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Survivor Recap Feb. 23 (Happy Birthday Bee!)

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On this hallowed day, the birth date of HT's beeloved Beehoppy, I present to you, dear HT reader, my Survivor recap.


Previously on Survivor: After The Probst reminds us of last week's highlights, we're brought to Francesca stumbling her way into Redemption Island. She reads the Life on Redemption Island rules: They will receive basic supplies, a ration of rice each day and plenty of drinking water. At some point, the remaining person on Redemption Island will reenter the game and resume their quest for the $1 million dollar prize and the title of Sole Survivor. She gropes about in search of flint to start a fire. To the camera Francesca notes this: being sent to R.I. is probably a great thing to happen to her in the game. Yes, yes, she's trying to sell us on the idea that getting voted out first is actually a good thing. She got along with people but wasn't in the dominant alliance, so if she can reenter the game later when things have shifted, things will be golden for her. As she attempts to build a fire, she notes she would rather be by herself on Redemption Island, groping about in the dark for fire, than still being in the game with her tribe mates and especially Philip.


At Ometepe's camp, Boston Rob tells his groupies--er, tribe mates--that this was one of the wackiest, most madcap Tribal Council's he's ever participated in. Kristina confesses she am SO glad she didn't play her immunity idol. After Boston Rob and Philip exchange a manly bro hug, Philip requests private counsel with Rob, who tells us he knew both Kristina and Philip were lying to him. "You don't need to be a genius F.B.I. agent to figure that out," jeers Rob to the camera. "You just had to look at their faces and watch their lips moving."

Philip swears allegiance to The Robfather. Until Philip goes to Redemption, The Robfather owns his vote. Rob isn't sure if Philip is delusional--"I think he's a good hahted guy, he just might not all be there. Let it bee a lesson to ya. Government jobs. Stressful!"


Rob congregates with his peeps and says the six of them have to stick together. Get to the F6 together! Rob feels encouraged that he's found a group of players that will follow "directions." The target (for now): Philip.


Opening Credits: Francesca gets her own Redemption Island credit at the end.


*Commercial Break*


Phillip goes crab hunting in his notorious pink speedos while his tribe mates, led by The Robfather, chuckle at his expense. Phillip gets a long confessional in which he regales us once again with tales of his integrity, and how last night at tribal, Franjesca maligned his character (I was hoping he'd say impugned his character, but whatever. I'm surprised that's all Franjesca impugned--ur, maligned). Oh man, Phillip is so strongly moved by his own story, he turns all verklempt. You'd think he'd spotted Barbra Streisand in the jungle foliage, perhaps sharpening the tribe machete with her fingernails. "One of the things about me is that I love my country," he emotes as Survivor cues the background patriotism music. "Having worn the uniform...I swore I was prepared to...protect and defend...to try and take some of that pride I have...in having served as a special agent and earned the right to be called trustworthy...it hurt me." Huh? Weirdly, the camera cuts to a lone crab waving its legs about in a way that sort of resembles a salute. "One of the main lessons I got last night at tribal is that...I still love Phillip Shepherd. He's a good guy and that's okay." Phillip is shown killing a crab. Good OGG, I hope it wasn't the one that saluted!


Over on Camp Russell, Ralph crows like a rooster and is a hit with his tribe. Except, of course, with Russell, who finds all his tribies stupid. Ralph may be the dumbest on earth, according to Ruskie. But Russell is happy he has Stephanie on his side, so all he needs is Krista. A group of three has worked for him before, it just might work for him again. He instructs his shapely posse that they have to look for the Idol even without a clue. "You've seen me play the game before," Russell reminds us. "I find idols, that's how I play." His tribe mates know what the less-than-stealthy Russell is up to. While picking up rocks, Ralph stumbles upon the hidden immunity idol in a tree trunk. "Hot doggie!" he exclaims. He takes pleasure in knowing he beat Russell to the idol. "That was as simple," he concludes, "as wiping your hiney with toilet paper."


