May 11, 2011 at 10:03 PM ET
Rob Mariano called tonight's vote on "Survivor: Redemption Island" the "biggest vote we've had so far." But really, it was just another inevitable vote.
A considerable amount of the episode's first half was spent on Rob explaining why Ashley would be the next to go. She's the more strategic half of the Ashley/Natalie pair, and as Rob explained, "A couple is very powerful in this game. ... If they trust and believe in each other, it's a very powerful thing."
Then Ashley won immunity, and his plan went out the door. But because he's the only person actually playing the game, Rob had a plan B -- Grant.
Rob is making decisions based upon who is the biggest threat, and that made Grant the next most logical choice to send to Redemption Island. "Even though it does break my heart, bud, I have to vote your a-- out tonight," he said to Grant in a confessional interview, anticipating the time when Grant would be watching the show on TV. The most interesting part to me was that Probst didn't read all the votes, so Grant could just attribute the backstab to Phillip, thus keeping Grant on Rob's side, should he re-enter the game.
As to Phillip, Rob is carrying him along because the alleged former federal agent is reviled. Phillip is really the Russell of this season, at least in terms of strategy, because he thinks he's going to convince everyone to vote for him after he gets to the end. But instead, he's just a pawn to help someone else win.
Phillip started another fight with the women, arguing that they need only 1,700 calories a day to survive, compared to the 3,600 the men need, and then acting childish by jumping in the shelter to annoy them. Rob said, "He's pathetic. He's crazy. Not the N-word crazy, just crazy." But that is final two or final three gold for Rob because he knows no one will vote for Phillip, even if Phillip pulls off his face and reveals himself to be Jesus.
Back at Redemption Island, Ralph made Andrea sleep on the ground. ("Payback," he said, for the way her tribe treated his.) Faced with her new reality, she cried before the duel, saying it was "shocking and humbling" to be voted out because she "really trusted people." But as Ralph said, "Rob was using you like toilet paper."
At the duel -- which is now a four-person challenge -- Ralph finished the maze first, but struggled with the puzzle, and was sent to the jury.
Keep reading on realityblurred.com to learn more about Sunday's finale and where next season will be filmed.
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