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This week’s Survivor: Redemption Island was a slight roller coaster of emotions (don’t judge me), what with the Ometepe turning on one of their own, the castaways’ family members making an appearance, and Phillip revealing that he’s a genius. Ralph and Steve arrive on Redemption Island, and it’s becoming clear that the jury could be full of Zapatera. Ometepe Mayor Boston Rob reveals that he’s pretty confident that his followers friends are too slow and stupid kind to reach the conclusion that the smart thing to do would be to vote him off if given the opportunity.

Tree-mail arrives and the group revels in the chance to watch videos of their family members, and who can blame them after 30 days? In the first four person duel, Matt, Mike, Steve, and Ralph must battle it out using metal balls to break tiles. The loser will be sent to the jury–duh–but the winner? He’ll get to spend time with a family member in person. After four rounds of this primitive game of ski-ball, Mike wins, and Steve is sent packing. My eyes may have gotten a tad misty when Mike’s mom comes out of the jungle (fine, judge away). THEN, in a SO VERY WRONG scenario, Jeff Probst gives Mike three choices. Mike can a) spend some time with his mom; b) forgo his family time and allow his fellow Redemption Island roommates to hang out with their loved ones; or c) stiff it to his bunk mates, send his mom back into the jungle, and give the family time to the group who voted him off in the first place. In a shocking (sweet? strategic?) move, Mike chooses the third option, making the Ometepe happy (and hopefully grateful without short-term memories), Ralph angry, and his mother proud. Honestly, I don’t think his move was strategic…I just think he’s just genuinely that good of a guy.

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While the Ometepe spend some rejuvenating time with family, Federal Agent (?) Phillip reveals to his sister that he’s prepared to go crazy on the island if it will help him win. At this point in the show, I’m thinking, too late Captain Obvious, you’re already there. Shockingly, Rob spends the entire time spewing strategy with his sister. He reveals that he needs this win to support his wife and kids. Seeing as his wife Amber has already won the hefty Survivor prize, and I’d bet my right arm that CBS paid them a pretty penny to air their wedding special, not to mention Rob has a new show in the works, me thinks he needs to win this more for his own ego.

The immunity challenge is a daunting staircase puzzle and basically only Grant, Rob, and Andrea are competing for the safety of the necklace. Rob barely pulls it out and then suffers from overly dramatic leg cramping, but whatevs…immunity! Back at camp, the group decides Andrea needs to be on the chopping block because 1) she still feels guilty for the whole Matt situation (silly Andrea, winners win at all costs, they don’t feel guilt–just ask Charlie Sheen!), and 2) she’s a strong competitor who could potentially give Rob the last person standing a run for their (literal) money. Of course, the group tells Andrea that Phillip will be leaving after tribal council.

In a twist I admit I never saw coming (never thought it was even humanly possible), Phillip reveals he may not be the loon he lets his tribe mates believe he is. He has established himself as the villain and outcast, hoping the others will see him as the weakest link and want him in the game until the end. BRILLIANT! And he may just be truly crazy enough to pull it off! I totally bought into it. Rob begins to second guess his decision to vote off Andrea (it was almost like he overheard Phillip’s interview).

At tribal council, Andrea is confident that she’ll be sticking around with her Ometepe buds. Jeff alludes to the fact that Phillip may be performing poorly to extend his stay on the main island, but the ever-sharp Phillip unleashes a whole brand of rambling which seems to convince Rob’s cronnies that Andrea is the right choice. I am beginning to think Phillip was indeed a federal agent. The tribe has spoken, and it says “Adios” to Andea. In her post-interview, she seems upset and blind-sided. She trusted those people, and they like, omg, totally betrayed her. Seriously, who would do that? Perhaps Matt can explain it to her when she gets to Redemption Island…

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