Survivor: Redemption Island's second episode left us reasonably satisfied, but with a lot of questions. Such as, "How is Redemption Island a bad place, if it's Russell- and Phillip-free, has free food delivery, pre-built shelter, a lantern and luxury items?" or "Can we get on with the duels, already?" or "Who is this Matt guy who just got voted out?" Luckily, the awards below help to answer some of these questions.
First, we have to give a winking nod to Phillip, whose crab-spearing antics seemed a bit too, um, "staged" for belief. Yes, yes, we know, you were caught up in the "primal" moment, and didn't notice that your entire tribe (except Kristina, who was edited in) was standing there, laughing, as you stalked a crab in your pink underwear, tossing a sharpened stick at it. True, since you don't watch the show, you may have been unaware that people on Survivor usually just walk up to crabs and pick them up. Or in Fabio's case, wander aimlessly until they attack themselves to his toes or fingers. (Seriously, it's the rats you hunt, not crabs.) All the same, however, there was an air of sincerity to most of Phillip's many, many other speeches, which makes it difficult to characterize them as Trollish. Unless he's just really good at speaking in disjointed half-sentences while choking back fake tears. If that's good enough for Stuart Smalley, then we guess Phillip Sheppard is... okay.
But on to the nasty business at hand: We have had all we can take of the blatant, camera-suctioning exposure of Russell Hantz's recently shaved, now pimple-ridden armpits. Enough! Sure, you may be scary enough to warrant a spinoff series on one of TLC's weeknight blocks of freakshows, but is excessive airing of Russell's pits really the best use of HD technology? We know, technically, his pits aren't separate contestants, but they tip the Troll scales in his favor this week, over Boston Rob.
Actually, Russell's Troll attempts barely even register any more. Oh, so you think the people you're playing against are the dumbest in the world, and you're an expert? How novel. You know how to play this game? Wow, we've never heard that before. To be honest, you could skip pretty much every Russell confessional, and still know what's going on (hint, hint, Survivor editors). If Russell's repeated Survivor appearances were the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce, the third time is clearly as a cure for insomnia. Can Zapatera please just get to tribal council and vote you out? Please?
It's pretty sad when Francesca, who's already been voted off, had more confessionals this week than the guy who was voted off this time (we think his name was Matt). Although not as sad as all the other women in the game not named Francesca or Kristina. Seriously, if it wasn't for Jeff Probst bellowing her name during this week's challenge, there would be no record whatsoever that Julie even exists. And that's why she's our ICU winner of the week.
So congratulations, Julie Wolfe! We have not even the vaguest idea who you are, but we saw you smash a tile and grab the fishing spear Zapatera won as reward, so we're assuming your presence in the title sequence is not just another one of Phillip's odd, long-winded stories. (We believe Phillip may have a wolf tattooed on his left butt cheek, the display and description of which was, for unknown reasons, cut from his extended Tribal Council tattoo exposition. The right cheek? Sharktopus, of course.) But back to Julie: you disappeared into the forest never to be seen again after the RC/IC, despite the entire rest of your tribe showing up at the water well to yell at Russell. That's an impressive, ICU-winning effort. Hopefully you weren't busy losing the spear, because that's generally Troll-type activity.
So better luck next time, Sarita (who briefly nodded to Mike, and also pointed at something), and Krista (who briefly nodded to Russell). Silent motioning is not sufficiently invisible for this award.
We want to give a special nod to Krista and Kristina here, for their valiant (some might even say "gallantryly") efforts in observing their tribe's respective older guys (Ralph and Phillip) break plates. When it came time for each tribe's two designated tossers to swing into action and play with balls, it was a total sausage-fest. You two women stood back, politely, as the guys diddled around on their own. Well played, Madames K.
But really, it's hard to overlook Grant's truly superhuman effort in trying to clear the pool in a single leap, in order to crack his head open on the ladder on the other side. Sure, he was probably just trying to avoid a Phillip pep talk, but it was still a truly impressive dive. That takes talent. Or a jetpack. Possibly vital essence of lion, or gorilla (with the dreadlocks, Grant does look somewhat leonine).
Whatever it was, don't worry about your exceptional athletic abilities attracting undue attention, Grant. Jeff Probst was the only one who noticed, and he promptly yelled it at the top of his lungs. But who listens to him? Your secret's safe with us.
They may be letting hidden idols grow on trees this season (or at least in logs), but there are two good things about that: neither one is in Russell Hantz's hands, and both were found without clues. And for showing how to correctly use the power of an idol (at least without going to tribal council), Ralph Kiser wins this week's Slashy award.
Ralph didn't do his rooster crowing the second he found the idol (although to be honest, this might have been the only time he stopped making that infernal racket). He kept it to himself, and didn't let on that anything was amiss, apart from the dadgum ants swarming on his valuable collection of rocks. (Were these rocks for putting on the fire, in the hopes they might burn? Installing a tile floor in the shelter? Building a 1:4 scale model of Notre Dame Cathedral? Tossing at Russell, er, "crabs"? Again, Survivor leaves us with many questions.)
By keeping the idol secret, Ralph was able to lead an insurrection against Russell for hoarding the (now obsolete) clue. Like Br'er Rabbit and his briar patch, Ralph is inciting Russell to vote for him - Ralph, the guy with the hidden idol. If he can keep the idol completely secret, he has a perfect de-Hantzing mechanism for Zapatera. We're not positive this was Ralph's intention, but the appearance of devious strategy is good enough for us.
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