He uses toilet paper?


Score at Commercial Break: Mansweater, 1. Evil Belly Button: 0.


*Commercial Break*


On Team Robfather, Matthew is sharing a tender Christian moment with Andrea. They are thrilled to be in a good alliance. They are too google-eyed to see The Robfather stalking about, growing agitated by their puppy dog love. The Robfather knows how strong a pair can be in this game! The Robfather has decided upon Natalie as his main partner and, together, they plot against the virtuous vanilla Matty and Andrea. Robfather is also thinking end game. "It's going to be hard, though," opines The Robfather. "It's going to be like literally picking the girl (Natalie) up, putting her on my back, and I'm going to drag her ass to the end and then hopefully they'll give it to me at the end."


What is it with Russell and The Robfather feeling like they have to "drag" women to the end with them, and then of course they, the strong masculine men, will win over the frail women? Just how many times has this plan worked for either one of you, boys? And by the way, Robfather, you don't mean literally, you mean figuratively. Although with Rob, I guess you never know.


Natalie confesses to the camera she's willing to make Big Moves in the game with The Robfather at her side. Somewhere, a horse is shuddering.


Tribes gather for the Reward/Immunity challenge. A bit of consternation from the opposing tribe that Francesca was voted out. Ralph hands The Probst the immunity idol but feels confident that they'll win it back. Phillip frowns on behalf of all beelittled F.B.I. agents. He says such words only bring out the ANIMAL in him and that he'll outlast any man over there. "What about the women?" queries an equality-minded Probst. "That's another day, we'll see," harumphs Phillip.


The challenge requires someone from each tribe to swim out on a platform, climb to the top, smash a tile, and retrieve a key. Then the next person goes. When all five keys have been retrieved, one person will unlock a box to retrieve a ball. The remaining two tribe members will toss the ball until they have broken five tiles. First tribe to break all five tiles will win immunity and fishing gear. With one extra tribe member, Camp Russell decides to sit out David. Who?


Grant and Steve hit the water first. Grant reaches the platform first and it looks like he sort of whiffs actually breaking the tile, but somehow the key drops into the water anyway. Grant gets back first.


Ashley is #2 for Team Robfather. Sarita(?) is second for Team Russell. Matt is #3 for the Robfathers while Sarita is still floundering in the water for the Russells. Finally, Julie hits the water as #3 for the Russells. Andrea is #4 for the Robfathers and belly flops in the water, much to The Probst's beemusement. Robfathers still leading as Russell plunges into the water as #4 for...ur, the Russells. Rob dives in as #5 for the Robfathers. Mike for the Russells is in the water when Rob gives the key to Natalie, who rather inelegantly begins trying to open the box with the keys. Now Stephanie begins trying to open locks for the Russells. The Russells have caught up to the Robfathers. Stephanie gets all three locks opened first, meaning Ralph for the Russells gets to starting tossing the ball at the tiles first. Phillip breaks the first tile, followed quickly by Ralph. Then Phillip starts to choke while Ralph moves up to four broken tiles. Then he chokes on the last tile, giving Phillip a chance to catch up. But Ralph breaks the last tile and The Russells win immunity again.


After the challenge, Matt goes and shakes hands with a couple of The Russells. The Robfather am not amused. He finds it "despicable." When it comes time to collect the reward basket, Russell snatches it up because he suspects there's an immunity idol clue inside. The Probst reminds Team Robfather that they will have to vote someone out, who will go to Redemption Island and face off with Francesca in a duel.


*Commercial Break*


While a storm brews overhead, Russell sees the immunity idol clue in the basket. He snatches it up as he sets the basket down. However, the clever Mansweater sees Russell with a rolled up piece of paper and deduces that Russell has got that "daggone" clue out of that "daggone" basket. To the camera, Ralph opines that Russell will pay the price because "this isn't Russell's game, this is my game."


