'Survivor' eliminates Russell Hantz and votes off Kristina Kell
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/10/2011
Survivor: Redemption Island eliminated former Survivor: Samoa and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains contestant Russell Hantz from the game after he lost his Redemption Island duel to Matt Elrod during Wednesday night's broadcast of the fourth episode of the CBS reality series' 22nd edition.
"Russell, you have bared your soul out here in ways that very few have. You've played a very strong game two times. Russell, is this sadness that you're out of the game? Is it embarrassment that you're finally losing?" Survivor host Jeff Probst asked Russell, who had arrived at Redemption Island after he was voted out of his tribe atthe game's third Tribal Council session.
Russell, a 38-year-old oil company owner from Dayton, TX, broke down into tears after he lost the season's second duel but was consoled by Matt and finally regained his composure. He then allowed his true colors to shine through and began blasting his tribe.
"No. I respect this game too much to go out this way. People like my tribe, that throws a challenge just to get rid of me because I'm Russell, not even worried about Boston Rob and his team and numbers. So, it's hard to be a professional quarterback and have pee-wee leaguers on your team, because I gotta run the ball. I gotta catch the ball. I gotta throw the ball. I gotta do everything," Russell said.
Later in the episode, the Ometepe tribe also voted castaway Kristina Kell out of their tribe at the season's fourth Tribal Council session.
As the game's newest Tribal Council victim, Kristina, a 46-year-old law student from Malibu, CA, will now take Russell's place on Redemption Island, where she will battle Matt, a 22-year-old pre-med student from Nashville, TN, in the game's next duel. The winner will get to remain on Redemption Island and continue attempting to earn the right to eventually rejoin the game's other castaways and resume competing for Survivor: Redemption Island's million dollar prize while the loser will be eliminated from the competition.
"I just got my rear-end raked across the coals at Tribal Council. I'm not surprised, I mean, you can't be surprised if you get voted off Survivor, but it's a whole new ballgame now. I'm going to have to face off with Matt and just do the best I can and get out there and give it all I have and just rock it! That's what my strategy is right now," Kristina said upon arriving at Redemption Island.
Survivor: Redemption Island's fourth episode began with Russell arriving at Redemption Island on Night 8 following the game's third Tribal Council.
Russell met with Matt and told him his Zapatera tribe -- which consisted of Mike Chiesl, a 31-year-old former U.S. Marine from Del Mar, CA; Ralph Kiser, a 44-year-old farmer from Lebanon, VA; Krista Klumpp, a 25-year-old pharmaceutical representative from Columbia, SC; David Murphy, a defense attorney from West Hollywood, CA; Stephanie Valencia, a 25-year-old waitress from Long Beach, CA; Sarita White, a 36-year-old visual effects producer from Santa Monica, CA; Julie Wolfe, a 50-year-old firefighter from Oceanside, CA; and Steve Wright, a 51-year-old former NFL player from Huntington, CA, -- lost the previous challenge on purpose and had told him Francesca was on the island.
"Right now this is his house. I'm about to take it from him. I'm going to keep winning. If my tribe is going to come here one at a time, I'm going to pick them off and I'm going to make them suffer. I'm going to say, 'Sleep in the mud,' Russell said.
The following day, the Ometepe tribe -- which consisted of Andrea Boehlke, a 21-year-old student from Random Lake, WI; Kristina; Grant Mattos, a 29-year-old yoga instructor and former NFL football player from West Hollywood, CA; Phillip; Natalie Tenerelli, a 19-year-old professional dancer from Acton, CA; Ashley Underwood, a 25-year-old nurse and former Miss Maine USA from Benton, ME, and returning castaway Rob Mariano, a 35-year-old from Canton, MA who now resides in Pensacola, FL -- was attempting to put up with Phillip's "annoying" behavior.
In addition, the former Survivor: Marquesas, Survivor: All-Stars and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Boston Rob found Phillip's choice of clothing to be "disgusting" and "disturbing." Phillip could tell he was somewhat of an outsider and claimed no one on his tribe understood him.
"Given that this is a social game, it's a huge disadvantage for me. So there has to be another side of me that emerges," Phillip said.
