russell hantz redemption island 'Survivor: Redemption Island': Russell Hantz suspects foul playWe finally have two castaways at Redemption Island, which makes this “Survivor” episode even more fun than the already-hilarious Phillip nonsense.

Redemption Island

Fran is shocked Matt is the one coming to Redemption Island. He is as well, saying he should not have trusted Boston Rob so quickly. They get tree mail in the morning about their Arena Duel, which sounds very Thunderdome. The tribes each get to draw stones to send two people to watch the duel (they can vote for two, but if they can’t reach a unanimous decision, they draw stones. Both tribes have to do that). Steve/David go for Zap and Ashley/Andrea go for Ome.

Arena Duel

The constructed Arena is pretty awesome, shouldn’t expect anything less
from this show. I hope those are real stones and not Styrofoam. The duel
is using sticks/rope to make a long pole, which they use to reach keys.
There are three keys, three locks. First person to open all three wins.

Francesca gets her sticks together very quickly and gets two keys right
away, Matt’s stick falls apart. It gets a lot closer when Fran goes for
key no. 3 and misses, while Matt catches up. It’s neck and neck, but
Matt pulls it out. Andrea is pleased. Jeff tells the four spectators
that it’s up to them what they share back at camp.


After Tribal, Boston Rob is gloating over the Matt blindside plus flushing out Kristina’s Hidden Idol. He straight-up tells Phillip that Phillip is low man on the totem pole in their alliance and Phillip is just excited to be sitting at the cool kids table. That makes me sad.

After the duel, A/A decide to tell the tribe that Matt was mad about being blindsided and that he’s ready to come back and get revenge. Rob knows what will happen if Matt returns, so he starts working on Andrea, apologizing and telling her she’s safe ahead of Kris and Phillip. It’s a lot of hogwash. Luckily she doesn’t buy it.


Steve and David decide to tell Russell and his cronies that Francesca won and sent Matt home, but then they tell the rest of the tribe that it was Matt who won. Speaking of Russell and his cronies, they go looking for the Hidden Idol, which is hilarious. Ralph is just cracking up about it.

To try to fool people, Russell has Stephanie and Krista stuff something in Steph’s bag and then keep a tight hold on it. Steve totally buys it and thinks they have the Hidden Idol. Sneaky.

There is now a segment of Russell’s pus-filled rash in his armpits from shaving. It’s disgusting. What the hell did he shave with out there, a rock? Ralph, Steve and Mike think Russell needs to go. If I were them, I’d throw a challenge and vote his butt out. Him with a three-person alliance made up of two girls he can control is very dangerous. And then, that is exactly what they discuss with Sarita and Julie. Julie is trepidatious about that.


It’s the horrible waterboarding meets carnival ride challenge, where three women (it’s always women because they are the lightest) spin on a wheel and take in mouthfuls of water when they spin through a trough. Then they spit the water into a tube, which releases a ball. One tribe member must solve the slide puzzle with the ball. They are playing for comfort items and immunity.

Sarita and Ralph sit out, which might put a crimp in the Steve/David/Ralph/Sarita/Julie throwing of the puzzle. The more people you have in the challenge who are in on it, the easier it is to throw. But Julie is doing her part by missing the bucket and Steve is not twirling the wheel very hard.

Fortunately, they put David on the puzzle and he’s working against Rob, so this should be easy to look like you’re doing it but not actually getting anywhere. David plays dumb a little too well, Russell looks suspicious. He just stood there, c’mon man. You gotta make some progress or it looks fake.


Rob proves that an old dog can learn new tricks because he wants to find the Hidden Idol clue in the reward stuff. He can’t find it anywhere, but notices Phillip’s chair is listing a little and tells him to get up so he can fix it. When he grabs the chair, he sees that the clue is sewn into the fabric of the chair. But the clue is uber-vague – look everywhere, basically.


Russell is completely furious that they threw the challenge because you can’t give Boston Rob momentum. He has a point, but Russell with two allies is also very dangerous and I can see why his tribe did that. He and Stephanie think the votes will be 3-3-3 because they are trying to flush out Russell’s imaginary Idol, so they need somebody to flip. Russell suggests the “old lady,” but that “old lady” looks like she could kick Russell’s butt, so maybe call her Julie.

Stephanie talks to Julie and says they have the Idol and Julie likes it that Russell will get them to the end. He talks to Julie and is convinced this is going to be the biggest blindside ever. Well, that is not true.

Hilariously, Russell tells Julie they are voting Ralph. OMG. That is amazing. Ralph plays the Idol and Russell goes home ANYWAY. This is delicious. I’m so excited for Tribal.

Tribal Council

The tribe’s division between the six and Russell and his harem is talked about. Sarita says they didn’t trust Russell because of his reputation. But Russell says he came to win challenges and not lose them, while he felt like his tribemates threw the challenge. Mike then all but says, “Yep, threw it.” Oh, you doofus.

Stephanie then goes on a tirade about how awesome Russell is and that throwing a challenge is stupidity. Sarita calls Russell a huge black cloud and Stephanie has a little fit again. Stephanie is super-annoying with her Russell love and I say this as a fan of Russell because he’s interesting.

Russell’s new tattoo says “Keep Hope Alive,” which incidentally was the working title for FOX’s sitcom “Raising Hope.” True story.

During the vote, we see Ralph vote for “Ressell,” hee!) and Sarita vote for Stephanie (who is rude, yes, and a little child) and Russell vote for Ralph. Before the vote, does not ask about the Hidden Idol. We’ll assume he did and it was cut. Bummer. Stupid Ralph, ruining my fun.

The votes go Russell, Ralph, Stephanie, Russell, Russell, Stephanie, Ralph, Ralph, Stephanie. So Julie didn’t flip! Now they re-vote. We don’t see any votes. They go Ralph, Russell, Russell, Russell and bye-bye Russell. 

Russell vows, “I’ll be back and be ready.” Ralph says he’ll be ready. In his exit interview, Russell is his very charming self.

Next week
: Russell has to put his money where his mouth is.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."