'Survivor' votes off Russell Hantz and eliminates Francesca Hogi
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/03/2011
Survivor: Redemption Island's Zapatera tribe voted returning former Survivor: Samoa andSurvivor: Heroes vs. Villains castaway Russell Hantz out of their tribe during Wednesday night's broadcast of the CBS reality series' 22nd edition.
In addition, previously voted off contestant Francesca Hogi, a 36-year-old attorney from Washington, DC, lost her duel to Matt Elrod, a 22-year-old pre-med student from Nashville, TN, on Redemption Island and was permanently ousted from the game.
After being voted out at the season's third Tribal Council session, Russell, a 38-year-old oil company owner from Dayton, TX, was taken -- courtesy of the season's new game-changing twist -- to Redemption Island, where he will battle Matt in a duel in an attempt to eventually earn the right to rejoin the competition and resume competing for Survivor: Redemption Island's million dollar prize.
"Today is the very first time I've been voted out. I don't like it at all. I was pissed off. I wanted to b***h-slap every single one of them. Right now this is [Matt's] house, but I'm about to take it from him," Russell said upon arriving at Redemption Island.
Survivor: Redemption Island's third episode began with Matt arriving at Redemption Island on Night 5 following the game's second Tribal Council. Matt met with Francesca and explained how he was "completely blindsided" by Ometepe tribe member and returning castaway Rob Mariano, a 35-year-old from Canton, MA who now resides in Pensacola, FL.
Francesca said she was shocked Boston Rob would start to expose his alliance and vote one of its members off so early on in the game and that it wasn't Phillip Sheppard, a 52-year-old technology executive from Santa Monica, CA; who got voted off instead.
"I feel sick to my stomach right now. It really hurts. There's a little anger... I just trusted Boston Rob too soon. I feel like such a goober now because I look like an idiot, because everything was great at camp and everyone was getting along... It's just brutal. Definitely hard to try and come here and pick yourself up after you've been as blind-sided as I was. But at the same time what an opportunity for the underdog to come back to Redemption Island and finish this game and win a million dollars," Matt said.
Meanwhile the castaways returned to camp from Tribal Council on the Ometepe tribe -- which consisted of Andrea Boehlke, a 21-year-old student from Random Lake, WI; 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; 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 the former Survivor: Marquesas,Survivor: All-Stars and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Boston Rob.
Boston Rob then discussed how the night went perfectly and that Phillip had earned an Academy Award for his acting performance.
"Tonight could not have gone any better. Not only did we blindside Matt -- we were able to have Kristina get rid of her immunity idol and Phillip's a loyal soldier."
Rob then told Philip that he is now the fifth person in his alliance, which in addition to himself, was comprised of Grant, Natalie and Ashley. Phillip confirmed that he would not let Rob down or change his mind from that point on.
Rob also realized he had to make Andrea feel better about the tribe voting off her friend and possible crush Matt to Redemption Island, because he knew she would be smart enough to know they double crossed her and didn't want to lose her support and trust.
The following day on Redemption Island, Francesca and Matt learned they would be competing in an arena duel.
Meanwhile, the 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; Steve Wright, a 51-year-old former NFL player from Huntington, CA, and Russell -- and Ometepe opened their Tree Mail.
The letters invited two people from each tribe to participate as spectators at the Redemption Island duel between Francesca and Matt. A bag of stones came with the mail, and each person in the tribe chose a stone. If a person selected the color stone that matched his or her tribe, then that person would get to go to the Redemption Island duel. David and Steve chose the purple stones on Zapatera, while over at Ometepe, Andrea and Ashley picked the orange stones.
Andrea was excited she would get to see Matt again and be able to let him know she had nothing to do with his ouster and wished it hadn't happened.
"It's probably more about seeing Matt, because we were really close and I think if he realizes that I wasn't the one that voted him out, then he can come back and be an asset for me to have," Andrea said.
However, Andrea's opportunity to go to Redemption Island worried Rob, because he didn't want to allow Matt and Andrea to have any further discussion that in turn, could deepen their connection and position themselves in a strategic situation as a potential future couple in the game.
"I don't want Andrea getting smart and talking to Matt, her boyfriend, I don't want her getting any ideas," Rob said.
