Survivor Insights 89: Redemption Island – The Pilot

1) The Dramatic Entrance: Before all those talks and whisperings around the camp, I must first congratulate the production team and Jeff Probst for nailing an introduction while up in the air. Try to imagine the nerves Jeff and the camera men went through minutes before filming. Either it’s a take-one, a take-two or a three, words are not enough to describe what it felt like when you are sitting on the tip of a helicopter’s floor and release these words out of your mouth with full confidence – “Thirty nine days, eighteen people.. One Survivor!”

2) Welcome Back R&R: It reminded me of Heroes vs Villains the moment I saw Ometepe and Zapatera with Boston Rob and Evil Russel, respectively, at their mats. The only huge difference is: Boston Rob has transformed himself into a hero and he would lead a tribe consisting of only three people dislike him. Evil Russel, on Zapatera, wanted everyone to see him as god and it’s no question at all everyone felt threatened by him. They knew what he’s up to and just three days in the camp, he’s getting stronger by getting another sidekick (Stephanie).

3) David & Mike VS Mr. Hantz: Two heads are better than one. This is what many people say. Either it’s entirely true or not, I am not sure if this “motto” will work for Mike & David. Everyone wants to win SURVIVOR but not everyone has the power to oust an experienced castaway like Mr. Russel Hantz. Russel made it to the finale for two seasons in a row even he’s on the brink of elimination. It’s hard to explain it but luck always found a way to help him escape the boot.

I am expecting David & Mike to stay longer. I know they got the swag and the will to outwit, outplay, outlast but with the type of plan they have, one or both of them got a hazy 25% chance of reaching the merge. Unless they have a Plan B, C & D ???

4) The “Cal Lightman” in Phillip: Cal Lightman is a deception expert in the hit TV show Lie To Me. In SURVIVOR, they have their own version of Lightman. Who is he? His name is Phillip Sheppard. This man from Santa Monica claims he’s a federal agent and he can tell if a person is telling a lie or not.

I am quite curious about his strategy. If he’s gifted with the ability to read a person, he should keep this a secret. This special ability makes you even more vulnerable and it does not make you safe from vote.

5) Episode Rating: I am giving this episode an 8 of 10 stars primarily because of its consistency. The editing of the scenes satisfies me. The first immunity challenge was tough and it clearly tested the castaways’ fitness and stamina. Zapatera has not only used their brawn to win this challenge. They also managed to refocus while solving the block puzzle.

The Tribal Council also caught my attention. Francesca was voted out, that’s kinda expected, but the sole reason why it became even more controversial was because of Boston Rob. Phillip told his tribemates that Kristina was in possession of the hidden idol and Boston Rob immediately zoomed inside the picture by asking for the idol. Crazy moment, right? Boston Rob just did his boldest move in SURVIVOR History and for this, he made the possession of the idol looked “very” amateur.

Photos courtesy of: CBS