Survivor 22: Redemption Island – episode 1 recap

9 Mar

Howdy bitches. Long time no blog. Twitter’s fault. I had no idea it would be so damn addictive when I signed up.

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Anyway, Survivor is upon us again in all its faded but still strangely seductive glory. And tonight, the granddaddy of reality television began its 22nd season, one which promises to be filled with even more manufactured drama and desperate gimmicks than its 20th, Heroes vs Villains.

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Halfway through Survivor: Nicaragua, which I immensely enjoyed, I found myself bitterly regretting not to have faced Twitter cold-turkey and gotten around to recapping it, but addiction being what it is, I didn’t. Twitter’s fault.

So, to make me feel better, I promised myself that I would recap the following season from beginning to end. Far from me the thought, when I made that foolish pledge, that Survivor would choose to bring back Rob and Russell after barely giving them enough time to gain back the weight they had lost in Heroes vs Villains. That’s one spoiler I wish I had stumbled into earlier.

So this is it, now I’m stuck recapping a season which promises to be gimmicky as hell. Fuck you Twitter.

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So here we go,

Survivor 22: Rob vs Russell Redemption Island

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Day zero; in the sky, a camouflage-patterned helicopter is flying.

Inside, is the group of people who better provide me with decent entertainment for the next fifteen or so Wednesday nights, or I’ll trash them on T witter this blog. And of course, the ever-reliable Jeff Probst enthusiastically delivering his season premiere speech while secretly hoping it’d would be his last time doing it; with Larry King and Regis Philbin not getting any younger, cushy jobs are filling Jeff’s peripheral vision.

But being the pro that he is, Jeff does a great job at trying to make us believe that this will be Survivor’s most exciting season yet. As usual.

The camera pans over the cast’s newbies, which are all sulkily looking out the helicopter’s window. Clearly, Jeff has just told them that Rob and Russell would be joining them, and now they’re all anxiously racking their brains for ideas on how the hell to get a minimal amount of airtime, between Russell’s camera whoring ways and the Robfather’s sizzling charisma. Yes, you can say I’m biased.

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Meet Phillip, one of the people on that helicopter. Phillip is this season’s Tyrone: black dude in what looks like his late 40s. Phillip is also a former Federal Agent, whatever that is. To me, “Federal” says “government”, “agent” says “police”. Both of them combined say spy. Is Phillip a spy? If yes, that explains the “former” bit. More on that later.

Matt, this season’s Fabio, stops reminding me of Fabio the second he opens his mouth: “My faith is everything.” Oh, great. Chase in Fabio’s body. Next.

Ralph is a redhead. And a redneck. And quite promising as a character. Although I don’t have much of a clue what he says (like most Francophones, I have difficulties understanding Southern accents), I do pick out the words “crazy bastard” and “dumbass”. I like Ralph. A lot more than Matt (like most agnostics, I have difficulties understanding deeply religious folks).

One last camera shot of Jeff, sitting on the floor at the back of the helicopter, feet dangling in the air, as he bellows the now now familiar: “39 days, 18 people, one Survivor!” and we’re off to the opening credits.

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I don’t normally pay much attention to the credits, but this time, I watch them closely in order to get a vague idea of who, other than Rob and Russell (and Ralph, of course) is in this game, since most of them probably won’t get any airtime until the episode where they get voted out. Oops, sent to Redemption Island, sorry. God, I hate that twist already. Gonna force me to review and update my Survivor lexicon . Stupid Redemption Island.

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More helicopter shots, but we know we’re getting close from the final destination when Jeff suddenly grabs his baseball cap and firmly screws it on his head.

The helicopter lands, Jeff jumps off, gallantly helps the women down and shakes the guys’ hands on their way out. A black lady called Francesca says: “I saw the beach and the mats and thought, oh wow, this is really happening, I’m on Survivor!” In no way, shape, form, elocution, mannerisms or attitude, does she remind me of NaOnka or Yasmin. I’d scream for joy, but my buddy’s here and I don’t want to confirm to him that I’m crazy, although I know he already knows since the two of us were married at some point. Nothing like marriage to drive you bonkers. But that’s another story for another day.

The important point here, is that this is the first season since Tocantins where Survivor didn’t didn’t cast a stereotypical “ghetto sistah” as the token black chick. Let’s be honest, unless they make it a gimmick, like they did with Cook Islands, Survivor’s casts have always been predominantly white, with a couple of minorities thrown in there for good measure.

So it’s nice to see a well-educated, well-spoken black woman on the show for a change. Not to shit on NaOnka or Yasmin, but their edit didn’t do them any favours. If anything, it reinforced the opinion of many an ignorant twat that all black chicks are uneducated ghetto bitches. Go lurk on some Survivor message boards if you don’t believe me. They’re crawling with ignorant twats.

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Before the game starts proper kinda, we get to meet Mike, a handsome young man and an Iraq war vet, which immediately garners him brownie points, because who doesn’t like and respect a soldier, right? He adds that his army training will come in handy, which makes complete sense. I put Mike in my “Likeable” pile.

Then Jeff announces: “Welcome to Survivor!” to which the new casts responds by cheering. But Jeff, this asshole, has to immediately put a damper on their excitement: “But wait: we have two more players joining us”.

From out of nowhere, another helicopter appears. I’d like to be able to tell you that Rob and Russell, clad in Superman costumes marked with a “R” instead of a “S” suddenly jump out of it and gracefully land on the beach, but that’s not the case. The helicopter lands, the door opens and Boston Rob appears, in a regular shirt and khaki pants. No Superman costume.

I’m almost disappointed, but the newbie cast isn’t. They’re cheering for him even louder than when Jeff said “Welcome to Survivor!”

Then out comes Russell. The newbies all take a step backward. Mike the Iraq war vet lets out a “Oh, no.” Then they all take another step back, apart from a little brunette called Stephanie Waitress, who tells us right off the bat that her strategy is to be Natalie-from-Samoa, otherwise she’s gonna be out.

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Jeff says: “I think you’re all familiar with Boston Rob, who’s played 3 times, never won, only made the finals once, and yet, we keep bringing him back. Go figure. Then we have Russell, whom you may also have heard of: he’s the guy who played in two back-to-back seasons, made it to the end both times by masterminding two of the stronger alliances in Survivor history. In spite of this, both times he managed to lose. Yet, we brought him back too. We ought to get our heads examined. In the meantime, this is who you have to contend with. Be thankful we didn’t choose to bring back Sandra.

Now, those who want to be in Russell’s tribe, raise your hand!”

The newbies take three steps back. Russell angrily walks to the nearest tree, punches it in the trunk, then takes back his spot next to Rob.

“Okkkkay…” says Jeff. He turns towards the crew: “Someone call Mark.”

A girl with a headset timidly answers: “Mr Probst? We already have. Mr Burnett said: “Tell Jeff he’s an idiot. I knew damn well no one remotely sane would want to be on Russell’s tribe. OK, put a purple buff and an orange buff in a bag, present it to Russell and tell him to pick the purple buff. If he doesn’t, redo the take until he does. Then offer the bag to Rob.”

Of course, this isn’t quite what us, viewers get to see. What is presented to us is eight people with a purple buff, eight people with an orange buff, and sixteen people hoping like fuck Russell will not pick their colour. Ultimately, eight people are disappointed and I would almost feel for them if only I cared. But it’s too early for that. So far, I only care for Ralph, Francesca and Boston Rob.

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Time for the Survivor veterans to hook up with their new tribe: Boston Rob is groped as if he was Justin Bieber in the midst of a group of Beliebers in heat. As for Russell, he gets the same welcome Michael Vick would if he turned up at PETA’s headquarters clad in mink from head to toe.

As both tribes are gathering their supplies and getting ready to head to their camp, Jeff interrupts them: “Oh, one more thing. There’s another twist.”

The newbies all look up, scanning the sky in search of another helicopter carrying Sandra, Richard hatch, or who knows, both.

Jeff reassures them: “Oh, no, we didn’t bring back anyone else, just these two losers. But since we would really like to see at least one of them making it far, we’ve tweaked the game a bit: from now on, whoever gets voted out won’t go home, but instead, to Exil… erm, sorry, old habits, I meant Redemption Island.