Later that day, Survivor host Jeff Probst met with Matt, Francesca and the onlookers and explained the rules of the duel. Matt and Francesca were required to use sticks and rope to make a long pole, which would be used to retrieve three keys that open three locks. The first person to open all three locks and get through their door would stays remain on Redemption Island and stay alive in the game, while the person to lose the challenge would be immediately sent home. But before it began, Andrea quickly got her two cents in and said, "I didn't vote for either of them."
Francesca and Matt then squared off in the duel.
"This is it. Do or die time," Jeff said.
While Francesca retreived her first two keys before Matt had any, Matt was the first to get all three of his keys and open his locks, winning the duel. After the duel ended, Francesca had to throw her buff in the fire and the witnesses got sent back to their camps -- where Jeff noted it would be up to them to decide what duel information they wanted to share with their tribemates.
When the Ometepe tribe members returned, Ashley told her tribemates that Matt wanted to come back and get his revenge. Rob then realized Andrea would definitely side with Matt before staying loyal to his own alliance if he was to return to camp. He then pulled Andrea aside and apologized for voting Matt out of the game. He tried to convince her that he was not the only one to do it and that she was still part of his alliance, but Andrea had mixed feelings on the subject.
"I talked to Rob and he assured me that I'm still part of their five even though I have a feeling that I'm probably in a really sticky position. So right now, strategically, it's smart to stay with them and make sure they don't think I'm scheming, but I don't believe him. I need some way to mix things up, because deep down, I'm still really pissed about what they did. They took my good friend away," Andrea said.
Meanwhile at the Zapatera camp, Steve and David arrived back from the Redemption Island duel after conspiring and deciding to initially tell everyone that Francesca won the duel and Matt got sent home. But as soon as Russell, Stephanie and Krista left the scene, Steve revealed the truth to his alliance, verifying that Matt had won and Francesca lost.
"So whenever we vote Russell out, he'll get over there and see Matt, who could be quite a challenge for him. Hopefully, we will never see Russell again," Steve said.
Russell knew at that point that his alliance was three against six, so he he resumed looking fiercely for the hidden Immunity Idol. He had the first clue, but unbeknownst to him, Ralph had already found it and claimed it.
Stephanie then suggested to Russell they should create a fake idol, which would be simple because Russell had seen many idols in his past attempts at Survivor. They would be able to make a believable replica, and Russell loved the idea. They then put the fake idol in Stephanie's bag, which she then began attempting to guard obviously, and hoped the tribe would believe it contained a legitimate idol.
Steve noticed they appeared to have the idol and wanted Russell gone more than ever, as he apparently made it his top priority.
"Russell is always plotting and scheming. You just don't want the guy around. You know he's going to do everything he can to backstab you. So, just got to make sure that we stay on our toes until that cancer is taken out," Steve said.
On Day 8, Steve, Ralph and Mike on the Zapatera tribe got together and agreed to get rid of Russell as soon as possible as he posed a threat and was someone they assumed couldn't be trusted. Steve then met with the rest of the tribe members that weren't part of Russell's three-person alliance and proposed the idea of throwing the next Immunity Challenge. In doing so, Zapatera would be sent to Tribal Council and would be able to get rid of Russell. Everyone seemed to agree, except for Julie, who was seemingly wary of the choice.
"I'm torn about that because I like to compete and I can deal with Russell," Julie said.
Steve then told his alliance if they saw someone in the tribe give a "thumbs up" before the challenge began, it would be the sign to throw it. Both the Zapatera and Ometepe tribes then arrived for the Immunity Challenge and met Jeff, who explained the rules to what would be their third Immunity Challenge and second Reward Challenge.
The tribe members learned three members of each tribe would be strapped to a large wheel, while three other members would spin the wheel. As the wheel turned, the castaway would be forced to go underwater and gather a mouthful of water to come back to the top and spit it out into a tube. Once the tube was filled, a ball would roll down to a slide puzzle. One tribe member would then have to solve the puzzle, and the first tribe to get their ball through the completed slide puzzle would immunity and a reward of comfort items, including a tarp, chairs, pillows, blankets and a lantern.
Sarita and David then gave the "thumbs up" sign to their tribe to throw the challenge, and Ralph and Sarita volunteered to sit out of the Immunity Challenge because they had two extra players over Ometepe.
Julie said she didn't feel right with the decision to throw the challenge, but they were telling her to miss the bucket when spitting out the water. Zapatera successfully threw the challenge and Ometepe claimed their first victory.
"If I didn't know any better, I'd think that they threw the challenge. Every single one of them let the challenge go. I'm dealing with a bunch of bitches," Russell said following his tribe's loss.
