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'Survivor: Redemption Island' Season 22 Premiere Recap

by Kelly Woo, posted Feb 17th 2011 12:00AM
Survivor Redemption Island premiere['Survivor: Redemption Island' - Season Premiere]

No. 1 rule of 'Survivor' tribal council: Shut the hell up.

Seriously, stop talking.

We've seen it so many times over the years. A castaway yaps and rambles on, digging him or herself into a hole. Often that leads to everyone writing that person's name down. It happened with Wendy and Shannon last season.

It didn't quite go that way in 'Redemption Island's' premiere, but somebody definitely became a target (for ridicule and elimination).

But before we get to tribal council, let's review who's who and what's what as set up in this first episode. And of course, we have to start with the two big guns: Boston Rob and Russell, who are playing for the fourth and third time, respectively.

As soon as they got off the helicopter, the other contestants immediately realized that the game got a lot tricker. Then Jeff Probst told them about the redemption island twist -- that they wouldn't go home after being voted off, but would have a chance to return to the game later if they survived a series of duels.

Francesca certainly didn't do herself a favor by proclaiming how dangerous both Rob and Russell were. Sure, everyone was thinking that, but why say it aloud?

Rob randomly chose the Ometepe tribe, while Russell went off with the Zapatera tribe, and when everyone got to their camps, both showed how helpful and useful they can be. You don't play this game several times and not figure how to make a decent shelter (though that box of tools made things a lot easier).

This time, Russell can't get away with being an unknown quantity, so he made a big speech about how he wasn't there to sabotage anyone, how he wanted to help the tribe win, blah blah blah. But Russell being Russell, he immediately struck up an alliance with cutesy girl Stephanie. Hey, a tiger can't change his stripes. If anyone believed he had actually changed, well, they deserve to go home.

Meanwhile, over in Ometepe-ville, Kristina proved she was in it to win it by poking around the toolbox for a clue to the hidden immunity idol's location. Rob was on to her in a fast minute, but that didn't stop her from wandering around the beach and digging around various landmarks. And what do you know -- Kristina ended up finding that idol, shades of Russell.

When Ometepe lost the immunity challenge, Kristina wanted to vote Rob out, though her alliance partner Francesca argued that it was a risky move since they only had Phillip on their side.

But all that strategery attracted the notice of Rob. It's very difficult to outmanuever Rob. In 'Marquesas' he was outnumbered; in 'All-Stars,' he finished second to his eventual wife; and in 'Heroes vs. Villains,' he lost due to the stupidity of Coach. Which he joked about when coordinating the votes of his young Ometepe minions. But this time, he made sure nobody was going to switch their vote at the last minute and ruin his plan.

Then came possibly the greatest tribal council ever (if you can remember even crazier ones, tell me in the comments!), all thanks to Phillip and his big mouth.

Philip already had established that he was annoying, overbearing, condescending and controlling. His big "bombshell" announcement (people, he used to be a federal agent) fell flat on his tribemates, who couldn't care less. Francesca's eyes almost rolled up into her head permanently at his self-important dithering.

At council, not only did he declare he was voting for Rob, he told everyone that Francesca and Kristina were, too (which they denied). Then he revealed that Kristina had an immunity idol. And he couldn't pronounce Francesa's name correctly (I don't think I've laughed during 'Survivor' as much as when I saw he'd written "Francisqua"). Oh, and he mentioned that he was a special agent yet again. The guy had a total and complete freakout, and it was hilarious. Even Jeff Probst, who's seen it all when it comes to tribal councils, looked amazed.

Fortunately for Phillip, his blathering -- though it may have alerted everyone to his instability -- couldn't hurt him this time. Rob was bent on getting Kristina or her partner Francesca out. Not sure why Kristina didn't use her idol just in case, but perhaps she sensed that Phillip would change his vote to "Francisqua." Whatever the case, Kristina remained safe (with idol intact) for a few more days, while Francesa was sent to Redemption Island. And Phillip -- well, let's hope he'll provide many laugh-out-loud moments in episodes to come.

Other thoughts:
- Ralph, somehow I don't think you'll be the first dumba** to win the game. But you do win the award for Hairiest Survivor Ever.

- Watching those sponsored "what if" moments made me think that while Redemption Island is an interesting twist, some of those former Survivors (Erik) didn't deserve a second chance. He made the dumbest move in the show's history and if he'd been able to return to the game, I would've been pissed.

- Why was everyone wearing pink underwear? Did I miss something?

What did you think of the premiere? Sound off in the comments!

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I knew it was going to be some type of twist and the people from the Zapatera tribe knew it was time to get rid of Russell as soon as he landed. I'm so happy he's gone because I couldn't stomach him making it to the finals again. Rob is being smart by taking Phillip to the end because no one respects him and they believe he is delusional which I agree with. This has been a fun filled season and I didn't even start watching it until I heard Russell was voted off and he cried about it. I immediately went to DISHonline.com since I have DISH Network and caught up on the season. They have all of the episodes with clips available to anyone and since I work and subscribe to DISH Network, I know that I'm getting the best value possible. I'm inviting everyone to check it out at http://bit.ly/dJzWgo!


May 15 2011 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How come the girl that went to redem island didn't use the lantern to start her fire?

February 24 2011 at 1:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I enjoyed the show! Remember this is SHOW BIDNESS. Boston Rob and Evil Russell are there for pure entertainment. Phillip is a PLUS because he is rapidly becoming the perfect "Love to Hate Him Guy". Maybe not having to work so hard to set up camp with tools will give them extra energy to create even MORE entertainment. Who knows, maybe the special agent Phillip will make Russell look good.

February 21 2011 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Phillip - Nutcase. Hope he goes next. He's not bright enough to have been a "Federal Agent", and he certainly doesn't deserve to last on Survivor.

February 18 2011 at 3:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't help but think it's no wonder we have government security leaks all the time with employee as nutty as Phillip. Those girls made a deal with the devil, but I admire Kristina for holding on to that idol, that took balls.

February 17 2011 at 10:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Riiight ... I was thinking of that episode where Coach stupidly voted for Courtney instead of forcing at least a tie, the one where Rob voted off. Good catch all.

February 17 2011 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maybe Phillip is an ex-fed. agt. because of that big mouth. The man can't seem to help himself.

February 17 2011 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rat Phink

Was that Survivor: Habitat for Humanity? They supplied both teams with an entire tool box, shovel and logs to build a shelter, even a sewing kit. Why not just give each team a gas generator for electricity? I'm still no liking the entire Redemption Island thing or bringing back two past multiple losers. It just seems setup to make sure both of these guys stay longer or win. CBS has such a hard on for Rob, I just don't get it, just give him a million dollars already.

They really need to get back to basics on this show, everyone is so star struck by past "players" and immediately get out of the game, most of early 20's were just bowled over to see Rob and be on vacation. I enjoy the conflict and game play, and it seems the older players are the only ones hungry and committed from the get go.

February 17 2011 at 2:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

It is too bad Phillip will not be around for the Jury. I would love to see his speech or hear his questions to someone who would have voted him out.

Great Start

February 17 2011 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Francesca seemed like a smart girl so i am wondering why she didnt think to vote for Kristina?

February 17 2011 at 11:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lisanegs22's comment
General Kenobi

She probably thought Kristina would use the veto, a, and b, even if she had voted her one ally out, where would that leave her?

February 17 2011 at 11:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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