Survivor Insights 98: Redemption Island: Black & White (Episode 10)

Julie is down, whos next?

1) Phillip vs Steve: When an episode of SURVIVOR goes predictable, there’s always a chaos to be expected around the camp. It’s a type of chaos that’s hard to put down and kept buzzing in your head until you don’t have any clue why it happened. This occurred to me. It’s hard to find a rational explanation why Phillip had a “rice war” with Steve and out of the blue, the argument got personal and the “black-and-white-race-card” was put in line. It looked like Phillip was no longer in control of his emotions and start to say things that were not related in the issue.

I am not sure if either Phillip made all that up to get more airtime or he just felt so hungry. It seems hard to stage that scene and the truth is; I saw raw emotions. Those were real. Phillip got hurt. Steve got confuse with the accusations Phillip was throwing at him. To me, Phillip’s accusations were not true and I felt bad for him for saying the words he could regret after.

2) David, First Jury Member: At last, someone was already sitting in the jury box and David was that person. David’s strategy to stay calm during the three-person-duel did not work for him. Although David’s tower showed no signs of falling, Mike and Matt were way faster than him. Mike took his chances and continued to stack wooden tiles although his tower went shaky. As a result, Mike finished the tower first followed by Matt. Both of these men would stay and will face Julie in the next duel.

***I seem to know what will happen and I want Julie to pull an upset***

To be honest, I don’t dislike Redemption Island but now that it’s merge and finale is coming in three weeks, this new concept overkills the show. I want it end.

3) The Immunity Challenge: The episode’s immunity challenge was ideally made for Boston Rob. Puzzles were his expertise and as expected, he aced it. With a hidden idol inside his pocket, an unbreakable alliance behind him and a big chance to dominate back-to-back-to-back immunity challenges, Boston Rob is only a thread away for a spot in the finals.

Episode Rating: 6 of 10 stars

Photo courtesy of: CBS

Survivor Insights 97: Redemption Island: “Fool Me Once, Shame On You, Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me” (Episode 9)

One episode. Two tribal councils. Just like a puff, two of my bets went to Redemption Island. They will face Matt in a duel.

1) The Victims: Eliminating Mike and David were no surprise to me. I expected it. I was well-aware both of them are threats and they were outnumbered. But you know what irritated me most. Getting rid of them in back-to-back Tribal Councils was totally predictable. If not for immunity challenges and the paranoia drama around the camp, this episode created no impact and was not worth watching.

Things could have happened differently if only Matt voted against Grant in Episode 8. This was the one key moment that could have saved himself, Mike and David, right?

2) The Supreme Domination: The Ometepe 6 were strong because of Boston Rob. He controlled the way they make decisions. He could seem read what’s on their minds. He could easily take advantage of their ignorance. Did Andrea, Natalie, Ashley, Grant or Phillip think two of them can still win the title if Boston Rob will sit beside them? The answer is no. No one will probably vote for them. They only ride in Rob’s coattails and they allow Rob to control them, not the other way ’round. Last week, Natalie knocked down Mike. This week, Andrea won an individual immunity. This was quite an impressive achievement but I will be more impressed if they will make a stand.

Though, Natalie got an unbreakable bond with Rob. This alliance is sealed and even Ashley can break it. That’s why; Andrea might only the hope. It’s not still impossible for Andrea to stir this game in her hands. There still a chance; just not sure if she’ll take that risk of stopping Rob’s supreme domination.

3) The Delusional: If Phillip will win this season, it’s not because he acted as the specialist. It’s because Rob is taking him in the finals. He got no strategy since day one but to annoy his tribemates with his ambiguous reasoning.

Episode Rating: 5 of 10 stars

Photos courtesy of: CBS

Survivor Insights 96: Redemption Island – Wasted Chances (Episode 8)

1) Murlonio: Zapatera, no more. Ometepe, no more. Here comes… … … Murlonio! The “merge tribe” in which it means nothing but a crazy joke made by Boston Rob.

“Murlonio doesn’t mean anything.  It’s just an inside joke between Amber and I.  She has a bunch of stuffed animals and Murlonio is like the ring leader.”

Either you like or dislike the name, deal with it. It’s already too late for a change. Boston Rob simply gave a crazy suggestion and everyone took it like it’s the whole truth. Do not blame Boston Rob. That’s not fair. He’s only enjoying his time and getting in everyone’s nerves. I hated it when he outnumbered Rob Cesternino in All-Stars. I was even against him in Heroes vs. Villains when he’s gunning for Russel.

Now, for his the fourth appearance in the show, Rob still got what it takes to be the sole survivor. In fact, this is certainly his best and THE CRAZIEST season. His strategic game constantly changes in every season he’s in and that clearly makes him an interesting/entertaining person to watch.

