May 16, 2011 / by Kevin Brackett
Here is the recap from cbs.com:
SOMEBODY BETRAYED ME
On night thirty-five, Grant arrives at Redemption Island after just being blindsided at Tribal Council. He says, “Possibly Rob betrayed me. Possible Phillip did. And you know what … I’m A-okay man.” As Matt and Mike welcome Grant to Redemption, Andrea is actually disappointed to see him. Andrea reveals, “It’s Grant, Matt, Mike and I, so it’s not going to be an easy duel. I’m going to be like the under, under dog.” They all settle in for the night.
IT WAS HARD
The four remaining members of the Murlonio tribe return from Tribal Council. They all feel bad that they had to vote out Grant, but feel that he was just too much of a threat. Even Rob admits, “I miss him, because Grant was a friend of mine out here.” Ashley tries to make Rob feel better by saying that Grant knew he was a huge threat. Rob realizes that he now could become the one that his tribe mates perceive as the biggest threat. He then decides to target Ashley as the one voted out next. He says, “Ashley’s just no good. She’s got to go.”
END OF REDEMPTION ISLAND
The next morning, Matt is out on the rocks watching the ocean waves break. He admits, “I love this place. It’s become home to me.” Matt is glad that he now appreciates Redemption Island, after struggling with it for so long. Grant and Andrea check treemail and are thrilled to find an invitation to the final duel. The winner of the duel will return to the game, while the rest will join the jury. After fourteen days on Redemption Island, Mike realizes that he will miss it too. Mike admits, “It’s bittersweet. Redemption Island is wrapping up, but it’s going to be great knowing our fate one way or another.” As they get ready to enjoy their last meal on Redemption Island, Matt leads a prayer of thanks to God.
REDEMPTION ISLAND DUEL: A LEG UP
Matt, Mike, Andrea and Grant arrive at the Redemption Island arena with the Murlonio tribe in the audience to watch this final duel. Jeff Probst, the host, explains the rules of the four-person duel. Each castaway will place their foot on one end of a balancing board. On the other end is a ceramic vase. When the vase falls, they are out of the challenge and out of the game. Last person left standing with their vase intact, rejoins the game and their shot at the money. The losers will become the fifth, sixth and seventh members of the jury.
After forty minutes in the challenge, Grant is the first one to break his vase and be out of the game. After an hour of balancing his vase, Matt looks over at his competition, causing him to lose focus and become the second one out of the challenge and game. Matt is shocked to have lost after winning his prior ten duels. He becomes the sixth member of the jury. Now, Mike and Andrea are left competing for the win. In the end, Mike drops his vase after wiping sweat off his face. So, Andrea wins the challenge and rejoins the Murlonio tribe to compete for the million-dollar prize. Grant, Matt and Mike drop their buffs in the urn and join the jury. As Murlonio walks out of the arena, Rob reveals, “As long as Ashley doesn’t win immunity tomorrow. Andrea gets to stay one more day.”
ANDREA GETS TO WORK
As Murlonio returns from the duel, Andrea is feeling awkward about being back with the people that voted her out. Andrea reveals, “Right now, I need to try anything. Because otherwise, if I just sit back, I’m going to be the next to go.” Andrea starts by talking to Ashley and Natalie. She tells them that the people she was with on Redemption Island are calling them Rob’s puppets and are likely to give Phillip the million dollars, if he makes it to the end. As soon as Andrea leaves, Ashley confirms with Natalie that if Andrea wins immunity, they are voting for Phillip and not her. Natalie does not understand why Ashley is so worried about things. Ashley tells her that they can’t trust Rob so much, because he actually wants to keep Phillip to the end. Ashley is happy that Andrea is back, since she is less likely to trust Rob after being voted out. Ashley says, “Maybe, she’ll join with Natalie and I and kind of try to take Phillip or Rob out.” Meanwhile, Rob is keeping an eye on the girls. He says to Phillip, “Ashley thinks she’s the mastermind.” Phillip agrees and says that he wants to vote her out. Rob then sets the plan to let everyone think that Andrea is going next, but to vote Ashley instead.
