Tonight on Survivor: Redemption Island, the unthinkable happened.
No, Phillip didn't start making sense.
Even crazier: I rooted against Boston Rob in a challenge.
Mariano has become so dominant this season that a triumph for Andrea—who had a huge target on her back (while Rob sported a victorious Amber T-shirt on his)—seemed so much more satisfying.
So did the girl who keeps her hair "so nice" come through for the underdogs?
Smahten up—of course Rob was victorious, sealing Andrea's fate and putting him one step closer to total world domination.
Dramatic Persona: If he doesn't receive the million-dollar prize, Rob should collect a paycheck for his producing, directing and writing credits this season. His Immunity Challenge victory was exciting enough, but then he had to go and almost do a scary Russell Swann-dive from heat exhaustion (or worse) afterward. Hopefully the Survivor medics put a stop to Rob's "just stand me up" treatment plan, because he looked a lot better when Jeff Probst finally placed the Immunity Necklace around his neck. After depriving Andrea of immunity and the rest of the episode of any suspense, Rob made it up to the producers by pretending he was considering voting out Phillip instead based on his "oral argument" skills. Rob deserves an Emmy just for saying, with a straight face, that Francesca's pal and his "Otempo/Otempe" and "Murlino" tribemate is "pretty good with words—he's a good speaker."
Three's a Crowd: Former football pro Steve couldn't connect and was sent home after another duel dud. Why not just declare a single winner and send the other three straight to the jury? Even if Matt faces Rob in the final three it will be anticlimactic after all this wretched malingering. [On a side note, who wants to see Matt's brother Burton and Ralph's buddy Ronnie in a future season of Survivor?]
Preach It! Is this Survivor or Bible Camp? Almost every one of these contestants has Jesus on speed-dial on their Sprint Epic 4G phones. Mike sacrifices a chance to spend time with his mom and rewards those a flabbergasted Jeff calls "the six people who singlehandedly decimated your tribe." Why let his enemies enjoy time with their families instead of himself—or even Matt and Ralph? Because Mike was inspired by his Savior's "love your brother" passage from the Gospels (presumably read in Krista's pink Bible). Later he adds, "I asked God to help me win, and that's what he asked of me." Well, it's definitely working out for Matt—he's still here. Meanwhile, Natalie apparently has made it this far because, her mom reveals, "I was praying: 'If there's one time you want to look over her, now is the time'…I think He was looking over you."
Talk Amongst Yourselves: At least two of Rob's tribemates, Grant and Natalie, think they are Rob's second-in-command. "All they have to do is talk to each other," Rob says of his oblivious tribemates. "They won't." Phillip might be deluded enough to believe he is "dominating" the game with his "brilliant strategy" to "make [him]self the villain," but unlike the others he isn't nursing a false sense of security.
Counter-Intelligence: How did our intelligence community capture Osama bin Laden without the help of Special Agent Samurai Sheppard? You can't blame Probst for trying to squeeze some entertainment out of Mr. Malaprop, but the "senior statesman" wasn't bringing it tonight, and even Jeff cut short his braggadocio tales of beating 1500 fellow army soldiers. Inviting Phillip's Cherokee great-great-grandfather Jessum Herring to "share a nugget" at Tribal Council only elicited a benign, "you've done everything right to get to this point." Truer words were never spoken by a dead Cherokee, because Phillip is in the top five.
Hair Apparent: In a surprise to no one except David and Andrea herself, the girl with the golden tresses ("How do you keep your hair so nice?" marveled her adorable dad—we asked the same about her makeup) was sent home by the tribe who considered herself an outsider from the moment she cozied up to Matt. Will joining him on Redemption Island reignite their love connection? Doubtful, considering her double betrayals; plus, unlike Krista, she has to share Matt with roommates Mike and Ralph.
Next Time on Survivor: Speaking of love connections, after Rob wins the next Reward Challenge, he invites his sweetheart Jeff to join him for a romantic getaway. Oh sorry, I seem to have got my wires crossed with a Probst thought bubble. The actual preview shows Rob repeating his "Ashley can't be trusted" declaration from a few weeks ago, but the real drama seems to surround (surprise!) Phillip. Besides, if they vote off Ashley, who will update the camp calendar?