Survivor Insights 99: Redemption Island – “Tming is Everything” (Episode 11)

1) The Ometepe Dominance: I seem to agree with Jeff Probst when he said in his V-blog that the remaining final six are all from Ometepe. The alliance between Boston Rob and Grant are going stronger day-by-day and it’s curious to see if how and when those three girls (Natalie, Ashley & Andrea) break that bond. It is now clear that Grant and Boston Rob are head to head in terms of winning individual immunity challenges. They already won two challenges apiece and they are threats in all departments. Boston Rob might not be an expert in a challenge that involves balance and stamina but he could clearly perform at his best in puzzles and memorization. Natalie and Andrea won the first and second individual immunity challenges, respectively, however, I observed consistency is not their cup of coffee. When Grant and Boston Rob start to dominate, the two girls remain powerless.

In terms of social game, Phillip is without a doubt at the bottom of the pole. Everyone in the camp disliked him. Ashley and Natalie don’t even want to talk with him but whatever angle you’ll look at, Phillip has the biggest chance of making the finals. Everybody needs him now and whoever in the Redemption Island will go back, he’ll surely need Phillip to protect himself.

2) Ralph then Steve: Predictable as it seems, this double elimination is a lot better than the episode in which Mike and David were eliminated. There’s no enough  reason why Ometepe Six should keep Ralph or Steve and it would be a baloney idea if they blindside Andrea. I doubt if she’ll go back in Matt’s open arms should he come back. Andrea is a person of her own. She’s in fact not in the most powerful position and not tight with Natalie and Ashley. In fact, Andrea has many options to win. It’s not yet too late to make “risky” moves. Timing is everything  as they say and hopefully, Andrea still could control her hunger + paranoia and fight for her life next week.

Of the three girls, should there be a female alliance, Ashley or Natalie do not deserve the title (as of the moment). They may appear very competitive in challenges but I don’t see any impressive moves in their game. I got two questions:

  • Why do they have to report to Boston Rob about everything?
  • Are they protecting Rob or are they just too dependent on him to create good decisions?

I am aware that Rob is like a brother to Natalie and she’ll be devastated if Rob will be cut. The big problem here is, this is not the game should be played. Either Natalie or Ashley can’t win against Rob and that’s a fact.

3) The Redemption Island: What supposed to be a duel and only one castaway will survive, it has now turned to four-person-duel and I do not have a clue when will the last member be allowed to go back in the game. I still couldn’t get it why Redemption Island still exist after the merge or after the three-person-duel among Mike, Matt and David. Matt has only played the game for six days and I seem to know he’ll earn the sympathy votes should he make the final three or final two. If anyone in the four deserves a chance, that should be Mike. We have seem him play the game. We have seen how Mike helped his group win challenges and we have seen his hunger and competitiveness in duels. It’s clear Matt’s biggest rival is Mike. This is the Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal in tennis and you know what, even Matt showed how consistent he was in duels like Rafa in winning tournaments, it would just be fair for the greatest of all time who don’t only have the consistency but the overall game to seize the crown.

Episode Rating: 7 of 10 stars

Photo courtesy of: CBS

8 thoughts on “Survivor Insights 99: Redemption Island – “Tming is Everything” (Episode 11)

  1. With only a few episodes before the finale, last week was the perfect opportunity for something to happen, I just wanted to strangle those two stupid dumb girls for ignoring Steve’s question to them and then get off and run and tell Rob of his plans. I mean have they ever watched a previous season before, do they know Rob has played before, yes Natalie knows and that is the sole reason why she has left every move up to Rob, whichever way he says she votes like a yes sir Rob, Ashley who I just cannot stand, she does nothing, she complains all day, she sucks at challenges and wherever Natalie is she is only seconds behind her. I’d love to see Andrea make a move, she may or could with Phillip, but I don’t think the other two girls would go for it, they would just go report to Rob again. If Andrea could win Immunity next episode, they may cut Ashley loose, wouldn’t that be just great.
    As for Redemption Island, I’d like to see Mike come back, Matt as great at these little un-Survivor like challenges and has won many, BUT he has been voted off twice, he has hung out on his own little island where I am assuming everyone is pissed on the Ometepe tribe for voting them out, so there is no tension and the only social game he needs to play is just to get along with everyone until the next do or die challenge, beside as we have been shown, he hangs out on his own little rock by the water. I think Rob, Phillip and Andrea deserve to be final 3. Rob cause he has played all those people on his tribe and has taken control with so much ease it is pitiful, Phillip because he has used a crazy crazy strategy to help him to the end, kind of like Jud from last season just in reverse and Andrea for not being a tag along for Rob, for showing some spunk and she is good at challenges and of course those cute little shorts. I hope the latter wins.
    Once again great blog Dean, some great points and yes, next week should get very interesting.


  2. “If Andrea could win Immunity next episode, they may cut Ashley loose, wouldn’t that be just great.” – Yes, that would be a good blindside. Ashley can be a threat and her ties with Natalie should be break. Just to be fair, Ashley seems competitive in a number of challenges. She nearly won the surprised challenge in this episode and correct me if I’m wrong, she came third.