Redemption Island is the shithole where the booted one will live (or not, we’ll see, we’ve never done this twist before) until the next player gets voted out of the main game. Reject #2 will then head to Redemption Island where he or she will dual against reject #1. Winner gets to spend 3 more days fighting to keep their sanity on Redemption Island. Loser has to swim back to America.

Obviously, we’ll keep that twist going until the unavoidable Rob vs Russell dual. And for the record, we don’t give a shit which of them wins, as long as the ratings are good. After that epic battle, we’ll put an end to the Redemption Island twist and reintroduce either Rob or Russell into the game. Everyone’s cool with that?”

The noobs are stunned, Matt falls to his knees and starts praying, frantically crossing himself. Rob and Russell burst out laughing.

In confessional, Russell says: “Redemption Island doesn’t scare me one bit… blah blah blah… heads will fall.” The “blah blah blah” bit is a mish-mash of all of Russell’s past Survivor monologues, which, despite being numerous and long-winded, essentially boil down to: “I’m the best at everything everywhere and everyone else is a stupid asshole.”

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Jeff puts his hands on his hips: “You guys ready to get started with this game?”

Rob’s tribe: “YEAH!”

Francesca: “Well, erm… I… Are you guys filming the next season here in Nicaragua too? Because, I just thought, hey, 23 is my lucky number, that’s the season I should be on! So I’ll just go sit in that corner over there and wait until you guys are done filming this s…”

Jeff: “Shut up. Here are the maps to your camps. Omo-something and Zapa-something-else are your tribes’ names. Learn them, love them.”

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Jeff throws the maps at the shittiest catcher of each tribe. One hits Stephanie Waitress in the head. She bends down to pick it up and that’s when I see she’s wearing high heel shoes.

I roll my eyes so hard I hear them hit my skull.

Seriously, why the fuck would one wear high heel shoes on Survivor??

I assume Stephanie Waitress mustn’t have seen Survivor: Pearl Island. If she had, she would know better than wearing club footwear on Survivor. And just to be fair, Dan and his $1600 shoes from last season were equally moronic. In fact, Dan and his shoes are a big reason why I so regret not having recapped last season. I would have had a blast with him and Fabio. Oh, well. Something else I’ll have to live with.

OK, where was I? Oh, yeah, Rob, Russell, and the others. Before each tribe starts heading for camp, Jeff gives them some reassuring news: “Oh, BTW, I hope you all brought umbrellas as your luxury item, ‘cos’ it’s gonna rain like a motherfucker while you’re here. Enjoy your stay!”

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While the tribes are seen heading for their respective camps, Francesca confesses in voice-over: “What the hell just happened? Not sure how to process that Redemption Island stuff… Or that Rob and Russell stuff, for that matter… This complicates further a situation that was already complicated. I mean, what will it take to get rid of these two? Not only are they on what seems like every other season, but now, voting them out only gets them out of the picture, but not out of the game! This is bull… I had a feeling I should have waited until season 23 to apply…”

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The Zaporit… Zarpet… Screw this, let’s pretend we’re from NaOnka’s hood, South Central LA, and call ‘em the Purples for now, alright? So the Purples are looking for their camp. Two seconds later, they find it. Remember the days when tribes had to trek for 10 miles with a map, a compass and truckloads of supplies to carry? Well, those days are gone.

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Oh, no. Guess what we begin this new season with? A Russell monologue. I hate you Mark Burnett. I really hate you.

Russell: The second ah arrived at camp, ah was really grateful to be back to get my title of Sole Survivor. The first two times, ah was a schoolboy. but this one, ah’m bringin’ it. Ah…

Rebel Without A Clue: Mr Burnett? I beseech you, can you just please give him the damn title now, then send him home? Hell, give him two if you must! You’ve already given him a dozen HIIs (Hidden Immunity Idols) anyway, so what’s a silly title? Plus I believe he owes you one, what with all this spoiling business… Then bring in Shane from Exile Island to fill the missing quota of crazy and manic. He’s good TV too, he deserves another shot.

Russell: Ah ain’t going nowhere, and ah didn’t spoil nuthin’, and who’s Shane, and you’re an idiot and so is he, so shut up.

Mark Burnett: Spoilers? What spoilers? I don’t know what you’re talking about. Shut up. Just ignore her, Russell… So, you were saying, this one you’re bringing it…

Russell: That’s right. Ah’m bringing it. This is gawnna be the noo me.

RWAC: GET OUT… Noo, erm, new you? You’re actually gawnna… gonna do something different this time?

Russell: This time, ah’m gawnna be a leader for mah tribe.

RWAC: ??? !!! … … ?

Russell: Yep. Watch me.

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While I’m watching, stunned, Russell gathers his tribe to give them a speech, which I’ll translate in normal English for you:

“Hello, my name is Russell and I will be your guide for the next 39 days – hopefully. You will suffer horribly over the course of this adventure, and not necessarily always because of me.”

Just as he says that, as predicted by Jeff, it starts raining.

Russell: “What did I just tell you? And that’s just the beginning.

However, there are good news: this season, I’ve eliminated sabotage from my strategy, as it’s come to my attention that it rubbed many people the wrong way during my last two seasons. So that means, you can now all trust me blindly, as I’m a changed man who’s only here to mind his own business and win. So welcome to Nicaragua and enjoy your stay!”

The Purple newbies cheer gloomily.

Russell: Oh, come on! What’s with the long faces? I promised I wouldn’t screw you over, so have a little faith, for fuck’s sake!”

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Let’s meet a new player, shall we? I’m struggling to work out whether David Defense Attorney is smart or not. He did show up on Survivor in a suit, which is at almost the same level of dumb as Stephanie Waitress and her high heel shoes. However, his confessional reveals he has Russell perfectly figured out: “Anyone who thinks they can trust Russell is batshit crazy. He’s played twice and made it to the finals both times. And both times he lost because he made the conscious decision to play like a psychopath on a rampage. Totally not buying his “changed man” BS.”

Meanwhile, at Purple camp, a truck marked “Craftsman” pulls over, delivers a big box of construction gear, like nails and shit, and then drives off. Ralph is over the moon. He runs to the box, grabs it, hugs it, then explains how he can’t wait to start working on the shelter as his favourite hobby happens to be building cabins. At least, that’s what I think he said. Not sure though. As I told you, me and Southern accents, not great.

However, I’m getting the feeling that Ralph is trying to hide from Russell the fact that he’s taking charge of the shelter building. Not that Russell gives a shit about that mind you. Quite the opposite in fact. Russell is thrilled that the guys are playing with nails and hammers. Less people on his ass while he’s sniffing around for HIIs (Hidden Immunity Idols).

Ralph and Mike Iraq War Vet appear to be bonding around the toolbox. When Ralph takes off his Tshirt, Mike giggles: “That’s the most impressive man sweater I’ve ever seen!” Indeed it does appear that nature has been uncommonly generous with Ralph on the body hair front. But the remark is funny though. I move Mike from my “likable” pile to my “like” pile.

The Purples seem to be working very well together. Obviously, Russell is nowhere to be seen. I wonder if he has found that idol yet.

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All of a sudden, we’re at Omo-whatever-the-orange-tribe’s-name-is. The Oranges.

It’s raining there too. I’m SO never going to Nicaragua for a vacation. I used to live in London, England and it was sunnier than this.

Logically, Boston Rob is in charge of the shelter building, which makes total sense since once upon a time in a faraway galaxy called Survivor: Marquesas , he was Boston Rob Construction Worker.

Matt the Christian Fabio is visibly star-struck by Rob: “He’s like the Messiah of Survivor, which is awesome. And he has experience in construction, which is also awesome. It’s like, wow! Man, I have to talk to him! Maybe even get an autograph!”

He shyly walks to Rob and asks: “I… You… Errr… Ah… You…’re from Boston, aren’t you?”

Rob: “I think so, but I’m not sure anymore. After four Survivors and two Amazing Races, you become a bit confused when it comes to locations. But I have the accent, so probably.”

