Big things happened on last night’s Survivor, which has continued its run of strong episodes. Tribal Council may not have been a doozy, but the showdown at Redemption Island Arena (which is less an arena and more of a dirt-patch) was rather epic. It featured a battle between good and evil — and I’ll let you decide which person stands for what. In one corner, we had sunny, yellow Matt — a dutiful Christian soldier who just wants to please his God. And in the other corner we had Russell Hantz, a dirty, porcine man whose only God is his ego. Would youth triumph over experience? Would pretty reign over ugly? Would the underdog beat the dirty dog?
Needless to say, it was a touch exciting…The competition was simple: Russell and Matt had to place several domino-esque blocks on a track in the hopes of being able to knock them all over and successfully release a ball that would break a tile and thus signal the victor. You know, the usual Rube Goldberg mess. It was a simple task, but with stakes so high, it was positively nerve-wracking. Plus, I’m not going to lie, I was totally rooting for Matt. It’s not often that I endorse the Jesus enthusiast, but a) he seems like such a nice guy, and b) I hate Russell. Fun TV, sure, but he’s too cocky to be enjoyable anymore.
Luckily for me, it seems as though God was in Matt’s corner this week. After a hiccup, he managed to persevere and win the challenge, finally sending Russell home for good. It was the first time ever that Russell had been sent home, and he couldn’t deal. He immediately devolved into a puffy bag of tears, pulling his hat over his face so we couldn’t see him whimpering in defeat. Jeff, however, was more than happy to poke and prod, asking Russell if he was feeling sad or embarrassed. Russell finally composed himself and said he simply had too much respect for the game to go out like this. It was one of those bombastic but meaningless statements. After all, if he had too much respect for the game, he would truly appreciate a tribe coming together to railroad a cancer off the island. Also, if he’d had too much respect for the game, he probably shouldn’t have leaked spoilers online, but that’s a whole other issue.
Nevertheless, Russell lambasted his tribemates, saying that they were amateurs who didn’t know how to play the game. This led to a quarrel with Ralph, who was present for the festivities and who almost revealed his immunity idol. Luckily, Sarita urged him to stop before he revealed all his cards, but the damage may have been done. Phillip, who sat across the way, didn’t believe Ralph’s lie that he didn’t have the immunity idol. Even if Ralph didn’t have the idol, it’s almost just as bad to have someone believe you do have it. Chalk this up to slip-up #2 for Ralph (the first being that he revealed the idol at all to his tribe earlier in the episode). Don’t these people know anything? NEVER REVEAL THE IDOL. NOT EVEN TO ONE PERSON. Remember Sandra? She won Heroes vs. Villains, and she told not a soul about her idol. That’s how you do it.
Now let’s pause to remember how brilliant that season was.
Anyway, while Redemption Island was going full-blast, Boston Rob was busy scheming up a plan for his own idol. He masterminded a brilliant little scheme. First he proposed “Beach Day” wherein everyone would go far down the beach to relax and play games. Then he started talking about having the runs, and he quietly excused himself from the group to take a dump. That dump, of course, was a phantom dump. Instead Rob when running back to camp and spent a good fifteen minutes foraging about for the idol. At the last second, he finally found it, thus making him an even more dangerous player. Gotta respect the guy. And gotta laugh at his underlings who still haven’t realized what a threat he is.
Eventually, Phillip and Kristina came back from Redemption Island, and Phillip tried to use the “intel” he had learned to curry favor with Rob and protect Kristina in the process. The only problem was that Rob doesn’t like being told what to do, and when Phillip tried to barter Kristina’s safety in return for the “intel,” it rubbed Rob the wrong way. Don’t these idiots know the best way to advance in Survivor is to divide and conquer. You don’t negotiate for position. You just convince someone that there’s a bigger threat out there. Pray on insecurities.
Alas, Phillip thus incurred the wrath of Rob, but when the tribe lost a fun immunity challenge (involving various tools and hardware), Kristina began acting shifty. She said something about the immunity idol, which scared Rob and made him realize that she was the bigger schemer. He set a plan into action and had his peeps split the vote between Phillip and Kristina. Ultimately, the final vote went Kristina’s way, and she was sent home after a generally forgettable Tribal Council (which, admittedly, did feature more silly Phllip-isms). For someone as smart as Kristina, she certainly did a poor job of scheming. Here’s to hoping people wake up and shake up the tribe…
“You’ll have to excuse me. I get aroused by the act of rummaging.”
“Hey guys, I been playing REAL smart, but I thought I’d do something REAL dumb instead. And so therefore… here’s my idol!”
“Hark! I see a mountain in the distance! And a man! With a camera! STARING AT ME!!! We’ve been infiltrated by the enemy!!”
“Wow, I’m sunny even when I’m in the heat of battle.”
“What the hell am I supposed to do with these blocks? These blocks don’t deserve to have me hold them. They don’t know what the hell they’re doing. They’re just a bunch of ding dongs that didn’t come to play. I CAME TO PLAY!”
Jeff: “Russell, you sad to go?”
“Nah. I just watched Toy Story 3.”
Matt: “Hey Russell, did you know your back feels like a soft, slimy pillow?”
“My tribute to MJ.”
Phillip: “You have the idol, Ralph, and I know it!”
Kristina: “I love Mom jeans.”
“AMBAH! You in there??”
Rob: “Wow. I just took a dump that looked like Tawm Brady.”
“They will rue the day they scorned Russell. STORM’S A COMING! STORM’S A COMING!!!”
“Here’s the plan: we don’t tell them anything about Redemption Island, and then I’ll tell them a little, but then you tell them more, and then I’ll tell them something else, and then we’ll both say nothing. Should give us a week or two.”
“Hey, you guys have any extra shampoo?”
“This box betta be full of DVDs of The Town.”
“Phillip, DIG DEEP!!!! I am very ANGRY!!! I want a LOLLIPOP!!!!”
Jeff: “You know, it’s very odd that you do that, Ralph.”
Phillip: “Guys, I just want to say that win or lose, I still have a boner, and if you’d like, I can strip down to my pink briefs to show you.”
“WHY must ugly old guys be the only ones to wear tight underwear? Why not Grant? WHY???”
“Looking good, ME!”
“Jeff, I think Kristina is very nice, but we don’t need her. Or me, really. Wait, who am I?”
“Kristina, the tribe has spoken. And they don’t like Mom Jeans.”
What did you think about the episode? Happy to see Russell gone? Or will this mean bad news for the season?