'Survivor: Redemption Island' Premiere: Phillip is a Special Agent (of Awfulness)
'Survivor: Redemption Island' Premiere: Phillip is a Special Agent (of Awfulness)
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Survivor is back, in more ways than one. Season 22, Redemption Island, brings back three-time castaway Boston Rob and two-time finalist Russell Hantz for a shot at redemption. But they're not the only ones back. Within one episode, we get villains, scheming, insults, strategy and a totally insane tribal council.

But first and foremost, the premiere introduces us to the new crop, and while it's hard to pick a favorite, finding the most hated player is easy because he's a very "special" man.


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Zapatera (aka Russell's  Tribe)

The star (other than Russell), is Ralph, who is a total hillbilly as you can tell from his decision to wear overalls without a shirt. There's also Stephanie, who is so eager to be the villainess of the season that I can smell her desperation from my living room. They also have an Iraqi war veteran, but since they win the first immunity challenge, we don't spend that much time getting to know this tribe.

Ometepe (aka Boston Rob's Tribe)

The major player on this team is former special agent Phillip, who instantly annoys the crap out of me with his overly bossy attitude and promises of honesty and a strong ability to read people. Because he's a special agent. If you don't remember that fact, don't worry, he repeats it about 47 times during the episode to really drive home the fact that he's special.

They also have Matt (who I call Bible Fabio for his long blonde locks and devotion to the Lord). He commits one of my cardinal Survivor sins: wearing pastel-colored boxer briefs. It's been 22 seasons and you know you'll be spending most of that time in your underwear, so would it kill you to wear something more respectable? However, he pales in comparison to Phillip and his disturbingly "droopy fuchsia briefs." Is this the European version of Survivor?

For the girls on Ometepe, Kristina immediately runs around looking for the hidden immunity idol and miraculously finds it by pure luck. She and lawyer Francesca try to form an alliance with Phillip to vote out Boston Rob, but Phillip reveals himself to be the world's biggest a-hole by smacking them down and refusing to listen. Congratulations, Phillip, you just became the worst person on Survivor: Redemption Island and it only took you less than half an episode. And if you're not sold yet, don't worry, because he manages to get even worse as the episode goes on.

Unfortunately for them, Boston Rob has a disdain for Kristina and Francesca, assuming they have the idol and are against him, which they absolutely are. I want to hate Boston Rob, but the man is definitely perceptive.

Kristina tries fighting back by revealing her idol to Phillip to get him on her side, but Boston Rob has a way of avoiding that by getting everyone else to split votes between Kristina and Francesca.

Tribal Council

At tribal council the bus is all gassed up and ready to drive over someone, as Phillip sells out Kristina and Francesca, saying that they wanted him to vote out Boston Rob and that Kristina has the idol. Wow, from "I'm an honest man" to "I'm going to tell everyone any secret that I'm told" in one episode, that's a record.

Francesca interrupts him, prompting him to respond, "Jeff, I'm a former special agent." Dude, we get it, you were a special agent. But you're not-so-special anymore, and you're no Seeley Booth or Dale Cooper, so can it.

Boston Rob loves this because these people are terrible amateurs who will give him all the information and ammunition he needs to stay around for a long time, and he's right.

Francesca is voted out with four votes while three went to Kristina and two went to Phillip.

But Francesca isn't gone, she's just heading to Redemption Island. Not that it matters, because if the rest of the season is going to be played this stupidly, Boston Rob and Russell are shoo-ins for the finale.

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(Image courtesy of CBS)



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