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'Survivor' recap: What looks like crazy on an ordinary day

99556_D07552 At the beginning of this week’s “Survivor,” Matt’s praying because he fears he’s going insane out on Redemption Island. But the episode would center mainly on someone else’s crazy levels boiling over and neatly edited together. The producers built up strong cases for the audience to go either way as to whether something was crazy or racist, making for a unique tribal council that could serve as a talk-show pilot for host Jeff Probst.

First, Matt and Mike are joined at RI by “Murphy, David Murphy,” and don’t know what to make of a three-person duel. Likewise, Steve and the Zapatera tribe (and us viewers) don’t know what to make of Phillip. When we first see him this week, he’s speaking  some other language, then talks about his meditation being a part of Buddhism. Honestly, when someone can’t pronounce many pronouns correctly and blames it on dry mouth, it’s hard to listen to their religious teachings.

After Phillip is shown at his peaceful, happy place, he’s then upset over Zapatera’s abundance of rice. One assumes the tribes have the same amount of rice, but of course there are only three people left to divvy everything up in Zapatera compared with Ometepe’s six. What would Buddha do? As a former federal agent turned rice policeman, Phillip takes it upon himself to steal some of Zapatera’s rice.

The entire tribe travels over to RI for a house of cards-like stacking “duel,” where Mike, and then Matt, win, staying alive. David is now our first member of the jury, and like Matt and Mike I’m wondering how the rest of these duels will go, or if RI will be over before we know it.

Back at camp, Ometepe’s having a grand ol’ time, singing some song about rice wars as Phillip dances. But then karma strikes. Andrea opens their container of rice only to find it full of maggots. Phillip decides to dump it all and pick out the maggots and the bad rice. Rob then says they should just combine their good rice with Zapatera’s rice. Phillip says that they won’t go for that, and that Ometepe wouldn’t either if it were the other way around.

Of course, this moment of lucidity doesn’t last for Phillip. Steve says they don’t want to combine the rice. Next thing you know, he’s calling himself the chief of counterintelligence (ha), and after Steve calls him crazy, Phillip calls him a racist and throws the N-word around. It was all a bunch of ridiculousness.

It’s challenge time, and everyone has to spin a puzzle base off a stick then solve a puzzle in said base. The first six (Rob, Julie, Ralph, Andrea, Steve and Grant) then had to solve another puzzle for individual immunity, which was won by Rob. And yes, that was as unimportant as it seemed. So let’s return to camp, where Julie, fed up with Phillip, decides to bury his swim trunks. This leads Phillip to further act crazy by threatening Zapatera members, saying he’ll “go off,” while still acting upset over them calling him crazy.

Tribal council time. Probst questions Phillip’s outfit, Phillip blames Steve and then we get into a debate on racism. Phillip does make it all sound OK by referencing Richard Pryor’s stand-up routines and says how, just as only a woman knows when a guy’s being sexist, only a black person knows what’s racist. All this over some rice.

Unfortunately, Julie thinks her confessing to stealing Phillip’s shorts is funny. In the end she was voted out and sent to RI.

OK, guys, what did you think of the episode? Or should I ask, what didn’t you think about it? Like the new format of the duels? Who are you more tired of: Rob, Phillip, or someone else?


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Complete "Survivor" coverage on Show Tracker

— Anthony Williams
twitter.com / anthonyw_ent

Photos: Rob, left, and Phillip have a chat. Credit: Michael Yarish / CBS

Comments () | Archives (5)

I'm sick of Phillip. I know he's probably good for ratings, but it's to the point where I mute the TV when he's talking. I can't stand him. He strikes me as the kind of person who would walk into his former place of employment with an automatic weapon.

I've always loathed Rob, but now, for the first time, he's starting to grow on me. I liked Matt, but since the focus has shifted from his being a monster at RI challenges to focusing on his praying and his talk of Jesus, they're making him look more like a zealot than a person of faith, and I'm quickly tiring of that almost as much as I'm tired of Phillip.

I don't think the 3-person RI is going to make much of a difference, other than making it more difficult to survive it. I have a feeling that RI is going to last up until the final two of the game, and then the last two people on RI will face off, with that winner going to the final three of the game.

I thought, Jeff did a good job of synthesizing the craziness down to a level that allowed everyone to just sit, stare and tune out the insanity rather than be made really uncomfortable by the whole conversation. I think Philip is crazy like a fox and although I really don't think Steve meant "crazy" racially I thought Philip defending his feelings, legitimate or not, very well. Julie probably should have kept her mouth shut because I think had she not revealed that she was the one who subjected everyone to a full day of Philip's "fuscia briefs," Steve would probably have been the one to go home. I don't think this season will get good until all the Zapatera are gone because they suck so much at the game that there is no reason for any Ometepe to try and make a move with any of them. They're useless and there's no benefit to flipping with one of them. Not even for Philip. We won't see any real game playing until they're all gone on Ometepe is forced to turn on itself.

This black and white issue has turn me off from the show,it got too stupid and having race involed now.It should not get to this point.....

For two weeks in a row the show has utterly hacked me off. First we get to see people get rewarded for being mindless programmable robots benefitting Boston Rob, and then we got to see someone call another castaway a racist and get away with it.
Drives me nuts.

Ugh, just about ready to tune out of Survivor. The Boston Rob stranglehold is sucking the life out of the game. Phil is not entertaining, he's a tool and a turn off. I don't like the Redemption Island concept either. I kind of don't care who wins at this point.


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