Russell, he of the Evil Belly Button, takes a walk with the more prettily buttoned, Stephanie and Krista. They mock Sarita's lame swimming attempt. Sarita tells Mike, studly Iraq war vet, that Ralph saw Russell put the clue in his belly button...ur, pocket. Mike says Russell is untrustworthy and not someone you'd want to go deep into the game with. Russell shows the clue to his curvaceous groupies. "Three votes, that's all I need," Russell tells the camera. "I've never had numbers and I've always made it to the end. I don't need no stinkin' numbers."


Russell hides the clue just as Mike approaches. They beemoan Sarita's dog paddling during the immunity challenge. Oh oh, here comes a confrontational Mansweater. He calls out Russell about finding the immunity idol clue. "You didn't win it, we all won it," insists Ralph. Mike pipes in along with Ralph. "Calm down guys," Russell says in a half-condescending, half-threatening way. "This is the way the game is played. You're either with me or you're against me." Ralph and Russell bicker back and forth. Now that person who is perhaps named David is standing there with them. Russell tells them he does not have an immunity idol clue. Ralph offers a fist bump, which Russell returns, but then growls that he doesn't like how Ralph is "coming at me." Russell says he knows how to play this game. Ralph looks at him and says, "This ole boy does too." To the camera Ralph says: "I'll play his game. I'll show him how smart I can be. Right on."


CycleRob am enjoying The Mansweater. Russell, however, still thinks Ralph is stupid for taking on the Great and Almighty Russell.


On Redemption Island, Francesca got her luxury item in tree mail: a journal. She reflects on the upcoming duel. She hopes they don't have to coexist on the island for too long, especially if that person is Phillip.


Back at Team Robfather, Phillip gathers the tribe together to tell them they performed "gallantly," and he wishes he could have performed as well as they did. He's not going to run around and try to gain votes, he will just leave it to the tribe to decide what's best for them. "If y'all want to say anything, feel free," he says.


Silence. You'd think Zach had slouched into the camp. Phillip gets the hint and starts to leave, but the The Robfather tells him he did fine. It was a team effort. They win as a team and lose as a team. Besides, Rob am not perturbed by Phillip. He's still pissed that Matthew shook hands with two people on the other tribe. Such mad social skillz must be destroyed!


Kristina puts on her immunity necklace. She asks Phillip if he's worried. He says no because he's a strong man and if it's redemption...well, he kind of likes that name. Kristina confesses to us that she will play the idol tonight. She feels she has to. But Grant and a blond woman who might be named Ashley converse with the Robfather, and they discuss whether they should take out Matt-the-Evil-Hand-Shaker. They decide that Ashley, Natalie, Grant, and Robfather will vote for Matt tonight, but will tell Matthew and Andrea that they're splitting the vote between Phillip and Kristina. To the camera, Robfather says he didn't want to play Survivor this way, he likes Matt, but Matt is playing "textbook" and "he's playing with me."


*Commercial Break*


At Team Robfather, the supposed alliance of six (Rob, Grant, Natalie, Ashley, Matthew, and Andrea) gather. Robfather tells Matthew and Andrea that they'll split the votes--girls vote for Kristina, guys will vote for Phillip. But Robfather reminds us of the true plan: to get out Matthew and have Kristina play the idol. Matthew ingenuously tells us how remarkable Rob is, how he can see what people need and then can fulfill that need. Oh, you sweet bland innocent!


Meanwhile, The Robfather has beckoned for Phillip to join him on a walk. He says the wheels are in motion and they haven't decided who is going to get kicked out yet, but he swears that Phillip is going to be fine. The Robfather demands that Phillip not blow up at Tribal Council or go on a tirade as he did last week. The Robfather informs Phillip that when the time comes to vote, he's going to take his right hand and put it on the shoulder of the person he wants Phillip to whack--ur, to vote for. Phillip agrees. The Robfather wants Phillip to act worried at tribal. He's got to act as if he's in danger. Dance, Phillip, dance! Robfather feels this is a test for Phillip. If he does as he's supposed to tonight, he can start working his way back into the "rotation." If he starts shooting his mouth off, they'll vote him out instead.


