'Survivor: Redemption Island' ousts Ralph Kiser, votes off Grant Mattos
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/12/2011
Survivor: Redemption Island eliminated castaway Ralph Kiser from the game after he lost the season's eleventh Redemption Island duel to Matt Elrod, Mike Chiesl and Andrea Boehlke during Wednesday night's broadcast of the thirteenth episode of the CBS reality series' 22nd edition.
"Ralph, unfortunately, after 33 days in this game, your shot at the money is over. You will have a say in who wins the money though when you become the next member of the jury. Toss your buff in the urn and we'll see you at Tribal Council," Survivor host Jeff Probst told Ralph, a 44-year-old farmer from Lebanon, VA, after he lost the duel.
Later in the episode, the Murlonio tribe also voted Grant Mattos out of their tribe at the season's fourteenth Tribal Council session.
As the game's newest Tribal Council victim, Grant, a 29-year-old yoga instructor and former NFL football player from West Hollywood, CA, will now take Ralph's place and join Matt, a 22-year-old pre-med student from Nashville, TN; Mike, a 31-year-old former U.S. Marine from Del Mar, CA; and Andrea, a 21-year-old student from Random Lake, WI, on Redemption Island where they will await the game's next duel and attempt to eventually earn a chance to rejoin the game's other remaining castaways and resume competing for Survivor: Redemption Island's million dollar prize.
"I didn't think I was going to be voted out. I trusted people in my alliance and you know, it turns out, somebody wasn't being honest and that's just how it goes. But possibly Rob betrayed me -- possibly Phillip did -- but I'm at peace with everything I accomplished out here and I don't need anything more," Grant said upon arriving at Redemption Island.
Survivor: Redemption Island's thirteenth episode began on Night 30 at Murlonio's camp with the five remaining former Ometepe members -- Grant; Phillip Sheppard, a 52-year-old technology executive and former federal agent 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 -- returning from the season's thirteenth Tribal Council after they had blindsided Andrea.
Ashley admitted she enjoyed blindsiding people because they would react with such shock when hearing the news. She and Natalie had grown very close throughout the game, and Ashley hugged her and explained how happy she was that they were the only two girls left.
"I'll tell you, if there's any plan to vote you out and you tell me," Ashley told Natalie.
Natalie accepted the idea of joining forces, but she was still confused as to whether she should carry through with the plan or turn on Ashley and remain loyal to just Rob, the formerSurvivor: Marquesas, Survivor: All-Stars and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains castaway.
"I'm kind of stuck in a bad situation just because Ashley keeps bringing up, 'You're looking out for me and I'm looking out for her.' I'm leaning towards sticking to Rob, just because like, he has been there for me throughout this, but so has Ashley."
Rob saw Natalie and Ashley having a private conversation and called Natalie over to find out what was discussed, and Natalie chose to not hide anything from her leader. She explained to Rob what Ashley had requested of her, and Rob encouraged Natalie to remain "best friends" with Ashley but proceed with caution since she could be sneaky at times.
"Ashley's probably thinking about a way to turn the vote against me. I've been fighting ten years to get this point. I'm seven days away. It might make sense to get rid of Ashley next. Things have to go just right. I've had control in this game. I just need to keep control," Rob said.
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Meanwhile, on Redemption Island, Andrea was just arriving after she was voted out at Tribal Council and noticed that Matt was seemingly awkward towards her. She also told Matt, Mike and Ralph that we was a little resentful after being blindsided and still couldn't believe the people she had trusted the most would turn their backs on her.
"Yeah, it does feel bad, doesn't it?" Matt asked Andrea a little sarcastically.
"I know and I know that you hate me. I know that every time I come to the duels you give me these dirty looks," Andrea said.
"I don't give you dirty looks, but I just don't know why you're giving me these big puppy dog eyes," Matt responded. "You voted against me and I tried to get you to go with them."
"Well you should have been more decisive. You came in and you were so wishy-washy," Andrea told Matt, adding that he had thrown Andrea under the bus by telling Rob of his plans with Andrea to blindside him when they promised each other they wouldn't talk about their strategies or ideas with anyone else.
"Well, I'm sorry for ruining your Survivor game and throwing you under the bus and everything," Matt said.
Andrea said it was fine and Matt went to bed.
Matt -- who initially got sent to Redemption Island during the season's second episode, only to return to the place where he was originally exiled after being voted out and betrayed again by his own former Ometepe tribe at the season's eighth Tribal Council -- thought he had a special alliance with Andrea when he was part of the game, but their relationship changed after she agreed to blindside him.
Matt had previously won his right to re-enter the game by beating Sarita White in a duel after spending 15 days on Redemption Island already and winning six consecutive duels. Upon his return to Redemption Island, Matt subsequently participated in the game's eighth, ninth and tenth duels and survived all three, making the tenth challenge his ninth duel victory overall.
Andrea then asked Ralph if there was enough room for her to sleep in the shelter and he told her no.
"She can sleep on the ground. When we merged, they kept their tents and their tarp," Ralph explained grudgingly. "Now it's good for her to see what I had to go through... She's not in my house, she's on Redemption Island and this is payback."
