The next to last episode of this season’s Survivor: Redemption Island begins with Ashley relishing in the blindside the Ometepe served fellow tribe member Andrea. Meanwhile, once the newest cast-off arrives on Redemption Island, Andrea somehow tries to gain sympathy for her recent betrayal while blaming Matt for her decision to vote against him. Needless to say, Andrea is getting zero love from the folks she has sent to Redemption Island before her.

The duel among the Redemption Island crew involves navigating a handle through a long maze of tiles (similar to a Cracker Barrel game, if I recall) and then completing a puzzle at the end. Ralph starts off strong and is the first to finish the maze. GO RALPH! Andrea is so far behind on the maze, mumbling and grumbling the entire time. Much like with past duels, Mike wins, with Matt a close second. Fortunately for Andrea (and unfortunately for me), Ralph can’t get the puzzle together and is sent to the jury.


Back on the main island, Boston Rob begins manipulating his teammates to vote off Ashley, as he fears she and Natalie are getting too close. Poor Natalie is reporting back to Rob everything Ashley says. This is off the subject, but what is up with Rob’s facial hair? I know he’s a puppet master and (as much as I hate to admit it) a good strategist, but is he slightly inept at growing a beard? All of the other gentlemen have full,”I’ve been in the wild for over a month” beards, yet Rob has a manicured goatee? Are they allowed to shave? Someone please enlighten me, as it continues to bother me from week to week. Thanks in advance!

Phillip loses it with Natalie and Ashley regarding the tribe’s rice ration (say that three times fast), but I have to wonder…is it part of his master plan? Totes! He is trying to drive the girls closer together to strike fear in the heart of Boston Rob of a potential female alliance. Guess what? It’s working. This solidifies to Rob that Ashley needs to go. Ashley approaches Rob about voting off Grant, and Rob immediately goes to Grant with this information in an effort to encourage Grant to vote off Ashley. At this point, Ashley is reminding me a lot of Andrea last week.

It’s time for the Immunity Challenge, and it involves using hooks to secure a bag of puzzle pieces and assembling a fish skeleton puzzle, all with what? One arm tied behind the back, of course! As it’s not an endurance challenge, it’s anybody’s game, and a huge hook (pardon my pun) is thrown in Rob’s plan. Ashley secures immunity. I don’t know about you, but I hope that Benedict Arnold Natalie feels a wee bit guilty when she’s invited to join Ashley in her room service reward.

It’s crunch time, and as much as he hates to do it (yeah right, cue the violins), Rob decides his biffle Grant must go in lieu of a now untouchable Ashley. It’s sad to watch Grant think he’s in on the perceived secret (saying farewell to Natalie is what Rob tells him is in the works), but his first mistake was getting a trusting and “good vibe” from shaking Rob’s hand. Rob is just stone cold! The girls gorge themselves nearly sick on Ashley’s victory meal(s), and Rob begins to truly second guess the decision to send Grant to Redemption Island. Rob starts pondering a Natalie vote-off in order to deter a potential future alliance between the remaining Ometepe girls and whoever returns from Redemption Island.

I honestly thought it was Natalie’s night to leave, but Rob sticks with his original plan to backstab his closest ally on the island. See you later, Grant! Too bad Rob’s taken, or the ladies would be lining up to meet this stand-up character….let’s just see if he can hold his own on this Sunday’s two hour season finale. My hope (and my money) is with cray cray Phillip…but I wouldn’t be sad to see Matt or Mike win either.


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