Survivor: Redemption Island
|Survivor: Redemption Island|
|Presented by||Jeff Probst|
|No. of days||39|
|No. of castaways||18|
|Location||San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||14|
|Original release||February 16 –|
May 15, 2011
|Filming dates||August 16 –|
September 23, 2010
Survivor: Redemption Island is the twenty-second season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. It premiered on February 16, 2011. Applications were due in January 2010, and filming lasted from August to September 2010. The season was filmed near San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, the same location as the previous season. The show featured returning players Russell Hantz and Rob Mariano and 16 new players to Survivor.
Mariano was named the winner in the final episode on May 15, 2011, defeating Phillip Sheppard and Natalie Tenerelli in an 8–1–0 vote. In addition, Mariano won $100,000 as the "Sprint Player of the Season," receiving 40% of the fans' votes; Matt Elrod, with 36%, received the next-highest total.
This season introduced "Redemption Island" to the American version of Survivor, based in part on concepts already used in foreign versions of the show, including "The Island of the Dead" in the Israeli version, "Isla Purgatoryo" (Purgatory Island) in the Philippine version's second season, "Ghost Island" in the Serbian version's second season, and the duels in the 2002 Swedish edition.
Instead of being out of the game immediately upon being voted out of their tribe, the voted off contestant would be taken to a secluded area known as Redemption Island. Once there, they were to sustain themselves in the same manner as when living with the tribe: living on limited food, water and shelter. They would be joined by the next person voted out, and those two people would face off in a duel in an arena constructed to resemble an old ruined temple, joined by two representatives from each tribe acting as observers. The winner remains in the game, and continues living at Redemption Island. The loser exits the game for good, throwing their buff into a small fire pit on their way out of the arena. At two predetermined points during the game, at the merge and with four players remaining in the game proper, the winner of the Redemption Island duel returns to the game.
Host Jeff Probst compared Redemption Island to the Pearl Islands' Outcast tribe, stating that the latter concept did not seem to work well with the audience because the Outcast twist was not revealed to the players ahead of time, and was considered unfair to the remaining players in the game. However, the Outcast tribe survived on the same meager rations as everybody else in the game. With Redemption Island, the players were told at the start of the game of the existence and rules of Redemption Island, and Probst expected that this would affect how the tribes would vote out members. Probst also stated that the change would allow for the newer players to have a chance to recover from early mistakes such as choosing the wrong alliance or making a poor vote at Tribal Council. Entertainment Weekly's Dalton Ross correctly speculated that due to the Redemption Island duel as part of each episode, all regular challenges in the show were combined Reward/Immunity challenges until the tribes merged. The duels used at Redemption Island were scaled-back versions of previous challenges the show had used, and Probst stated that this was because these challenges "worked well" and eliminated any risk of the challenges going astray. The idea for allowing other players to watch the duel was a last-minute addition made by Mark Burnett. According to Probst, it gave those that attended the duel "valuable information" they could have used in their gameplay strategy, but also could have left them vulnerable to alliance shifts that might have occurred while they were absent from the tribe.
Redemption Island featured the return of Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz, who both previously appeared on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains and appeared separately on Marquesas and All-Stars (Mariano) and Samoa (Hantz). Their feud was a running storyline in the early episodes of Heroes vs. Villains, and was rekindled months later during the season's live finale. While the sixteen new players were initially assigned tribes prior to the start of the game, Rob and Russell drew buffs to determine which tribe they joined.
|Contestant||Original tribe||Merged tribe||Main game[a]||Redemption Island|
36, Washington, D.C.
|Ometepe||1st voted out
|Lost duel 1|
Returned to game
|Ometepe||2nd voted out
37, Dayton, Texas
Samoa & Heroes vs. Villains
|Zapatera||3rd voted out
|Lost duel 2|
46, Malibu, California
|Ometepe||4th voted out
|Lost duel 3|
25, Columbia, South Carolina
|Zapatera||5th voted out
|Lost duel 4|
26, Long Beach, California
|Zapatera||6th voted out
|Lost duel 5|
36, Santa Monica, California
|Zapatera||7th voted out
|Lost duel 6|
22, Nashville, Tennessee
|Ometepe||Murlonio||8th voted out
|Lost duel 11|
6th jury member
31, Del Mar, California
|Zapatera||9th voted out
|Lost duel 11|
7th jury member
31, West Hollywood, California
|Zapatera||10th voted out
|Lost duel 7|
1st jury member
50, Oceanside, California
|Zapatera||11th voted out
|Lost duel 8|
2nd jury member
45, Lebanon, Virginia
|Zapatera||12th voted out
|Lost duel 10|
4th jury member
51, Huntington Beach, California
|Zapatera||13th voted out
|Lost duel 9|
3rd jury member
Returned to game
|Ometepe||14th voted out
29, West Hollywood, California
|Ometepe||15th voted out
|Lost duel 11|
5th jury member
21, Random Lake, Wisconsin
|Ometepe||16th voted out
8th jury member
25, Benton, Maine
|Ometepe||17th voted out
9th jury member
19, Acton, California
52, Santa Monica, California
34, Pensacola, Florida
Marquesas, All-Stars, & Heroes vs. Villains
Phillip Sheppard, Andrea Boehlke, and Francesca Hogi returned for Survivor: Caramoan. Natalie Tenerelli and Stephanie Valencia were included on the public poll to choose the cast of Survivor: Cambodia, but neither received enough votes to be amongst the 20 castaways chosen to compete. Boehlke returned for the third time in Survivor: Game Changers. Russell Hantz returned to the game on an international level as he appeared on the 2018 edition of Australian Survivor. Rob Mariano returned for the thirty-ninth season Survivor: Island of the Idols serving as a mentor to new contestants, and returned to compete on Survivor: Winners at War.