Meanwhile, at the Zapatera tribe's camp, Stephanie said she wasn't having any fun and Krista said one of them would be going home unless they could find the hidden Immunity Idol. At the game's third Tribal Council, the girls had separated their alliance of three with their leader Russell from the rest of the tribe, but since Russell had been voted out of the game, they feared they would be next ones to go.
Ralph then told everyone in his eight-person tribe with the exception of Stephanie and Krista that he had found the hidden Immunity Idol and Mike could not have been happier about the power and position that put them in the game.
"We have the power right now. We're controlling this tribe, but I would not be surprised if we saw Russell back in this game. However, now that we have the Idol, if and when he comes back, it's going to be very, very difficult for him to go deep into this game," Mike said.
On Day 10, Ometepe and Zapatera opened their Tree Mail and the letters invited two people from each tribe to participate as spectators at the Redemption Island duel between Russell and Matt. They were given the choice to pick from stones, and if a person selected the color stone that matched his or her tribe, that person would get to witness the duel, or they could choose to discuss who would like to go and come to a decision maturely as a group. Phillip and Kristina wanted to go on behalf of the Ometepe tribe, while Sarita and Ralph opted to watch the duel for the Zapatera tribe.
"If I am able to watch Russell walk off and go home, that would be my million dollars almost," Sarita said.
Later that day, Jeff met with Matt, Russell and the onlookers and explained the rules of the duel. Russell and Matt were required to stack a series of blocks on a multilevel platform while avoiding trip wires, which could cause their blocks to tip and force them to start over. The goal was to arrange the blocks so they would fall like dominos, ultimately releasing a ball which would smash a tile. The first person to smash their tile would remain on Redemption Island and stay alive in the game, while the person to lose the challenge would be immediately sent home.
"Russell Hantz is definitely the biggest villain in Survivor history hands down. But I'm fighting to honor my God and because I want it so deeply and so truly, I think I'm going to come out on top," Matt said.
Russell and Matt then squared off in the duel.
While both Matt and Russell each failed their first attempt to successfully line the blocks up so they would fall like dominos, Matt was the first to release the ball that smashed his tile, winning the duel.
Russell was seemingly heartbroken after he lost the duel but then went right back to his old ways. He insulted his tribe for throwing their last challenge and claimed he had been running Zapatera prior to his ouster.
Ralph then disagreed with Russell's take on the Zapatera tribe and revealed he was actually controlling the game because he had been keeping ahold of a hidden Immunity Idol since hte game's first day, even though Russell had found the clue and kept that information a secret from everyone but his alliance.
However, Ralph -- prompted by Sarita -- realized the disclosure of his Idol would be a mistake and he quickly took back the information, claiming he "faked" Russell and "lied." Phillip, however, saw through the act and believed Ralph truly did hold onto an Idol.
After the duel ended, Russell noted that his game would live on through Phillip and Kristina, as they would hopefully take out his Zapatera tribe, and then he had to throw his buff in the fire and the witnesses got sent back to their respective camps -- where Jeff noted it would be up to them to decide what duel information they wanted to share with their tribemates.
"It's just terrible when you play with people that didn't really come here to play the game. They just came here maybe for fame or just for the money. This is my last time playing this game. That's it. I have nothing else to prove to myself or to my family, but Matt, I give him props. He beat me and I hope he goes all the way," Russell said following his ouster from the game.
Meanwhile, back at the Ometepe camp, Rob wanted to find the Hidden Immunity Idol because he had the clue and needed to get away from everybody even though he planned a special day for his tribe at the beach. He ended up finding the hidden Immunity Idol in a tree after looking for hours.
When the Zapatera tribe members returned, Sarita and Ralph told everyone Russell had been eliminated and everyone was thrilled except for Russell's girls Krista and Stephanie. Ralph's news brought insult to injury for Russell's alliance, while everyone else was "dancing on his grave."
Phillip and Kristina also arrived back at camp after the duel and told the tribe Russell broke down, cried and was eliminated, but they decided to withhold the information they had about Ralph's supposed hidden Immunity Idol and use it to convince Rob to let Kristina join Phillip in their alliance.
