Rob Mariano seems like he’s back in The Robfather role on “Survivor: Redemption Island,” but I don’t know… He and Russell Hantz are back to playing their 1.0 games and the whole “Redemption Island” thing seems to be getting lost in the shuffle.
I get Rob wanting to prevent another Rob + Amber, but was it smart to vote out Matt Elrod on Episode 2, just because:
1. He flirted with Andrea Boehlke
2. He — gasp! — showed good sportsmanship after his tribe, Ometepe, lost the reward/immunity challenge
3. He’s the biggest male threat in his alliance?
I vote no.
Because Matt is now going to meet Francesca Hogi on Redemption Island. It’s possible that Francesca will beat Matt, but it’s also possible that Matt is truly another Fabio clone and will dominate in whatever challenge they throw at him.
Pause for a brief spoiler break:
The very limited and probably wrong spoilers out there have said that Matt is part of a core alliance that does well. There were even mutterings that he might make the final 3. Wrong? Right? Who knows. They also said Matt and Natalie Tenerelli had a flirtation, when it looks like (so far) it’s really Matt and Andrea.
End spoiler break!
I feel like the Matt decision may come back to haunt Rob. He should’ve voted out Phillip Sheppard, who said the episode’s title to Rob: “You Own My Vote.”
So use it, Rob. Send former-federal-agent-and-current-lion Phillip to Redemption Island to do what he wants to do — face his “nemesis,” Francesca/Francesqua. (Maybe he should just call her Fran.)
Or (wild idea) vote out a weak player so your tribe might actually start winning a few challenges.
Meanwhile, Russell Hantz has turned into the clown of his own season. He’s back to collecting pretty young things, telling anyone who’ll listen that he’s Russell Hantz. He’s that good!
But while he’s playing Russell 1.0, his nemesis — the exceptionally hairy Ralph Kiser — has become Russell 2.0, the kinder softer version the real Russell should’ve tried to be.
Ralph now has an idol. He found it without a clue while … uh … looking for rocks? Russell has an idol clue. Does he have the clue to the idol that was already found? How many idols are out there?
And why isn’t Redemption Island its own cool little island in the middle of nowhere? Why does it look like any other beach?
Right now only about a handful of players have gotten any real camera time — Rob, Russell, Ralph, the power-playing Kristina Kell, crazy Phillip, Russell’s #1 gal, Stephanie Valencia, and Rob’s #1 gal, Natalie. Mike Chiesl may have some potential, but it’s quiet potential right now. That’s probably for the best.
Considering how Rob & Russell are so patronizing to the girls they believe they’ll have to carry to the end, I am rooting for Kristina at this point. I’m also rooting for Matt to beat Francesca, but only to show Rob that he’s not as in control of this game as he thinks.
But most of the people on the show have not said more than two words, so I have no idea who I’ll be rooting for by the end. Has Julie Wolfe even said one word? How about my boy David Murphy? Move the cameras off Rob for a second, please!
Catch up on my “Survivor” stories in this archive.
These people are still around:
* Francesca Hogi, 36, Washington D.C.; attorney— 1st sent to Redemption Island
* Matt Elrod, 22, Nashville; pre-med student — 2nd sent to Redemption Island
* Kristina Kell, 46, Malibu; law student
* Grant Mattos, 29, West Hollywood; former NFLer, yoga instructor
* Phillip Sheppard, 52, Santa Monica; technology executive
* Natalie Tenerelli, 19, Acton, Calif.; professional dancer
* Ashley Underwood, 25, Benton, Maine; nurse
* Andrea Boehlke, 21, Random Lake, Wis.; student
* “Boston Rob” Rob Mariano
* Mike Chiesl, 31, Del Mar, Calif.; former Marine
* Ralph Kiser, 44, Lebanon, Va.; farmer
* Krista Klumpp, 25, Columbia, S.C.; pharmaceutical rep.
* David Murphy, 31, West Hollywood; defense attorney
* Stephanie Valencia, 25, Long Beach, Calif.; waitress
* Sarita White, 36, Santa Monica; visual effects producer
* Julie Wolfe, 50, Oceanside, Calif.; firefighter
* Steve Wright, 51, Huntington Beach, Calif.; former NFL player
* Russell Hantz