After the challenge, Ometepe immediately began to unpack and use their comfort items and attempted to put up the tarp on their shelter. Rob and his tribemates then realized that a clue leading them to the location of a hidden Immunity Idol would most likely be hidden in the reward items.
"In the past, I ignored the hidden Immunity Idol. Well that didn't turn out too good for me," Rob said.
Rob therefore, joined the others in hunting for the clue, and after thoroughly searching through all the items, he noticed a folding chair Phillip had pulled from the reward items and sitting in was tilted. Rob then suspected a screw was missing and told Phillip to move to another chair while he fixed it. Rob's good act surprisingly allowed him to find the clue, as it was slipped into the chair's fabric.
Rob was happy that he was the only tribe member who found the clue and although he was not entirely sure how to find the Idol, he made a quick decision.
"I don't plan on telling anybody about the clue, because I want the idol for me," Rob said.
Meanwhile, at the Zapatera camp, Ralph still felt he had bragging rights.
"Russell thinks he runs the show and he don't. He's not my boss and he's not bossing me," Ralph said.
Mike then confirmed with the group that they were going to stick with the plan and split the vote three-to-three between Russell and Stephanie, because everyone except for Ralph -- who opted not to let anyone know he had actually already found the idol -- was still unsure whether Russell's alliance had possibly located the hidden Immunity Idol.
Russell met with his alliance afterward and was upset that his tribe had thrown the challenge, and he was catching onto the others' plan.
"It makes me sick to my stomach because you have to win right now. You can't give Boston Rob momentum," Russell said.
Russell knew that his tribe was likely to vote for him in the subsequent Tribal Council, so he told Stephanie they needed to convince someone outside of their alliance to switch loyalties and join their side. They decided to try Julie and Stephanie pleaded with her in attempt to win her over. Stephanie told her they had the idol and that she would be fourth in their alliance, which Stephanie claimed was a better position than what she was currently in.
But the decision was weighing heavily on Julie's mind and she had not made a decision, although she told Stephanie she would be part of her alliance with Russell.
"I have thought it out both ways. Should I go with Russell? Should I trust him? Because I know how good he is," Julie said.
Julie then pondered the offer, knowing it was a huge strategic decision on her part. Meanwhile, Stephanie found Russell told him that Julie had decided to side with them. Just for clarity and confirmation, Russell then went to talk to Julie and promised her he would have her back if she followed through with the voting plan to vote off Ralph.
Julie went along with his idea and Russell was overjoyed thinking he'd be safe from the majority vote.
"This will be the biggest move. Bigger than any move I've ever made. This will be a shocker," Russell said.
That night, Survivor: Redemption Island's Zapatera castaways arrived for their first Tribal Council.
Jeff discussed with the tribemates that there had been a division within the tribe, and it was apparent which members were "gelling" with other members. It was an alliance of six against the three castaways led by Russell. Siria then told Jeff that "Russell and his legacy" had caused the division because, although he promised he would change, he was not playing differently than he had played in his manipulative and deceiving past on Survivor.
Russell fired back and said he was not playing that type of game and he came to win challenges and not lose them. Mike then acknowledged the tribe may not have given the challenge 100% percent effort because they needed to get one obvious member in particular off their tribe.
Stephanie then spoke her mind bluntly and forcefully and said Russell would be a huge part of moving forward once the merge occurred, and no matter what, backstabbing would happen in the game. She added that they needed numbers before the merge and throwing the challenge was "pure stupidity."
Steve and David then lied to the tribe and said they did not throw the challenge. Russell, believing Julie was going to vote with his alliance, then attempted to scare his tribe a little bit and said all he had was hope, "but it never is what it seems."
The voting then commenced and Jeff revealed the votes after offering anyone a chance to play a hidden Immunity Idol. Three people voted for Russell, three castaways voted for Ralph, and three tribe members also voted for Stephanie. Since there was a three-way tie between Stephanie, Russell and Ralph, Jeff explained there would be a tiebreaker vote.
Ralph, Russell and Stephanie were not allowed to vote, but everyone else was able to cast another vote of one of the three castaways. Jeff then revealed the new votes, and one tribe member voted for Ralph (presumably Krista), while four castaways voted for Russell.
Russell's torch was then extinguished and he was exiled to Redemption Island, where he would attempt to survive with Matt while awaiting the season's second duel.