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: A NUMBERS GAME
The Murlonio tribe arrives on their mat. Jeff Probst explains the rules of this challenge. Each castaway will race across balance beams collecting a series of bags containing numbered tiles. They must place the tiles in order from 1 to 100. First person to get it right, wins immunity and is guaranteed a one-in-four shot at winning this game. One of the losers will be voted out tonight at Tribal Council and go to the jury.
Rob get his bag of tiles to the puzzle board first, with the others following closely behind. They all work to open their bag of tiles and place the first numbers 1 to 10 on their board. Rob, Andrea and Ashley are first to head out for their second bag of tiles. This bag has twenty tiles numbered 11 to 30. Phillip falls on the balance beam on his way back with his second bag, so he has to go back and start again. Rob, Ashley and Andrea are staying up with each other. Natalie is in fourth place and Phillip in last. Ashley is the first one to finish her third bag of numbers and so she heads out for her fourth and final bag. Rob and Andrea are close behind her. This final bag has forty numbers in it that must be sorted and placed on their boards. At this point, Natalie and Phillip are too far behind. It comes down to a very close race with Ashley just four numbers ahead of Rob, but that is enough to finish the challenge ahead of him and win immunity. So, much to Rob’s and Andrea’s dismay, Jeff places the immunity necklace on Ashley. Andrea admits, “I’m on the chopping block, but it would make so much more sense to vote out Rob, now that he hasn’t won immunity.” Andrea hopes that she can get Ashley and Natalie to agree with her on this and make a big move to get Rob out of the game.
ANDREA OR ROB?
As Murlonio returns to camp from the immunity challenge, Ashley is so excited to have the immunity necklace and be safe tonight at Tribal Council. Rob calls Phillip, Ashley and Natalie out to the beach to meet about the vote, therefore leaving Andrea behind. Rob tells his alliance to vote for Andrea tonight. He then heads out to try and catch fish. Rob reveals, “There are no idols after tonight and it’s the last time I can use my idol.” So, Rob knows that he is not going home tonight with the protection of his hidden immunity idol. He’s so confident that his alliance will follow his wishes to vote out Andrea, that he is not even sure if he is going to use his idol. Ashley meets with Natalie. She tells Natalie that she is worried that she will be voted out after Andrea, because Rob might keep Phillip around, instead of her. Natalie promises Ashley that she will vote for Phillip at the next Tribal Council and not for her. Meanwhile, Phillip notices that Natalie and Ashley have been gone from camp for a while. Phillip says, “Ashley and Natalie went down in the woods and talked forever, it seemed like. So, I thought, oh my goodness, these girls are going to get together.” As soon as Rob returns to camp, Phillip tells Rob about the girls being gone and his fears of what they were scheming. Phillip and Rob head out to talk more. Andrea takes advantage of the boys being gone and goes to talk to the girls. She makes the case that they are not going to be able to win against Rob in the finals, so they should vote him out now. She tells them that she is voting for Rob tonight and invites them to vote with her. Natalie admits, “Chances are going up against Rob, you are not going to win.” Natalie and Ashley know that voting against Rob is also a risky move. Rob is amused by Phillip filling him in on the details of the girls being away from camp. After playing this game before, Rob knows what happens before a vote and how people will discuss all the options. Rob boasts, “I can still dictate this vote. I don’t even need the idol, as long as I have Natalie.”
As Tribal Council begins, Rob reveals that paranoia among people is running pretty high. He then admits that he asked Phillip to keep his eyes and ears open around camp today, to see if anybody was talking about voting him out. Phillip was glad to continue his role as undercover specialist. Ashley is not surprised that Rob asked Phillip to do this. She says, “He’s Boston Rob. Who wouldn’t want to take him out?” Andrea then reveals her plan to have the three girls vote out Rob tonight. She explains that this would earn them points with the jury for making a big strategic move. Andrea hopes Ashley and Natalie have enough guts to make the move. Rob then reminds everyone that Andrea is a threat too, since she won her way back from Redemption Island and did well in today’s challenge and also is liked by many. With that, Jeff calls for the vote. Andrea votes for Rob, while everyone else votes for Andrea. Rob decides to play his hidden immunity idol, just for safety. So, Andrea Boehike, the 21 year-old student from Random Lake, Wis. becomes the sixteenth person voted out of the game and the eighth person to join the jury on SURVIVOR: REDEMPTION ISLAND.
