'Survivor' Recap: Visits from Home Lead to Tough Choices
'Survivor' Recap: Visits from Home Lead to Tough Choices
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Now that Zapatera has been completely destroyed on Survivor: Redemption Island, it's time for the real game to begin. But first, it's the always emotional home visits which cause plenty of tears and one very unusual decision.

The Four-Way Duel

In the challenge, the four castaways must break four tiles by throwing balls. Only one person will lose and go home, but the winner also gets a special reward: time with a loved one from home. Mike dominates and nails a tile on every throw, winning the duel and a visit from his mom. Matt and Ralph also stick around, so Steve is officially gone and on the jury.

However, there's a twist, as always. Jeff Probst says Mike can spend time with his mom, or he can let his fellow duel competitors Matt and Ralph spend time with their loved ones, or he can let the Ometepe 6 spend time with their loved ones.

Like Jeff Probst, I assumed the chances of Mike giving his reward to the Ometepe 6 were less than zero since they voted him out, but Mike, the Iraq War veteran, is a better man than I am, because he gives the most love to the most people and lets the Ometepe 6 spend time with their family.

Ralph thinks he's an idiot and even Matt, the good Christian, admits he wouldn't have done it. If you want to know why we were able to kill Osama bin Laden, it's because we have people like Mike in our military, selfless, honorable men. I hope he just earned the Fan Favorite for this season because that's the kind of classy move absolutely no one else would've even considered.

The Ometepe 6 and Their Families

Most of the castaways cry and love spending time with their families, talking about what's going on back home. But all Boston Rob does with his sister is gloat about how awesomely he's playing the game. I love that Boston Rob is exactly who I think he is.

The Immunity Challenge

The castaways must complete a puzzle staircase and race to the top. Very early on there's a big divide as Boston Rob, Grant and Andrea take the lead while the other three have no shot. After a seemingly impossible struggle, Boston Rob wins, but the victory almost kills him. Literally. He looks like he's about to die, but he's feeling darn good about it because he won and he doesn't even need to worry about whether he should use his hidden immunity idol. I think not winning this season will actually kill him, because he is putting everything he has into it.

Tribal Council

The plan, as started last week, is to get rid of Andrea because she's too smart and too competitive. However, as usual, Phillip' craziness returns and gets everyone considering voting him out.

In a rare moment of clarity, Phillip explains that his strategy from day one was to make himself a villain so everyone would want to bring him to the finale. The crazy reveals itself when he says he has an oral argument that would be guaranteed to defeat Boston Rob. To his credit, Boston Rob considers the possibility that Phillip's whole act is just an act, and maybe the fact that he seems like the perfect person to bring to the finale means he shouldn't.

But it looks like everyone sticks to the original plan.

Andrea is voted out, 5-1.

And the blindside is back! If I were Grant, I wouldn't have such a smug look on my face, because it seems clear that he's going to be in Andrea's shoes very soon.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

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