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Season 22: Episode 11 - A Mystery Package

A Mystery Package: THE OLIVE BRANCHOn night twenty-seven, Murlonio returns to camp after just voting Julie out at Tribal Council.    Immediately, Steve shakes Phillip’s hand and says, “I’d like to reach an olive branch handshake to you.”   He assures Phillip that there was no prejudice intended when he called him crazy.  Phillip reveals, “I didn’t feel it was totally “genuious”.”     Steve was hoping that Phillip would have reached out to him first, but Steve was fine being the one to break the ice and try to put it behind them.   Later, Steve compliments the girls on executing a good blind side at Tribal Council.   Steve feels his only shot is to be friendly to the Ometepe alliance, so they will keep him around and get rid of Phillip.   At the same time, Phillip is hoping Steve will be voted out next.  As Phillip shares with the girls that he was nervous about spending so much time on the subject of race at Tribal Council, Rob pats him on the back.  Rob reveals, “As long as he keeps up his stupid antics, he’s coming with me all the way to the finals.”

DON’T MESS WITH THE UNDERCOVER SPECIALISTThe next morning, Steve and Ralph share breakfast, as the last two Zapatera left in the Murlonio tribe.  Meanwhile, Phillip is out walking on the beach.   He reveals, “I got up this morning and had a premonition that I was going to find my shorts.”      His great great grandfather had come to him in a vision and told him that his shorts, that Julie had buried before she left, would be near the water hole.  So, Phillip starts looking near the water well and finds his shorts under the second rock he turns over.    Phillip is elated.  He says, “Here’s to you Julie.  Don’t mess with the undercover specialist.”   As Phillip returns to camp with his shorts, everyone including Steve is amazed that he found them.    Phillip warns everyone not to mess with him again.   He then takes his shorts to the ocean to clean them dancing and shouting along the way.  Steve admits, “Phillip is a different breed.   Again, there is no prejudice behind it, but he’s just a little crazy.”  Phillip tells Rob that he looks forward to wearing the shorts to the Redemption Island duel, therefore showing Julie that he found his shorts with no clues.  Phillip then puts the rock that they were hidden under by the fire to use as his foot rest.

DOWNWARD SPIRALOver on Redemption Island, Julie is happy about getting a good night’s sleep, while Matt is finding it hard to get out of bed and face another day on Redemption Island.  Mike reveals, “Matt had incredible strength going through Redemption Island the first time.  After he was blindsided the second time, by the folks he thought were truly his friends, he’s kind of been on a little bit of a downward spiral.”    As Matt sits by himself on the beach, Mike and Julie feel sorry for him. They understand how difficult it must be for Matt after being on Redemption Island for three weeks and then being betrayed by his friend Andrea and sent right back to Redemption.    While crying, Matt admits, “God’s literally been carrying me for the past four days.   I know I’m still in the game, but I’m just so over this game.”

REDEMPTION ISLAND DUEL:  SURVIVOR SHUFFLE BOARDMatt, Mike and Julie arrive at the Redemption Island arena to find the entire Murlonio tribe in the audience.   Jeff Probst, the host, asks Matt how he’s doing after being on Redemption Island for twenty-one days.   Matt explains that God has given him peace.  He says, “I feel like I’ve accomplished what I came here to do.  So whatever happens, I’m ready for it.”.   Jeff explains the rules of the duel.  Each castaway will have one shuffleboard and three pucks.  The goal is to slide the puck across the board, through the obstacles and into the end zone.  If any part of the puck touches the end zone, then they score a point.  The first two to land all three of pucks in the end zone stay alive.  The loser is out of this game for good and will become the next member of the jury.

In the first round, Mike is the only one to land his puck in the end zone, putting him in the lead.  In the second round, both Mike and Julie land a puck in the end zone, but Matt does not.    In the third round, Matt is the only one to get a puck in his end zone, so the score is now Mike 2, Matt 1 and Julie 1.  In the fourth round, Matt is once again the only one to land his puck in the end zone, therefore now he is tied with Mike, at two pucks each.    In the fifth round, Matt once again scores and therefore wins the right to stay in the game.  Jeff says, “God is not done taking to Matt.”  He continues, “You are staying alive on Redemption Island, whether you want to be here or not.”   Now Mike and Julie are competing for the right to stay in the game.  In the next round, Mike misses and Julie lands a puck in the end zone, but knocks her other one out, so she still only has one to Mike’s two.  In the end, Mike gets his third puck in the end zone and secures his place on Redemption Island.   Julie leaves the game after 28 days in tears.  She is upset about not winning the million dollars, which would have helped get her out of debt.  Still, Julie is happy with the friends that she’s made and the lessons that she has learned and the fact that she will join David on the jury.

ANDREA OUT FIRSTAndrea admits to her tribe that she feels sorry for Matt.   Natalie and Rob try to make her feel better by telling her that the tribe voted Matt out, not just her and it was because he wasn’t good at playing the game.  Still bothered by it, Andrea reveals, “I feel like I was a big part of breaking his spirit.  So in a way, I kind of like felt a little guilty.”    Later, Rob and Grant take a walk on the beach.  Grant tells Rob that he thinks Andrea should go first when the time is right.    Rob admits to thinking the same thing.  They are worried about Andrea since she is having second thoughts about Matt, is good at challenges and is friendly with the former Zapatera tribe members.  Grant admits, “Timing is everything in this game.”  He knows that voting someone out impacts them all, so they will wait until after the immunity challenge to decide who should go.

