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Survivor: Redemption Island Episode 13: The odds-on favorite to win it all

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Written by : published Friday 13th May 2011

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Survivor is a game of numbers, always has been, always will.



But before we break down this week’s episode and set-up for Sunday’s Finale, let’s make sure you’re all caught up…Check out the latest episode, Survivor: Redemption Island Episode 13, and then be sure to read my Survivor Examiner Episode 13 recap!



So we here it all the time, players needing the numbers, or not having the numbers.  I know it’s sad and uninteresting, but Survivor is one huge, complicated math problem, and the smarter players are usually able to hedge their bets.  The fascinating part of Survivor is the random twists and factors that play into the game, like Redemption Island.  When will a player re-enter the game?  How many players will re-enter?  It’s these kind of variables that make predicting the outcome nearly impossible.



But let’s try anyways!



Here is my break-down of each player’s chances going into Sunday’s Finale…with a few assumptions being made right up front.  First, I am assuming only 1 player will return from Redemption, and also that this returning player will be placed in the Final 3…I’m just not sure how else they can fairly do this.  Everybody all season long has had Redemption Island to fall back on as a safety net, they can’t remove it and then have a Tribal where someone goes directly to the jury!  That to me, would be horribly unfair, especially if someone like Matt returns (voted out twice), and if someone being voted out of the game for the first time would be forced to leave.



So here it is:  Odds of winning and who each person would ideally like to be sitting against in the end…are these numbers scientific?  You be the judge:



Mike and/or Matt:  Assuming again that only 1 of these 2 could reach the Final 3, I think that either of these players is actually in the best possible position to win it all.  It hurts me to think of Matt as a winner of Survivor, and his path is only made possible by Redemption Island.  But with a majority Zapatera jury, and having spent some time out on RI with each and every one of them, Matt wins Survivor, plain and simple, if he re-enters the game at Final 3.  Mike?  The same goes for him.   Their biggest obstacle is now winning at RI to give themselves a chance at returning.  Odds of Winning:  4-1.  Ideal Final 3 Opponents:  Anybody.



Andrea:  Andrea will face the daunting task of having to face 3 strong competitors in Matt, Mike, and now Grant.  So her toughest challenge will clearly be simply surviving a few more Duels…a long shot.  If she somehow squeaks her way into the Final 3 though, she still faces a jury that isn’t too impressed with her.  She may get a few votes, but I think up against any combination of the others, she doesn’t stand much of a chance.  Odds of winning 100-1. Ideal Final 3 Opponents:  Phillip and Rob.



Grant:  The latest blindside victim, one would think that he has to present problems for both Matt and Mike at Redemption Island.  If he returns to the game, he could make a case that his physical dominance makes him deserving, and also could play off of the anti-Rob sentiment of the jury, since he also fell victim.  Odds of Winning:  15-1.  Ideal Final 3 Opponents:  Phillip and Rob.



Ashley:  Ashley showed some gamesmanship finally, and could be in a good position in the game with 1 more Immunity win.  She’s at a disadvantage not knowing of Rob’s hidden Idol, which could be her downfall if she tries targeting Rob next.  But depending on who she is up against, could Ashley win?  Odds of Winning:  5-1.  Ideal Final 3 Opponents:  Natalie and Phillip.



Phillip:  Thank God for Phillip…he’s made this season truly memorable.  His strategy seems just so crazy that it just may work:  Act the villain and they’ll take you to the end.  Even with a strong pitch to the jury, I don’t see anybody buying Phillip’s “playing crazy” story one bit.  That doesn’t mean I don’t think he could win…I do.  Up against the right people, Phillip may get a few “lesser of the evils” votes, or simply votes just to spite Rob.  Crazy as it sounds, Phillip needs to be in the discussion as possible winners.  Odds of Winning:  10-1.  Ideal Final 3 Opponents:  Natalie and Ashley.



Natalie:  Natalie played a good, under-the-radar game, but her style and personality aren’t strong enough to make her a winner in the end.  The perception of her is that she’s a follower, and it’ll definitely be interesting to see where her loyalties fall in the Finale.  She’s got a lot of upside to making the Final 3, I just don’t think there’s enough pros to crown her as winner, although up against Phillip and Ashley, she could make a case .  Odds of Winning:  20-1.  Ideal Final 3 Opponents:  Phillip and Ashley.



Boston Rob:  All eyes are on Boston Rob, as he enters the proverbial 9th inning pitching a perfect game.  Many outside the game are already willing to crown his gameplay as “the best ever,” but Rob’s chances of winning in the end are minimal if you start thinking about it.  Sure, he has in Idol, and yes, he is still in control.  In fact, I think it’s a stretch to think that he won’t make the Final 3.  But he’s facing a Zapatera jury who have already shown their dislike for the old-schoolers Russell and Rob.  In interviews with Zapatera members, they’ve said things like they didn’t want this to be the “Russell or Rob Show,” and that they feel Rob and Russell both had their chances in the past.  Would they then turn and vote for Boston Rob to win their season?  Unlikely.  Add to this that, like Grant and Andrea, all the blindsides that are going down right now lead back to Rob.  By the time Rob reaches the Final 3, he’ll be in a very similar spot that he was in when he teamed with Amber during All-Stars:  The deserving winner facing the bitter jury.  We all know how that unfortunately plays out.  Interestingly, Rob is the sole person remaining that I feel should NOT take Phillip along for the ride…in a Final 3 with both Ashley and Natalie, the jury would be forced to split their votes between the two girls, and if Rob can muster a few votes from rational thinkers like David and Grant, he faces his best possible chance.  Odds of Winning:  8-1.  Ideal Final 3 Opponents:  Ashley and Natalie.



So there you have it!  What are your thoughts?  Post your comments!



I’ll be back again following  the Finale and Reunion Show to put a cap on this season and discuss how it all played out.  Make sure you tune in to the Survivor: Redemption Island Finale, this Sunday, May 15th at 8:00 p.m. EST, only on CBS!



Follow all of my Survivor coverage at FilmSurvivor.com, 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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