As Rob, Phillip, Natalie and Ashley return to camp after Tribal Council, they celebrate being the final four. Phillip reveals, “I didn’t know that Rob had the hidden immunity idol, but I suspected he did all along. So, I think he played that brilliantly.” Natalie and Ashley hug and enjoy being the last girls still in the game. Ashley says, “Andrea tried to throw me and Natalie under the bus and say that neither of us had made big moves in this game, but it’s funny because she’s not here anymore and I am.” After Phillip goes to get water at the well, Rob calls Natalie and Ashley over and promises them that they are in the final three with him. Rob says, “Ten years, four times on Survivor, 116 days, one challenge for one million bucks. That’s what it comes down to. It’s pretty big stakes.”
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: MESO MAZE
The Murlonio tribe arrives on their mat for the final immunity challenge. Jeff Probst explains the rules of this challenge. Each castaway will race through a giant maze collecting four bags of puzzle pieces. Once they have all four bags, they will race to the top and use those pieces to solve a word phrase. The first person to get the puzzle right wins immunity and is guaranteed a spot at the final Tribal Council, where they will get a chance to plead their case to the jury for the million-dollar prize. One of the losers will be voted out of this game. Rob gets to his first puzzle bag before the others. Phillip and Ashley get to their first bags shortly after Rob does. Natalie gets to her first bag of puzzle pieces, as Rob and Ashley get to their second bags. Phillip gets to his second bag shortly after. Ashley sticks close to Rob as they head out for their third and fourth bags. Natalie is still looking for her second bag, as Phillip finds his third bag and Rob and Ashley find their fourth and final bags. Rob and Ashley make their way up to the puzzle stations and start solving their puzzles. As Rob struggles with his puzzle, he says to Ashley, “Let’s just work together.” Jeff comments that this is unusual for people to work together in the final individual immunity challenge. In the end, neither one of them helped each other, but Rob got his puzzle done before Ashley completed hers. So, Rob wins final immunity. He is so happy that he starts crying. Rob reveals, “It was Amber that encouraged me to come back and try again. She believed in me. It’s ‘cause of her.” Rob knows now that he has to decide whom to vote out and then get ready to plead his case to the jury.
ASHLEY OR PHILLIP?
As the final four return to camp, they congratulate Rob on his big win. Rob reveals, “At this point, I want to make both Ashley and Phillip feel like they are coming to the finals with me. “ Rob knows that will work best to keep peace in the camp until Tribal Council tonight. Rob admits, “The problem is if I want to get rid of Ashley, I have to get Natalie on board.” This will not be easy since Ashley and Natalie are so close. Rob then tells Ashley not to worry and finds Phillip and tells him the same thing. Ashley is still worried though and double checks with Natalie that she is not going home tonight. Natalie tells Ashley, “Don’t worry. There’s no need to.” As Rob weighs his choices, he is concerned about how close Ashley got to some of the Zapatera people after the merge and how this could impact the vote. He concludes, “I have to try and convince Natalie to vote off Ashley.” Later, as Rob and Natalie are collecting wood, he breaks the news to Natalie that the vote is for Ashley. Natalie is not happy. Rob reminds her that he promised her that he would get her to the end and he will do that. He encourages her to be strong through this tough decision. As they walk out to Tribal Council, Natalie admits, “I would rather lose this game, then lose a friend in Ashley.”
TRIBAL COUNCIL 2
As Tribal Council begins, Ashley admits that she is very disappointed to have not won the final immunity challenge. Rob acknowledges that he has power tonight with the immunity necklace, but he also knows that the jury is watching his every move. He admits, “I have been to this point before and it didn’t work out.” Natalie feels confident she is safe tonight after having been Rob’s closest ally throughout the game. Phillip feels he deserves to stay because he was “the specialist.” Ashley feels she has a better chance at winning than Phillip or Natalie, but that Rob should keep her because of her loyalty to him throughout the game. Jeff then calls for the vote. Ashley votes for Phillip, but Rob, Natalie and Phillip vote for Ashley. So, Ashley Underwood, the 25 year-old nurse from Benton, Maine. becomes the seventeenth person voted out of the game and the ninth and final person to join the jury on SURVIVOR: REDEMPTION ISLAND.