Rob smiles at Matt and turns around to come face to face with two young girls holding on to one another while giggling. “Hi Rob!”, says one, batting her eyelashes. “Yeah, hi Rob”, says the other, “You can ask us anything.” “Yeah, anything at all” adds the first. Then they giggle again.

Rob smiles, nods, and walks off. The girls freak out: “OMG! We talked to Boston Rob! And he smiled at us! This is so cool! I so wish I had my Blackberry, I’d like, totally tweet this! And then I’d “like” it on Facebook! OMG!”

Natalie Professional Dancer confesses: “I’m SO happy we’re on Boston Rob’s tribe. He’s amazing. It’s so comforting to be around him. One of the best things about him is that he’s not Russell. If Russell was here, we would all be on edge because he’s nuts.”

I see Natalie too has done her homework. At least enough to know that Russell is crazy. Good for her. Plus I love dancers. They work really hard, you know? I put Natalie in my “likable” pile.

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While we were getting acquainted with Natalie, Philip Former Federal Agent appears to have taken over at camp. He is bossing everyone around, and Francesca doesn’t seem to take too kindly to him: “So far, he’s the most annoying person out here.”

Rebel Without A Clue: Girl, have you met Russell?

Francesca: Girl, have you met Phillip?

RWAC: Good point.

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Francesca isn’t the only person miffed by Phillip’s bossy ways. A blonde called Andrea Student explains that she grew up on a farm and therefore knows how to handle a bloody axe, Phillip, OK? She adds that he’s probably just likes to play the father role, so whatever, fuck him and let him do it.

All of a sudden, Phillip calls a meeting: “Everybody, gather round.”

A flock of females surround him. Where are all the guys? And more important, who are all the guys? So far, there’s Phillip, Boston Rob and Fabio Matt. Are there any others?

Anyway, Phillip doesn’t give a fuck who’s there as long as they’re listening to him.

Phillip: I used to be a Federal Agent.

The women: …

Phillip: That means that when I give you my word, I give you my word. Yeah?

Francesca: Yeah what?

Phillip: Yeah as in you can trust me like, 110%. At least.

Francesca: But you used to be a Federal Agent. You no longer are.

Phillip: Yeah, but I still was. You weren’t. So I win. And also, I’m an expert at analyzing people’s behaviour because that’s what us Federal Agents do.

Francesca: Did.

Phillip: Whatever, same thing. All I have to do is look at someone for a few seconds and I can immediately determine some of their characteristics, like gender, race, age… Us, Federal Agents are very skilled at this sort of thing.

Francesca: Former Federal Agent…

Phillip: Don’t listen to her. So my Former Federal Agent superpowers will come in super-handy because once we get to the other side, I’ll be able to read these people like children books, as long as they’re written in English. So yeah?

The women: …

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Phillip, picking up on the fact that his Former Federal Agent status doesn’t seem to do it for the ladies, decides to try a different angle to get their approval: “I also have seven sisters at home. I love women.”

That seems to work better as he manages to get a couple of hugs out of it; Francesca even begrudgingly offers him her cheek to kiss.

But in confessional, Francesca reveals that she’s very unimpressed by Phillip Former Federal Agent: “So that’s his big secret? That he’s former Former Federal Agent? But who cares? It’s not as if he was a famous football coach with two Superbowl wins under his belt or anything. Seriously, this season keeps sucking more with each passing minute… Although I have to admit that Phillip is quite hilarious in his delusional ways. But still, shoulda waited for next season…”

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Back at camp, a woman in jeans and a red top is going through what looks like a basket full of fabrics. How many bloody supplies are they given this season, for God’s sake? What’s next, delivery sushi for supper? When did “Survivor” stop being about “surviving”?

Anyway, the woman in question, Kristina Law Student isn’t looking for needles and thread, no siree. Kristina is looking for a HII. Or a clue for one. Who needs a shelter when you’re only gonna be here for 39 days, right? Shelters are for pussies. As twice demonstrated by Russell, all that one needs to last on Survivor are HIIs. So Kristina immediately starts looking for one.

Boston Rob, who’s been around this block three times before, knows better: “Have you found it?”

Kristina: Found what?

Boston Rob: Bitch, please. I’ve been around this block three times before. I know what you’re looking for. Have you found it?

Kristina: No.

Boston Rob: Talk to the hand then. And keep looking. I’ll keep the others away.

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As soon as Rob has disappeared, Kristina goes facepalm: “How in heaven did he guess I was looking for a clue? What gave it away? My subtle toppling over of both the toolbox and basket of fabrics, or my careful examination of each individual item they contained? Beats me. I want this idol real bad, but I would hate for Rob or anyone else to suspect I’m trying to win this game or anything… Damn…”

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While Kristina is busy diggin holes all over on the beach and kicking random trees in the hopes an idol will fall off one of them, the others are enthusiastically building the shelter. The young girls are particularly thrilled about their tribe: “Dude, our tribe, man… The bomb!”

Rob notes: “There are a lot of girls on this tribe. Shame this wasn’t the case back in my Marquesas days, when I was single and as horny as a rabbit. I probably would have fucked every single one of them then. But since I am now a married man and a father, I guess my only use for them is for an alliance. Damn you Survivor and your terrible timing.”

Phillip overhears this. “You’re gonna ally with the girls? But that’s my strategy.”

Rob: Says who?

Phillip: Says me, after I heard you say it first. But I’d like to ally with you too.

Rob: I… Erm… Well, yeah, sure, of course, me too, like, totally.

Phillip: I’m serious.

Rob: I’m sure you are. But let’s talk about this later, shall we?

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And this is pretty much the point where this first episode of season 22 takes a sharp turn towards Loonyville.

It starts with a mostly nonsensical confessional by Phillip: “The thing about this game is that everyone becomes super-paranoid. Well, everyone but me. I’m a shepherd. We don’t get paranoid. And if we do, we…”

RWAC: Shepherd? But I thought you were a former Former Federal Agent?

Phillip: The two aren’t mutually exclusive, you know? And who the hell are you anyway? Are you interested in an alliance?

RWAC: Oh, I’m not on the show. I merely just watch it, then proceed to make fun of y’all on my shitty blog.

Phillip: That shouldn’t stop us from having an alliance, you know? Like, you could let me in on the dirt the others are dishing about me behind my back, what their plans are… Things like that…

RWAC: That’s not an alliance, Phillip, that’s snitching. And it’s also cheating.

Phillip: Well, that’s not exactly how I, as a former Former Federal Agent, would put it, but…

RWAC: The only way I would be interested in your proposal, Phillip, was if it could guarantee Russell being off my TV like, two seasons ago. And he’s not even on your tribe. And if he was, there’s still that pesky Redemption Island twist which may prevent him from going home anyway. So really, you’re of no use to me Phillip.

Phillip: What if I acted like such an idiot that I’d out-asshole Russell and take away all his airtime?

RWAC: Hmmm… Say more…

Phillip: What needs to be said? Look at the facts: we’re 15 minutes into the first episode, and I’ve already had twice the airtime of Rob and Russell combined.

RWAC: You have a point. But that may also mean you’re getting voted off first.

Phillip: Francesca also got a fair amount of airtime… Could be her too…

RWAC: Damn. Good answers. Maybe you are a Former Federal Agent after all. OK, I’ll give you a bone: Rob has an oestrogen-filled fanclub who are eating out of his hand. It might well be an army of robots with him in possession of the remote control. Kristina, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be very good at making friends, and neither do you. You’d make a great couple. You should go find her. She’s out somewhere, looking for an id… erm, alliance. Go after her, and try avoiding the beach, there are holes everywhere.

Phillip: Oh, thank you very much! And now watch me bring on the crazy!

RWAC: Good luck! Don’t disappoint me!

Phillip: Trust me, I won’t!

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Five seconds later.

Phillip: Hi Kristina! Remember me, Phillip the Former Federal Agent? How are you? Want an alliance?

Kristina: I, erm, well, I… Oh, what the heck, nobody wants anything to do with me anyway, so why not! Deal!