Tribal Council:The Probst asks Kristina about not playing the idol last week. She said she had a feeling she shouldn't play it. Phillip shows everyone a gorilla tattoo on his left arm, an animal that won't attack unless provoked. On his other arm, a lion tattoo, one of the few animals that even a starving animal won't approach. Good OGG, back to God and Family. If you do something to the U.S., you bring out the King Kong in Phillip, apparently. "If you try to attack my family in any way, you get the lion, baby," he concludes.


CycleRob scratches head. The Probster asks: "So what does the gorilla or the lion do if it feels like it has screwed up?" Phillip says a lion never feels like it screwed up because it's...well, a lion. (Has this man never seen The Wizard of Oz?) "And a gorilla, they either get beat by another silverback because it's survivor of the fittest, or they don't lose." The Probst looks, at best, beemused. Robfather reiterates the "win as a team, lose as a team" mantra.


Matthew says it's hard to think you could vote someone out of this game for a single mistake, but it can happen. *CR smacks forehead* Matt feels there's a lot of "uncertainty" with this vote. Under more Probst questioning, Phillip acts like he thinks he is going to Redemption Island, and if he does, it's okay because he has an opportunity to meet his nemesis. "FranCHESQA," gently taunts The Probst. Matt ponders how many people get to come back from Redemption Island and at what time. "If we knew that, it would be a huge advantage--the rain is coming down sideways right now," he detours Fabioishly.


As The Probst gives his concluding remarks before the vote, The Robfather gets Phillip's attention and lays his hand on Kristina's shoulder. She looks about, baffled and beefuddled.


The vote. Probster goes to tally votes. He returns. "If anyone has..."


"Jeff!" interjects Kristina. "I think I'm going to need a little extra help tonight." She hands the idol to The Probst, who reminds us that votes for Kristina will not count.


First vote: Kristina, does not count. Second vote: Kristina, does not count. Third vote: Phillip. Fourth vote: Phillip. Score is tied, 2-2. Fifth vote: Matt. Sixth vote: Matt. A clue drops in the lap of Matt and Andrea, who look rattled. Seventh vote: Matt. "Wow!" Matt says, dazed. Andrea puts a tremulous hand to her virginal lips. One vote left. The Robfather awaits the throat-slitting. Matt still open-mouthed and slack-jawed. Last vote. SECOND PERSON VOTED OUT OF SURVIVOR: REDEMPTION ISLAND--MATT!


Andrea has one of the greatest "blindsided ingenue" looks I've seen on the show since those stunned-by-the-vote looks Julie delivered week-after-week on Survivor: Vanuatu. "It coulda worked, guys," Matthew laments before he brings Probst his torch. "My goodness," he adds, remembering even in this time of turmoil not to take the Lord's name in vain. "Matt, the tribe has spoken!" Probst officiates and proceeds with the ritualistic torch snuffing. "You will have a second shot at getting back into this game."


"Damn, guys," Matt says as he trudges down the steps. Andrea picks worriedly at her lonely-seeming bottom lip.


The Probst tells the tribe it's only Week Two and already a "vicious blind side."


*Commercial Break*


Next Time on Survivor: Probst narrates that "Rob finds out hell hath no fury like Andrea scorned." Oh please, let it be true! There are few things CycleRob enjoys more than an ingenue on a rampage! Over on Team Russell, apparently they're about to find out what happens when you cross Russell. "This is going to be the biggest blindside EVER!" promises Stephanie.


Closing Credits:Matthew is shown arriving on Redemption Island. He's on an emotional roller coaster. Part of him just wants to go home, but then part of him thinks Rob set him up for the biggest comeback in Survivor history. He awakens Francesca to say hi. "I just have to remain strong and the Lord will be with me," he prophesies.



Edited by CycleRob

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