After last week's soggy installment of Survivor: Redemption Island, this week's episode was full of snap, crackle and pop.
Tonight the tribes competed in an epic reward and immunity challenge, Awesome Rob took on a volcano, Phillip took on Coach…and someone got blindsided at Tribal Council.
So who got too confident and left their stuff at camp?
Sarita. How could she be that surprised—and cocky—after failing in challenges, hearing her tribe's complaints and seeing votes cast against her? Here's hoping her luxury item is a toothbrush so she doesn't carve another hole in her jaw at Redemption Island.
Blondes Have More Fun: While Steve was trying to repair relations with a kumbaya council at Zapatera, Stephanie was annoying the usually unflappable Matt with her obsessive Jerri Manthey/Jenna Morasca menu planning. The golden boy's 40—er, 14—days at Redemption Island will really be tested next week with the arrival of unpopular Sarita, apparently his last opponent before the merge and his return to the game. Oh wait, that's right—Matt injures his foot, so the duel might actually be a nailbiter after all! (Nice try, CBS. Welcome home, Matt!)
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! "Rob, Rob, Rob!" Self-proclaimed "redheaded stepchild" Phillip petulantly complains about the favor shown to his tribe's leader, especially at mealtimes. Apparently Kristina wasn't exaggerating when she told me the tribe had to crisp the rice according to Rob's specifications. Special Agent Samurai Sheppard (poor Coach is now but a footnote in the annals of Survivor crazy) may not agree (nor Amber, in the matter of underwear sharing), but Rob deserves some reward for his leadership of Ometepe—not to mention his full-time job as chaperone and babysitter of the former federal agent (who has completely snapped, crackled and popped). Phillip never would have enjoyed his momentary non-shunning at the volcano if Rob hadn't ensured their victory by hauling him through the challenge's obstacle course like Joel and Chet in Micronesia.
Overcoming Obstacles: While Matt saved his skin in a concentration-style duel at Redemption Island, David earned redemption of his own in one of Survivor's most grueling and entertaining tribal challenges to date. (Props to challenge master John Kirhoffer and his team for pulling out all the stops on this course.) Zapatera lost, but Sarita's sorry—one might even say "egregious" (unless one's name is Ralph)—performance contrasted with David's skill, ensuring that she would receive more votes at Tribal Council. Zapatera probably will be more "cohesive" now, especially since they're outnumbered going into the merge.
Next Time, on Survivor: Merge! Rob will heed Stephanie's advice to "try to win [Matt] back" (he must have done some sharing during their time together), and Matt should be wise enough to join Ometepe's majority alliance—for now. With Phillip introducing a new brand of insanity every week, I hope it's a while before Rob "frontsides" him.