Sixteen new castaways, previously divided into two tribes, Ometepe and Zapatera, were joined by returning contestants, "Boston" Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz, with Rob joining Ometepe and Russell joining Zapatera by random draw. The tribes were then told about Redemption Island, a secluded location where voted out players would go to compete in challenges for a chance to return to the game.
Rob quickly proved to be leader of Ometepe, and kept wary of the hidden immunity idol, including sending one of his own alliance, Matt, to Redemption Island while trying to flush it out. On Zapatera, the bulk of the tribe recognized the threat that Russell could be, throwing a challenge in order to vote Russell out; Russell would lose to Matt at the next Redemption Island challenge. Matt would continue to win several more duels. After Russell's elimination, Zapatera faltered due to lack of cohesion within the tribe, and eventually approached the merge with only five members remaining, while Ometepe had six.
The tribes merged with 12 players left in the game, including Matt, who returned from Redemption Island. Zapatera attempted to lure Matt to their side in order to tie the vote; while Matt considered blindsiding Rob, he eventually decided against it, telling this to Rob in an attempt to prove his loyalty. Despite this, Rob decided Matt could not be trusted, using his alliance to send Matt back to Redemption Island, establishing a firm Ometepe majority. The former Ometepe tribe used their numerical advantage to completely eliminate the remaining former members of Zapatera, starting with Mike, who dominated with his close friend Matt at Redemption Island. Meanwhile, Rob orchestrated the eliminations of those who he felt would be threatening to him, including close allies Grant and Ashley. The final three were Rob, Natalie, and Phillip; both Natalie and Phillip were criticized by the jury for simply following in Rob's footsteps, and Rob was voted the Sole Survivor in a vote of 8-1-0.
|Episode||Redemption Island duel||Immunity
|No.||Title||Original air date||Winner(s)||Eliminated|
|1||"You're Looking at the New Leader of Your Tribe"||February 16, 2011||None[b]||Zapatera[c]||Francesca||1st voted out|
|2||"You Own My Vote"||February 23, 2011||None[b]||Zapatera[c]||Matt||2nd voted out|
|3||"Keep Hope Alive"||March 2, 2011||Matt||Francesca||Ometepe[c]||Russell||3rd voted out|
|4||"Don't You Work for Me?"||March 9, 2011||Matt||Russell||Zapatera[c]||Kristina||4th voted out|
|5||"We Hate Our Tribe"||March 16, 2011||Matt||Kristina||Ometepe[c]||Krista||5th voted out|
|6||"Their Red-Headed Step Child"||March 23, 2011||Matt||Krista||Ometepe[c]||Stephanie||6th voted out|
|7||"It Don't Take a Smart One"||March 30, 2011||Matt||Stephanie||Ometepe[c]||Sarita||7th voted out|
|8||"This Game Respects Big Moves"||April 6, 2011||Matt[d]||Sarita||Natalie||Matt||8th voted out|
|9||"The Buddy System"||April 13, 2011||None[b]||Grant||Mike||9th voted out|
|Andrea||David||10th voted out|
|10||"Rice Wars"||April 20, 2011||Mike||David
1st jury member
|Rob||Julie||11th voted out|
|11||"A Mystery Package"||April 27, 2011||Matt||Julie
2nd jury member
|Ralph||12th voted out|
|Mike||Rob||Steve||13th voted out|
|12||"You Mangled My Nets"||May 4, 2011||Mike[e]||Steve
3rd jury member
|Rob||Andrea||14th voted out|
|13||"Too Close For Comfort"||May 11, 2011||Mike||Ralph
4th jury member
|Grant||15th voted out|
|14||"Seems Like a No Brainer"||May 15, 2011||Andrea[d]||Grant
5th jury member
|Ashley||Andrea||16th voted out|
8th jury member
6th jury member
7th jury member
|Rob||Ashley||17th voted out|
9th jury member
- In the case of the immunity and reward winner being able to share their reward with others, the invitees are in brackets.
- Elimination order is based on when the contestant was voted out at Tribal Council.
- There was no Redemption Island duel as there were fewer than two inhabitants.
- The winner of the immunity challenge also received reward.
- Returned to game upon winning Redemption challenge.
- Mike won a reward for finishing the duel first, but opted to give it up to Andrea, Ashley, Grant, Natalie, Phillip, and Rob.
|Rating/share (18-49)||Original air date||US viewers|
|321||1||"You're Looking at the New Leader of Your Tribe"||6.2/10||3.2/9||February 16, 2011||11.155||#15|
Sixteen castaways split into two tribes, Ometepe and Zapatera, arrived on the beach on board a Mil Mi-17 from the Nicaraguan Air Force. After Jeff welcomed the group to the game, he announced that two additional players would be joining them, in which Rob and Russell then arrived in a second helicopter. Jeff went over the two's history in the game and then the two drew for tribes. Rob drew the orange Ometepe tribe buff, while Russell drew the purple Zapatera tribe buff. Jeff then announced the new twist of Survivor, which was Redemption Island. At Ometepe, Rob caught Kristina looking for a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol. Rob then talked to Phillip about keeping an eye out for a woman's alliance on the tribe, since the women outnumbered the men 5–4. However, Phillip was uneasy with the idea and approached Kristina about forming an alliance and siding with the women. Over at Zapatera, Russell made his usual early game move and made an alliance with Stephanie, and talked about taking her to the merge. On Day 3, Kristina went on a hunt for the Hidden Immunity Idol by herself without any clues and actually managed to find it. Francesca, Kristina, and Phillip then formed an alliance, but Phillip annoyed the women with his aggressive questioning about whom to vote off at Tribal Council.
