Survivor Insights 91: Redemption Island: Strategy or Stupidity? (Episode 3)


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

7 thoughts on “Survivor Insights 91: Redemption Island: Strategy or Stupidity? (Episode 3)

  1. did Rob found the idol? I thought it was the clue? correct if i am wrong. throwing a challenge could definitely haunt you back because the game is very shifty. for all we know, there could be a tribe switch soon. Some people hates Stephanie’s attitude and her being so vocal but I definitely want players like that than those silent players who made it far and we scratch our heads who the hell is that player. It was smart for the men to get rid of Russel because they knew Russel doesn’t like making alliance with men who won’t follow him. But honestly I feel that Julie would have been better in Russel’s alliance since Russel, no matter how devious and evil he is, if we look on his over all game, stays loyal in alliance that goes into the end. Am I the only one who notice how David is always dead serious? he’s off the chart smart but if he doesn’t know how to play a social game, he won’t make it far.

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  2. Rob didn’t find the idol… or at least I don’t remember him finding it. The clue was under Phillip.

    I don’t think throwing a challenge is a good idea because it could change momentum and with Boston Rob on the other team that chance just tripled. To me Julie made the bad move. This was just another case of not thinking. Julie was on the outside of the tribe and with Russel she could have had a much higher shot of going further.

    Russel really never stood a chance this game.

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  3. @Mervin @Mike Yes, Boston Rob has not yet found the idol. What I mean is, he only found the clue and he still needs to search the hidden idol. My mistake to forget to word “clue” in the sentence. Thanks a lot for pointing it out.

    As for the decision of Julie to stay loyal in her alliance, this appears to be a good strategy. Having the numbers on your side is a must to win SURVIVOR and Julie’s alliance with David and co. will be for a long term. It is also clear that Russel and his two sidekicks were only using her. As I see it, this agreement won’t last.

    Russel was just too lucky to escape the vote in HvV. His style of playing is hard to forget but come on, it was Tyson who saved him. Should Tyson stay loyal with Boston Rob, Russel’ gone for good. He should be thankful for Tyson. I must also thank Russel for saving Parvati. HvV would have been a disappointing season and could have been as predictable as All-Stars if Parvati was eliminated early.

    Mervin mentioned about David. Yes, he’s dead serious in playing this game. He, however, nearly loss control while arguing with Stephanie. You cannot win an argument against feisty people like Stephanie. These are the kind of people who will not get tired voicing-out their POV even when it’s not making sense for others to hear. Remember Na’Onka last season? Remember Omarosa in The Apprentice Season 1?

    That’s why, all props to David for controlling the situation well. That was not easy at all. The fact that he is a successful defense attorney, I expect him to just talk when the timing is right and to shut up when it is needed.

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  4. Going back to HvV Tyson may have made a stupid boneheaded move, but he made it because Russel got to him and made him feel he was safe. He used the insecurity of Tyson.

    I agree with what you said about Julie. If Russel wasn’t walking around with his two sidekicks and played a game more like Samoa and HvV where he never did anything to stick out from his tribe he may still be around. But Russel played so differently this time he almost seemed like he felt, since they were new players, he was going to skate to the finals and he never really seemed to give it their all. I think the part when he was talking to Steve when Stephanie was holding the bag. He said what Russel says they do and just sat there laughing. I think Russel came in too cocky. And yea he was cocky before, but this time around he just seemed different.

    I don’t think anyone else in the tribe like Mike, Steve, David or Sarita needed to ever try and make a move yet considering everyone knew Russel was gone first. It will be interesting now with Russel gone if someone else steps in and starts making moves to try and make themselves the leader or power player of this season.

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  5. Of course, why would Julie fall for Russell to try and switch her vote? I believe that the reason she talked to them was that maybe she felt guilty about throwing the challenge because she was not on board with the decision at first. But once she had the opportunity to really think it through, she knows that changing her vote and letting Russell stay for longer could potentially be dangerous for her own game.

    As for the overall episode, I have to say it was the best episode so far. Partly because there was finally the much awaited Redemption Island duel wherein Matt came away with an outstanding victory at the RI duel and stays alive for a few more days, at least. And second, the ouster of Russell. Although I am not convinced with the decision to throw off a challenge, I am still happy that they succeeded with the plan to vote him off. I mean, it took trust and commitment to that alliance in order to realize the plan. Remember what happened to Tyson during HvV wherein they had their plan set and then Tyson changed his vote the last minute – it was what messed up the plan and allowed Russell to stay in the game.

    I am looking forward to next week’s RI duel. I am praying hard that Matt wins that one and that we can all say goodbye to Russell for good, because to be honest one season of him was bad, two seasons of him was torture, and watching him for a third season was just me being loyal to the show. Also, I am hoping that Matt can get some redemption so he can finally chase after Rob and get that much needed revenge!

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  6. @Mike That’s right. Russel took advantage of Tyson’s “insecurity.” He also did this strategy to Shambo back in Samoa, the reason why Foa Foa made it on the Final three. Trust is a big issue in SURVIVOR. It’s wrong to say to never trust anyone and it’s also wrong to give your 100% to somebody. As I see it, that’s the biggest mistake of Tyson back in HvV. He allowed Russel to get inside him and he failed to use the paranoia to his advantage.

    Back for the third time in the game, Russel should have played a “new game” considering this is a new group of competitors who have seen him play the game in the past. If only he swallowed his pride and made an agreement with the right people before sticking with Stephanie and Krista, he could have been stayed until the merge. But Russel never learn a lesson from his beautiful sidekick in HvV. Parvati played the game three times and she was changing her strategy each season. That’s why; we never get tired of watching her, right?

    @Abby Thanks for being loyal to the show.

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  7. I wouldn’t say I was tired of Russel. I think since he knew his head would be on the line it would have been best for him to change it up this time…. But I still think Russel thought he was untouchable this time around, in a different sense then the first two seasons.

    Parvati was also forced to play a different kind a game this time around because of the target on her. But, still her game wasn’t all that different from fans vs favs. She used her looks and charm to and used her smarts after her charm got her somewhere

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