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Survivor: Redemption Island, Ranking the Final 17 Survivors – The Biggest Blindside Everby Brian Towers -- 03/08/2011
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Welcome back once again, readers! This week, Russell finally ran into a situation he couldn’t handle. Mind you, the writing was on the wall, especially with the tribe’s idol in the hands of another and Julie’s Oscar-quality performance convincing Russell and his posse not to keep scrambling. Now, I’m not a Russell hater, but I did feel this tribe wasn’t going to work out for him.
Russell was chasing the record for the most days in the game without being voted out. Trivia question: who has the record, and how many days is it? The answer will pop up later. Now, he’s reduced to chasing the record for “most days in the game.”
Here’s how this series of articles works. Using just the episode itself, web-posted video, and Reality News Online’s own exit interviews with dismissed players, I attempt to prognosticate the competitors’ chances for success in this game and rank them accordingly. Never ignored is, as always, the Golden Rule: NO SPOILERS!!
At this stage of the game, making the merge is the first hurdle. Therefore, initial ratings list the players separately within each tribe, with the short-term goal of making the merge paramount.
I have made a minor format change from previous seasons. In the lists below, after each person’s name, I have indicated how many positions they improved (a plus number) or dropped (a minus). An “n/c” means, “no change.” Finally, there are no points for passing an eliminated player – for example, if number five on a tribe of six was eliminated, player number six is still last, and although they become the new number five, that doesn’t earn them a plus.
That’s surely enough “pre-ramble” for this week – let’s get on with the rankings!
Zapatera (Russell’s/Ralph’s Tribe, Purple Buffs)
Up by only two players, it was a risky move to throw the challenge, and they risk going back to square one (numerically), should they lose immunity next week. Although I am not a huge fan of losing a challenge on purpose, this time it was the smart move. To me, the risk was worth it.
In Stephanie’s Insider clip, “They Threw the Challenge,” she says the others were not thinking ahead. Yeah, they were… They were thinking that if they don’t get this Hantz dude outta here, they’re all going to end up licking their wounds and regretting their inaction on Redemption Island or at Ponderosa! To the Zapatera majority, Russell was a bigger threat than Ometepe, and he needed dispatching.
If the tribe expects a merge at the traditional ten (which isn’t guaranteed), Zapatera have established six solid members for that point – six who will not flip. It’s a good place to be, I think… No dependence on floaters or stragglers from the other tribe.
As an aside, I’m guessing (meaning, not supported by any of my quoted sources) that the last standing Redemption Island player will return to the main game at the merge point, forming an initial merge tribe of eleven. Should the tribes merge evenly, the Redemption returnee will be all-powerful… briefly. Really briefly, if it’s Russell!
1: Ralph (n/c)
Chewbacca is still holding a truly-hidden idol, he survived an attack from the minority alliance, and now he’s free of the pesky annoyance that is Russell Hantz. Ralph is the undisputed leader of the Zapaterians. It’s a good time to be Ralph!
2: Julie (n/c)
Julie’s my hero. Despite some initial concerns, she stuck with the tribal plan to push Russell under a bus. Further, she greatly eased its implementation by looking first Stephanie and then Russell right in the eye as she pretended to pledge her support. She topped it off by playing it cool at Tribal Council right up to the key moment, and then, WHAMMO, she delivered the killing blow with the stroke of a pen! (Or, more accurately, what looks like a bark-covered Sharpie.)
In truth, Julie seems like an outsider in the Zapatera Six. Instead of proposing how the vote might go, she asked others. When they developed the one-thumb-up-means-lose signal, she wasn’t present. Plus, Julie had to be verbally cued by Steve on the tribe’s decision, and told her part in scuttling the challenge. And, of the six, Julie was portrayed as the one most likely to flip. But she didn’t, she stayed the course, and therefore, for probably this one week… Julie’s my hero!
3: Sarita (+1)
In her clip, “It’s a Huge Deal,” I was impressed at how Sarita outlines the current game points so succinctly. I believe she understands the game situation, her alliance’s plans, what losing on purpose may mean, the value of a tarp, and what could go wrong at the upcoming Tribal Council and beyond.
I also saw that Sarita was one of the first to give the “let’s throw it” signal at the challenge. Within the six, I think she’s an insider.
4: Steve (-2)
If anyone can figure out what benefit Steve thought he was getting by lying to Russell about who won the duel, more power to you. I call it a dumb move. Yes, Russell was surprised to find Matt and not “the girl” present when he arrived at Redemption Island, but as he barely knew either one of them, do you believe he cowered over this cruel twist of fate… Or did he just shrug and decide it was further proof that his tribe were all dumb@$$es? I’m going with the latter option.
Consider this as well – suppose Steve is voted out soon. Do you think that if Russell’s still on Redemption Island, he’ll be double-fired up for that duel? I’m going to guess, “YES!”
On the plus side, it does seem like Steve’s at the forefront of a lot of the majority alliance’s plotting, and that’s why I didn’t drop him any lower in the rankings this week.1 2 3 Next-->
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