'Survivor: Redemption Island': Parvati Shallow's Recap - Episode 11

The winner of "Survivor: Micronesia" continues her weekly thoughts on game intrigue, strategy and blunders. Warning: spoiler alert.

Thank great great grandfather’s eagle spirit ancestors, Phillip found his shorts! I was extremely concerned that we would all have to take a cue from The Voice and start turning our chairs around every time Phillip’s Underoos-clad body appeared onscreen. but the specialist, never to be underestimated, dug up his buried board shorts and saved us all from watching a walking nightmare. Hallelujah!

Phillip’s madman strategy is going really well for him. He acts completely outrageous, stirs up chaos and discord among the tribe and then scores Rob’s protection for making everyone miserable. Brilliant gameplay to get to the end. He won’t win any votes from the jury, but if he’s going for America’s favorite, Phillip’s got my vote.

All the old Zapatera sitting ducks have been machine gunned down making the former Ometepe’s reign complete. With Rob resting comfortably in the king’s throne, the remaining Ometepe are playing court and seem quite content doing their master’s bidding and being voted out as he sees fit.

Not gonna lie, I’m so bummed we didn’t see any strategizing or game turning in this episode. If the girls wanted to claim some power in the game, now would have been the time to do it. With Steve and Ralph’s votes the girls could have joined forces and voted out their biggest competition, Rob or Grant. Grant has morphed into Rob’s Redemption Island Amber; they go everywhere, do everything and always vote together. Their mutual man crush is a huge red flag and if I was out there one of these guys would get a hot boot with the quickness. Like Grant said, timing is everything in the game of Survivor and by not voting out Rob or Grant this time, I believe Natalie, Ashley and Andrea missed a huge opportunity to get themselves to the final.

Survivor is a wicked game. In order to advance yourself in the game and in order to stand out as a strategist in the eyes of the jury, you  have to know when to pull the trigger to vote out a person you’ve grown close to. I still believe voting out Ozzy when I did in Micronesia was the moment I took control of the game and the move that eventually led to my win. Ashley and Natalie have perfected the art of riding Rob’s coattails and unless they come up with some brilliant strategy soon, they’ll be used for votes and castoff at Rob’s discretion.

Andrea could be our wild card and I’m holding onto hope that she’s going to start regretting voting Matt out and resenting Rob for talking her into it. I want to see Andrea get angry and cut some throats. We saw her eyes flash with rage when she watched Matt flirt with Sarita on Redemption a few episodes back and then we watched her punish him by joining forces with Rob to vote him out, yet again. I think if anyone’s capable of pulling off some big moves to make it to the end, it has to be her. Vocalizing her guilty feelings over booting Matt put a huge target on her back so she’s got some work to do  if she wants to stay in this thing.

That’s another thing about Survivor, you have to keep most of your true feelings hidden from the rest of the tribe and never let anyone know you actually care about someone.

Since everyone is constantly on high alert, the smallest little comments can be blown so out of proportion that they become a legitimate reason to get rid of someone. Unless Andrea can somehow talk Barbie and Skipper (lovingly known as Ashley and Natalie) to stage a coup against their fearless leader, Rob, Andrea’s going to be sent off next to battle the boys at Redemption Island.

Although Rob has this game on lock and an idol up his sleeve, Matt’s endurance is freaking him out. If Matt can man up and get through the remaining duels at Redemption Island, he will have a real shot at winning this game. Since the girl he trusted the most, Andrea, pulled a Judas on him and betrayed him twice, Matt’s lost significant momentum and may not have the spirit left in him to compete. Rob has good reason, however, to want to keep Matt out of the game- Matt’s been spending quality time with the members of the jury at Redemption. Matt needs some perspective and to get his heart back in the game. With all the friends he’s made on Redemption Island, Matt could secure the votes in the end to beat Rob out for the million.

Ralph and Steve are going nowhere fast. Ralph consistently chokes in challenges and Steve’s basically given up. These two have no shot to win any battles at Redemption and I’m sure we’ll be seeing them all fat and happy on the jury in no time!

Mike is the one to watch out for now. He competes well and despite the lack of food and nourishment, always seems to mentally power through the challenges at Redemption. I think having his back against the wall with nowhere else to turn has kicked in his inner marine. He’s playing for keeps now and giving Matt some heavy competition. With his newfound competence in challenges, Mike may be the dark horse that comes back to take it all.

Now the game gets good! For the last few weeks we’ve all known the old Zapatera crew would be getting their torches snuffed one by one. Now that there are no more sacrificial lambs, Murlonio is going to have to turn on one another. I’m excited to see some fireworks if anyone attempts to challenge Rob for control. Do these kids have it in them to really play the game now? And how will Phillip’s special agent skills come into play next week? I’ll be holding my breath until next Wednesday to watch the drama unfold.

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