can breathe easier and move on… Let’s not have everyone running around like cuckoo birds all day long.”
The downside of throwing the challenge is that they didn’t have full consensus. They feel forced to split the vote because they’re unsure whether Russell has the immunity idol or not.
My own side note here. This vote split confounded me as I watched that night. It was selfish, to me, of Ralph not to let at least one person know that he had the idol and not Russell. He forced this tribe to gamble big with splitting the vote, hoping that all six were on board with that plan. It could have just as easily backfired on him and the rest of them. Had at least one other person known, they could have just done a strong six-person vote for Russell and been done with it. But in a producer’s eyes, it was pure gold having to revote.
Kristina and the Idol
Kristina used her idol to save herself. In a repeat clip of what was shown on the show, we see and hear Kristina talk about trying to find the next idol. She knows that she has to keep her momentum going or Rob will target her the first opportunity he has to get rid of her. She takes a Russell-style approach to looking for it, not subtle and looking in every crack and nook. Rob and his harem wake from their beach naps and notice she is scurrying around like a rat.
“I think there’s a little bit of game play going on between everybody versus Kristina when it comes to the idol,” Rob says as he lounges in a tree. He boldly goes over to her, “Anything yet?” as she digs in the tribe’s toolbox in hopes of finding the clue.
Rob does value good game play and recognizes it when he sees it. He asks her, “Why didn’t you come to me in the beginning?” He knows that she is playing a good game and doesn’t hold anything against it or her.
“You know how to play the game, I’ll give you that,” he says with a genuine smile. “I’m bummed I’m not getting to play with you,” she responds.
He goes on to explain to her, maybe give her some hope, that if they get on a roll and make it to the merge, “… then there’s options. Don’t sell yourself out already,” sealing the conversation with a hug.
The music changes. Just when you begin to think Rob is sincere to Kristina, we see him back in his tree perch. “But in all actuality, the whole point of the conversation was that, who knows if she wins the hidden immunity idol or if she’s already found it. I don’t want to cut all my ties to Kristina until I know she’s out of the game for good.”
And that, my friends, is a good player.
Our Only Hope
Krista is on the losing side of the losing tribe. She is aligned with Russell and Stephanie. She realizes that they have only one hope and that hope is named Julie. Their small alliance of three sniffed out that the others were planning a three-and-three split of the votes, so they knew they needed one to swing to save them and remove Ralph the Wookiee from the game.
Krista doesn’t want the stronger alliance to realize that Julie will be the one flipping, both for Julie’s sake and the weaker alliance’s sake. But Krista completely believes that Julie is flipping over.
She can’t wait to see what happens after Tribal Council if this works the way they planned. Both sides will “go crazy” and nobody will know who to trust. “It’s going to be miserable out here,” she knows. “It’s all about bold moves. Blindsides. I mean, that’s what I came out here to do,” Krista continues.
And almost prophetically she says, “I honestly can’t wait to go to Tribal Council because this is going to be one of the most shocking for a first for a tribe.”1 2 Next-->
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