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Let’s now teleport ourselves to the Purple tribe where Russell is…

RWAC: Phillip, you liar, you said you wouldn’t let Russell back on my TV ever again!! Phillip, where are you? PHILLIIIIIIIIPPPPP!!!

Phillip doesn’t answer, so here I am, stuck with fucking Russell grinning on my screen.

Oh, wait. I’ve seen this scene before. This is the bit where Russell is walking in the woods, pretty young girl in tow, brainwashing her into allying with him and promising her that he’ll take her to the finals where she will unavoidably beat him because he is a psycho and she isn’t.

This time, the lucky girl is Stephanie Waitress. Congratulations Stephanie, you’ve just won Survivor: Redemption Island!! You wanted to be Natalie-from-Samoa, and now you are! Well played, you had me completely fooled! I was persuaded you were a moron when I saw you in those stupid high heels shoes!

I won’t bother narrating what Stephanie calls the “prom date” scene, as this is the third time we’ve seen it in the last four seasons. Just rewatch the first episode of Samoa or HvsV, find the scene where Russell approaches Natalie/Parvati, and you’ll be wondering if you’re not watching the same footage with Stephanie CGIed into it.

There is one difference though: this time, Russell only promises the merge instead of the final 3. But then, he’s a changed man, remember?

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When they come back from their romantic walk, Russell and Stephanie are attached at the hip. Well, symbolically. Physically, they’re acting as if they weren’t even aware of one another’s existence.

However, unlike the Oranges, this tribe isn’t made of Russell groupies. The Purples have clearly watched the last few seasons of Survivor and seem considerably more savvy about Russell than Boston Rob’s fanclub is of the guy who earned the nickname of the Robfather . Just saying.

When the new couple comes back to camp, it is met by some suspicious glances. David Defense Attorney and a nameless brunette in particular, appear quite spooked by Russell’s presence. “We have to get Russell out of this game immediately”, nervously says the brunette.

RWAC: I agree. For both your sake and mine.

Mike Iraq War Vet believes otherwise: I don’t think Russell’s a threat.

David Defense Attorney: You don’t?? Oh, come on man! Haven’t you seen at least 5 minutes of season 19 or 20? That should suffice to tell you that Russell is a snake, but a very predictable one. He allies with a pretty young girl right off the bat, promises her final 3, keeps his promise, loses, the end. And the thing is, I’m not a pretty young girl and neither are you. But Stephanie is and he already his hooks in her. He must be dealt with.

Mike: Yeah. You’re right. I agree with everything you just said.

Mike then proceeds to say that David seems to be like a nice, smart guy who was absolutely spot-on in his assessment of Russell. Is it just me or is Mike Iraq War Vet a tad influenceable?

However, Mike ends his confessional with: “The task at hand is to get Russell gone ASAP.” I immediately forgive him for his passing flakiness and the Chase flashback it occasioned.

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Day 3. Omopettept… Orange tribe. I will learn their name soon, I promise.

It’s morning. The Oranges are yawning and stretching their asses out of the shelter. Oh, look, there’s another guy on this tribe! A yet nameless handsome young man who made the unfortunate choice of growing his hair into dreadlocks. Unfortunately, dreadlocks vary in quality, and his are the stringy uneven kind. Shame. This further confirms my belief that very few white boys are blessed with Jason Castro’s perfect locks .

The second Boston Rob is standing on his feet, the young girls flock to him with “Mornin’ Rob! *giggle*” and start arranging his hair and picking the sleep shit out of his eyes. While no one’s watching, Kristina discreetly slips away, and walks through the woods until she reaches a large clearing. She proudly explains:

“This area used to be wooded. But with the shovel supplied by Craftsman, I singlehandedly dug out each tree, examined each of its branches in case it contained an idol, then lifted it away from the area using the crane supplied by Craftsman, then carried it out of the island using a helicopter supplied by maybe Craftsman but I’m not sure. The point being that I intend to find that HII no matter what, and I am prepared to deforest this whole island if I have to. I hate trees anyway.”

RWAC: Hold it, lady! I like trees. You have to stop the madness and quit destroying this beautiful vegetation. It’s torture to the Al Gore groupie in me. Tell you what, I’ll give you a clue, and you leave those trees alone. Deal?

Kristina: I don’t know who the hell you are, but deal.

RWAC: Landmarks.

Kristina: What?

RWAC: Landmarks. Look for them. Then look at them.

Kristina? What land… Oh. Duh. Of course. Landmarks. What an idiot I am.

.

Kristina runs off into the woods, rummages through the rocks piled at the bottom of a tree, pulls out an idol, then runs back to the clearing, waving it at me.

Kristina: I got it! Thanks, I owe you one!

RWAC: No problem. Just leave these trees alone, k?

Kristina: Promise! Hey, while you’re here, would you do me another favour and get rid of Rob?

RWAC: He’s my favourite player, why the hell would I do that?

Kristina: Oh, I like him, he’s a nice guy, but he’s dangerous. And he’s also already allied with everyone but me and the crazy dude with the Former Federal Agent fixation. I have a bad feeling.

RWAC: Well, you’ll have to keep it, cos I can’t help. Gotta go. Don’t touch the trees.

.

Kristina sighs, heads back into the woods, finds a hiding place for her idol, then happily skips her way to camp, whistling Queen’s “We are the champions”.

“I’ll probably tell someone I have an idol”, she says, “I just haven’t decided whom yet.”

Francesca and Phillip come a runnin’: “Me, me!”

Kristina: You what?

Phillip: I don’t know. Doesn’t matter. Who are you voting for?

Kristina: I want to take Rob out. Right now. With this here shovel. Where is he?

Phillip: Whoa, there! As a Former Federal Agent, I have the obligation to ask you where you think you’re going with this shovel.

Kristina: I’m gonna go get Rob for good. If I don’t, even if he gets voted out of both this island and Redemption Island, he’ll be back next season anyway. This is the only way to get rid of him for good. And the same treatment will apply to Russell if he lives to make the merge.

Phillip: But that’s… homicide!

Kristina: Yeah, but this is “Survivor”, isn’t it?

Francesca: I think homicide is a great idea. Unfortunately, Boston Rob isn’t available right now, he’s taken his fanclub for an educative walk on the beach. While we’re waiting for him, we should practice our homicidal skills on, say… Phillip.

Phillip: You can’t. I’m a Former Federal Agent. One of the job’s perks is an invincibility cloak which we get to keep even if we get fir… retire. You’ll have to get rid of me the old-fashioned way, by voting me out.

Francesca: Noted. Can’t wait.

Phillip: What did you say?

Francesca: I said that I can’t wait to vote you out.

Phillip: I do have that effect on women, yeah. But that was a rude thing to say out loud, especially to a Former Federal Agent.

Kristina: I was thi…

Phillip: Don’t interrupt, it’s rude.

Kristina: But…

Phillip: Ssshhh…

Francesca: But she…

Phillip: I said, SSSHHHH.

Francesca: Screw that invincibility cloak, I like a challenge: homicide it is. Ready Kristina?

Phillip: You can’t; the three of us are in an alliance.

Francesca? We are?

Kristina gloomily nods.

Francesca: Shit.

Kristina: Indeed.

Francesca: I need a drink.

Kristina: Me too. But I’ve looked at all the supplies very closely, and we ain’t got any booze.

Francesca: I SO knew I should have waited until season 23…

.

Kidding aside, Francesca’s confessional about being stuck in an alliance with Phillip is full of lulz. I get a Cirie flashback. Then I put Francesca in my “Favourites” pile.

.

Time for our first challenge. The contestants take place on their respective mats. Jeff is standing in front on them, texting frantically from a Blackberry, grumbling: “Stupid buttons are way too small on this thing. Can’t believe I forgot my iPhone in… Oh, hi guys! I’ll be with you in a sec’, just need to send that last tweet and… is there a hashtag for “Redemption Island” yet?”

Mark Burnett: Jeff, you can’t live tweet the actual taping, sorry. Give me that thing.

Jeff: But…

Mark Burnett: Give me it, I said.

