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Survivor Redemption Island Recap 4/6/11

Posted by ImaJustSaying on April 7, 2011

Matt (r.) confides in Boston Rob and tells him more than he should.Once again I enjoyed our “interactive living room” on Twitter.  We’ve been tweeting live each week at 8pm EST/PST.  You can catch the tweets @JeffProbst.


I am guessing that almost everybody, short of Sarita’s family, was pulling for Matt to win the last duel before the merge.  It has nothing to do with Sarita and everything to do with pulling for the underdog.  Matt earned his shot back in the game.

I’m surprised that some of you are not enjoying Redemption Island.  I certainly get a lot of comments from people who are enjoying it but I do get some from people who think it’s a bore.

I’m shocked that anybody could be bored with the Matt/Redemption Island storyline.  But hey, I get it, everybody has their likes/dislikes.

As I’ve said many times the duels are put on the grid and built long before we know who will be competing.  So imagine Matt’s surprise when the one challenge he didn’t want – a challenge that involved using the side of his now injured food – was the exact duel that was on the grid.  Crazy Survivor luck.

Had he lost, it would have sucked to lose due to an injury but it would have been completely fair.

Truth is, I thought he was in real danger of losing.  These challenges so often favor women and with his cut foot I thought he might be in trouble.


Ah there is so much fun about the merge.

From a show point of view it’s a breath of fresh air as it almost always shakes things up.  Solid alliances are now in danger.  People on the bottom now have a new shot at moving up.

The Survivors get a merge feast, which always lifts their spirits and anytime you can lift their spirits it’s a good thing.  That might sound counter to what you would think we want to have happen, but the truth is there is so much drama on a day-to-day basis, that a bit of happiness is always good.  Balances things out.

They get new buffs, which invigorates them and often seems to refuel them.

And if I don’t have to be there, it’s an afternoon off for me!


Rob: (to tribe) Murlonio means from the sea, united.

Rob: (interview)“Murlonio doesn’t mean anything.  It’s a joke between me and Amber.”

I’m laughing because I’m imagining the reaction of the rest of the tribe when they heard this for the first time last night while watching the show.  It’s so 5th grade and it has absolutely no impact on the show, but it’s still funny.  I’m sure Rob and Amber were cracking up last night every time “Murlonio” popped up on the screen.  I’ll ask Rob to bring the stuffed animal to the live show.


As simple as this challenge is to recreate it’s still the same creative process as you have with an elaborate maze.  You have an idea – let’s do something where they balance a ball on a plate.  Then you play around with the idea and decide it’s too easy, we need to add a “wobble” element to it.  But it’s still not hard enough, so we add another ball, and then another.  Now we’re getting somewhere.

Most of our challenges first take shape months before we go to location.  Our challenge team pitches us their slate of new challenges.  In fact we’re doing this in two weeks here in LA in preparation for next year.  The pitch is nothing more than ideas and sketches.  After the pitch, some are approved, some are modified and some are sent back for re-tooling.

Once they’re approved they have to be built.  This process can take between one to six weeks depending on the scope and size.

Once built they are then tested.  During a test there are no cameras.  Just our director, our dream team, our challenge producers and me.

Once we’re satisfied with the test block we move to a rehearsal.  This requires our entire camera/audio operators, our director, challenge producers, dream team and all the support people.

We rehearse the challenge and give our final notes.  Then the challenge is ready for the Survivors.

We do this whether it is a three person final episode endurance challenge or a two-tribe, 20 person boat race.  We always follow the same process.


The second blindside of Matt was a great move by Rob and not a surprising one.  Rob blindsided Matt the first time around so Rob had to believe he was a target.  I’m not sure Matt had any real shot at surviving but he sealed his fate when he told Rob the truth that he considered switching to the other side.  He just gave up way too many details.  It’s like telling your girlfriend, “I was thinking about breaking up with you, but I decided not to.”  What?  You don’t tell them that.  You either do it or you don’t — but sharing e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is not always the right choice.

It makes sense that Matt was honest.  It’s in his nature.  But like the tale of the frog and the scorpion, nature can work for you and against you.  This time the “nature” of Rob worked against Matt.

Mike gave it a great shot.  He said all the right things.  Offering to sabotage his own alliance and join forces with Matt in order to further his own game.  He made the only real move he had at that point and it’s exactly what I would have done.  It was a big move.  Just because it didn’t work doesn’t mean it wasn’t a smart move.

The big question I have with Matt centers around how this impacts Matt’s faith in people.

Blindsided two times by people you trust… I wonder if it has changed Matt’s view of his fellow man or is Matt wise enough to realize that Survivor is just a game.  It’s an ugly game at times but it’s just a game.


Yes this was in the plan from the beginning.  Redemption Island was going to resume immediately after the merge.  In fact, when we pitched CBS one of the scenarios we gave them was the person on Redemption Island could earn their way back into the game and then be voted right out again.  But nobody imagined that one guy would win six straight duels get back into the game at the merge and be the first person voted out again.

If there is a silver lining for Matt, it is the fact that if he can survive Redemption Island again and make it back to the final, his odds for winning are huge.  At this point he is one of the biggest underdogs in Survivor history.

See ya next week!

And from

Did Matt deserve to go back to Redemption Island considering he might have jeopardized Andrea’s position within their tribe? Andrea vents some more about how Matt threw her under the bus in this un-aired interview:


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