2) It’s Just A Game: Matt’s biggest mistake was his lack of ability to separate religion and the game. I am a Christian too and I respect Matt’s beliefs. I have nothing to complain about being him as nice and honest. It is just that Matt was out of the line. He appears to be taking the game so seriously and as a result, he tends to be consumed by his guilt and confusion.

As the first ever survivor who won six duels in a row, Matt was in the most powerful position to destroy Boston Rob’s empire. The right time has come. However, he wasted all his chances. He turned himself into wishy-washy Chase in season 21. First, he turned down Mike’s offer to oust Grant. Second, he figuratively threw Andrea under the bus. Third, he confessed to Rob about his decision to switch.

Look the bigger picture and you’ll realize it’s Matt’s fault why he got blindsided for the second time. Someone gave him a one-way ticket to Redemption Island and Matt unconsciously accepted it. To top it all, he got blindsided by the same person in episode two.

Probst‘s Advice: “…sharing e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is not always the right choice.”

3) Superman vs. Wonderwoman: As the youngest survivor in history, who would imagine Natalie knocked out the fittest alpha male of the season? No one I assume. Natalie also surprised me. I never expected her to ace a challenge and no one should forget that it’s a showdown against Mike. The challenge was all about focus, balance and consistency. Natalie has not failed to accomplish it all. Her professional experience in dancing certainly helped her balance three small balls rolling on a wooden disk while she’s standing on a small log.

Mike could have won. He’s in need of the necklace more than Natalie. Should he win the challenge, there’s no need of using Ralph’s hidden idol. The idol was used for nothing and did not benefit anyone.

4) Episode Rating: 10 of 10 stars. This is the type of episode I will remember. Various mistakes made and only one person took the control of the situation. I’m sure you know who he is.

Photo courtesy of: CBS

Novak Djokovic: The King of Hardcourt

Closing a final match with a forehand winner against Rafael Nadal (4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4)), Novak Djokovic is without a question the King of Hardcourt this 2011.

The 2011 Australian Open Singles Champion

Defeated THE GOAT in straight sets in Dubai Finals

The 2011 BNP Paribas Open Champion

He is entering the clay season with 26-0  record

Survivor Insights 95: “Don’t Get Too Confident” (Episode 7)

1) David Survives: Having the confidence is a good thing. There is a need for you to feel confident in anything you do. Whether you’re a student, a businessman, a host, a tennis player, a football player, you need to learn how to have confidence to be successful. That’s how David escaped the boot. He felt confident but at the same time, he knew it’s time for him to scramble and be a hard worker around the camp to save his skin.

Two thumbs up for his argument in Tribal Council!

David certainly knew how to protect himself by saying the right words in order to be heard. His argument did not sound so rehearsed unlike the last episode.

Sarita, on the other hand, chose to be too confident. She trusted her alliance a lot but that does not mean she would not bring her personal stuffs. She knew her chances and if you ask me, her overflowing confidence destroyed her. Whether it’s real life or you’re playing the game, it’s not healthy at all to be very confident. Having too much confidence in yourself could lead to overbearing and this can frustrate you in the end. Look what happened to her.

2) One More Win or Lose Everything: In tennis, win five consecutive matches and you are the overall champion in an ATP 250 Tournament. In SURVIVOR, Matt won five duels in a row means he just needs to win one more duel to return in the game. Matt or Sarita. Sarita or Matt. It’s always 50-50 and either one of them is not my pre-show bets. But, come on, admit it folks, Matt deserves to win. Three of his five duels against Francesca, Russel, Kristina, Krista and Stephanie were shaky. He could have lose but he never gave up.

That’s why; it is not enough to describe his consistency as “Unbelievable!” “Incredible” or “Fantastic!” I already used those terms in my previous posts and I won’t use it again.

3) The Crash Course: This was a challenge I can remember. It was an even fight. Six versus six and all of them did their part to win. Ometepe took an early lead but David put Zapatera in a possible strong finish. The “basketball” part was tricky. The real key was to control the ball even it’s up in the air. Zapatera almost got it but, it was Grant’s superb ability to mix the right combination of control and precision to land the sixth and final ball inside the basket. Ometepe won an immunity for the third time!  

4) Merge!: Every SURVIVOR Loyal Fan, myself included, is waiting for this moment. The game will change gears in which Ometepe/Zapatera are no more. Twelve of them will live in one camp together and things will be crazier as expected.

Who will benefit by this merge? Who will lost his or her cool? Should Matt win the final duel, which direction he’ll go? Will Andrea join him to oust Boston Rob? If yes, will Boston Rob play his hidden idol the way it should be played? Will David stay loyal to Zapatera alliance after what Mike, Steve and Julie did? Who will be the first jury member?

Can’t wait for Episode 8.

Episode Rating: 9 of 10 of stars!

Photos courtesy of: CBS