THE PITS: Ruse Rustles Rusty Russell
“Keep Hope Alive” — Francesca becomes the first casualty of Redemption Island, barely bested by Matt in the first challenge. The event is witnessed by David and Steve for Zapatera (as well as Ashley and Andrea for Ometepe), who file a false report with Russell as to the outcome of the challenge in hopes of throwing him off when they inevitably vote him out. After reluctantly agreeing to throw the challenge to secure a visit to Tribal Council, Julie is approached by Stephanie to join Russell’s alliance. But even Stephanie’s rabid devotion at Tribal Council couldn’t save Russell from being voted off for the first time in three seasons, and he is sent to join Matt at Redemption Island.
Russell is too busy trying to find the hidden immunity idol to worry about who had won at Redemption, and when he can’t find it, Stephanie has the idea to make a fake one and then carry it around in a bag constantly so people would think she was protecting the idol. Not a bad play, although it only works if they can bring one more person over to their side. And as if Russell doesn’t have enough problems, now, according to Matt, “Russell has got some funk going on with his armpits.” It seems Mr. Hantz shaved his pits before the season began and now has a nasty rash under both arms. Take a number, ladies!
By now Steve has decided that punking Russell on the Redemption Island thing is not quite enough. He wants him out. Pronto. He brings up the idea of throwing the challenge to Ralph and Matt, and then to David and Julie. Only Julie seems hesitant, realizing that a two person advantage (soon to be only one) is no advantage at all. The whole thing makes me so mad I want to force them to sit through a lecture on the importance of numbers, followed by a marathon screening of the David Krumholtz series Numb3rs, followed by another lecture on how annoying it is when TV networks substitute actual numbers for letters in the titles of their shows. Steve says they’ll decide whether to throw the challenge when they get there by giving a thumbs up if the fix is in, but this entire plan gets two thumbs down from me.
After noticing that Phillip’s chair is lopsided, Rob…well, let him tell it: “I looked down and the hidden immunity idol clue is right underneath his ass.” Rob then takes the chair and pretends to fix it while retrieving the clue. Like this guy wasn’t in control of everything already. One person most assuredly not in control is his nemesis, Russell. He knows that the alliance of six will split their votes 3-3 and that he will then be kicked out of the tribe on the revote. He needs someone to flip, and his target is Julie. Russell has had remarkable success is picking the weak, vulnerable link in an alliance, be it either Shambo in Samoa, or Tyson in Heroes vs Villains, and Julie was actually his best bet here as well. Before the game, she was the only person (besides Stephanie) who actually professed to me to be something of a Russell fan. Stephanie and then Russell both approach her about switching sides, with Russell promising, “I got you” if she joins his threesome (which, thankfully, involves neither Matt nor his pole). She sounds intrigued by his offer, but is she intrigued enough?
Returning from the duel, Boston Rob pulls Andrea aside in an attempt to assuage her over Matt’s departure. She admits that she feels unsure about her position in the game as Rob tries to assure her that she is still part of his alliance. However, she admits that while she will stick close to the group for the time being in order to seem trustworthy, she ultimately does not believe that she is safe during the upcoming Tribal Council.
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