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'Survivor' recap: Artificial intelligence

March 17, 2011 | 12:05 pm

100311_SG019 Apologies for a delayed post this morning, amigos. I'm in the middle of moving, and I think you all know how that can be. Still, we had another all-new "Survivor" this week, and wasn't the pre-show catch-up introduction pretty spot on?

Veterans Boston Rob and Russell were running in different directions, with Rob quickly gaining blind allegiance over the Ometepe tribe. Russell, meanwhile, only had the trust and favor of two girls in Zapatera. The others disliked him so much they threw a competition to send him to Redemption Island, where he lost and was reduced to tears by Matt. And after losing yet again, Ometepe tribe members still had Kristina’s name on their lips and sent her on her way to RI.

It’s important to remember that, even though we’re now at Episode 5 of this season, only two people have really gone home. It’ll be interesting to see if the newness and momentum of it all remain as things either continue to twist and turn or settle into a groove of been there, done that.

The show starts with Rob realizing more and more that everyone in Ometepe hates Phillip, and because of that, the man with the pink undies should probably stay longer. Over in Zapatera, we begin to see more of why Stephanie and Krista hate everyone else. There’s a lot of kumbaya talk, lots of patting each other on the back and little, if any, strategy talk, so it seems. Steve and Julie both talk to the camera about getting one or both of the girls on board with the group, even though we all know that if they lose they’d vote one of the girls out lickety split.

100311_SG018 For all their talk about the others not looking forward and talking game, Stephanie and Krista also don’t seem to have more than the endgame in sight. The two go to watch the duel, along with Rob and Matt, and they plan on letting Rob know that they’d easily join him after the tribes merge. But shouldn’t they work a little harder so that it’s all a moot point by the next tribal council?

Matt and Kristina’s RI duel involves assembling a cube puzzle, and it’s challenging for both. As time goes by, Matt decides to talk up Rob to question why he voted him out, and Rob basically avoids the question by saying it takes more than one person to vote someone out.

Anyway, Matt wins, Jeff Probst keeps up Matt’s line of questioning, which gives Stephanie a way in with her and Krista’s plans. Matt says he’d like to work with Rob and Grant, the Zapatera girls say the same thing, and Kristina’s sitting on the side, forgotten about already?

Back at Ometepe, Natalie and Ashley feel they have to fake a good rapport with Andrea and Phillip while Rob and Grant are away. Ironically, Andrea feels the exact same way, and we learn that Nat and Ash “don’t do much” beside look forward to beach days and talk about their hair and skin. Paranoid fool or not, Phillip picks up on this and finally has a moment with Andrea where he tells her his strategy and social-game thoughts. He still seems too awkward and forceful, but there may be something to their conversation. Just imagine if Ometepe keeps winning, and Zapatera’s remaining members, as with Russell, want to get rid of the returning “Survivor.”

Immunity and reward challenge time, and it’s one of those “Survivor” red-light, green-light games where someone calls out directions to their blindfolded tribe mates. Stephanie and Rob are the callers, which also means they’ll take the bags of alphabet tiles the tribe collects and try to figure out the scrambled phrase. Lot of pressure, and even though Stephanie seemed to have more trouble getting people to listen to her, she still faltered while doing the puzzle alongside Rob. (Did you think that fallen tile would do Rob in? Probst doesn’t talk up his puzzle skills for nothing.) Ometepe wins immunity and reward -- coffee and pastries. So … a continental breakfast?

This next scene’s just humorous, as Grant finds a hidden immunity idol clue in the coffee jar but sneaks it to Rob, who of course has already found the idol. Oh, Grant. He didn’t even give you the clue you found; he gave you the one he found earlier.

Getting back to business, some in Zapatera are upset with Sarita for suggesting/picking Stephanie to lead in the challenge when David, an attorney, does puzzles for a living. There’s a bit of tension between Sarita and David, but that passes, and people are debating which of Russell’s two girls will go to RI. This is when we learn that the tribe feels Krista’s a lost cause but that Stephanie can be worked on. Oh, editing. I don’t get the animosity at all, until we get to tribal, where Krista tries to pull a Phillip by naming sub-alliances that she sees. Doesn’t matter, Krista’s off to RI, and we’ll see how she does against now three-time duel winner Matt.

Did you like this week’s episode, amigos? Was it uneventful after last week’s doozy? Do you really think “Matt’s winning streak is in trouble”? And will Phillip’s next tirade be his last?


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— Anthony Williams

Photos: Andrea Boehlke, Natalie Tenerelli, and Ashley Underwood of the Ometepe tribe enjoy a "beach day;" Zapatera's Krista Klumpp and Stephanie Valencia. Credit: CBS