The first combined Immunity/Reward Challenge was won by Zapatera, when Ometepe fell behind early. They managed to catch up, but at the puzzle part of the challenge they fell behind and lost. After the challenge, Kristina told Francesca and Phillip that she had the Hidden Immunity Idol, and she told Francesca of her plan to blindside Rob by getting the other three Ometepe women to vote for Kristina, while their three person alliance votes for Rob. Francesca was concerned that it was too early to vote out Rob, and that they did not have the numbers to stay in the game long-term. Francesca also wanted to vote out Natalie, as she was seen as the weakest link of the tribe. Rob told the other Ometepe members (Andrea, Ashley, Grant, Matt, and Natalie), that he was concerned that the Francesca/Kristina/Phillip alliance may have already found a Hidden Immunity Idol and they should split their vote between Francesca and Kristina.
At Tribal Council, the Francesca/Kristina/Phillip alliance imploded when Francesca openly said that Rob would not be voted out. This enraged Phillip, who immediately responded and said that Francesca told him to vote for Rob. This angered both Francesca and Kristina, and they decided to change their votes to Phillip, both vehemently denied that they were planning to vote out Rob. Phillip openly voiced that he would be voting for Francesca and announced that Kristina had the Hidden Immunity Idol, shocking everyone else on the tribe and silently infuriating Francesca and Kristina. Kristina admitted that she did have the Idol, but she, along with Francesca, still denied that their plan was to vote out Rob, but instead she would be voting for Natalie, even though she did tell Phillip that she was voting for Rob. Jeff asked Rob whose story he believed. Rob said that, while Phillip was adamant in defending his story, Francesca denied it with equal energy. However, Kristina did not defend herself. Rob asked Kristina to show him the Idol just to confirm that she had it. Upon seeing it, he asked her to give him the Idol, declaring that she would stay in the game if she handed it over and that doing so would show that Kristina was telling the truth, but Kristina said she could not hand it over. When the voting came, the alliance of six kept to their plan and split their votes between Francesca and Kristina. With Phillip's flip to the majority, Francesca was voted out and became the first castaway to go to Redemption Island. After Francesca left for Redemption Island, Jeff said that there would be a flint at Ometepe's campsite.
|322||2||"You Own My Vote"||6.2/10||3.1/9||February 23, 2011||10.932||#17|
After Ometepe returned to camp from Tribal Council, Phillip felt betrayed by Francesca and swore his loyalty to Rob, while Rob plotted with his alliance to vote out Phillip next. Rob was concerned about the growing connection between Andrea and Matt. Over at Zapatera, Russell added Krista to his alliance with Stephanie. Russell then went on his typical Hidden Immunity Idol hunt, but was beaten to it by Ralph who happened to stumble upon the idol while picking up rocks.
Zapatera came from behind to win their second challenge in a row. After Zapatera had won, Matt shook the hands of several of the Zapatera tribe members, which angered Rob. Russell picked up Zapatera's reward as he knew there would be a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol within it. He tried to take the clue without anybody noticing, but Ralph did and told the rest of the tribe. Mike and Ralph confronted Russell about the clue, but Russell denied that he had it even though he had already shown it to his alliance. Rob came up with a plan with Ashley, Grant, and Natalie to vote against Matt, but to tell Matt and Andrea that they were splitting the vote between Kristina and Phillip. Rob took Phillip aside and told him that something big was happening at Tribal Council, that he needed to not say anything about the plan at Tribal Council, and that Rob would signal to Phillip whom Rob wanted Phillip to vote for. At Tribal Council, Phillip kept quiet about the plan and voted per Rob's signal against Kristina. Kristina played the Hidden Immunity Idol, negating Phillip and Andrea's votes against her, but Rob's plan came together and Matt was voted out.
|323||3||"Keep Hope Alive"||6.3/10||3.3/10||March 2, 2011||11.315||#14|
When Matt arrived at Redemption Island, Francesca was shocked to see someone from Rob's alliance. After Ometepe returned from Tribal Council, Rob told Phillip that he was in his alliance with Grant, Ashley and Natalie and that Andrea or Kristina would be voted out next. The next day, the tribes received Tree Mail instructing them to draw marbles to see who would witness the duel on Redemption Island. Zapatera sent over David and Steve, while Ometepe sent over Ashley and Andrea.
The duel was won by Matt in a come from behind victory, sending Francesca home. Back at Ometepe, Rob talked to Andrea and tried to reassure her that she was still part of his alliance, but Andrea did not believe him and wanted to find a way to mix things up in the future. Over at Zapatera, Russell's alliance could not find the Hidden Immunity Idol, so they decided to feign like they did have one by having Stephanie constantly carry around her bag, giving the impression that an idol was in her purse. David, Mike, Ralph, Sarita, and Steve all agreed to lose the next challenge on purpose in order to vote out Russell. Julie was reluctant about this plan, as she did not want to give any momentum to Ometepe and she thought she could handle Russell.
At the Reward/Immunity Challenge, the group of six went through with deliberately losing the challenge, despite Julie's hesitance. Back at Ometepe, Rob found the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol hidden within the reward. At Zapatera, the group of six decided to split their votes between Russell and Stephanie. Russell suspected that the six did throw the challenge and, together with Stephanie, tried to get Julie to flip to Russell's alliance and to vote against Ralph. At Tribal Council, the division between the majority and Russell's alliance was discussed. When it came time for the vote, Julie stuck with the majority and the vote was tied 3–3–3 between Ralph, Russell, and Stephanie. On the re-vote, Russell was voted out and was sent to Redemption Island.
|324||4||"Don't You Work for Me?"||6.3/10||3.2/9||March 9, 2011||10.960||#14|
On day 9, with Krista and Stephanie away from camp, Ralph decided to show the Hidden Immunity Idol to the rest of the Zapatera tribe. On day 10, the tribes were told to select who would witness the next Redemption Island Duel either by mutual agreement or random draw. Ometepe agreed that Kristina and Phillip could go, while Zapatera agreed upon Ralph and Sarita.
