Rob Mariano Wins Survivor: Redemption Island
“Seems Like A No Brainer” — Redemption Island comes to an end as Andrea outlasts Matt, Mike, & Grant in a final endurance challenge, and upon re-entering the game unsuccessfully tries to recruit Ashley and Natalie into a girls’ alliance. But Rob’s influence remains strong to the very end, and even at the final Tribal Council, Phillip’s and Natalie’s closing remarks were little more than homages to the incredibly dominating game Rob played. After an impassioned monologue form David the jury awarded Rob the title of Sole Survivor in a 8-1-0 vote, with only Ralph voting for Phillip.
Episode 14: “Seems Like a No Brainer”
Redemption Island Duel: The four castaways would put one foot on one end of a seesaw with the other end having a ceramic vase balanced on it. The castaways would attempt to keep the vase balanced on the end with their their foot still on the seesaw. The last castaway to have their vase balanced on the end of the seesaw would win.
Immunity Challenge: The castaways would race along a balance beam to collect a series of bags containing 100 numbered tiles. The first castaway to place their tiles on a board in order from one to one hundred would win.
Day 36 saw the final Redemption Island Duel. The castaways lasted 40 minutes before Grant’s vase tipped over and he became the fifth jury member. After the one hour mark, Matt’s vase tipped off the board and he became the sixth jury member after surviving ten duels and 29 days on Redemption Island. The Duel came down to Andrea and Mike, with Mike being unable to keep his vase balanced, allowing Andrea to win and re-enter the game. When Andrea returned to camp, she started to scramble to remain in the game by making up a story to Ashley and Natalie that Ralph, Matt, and Mike said they would vote for Phillip at the final Tribal Council. Ashley thought Andrea might join her and Natalie in voting out Phillip or Rob. At the Immunity Challenge, Ashley edged out Andrea and Rob to win. When the castaways returned to camp, Rob overtly took Ashley, Natalie, and Phillip aside to tell them that Andrea had to be voted off. Ashley asked Natalie about Rob’s plan for the subsequent vote to make sure that the next to go after Andrea would be Phillip. Natalie was concerned about Rob keeping Phillip, but promised to Ashley that her next vote would go against Phillip. Phillip openly reported on the girl’s discussions, but then took off for a private conversation with Rob. While the guys were gone, Andrea again lobbied the two other girls in voting out Rob. At Tribal Council, Andrea again lobbied the girls to take control of the game. Before the votes were read, Rob pulled out the Hidden Immunity Idol and played it. However, the Idol was not needed as Ashley and Natalie stayed loyal to Rob and voted out Andrea by a vote of 4–0.
Immunity Challenge: The castaways would race through a maze to collect four bags of puzzle pieces at four different stations. Once all four bags were collected, the castaways would race to the top of a pyramid and assemble a word puzzle. The first castaway to correctly solve the puzzle would win.
When the castaways returned to camp after Tribal Council, Rob promised the girls that they would go to the final three together. At the Immunity Challenge, Ashley and Rob finished the maze stage, but were stumped by the difficult puzzle. Their confusion was so great that they actually asked each other if they had figured out the puzzle. In the end, Rob figured out the puzzle spelled out “Only You Are Safe” to win the final Individual Immunity; guaranteeing him a spot in the final Tribal Council. After the challenge, Rob again told the girls that they were safe and to not tell Phillip about their plans. Ashley asked Natalie to tell her if Rob were to change his plans and Natalie promised that she would. Rob told Phillip that Ashley was going home. Rob took Natalie aside try to convince her to vote against Ashley by pointing out that Ashley may have made a connection with the former Zapatera members on the jury and that she was a threat. Ashley again asked Natalie if Rob had said anything about voting against her, but Natalie lied and said that nothing was going on. At Tribal Council, Natalie was torn between her friendship with Ashley and her loyalty to Rob, but in the end, she sided with Rob and Ashley became the final member of the jury by a vote of 3–1.
Natalie, Phillip, and Rob enjoyed the traditional day 39 breakfast. Phillip told Rob and Natalie that he was never proud of his pink underwear and burned them. At the final Tribal Council, Natalie emphasized her social skills and her loyalty to Rob. Phillip told the jury that Rob was the mastermind of their entire plan while he implemented it. Rob told the jury that he played the game as best as he could so that he could support his wife, Amber Mariano, and children. The jury spent most of their allocated time to criticize Natalie and Phillip’s loyalty to Rob. The jury cast their vote and Rob was finally awarded the title of Sole Survivor after nearly ten years of competing, by a vote of 8–1–0.
Perhaps the biggest surprise on the finale of CBS’ Survivor: Redemption Island wasn’t who the winner was but instead what happened at the end of the live finale.
David Murphy, a contestant on this season, revealed that he had begun dating Carolina Eastwood, a contestant from 2009’s Survivor: Tocantins, after filming his season of the show.
And at the end of Sunday night’s finale, Murphy proposed to a surprised Eastwood, who was in the audience.
“Survivor loves blindsiding you,” Eastwood quipped before saying yes.
Now it’s time to hear from the angry people. Ashley sure is angry. She and Phillip get into an argument about whether he is allowed to speak or not. He does, so she kind of loses that argument by default. Rob pulls a Todd Herzog and kills Grant with kindness, explaining he had to vote him out because the guy was just too gosh darn good. Ralph then does his first astute thing in the game in pointing out to Natalie how she always looks at Rob every time she answers a question to make sure it is okay with her lord and master. Any momentum Ralph starts with, however comes to a screeching halt when he awkwardly asks Phillip “Do you like me?”
Steve doesn’t like Phillip, and he lets him know it, but the angriest of the angry has to be Julie, who tells all three finalists that should be ashamed to be related to anyone by whatever means they are related. Whether you’re a daughter, father, son, crazy uncle, whatever — you’re no good In Julie’s book. She says that, “none of you played a respectable game.” Maybe she would have a point…had she not buried a grown man’s bathing suit! “Don’t worry, they’ll be all smiles later” Rob whispers to Natalie, and he’s right — unless your name is Grant.
David chooses not to talk to the final three at all. Instead he talks directly to the jury and encourages them to vote for Rob, pointing out what a dominating performance he put on. Probably unnecessary at this point, but seeing as what happened in All-Stars and Samoa, it never hurts. Sure enough Rob (who promises this will be his last time playing because he needs “to go home and take care of my wife and my children” — even though he has already signed up to be on yet another reality TV show) does win, although Ralph’s vote for “Phile” ruins the shutout. Next thing you know he’s hugging wife Amber and his two baby girls who appear to be out way too late for their ages, but I suppose when both your parents have won a million dollars you can kinda do what you want.
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