“Boston Rob” Mariano’s plan on Survivor: Redemption Island suffered a setback Wednesday night. Even a master at this game can have a bad day once in awhile. The bad part is that Rob won’t find out whether he made the right choices to fix it until the season finale on Sunday night. Of course by then, it will be too late.
This group of contestants has voted together since the beginning of Survivor: Redemption Island, yet now that they’ve voted out all possible enemies, they’ve had to turn on their own. Last week was an easy one as they turned on Andrea who had wavered in her alliance. This week was much tougher. Everyone was so tight. Once Ashley started making overtures to break up the alliance before it even got to that point, she became an easy target for Rob. He just needed to make sure he could get everyone else behind that decision.
Ashley knew Natalie was on her side, and she thought they should band together to get Grant out. Natalie is so also tight with Boston Rob, and she went straight to him with the information. The idea of voting Grant out didn’t bother him nearly as much as the realization that Ashley and Natalie were getting close and could turn on him. Ashley was the one with all the ideas, so she became the enemy, as he decided she would be the next to be voted out.
The worst possible thing happened as Ashley ended up winning the immunity/reward challenge. Rob had a confessional where he stated that just when you think you have it all figured out, the worst possible thing happens. He still doesn’t want to vote out Phil, because he wants to sit next to him in the final three. This meant he had to turn on one of his closest allies, either Grant or Natalie.
It wasn’t what Rob wanted to do, and he even addressed Grant through the camera, telling him that when he watched the show back, he’d see how much this wasn’t what he wanted. Ashley made things even worse when she was allowed to share her food reward with one other person and chose Natalie. Rob considered voting Natalie out instead to break up that alliance, but in the end he decided to take out Grant who was definitely blindsided.
Grant joined the three others on Redemption Island – Matt, Mike, and Andrea. In the four-person duel earlier in the episode, Ralph had lost and joined the jury. In the season finale on Sunday night, one of those four on Redemption Island will win the next duel and be allowed to join Rob, Phil, Ashley, and Natalie. All of them have beefs with Rob, but the most dangerous to come back in the game would probably be Andrea or Grant, who could easily join with the others to vote Rob out.
However, there’s still the matter of the immunity idol Rob is holding. It’s been a complete non-factor in the game since the merge. Normally this would have been the show that was the last one for the immunity idol to be used. It wasn’t used and wasn’t mentioned, so it’s possible that the next tribal council, which will be the second final five after someone from Redemption Island rejoins them, could be the last time the immunity idol could be used. If so, Rob needs to just use it to make it past that hump and to final four.
Rob still has a very good shot at making the final four. He’s going to need to win the immunity challenge after that one, though, to ensure being there in the finals. That way he can get rid of Ashley, assuming in the previous tribal council he voted out whomever was brought back into the game from Redemption Island.
Boston Rob is so close to the end, but he still very much needs to play all his cards right to make it to the final three. Hopefully then the jury will see how much strategy he employed throughout the season and how much control he truly had to be able to make it into the final three, and they will reward him by naming him the winner, something he has worked towards for four seasons.
For more on Survivor: Redemption Island, see SirLinksalot.