The duel was won by Matt for the second time in a row. After the loss, Russell was very emotional, but he regained his composure and let loose on his former tribe by getting Ralph to say that he had a Hidden Immunity Idol and telling Kristina and Phillip that Sarita, Mike, and Steve were in charge of their tribe. While Kristina and Phillip were off at the Redemption Island, Rob came up with a ruse to distract the rest of the tribe so that he could search for the Hidden Immunity Idol. The ruse worked and Rob had the time to successfully find the idol. When Kristina and Phillip returned to camp, Phillip thought he could use Russell's information about Zapatera's alliances and the Hidden Immunity Idol as leverage against Rob and Grant to allow Kristina to remain in the game. However, the ploy failed as Rob and Grant distrusted Phillip even more after his revelation.
At the Reward/Immunity Challenge, Zapatera went on to win their third challenge. Back at Ometepe's camp, Kristina tried to hint that there was a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol within Ometepe's reward and that Grant and Rob may have already found it. Rob kept the knowledge of the idol from his alliance and got Andrea, Ashley, Grant, and Natalie to think that Kristina might have the idol and to split the vote between Kristina and Phillip, favoring Kristina to be voted out. However, Grant and the girls were leaning towards voting out Phillip as he was getting on their last nerves. When Phillip asked Rob whom he should vote for at Tribal Rob told him Kristina, Phillip thought Rob went back on his word about keeping Kristina in the game and decided that he needed to make a move at Tribal Council to keep himself in the game. At Tribal Council, Kristina and Phillip lobbied for the other to be voted out. When the vote came, Rob's plan held and Kristina was sent to Redemption Island.
|325||5||"We Hate Our Tribe"||6.0/10||3.2/10||March 16, 2011||10.727||#13|
When Ometepe returned from Tribal Council, Phillip was upset that he was the odd man out in Rob's alliance. Phillip decided to try to make a better connection with the women of his tribe, but only made progress with Andrea.
Krista and Stephanie from Zapatera and Grant and Rob from Ometepe witnessed Matt win his third Redemption Island Duel by defeating Kristina. After the Duel, Matt told Grant and Rob that he wanted to go to the final three with them and that he hoped he would rejoin Ometepe. Krista and Stephanie made it clear that they had no loyalties to the Zapatera tribe and they would be willing to join an alliance with Ometepe after the merge.
At the Reward/Immunity Challenge, Stephanie was the caller for Zapatera (at Sarita's urging) and Rob was the caller for Ometepe. In a close battle, Rob came through to win the challenge for Ometepe. While enjoying their reward, Grant and Rob noticed a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol within the jar of coffee and worked together to get the clue and conceal it from the rest of the tribe. Rob took the clue from Grant, but then switched it with the first clue that he had, leaving Grant none the wiser. Back at Zapatera, Sarita argued with the rest of her alliance over her picking Stephanie to be the caller when several of her alliance members thought David would have been better. Going into Tribal Council, the alliance of six knew that they would be voting out either Krista or Stephanie. Krista tried to stir things up between the alliance of six by pointing out sub-alliances within the six, but the alliance did not break and she was sent to Redemption Island.
|326||6||"Their Red-Headed Step Child"||6.3/10||3.1/9||March 23, 2011||11.003||#11|
On day 14, Steve was surprised that Krista and Stephanie had voted for him at the previous Tribal Council. When Steve asked Stephanie why they voted for him, she said that they voted for the weakest competitor.
At Redemption Island, Krista received her luxury item, a Bible, much to the delight of Matt. At the Duel, Matt won his fourth in a row, witnessed by Andrea, Natalie, Julie and Mike. Before Krista departed, she handed over the Bible to Matt, which made Andrea question how much he had bonded with Krista during their time at Redemption Island and speculated that he could be a danger in the future. The next day at Zapatera, Sarita began to irritate her tribe with an issue regarding her tooth. David told Stephanie that in order to remain in the game, she had to try to break up the alliance and get them to vote for Sarita. Stephanie then apologized to Steve after her vote at Tribal Council and that she really wanted to vote for Sarita as she was the weakest tribe member, but he was unsure about her motives. Over at Ometepe, Phillip confronted Ashley and Natalie about what he felt was their lax attitude around the camp. Rob saw the confrontation was a possible fracture among the tribe that would weaken them overall, so he took Phillip aside to attempt to bring peace between the three.
At the Reward/Immunity Challenge, Grant dominated the challenge by scoring four of the points in Ometepe's shutout of Zapatera, despite Mike ripping his shirt off him. While on their reward, Grant and Rob attempted to read the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol without the others noticing, but were caught by Phillip. Phillip felt betrayed by the two guys for not sharing the clue with him, but decided to keep his anger bottled up until presented with a better opportunity to take revenge. Before Tribal Council, David and Stephanie lobbied hard the rest of the tribe to vote out Sarita instead of Stephanie. At Tribal Council, it was acknowledged that Stephanie was seen as a better competitor, but Sarita was seen as more loyal overall. In the end, David and Stephanie's lobbying did not work and Stephanie was sent to Redemption Island.
|327||7||"It Don't Take a Smart One"||6.3/10||3.1/9||March 30, 2011||11.005||#18|
When Zapatera returned to camp from Tribal Council, the rift between David and Sarita continued. Over at Ometepe, Phillip no longer trusted Rob because Rob tried to keep the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol from him and looked for inspiration from The Book of Five Rings to break Rob's control of the tribe.
David, Ralph, Rob, and Phillip witnessed Matt's continued domination at Redemption Island when he won his fifth Duel in a row. While Phillip and Rob were returning from Redemption Island, Phillip asked Rob what information they wanted to withhold from the rest of the tribe. Rob said he wanted to tell them everything and then used Phillip's question against him in order to sow distrust of Phillip amongst the rest of the tribe. Rob also told the tribe that he thought Phillip would flip to the other side when the merge happens. Back at Zapatera, Ralph thought David would flip to the other side at the merge.