Mark Burnett snatches the Blackberry off Jeff’s hands and walks off angrily. Jeff lets out an embarrassed little giggle, clears his throat, then starts explaining the challenge, which consists in both tribes having to push four large blocks along some some tracks. These blocks will form a staircase leading them to a series of ropes which one of them will have to chop with an axe, which will release another staircase, at the top of which a block puzzle will be waiting for them.

As soon as I hear the word “puzzle”, I immediately think this one’s in Boston Rob’s pocket, as he can rock a puzzle like a motherfucker. Unfortunately, I discounted the first part of the challenge, the one relying on pure brute strength.

So on one side, we have Rob and his fangirls whom, all combined, must weigh about the same as Rupert. On the other side, we have redneck Ralph, army Mike and Russell, whom we already know is very good at pushing things and people around. This might not bode well for the Oranges after all, puzzle genius or not.

Jeff informs the Survivors they’re playing for immunity and flint.

Flint? Really? After all the Craftsman product placement, I’m surprised Survivor didn’t approach Zippo for a sponsorship.

Anyway. Survivors ready?? GO!!!

.

And they do.

The brutes from the Purple tribe push their first block into place just like that. The Oranges don’t. The first blurred ass of the season runs by.

The Purples push their third block past the Oranges who are struggling with their second. I think we all know where this is going. And it does. The Purples, whose actual name is Zapatera, smoke the Oranges whose name I haven’t quite made out yet but, small steps.

Redneck Ralph axes the Purple ropes in the blink of an eye, opening the way to the Purple puzzle for his tribe. Meanwhile, the Oranges are still sweating buckets behind their blocks.

.

Breaking news: the Orange tribe is Ometepe. Now back to out regular programming.

.

Breaking news: Ometepe has finished assembling its staircase.

.

Breaking news: Jesus appears on an episode of Survivor to give Christian Matt a speed bonus in axing the ropes to the Orange puzzle, and Ometepe finally climbs the final staircase.

Jeff: Ometepe has a GREAT puzzle maker in Rob. Is Rob strong enough to single-handedly bring his entire tribe back from the dead? Stay tuned!

Rob: Thanks for the pressure, brother. I can’t wait to take over your job as host of Survivor, motherfucker.

Jeff: Yeah, like I’ll care when I’ll be getting paid a fortune to make small talk with Kelly Ripa an hour a day in a warm comfy studio on Live with Jeff and Kelly. Hope you’ll have fun hosting endurance challenges in the pouring rain, asshole. Furthermore, don’t forget that your alledgedly taking over my current position is only a rumour. You shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet, Rob.

Rob: Fuck you.

Jeff: Fuck you too.

Ometepe: Erm, Rob, sorry to interrupt, but we’re kind of behind here… Think you could give us a hand with the challenge?

Rob: I’ll deal with you later, Probst. Sorry about that, guys… Ok, so that piece over there goes here. Now grab that other one there…

Ometepe makes up quite a bit of time, but unfortunately, too little too late, Texas wins and Boston has to vote someone out. Who may not even go home. I agree with Francesca, this season blows chunks.

.

Jeff hands Zapatera the very fugly 22nd II (Immunity Idol), some flint and sends them on their merry way. He then turns to Ometepe: “Alright you bunch of losers, TC (Tribal Council) for you tonight, where one of you will be voted “out” of this game. Note the quotation marks here. Unlike previous seasons where people simply got voted out, you’re the lucky ones who get voted “out”. Well, some of you are. Basically, Rob and Russell, as we don’t really give a flying fuck about the rest of you. The only reason you’ve been cast is to provide our two cash cows with people to vote for. You have until tonight to figure out who will be the first. So long suckers, see ya at Tribal.”

.

The camera is showing Ometepe grimly dragging their feet towards their camp, when Russell suddenly jumps in the shot: “We’re smarter than they are, we’re faster than they are, we’re stronger than they are. And by “we”, I mean “I”. I was kidding about being a changed man. I know exactly what Boston Rob is thinking, and right now, he’s thinking: “Oh, crap!” MWAHAHAHA!!” On that, Russell vanishes as abruptly as he appeared.

.

Over at Ometepe, we finally get to meet a new cast member, a young blonde chick responding to the name of Ashley Nurse: “So we lost the first challenge, which totally sucks. And worse, we let down Boston Rob, which sucks even more totally as we’re relying on him for… well, everything. I mean, if he gets annoyed at us, he might decide to leave us to our own devices, and that would be terrible, as it would force us to do our own thinking. Sorry y’all, but I didn’t come on Survivor to give my brain a workout, I came here because I thought Fabio’s suntan looked terrific after last season, and since we have similar complexions, I…”

Bored out of his wits, the soundman recording Ashley’s confessional turns off the microphone and walks off. She sighs, runs her fingers through her hair, giggles, then checks under her bikini straps for tan lines before heading to the beach for a swim with the other youngins.

.

While everyone is splashing around, Kristina spots Francesca amusing herself by making faces at Phillip behind his back. “Come with me, I wanna talk to you.”

Francesca follows her to the beach where Kristina confesses: “I have a HII.”

Francesca: The fuck you do! Get out!

Kristina: I shit you not.

Francesca: How did you get it?

Kristina: It fell on my head while I was resting against a tree.

Francesca: I don’t buy it.

Kristina: OK, I found it.

Francesca: Where?

Kristina: At the bottom of a tree.

Francesca: How did you know it was there?

Kristina: I went online to see if Russell hadn’t posted any spoilers on HIIs locations, and luckily, he had.

Francesca: Wow, I had no idea he could spoil a season before it actually takes place… Impressive. He’s good.

Kristina: I know, it’s crazy, innit? He also has spoilers for the next season of Grey’s Anatomy. Izzie comes back, but as a man. Anyway, I was thinking, I don’t trust Rob’s groupies, so I reckon we should lure them into voting for me; then you, me and Mr. Delusional over there all vote for Rob. Then I pull the idol and boom, this whole game turns.

.

In confessional, Francesca explains that she is thrilled about the news, but unsure whether Kristina is targeting the right person: “Of course it would be awesome to blindside Boston Rob. It would feel really good in the moment, but the thing is, he is a very strong competitor and we need him right now. What do you think? Yo, you, there!”

RWAC: Who? Me?

Francesca: Uhuh.

RWAC: Makes complete sense to me.

Francesca: Are you just saying that because you’re fantarding over Rob and don’t want him to go?

RWAC: Yeah, a bit, but also because it does make sense. No, really, no shit.

Francesca: Alright then. Where’s Kristina? I need to knock some sense into her. She’s hellbent on getting Rob’s ass out of here.

.

Francesca finds Kristina in the tribe’s shelter, going through Rob’s bag while throwing furtive glances around her.

Francesca: What are you doing?

Kristina: I’m going through Rob’s stuff.

Francesca: But why?

Kristina: Well, it occurred to me that this is Boston Rob’s fourth time on this show. Who’s to say he’s not in possession of an II (Immunity Idol) from a previous season? Never thought about that, huh?

Francesca: But, Krist…

Kristina: I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out. While the HII rules do state it has to be played prior to the final 4, they don’t say of which season…! See?

Francesca: …

Kristina: Anyway, if he does have one, it’s either on him or hidden somewhere, cos’ I can’t find it.

Francesca: Or maybe, you can’t find it cos’ there isn’t one, you f’n fruitcake! Geez, and I thought Phillip was the crazy one. Seriously Kristina, this is insane… Now leave people’s property alone and listen to me for a second. We lost today because unlike the other tribe, ours isn’t stacked with brutes. We need to keep our strong members, and a) Rob’s one of them; b) Natalie isn’t. We should vote for her. That way we keep our strong and Rob loses a groupie.

Kristina: I… Pfff… Why did you have to make so much sense? I so wanted to vote for Rob… Still do… Let me think about this, OK?

.

Francesca leaves her alone. Kristina paces back and forth like a caged animal: “Voting for Rob would so much fun… So much fun…”

Rob happens to walk by: “You talkin’ to me?”

Kristina: Me? No? Nononono!!! How are you? Nice day, isn’t it? Who are you voting for tonight?

Rob: I don’t know. You?

Kristina: I don’t either.

Rob: OK, see you later!

Kristina: Ta!

