'Survivor: Redemption Island's Ometepe tribe votes Matt Elrod off
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/24/2011
Survivor: Redemption Island's Ometepe tribe voted Matt Elrod, a 22-year-old pre-med student from Nashville, TN, out of their tribe during Wednesday night's broadcast of the CBS reality series' 22nd edition.
After being voted out at the season's second Tribal Council session, Matt was taken -- courtesy of the season's new game-changing twist -- to Redemption Island, where he will battle prior eliminee Francesca Hogi, a 36-year-old attorney from Washington, DC, in a duel in an attempt to eventually earn the right to rejoin the competition and resume competing forSurvivor: Redemption Island's million dollar prize.
"I've been on an emotional rollercoaster. Sometimes I just feel like I want to go home, and then other times, I'm thinking, 'Rob just set me up to have the greatest comeback in Survivor history. I just have to stay strong and the Lord will be with me," Matt said following his ouster.
Survivor: Redemption Island's second episode began with Francesca arriving at Redemption Island on Night 3 following the first Tribal Council's vote. She knew she had to fend for herself, so she tried to get settled and worked to start a fire.
Meanwhile, the contestants returning from Tribal Council on the Ometepe tribe -- which consisted of Andrea Boehlke, a 21-year-old student from Random Lake, WI; Matt Elrod, a 22-year-old pre-med student from Nashville, TN; Kristina Kell, a 46-year-old law student from Malibu, CA; Grant Mattos, a 29-year-old yoga instructor and former NFL football player from West Hollywood, CA; Phillip, a 52-year-old technology executive from Santa Monica, CA; 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 -- discussed how it had been one of the wildest Tribal Councils ever.
Kristina was so grateful she didn't play her hidden Immunity Idol and said she'd bounce back from the revelation of the Idol to her fellow tribe members, as Phillip had announced her advantage at the Tribal Council.
Phillip then told former Survivor: Marquesas, Survivor: All-Stars andSurvivor: Heroes vs. Villains castaway Boston Rob he owned his vote until he gets sent to Redemption Island.
"I don't know if he's delusional. I think he's a good-hearted guy. I do. He just might not all be there. Let it be a lesson to you. Government jobs are stressful," Boston Rob said.
Boston Rob then told his loyal followers on the Ometepe tribe that they needed to vote off Phillip because he proved he was untrustworthy by outing Christina's hidden Immunity Idol and involving himself in a web of confusion and lies with Francesca. Boston Rob was very happy that his tribemates were listening and following his rules and orders.
On Day 4, Phillip ranted on about how much he loves his country and that Francesca attempted to make him lose some of the pride he has in himself. He worried that Francesca had damaged his reputation on the island and made others view him in a negative light, all the while he was hunting for crabs.
Back at Zapatera's camp -- 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; Steve Wright, a 51-year-old former NFL player from Huntington, CA, and returning castaway Russell Hantz, a 38-year-old oil company owner from Dayton, TX -- Russell complained his tribe members didn't have a clue and were unaware of how to play the game.
"These fools that I'm dealing with -- they ain't too bright, and poor old Ralph, I think he might be the dumbest player to ever play. I think he might be the dumbest person on the face of the earth, besides being the dumbest player to ever play Survivor," Russell said.
But the former Survivor: Samoa and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains castaway said Stephanie is a good player and wanted to add Krista to his alliance, telling them to search for a hidden Immunity Idol or the clue that would lead them to it.
However, Ralph -- who wasn't even intending to look for the Idol -- happened to stumble upon it and discover the hidden Immunity Idol when he was randomly collecting rocks, but he chose not to tell anyone.
"That was as easy as wiping your hiney with toilet paper," Ralph said. "Hot doggie!"
The following day at the Ometepe camp, Matt and Andrea started to get along very well and Andrea noted that Matt was definitely "good to look at." Boston Rob caught their conversation and immediately suspected they were forming a connection or at least a bond between tribemates and he started to worry about it.
Boston Rob said that Andrea would walk all over Matt on the island like a "puppy dog," and that as a pair, they could potentially be very strong just like he and his wife Amber were before when they played the game together --and fell in love -- on Survivor: All-Stars.
He then decided to partner up with Natalie and knew he could take her to the end, so they spoke about getting rid of Phillip or Andrea in order to keep the tribe strong. Although voting out Andrea would probably upset Matt, Boston Rob felt they needed to separated, so they just decided not to tell him.
"If she can have her little puppy dog along for the ride, she's going to walk him. She's going to walk him all over this island, and for me, that's not good, because I know how strong a pair can be in this game... but now I'm starting to think about who I'm going to sit next to in the end," Boston Rob said.
"I'm going to make big moves, but I really trust Rob and I think making big moves, along with him, will be smart," Andrea said.
On Day 5, both Zapatera and Ometepe met with Survivor host Jeff Probst and he explained the rules to what would be their second Immunity Challenge and first Reward Challenge. The tribe members learned they would have to swim out to a platform, climb to the top, and then smash a tile in order to retrieve a key. Once one person completed the sequence of action, the next person could so, and so on.