The Reward/Immunity Challenge was closely fought, with the lead being traded back and forth several times, but Ometepe eventually prevailed. On the reward trip, Rob found the clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol within a jar of cookies and managed to get it without any of the tribe noticing. He then tossed the clue into the volcano. At Tribal Council, Zapatera again had a choice between loyalty and strength in challenges with the vote split between Sarita and David, respectively. The tribe chose strength and Sarita was sent to Redemption Island.
|328||8||"This Game Respects Big Moves"||6.3/10||3.2/10||April 6, 2011||10.937||#17|
The day 19 treemail arrived announcing the Redemption Island Duel, but unlike previous Duels, the note said that the entire tribe would attend.
The tribes headed off to the Duel anticipating a merge. Before the Duel started, Jeff announced that the winner of the Duel would re-enter the game. Despite an injured foot, Matt outlasted Sarita in the Duel. After Sarita departed the Redemption Island Arena, Jeff announced that the tribes had merged. After some celebrating by the castaways, Jeff handed the new tribe a map to a new beach and surprised the tribe by announcing that Redemption Island would still be in play. When the tribe arrived at their new beach, the traditional merger feast was awaiting them. Rob proposed naming the tribe Murlonio, which he claimed was Spanish for "from the sea, united", but in reality did not mean anything and was an inside joke between Rob and Amber Mariano named after one of her stuffed animals. Mike saw Matt as the linchpin vote at Tribal Council and approached him about joining the former Zapatera tribe along with Andrea. Mike promised Matt to go to the final four with him, even at the expense of his own tribe and the use of the Hidden Immunity Idol. Matt told Andrea that he wanted to vote out the Ometepe tribe, starting with voting out Steve as a diversion, and then voting out Phillip and Rob. Andrea was unsure if she wanted to flip alliances. The next day, Matt was torn between going through with his plan or to stick with Ometepe.
At the first Individual Immunity Challenge, Natalie took the win over Mike. The former Zapatera tribe plotted to do something Rob would not have thought of by voting out Grant. Matt decided that he would honor his God and instead of flipping to Zapatera, he would stick with Ometepe. Matt told Rob of Mike's final four and Hidden Immunity Idol offer. While the two were talking, Andrea stopped by and Matt told Andrea that he would not be flipping and revealed his plotting with her to vote out Rob. Andrea felt that Matt had thrown her under the bus to Rob. Rob decided that Matt could not be trusted and that he had to be sent back to Redemption Island. Rob rounded up the rest of the Ometepe tribe to plot to vote out Matt. Mike continued to work on getting Matt to flip even so far as writing a note to Matt promising him final three if he voted for Grant. Matt showed the note to Andrea. Rob took Andrea aside to tell her that the vote was going against Matt. Andrea was torn whether to keep Matt or be the deciding vote to eliminate Grant instead, as it would mean betraying 2 of her 3 main allies- Grant and Rob, and she was now unsure after Matt had revealed their prior plans to Rob whether she could trust Matt moving forward, and also unsure what her situation would then become with Matt having already gone back on his idea of them switching to the Zapatera side. She also considered telling Matt about the situation but did not. Before the Tribal Council votes were read, Ralph stepped up and told Jeff that he wanted to play the Hidden Immunity Idol on Mike. However, no votes were cast against Mike. Matt stuck with what he promised to Rob and voted against Steve. Andrea decided to save Grant over Matt, and the rest of Ometepe also voted for Matt, and he was blindsided for the second time in a 6-5-1 vote and sent back to Redemption Island.
|329||9||"The Buddy System"||6.6/11||3.1/9||April 13, 2011||11.086||#10|
The day after Tribal Council, Ralph asked Ashley if he was next on the chopping block and offered his vote for her at the final Tribal Council over Rob should she make it to the top three. Natalie told Rob about Ralph's offer and how Ashley said that she would not tell Rob about the offer. Rob decided that because of that transgression, Ashley would not make it to the final three. Rob tried to keep his Ometepe tribemates from forging alliances with the Zapatera tribe members, even going so far as having separate living quarters and eating times. The former Ometepe agreed to a "buddy system" where none of them would talk to the former Zapatera about the game at all. Rob also spoke in confessionals of his long terms plans of bringing Phillip and Natalie to the final 3 with him, feeling it was already becoming obvious they would be the two easiest to beat in the end.
At the Immunity Challenge, Grant, Rob, Ralph, Mike, David, and Julie moved on to the second round. Grant, Mike, and David then moved to the final round where Grant solved the puzzle first to take the second Individual Immunity Challenge. While the Ometepe alliance was down the beach, Mike and David noticed that tribe's flag had moved, so they started digging around the pole thinking that there was a Hidden Immunity Idol. The Ometepe alliance noticed the digging and raced back to camp to dig for themselves. Rob was concerned that Zapatera might have found another Hidden Immunity Idol. At Tribal Council, the former Zapatera tried to sow doubt into Phillip's mind that he was the sixth man in the Ometepe alliance, but Phillip did not bite and threw it right back at the Zapatera members. When the vote came, Ometepe decided to send Mike to Redemption Island.
When the tribe returned to camp, Rob congratulated Phillip on his stand against Zapatera at Tribal Council and told him that he was not at the bottom of the Ometepe alliance, but at the top of the Ometepe alliance. Ralph approached Phillip and Andrea to talk about the game, but they deflected his attempts.
When the tribe arrived at the Immunity Challenge site, they were greeted with the view of cheeseburgers. Jeff told them that anybody who wanted to eat could do so, but they would be out of the challenge. Steve and Phillip opted out of challenge to eat. The challenge came down to a battle between David and the women of Ometepe. After over 45 minutes, David dropped from the bar. Andrea told Ashley and Natalie that she really wanted this challenge. Ashley and Natalie agreed to drop from the bar, giving Andrea the win. After awarding Andrea the Individual Immunity necklace, Jeff told the tribe that they would meet at Tribal Council to vote out a castaway who would meet both Matt and Mike at Redemption Island. Rob was torn between whether to vote out David or Steve, and the Ometepe alliance discussed multiple options. At Tribal Council, the Ometepe alliance chose David, and despite a bold plea to make his vote count four times, David went to Redemption Island.
|330||10||"Rice Wars"||6.3/10||3.1/9||April 20, 2011||11.024||#10|
On day 25, Phillip had a premonition while meditating that made him decide that he had come to a "full circle of trust" with Rob. When the Zapatera alliance enjoyed a relatively substantial meal of rice from their provisions, Phillip thought they were trying to eat all of their rice before they get voted out. He decided that the camp's rice was for all and he took several scoops from Zapatera's can of rice.
