Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Survivor Redemption Island Episode 13 Thoughts

This is a tough season to judge what is going to happen in the final tribal council. Normally, you have a good idea as to where the jury stands with most of the final contestants. But this season is different, as we have no idea where the jury stands on the remaining players.

The Pagong-ing of Zapatera was both inevitable and obvious. From what we saw, Zapatera didn't really have too many bad feelings about individual Omatepe members, save Phillip. Ralph seems incredibly bitter about everything that Omatepe did as a tribe to him, but it didn't seem as though he was singling out any one person as the reason for this. So there doesn't seem to be a clear cut favourite to receive the favour of Zapatera. And since it is most likely that there will be 5 members of Zapatera on the jury (which would be a majority), it gets more difficult to figure out who is the odds on favourite to win.

The other item is that we don't know how the Omatepe players that end up getting voted out are going to react to being voted out. Andrea seemed to feel betrayed, but she didn't make it clear if she held Boston Rob responsible, or if she holds the entire tribe responsible. Grant knows he was betrayed; he doesn't know if it was Philip or Boston Rob (for some reason he didn't seem to think of both of them betraying him). He also said he was at peace with what had happened, so there is a chance he doesn't truly blame any of the players.

With all this in mind, nobody can really state with any certainty what the final result is. Heck you can't really rule Philip out since he has that amazing final tribal speech in his back pocket.

(Okay, I'm kidding. You can rule Philip out.)

The funny part is that Redemption Island actually helps to clarify what will happen at final tribal. If the returning Redemption Island player makes it to final tribal, they will win. Period.

It's an interesting year to be watching, because of this uncertainty. You can make the case for any player remaining on how they can win, or alternately why they should win. Maybe this is why Jeff Probst was so high on the season.
***
Throughout the season we've been straight forward story telling. A thread would start at the beginning of the episode, and would be resolved by the end of it. There were no notable swerves out there. Once the editors told you what was going to happen, they delivered it.

Tonight, they through that back on us.

We began with Ashley delivering the following statements:

"I love blindsides. In an evil way it's fun to see their reaction and how shocked they are. And she was shocked. You could tell."
"Can Natalie and I just say that we are the last girls standing"
"I just always felt that Natalie and I were always like this [crosses fingers]"
"I'll tell you if there's any plan to vote you out, and you tell me and maybe us two..."

Which would normally be a tease of Ashley getting voted out. This was combined with:

Natalie:
"I'm kinda stuck in a bad situation, just because Ashley keeps bringing up 'You're looking out for me and I'm looking out for you'"
"I'm leaning towards sticking with Rob just because he has been there for me througout this, but so has Ashley."

Rob:
"There's just something about her that's sneaky."

Which should have sealed the fate. Then Ashley won immunity, and that tease went to waste. We did end up getting Grant's vote out, which was teased prior to the immunity challenge, so there was a tied up thread there. And Ashley's word did lead into a bigger storyline of essentially "Ashley starts playing the game about 20 days too late". But to get blindsided by a tease not delivering in the same episode was a bit of a jolt.
***
A new feature for this recap, as I'm awarding an new award every episode. It's called "The Thing that Made Jeff Probst's announcing side too happy," which means an event or scene which wasn't that big of a deal necessarily, but gave Jeff an opportunity to act like a true investigative journalist or colour analyst for the action.

This week, it went to Andrea's struggle in the Redemption Island challenge, which let Jeff make a comparison to show how composed Matt and Mike were in comparison to Andrea. You know Jeff was thrilled that he could use some psychological babble to explain why Andrea was failing, and Jeff rose to occasion,

It's too bad that Ralph had to mess it up by choking as though he ate a whole chicken in one go.
***
Your schedule for Survivor posts this week:

Thursday - Final Power Rankings
Friday - General post on how where you finish in a reality show indicates how respected you were as a player
Saturday - A look at the remaining players and why they can win final tribal along with why they can not.
Sunday - Finale thoughts
Monday - the much popular Season Rankings
Tuesday - Winner Rankings
To be determined - Final thoughts on the Redemption Island twist.

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