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Survivor: Redemption Island Episode 5: Breaking down the Zapatera Tribe

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Written by : published Thursday 17th March 2011

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Episode 5?  Already??  We’ve got to be within site of the merge, and one more win by Rob’s Ometepe Tribe evens the numbers…What does it all mean?  That it’s anybody’s game at this point!

If you missed Episode 5, catch the episode right here on TheTVKing.com, and be sure to get all caught up with my Survivor Examiner Episode 5 Recap as well.  (Link will appear when available).

So what did we get in the post-Russell Redemption Island era?  A solid episode for one, but to me seemingly lacking when compared to the others this season.  Thank the Survivor Gods for Boston Rob, who continues to up his game each episode, this time by switching the Idol clues so that nobody can sniff out the fact that he’s already found it.  Brilliant.

Speaking of brilliance (or lack thereof), what are your thoughts on the Zapatera alliance of 6?  Seemingly tight and in control, Krista brought up some good points at Tribal Council:  Only 1 person wins Survivor, not 6, and at some point the 6 will need to forge deeper alliances in order to survive.  She predicted none of them would win the game.  So who amongst the 6 are in the best position currently?

Sarita and Ralph.  On the surface, one would think that these two are strong in the game:  Ralph with an Idol, and Sarita the so-called “leader” of the group (Russell’s words).  Ralph though, doesn’t seem to be too smart of a player…that’s not based on his man-sweater or his hillbilly accent, but on his gameplay.  Telling everybody about his Idol?  Blurting out at Redemption Island that he has it, for the other tribe to hear?  Ralph has “future blindside victim” written all over him.  And Sarita as “leader” may be targeted sooner than other drifters like…

…Julie.  Julie may be in a good position.  If we are to believe Krista, she has formed an alliance with Steve, which isn’t in itself very important, but…

Steve.  Steve has formed an alliance with Mike.  Both are strong in challenges, and what Krista failed to point out is that if Steve is aligned with Mike, and Steve is aligned with Julie, it is not really an alliance of two, but an alliance of 3.

Mike.  Mike, as a part of this 3-person alliance, may face the toughest resistance come merge, when he will be seen as the biggest physical threat of everyone over at Zapatera.  Of the 3 (Steve, Mike, Julie), I think Julie has the biggest potential of sliding through deeper in the game.

David.  That leaves David.  A strategic player?  Yet to be seen.  He has shown smarts, and that he is playing very seriously.  If Krista just made him think that he’s on the outside of the 6 person alliance, he may be the most likely candidate to team with Stephanie, or flip come merge.  Being on Sarita’s poop-list may not bode well if they lose the next few challenges, because after Stephanie, David will be next unless he has something up his sleeve.

Of course, the Redemption Island twist throws everything for a loop, but these 6 would be smart to keep it together…if they can just last until the merge in order to keep their numbers over Rob’s alliance of 4.  Look for Rob, with an Idol in his possession, as a serious threat to make it to the end if Ometepe can somehow win the next few challenges and go into the merge with better numbers.  Rob’s Achilles Heel?  Matt, lurking at Redemption Island, just waiting to disrupt Rob’s gameplan.

What are your thoughts?  Leave your comments!  And be sure to check out my blog, FilmSurvivor.com as well as follow me on Twitter, @tomsantilli.

About the author SurvivorTom


Tom Santilli is a respected journalist and member of the Detroit Film Critics Society.  He writes several on-line columns, most notably as the Detroit Movie Examiner and the Survivor Examiner for Examiner.com.  He also is a contributor as a Survivor-Insider to TVGeekArmy.com and writes exclusive Survivor in-depth episode analysis for TheTVKing.com. He has been featured on Rob Cesternino's "Rob Has a Podcast" and most recently landed the only exclusive Richard Hatch interview given since his latest legal trouble has surfaced. All of Tom's Survivor coverage as well as movie reviews can be found on his blog the "FilmSurvivor", at FilmSurvivor.com

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