The entire tribe witnessed the new three-way Redemption Island Duel where Mike and Matt built their towers ahead of David, who became the first member of the jury. On day 26, when Andrea opened Ometepe's can of rice, she discovered that there were maggots in the rice. After the Ometepe alliance sorted out their rice on a blanket, Andrea asked if they could put their rice in the Zapatera alliance's can, but Steve refused. Phillip and Steve had a fierce argument over the matter. Phillip thought Steve was being racist after Steve had called him "crazy", which Phillip equated with the term "nigger".
At the Immunity Challenge, Rob, Julie, Ralph, Andrea, Steve, and Grant moved on to the final round. In the final round, Rob barely edged out Steve for the win. When the tribe returned to camp, Julie buried Phillip's swim trunks while he was out on a walk. At Tribal Council, the argument between Phillip and Steve was discussed. Phillip thought Steve's tone during the argument had a racist undertone. Steve declared there was no prejudice within him, and that he also played football along with African Americans in his previous years. Jeff then asked who had taken Phillip's swim trunks, to which Julie joyfully fessed to taking them and burying them under a rock. When the votes were cast, Julie was sent to Redemption Island.
|331||11||"A Mystery Package"||6.4/10||3.2/9||April 27, 2011||11.324||#9|
When the tribe returned to camp, Steve attempted to bury the hatchet with Phillip regarding their argument, but Phillip thought the apology was self-serving and not entirely genuine. Phillip had another premonition from his great-great-grandfather that he would find the shorts that Julie buried and after looking, he did indeed find them.
Over on Redemption Island, Matt was struggling with remaining focused on the game, but his faith pulled him through to a victory along with Mike in the second three-way Redemption Island Duel. Grant suggested to Rob that Andrea be the first of the Ometepe alliance to be voted out as he was concerned that she had some sympathy for voting out Matt.
After Jeff described the Reward/Immunity Challenge, he held up a wrapped package and announced that there would be a twist after the challenge. In the first round of the challenge, Grant defeated Rob, Ashley defeated Andrea, Ralph defeated Steve, and Phillip defeated Natalie. In the second round, Grant defeated Ashley and Ralph defeated Phillip. Grant won the last round to take his second Individual Immunity. Jeff then said that Grant could choose two people to share his reward and he selected Rob and Andrea. Grant wanted Andrea to feel secure in the final 3 promise she thought she had with Rob and Grant, and be unaware of her lower position in the Ometepe alliance. Jeff gave the wrapped package to the tribe, told them not to unwrap it and to bring it to the night's Tribal Council. The castaways speculated about the wrapped package, thinking it was a set of cards and that they might have to vote out a second person at the upcoming Tribal Council. Rob decided that Ralph would be voted out next at Tribal Council because he was still a threat in the game while he thought Steve had already given up. Rob informed Ashley and Natalie about his and Grant's concerns about Andrea's loyalties and the two girls agreed to vote for Andrea should they have to vote out two people at Tribal Council. Steve approached Ashley and Natalie about having the three girls of the Ometepe alliance blindside Rob, but Ashley and Natalie declined because they wanted Andrea out of the game. When the two girls told Rob about Steve's offer, Rob reassessed Steve's desire to stay in the game and considered voting out Steve ahead of Andrea. At Tribal Council, Steve made one last play to the girls to blindside Rob, but when the vote came, the girls did not flip and Ralph was sent to Redemption Island.
As soon as Ralph departed Tribal Council, Jeff announced that the tribe could unwrap the mystery package. The package contained a set of cards that announced that the tribe would immediately compete in an Immunity Challenge and then vote out a member of the tribe. Rob outlasted Ashley and Steve to win Individual Immunity. The castaways then went straight to the vote where they sent Steve to Redemption Island.
|332||12||"You Mangled My Nets"||6.4/10||3.1/9||May 4, 2011||10.990||#13|
Day 31's tree mail brought a Sprint Samsung Epic 4G announcing the next Redemption Island Duel and video messages from the castaway's loved ones. The four on Redemption Island also received a similar phone announcing the duel and video messages from their loved ones. When the castaways arrived at the Redemption Island Duel, Jeff took the phones back and then announced that the first winner of the Duel would get to spend time with their loved one in person. Mike was the first person to win at the duel and won a visit from his mother, Jane. Matt and Ralph finished the duel in second and third place to continue in the game. When Mike's mother arrived at the Redemption Island Arena, Jeff gave Mike three choices: he could take the visit from his mother, he could opt to forgo the visit with his mother and instead give Matt's brother, Burton and Ralph's friend, Ronnie for a visit, or he could forgo the visit with his mother and give the Ometepe Six a visit from their loved ones. All of the loved ones entered the Redemption Island Arena while Mike made his decision. Mike took inspiration from the Bible to give the most good to the most people and chose to give visits to the Ometepe Six (Andrea's dad, Royal; Ashley's mom, Teri; Grant's brother-in-law, Steve; Natalie's mom, Tracie; Phillip's sister, Tracy; and Rob's sister, Heather). The Ometepe Six then headed back to camp to spend the afternoon with their loved ones. Back at the Redemption Island campsite, Ralph was upset at Mike's decision while Matt said he couldn't have made the same decision but also admired Mike for being able to. Mike claimed that the decision was not strategic, but just the right thing to do. Jeff though openly questioned if Mike's decision was to increase his chances of winning jury votes, especially from the Ometepe side, should he reach the end.
