It only took two episodes for our returning stars to really get the wheels moving for this game. Our Round Table writers are excited to talk about Rob's big move and Russell's extensive arrogance.
As always, we encourage answers from our readers.
Should Phillip or Kristina have been voted out instead of Matt?
Kyle Kalember: Since it was impossible for Kristina to get voted out with her idol I'll have to say Phillip. Now Kristina would have been my preference due to her idiotic sorta-play of the idol to get rid of Rob, but Phillip is crazy. At least he isn't "I want to turn off the TV because you make me ill" crazy. Rob's one-liner was enough to make the Phillip experience worth it to me. If he gives Rob more ammunition for great comedy then you can sign me up.
Dan Forcella: Did Boston Rob making the right move? I'd say yeah. He's shaking things up by getting rid of a good competitor that seems pretty likable. Neither Phillip nor Kristina seem like a threat to him now or in the future.
Luke Dwyer: A player like Phillip is perfect for someone like Rob. He's so crazy he keeps the attention off of the power player, Rob, and on the nut job, Phillip. So long as Phillip is in the game, Rob is safe.
How would you have handled noticing that Russell stole the clue to the hidden immunity idol?
Kyle: I would have told others and let them confront Russell. No good ever comes from personally challenging Russell. Even Rob wasn't able to survive that firestorm and I don't want that kind of heat. I don't think Russell can continue to do this and win forever, but until he loses one of these confrontations I'm out.
Dan: That's a tough call, but calling out Russell is always just going to cause a ridiculous argument. If I'm Ralph I just point it out to the others without causing a scene. It shouldn't matter that much since he already had the idol that Russell found the clue to.
Jane: I would not have confronted him in a group setting - he's Russell Hantz! I would have approached him and said that I noticed he found the clue and suggest working together to find it just to see what he'd say about it.
Luke: If you're going to go after Russell Hantz, you've got to do it 100%. None of this polite "I'm just asking" b.s. that Ralph gave us. How about "Russell, I saw you take the clue, now give it to us"?
Can Russell survive with his two female alliance?
Kyle: In the words of Russell Hanz himself he only needs 3 and has only ever needed three. Bottom line the man makes it to the end without massive alliances so more power to him. The problem this time is that he doesn't have the idol. His alliance always had that to fall back on. I'm not sure that he can again survive a minority alliance without an idol. This will test the limit of Russell's game.
Dan: Russell can survive with no alliance. He is great at getting to the end and I don't see that changing any time soon. Is he already on a path of losing at the end? You bet he is.
Jane: It's worked in the past and seems to continue to work for him. His team is winning challenges too so it will be difficult to determine if his plan is working until his tribe has to start voting. What Russell does not understand is that people don't like him and won't vote for him to win the money.
Luke: Maybe I'm being naive, but eventually these players will figure out how to simply use numbers against Russell's boorishness. Don't forget, Russell ruled with the idol(s) in his back pocket. He won't have as easy of a time turning players to his side or intimidating others without it.
How would you have reacted to Matt congratulating Zapatera?
Kyle: I would have been pissed too. I don't really think it was what got him voted out though. Rob was going after that Andrea/Matt pairing anyway and all Matt did was take a bullet for Andrea. I can't wait to see what Andrea does to make Rob say that she'll "slit my throat" though. Sounds like more awesome Survivor crazy.
Dan: Whatever. Different strokes for different folks. I want my teammates to be competitive, but it definitely isn't worth voting him out over. There were other reasons to vote Matt out, but not because he said "nice job" to the purple squad.
Jane: I usually appreciate good sportsmanship, but that was just weird. It was very obvious that there was an alterior motive, because of the way the groups were separated. Matt really went out of his way to congratulate Zapatera. However it was ironic that Rob criticized Matt for playing an end game on day three, while Rob is plotting to get rid of Matt because he knows how strong a two person alliance is in the end. Hello kettle, my name is Rob.
Luke: We may shake hands after a "good game" at the amateur level, but you never see that in the pros. Survivor is definitely professional level gaming and there's no place for that sort of politicking in the game. Especially when it's so obvious.
Is Phillip the most delusional Survivor player ever?
Kyle: Easily. We have seen crazy, we have even seen bat-shit crazy, but we have never quite seen anyone like Phillip. He gets his own category (the red underwear to me is what pushes him over the top...my god). Did anyone else catch the "?" that appeared after his title when he caught the crab? I love the fact that even the producers are having a good time with him by jokingly questioning his career. I would also wager my life that someone somewhere has already created a drinking game around how often he mentions being a "special" agent and says the word trust. I hope those pioneers didn't die last night.
Dan: I don't think he is nearly as delusional as the first season of Coach Wade. Do you remember the story about traveling down the Amazon when the natives captured him? Then again, maybe that actually happened.
Jane: He's up there. I would like to see a top 10 list of delusional players and then pit their interviews against each other and have our writers/readers vote. It would be our own Delusional Survivor game.
Luke: He's not the most delusional player ever (I have to agree with Dan, there), but he's definitely on the Mt. Rushmore of Survivor delusional players. Have we forgotten NaOnka so quickly? Coach Wade, Phillip, NaOnka and Shambo make up my Mt. Rushmore with an honorable mention to Johnny Fairplay and Tyson.