Finally! Survivor: Redemption Island has picked up some much-needed momentum. After several weeks of mediocre episodes, things finally got interesting again. What shocked me was the manner in which it regained it’d mojo. New people were actually thinking. Beauty queens were winning Immunity Challenges. Boston Rob was sweating a bit. Something occurred at Tribal Council that I couldn’t remember ever happening in the last ten seasons.
Oh, I almost forgot, Matt was left feeling forsaken.
Things started out with a bang with Matt winning his sixth straight duel at Redemption Island against a rather nippy Sarita. This meant he was back in the game and she was going home for good.
Award-winning host Jeff Probst made two significant announcements following the duel.
First, as expected, the tribes were merging. That wasn’t exactly breaking news. I think even the Furry Farmer saw that one coming.
The second bombshell was, that even though Matt was returning to the newly merged tribe, Redemption Island was back in play. Everyone’s face dropped, especially Matt’s.
When the new tribe found it’s way to its new beach they faced the daunting task of constructing a new camp. But not before they enjoyed yet another sumptuous feast. This one was complete with prosciutto, chicken and nuts.
After the feast, Boston Rob tricked the new tribe into naming itself, “Murlonio”. It was a goofy name that he and his lovely wife, Ambah had made up years ago.
Now for the surprising stuff I promised you.
The merge forced somebody from Zapatera, besides Dave, to think. It was so nice to see lunkheads like Mike and Steve finally strategizing. It was almost as if they had a clue.
The next stunner was when prissy diva, Natalie won the Individual Immunity Challenge which consisted of standing on a log while balancing some balls on a plate.
The other highlight of the challenge was when the leather-faced Julie pointed out in a not-so quiet whisper that, “There’s a fly on Mike’s Ball.”
Returning to camp after the challenge, the tribe congratulated Natalie and broke into small groups. One was a prayer group dubbed the “Christian Coalition” by Boston Rob.
Of course Matt was right in the middle talking about how he was put on Survivor to honor “his” God. Boston Rob’s comments made it quite clear that he wanted no part of this gathering and would just as soon see it broken up.
Shortly after the Kumbaya session ended, Matt decided to have a sit-down with Boston Rob. He passionately explained that “his” God told him to stick with the original Ometepe tribe, despite Mike trying to get him and Andrea to flip to the old Zapateras.
As soon as this meeting was over, Boston Rob made it clear that he thought Matt was a fool and was offended that he had snitched out Mike. It was at that point that he decided that Matt was going back to Redemption Island.
It was good to see the bad boy from Bean Town finally getting pissed. He was also a little concerned.
Tribal Council started out in typical fashion with Probst getting Special Agent Phillip to say something ridiculous. This only caused the members of his old tribe to laugh at him. When things finally got serious, it looked like Matt’s God might have told him to flip at the last minute. There were a lot of nervous glances being exchanged.
Then something occurred that I have trouble remembering ever happening before. When the individual tribe members were writing down their votes, they didn’t give us the usual tease.
They always reveal a couple of votes to set the table for when Probst reads them officially. Tonight there was none of that.
Before Probst read the votes, the Furry Farmer presented him with a Hidden Immunity Idol to protect Mike. Probst declared it authentic and read the votes.
The first five were for Grant and you could sense the collective sphincter of the old Ometepe tribe tightening. A vote for Steve was read before Probst revealed that the next five votes were for Matt.
This gave five to both Grant and Matt, while Steve had one. The last vote would decide who was being sent to Redemption Island. You could hear a pin drop.
After pausing dramatically for effect, Probst announced that Matt was going back to Redemption Island. Boston Rob had pulled it off in grand fashion, leaving Dave shaking his head and muttering, “Genius is what that was.”
Matt was understandably devastated. In his mind he had been forsaken. He said as much during the close at the end of the show. He said “his” God’s will was contradictory to what he wanted to happen. Duh.
Make sure you vote on the Survivor poll located to the right of the blog if you haven’t already done so. Until next time…from the booth.