On day 32, Rob won the exhausting Immunity Challenge to win his second Individual Immunity in a row. The tribe decided to blindside Andrea at Tribal Council. Before Tribal Council, Phillip complained about a tangled fishing net. He also tore down part of the roof of the Zapatera part of the shelter and threw it in the fire. He did this to reinforce his strategy of playing the villain/annoyance-of-the-tribe in order to be seen as being somebody easy to defeat at the Final Tribal Council. Rob and Grant wavered voting out Andrea or Phillip. In the end, the tribe stuck to the original plan of voting for Andrea and she was sent to Redemption Island.
|333||13||"Too Close For Comfort"||6.3/10||3.1/9||May 11, 2011||10.771||#18|
When the castaways returned from Tribal Council, Ashley thought she had a strong alliance with Natalie, but Natalie was leaning more towards her alliance with Rob. Rob told Natalie to keep up appearances with Ashley and thought about voting out Ashley next.
Over at Redemption Island, Andrea and Matt argued over Andrea's blindside of Matt. Matt argued Andrea had betrayed him again which was a slap in the face given how close they had become, while Andrea argued she had been willing to work with Matt even over Rob, until he had betrayed her trust when he revealed to Rob how she and he had considered flipping sides to the Zaps with Matt, and unnecessarily doing so even after Matt changed those plans. She also blamed Matt's stupidity as causing Rob's distrust in her, and for her position at the bottom of her Ometepe alliance. On day 33, the Redemption Island Duel was held with Mike, Matt, and Andrea finishing the puzzle ahead of Ralph after he blew a huge lead from the maze stage when he struggled with the word puzzle. The next day, Rob and Grant discussed voting out Ashley. Meanwhile, Phillip and the girls argued over food. Rob was upset Phillip was drawing the girls closer when he wanted to pull them apart. Rob reassured Natalie that he would take her to the end. Back at camp Ashley started to worry about her position in the game, telling Natalie she thought Rob would vote one of them off at the end to make sure Grant was in the final 3. Ashley thought about making a big game move and approached Rob about voting off Grant. She argued to Rob that neither she or Rob could beat Grant in a jury vote, and that with Mike or Matt expected to be the one to return from Redemption Island, having 2 off Grant, Mike, Matt around would leave the others no chance to win any remaining immunity challenges. Rob told Ashley he would consider it, but then told Grant about Ashley's proposal and they agreed to vote out Ashley next.
However, their plan was left in tatters when Ashley won the combined Reward/Immunity Challenge. Rob now the choice of voting off Natalie or Grant and despite the threat of an all girls alliance of Natalie and Ashley, Rob decided that Grant was the bigger threat and voted him off.
|334||14||"Seems Like a No Brainer"||7.1/11||4.0/10||May 15, 2011||13.303||#8|
Day 36 saw the final Redemption Island Duel. The castaways lasted 40 minutes before Grant's vase tipped over and he became the fifth jury member. After the one-hour mark, Matt's vase tipped off the board and he became the sixth jury member after surviving ten duels and 29 days on Redemption Island. The Duel came down to Andrea and Mike, with Mike being unable to keep his vase balanced, allowing Andrea to win and re-enter the game. When Andrea returned to camp, she started to scramble to remain in the game by making up a story to Ashley and Natalie that Ralph, Matt, and Mike said they would vote for Phillip at the final Tribal Council, which was a complete lie but seemed to have the girls worried. Ashley thought Andrea might join her and Natalie in voting out Phillip or Rob.
At the Immunity Challenge, Ashley edged out Andrea and Rob to win. When the castaways returned to camp, Rob overtly took Ashley, Natalie, and Phillip aside to tell them that Andrea had to be voted off. In a private confessional he said voting out Andrea instead of Phillip or Natalie (or himself) was a no brainer from his perspective, as she had worked hard around camp, performed admirably in challenges, and had strong connections and had made no enemies on the jury. Ashley asked Natalie about Rob's plan for the subsequent vote to make sure that the next to go after Andrea would be Phillip. Natalie was concerned about Rob keeping Phillip, but promised to Ashley that her next vote would go against Phillip. Phillip openly reported on the girl's discussions, but then took off for a private conversation with Rob. While the guys were gone, Andrea again lobbied the two other girls in voting out Rob. At Tribal Council, Andrea again lobbied the girls to take control of the game. Rob though pointed out to the others that Andrea was also a huge threat, and proved it again today, and too well liked by jury members to want to take to the end. Andrea then countered by saying the jury were not made up of dummies, and Rob would be an easy choice to win should he be allowed to reach the end, as he had controlled things, while Natalie and Ashley had just followed Rob's orders. Before the votes were read, Rob pulled out the Hidden Immunity Idol and played it. However, the Idol was not needed as Ashley and Natalie stayed loyal to Rob and voted out Andrea. At the Reunion show Natalie and Ashley claimed to have known about the Idol, and with this being the last time it could be played, knowing Rob almost certainly was playing it, so possibly voting him out instead of Andrea would have been pointless.
When the castaways returned to camp after Tribal Council, Rob promised the girls that they would go to the final three together. At the Immunity Challenge, Ashley and Rob finished the maze stage, but were stumped by the difficult puzzle. In the end, Rob figured out the puzzle spelled out "Only You Are Safe" to win the final Individual Immunity; guaranteeing him a spot in the final Tribal Council. After the challenge, Rob again told the girls that they were safe and to not tell Phillip about their plans. Ashley asked Natalie to tell her if Rob were to change his plans and Natalie promised that she would. Rob told Phillip that Ashley was going home. Rob took Natalie aside try to convince her to vote against Ashley by pointing out that Ashley may have made a connection with the former Zapatera members on the jury and that she was a threat. Ashley again asked Natalie if Rob had said anything about voting against her, but Natalie lied and said that nothing was going on. At Tribal Council, Natalie found herself in a similar predicament Rob had been in with Grant and Natalie last Tribal Council, torn between her friendship with Ashley and her loyalty to Rob. Ashley made the mistake when probed by Jeff by openly stating she had a much better chance of winning the game than either Natalie or Phillip, and could actually beat Rob, but felt she should be taken to the finals anyway due to her game long loyalty. In the end, Natalie sided with Rob by voting for her instead of Phillip to avoid a tie and firemaking challenge, and Ashley became the final member of the jury.
