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Survivor: Redemption Island Episode 11: Zapatera has Ometepe right where they want them

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Written by : published Thursday 28th April 2011

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Thank you Survivor twists!


In case you missed it, watch the twist and what the mystery package at Tribal Council was all about by watching Survivor: Redemption Island Episode 11, and make sure you get all caught up with my Survivor Examiner Episode 11 recap as well!


Because of this week’s twist, we were spared another predictable episode as Rob’s Ometepe alliance picks off Zapatera one by one.  With both Steve and Ralph now on Redemption, what will happen now that Ometepe has no common enemy?  Would you be surprised if I told you that I think one of the three remaining Zapatera members may actually be in the best position to win the game?


Crazy, I know...but not in a racial way.


Of course there are a number of ways things can play out, but here’s what we know thus far.  Only Phillip has been shown any real desire of ousting Boston Rob, but his lack of true allies makes him an easy target for the other five.  Rob appears to be in a tighter alliance with Grant and Natalie, and these 3 may be on the fast road to the Finals, especially considering Rob’s Immunity Idol.  Both Ashley and Andrea have chinks in their armor, having shown Rob that their loyalty hasn’t always been 100%, at least in his eyes:  Andrea with her alliance to Matt, and Ashley keeping her conversation with Ralph from him.


Where Rob’s strategy becomes most interesting is involving Grant.  Although the two seem super-tight, we’ve heard Rob mention that Phillip and Natalie would be his ideal Final 3.  That means Grant will have to go, and since he is so dominant in challenges, Rob may have to choose his blindside when Grant doesn’t win Immunity.  If Grant wins the next Immunity, look for Rob to target Andrea, but if Grant loses, he may just try to pull a blindside on Grant.  Rob’s game really comes down to how he handles Grant, and how he handles the hidden Immunity Idol.  He’s played “perfect” thus far, and if he can oust Grant and use the Idol to get him further in the game, Rob will make the Final 3.


But enough about Rob!  What are the other Ometepe’s end-game strategies?  Look for Phillip to be on every single person’s list as a companion to the end…they’ve dealt with him this far, there’s no reason to cut him loose now.  From Grant’s perspective, he could still actually win up against Rob and Phillip, so I don’t see Grant gunning for a Rob blindside.  People may vote for Grant to win as a strong physical competitor, whereas the girls may be seen as weaker.  If you are Natalie or Ashley, their best chance to win may be with each other and Phillip…if they can break Rob’s spell over them.  Against each other (with Phillip having no hope of winning), they could force the jury into a “toss-up” situation, where there is no clear choice.  Against Rob, they still may actually have a chance to win if Rob ends up being the one responsible for cutting throats in the next few episodes…which he most undoubtedly will be.


And what about Andrea?  She needs Matt to eventually lose on Redemption, as even though he is bitter, God will probably talk him into voting for Andrea given the chance.  She too benefits by taking Phillip, but from there, her biggest competitors are both Rob and Grant.  She may be able to make a stronger argument against Natalie or Ashley if she’s up against them in the Finals, taking the angle that she’s played more of an individual game instead of one of Rob’s puppets…especially if she can claim responsibility for ousting Rob at some point.  Her biggest challenge?  She’s on the outside of the 6 person alliance, and would have to go all Kelly Wigglesworth and make an Immunity run if she plans on being there in the end.


Of course, all of this goes away with the Redemption Island twist still largely at play.  Will the person who returns to the game come right into the Final 3?  If that’s the case, then it may be Phillip, along with a Zapatera member making up 2 of the slots.  If a Zapatera member can make the Final 3, they will have 4 votes on the jury, and will need just one more…could that be Matt’s vote?  Matt has had bonding time on Redemption with each member of Zapatera…could that be God’s plan for Matt, to cast the winning vote for a Zapatera?


If you believe that theory, it’s an ironic twist…that no matter how the Ometepe 6 shake out, they all have already lost to one of the three remaining Zapatera members on Redemption.  With a jury of 9, only 5 votes are needed, and if Matt ends up on the jury and a Zapatera ends up in the Final 3, that Zapatera member may be the first “Sole Survivor” to have been voted out of the game.


Would that qualify as “jumping the shark?”  It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out and if this theory holds true…


You can find all of my Survivor coverage at FilmSurvivor.com, and join the growing FilmSurvivor community on Facebook and Twitter!


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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