Zapatera was on its way to total domination at the start of Survivor: Redemption Island. They won the first two challenges, purposefully lost to get rid of Russell, and then won again the next week. Things then took a turn for the worst, losing the last two challenges, which was OK because they still needed to get rid of Russell’s girls. But one more loss means the strong Alliance of Six that started on day one is forced to cannibalize itself.

The Duel

After last week’s Bible-bonding, Stephanie arrives on Redemption Island and only wants to talk about all the food she wants to eat, which annoys Matt. I’ve been iffy on Matt up until now, but he says, “You’re killing me, Smalls,” a fantastic shout-out to the movie The Sandlot and an expression I frequently use, so Matt is officially my new BFF. That movie rules from start to finish, and anyone who quotes it scores major points in my book.

The duel is a giant game of memory, and with some miraculous help from God, Matt wins for the fifth time in a row. He has officially eliminated every single person so far on Survivor: Redemption Island, single-handedly taking out Francesca, Kristina, Russell and his two acolytes.

Phillip’s Turning Japanese

This week the special agent is all about Japan, calling Matt a samurai warrior and using an ancient Japanese book of war to explain his strategy of letting his enemy (Boston Rob) make the first move. So now we know that Phillip is a half-lion, half-gorilla samurai warrior special agent. He’s truly a renaissance man — if by “renaissance,” you mean “crazy.”

He then has a mini-meltdown over not getting any of the brown, crispy rice that’s being saved for Boston Rob. He also reveals that the girls all sleep in Boston Rob’s underwear, literally, which is kind of gross. Still, I have little doubt that Special Agent Phillip will go down as the craziest castaway in the show’s history.

The Immunity Challenge

The tribes must go through an obstacle course and then play basketball. Zapatera gets off to an early start, but Ometepe has a secret weapon in the form of Grant, who seemingly lands all six balls in the net. If you remember, he was also the star player of last week’s challenge, making Grant a definite frontrunner to win the whole game. On their reward Boston Rob finds another clue to the immunity idol, but since he already has it, and it created problems last week, he just throws it into the volcano.

Tribal Council

The debate on Zapatera is all about David, the lawyer who sided with Stephanie last week, against Sarita, who is generally regarded as the team’s weak link. It’s a simple matter of strength vs. trust, though Sarita sways me a bit by pointing out that David has a better chance of beat Matt (whom she calls “Boy Wonder”) on Redemption Island.

At Tribal Council, Jeff Probst asks Ralph if cohesion is important, but Ralph doesn’t understand what the words means. He ultimately sides with a strong tribe over a cohesive tribe, but he also thinks “No” is an acceptable answer to the question, “What’s more important, strength or trust?” In the end, Ralph gets his way.

Sarita is voted out 4-2.

So strength wins out over loyalty, which doesn’t matter at all because next week is the MERGE! Also, Matt and Sarita compete in the final duel of Redemption Island because whoever wins re-enters the game.

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(Image courtesy of CBS)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.