DAY 39 – WE MADE IT
As day 39 begins at Murlonio, Rob, Phillip and Natalie are feeling good. Phillip says, “I finally got to experience it for myself. That feeling of wow, you did it.” He appreciates the wisdom and support that he received from his great, great grandfather while meditating during the game. Phillip plans for final Tribal Council are to make sure that the jury knows why he is one of the final three and they are not. Rob, Natalie, and Phillip check treemail and are delighted to find a crate of food and bucket of champagne and juice. Natalie reveals, “This was the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do in my entire life.” Having survived out here, Natalie feels ready to tackle anything she might have been afraid to do, back at home. Rob, Natalie and Phillip toast each other for making it to the final day. Rob admits, “Winning this game has always alluded me.” He hopes that tonight the jury will find him worthy to be the sole survivor. Before heading to Tribal Council, Phillip decides that he is done with his plum colored underwear and throws them into the fire. He says, “Like all good things, some things must come to an end.”
FINAL TRIBAL COUNCIL
At the final Tribal Council, Rob, Phillip and Natalie give their opening statements. Natalie tells the jury that she would love to be the youngest female to win Survivor. She hopes that the jury will appreciate her loyalty to the alliance that she made with Rob in the beginning. Phillip explains to the jury that he was smart enough to change his initial strategy, when he saw Rob was going to be part of his tribe. He aligned himself with Rob and then implemented Rob’s “stealth” strategy, which resulted in wiping out the Zapatera alliance. Rob thanks the jury for letting him play the game and reminds them that not only was he strategic, but also competitive in the challenges, and a hard worker. As much as he loves the game of Survivor though, Rob reveals what’s really important to him is his wife and child and he hopes to win the money for them.
The jury addresses Rob, Phillip and Natalie, asking them vital questions to help make their decisions of who is the most worthy of the million-dollar prize. Andrea asks Natalie why she betrayed her good friend Ashley. Natalie responds, “Ashley and I made a great friendship out here, but this isn’t about friendships. This is a game.” Natalie explains that she had agreed with Rob from the beginning that they would take each other to the end. Also, Ashley was a bigger threat than Phillip to them. Ashley thanks Phillip for teaching her patience, because she had to deal with him for 38 days. Grant asks Rob to explain why his alliance with Natalie won out over their alliance together. Rob responds, “The relationship that we had, I also trusted and valued, all the way up until I felt like you were going to kick my ass.” Ralph scolds Natalie for not making any moves without checking with Rob first. After teasing Phillip about not having more feathers in his headband, Phillip compliments Ralph for his work ethic and tells him they would have likely been friends, if they started on the same tribe. Matt questions Rob’s backstabbing and lying during the game and wonders what he is like in real life. Rob explains, “At one point or another, everybody thought that they were going to the end with me, until they were voted out.” Rob admits that this is harsh but effective. He assures Matt that he does not treat people this way, once he steps out of the game. Julie tells Natalie that she is disappointed in her for being such a servant to Rob. She then tells Rob that she hopes that he will teach his daughter to be a strong woman and not a servant. Julie then suggests that Phillip change his ways and be a good example to his son. Mike asks the finalists what life lessons they have learned in these 39 days. Natalie learned that she was stronger than she thought. Rob has decided to stop playing games. He vows, “This is the last day I will ever play. At this point, I need to go home and take care of my wife and children.” Phillip is pleased to have completed Survivor on his own, much like the other accomplishments in his life. Steve congratulates them all for lasting longer than he could in the game. He also tells Phillip that he feels sorry for him. David wraps the question period up, by making the argument to the jury that Rob has played “the best strategic game that this game have every seen” and therefore deserves all their votes. With this, the jury members cast their votes for the winner. Host Jeff Probst reads the votes live from New York, and with eight out of the nine votes cast for him, Rob Mariano won the title of Sole Survivor and the million dollar prize for SURVIVOR: REDEMPTION ISLAND.