.

33 minutes in to the show, we finally get our first Robfather confessional. What the fuck, Survivor? That diminutive spoiling snitch Russell gets one 3 minutes into the show, and my Boston boy has to wait half an hour for his? Favouritism much?

Rob explains: “Originally, I was gonna vote for Francesca, because she’s done her homework and watched the Survivor seasons I was on. That’s smaht. However, she did vomit when Russell and I stepped out of the helicopter. She also called us “troublemakers” and said I was sneaky. She knows my game. She’s bad news.

However, Kristina has been acting like a friggin’ sniffer dog in an airport since she got here. She’s looking for that idol a little too hard for my liking. I’m not comfortable around folks who don’t wrap themselves around my little finger the second they lay eye on me. I think this chick may well be trying to play her own game. And I don’t like playing Survivor against people like that. It’s more fun when it’s just me and a bunch of sheep who do everything I tell them to, like in the first All-Stahs.”

.

After his confessional, Boston Rob gathers his minions around him: “Kids, it’s class time! I Hope you all brought journals as your luxury item as I’d like you to take notes.”

Matt: I… didn’t. I brought a Bible. Prayer was gonna be my strategy.

Rob: That’s cute. Now, not to knock down your goofy plan, but this is my fourth shot at this, so I can tell you from experience that the best strategy with this game is actual strategy. As in, thinking . Or, if you can’t do that, just ask me and I’ll do the thinking for you. Relying on me worked out well for several people. Like my wife, for instance.

Now, on to today’s lesson: how to spot someone looking for a HII. Raise your hand if you think you know.

Matt: They’re not praying a lot! Or at all!

Rob: *Sigh* No. Anyone else?

*Crickets*

Rob: *Sigh* OK, remember when we first got the supplies, how Kristina immediately started to look through them?

A blonde girl’s eyes slowly widen: “OMG. I think I got it… She was… looking for a HII?”

Rob: Almost! She was actually looking for a clue, but it’s close enough that I’ll give you a blue ribbon as soon as I find one. Well done young lady! Now, when someone looks for HII or a clue, something may happen. What?”

Matt: They say a prayer to thank God for His help in finding it?

Rob: Matt, you do know they cast atheists on this show, right? Let me rephrase it for you: what may happen when an atheist looks for a clue or a HII?

Matt: They find it?

Rob: YESSS! See, you can think! Bravo! Now…

Matt: Oh, Lord! That means… she may have it?

Rob: Exactly. You’re quite good at this thinking business… But don’t get too good… Uncle Rob doesn’t like competition. Back to the idol, we don’t know for sure if she has it, but in case she does, there’s something we can do, a technique called: “Splitting the votes”, since I believe she’s in with the crazy Columbo guy and what’s-her-name. Now if you would take out your notepads and write this down, please…

Blonde girl #1: Why do we need to write it down? Just tell us who to vote for and we will. It’s not that complicated.

Rob: I thought so too until I met Tyson two seasons ago.

Blonde girl #1: Good point, I forgot about him.

Rob: If only I could too. Why do you think I came back for a fourth round of what is essentially a camping trip in hell?

Matt: Hell’s like this? Wow, I better pray my ass off, cos’ spending 39 days here is one thing, but eternity is another. O Bible, where art thou?

Rob: You’ll pray in Redemption Island. Apparently, you’re headed there next week.

Matt: I am?

Rob: That’s what Russell told me on the helicopter. You’ll have to ask him, he’s the spoiler king, not me. Anyway, I say, half of us vote for Francine and the other half for Christy.

Blonde #2: You mean Francesca and Kristina?

Rob: Is that their names? Wow, maybe I should take notes too. Now I’ll always be wondering if Tyson didn’t screw me over because I told him to vote for the wrong person. Damn. Anyway, everyone’s good with the plan?

Everyone: Yes, Rob!

Rob: Excellent. Now scram and go study your notes.

.

Elsewhere, Phillip is giving a speech: “When you’re in this hyper state of arousal…” The camera pans out slowly, revealing that Phillip does NOT have his hands in his pants as I almost expected him to when I heard him say that. However, just the fact that the thought crossed my mind makes me feel like I need to soak myself in a tub of bleach for a few hours.

Phillip: Oi. I heard that. I didn’t mean it in a sexual way, you pervert.

RWAC: In that case, “arousal” was a pretty poor choice of words.

Phillip: What I meant by that was that Survivor puts you through a physical and emotional wringer and that things flare up sometimes.

RWAC: See, if only what you actually say could make as much sense as what you mean to say, you might have more allies and they might not hate your guts like Francine and Christy here.

Francesca: Who are Francine and Christy?

RWAC: Blogger humour. Nevermind.

Phillip: I don’t get it. Anyway, Kristina, I will vote your way as long as you tell me who you’re voting for and if I don’t like it, I’ll do my best to try and change your mind as I’m not sure how smart you are, whereas I’m a Former Federal Agent and you’re not. And by that, I don’t mean to insult you, because far from me the idea that only Former Federal Agents are…

Kristina: Come with me.

Phillip: But I haven’t finished my speech…! I was saying…

Kristina: Shove your speech up you know where with your hyper state of arousal and follow me.

.

Kristina drags Phillip to the fallen tree under which she buried her idol. She digs it out and puts it in Phillip’s hand. “You know what his means?”

Phillip: No.

Kristina: Oh, for fuck’s sake. It’s a HII. They literally grow on trees on the seasons Russell’s on. Anyway, I found one, which means we can vote for who the heck we wants, and by that, I mean we can vote for who the heck I want. Get it?

Phillip: Most of it. I don’t get the part where we don’t vote for who the heck I want though. That part put a damper on my state of arousal, as I like to be the decider guy, even when my decidering is wrong, which it rarely is since Former Federal Agents…

Kristina: I give up. Do what the fuck you want.

.

In confessional, Kristina is a nervous wreck: “Phillip is a frustration wrapped in an annoyance coated with tediousness. I was shitting myself about telling him I had the idol, and now that I have told him, the shitting has turned into full-blown diarrhea. With him, you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. If I hadn’t said anything, God knows what he would have done. Now that I have, God knows what he will do. Fuck. I need a hug.”

.

Elsewhere, Phillip is explaining to a hapless cameraman whom I hope, already had lunch as he may be here for a while, that although he still hasn’t decided who he’ll vote for, he knows who he won’t: “Former Federal Agent Phillip Sheppard!” he quips with a wink. He pursues: “While it might not be in the tribe’s best interest to vote for Rob, he does have something any Former Federal Agent would covet: the position of leader. Former Federal Agents don’t play second fiddle. Especially me. So good bye Rob.”

.

Time to head to TC. I don’t have the slightest clue what’s gonna happen. As a matter of fact, I’m still trying to make sense of what went down so far. This episode should have been two hours long methink, as there was way too much information and new people and nonsensical Phillip speeches thrown at me in too short a time. At this point, I just feel lost and dizzy.

During Jeff’s “Fire is life” speech, I quickly pour myself a shot of Canadian Club in the hopes it’ll help me make some sense out of this Nicaraguan hot mess. Turns out my drink wasn’t stiff enough to prepare me for the most ridiculous first TC ever. And I thought last season’s Tribals were crazy…

.

Jeff: Rob, tell me what happened when you arrived at camp.

Rob: Right to work. Phillip set the tone, everybody’s pitchin’ in, and we got a pretty good shelter built the first night.

Jeff: Phillip, did you naturally assume the leadership role?

Phillip: Me? Leadership? Whatcha talking about? All I did was step in whenever I thought something needed to be done.

Francesca falls backwards off her seat. “Are you OK? What happened?” Jeff asks.

Francesca: I’m sorry, I rolled my eyes so hard when I heard this, I lost my balance. I’m fine. At least for now…

Jeff: So Matt, would you say Phillip is the leader around camp?

Matt: More like a tyrant really. If you’re doing something counter-productive, he’ll call you out on it. And if you’re doing something productive, he’ll call you out for not doing it properly. There’s no winning with this guy.

Francesca: Damn right. He’s a pain.

Matt: Big time.