Andrea, as a result, settled on the ground and was teased by Ralph.
"It's a game. Rob was using you like toilet paper. He wiped his ass and now he's through with you," Ralph added while the other guys laughed.
On Day 33, Matt, Mike, Ralph, Andrea arrived at the arena for the game's eleventh duel, where all Ometepe's members also came to attend and watch the four-person battle.
Jeff asked Andrea how she felt about seeing the five people who voted her out again and Andrea tried to speak although she was about to breakdown in tears.
"Every one of them lied to me. It's a really like shocking and humbling experience," Andrea said. Jeff then told her she was not yet out of the game and explained the rules of the duel.
Each castaway was instructed to move a handle through the cracks of a long table maze. Once each player got to the end of the maze, he or she would then use the handle to smash a box. Each box contained a bag of puzzle pieces, which they would use to solve a puzzle.
The first three castaways to complete their puzzle first would remain on Redemption Island and stay alive in the game, while the person to lose the challenge would become the fourth member of the jury that will decide Survivor: Redemption Island's winner.
Matt, Mike, Ralph and Andrea then squared off in the duel and Ralph finished the table maze followed by Mike, Matt and then Andrea. Everyone began working on the puzzle, but Ralph struggled with it, allowing his three opponents to catch up to him and then outplay him.
Mike won the duel and was then followed by Matt and Andrea. The win marked Matt's tenth duel win and Mike's fourth duel win of the season. Ralph then threw his buff into the fire and exited the game. Rob realized from watching the duel that the person who would end up returning from Redemption Island could pose a serious threat.
"I'll never give up hope and I'll never give up fight. I've got more heart than anyone out here, but this Redemption Island twist is making it even harder for me to get to the end. I want Redemption Island to be over and done with, so it's not a factor anymore," Rob explained after the duel.
On Day 34, the castaways gathered around the fire at Murlonio's camp and Rob, Grant and Phillip decided they wanted some rice. Ashley told them it probably wasn't a good idea because they needed to ration what was left for their last days on the island. Ashley then left the scene after Rob expressed he wanted to eat anyways, giving him and Grant an opportunity to talk.
Rob admitted he was wavering on how he felt about Ashley, but Grant knew exactly what he wanted. He told Rob they should get rid of Ashley because Natalie would certainly stay loyal to them if Ashley wasn't a big factor in the game.
"She'd be too scared," Rob said in agreement.
Meanwhile in the shelter, Phillip was instigating his "strategy" and began to cause a commotion. He told Ashley and Natalie that Grant needed to eat more in order to make sure he had the strength and ability to be able to defeat whoever was to return from Redemption Island.
"Oh I will give up my portion of rice then," Ashley said sarcastically.
Phillip made it a matter of calories and said he wasn't requesting that the girls not eat, he was simply insisting Grant needed more fuel. Ashley and Natalie were angry over Phillip's assertiveness, while Phillip was frustrated they wouldn't listen to him and were jumping to conclusions about his intentions.
"Do not get in our face and talk to us that way," Natalie said.
Phillip suggested the only reason they argued with him and not Rob or Grant was because they wanted something from them, but the girls wanted nothing to do with him or the fight and walked away.
"Psycho!" Ashley yelled from a near distance.
Rob felt Phillip's initiation of trouble was dangerous, as it only served as a way to further unite Ashley and Natalie.
"Ashley and Natalie are getting too close from comfort. The best thing for me to do is split the two of them up," Rob said.
Afterward, Rob wanted to talk to Natalie and find out whether everything was alright. While Natalie seemed a little confused and overwhelmed, Rob assured her he would take her all the way to the end as long as she followed orders. He then let her in on the plan and told her the next target was Ashley.
Ashley knew something was going on and worried about Natalie's loyalty to Rob. She figured it would come down to either her or Natalie in the final three depending on Rob's decision, because she was convinced Grant was a shoe-in. She had the feeling that Rob would vote either her or Natalie out at the end to make sure that Grant is in the final three.
"I think the best play for me in this game is to just get a big move going here and get rid of a strong competitor," Ashley said.
That night, Ashley decided to talk to Rob about voting out Grant. She told him that if Grant was to remain in the game and a physical threat, such as Mike, was to return from Redemption Island, then it would leave them little hope to win any Immunity Challenges. Ashley suggested it was smart to eliminate the powerhouse castaways for their own sake.
Rob was shocked she didn't attempt to get Phillip out first, but Ashley said as much as she might have been annoyed with Phillip, she cared the most about wanting to maintain her alliance with Natalie and Rob all the way until the end.
Rob told Ashley to sleep on it, because the rules could change once someone won immunity.
"It doesn't make sense. All it does is give Ashley another way closer to squeezing herself into the finals," Rob said after determining Ashley's plan wasn't going to work to his benefit.
Rob then told Grant that Ashley wanted to vote him out next, but Rob assured Grant he wasn't going anywhere. The two castaways knew it would be very important to win the following Immunity Challenges in order to ensure their safety.
"If Ashley doesn't win immunity, she's out of this game and I'm going to be happy to do it," Grant said.
On Day 35, Rob and Grant were enjoying each other's company and further discussed the plan to send Ashley to Redemption Island next.