    If any point Ashley will win this season and I doubt if the jury are going to vote for her should she be in the final three, she’ll be a non-memorable sole survivor I assume.


  3. Dean u write an amazing blog! Honestly after I saw no moves last week I kind of said shine it. I am beginning to think Rob has this in the bag. The only and I mean only difference that would make it worthwhile for me as a viewer is for Andrea to pull something off with whoever returns from RI and hopefully Phillip. But I am beginning to also think Phillip will choose Rob as I think the guys themselves are tighter. I was once asked why would these two girls be voted off as Rob himself knows he can beat them and they will do his bidding. Which is what keeps them in for now. I would LOVE to see BOTH go but I think Rob will keep them around for a bit. Far as Andrea goes..they are all paranoid she will try to make it up to Matt plus add the fact she is a thinker and strong..this makes her top of the list to go. So unless Andrea is able to pull a miracle off which I am sad to say I don’t think will happen….it is looking like the F3 will be the guys Phillip, Grant and Rob. Which makes it predictable which is sad 😦


  4. Thanks for reading, Brenda! I highly appreciate your meaningful comments here. In case you’re right and Grant, Boston Rob and Phillip will make the final three, I’ll go for Grant. This man is competitive and also a thinker. I salute him for giving up his plan to blindside Andrea because this idea won’t do any good for him. His loyalty for Boston Rob is impressive although I kinda knew that he also knew that Rob is just using him for numbers. If the one who’ll go back from Redemption Island is Mike and sit beside Rob and Grant, I am sure Mike will win and he absolutely deserves the title.

    Boston Rob is without the doubt the most strategic player of the season. This season is his best even if he’ll only end up as runner-up or not making the final three. As I see it, the only chance for Rob to win this season is by bringing Natalie and Phillip. He knew that this will be his only option. If he’ll be with Andrea, Mike, Grant or even Matt, he’ll not win. These are all power names, the “dark horses” in fact, and can easily convince the jury as to why Rob does not deserve the title.

    I also doubt if Andrea can make “risky” moves but I don’t doubt her ability in doing so. The next immunity challenge is important for her. If she’ll win, she can surely whirl this game in her hands. Andrea appears to be smart and she has big chances of winning the title. I just don’t know how she’ll make it happen. It’s totally up to her and the people she’ll have a connection to.


  5. This is where everyone’s feelings will get hurt. Each of the five think they will go to the finals with Boston Rob. If I was Rob I would bring Ashley and Phillip. I think Grant and Natalie will beat Rob in the end.

    I wouldn’t put it past Andrea or Natalie winning another immunity as long as it’s an endurance challenge. Some challenges girls have the advantage because they are smaller. Ashley summed it up during the episode. Rob has played before so were taking our lead from him.

    I don’t care who comes back from Redemption. I just hope they are eliminated before the final three. I don’t like redemption island running so long and with now four people there.

    I think the only person who deserves to win this season is Rob. He has always been in complete control. Who ever he wanted out went, even with people wanting others out. Natalie, Ashley, and Andrea haven’t done much. I think Andrea has played better than the other two, but she hasn’t done much. Phillip hasn’t done anything besides entertain us, not his fellow survivors. And though Grant has been strong in challenges he’s still Robs assistant, that has no say. Besides Grant doesn’t even know Rob has the idol. I think the only person at RI who deserves to win is Matt. If he battles back again he’ll deserve to win over the others. He’ll have a Fabio affect, but I hope he doesn’t win. Mike never really played the game except when he tried to get Matt to flip and one time isn’t enough. I however, can’t see Rob winning. Rob will need to back stab people who wouldn’t care – I don’t know who that would be.


  6. Don’t worry Mike. Boston Rob will be the sole survivor if he’ll only bring Natalie or Phillip or as you said, Ashley or Phillip. I don’t think Natalie can win the title if the jury will see her as Rob’s sidekick. Perhaps, it’s a possibility for Natalie to win if she can deliver what the jury wants to hear. Anyway, the Final Tribal Council is all about how good you are in reasoning and not necessarily how you play the game in 39 days. No matter how wishy-washy your game is, like Chase did in Nicaragua, anyone can still end up as a runner-up if you’ll just say what the members of the jury wants to hear. This strategy happens all the time and if Natalie does exactly what Chase did, she’ll win the title for sure.

    As for Andrea, there are certain moves she did but it’s not probably very bold for everyone to see. To me, her biggest turning point was voting against Matt during the merge. The decision was not entirely made by her but it was Matt himself who forced Andrea to vote against him. It seemed like everything was in place and these two were joining hands with Zapatera but when Matt threw Andrea under the bus, Andrea’s game instantly changed the way it should be.

    I agree when you said Natalie and Ashley have not done much. These girls are just there. You can easily notice how sexy they are but it is disappointing to see how they play the game. It’s slightly a different case for Andrea though. She works around the camp, stayed loyal to her Ometepe tribe during the merge and is competitive in challenges. She won the hardest one yet, right? Until now, I could not understand why Natalie or Ashley allowed her to win that upside-down-feet-on-top challenge. If she did not give into Andrea’s wish, Natalie could have win that challenge.


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