Call me crazy (with no racial undertones please), but this week's episode of Survivor didn't live up to the hype created by Jeff Probst when he called it "unreal" and "huge."
It is amazing to see grown men have mental breakdowns on national television, but you have to hate whenever the "race card" gets pulled out. We had that happen just last season when NaOnka used it, and now Phillip. He also played the "rice card," a lesser known strategy but one that caused quite a ruckus.
But in keeping wiith this analogy, as "crazy" or unstable as Phillip is, he hasn't shown all of his cards. Adapting is one of the key tasks in the game of Survivor, and Phillip learned early in the game that others found him obnoxious and treated him like he says, "a red-headed step-child." But instead of pouting or flipping out completely, Phillip embraced this image, knowing that it will get him far in the game as a potential guy to take to the end and win against. His lack of social skills may prevent him from winning Survivor, but his acknowledgement and acceptance of his own abilities has put him in a strong position to go to the end...if the others can stomach him for 14 more days.
But don't get me wrong... Phillip is crazy. And as David told me in his exit interview this week, by "crazy" I don't mean anything other than "crazy."
Here's a collection of this week's happenings:
Jeff Probst Tweets Live: I hype this up every week because the future of TV is now. Follow Jeff Probst live on Twitter during the broadcast of the show and watch along with him and thousands of others in the "virtual living room." Have your grand-kid make you a Twitter account, and follow him, @jeffprobst.
Survivor Examiner Recap: Catch up on the blow-by-blow recap of Steve and Phillips showdown. Also, a 3-way Duel at Redemption Island sends David to the jury as it's first member.
TheTVKing: Without Phillip on the show, this past few episodes would be totally drama-free as we have been seeing the predictable decline of the former Zapatera tribe. If you're looking to read about some of the strategic play happening right now and less about the "rice wars" battle, this is your article.
Exit Interview with David Murphy: Find out why David didn't align with Russell and what he thought about throwing the challenge. Also, his thoughts on the Ometepe tribe and what he thought of the whole Phillip thing from last night's episode.
JeffProbst.com: Jeff tries something new this week with his first video-blog, chatting directly with you about what went down in Episode 10. Wondering why it's called a "Duel" when there are three people involved? "It's Survivor-speak," he says, much in the same way that he doesn't "tally the votes" at Tribal. He also touches on why Julie stealing Phillip's shorts to him would be "off-limits," why Ralph isn't an idiot for misspelling everyone's name, and more insight on Phillip and Steve's blow-out.
Dalton Ross: Dalton's weekly Q & A with Jeff Probst has Probst revealing that there will be 8 players left in the game going into the finale, so presumably that means 5 in the game and 3 on Redemption Island.
Rob Has a Podcast: Rob Cesternino's Survivor podcast features Survivor Hall of Famer Parvati Shallow! Check it out!
So moving into next week's episode, we got a preview that showed Matt reaching rock-bottom like never before at Redemption. Also, a cryptic voice-over letting us know that Andrea may be looking at an "early departure?" Very curious. Here's the official episode description from CBS:
Episode 11 - "A Mystery Package" - ONE CASTAWAY REACHES THEIR BREAKING POINT IN THE GAME AND STRUGGLES TO FIND THE STRENGTH TO CONTINUE, ON "SURVIVOR: REDEMPTION ISLAND," WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27. One castaway is on the verge of a breakdown, while other castaways speculate about the contents of a mystery package and how it affects their strategy.
Should be a good one, as we have only 3 episodes left leading into the 2-hour finale on May 15th!
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About the author
Tom Santilli is a national columnist and movie critic, who also covers Survivor for Examiner.com. His ongoing work can be found at his blog, FilmSurvivor.com. He is a member of the Detroit Film Critic Society, and huge Survivor fan.