Survivor 22 – Redemption Island: We hate our tribe

I like this time in the season where things are set into motion for the post-merge part. First I kinda was wondering why Probst has been raving about this season for weeks, it seemed obvious that the Zapatera Six were going to be the final six. Now, not so much. Andrea and Phillip maybe up to something, the Zapatera Sixis just waiting to crack (note to future Survivors contestants: a six person alliance is just to big to work).Let’s see all of this in more details.

Redemption Island

Is that the face they take when they try to charm people?

– Kristina Kell is gone: Apparently she was really physically weak during the challenge, almost past out and never stood a chance. I kinda liked her, too bad she ended with the wrong people and never ever stood a chance at this game.
– Matt Elrod lives another day: Sure those duels involve some luck as next week’s preview implies. We just need Matt having trouble opening his bag and he’d be gone just like that (Although if the preview hints that, it most likely means that he’ll win again). Winning those challenges also involve a lot of psychology. The more Matt wins the easier it’ll get for him to win, simply because Redemption Island Arena will be more and more familiar territory. Also, as we could see on the CBS website, he has started playing mind games with the people he’s with on Redemption Island. That’s the thing, he is there, but he hasn’t stopped playing. Kristian had, even Russell had, and now they’re gone. Matt’s mind is still in the game, and he is still in a game, much more than some of the girls at Ometepe.
What I don’t understand is why he hopes to be back with Ometepe? They betray him. Does he sincerely hope that Rob and Grant will welcome him with open arms if he’s back? They won’t, they’ll cut his throat again as soon as they can.

Ometepe

The dynamics are slowly changing over at Ometepe. The next episodes could be very interesting.

– Andrea Boehlke: She starts having some hope. If Ometepe doesn’t lose again before the merge, if Matt comes back from Redemption Island, if she can trust Phillip, she has some serious chances to go far. But that’s a lot of ifs. She’ll need more than a little luck to see that happen. Yet, she hasn’t given up, she stills plays the game and still looks for ways to survive. For that kuddos to her. I like her more and more. She seems to really be as she described herself in the pregame interview (hard-working, not girly girl even if she looks like one, etc). I hope she stays longer into the game. I’m still afraid she won’t. She is Rob‘s bigger threat now at Ometepe and Rob has to know it.
– Ashley Underwood: What a useless fool…
– Grant Mattos: He’s not in a good situation and he’s not aware of it. Oh, don’t get me wrong, he’s not going anywhere anytime soon, but he thinks he’s Rob’s buddy and he’s not, he’s Rob’s tool. That will backfire against him sooner or later if he doesn’t start smelling the coffee (pun intended).
– Natalie Tenerelli: I thought that she was going to be the new Survivor sweetheart. No, just one of those useless pretty girl that don’t care about playing the game, they just want their 15 minutes and are useless. What annoys me is when those people make it to the jury, because not only they make bad players, but they also make bad jury members too.
– Former Federal Agent Phillip Sheppard: Now I’m confused about him. What if all of this craziness was an act? This week, many times, he could be totally normal, sane, even smart when he wanted to (talking with Andrea, talking about the other girls), and his crazy behavior really seemed on purpose to annoy the idiot girls. If this is the case, if all of his nonsense is a strategy, I’m not sure how he hopes for anything from it. I understand that people will definitely underestimate you if you act crazy like this, but you’ll end up being alone very quickly. His life in this game is hanging by a thread right now. However, he seems aware of it. I’m telling you, maybe this is all strategy (and now he realizes that it’s starting to backfire). What do you think?
– Boston Rob Mariano: Not much about Rob this week, or at least not much new. He’s still being the Robfather. Thing is that now he’s simply cruising until the merge. He could let his guard down.

Zapatera

Mmm… We’re seeing the first cracks in the Zapatera Six. It had to happen sooner or later, I just wish it had been later.
– David Murphy: My biggest surprise this week was to learn that David and Sarita don’t get along. Maybe it’s because we hadn’t seen much of them, maybe it’s because they were my favorite contestants so far this season, I always assumed that they were close. Apparently they’re not. I’m still not sure who David is really close to. Julie said she likes him (on a “secret scene” from cbs.com), he seems close to Mike. The picture above could confirm that (remember what Tina Wesson said way back when she won season 2: watch closely the proxemics, who’s next to whom, who sits where, etc). I’m still not sure of his strategy. My wishful thinking wants him to be the new Rob Cesternino or the new Stephen Fishbach, but truth is, I don’t know. Anyhow, his face was interesting to watch as Stephanie was laying out her vision of the tribe’s dynamics, as if she enlightened some of it for him (although I’m not sure how accurate Stephanie’s perception of the thing really is).
– Julie Wolfe: Oh no she’s not the sixth member of the group. She’s friends with Sarita, she’s friends with David, even if she doesn’t seem to be the best strategist, she could be a much better social player than we give her credit for. Hell, even the Russell three wanted her. She could go far as when her alliance starts turning on itself, she could be the swing vote.
– Krista Klumpp voted out and sent to Redemption Island: I assume there’s a lot we haven’t seen about her. She must really have been unpleasant at camp or something. And I think I see what it is, her cold passive-aggressive bitchiness could be even more insufferable than Stephanie in your face aggression. In any case, she couldn’t play the game, thought she could cruise on Russell’s back and once he was gone just kept on digging her grave. Now, I just hope she doesn’t get lucky and beats Matt at their duel (please “next time on Survivor clip” be a misdirection, pease)
– Mike Chiesl: Sometimes Mike seems very intelligent and really aware of what’s going on, sometimes he takes himself so seriously that I don’t think he can self distance himself enough to get the big picture of what’s going in the tribe. I guess only time will tell.
– Ralph Kiser: Not much of Ralph this week, but I guess I did give him a little too much strategic credit early on. I still don’t know where he stands in the alliance.
– Sarita White: Seeing how the thing went down at challenge and after, maybe she is the leader after all. However, she definitely is not an uncontested leader. I even think that if she messes up again (losing the challenge was her fault, not Stephanie’s) and if she gets confrontational with her tribe mates again, she could be in danger.
– Stephanie Valencia: As much as I can’t stand her, she’s playing the game, I’m giving her that. However, I also think that it’s too late, even if she makes it to the merge, even if she becomes Rob’s best friend, I don’t think she’ll survive long. Her social game sucks as much as Russell’s, maybe this is why they got along so well.
– Steve Wright: Apparently, Steve is much weaker than he looks. That being said, I don’t think it ever had an influence in a challenge, and on the contrary, if people think he’s weak (regardless of if it’s true or not), that could help him after the merge.
Speculations for the merge: Ok, now I think the merge, will be 11 people, plus the person returning from Redemption Island.
So that gives us:

-Zapatera: Sarita, David, Mike, Steve, Ralph, Julie
-Ometepe: Rob, Grant, Natalie, Phillip
-Matt

Next person voted out: 
Ometepe: I still think Andrea is in much trouble, unless Phillip manages to turn Rob/Grant against Ashley. Very unlikely.
-Zapatera: Stephanie, who else.
What are your thought? Do you agree? Do not hesitate to comment.
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Frenchman, addicted to Survivor (yes, there is such a thing) to the point of having a blog dedicated to the show where I like to analyze and speculate about what we see every week.

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