Phillip then took a walk with Rob and Grant on the beach and started campaigning for Kristina by saying he would tell them all the information from the duel if they would agree to help Kristina and keep her around. However, Rob and Grant took Phillip's switch in position as a sign he could not be trusted and they noted he crossed the line with their alliance and therefore, they had to get rid of him.
"Phillip's lobbying for Kristina all of a sudden. I'm like, 'Hey dumbass, aren't you in my alliance? Don't you work for me?' Rob said.
Rob of course agreed to help Kristina, which was an obvious lie in order to be entrusted with Phillip's information, and Phillip gladly gave him the news about the hidden Immunity Idol.
On Day 11, both the Zapatera and Ometepe tribes arrived for the Immunity Challenge and met Jeff, who explained the rules to what would be their fourth Immunity Challenge and third Reward Challenge.
The tribe members learned they must make their way over a balance beam where they would use a crowbar to open a crate and retrieve a shovel. They would then be required to dig to find an ax and use the ax to chop through a rope, releasing two saws. The tribes then must use the saws to saw through a wall to create planks, which would then be used to complete a ramp. The tribes then must run across the ramp, stand on top of a platform, and use a hammer to pound three nails to break three tiles. The first tribe to get their Craftsman tool kit containing all the tools onto the table on the platform would win immunity and a barbeque reward feast, with a grilling kit and food included.
Although the challenge got very close towards the end, Zapatera was able to get their toolbox on the table before Ometepe even started to hammer their nails, and as a result, Zapatera won immunity and the barbeque feast.
After the challenge, Zapatera celebrated and enjoyed their barbeque together, while Ometepe was upset because they have only won one challenge in the game so far. Ashley then said how badly she wanted Phillip to go home, but Kristina was convinced she was a possible target right alongside with Phillip.
"Phillip, I can not stand him. Like I can't even look at him. That's how bad I can't stand him," Ashley said.
Kristina then spoke to Natalie and told her there was little chance an Idol was still yet to be discovered because a clue most likely came with the last reward they won as a tribe. Natalie grew confused over her comment, as Rob had previously made the alliance believe Kristina possibly had an Idol or at least was looking for one. After she told Rob and their alliance what she said, they believed Kristina did have an Idol and Rob was relieved they didn't suspect he had it.
Rob then realized Kristina posed a big threat and could end up blowing up his spot, so he said she needed to be voted out in order to save himself in the long run.
"As much as everybody else hates Phillip and doesn't trust Phillip, he's less of a threat to me than Kristina is," Rob said.
Rob then told his alliance they should vote out Kristina. Following his orders, the alliance decided to play it safe and split the votes between Phillip and Kristina, just in case she did have the Idol.
Ashley then took a walk with Grant and told him she wanted Phillip to go more than Kristina. Grant agreed and spoke to Rob, but Rob reiterated how Kristina posed more of a potential problem. Rob hoped everyone would listen to him, as he was well aware of how much everyone seemed to dislike Phillip.
"Hopefully all these guys get nice in line, like they should, and do as they're told. If not, I'm not in control of my tribe after all," Rob explained.
Phillip then approached Rob and asked who he was going to vote for. Rob told him to vote for Kristina, and Phillip was bothered that Rob did not keep honor his promise to keep Kristina in the game when he revealed all the duel's information.
"Clearly, he's not a man of his word. So I need to take control of my own fate," Phillip said, adding that he was worried the tribe would target him and he would therefore, need to make some big moves.
That night, Survivor: Redemption Island's Ometepe castaways arrived for their third Tribal Council.
The tribemates made it clear that the vote was between Kristina and Phillip, and Jeff wanted to know whether second chances would be offered. The question was whether or not the tribe wanted to give Kristina another shot, and she claimed in return that they should vote out the weakest link.
Kristina then vouched that she believed she was a valuable member of the tribe and could be trusted, so she wanted the opportunity to stay. Phillip counteracted her statements by forcing the idea that he was always very helpful around camp and a hard worker.
The voting then commenced and Jeff revealed the votes after offering anyone a chance to play a hidden Immunity Idol. Three people voted for Phillip, while four castaways voted for Kristina.
Kristina's torch was then extinguished and she was exiled to Redemption Island, where she would attempt to survive with Matt while awaiting the season's third duel.
(Photo credit CBS)
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