1) Gone for A While Or Gone for Good: I was not against Zapatera’s decision to oust Russel. It was totally a real delight to see the vulnerability, the disgust and the anger in Russel’s face as he exited the Tribal Council. This was the moment and the very first to see a powerless Russel. The type of Russel who has not done anything different to fight for his life. If you ask me, a stay in Redemption Island can make a big difference. Russel is with an Ometepe member and he probably got the power to take advantage of Matt’s weaknesses in exchange for something.
Matt appears to be a smart person. He is a pre-med student and he claims he can to win the game (CBS). I am not sure though if things remain the same when he’s hungry, uncomfortable, anxious and is up against a veteran player.
Look. It will be complicated to go against a player who have played this game for 78 days in back-to-back seasons. Russel also got the brawn in challenges, winning the final immunity against Brett and Jerri back in Samoa and in Heroes vs Villains. Surely, the next duel will be a test for the Fabio-look-alike. He wants to return in the game, that’s possible but first, he MUST play against the evil in Mr. Hantz.
2) Throwing A Challenge: Throwing a challenge is a good strategy just to get rid of a power player like Russel. Zapatera made it happen but beware of a major consequence right after. Remember what happened in Aitutaki tribe after throwing the immunity challenge just to vote out Billy? The tribe ended up with only one member in the merge. Ozzy made it to the finals just because he dominated in five individual immunity challenges in a row.
Lose an immunity challenge + a tarp and Russel’s out, this is perfectly understandable but is this a good timing? Or stupid move? What if a switch will happen in the next episode just like in Survivor Cook Islands?
In case a switch happens unexpectedly, will the alliance of David-Mike-Ralph-Steven-Sarita-Julie survive? I have no answers yet. This game gets even more unpredictable every season.
3) First Duel, A Step Closer: It appears to me the Art Department has to dig inside their deepest creative minds to figure out how Redemption Island should look like. The keyword here is Redemption and it is a tricky task to create a place that “appropriately” communicates what this term means.
But, SURVIVOR did the unthinkable. They always are. Everything in the duel arena caught my attention. Jeff Probst even considered it as “one of his favorite builds of all time.” Then, the first duel began. Francesca could have win. She quickly got the two keys before Matt even started reaching his first. Matt started slow but finished the duel on top and became the very first person to win a duel in SURVIVOR Redemption Island.
4) Episode Rating: Just three episodes and this season has not disappoint me yet. Russel was eliminated but with a 50-50 chance to return, a tribe decided to throw a challenge for the third time in SURVIVOR History (correct me if I am wrong), Stephanie began to talk and she’s talking loud (reminds me of Na’Onka), all my personal pre-show bets are still safe and don’t forget, Boston Rob was in a possession of a clue for the hidden idol for the first time. 10 of 10 stars!!!
Photos courtesy of: CBS