|Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am|
THE LAST OF THE ZAPATERA
On night thirty, Mike and Matt welcome Ralph to Redemption Island. Just as Ralph is settling in and updating Mike and Matt on the recent events back at Murlonio, Steve arrives. Mike, Matt and Ralph are all shocked that a second person was voted out and sent to Redemption Island at Tribal Council. Mike says, "Redemption Island keeps on getting crazier and crazier. We've got the three remaining Zapatera here and Matt." Steve is actually glad that he got sent to Redemption Island, so he could be with his friendly Zapatera tribe mates. Matt brings up the fact that only the six former Ometepe tribe members remain at Murlonio. He says, "What are they going to do now?" Mike adds that the jury is currently made up of only old Zapatera members. Ralph reveals, "I see daylight ahead now. If one of us Zapatera guys gets in the top three, we've got this thing won and I want to be that guy."
THE OMETEPE SIX
Murlonio arrives back at camp from Tribal Council excited about accomplishing their goal of getting rid of all the old Zapatera members. Andrea admits, "It is a little scary that now we have to take out one of our own." At the same time, Andrea looks forward to more exciting game play, now that Zapatera is gone. As the rest of her tribe is cheering and smiling, Natalie starts to cry. Natalie reveals, "I think I started getting kind of emotional, because now we have to start knocking everybody off and then from there I started thinking about home and missing my family, missing my friends, missing regular life." As Rob comes over to Natalie to see what's going on, Natalie quickly assures Rob that she still wants to be in the game and is just having a moment. Rob understands how hard the game can be, especially for someone as young as Natalie. He reveals, "It's critical for me to comfort her. I mean she's my main alliance in this game and I want to make sure she's alright." Rob and the rest of the Murlonio tribe surround Natalie and give her support and a big hug. Rob admits, "I've got eight days left, eight days. I just got to keep everybody happy and as long as they don't start talking to each other and realize that I'm the one that should be going, I'll be all set."
TREEMAIL AND THE SPRINT PHONE
The next morning at Murlonio, Ashley and Andrea find a box in treemail that's labeled "Sprint open first". They rush it back to camp, hoping that it might have something to do with their families. With the tribe gathered around, Ashley opens the box to find a Sprint cell phone with a message that invites them to the Redemption duel, but tells them to check videos first for a surprise. Just as they hoped for, the videos are from their loved ones. The first video is from Natalie's mom Tracie. Natalie listens to her mom's words of encouragement as her eyes fill with tears. Seeing Natalie smile, while listening to her mom, Ashley says, "It was perfect timing for her and really for all of us." Next, the tribe listens to moving messages from Andrea's dad, Phillip's sister, Rob's sister, Grant's brother-in-law and Ashley's mom. Afterwards, they all hug. Ashley reveals, "It's day thirty-one and like you feel exhausted, but when you hear from home, it lifts your spirit so much."
Over at Redemption Island, Mike is reading the duel invitation on their Sprint phone. Matt jumps up and down when he realizes that the phone also includes video messages from their loved ones. Mike, Matt, Ralph and Steve then gather around to enjoy video messages from Ralph's friend, Mike's mother, Steve's brother and Matt's brother. After getting encouraging words from his brother Burton, Matt admits, "It makes every struggle, every hard time that I've gone through on Redemption Island completely worth it." Matt vows to do anything he can to win today, if it means that he can spend time with his brother. Mike then uses the Sprint phone to snap a picture of the four of them on Redemption Island.
REDEMPTION ISLAND DUEL: ROCK BLOCK
Matt, Mike, Ralph and Steve arrive at the Redemption Island arena with the Murlonio tribe in the audience. Jeff Probst, the host, begins by collecting the Epic 4G Sprint phones from Murlonio and Redemption Island. He noted that receiving love from home is nice, but love in person is even better. With that, Jeff announces that the winner of the duel will get the opportunity to spend time with their loved one in person. Jeff explains the rules of the four-person duel. Each castaway has four tiles. For each round, they toss a ball and try to break a tile. The first three to break all four tiles stay alive in this game. The loser is out for good, but will join the jury. In addition, the first person to finish this challenge wins love from home.
In the first round, Mike is the only one to break a tile. In the second round, they all break a tile. In the third round, Mike, Matt, and Ralph break tiles, but not Steve. So, after three rounds, Mike is in the lead with three broken tiles. Matt and Ralph have two, while Steve only has one. In the fourth round, Mike breaks his final tile and wins the right to stay on Redemption and the opportunity for a loved one visit. No one else breaks a tile in that round. In the fifth round, Matt and Ralph break a tile. So they have three broken tiles each, while Steve still only has one. In the sixth round, both Matt and Ralph break their final tiles and win the right to stay alive in the game. So Steve drops his buff in the urn and leaves the game, but joins the jury.
The reward portion of the duel comes next. Jeff brings out Mike's mom Jane into the arena. He then gives Mike three options, spend the day with his mom or let his Redemption Island buddies Matt and Ralph see their loved ones or let the six people left on the Murlonio tribe see their loved ones. As Jeff describes each option, the corresponding loved ones make their way into the arena. Mike realizes that his decision may impact his future in the game, should he eventually make it back into the Murlonio tribe. As he reveals his decision, Mike references the bible and Jesus when he says, "Love your brother as you would love yourself." With that, Mike gives the loved ones reward to the Murlonio tribe, since it is the option that gives the most good to the most people. Jeff is amazed that Mike chooses to give the reward to the very people that voted him and his old tribe out of the game. Mike's mom Jane calls her son a hero and tells him how proud she is of him. Jeff then sends the loved ones of Mike, Matt and Ralph home. The six active members of Murlonio thank Mike for his generosity, as he leaves the arena. Mike replies, "Don't vote me off again." Murlonio then heads back to camp to spend the afternoon with their loved ones.
