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'Survivor: Redemption Island' Season 22, Episode 13 Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted May 12th 2011 8:00AM
'Survivor: Redemption Island'['Survivor: Redemption Island' - 'Too Close for Comfort']

Will the addition of "Redemption Island" change the game? One thing that is very notable is that this is the penultimate episode of the season, and there are technically still nine people left in the game. Sure, four of them are on Redemption Island, but they're still technically "live." And the unknowns surrounding the return to the game of one or more from that group has "Boston Rob" Mariano on the edge of his seat.

Last time he played, he was tripped up by the new element of the Hidden Immunity Idol. This time around, he sealed that potential loophole right away by finding and hoarding the Idol. But now, there's yet another wrinkle in what is otherwise a flawless game plan by the 'Survivor' all-star.

Another notable impact of the new Redemption Island twist is that there are only three people sitting on the Jury right now. This time on the Jury is when contestants are supposed to be learning about those still playing and slowly coming to conclusions that will help them pick a million-dollar winner.

With most of the Jury pool still in the game in some capacity, it's going to be an almost knee-jerk reactionary vote for most of them. This usually leads to a more emotional than cerebral response, which could go very badly for Rob. While most would agree intellectually that he's played the best game strategically, there could be raw, sour grapes coming into play.

We've seen it happen in seasons past where the wrong person won because enough people were still bitter and upset about their own ouster from the game. Rob has filled the Jury with people from a tribe that he systematically decimated, and with his own blindsided tribemates. He'll have a hard time swaying an emotional jury.

This week saw the reveal of the Final Four members of Murlonio and the Final Four members of Redemption Island. I actually laughed during the Redemption Arena challenge as Ralph whizzed through the maze portion of it, finishing first, and was then eliminated because he simply cannot do puzzles.

As many puzzles as there have been this season, I'd recommend boning up hardcore on that skill to anyone going to play this game.

I was almost certain Andrea would be the one to go, as she was visibly angry and upset. But she's hanging in there and she, Matt and Mike were awaiting the results of the Tribal vote to see who would join them for the last battle (I'm guessing it'll be the last one).

At Ometepe -- there's really no point in calling them Murlonio as neither tribe really adopted it -- Rob had a solid plan for what to do next. Fearing the power of a pair as he and Amber Brkich were in 'All-Stars,' he targeted Natalie and Ashley.

Now, because Natalie kept running to him with everything Ashley was saying, she proved herself much more loyal, so Ashley was next on the chopping block. She was trying to say it was the girls to the end, and that can't stand. So, another easy elimination?

Not so fast. Ashley was impressive in a challenge with yet another puzzle, though the random fish bone aspect of it was strange, and came out the winner. This threw Rob's plans into a talespin.

Grant is a huge threat in challenges and of the remaining five Ometepe, he's probably the only one who could score enough votes to beat Rob if he pleads his case correctly. Most of the jury feels Rob stabbed them in the back, so they may not be as bitter toward Grant.

That said, eliminating Natalie achieves the same goal of breaking up the potential power couple of Ashley and Natalie. If they were to team up and almost anyone were to come back from Redemption Island, they could tip the scales against Rob.

So, another Tribal Council and another blindside. Grant absolutely never saw it coming. In his confessional he still wasn't sure if Rob wrote his name down, so Rob could talk his way out of this if Grant comes back.

Certainly, Grant returning is probably Rob's best case scenario. Natalie and Ashley are still in the game. If Andrea comes back, they could team up as a threesome. Matt would do anything to eliminate Rob, as would Mike. Actually, I'm not as sure Mike wouldn't consider a strategic alliance with Rob, though I have a hard time seeing anyone cross tribal lines at this point other than blindsided Ometepe.

At Redemption, though, I'm no longer as confident Matt can get his way back into the game. Since he was sent there a second time, he has consistently come in second behind Mike. This gives Mike the edge to return to the game in almost any type of challenge situation. However, people have been known to find a strength and resolve they didn't know they had in clutch moments, and if they suspect that the winner of the next challenge gets back into the game, we'll see them all giving 110%.

Matt, Mike and even Andrea have a fair shot of taking Jury votes away from Rob if they get into the Final Tribal Council. Hell, Rob might get no votes at all simply for outwitting and outplaying everyone too well.

It's crazy that there are eight people still alive going into the finale. It should be an interesting final two hours.

'Survivor: Redemption Island' airs Wednesdays, 8PM ET on CBS.
The finale airs Sunday, May 15, at 8PM ET.

[Follow Jason on Twitter.]

Who do you think will win 'Survivor: Redemption Island'?
Andrea Boehlke [Redemption]15 (1.0%)
Grant Mattos [Redemption]64 (4.3%)
Matt Elrod [Redemption]261 (17.6%)
Mike Chiesl [Redemption]101 (6.8%)
Ashley Underwood44 (3.0%)
Natalie Tenerelli80 (5.4%)
Phillip Sheppard94 (6.3%)
Rob Mariano826 (55.6%)

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It's already been spoiled that the final three are Nat, Rob and Philip and Philip takes the money.

May 12 2011 at 3:31 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to devinmcmusters's comment

So why in the Fudd did you make sure everybody knows that you are a grand A**. Why would you do this? I sure hope you are wrong. I want Mike to come back in and win. I am guessing that you are a double A** and are just making this up. But on the other hand at least if Philip wins it is so much better than Rob winning so that part will be fun to see anyway. After thinking it over it will be fun to watch even so.

May 12 2011 at 8:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

How exactly does Phillip take the money if they don't reveal it until the live show on Sunday? You telling me someone got all the jury alone and found out who each of them voted for? Gimme a break

May 12 2011 at 10:21 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to roblk121's comment
General Kenobi

Exactly... Don't get upset thinking this guy just spoiled your season of Survivor, folks... he's just a douche who wants to run his mouth and cause angst... typical internet dumbass. Enjoy the show on Sunday.

May 13 2011 at 12:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
General Kenobi

It's hard to say, but I think his perfect game had its first mistake last night. I understand he wants to take Natalie to the end, but with Ashley still in the game, that may prove his undoing. Grant and Ashley weren't going to team up against Rob, and I don't really see a reason to give Grant the win over Natalie or Ashley. As such, leaving the pair in the game was probably the wrong choice for Rob... But we'll see.

Has God abandoned Matt or are the producers and editors as tired of hearing from him about it as I am?

May 12 2011 at 10:21 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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