Rob’s Survivor Blog, Episode 1: A Federal Offense

Much like Boston Rob and Russell I too have come back this season of Survivor… to write a weekly blog about my 5 weekly revelations about Survivor: Redemption Island from the other Rob.

5.  Many Happy Returns – There was much anticipation about the big comeback this week… but enough about Justin Bieber’s return to CSI.  After one of the most explosive first episodes in the 22-season history of Survivor, I find myself left with the question:  What is it about Rob and Russell that make Survivor players lose their minds?

Believe it or not, Boston Rob and Russell have a few things in common.  They both have names that start with the letter “R”, they both wear ridiculous hats and neither of them have one bit of tolerance for anybody who doesn’t want to work with them.  They share a common, “If you’re not with me, you’re against me” strategy and we already saw it playing out in their first go round with this new batch of fresh meat.

4.  The First Victim – For all the talk that Rob and Russell would change their approaches, they both went right to work playing the exact game that we expected them to.  Boston Rob started working on building both a shelter and a group of impressionable players that look up to him.  Like a hawk, Boston Rob immediately recognized that Kristina was looking for a clue for the idol.  Later, he demonstrated what a savvy Survivor veteran brings to the table when he decided to split the votes in case of the hidden immunity idol (and this time nobody pulled a Tyson).

Boston Rob was able to make the most of his Survivor experience at the expense of Francine, I mean Francese, I mean Franquesqua.  You’ll have to excuse me, I have a horrible case of dry mouth, but don’t worry, it’s being attended to.

Francesca’s big mistake was letting Boston Rob hear her say that she didn’t want him on their tribe.  Unlike Boston Rob, I loved what I was hearing from Francesca from a sheer entertainment perspective.  We still don’t really know how Redemption Island works, but let’s just hope that the setup somehow allows Francesca to continue making fun of Philip.

3.  A Federal Offense – When I first read that Philip was a federal agent, I was convinced that he was going to far in this game.  I then watched the first episode of Survivor: Redemption Island.  Prior to last night’s show, the only federal agent I’ve ever seen in action was Jack Bauer on 24.  What I didn’t realize is that Jack Bauer is about a million times less entertaining than a real life Federal Agent, Philip.  A show about 24 hours in Philips life should be penciled into somebody fall lineup immediately.

This season’s first tribal council spun out of control when Philip blurted out that Kristina and Francesca were both trying to vote out Rob and in possession of the hidden immunity idol.  Kristina and Francesca had seemingly been in an alliance with Philip and it’s still unclear why he betrayed them.  The trick is when you’re making secret evil plans, you tend to not ever want to reveal your secret plans to a federal agent.  Philip’s decision to out Kristina and Francesca was a questionable one because it makes him seem like someone who can’t keep a secret.  Even more questionable, was Philip’s decision to wear hot pink briefs on Survivor.  This is not a good look on Day 3 and it can only get worse from here.

2.  Russell Show his Hantz – Just as Boson Rob started playing his game right off the bat, Russell too played the only game he knows how.  Russell found an attractive young woman on his tribe and sold her on the dream on going all the way to the end.  Though Russell has gone two for two with this strategy, this strategy was not lost on Russell’s male tribemates.

The two tribes are not equal in terms of the amount of men and women.  As Boston Rob was quick to note that there are only four men compared to five women on his tribe, Russell’s tribe has the opposite configuration.  Russell might have been better served by aligning with the other four men on his team since it won’t exactly take the profilers from Criminal Minds to figure out exactly what Russell plans to do next.

1.  Boston Rob vs. Kristina? – Lastly, I want to talk about my favorite new player this season, Kristina.  There have not been many women who have attacked the game from the start the way that Kristina has.  There have been even fewer women who have been as aggressive and seen positive results.  Kristina was sharp enough to begin looking for clues to the idol from the start, but was soon spotted by a Boston Rob.  Give credit to Kristina for realizing once Boston Rob suspected she had the idol, she knew that she now actually needed it.  Boston Rob does not want to keep anybody around who is a strategic threat to him and that made Kristina a marked woman.  Fortunately for Kristina she was able to and took a page from the Russell playbook and found the idol without a clue.

Boston Rob had already got himself a six-person alliance and is looking tougher to beat than Watson, the Jeopardy playing computer.  I love the aggressiveness of trying to go after Rob, though there were some definite problems with the plan.  Once Philip exposed Kristina at tribal, I was very impressed with her decision to not play the idol.  I was more impressed with her passing on Boston Rob’s sucker deal of giving him the idol for his protection.  Boston Rob’s protection is worth slightly less than my picture will cost you on eBay.  That idol is Kristina’s lifeline in this game and she knows it.  She didn’t come out on top in this first battle with Boston Rob, but let’s cut her some slack – she’s only her 3rd day of playing Survivor.  Kristina seems light-years ahead of where Boston Rob was when he was voting out Peter Harkey in the first episode of Survivor: Marquesas!

The best hope for Kristina needs to be for Boston Rob to start leading this team to a few challenge wins.  If they can get on a winning streak, she can buy herself enough time until either the tribes get switched up or for the tribal dynamics to shift.  The best news of all for Kristina is that she is still on a tribe with Philip, who at all times is a serious threat to making himself the next target at tribal council.

I’m very excited to be writing the blog again this season and favorite part is hearing what you guys think of what I had to say.  Let me know if you think Kristina has a chance this season of if she’s now just a dead woman walking on twitter, @RobCesternino.

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