The castaways then must use the keys to open a box full of balls that would be used to break five tiles lying horizontally on a sloped surface. The first team to break all five tiles would win immunity and then receive fishing gear in addition as the reward.
The challenge grew very close as both tribes were tied up at the end with Ralph and Phillip having smashed four tiles apiece, but Ralph completed the task first and Zapatera won their second Immunity Challenge.
However Matt's decision to congratulate Zapatera afterwards upset Boston Rob.
"Matt shaking the opposition's hand after we lost the challenge was despicable. When we just got our asses kicked, not once but twice back to back, I'm not going over to the other team and giving them hugs and kisses," Boston Rob said after Ometepe lost the challenge.
Ometepe would then have to later return to Tribal Council and vote off one of their own tribe members and the tribemate voted out would join Francesca on Redemption Island.
After the challenge, Zapatera gathered their basket full of fishing gear and immediately began to search it in the hopes of finding the clue to where the hidden Immunity Idol was located. Russell did find the clue and stuck it in his pocket, while believing that no one had seen him do it. As always, Russell was set on the fact that he knew how to play the game.
However, Ralph saw Russell find the clue but already found the Idol. He noted that Russell will be seriously disappointed because it's actually his game to play, and he'll do it better.
Russell then decided to share the clue with his alliance Stephanie and Krista, but when Mike discovered Russell had stuffed the clue in his pocket without telling everyone, he was less than thrilled.
"That's what comes from experience, is he knew the clue was in there. The guy is the most untrustworthy character I've ever met in my life. He preached over and over that this game is about trust and who you can go deep with. If we're in this together, show me some faith and share the clue," Mike said.
Russell said all he needs is trust and loyalty then he would get the votes he needed to make it to the end and then win the competition. Ralph then approached Russell and wanted him to admit he found the clue, but Russell lied to him in front of others, including Mike, by saying there had not been a clue. Russell said either way, it's part of playing the game and he shouldn't have to tell the regardless.
Russell made it clear that the tribemates are either "with him or against him," and Ralph got frustrated and angry that Russell lied to him so bluntly.
"I just want to be honest with you, if you can't be honest back," Ralph told Russell.
On Redemption Island during the fifth day, Francesca got a journal as her luxury item, and she began to worry about who would be the person to soon join her.
"I have no idea what's going to happen. I don't know when the next person comes to Redemption Island. I have no idea what the duel is going to entail, and I hope we don't have to coexist here for awhile. That would suck, especially if that person was Phillip," Francesca said.
Meanwhile, Phillip spoke to all of his Ometepe tribe and told them he'd leave it to the tribe to decide what was best for the tribe because he lost the challenge for his tribemates.
Boston Rob then said Matt's playing the "Christian game" when he congratulated the other tribe and needed to wake up, because he saw that as an inappropriate act.
Kristina and Phillip talked about if whether or not the other was worried they would be voted off, but Phillip said no because he is a "strong man." Kristina said she was going to play the Idol for sure because majority of the tribe probably wouldn't let her slip by again.
Boston Rob, who originally wanted to vote for Phillip then moved on to Andrea after seeing her pairing up with Matt, realized he didn't want to vote for Matt but changed his mind because his actions of shaking the other tribe members' hands and congratulating them after the challenge made him "sick."
Therefore, Boston Rob told his three core followers -- Grant, Natalie and Ashley -- to join him in casting four votes for Matt but they were going to tell Matt and Andrea that they were all going to split their six votes between Phillip and Kristina.
Boston Rob then talked to Matt about how Phillip needed him, and afterward, Rob took a walk with Phillip to discuss strategy. Rob told him they haven't decided who to vote for yet, but he assured Phillip he would be fine and safe from the vote if he did what he said and did not go off on another crazy tirade before the tribe voted.
Rob then also told Phillip he was going to wait until Tribal Council to tell Phillip who to vote for because the decision hadn't been finalized yet -- however Rob later privately admitted it was just didn't feel he could trust Phillip to keep a secret and not give anything away.
Instead, Boston Rob told Phillip he would put his right hand on the shoulder of the person Phillip needed to vote for and Phillip had just act like he was most likely going home in the meantime.
That night, Survivor: Redemption Island's Ometepe castaways arrived for their second Tribal Council.
Matt announced that Phillip was actually an asset to the tribe in reference to his strength and survival abilities, but he also had lost them the challenge which created a lot of uncertainty. Later, Phillip did lie for Boston Rob and allowed everyone to assume he was going to get voted out.
Before the votes were cast, Boston rob out his right hand on Kristina's shoulder -- summoning to Phillip that she was whom he should vote for. The action seemingly upset Kristina, as she was left to wonder why Boston Rob had touched her.
The voting then commenced and Jeff revealed the votes after Kristina opted to play her hidden Immunity Idol and remain safe from elimination. Two people voted for Kristina, two people voted for Phillip, and four people voted for Matt -- which fell right into Boston Rob's plan, as he didn't actually need another vote for Matt and instead got to test Phillip's trustfulness, which he passed. In addition, Kristina also played her Idol, eliminating another of Boston Rob's concerns.
Matt's torch was then extinguished and he was exiled to Redemption Island, where he would attempt to survive with Francesca while awaiting the season's first duel.