Jeff: So I’m assuming you two are voting for Phillip?

Francesca: You’re assuming wrong, Jeff. As much as I’d personally like to, I recognize the importance of keeping our tribe strong. And Phillip might be as dumb as a box of Craftsman tools, but he is strong. We do need people to lug around wood and stuff like that. So because of it, I will be voting for a woman tonight. A young petite girl, with long dark hair, whose name starts with a “N”, to be precise.

.

Kristina is wiggling restlessly on her seat.

Jeff: What’s up? You look uncomfortable.

Kristina: Jeff… Are there Depends in our medical supplies? If this keeps up, I may need some badly. I had no idea paranoia could have such an effect on one’s digestive system. Anyway, to answer your question, yes, I am uncomfortable, very uncomfortable, both physically and mentally. I know I may very well go home tonight and to make sure everybody knows I know, I brought my bag with me. See? All my stuff’s here. I…

Jeff: Whoa, whoa, calm down, it’s just a game… Jesus… Anyone wants to take the pressure off poor neurotic Kristina and pretend they feel a pang of fear about tonight’s vote? How about you, Rob? It is your fourth time here after all, you may feel like you have a target on your back.

Rob: I should, but I don’t. These guys love me. Especially the girls. And on that topic, if you could tell them to stop treating me like I’m the 2nd coming of Justin Bieber, I’d appreciate it. Every morning when I wake up, I find them waiting for me outside the shelter, and as soon as I’m up, they start following me around like stalkers. Even when I’m taking a crap, I can hear them giggling behind the bushes. I thought it was cute the first day, but it’s getting old already, and we still have 36 days of this to go. Or so I hope.

Jeff: Fuck you Rob. You tell them yourself. I would host this show for 20 more seasons if it meant I too would have bikini-clad girls half my age scratching at my door. Hell, even Regis has more groupies than me, and he doesn’t have to sleep in a trailer 3 months a year so that he can host a show full of smelly people like you lot.

OK, where was I? Oh yeah. The new twist, Redemption Island. Thoughts? Anyone?

RWAC: I hate it.

Jeff: Anyone on the actual show, I mean.

RWAC: Oops, sorry.

Francesca: Actually, I agree with the blogger, I’m not a fan either. It’s pretty obvious you created this twist to prevent your precious Survivor pets to go home too early.

Jeff: Survivor? Pets? Never. We hate animals.

Francesca: Don’t shit me, Probst, everyone knows you have a dog. Anyway, to finish my point on Redemption Island, I’ll give you that it adds another level of complexity to the game. Like say, if Rob got voted out, which we know won’t happen, but let’s say he does, well, knowing him, he’d probably be fine on Redemption Island, and chances are he would end up reentering the game.

Phillip: Beg pardon?

Francesca: I said, if Rob got voted out…

Phillip: I heard you the first time.

Francesca: So why did you ask me to repeat?

Phillip: To interrupt you, because I feel a speech coming on. Jeff, can you tell Francesca I have an issue with what she just said?

Jeff: She’s sitting 2 feet away from you, Phillip. Tell her yourself. I’m taking 5.

Phillip: I don’t want to talk to her.

Jeff: Why not?

Phillip: I don’t like black people.

Francesca: But…

Phillip: This isn’t my real colour. Before undergoing the necessary procedures to become a Former Federal Agent, I used to be a Filipino female. That’s why I chose to name myself Phillip, actually.

Jeff: Wh…

Francesca: H…

The rest of Ometepe: Huh?

America: WTF?

Canada: Eh?

Phillip: Yeah. I also wanted to say that Francesca and Kristina told me to cast my vote for Rob.

Francesca: Whaaaaat the fuck have you been smoking, buddy? You are out of it.

Kristina: He is.

Phillip: Excuse me, my speech, it isn’t over. You don’t get to interrupt me because I didn’t int…

Francesca: Up yours, dude, I’ll interrupt you if I want to. Kristina, did I tell you..

Phillip: Excuse me!

Francesca: … to vote for Rob?

Phillip: Excuse me!

Kristina: You did…

Phillip: Excuse me!

Kristina: … not.

Phillip: Excuse me!

Kris: You know what, Francesca? Do what you want; I’m changing my vote to Phillip.

Francesca: Sounds good to me. I’m with ya.

Phillip: Excuse me!

Jeff: Oh, for Christ’s sake, yes, Phillip, what is it?

Phillip: Excuse me!

Jeff: YES, WHAT???!

Phillip: Well, Jeff, I happen to be a Former Federal Agent…

.

That’s all we get to hear of Phillip’s oration, as the entire tribe bursts out laughing. Jeff dares not join them for fear of looking unprofessional, but he can’t help chuckling. Phillip, completely oblivious of the hilarity he’s provoking, stoically continues to deliver his pompous bullshit about honesty, sinking ships and such crap.

Eventually, the others manage to get a hold of themselves, and as they’re wiping tears of laughter off their cheeks, Phillip solemnly concludes his soliloquy with a dramatic: “And that is why tonight, I am voting for Francesqwa.”

Francesca: Ca. FrancesCa.

Phillip: Yeah, her.

Kristina: I… have to say something… I’m aware that I’m naturally paranoid, but I’m a bit concerned…

Jeff: Kristina, you can stop worrying about that. We already gave instructions, your Depends will be waiting for you when you get back to camp tonight. If you do get back.

Kristina: No, that’s not it. I was talking about Phillip.

Jeff: What about him?

Phillip: Yeah, what about me? Got a problem with me, lady?

Kristina: I… Nevermind.

Jeff: No, no, tell us.

Kristina: I’m afraid Phillip may be a bit…

Francesca: Crazy?

Kristina: I was going to say unstable, but…

Phillip: Kristina has an Immunity Idol.

Jeff: Huh?

The rest of Ometepe: What?

America: WTF?

Canada: Eh?

Francesca: What an asshole!

Kristina: Seriously.

Jeff: Is it true, Kristina? Do you have an idol?

Kristina: I do.

Phillip: See? Told you!

.

Jeff scans the faces of the Survivors not part of this dysfunctional little trio: expressions of surprise plastered on each one of them. “Did you guys know about this?” Everyone shakes their head. Phillip grins.

Rob frowns: “So what is this about? You three were plotting to vote me out without telling me about it? Using idols I didn’t know about? That’s not very nice, you know? I’m not happy with you right now.”

Francesca: No, not at all, we weren’t. Were we, Kristina?

Kristina: Well, we were, but…

Francesca punches her in the arm: Shut up!

Kristina: Ouch! But we changed our minds and decided to vote for Natalie instead.

Natalie: Me?

Phillip: Her? That is not at all what Fkwansekwa told me.

Francesca: Francesca.

Phillip: Yeah, that. Sorry. I suffer from dry-throatitis, a condition which makes it very hard for me to pronounce these stupid typical black people names.

RWAC: I thought Francesca was a Latin name…

Jeff: You, back off. Things are crazy enough as it is, I really don’t need you and your snarky comments on top of this mayhem.

RWAC: Ok, ok, fine, I’ll go… No need to be so damn rude…

Jeff: I’m sorry. I’m a bit on edge, but seriously, in my place, wouldn’t you be?

RWAC: I do admit this is quite a lively first TC.

Jeff: Lively? These people are nuts! Anyway, I better get back in there before it gets any uglier. But I’ll see you on Twitter!

RWAC: You recognize me from Twitter?

Jeff: Course I do! You send me about 50 tweets a week!

RWAC: So why don’t you ever respond?

Jeff: Because if I did, you might stop. And since it doesn’t look like I’ll ever have chicks in bikini scratching at my door, I have to settle for Twitter stalkers. So keep sending me those smartassy tweets. Who knows, maybe I’ll retweet you one day! Ta!

.

While Jeff and I were bantering, TC has turned into the View: everyone is yelling at everyone else and no one is listening. Jeff climbs on his seat and screams at the top of his lungs: “EVERYONE, STFU!!!”

After his third attempt and the help of security, the Survivors take their seats back, bodies tense, faces still red with anger.

Jeff: Ok. Where were we? Listening to Phillip, probably. Phillip, any comment?