IMMUNITY CHALLENGE:  LOG JAM The Murlonio tribe arrives on their mat.   Jeff Probst explains the rules of this log roll challenge.  Each castaway will match up against another tribe member.  The goal is to stay on the log longer than the other person.   First person to hit the water is out.  Winners move on.   Last person left standing wins immunity and a chocolate cake and milk reward.  Losers will go to Tribal Council, where someone will be voted out.   In addition, Jeff says there will be a twist, which he will explain later.

The first match up is between Grant and Boston Rob.   Grant is able to stay on the log longer, so he wins the round and waits to compete against the winner of another match up.  The second match up is between Andrea and Ashley.  Ashley wins this match up and moves on.  The third match up is between Ralph and Steve, which Ralph wins.  The fourth and final match up in the first round is between Phillip and Natalie, which Phillip wins.  In the second round, Grant takes on Ashley.  Ashley falls in the water first, so Grant goes to the final round.  Also in the second round, Ralph takes on Phillip and wins, so he goes to the final round also.   In the final round, Grant stays on the log longer than Ralph, so he wins immunity and the right to choose two people to enjoy the chocolate cake reward with him.  Grant chooses to share the cake and milk with Rob and Andrea.   They eat as much as they can within the two minute time limit.  Jeff then reveals the “twist” by giving Steve a package in front of everyone and tells him to bring it to Tribal Council, but not to open it.  Grant admits, “I chose Andrea as a strategic move.  I was wanting to make her feel comfortable in our alliance.”  Not knowing who they may get rid of tonight, Grant wanted to make sure that Andrea would not suspect that it might be her tonight.

WHAT’S THE TWIST?As Murlonio returns from the challenge, they are all wondering what the twist is for tonight’s Tribal Council.  Steve says it feels like a deck of cards.   Andrea wonders if they all pick a card and whoever gets a certain card goes home.    Andrea admits, “The whole card thing has thrown me off.  Right now, I’m feeling pretty comfortable because there’s two easy votes.  The two are Ralph and Steve.”    Andrea feels that the old Ometepe tribe will continue to stick together and vote off the Zapatera’s first.    Meanwhile, Steve and Ralph are pretty sure that one of them is going to be voted off tonight.    Ralph is disappointed that he did not win the challenge today.   He says, “One of us is on the chop block and it’s probably me.”   Ralph’s only hope is that the “twist” will save him tonight.   Rob reveals that it will likely be Ralph voted out tonight, since he is a bigger threat in game play and challenges, than Steve.   He is worried about what the twist may be though.    Rob says, “We got to hedge our bets and make sure we have backup plans and know who we’re voting for.”   With that, Rob tells Ashley and Natalie to vote for Ralph and if there’s a second vote to vote for Andrea.    Still trying to stay alive, Steve comes and talks to Natalie and Ashley about joining him and Ralph and voting out Rob tonight.    Not wanting to withhold information from Rob, Natalie and Ashley tell Rob what Steve offered.    Rob is not surprised, but yet still bothered that Steve is going behind his back.  Rob vents, “I should maybe get rid of him first.”

TRIBAL COUNCILAs Tribal Council begins, Rob admits to Jeff that the plan is to vote another former Zapatera member off tonight.  Steve admits to seeing this coming, but hopes that some of the former Ometepe members might vote with and not against he and Ralph tonight.   Andrea finds this doubtful because her Ometepe alliance is loyal and has worked too hard to abandon their plan now.    Ralph reveals that he is likely the one to be voted out tonight, since he did so well at today’s immunity challenge.  Steve agrees with Ralph and admits that he himself has not been much of a threat in challenges.   Grant interjects and says, “The dude played in the NFL. He’s not quitting.”  Phillip agrees that Steve should be seen as a threat.   In response to all this, Steve reminds them all that Rob has a history of betraying people in past seasons, so this is their last chance to use he and Ralph to change the game.  Rob counters with the fact that although he betrayed Lex in SURVIVOR:  ALL STARS, he stayed true to Amber then and continues to now that she is his wife.   With that, the two former Zapatera members then vote for Rob, while the six former Ometepe members vote for Ralph.   So Ralph Kiser, the 44 year-old farmer from Lebanon, VA. becomes the twelfth person sent to Redemption Island on SURVIVOR:  REDEMPTION ISLAND.

As Ralph walks away with his torch snuffed out, Jeff asks Steve to open the package and reveal the twist that was mentioned at the challenge.   Steve pulls out the cards and reads the rules.   The Murlonio tribe will now compete in an immunity challenge and then vote out one more member.  Jeff then takes Grant’s immunity necklace and hands out cards to everyone.  He then explains the rules of the immunity challenge.  Jeff will show the castaways a series of symbols.   They will repeat them back to Jeff, using the symbols on their cards.  Every time they get it right, they stay alive.  If they miss one symbol, they are out.  Last person left in the challenge wins immunity and is safe from the vote, that will happen immediately after the challenge.  Murlonio is surprised and nervous, as the challenge begins.  Jeff shows them seven different symbols and then asks them to repeat them to him in order.  Everyone was able to match Jeff’s symbols through the third symbol, but Natalie and Phillip did not match the fourth symbol, so they are out of the challenge.    On the fifth symbol, Grant and Andrea did not match Jeff, so they are eliminated.   Rob, Ashley and Steve continue onto to the sixth symbol, where only Rob gets it correct.  So Rob wins immunity and the others are vulnerable to be voted out.   They go straight into the vote, where Steve voted for Grant, but the others all voted for Steve.  So Steve Wright, the 51 year-old ex-NFL player from Huntington Beach, Calif., becomes the thirteenth person sent to Redemption Island on SURVIVOR:  REDEMPTION ISLAND.