THE RIGHT THING TO DO
As Matt, Mike and Ralph return to camp without their loved ones, Ralph admits that he is angry with Mike. Ralph would have understood Mike choosing to spend time with his mom, but does not understand him giving the reward to the old Ometepe. Ralph vents, "I'm sure he's looking for winning the million dollars and is hoping to pull in more votes." Matt tells Mike that he's glad that he didn't win, because he could not have done what Mike did. Matt and Ralph agree that the people left in Murlonio don't deserve that reward based on how they treated others. Mike reveals, "The decision I made today was not a strategic one. It wasn't to earn the good graces of the Ometepe tribe. It was just the right decision to make and the right thing to do." Mike apologizes to Ralph and Matt for not giving the reward to them. Matt assures Mike that he did the right thing. Still Mike feels bad for letting his friends down.
LOVED ONES AT MURLONIO
Meanwhile, over at Murlonio, they are having fun giving their loved ones a tour of the camp and showing them their rustic living conditions. Ashley admits, "I got to show my mom where we've been living. It was like everything I needed and so much more." Phillip loves hearing from his sister that his family back home sends their support and love. He confirms that seeing her renews his spirit. Andrea gets complements from her dad on how good she is looking. Grant is energized by the family news and love that he gets from his brother-in-law. In the past, Natalie has spoken with her mom everyday. So, she is so happy to see and hug her mom now. Natalie reveals, "It just makes me feel like I can do it and I can push through the next seven, eight days." Rob confides in his sister about the others in the tribe and his position in the game. As the loved ones leave the Murlonio camp, Rob knows that it is important to keep his head in the game and not let this family visit change his focus. He is competing for both himself and his family. He admits, "I want to win Survivor. This is something I've been trying to do for ten years now. I'm eight days away, so there's nothing that is going to stop me."
The next morning, Andrea brings treemail to the Murlonio camp, which announces the next immunity challenge. Later during breakfast, Rob tells Natalie and Ashley that it is important that Andrea does not win immunity today. Rob admits, "The vote will probably go towards Andrea. She's great at the challenges and strategically she probably knows more about this game than everyone, except Grant and I. Therefore, she's got to go." Rob heads out to the challenge wearing a shirt with the picture of his wife and daughter on it that he got from his sister. He vows to do everything that he can to make sure Andrea does not win immunity.
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: STEP ON UP
The Murlonio tribe arrives on their mat. Jeff Probst explains the rules of this challenge. Each castaway will race to collect a series of puzzle steps. The steps must be placed in order from bottom to top to complete a very tall staircase. First person to finish their staircase and get to the top wins immunity and is safe at Tribal Council. One of the losers will be voted out and sent to Redemption Island.
Andrea takes the lead by placing her first set of steps the fastest. Rob, Grant and Ashley are right behind her. Phillip and Natalie are far behind and struggling. Although in the lead, Grant, Rob and Andrea each waste a little time, by bringing the wrong plank up the stairs, then having to go back down to replace it. This challenge starts to wear on the castaways, as they battle the 110-degree temperature while carrying planks up and down the stairs numerous times. Rob is the first to complete his second set of stairs. Andrea and Grant are right behind him. Ashley, Phillip and Natalie are now far behind the leaders. As they approach the end, Rob has two steps left to complete, while Andrea and Grant each have three. Rob is really struggling to get up the steps now. He places his last step and crawls to the top to win the coveted immunity. Rob then lays down at the top because of crapping muscles and being overheated. Natalie rushes him some water, which he drinks and pours on his head. His team then helps him stand up, so he can be presented the immunity necklace once again.
ANDREA OR PHILLIP?
As they return from the challenge, the Murlonio tribe gives Rob a round of applause for winning the challenge. Rob is relieved to have won immunity because he knows that he is not going home and he can now choose who does go home. As Andrea steps away from the shelter, Rob takes the opportunity to confirm with his alliance that they are going to vote out Andrea. Natalie explains, "She's one of the strongest competitors in the challenges. Plus her relationship with Matt on Redemption Island is still a threat." Next, Andrea asks her tribe, if they are going to vote out Phillip. They respond yes, setting her up for a blind side. Later, Phillip starts taking the palm fronds off the roof of the Zapatera section of the shelter to use in the fire. Rob asks him to not tear up their shelter, since someone will come back from Redemption Island and he doesn't want them sleeping in his shelter. Phillip doesn't listen though and continues to tear it up, saying that whoever comes back will have to rebuild it. Rob vents, "Phillip regains his spot in our tribe as annoyance #1." Phillip then starts annoying Andrea in the shelter telling her how to avoid a wasp. Phillip knows that he is getting on people's nerves, yet he is not worried about being voted out tonight. He reveals, "Early on in the game, I made myself the villain, so that everyone is my tribe feels their best chance of winning against anybody is me. It's a brilliant strategy." Phillip knows that Rob is smart enough to take him to the end. He hopes that this will happen, since he feels that he can make his case to the jury and end up beating Rob for the million dollars. Grant and Rob meet on the rock to talk over the vote. Rob admits that he is thinking about changing the vote to Phillip instead of Andrea. He's not sure if he can really trust Phillip. On the other hand, Rob knows that Phillip is not good at challenges and that nobody likes him, which make him an ideal person to take to the end. Rob admits, "Phillip could be playing me. He's pretty good with words and a good speaker. So, when it comes down to the jury, that could be a problem." Rob hopes to make the right decision between Andrea and Phillip, otherwise all his hard work will not get him to the end.
As Tribal Council begins, Jeff points out the tight gr