Airdate: May 11, 2011
Boot: Ralph Kiser (eliminated from Redemption Island); Grant Mattos
Quote: “He’s pathetic. He’s crazy. Not the n-word crazy, he’s just crazy.” – Boston Rob, on Phillip
Rating: 5 + Tier E (1) = 6
After subjecting myself to an episode of Worlds Apart to begin this project, the randomizer graciously decided my second episode would be from…Redemption Island? Come on. Is the universe trying to tell me not to do this? If the next three episodes are from Cook Islands, Caramoan, and post-Sandra Game Changers I don’t know if I have the strength to continue. It’s especially scary since, after actually kind of enjoying the Worlds Apart episode, am I about to discover that, in isolation, every episode of Survivor is at least pretty good? Am I doomed to become one of those people that says things like, “Even bad Survivor is better than anything else on TV,” or, worse, “Survivor is like pizza; even when it’s bad it’s good”?
“Hey wait, I forgot to grab the garlic kn–you know what, I should probably just go.”
Meh. Rewatching Redemption Island episode 13 was not the worst 43 minutes and 9 seconds of my life, but I can’t help but think there would have been way better uses of my time. Like reading a book. Or seeing how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Or repeatedly slamming my head inside a car door.
Totally worth it if it kills every brain cell that remembers Redemption Island.
Not gonna lie, I did sort of zone out during the incredibly stupid fight scene where Phillip irritates Ashley and Natalie by insisting their bodies require fewer calories than Grant’s. This is meant to set up that the girls’ increasing tightness is an obstacle on Rob’s path to victory, but let’s be real: the show makes no effort whatsoever to hide that Rob (who also is currently in possession of a hidden immunity idol) is in complete control of the remaining players. The only question mark is whether the eventual Redemption Island returnee will shake things up. “I want Redemption Island to be over and done with so it’s not a factor anymore,” Rob says, not realizing that he was speaking for every viewer as well.
Rob wants Ashley out, but her well-timed immunity win prevents that. Aw shucks, his plan is foiled! No, wait, Rob just moves onto plan B with no hesitation. He tells the cameras how sorry he is to do this to his buddy Grant, but who cares? Well, Jeff Probst seems opposed, because he spends the entire Tribal Council trying to convince the guys that Ashley and Natalie are an unbreakable pair that needs to be split up. This follows an immunity challenge in which he literally told Natalie she might as well sit and watch because she was so far behind. Six years later, he’d make us watch half-an-episode devoted to Cirie crossing a balance beam after she’d already lost the challenge, when having Natalie complete the fish puzzle would have made for equally compelling television.