Following the Tribal Council, Steve actually proffered an olive branch to Philip, saying “I’m not being a racist, man. I just thought you were crazy.” Which Philip took rather well, considering he’s still being called, well, crazy. Philip was happy to exchange handshakes, but decided that Steve would probably be leaving next because he was not “totally genuous.” That’s definitely a new word for me, Phil. Steve and Ralph, being the last ex-Zaps, need all the friends they can get. And with Rob still pulling the strings, I wouldn’t count on any of Rob’s zombies to be those friends.
But it’s a new day! Philip’s had another communication from his great-great-grandfather, Cherokee Jessum, and he’s on a mission to find his missing shorts. Since Julie had basically given the information needed to find said shorts, it was a short, fulfilling mission. I am sure everyone, both on the island and at home, is relieved that the shorts were recovered by the ‘Undercover Specialist, ‘cause he makes his living uncovering the truth.’ Don’t mess with the Specialist! he rants. He’s giddy with glee, and can’t wait to show up styling at the next ‘truel.’
On Redemption Island, Julie is exultant after finally having had a good night’s sleep. Matt, on the other hand, is a mess. He just can’t figure out why God wants him to be on RI, by himself, without family. In short, Matt is losing it, big time. Mike and Julie (and I!) worry that Matt has lost the will to continue.
Bring on the Survivors – it’s time for the ‘truel.’ Jeff asks Matt how he’s doing, and Matt puts on a brave face, but admits that he feels he’s had enough, and could go home without regret. The challenge is a form of shuffleboard. The loser becomes the next member of the jury, so even if Matt loses, he’s not yet going home. “God is not done talking to Matt,” says Jeff, as once again, Matt wins, with Mike in second place. Julie’s off to the jury. Before she goes, she talks about entering Survivor to win, hoping to save her home from foreclosure. But since meeting Matt, and seeing his faith, she’s now looking forward to finding a church and getting involved with her community. Aha, Matt! That’s why God has kept you in play! Julie admits that playing the game has been an incredible experience. After burning her buff, she dances off, delirious at the possibility of finally brushing her teeth.
Back at Murlonia, Andrea is having doubts about her actions in helping Rob send Matt back to RI. She thinks he’ll never talk to her again, and probably shouldn’t since she ‘played him the hardest.’ Rob tries to cheer Andrea up, but later, talks to Grant about getting rid of Andrea, because she’s friends with everyone. In other words, Andrea could be a threat to Rob. And so, the cannibalization of Rob’s tribe begins.
Day 30. Immunity Challenge AND a food reward! It’s chocolate cake and a big jug of milk. All you have to do is win the log roll. Grant wins, and chooses Rob as his cake eatin’ buddy. Asked to choose one more person to join the party, Grant chooses Andrea, much to the displeasure of the others. And there’s a twist! Jeff throws a square package to Steve, saying he is not to open the package until the night’s Tribal Council. In one of the most sadistic moves ever on the show, the three cake eaters are then given two minutes to chow down as much cake and milk as they can shovel in. While everyone looks on, Rob, Grant and Andrea pig out on the cake. Later, Grant interviews that he chose Andrea to make her feel comfortable, presumably to lull her fears before they blindside her at TC. Very gentlemanly, Grant.
Everyone wonders what the ‘twist’ will be. The package seems to be some sort of cards. Poor Steve gets to wonder about it with Ralph, who can’t seem to speak in any language Steve’s ever heard. One line of Ralph’s dialogue is translated for us on screen, but the rest is just a mess of glottals and consonants. Tired and hungry, Ralph and Steve are both too exhausted to care about who’s going home.
Rob sums up the action by telling us that Steve’s done and doesn’t want to play anymore. But Ralph’s head is still in the game, so, Ralph’s gotta go. Even Rob is puzzled by the ‘twist.’ “I don’t understand why there’s gotta be a twist,” he tells his team. He’s worried enough to talk to Ashley and Natalie, letting them know that, while Ralph is tonight’s target, Andrea will the second to go. They accept his decision unquestionably, because “Rob’s played this game before.”
Steve’s got the same idea, and he approaches Ashley and Natalie, telling the girls that Rob’s ultimate plan can only be to take ‘Nimrod,’ (Philip) to the final, so that he can win. This is their chance to get rid of Rob, and potentially win the million dollar prize. The girls are so blinded by Rob’s plan, they can’t see the logic of Steve’s proposal. They immediately run to Rob to tattle, causing Rob to rethink his plan. It may be time to get rid of both Steve and Ralph.
Julie looks lovely, all cleaned up and relaxed as the second juror at Tribal Council. Jeff immediately asks Rob if the trend of voting out Zapatera’s is going to continue, and Rob admits that’s most likely, unless there’s something going on that they don’t know about. Jeff tries to get through to Andrea that there are only two Zaps left to go, and then they’ll be eating each other, but Andrea, oblivious, says she feels totally safe. Rob and Grant exchange sly smiles at her words. Steve hints that Rob has a history of being a cut throat to team members, and Jeff rather graphically explains how Rob has indeed been cruellest to those people who helped him win Survivor before. Andrea, secure in her blond prettiness, says the flip side is that staying true to Rob can mean being taken all the way to the end of the game. Although Jeff continues to point out Rob’s true nature, the ex-Oms smile, like hogs to the slaughter.
Grant has the immunity idol, but everyone else is fair game. Two votes for Rob, four votes for Ralph. Ralph is so rattled, he leaves his torch behind, and has to be reminded to come back. So where’s the twist? Ah, here we go. Jeff asks Steve to open the package and read the first card. It says that they will immediately compete in the next immunity challenge, and then vote out another tribe member. Steve looks pained. Andrea looks uncertain. Jeff hands everyone a stack of cards. It’s the symbol game. And Rob wins immunity.
Steve is voted out. Goodbye to the last of the ex-Zaps. Wait, does this mean there’s going to be a ‘fruel?’ There are now four people on Redemption Island. Hang in there, Matt! There’ll soon be more people on RI than there are at Murlonia! Get that bible ready, it’s time for a prayer meeting!
But wait … that also means that the six ex-Ometepes only have each other to vote out! It will be interesting to see how Rob convinces his remaining team members that it’s best for the team if one of them falls on their own sword. Funny, I don’t see Andrea volunteering for that position.
Next week: how will Rob manipulate the remaining team members? “Thirty two days of hard work, gone, just like that.” Yum, hot Ometepe flesh!