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Survivor Recap - March 16

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On the last episode of Survivor we saw the game death (and subsequent tears) of the legendary Evil Russell who was unable to defeat Matt in the last chance competition to stay in the game. Evil Russell, much like Jesus, wept. Zapatera won the tribal immunity challenge, sending Ometepe into a mini-frenzy with Rob aiming for Kristina's elimination while the rest of the tribe focused their ire toward Philip - Former Federal Agent? In the end, Rob managed to sway the tribe toward his personal choice, Kristina who then promptly set-off to face Matt on Redemption Island for a chance to stay in the game.


The show proper begins on a rainy night 11 at Ometepe where Rob, his chief minion Grant, and their chattel switch out of wet things. Philip gets pulled aside by a production assistant and offers us his assessment he totally expected a 4 (Kristina) to 3 (Philip) vote since Rob is running everything with a tight alliance and he can't make any inroads into the group. Soon, he promises, they will have to take him into account.


The next morning, we get treated to a montage of Philip and his ridiculous pink briefs. Of particular note are Philip's very stylish beach wear white loafers completing the look of total buffoonery when combined with his pink underwear briefs. Then we get a nice shot of him bending over the campfire with his pink brief clad ass starring straight into the faces of the horror-struck Ashley and Natalie. Even the show's production is getting into the act as they have now decided to list Philip's occupation as Former Federal Agent? with the snarky question mark.


Meanwhile, Zapatera is in good spirits. Evil Russell is gone. Fishing equipment is bringing in plenty to eat. The alliance of six is strong. Things are going so good that Steve even thinks they should be working to rehabilitate former Evil Russell girl henchwomen Stephanie and Krista. After all, a merge will be coming some day and they don't want those two to defect to the other side. Hold that thought for a second, we are coming back to it.


Tree mail arrives and it's time to pick representatives to head off to watch the big showdown at Redemption Isle between Kristina and Matt. Somehow, after a convoluted method of selection, Stephanie and Krista "win" the draw. It's almost as if production had a hand in this, like they wanted Stephanie and Krista to be away from their tribe and free to plot and scheme and plot and scheme they did.


Stephanie decides this would be a perfect time to signal their (Stephanie and Krista's) displeasure with their own tribe to Ometepe's reps (who they hope will include Boston Rob) at Redemption Isle. They want to let it be known that when a merge comes (told you I'd get back to the merge, didn't I?) they will be ready to dump their tribe in favor of working with Ometepe. Now if only Rob would show up at Redemption Isle…


And who's at Redemption Isle? Surprisingly enough, it's Rob along with his ever present boy toy minion Grant. After Probst goes through some blather to make sure he's earning his paycheck, we get into the riveting puzzle competition contest. As contests go, watching two people trying to out-puzzle each other ranks up there with watching two hammies going after it Chess-style on Big Brother. In this case, though, we get some side chat that livens things up a bit. Matt tries to act good natured about getting back-stabbed by Rob and minion Grant, going so far as saying that if he makes it back into the game he wants to team up with those two again. This opens the door for Stephanie to begin bad-mouthing her tribe and telling Rob that if they (Stephanie and Krista) make it to the merge, they will join up with Ometepe. Meanwhile, almost lost in the side chatter, Kristina flounders badly and eventually loses the puzzle competition. Probst initiates the burning of the buff and just like that Kristina is DUN. Somewhere, Renny figures out the financial implications of not being able to sell the buff on ebay.


While all this "riveting" action is taking place at Redemption Isle, Philip is busy showing off his social skills at Ometepe camp. These social skills amount to parading around in his ridiculous pink underwear, hunting (badly) crabs, and bemoaning his lack of ability to make any connections with his tribe mates to all Production Assistants who wander within ear shot. Pervy Skippy, moonlighting as a cameraman for Survivor these days, takes the opportunity to do a Skinamax-esque sapphic waterfall bathing scene with the three Ometepe girls.


To kill a little more time before the Tribal Immunity challenge, we get to watch 'Mater (aka Ralph) burn himself and then over-react by extinguishing the camp fire while Julie (the older fire-fighter who betrayed Russell…oops, sorry for letting that slip in) talks about how she's worried Zapatera might be getting over-confident.


Finally we get to the Immunity challenge. This season has seen a liberal dose of old recycled challenges and this one is no different. Blindfolded teams blunder through a maze looking to retrieve puzzle pieces under direction from one team-mate who directs their action. That same director ends up assembling the various puzzle pieces once the teammates recover all the pieces. Zapatera has a quick debate over who should be the director and Stephanie (strongly pushed by Sarita) is selected over the objections of Mike who thinks he should be the director. Meanwhile, Ometepe immediately centers on Rob being the director since he's in charge of everything already and he's good at puzzles.


In the end, Stephanie manages her team to retrieve the puzzle pieces first but Rob is quickly behind her. Rob, even after initially losing a puzzle piece, assembles the puzzle first and Ometepe wins tribal immunity along with a large selection of pastries, donuts, and ground coffee. Yea! Philip - Former Federal Agent? with Pink Underwear will live again for another week. It's the next best thing to watching Gary Busey on Celebrity Apprentice or Gadaffi make a three hour speech on CNN.


Celebrations take place back at the Ometepe camp. Philip is dancing around and offering to trade his donut for a massage from one of the girls. I haven't seen moves this good since MTV cancelled Mystery and The Pick Up Artist. The women manage not to laugh in Philip's face which probably deserves a special reward of some sort. Philip's buffoonery does serve a purpose for Rob and minion Grant who find a clue for the location the hidden individual immunity idol in the stash of coffee grounds. They quickly get it out of the camp and minion Grant entrusts it into the possession of Rob who even more swiftly double-crosses his minion by hiding the new clue and replacing it with an old, ambiguous immunity clue Rob had previously hidden.


At Zapatera, David is sulking that he wasn't put in charge of the immunity challenge and then makes the pronouncement that from now on he will be in charge of ALL puzzles from here on out. Sarita, the champion of having Stephanie do the puzzle, makes some noise trying to defend her choice but only manages to offend David more. There is an emerging hatred growing between these two but it will have to wait for future weeks because it's clear that either Krista or Stephanie have to go. Even the producers don't try to hard sell an edit making it look like there could be a surprise at Tribal.


At Tribal, Krista begins a moderately lengthy diatribe about the lack of a game playing at Zapatera thereby insuring she will be the tribe's choice to enjoy Redemption Island. Stephanie managed to keep her usual mouthy and bossy demeanor to a minimum so as not to screw things up. So Krysta..err Crysta…err Krista is evicted and will be fighting against Matt next week.

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