Natalie, Phillip, and Rob enjoyed the traditional day 39 breakfast. Phillip told Rob and Natalie that he was never proud of his pink underwear and burned them. At the final Tribal Council, Natalie emphasized her social skills and her loyalty to Rob. Phillip told the jury that Rob was the mastermind of their entire plan while he implemented it. Rob told the jury that he played the game the best he could so that he could support his family. Andrea called Natalie and Rob's relationship "kind of creepy at times" and lambasted Natalie for betraying Ashley just to apease Rob; and told Phillip to explain who he was if he wanted her vote to which he replied this was the real Phillip Sheppard, and if she didn't like it then don't vote for him. Ashley told Phillip to shut up since she didn't want to hear him speak, blasted Natalie for not at least warning her she was going home, and told Rob she didn't know who the real Rob was and probably didn't want to anymore. Grant asked about Rob about his alliance with Natalie, pointing out he had an alliance with Rob that he had was strong also, and then asked Natalie about her alliance with Rob also. Rob replied he valued both their friendship and alliance but voted him out since he believed he couldnt beat him at the end, and he couldnt sit up there with him if his goal were to win. Natalie said she couldnt speak of Grant and Rob's relationship, only of her own with Rob, that she imagined Grant and Rob might have had similar discussions, but that Grant's ouster should have come as no surprise given what a threat he was. An angry and irritated Julie called Rob out in bringing just a little girl and a guy nobody respects to the final. She told Natalie her parents would be ashamed of her and the way she played the game, told Rob to raise his daughters to be strong women and not servants like Natalie, and asked Phillip if his son would be ashamed of him and while launching more criticism on Phillip he cut her off and chimed in "To hell with you." Steve called Phillip a shameful and sad man that he felt sorry for, praised Rob for his control of his tribe, and complimented Natalie for outplaying him despite being 3 times younger. Ralph criticized Natalie for not even talking to him their whole time and for not being able to so much as blow her nose without Rob's permission, compared Rob to a cult leader, and then asked Phillip if he liked him to which he replied he did, that he thinks they would have been friends if on the same tribe, and they commended each other on their work ethic. Mike asked each of the three what they learnt from the experience. Matt attacked Rob for numerous betrayals and deceitful gameplay and asked where the line was drawn to which Rob replied it is drawn when you get back to real life only. The final juror David asked no questions but simply addressed all jury members, saying Phillip should not even be a consideration to vote for, that Natalie only got there riding Rob's back, and made a resounding speech in favor of Rob's dominant gameplay, how he had successfully blindsided and duped every jury member, and how Rob should be the clear winning choice of the Final 3.
|335||15||"Reunion"||5.9/9||3.5/8||May 15, 2011||10.950||#16|
|Nearly a year later, the jurors cast their vote and Rob was awarded the title of Sole Survivor by a vote of 8–1–0. Ralph cast the lone vote for Phillip, giving him sole possession of second place, while Natalie received no votes. The castaways discuss the season with host, Jeff Probst.|
- The first round of voting resulted in a tie. Per the rules, a second vote was held where the castaways involved in the tie would not vote and the remaining castaways could only vote for those who tied.
- Kristina played a hidden immunity idol, therefore the two votes cast against her did not count.
- Rob played a hidden immunity idol, therefore the vote cast against him did not count.
- Ralph, Russell and Stephanie were not eligible to vote in the second Tribal Council vote.
The season was universally panned by critics. The primary criticisms are that Redemption Island itself ruined the drama and significance of the elimination, that the cast as a whole was boring and unlikable, and that once Russell Hantz was eliminated, the competition became unfairly favorable to Rob Mariano. Survivor columnist of Entertainment Weekly Dalton Ross ranked it as the 10th-worst season, stating that "the fuse blew out" after the first three episodes, and also that "Most of the vote-offs were clearly telegraphed and the Redemption Island twist sucked the life out of the signature moment - the vote-off." Survivor: Tocantins runner-up and People's Survivor columnist Stephen Fishbach stated that he thought it was the worst season ever. In 2013, Andrea Reiher of Zap2it ranked it as the worst season of Survivor, saying "this season continually felt like one big 'let's win Boston Rob the Survivor title' game orchestrated by the producers for three months," and also criticized the Ometepe tribe as "a tribe full of gomers who were too star-struck to act against [Rob]," which "became more and more boring." In 2014, Joe Reid of The Wire ranked Redemption Island as the worst season of the series, similarly noting that "The coronation of Boston Rob was a foregone conclusion from the earliest stages...The whole season had an air of uselessness around it, and we'd have all been better off if CBS had just aired a 30-minute special where Les Moonves wrote Mariano a check." Reid also described the entire new cast as being "full of lemmings and idiots." Since 2012, Survivor fan site "Survivor Oz" has consistently ranked Redemption Island as the worst season ever in its annual polls ranking every season of the series. It was also ranked as the worst season of all time in 2015 on former Survivor contestant and reality TV podcast host Rob Cesternino's website, both by Cesternino himself and by the fan poll. This was updated in 2021 during Rob's Survivor All-Time Top 40 Rankings podcast where the listeners ranked it 39th out of 40 seasons. Fellow Survivor fan site "The Purple Rock Podcast" ranked Redemption Island as the sixth-worst season in 2020, describing it as "generally boring and predictable television." Inside Survivor ranked this season last out of the first 40 seasons citing the Redemption Island twist and Mariano's "vice grip on the game".
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