"Ashley's had a free ride for thirty-five days. Her fairy tale is about to come to an end real abruptly," Rob said.
Ashley, aware that the next Immunity Challenge was approaching, figured she needed to win in order to stick around.
"I kind of feel paranoid. Like, if Grant wins immunity, then I might be on the chopping block."
Meanwhile, Natalie was still worrying about and troubled over the big decisions she had to make in the near future, including sending her best friend Ashley home. Rob told her he understood it was difficult but reminded her to trust him and she would be rewarded in the game.
Rob then revealed Ashley was corrupting his sweet and naive Natalie.
"More and more I see Ashley imposing her wisdom on Natalie. That's not a good thing." Rob said, adding that Ashley had been a consistent pain in his ass throughout their time on the island.
Afterward, the Murlonio tribe arrived for the Immunity Challenge and met Jeff who explained the rules to what would be their fourteenth Immunity Challenge and seventh individual Immunity Challenge.
Each castaway learned they must use large fishhooks to retrieve bags of puzzle pieces, and with those puzzle pieces, complete a puzzle in the shape of a fish skeleton. To make the challenge a little more difficult, each castaway had to have one arm tied behind his or her back. The first person to solve the puzzle would win individual immunity and a reward of a three-course meal delivered to him or her at camp.
Rob and Phillip attempted to catch up to Ashley, who had a good lead during the challenge, while Grant was behind trying to secure his third bag. Ashley ended up winning immunity and the reward, which ensured her safety from elimination at the subsequent Tribal Council.
Ashley was then given the option to share her reward with one person and she selected Natalie. After the castaways returned from the challenge, Ashley was thrilled over her victory. However, Rob was perturbed that the one thing he didn't want to happen happened.
Since Ashley won immunity, Ron would be forced to have everyone vote out Grant. He then informed confirmed with Ashley and Natalie to vote out Grant.
"Grant, when you watch this, you're going to realize I never wanted to do it this way. Although I'd like to think of you as a friend, I didn't come to this game to make friends. I came to this game to win. Even though it does break my heart bud, I gotta vote your ass off tonight," Rob explained. "Seems like no matter what the situation on Survivor, I have to do the dirty work, because everybody else is too stupid to do it."
Rob then told Phillip they were going to vote for Grant, but Grant would assume it was going to be Phillip or Natalie who would be the next to go. Then, Rob knowing that Grant was going to be voted off, talked to Grant about his opinion on the vote. He suggested Natalie or Phillip, but pushed for Natalie in order to break up her bond with Ashley.
Rob agreed and Grant still felt good about his position in the tribe and his alliance with Rob.
"When you look somebody in the eyes and shake their hand, you kind of get a vibe from that person and I get a good one from Rob. We're sticking to our alliance," Grant explained.
Ashley then enjoyed her reward and was so thankful she won so she couldn't be eliminated. Meanwhile, Rob, Phillip and Grant ate their rice and Rob continued to fret that Ashley and Natalie were just getting too close. Rob explained he knew the power of a couple in Survivor from his past experience with his wife Amber Mariano, and it gave him enough reason to truly worry.
Ashley whispered to Natalie that she hoped whoever came back from Redemption Island would join their side and fight to vote out Rob and Phillip. Ashley wanted to start planning some big moves, because she didn't want to give Rob the opportunity to get her or Natalie out of the game.
"Part of me was hoping that Ashley wouldn't pick me [for reward], because it really put me in a sucky position," Natalie said, adding that she felt stuck and knew both sides had pros and cons. Natalie just wasn't sure who to remain loyal to, however, she ended up choosing Rob and told him of Ashley's intentions.
Rob reminded Natalie it was in her best interest to stay on his side, and he knew he was still in control. He acknowledged that if he wanted to, he could get the majority of the tribe to vote for Grant or Natalie. Although he had to vote out Grant, he knew he would eventually have to follow through with his original plan of splitting up Natalie and Ashley so they couldn't form a small alliance and target him.
"One man should not have this much power in this game. Luckily, I'm not an ordinary man," Rob said.
That night, Survivor: Redemption Island's Murlonio castaways arrived for their seventh Tribal Council as a merged tribe and the season's fourteenth overall Tribal Council.
Ashley admitted to Jeff she felt great about having won immunity, while Grant said since he had always been a threat in the game, he felt he could be on the chopping block. Rob then confessed he felt vulnerable even though he really didn't, and he hoped the tribe saw Grant as a bigger threat -- all part of his strategy.
Jeff then acknowledged how the tribe may have reason to worry over Ashley and Natalie's strong friendship, and Natalie admitted there was a possibility she could be voted out in order to ruin the alliance between her and Ashley. Rob and Grant then spoke of their loved ones at home, revealing they served as their inspiration to continue and attempt to win. Rob told Jeff the vote was going to be one of the biggest yet.
Jeff then revealed the votes and four castaways voted to oust Grant from Survivor: Redemption Island, while Grant voted for Natalie. Grant's torch was then extinguished and he was exiled to Redemption Island, where he would attempt to survive with Matt, Mike and Andrea while awaiting the season's twelfth duel.