Phillip: Yes, I do.

Francesca: Colour me surprised…

Phillip: First thing, I am not unstable or crazy, but perfectly rational. And second thing, Rob, you heard them: they were plotting against you. That’s all.

Jeff: That’s all?

Phillip: That’s all.

Jeff: Wow, that was brief and to the point. Didn’t expect that from you. Rob, what do you have to say to that?

Rob: I’m not pleased, quite frankly. There are three untrustworthy people on my tribe: Phillip, who’s adamant about his story; Francesca, who’s adamant Phillip’s full of shit; and Kristina who’s not adamant at all. And one of them has an idol.

Jeff: So whatcha gonna do about it?

Rob: Jeff, this is an excellent question. I think I’m gonna randomly pick one of them and bully them into giving me their idol. Eeny, meeny, miny, mo, Kristina, you’re It. Gimme your idol.

Kristina: Bbbb… but it’s mine!

Rob: I know! That’s why I want it!

Kristina: But I found it!

Rob: If you don’t give it to me, I’ll vote you out.

Kristina: But this is blackmail!

Rob: Welcome to Survivor! So, are you gonna give me the idol or not?

Kristina: I can’t. I deforested the entire Western part of this island looking for that idol. I slept two hours in three days. I just… I can’t, I’m sorry.

Rob: Fine, keep it. But remember that an idol can only protect you for three days. I, baby, can protect you for life. Just ask Amber.

Kristina: Are you proposing to me?

rob: It wasn’t my intention, but if I do, will you give me that idol?

Kristina: Polygamy is illegal in the States, Rob, so, no.

Jeff: Are you guys done? As entertaining as this is, if it goes on any longer, we’re gonna have to pay the crew overtime. I’d rather we put that money to better use, like for instance, scouting for locations outside of Nicaragua for a change. This is my second season here; I’m sick of it. So if everyone’s ready, we’ll get to the vote.

.

Andrea votes. Another blonde votes. It’s Rob’s turn. He writes Francesca’s name down, shows his parchment to the camera and grins: “One down, 16 more to go! It’s so much fun playing against you amateurs. It’s like taking candy from a baby. So long, Francesca, thanks for the memories!”

Matt and Kristina vote. Natalie’s vote is for Kristina: “You might make it through this TC but not the next one.”

RWAC: So why in heaven are you voting for her then?

Jeff: Didn’t I tell you to bugger off already?

RWAC: Yes, from the TC area, but you never said anything about the voting booth.

Jeff: GET OUT!

RWAC: Jesus, a bit testy, aren’t we?

Jeff: Out, or I’m telling Russell to moon you next week.

RWAC: That’d be hilarious.

Jeff: Doesn’t Courtney Yates follow you on Twitter?

RWAC: Yeah, she does! Isn’t it awesome? I love her, she’s great.

Jeff: Then I’ll ask her to block you and report you for spam.

RWAC: But…

Jeff: You know that Blackberry Mark Burnett conficasted from me earlier on? I got it back. It’s in my pocket. I’ll do it right now.

RWAC: Fine, fine. I’m leaving. You’re an asshole, Probst.

Jeff: Right back at you, “Rebel”.

RWAC: Hmmmpf.

.

While I’m sulking in front of my computer, the voting has gone on. The last one to go is Francesca, who, as expected, votes for Phillip: “I wasn’t gonna vote for you or Rob, but your crazy outburst has spared Natalie. I hope to never see you again.”

I’m dying to ask: “What about the reunion show?” but Jeff throws me a glare which is so loaded with daggers and Tasers and other weapons that it’s probably safer not to.

.

Jeff brings the urn containing the votes and asks if anyone has an II they’d like to play. All eyes turn to Kristina, who’s holding the idol in her hand.

Jeff: Kristina?

Kristina: Jeff?

Jeff: I asked if anyone had an…

Kristina: I heard you.

Jeff: So?

Kristina: So, nothing. I’m keeping it.

Jeff: You’re insane.

Kristina: I thought so too until I met these folks. We’ll see later about outwit, outplay and outlast, but one sure thing is that I’ve been outcrazied several times tonight. After witnessing all this madness, I’m feeling a lot more confident than I did earlier.

Jeff: Up to you! OK, I’ll read the votes. 1st vote, Kristina. 2nd vote, Kristina. 3rd, Francesca. 4th, Francesca. 5th, Phillip. 6th, Phillip. We are tied. 7th, Kristina. 8th, Francesca. 9th, Frcktwajssk… What the hell? Who is that supposed to be? Who the fuck wrote this?

Phillip: Can I see… Oh, that’s me. I can’t even pronounce her name, let alone write it.

Jeff: So you voted for Francesca then?

Phillip: And Kristina too. I voted for both.

Jeff: Both? But you c…

Phillip: I have dry-throatitis, I told you. It impairs my pronunciation, spelling and judgment. You pick one, Jeff.

Jeff: But I…

Rob: I’ll pick one! I vote for Kristina!

Jeff: I… fine. The tribe has spoken. Or not, I’m not sure. Whatever. Kristina, bring me your torch.

.

A sad-looking Kristina grabs her bag and torch, but as she’s dragging her feet towards Jeff, Francesca jumps up, whispers something in his ear, and the three of them have an animated discussion which we unfortunately can’t hear because they’re talking too low. At the end, Kristina looks at Francesca and asks: “Are you sure?” Francesca nods.

Jeff clears his throat: The tribe has spoken some more. Francesca, bring me your torch.

Rob: No Jeff, it’s “Kristina , bring me your torch.”

Jeff: Not anymore. There have been some last minute changes. We hadn’t anticipated Phillip to be so… you know… Someone in the screening department is SOOO getting canned over this… Anyway, Francesca has offered to take Kristina’s place and go to Redemption Island, so…

Francesca: So that I can get away from Phillip. If I stay around him, I swear I’ll hurt him. Jeff, can I go now, please?

Jeff: I… Sure. Yeah. Go. Bye bye. Enjoy Redemption Island. The tribe has spoken. A LOT. Too much. I need a drink. Good night guys.

.

On that, Jeff walks out. The 8 remaining members of Ometepe all look around at one another for a while, puzzled. Then they pick up their stuff and head back to camp.

.

.

Next week on Survivor: Ralph has a fight with Russell; Phillip has a fight with a crab; Francesca has a fight with… noone yet, as she’ll be alone on Redemption Island until the next person gets voted out. Poor Francesca. I hope she brought crosswords puzzles as her luxury item.

.

In the final shots, Francesca is seen arriving at Redemption Island. She finds her little camp in the dark, drops down to the ground, puts her head on her knees and sighs: “God… WHY didn’t I wait one more season before applying…One. More. Season…”

.

Then Criminal Minds starts.

~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~

OK, if any of you guys made it to the end of this recap, I commend you. I didn’t think I would. I see my recapping skills are somewhat rusty. The good thing is, since I’m already two weeks late, I have two more recaps to practice on. But before I get to them, I want to make a quick PSA: if you’re a blogger, don’t sign up for an account on Twitter. That is all. Good night.

~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~

. .

If you enjoyed this shit, please tell your friends. And your enemies too.

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4 Responses to “Survivor 22: Redemption Island – episode 1 recap”

  1. samantha March 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    LOL!! Hilarious writeup and descriptions of the contestants ;) There are some crazy characters this season: Ralph, Phillip and of course, Rob and Russell. We’ve had 3 funny/unexpected tribal councils so far, and I can’t wait to see what’s upcoming :)

    P.S. – You better not stay off Twitter!! Or else. We’d miss you too much :)

    • salomey5 March 10, 2011 at 2:45 am #

      Samantha…

      “HE”‘S GOOOONE!

      Can you believe it?

      And you don’t have to worry about my staying away from Twitter. I have no desire to leave it, and even if I did, I have zero willpower anyway, so there you have it. ;)

      Thanks for reading. I really appreciate how supportive you’ve always been. :)

  2. max March 11, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    Wow. Took me a while, I blame Twitter for keeping me away. Looking forward to more.

  3. Anonymous December 16, 2011 at 6:49 am #

    very intersting
    drapeau algerie

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