'Survivor: Redemption Island' premiere: Phillip Sheppard drives a Dodge Stratus!

phillip-sheppard-survivor-redemption-island.jpg"Survivor" is back with a Redemption Island twist, plus two famous villains in Boston Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz. It should certainly be interesting.

The show kicks off with Jeff bringing them all in by giant helicopter. We hope they get pushed out the cargo opening, like Marines or something. They can swim to shore, right? Unfortunately, they get dropped off all civil-like. Bor-ing.

Jeff then brings Rob and Russell out and you can tell who in the cast is an actual fan of the show because they freak out like Brad Pitt just got dropped onto the beach. There's a little dark-haired Parvati-like girl named Stephanie who wants to team up with Russell very badly. Francesca says it looks like R & R are sizing them up like prey. Heh.

The guys draw their buffs and Rob joins Ometepe and Russell joins Zapatera (hey, they're purple and their name is Zapatera! That's like the Zap2it tribe!). Zapatera is also the tribe with the Parvati girl. She looks pleased. Jeff then has to explain the Redemption Island twist - eliminated people will face off there in a duel, then at some point, the person who has outlasted the others will be allowed to rejoin the game. It leaves me wondering if the current players will get to know which player(s) are left at Redemption Island.

They then waste like 5 minutes asking  "What if" Shambo had played during a Redemption Island season. Um, get on with it, show.

Zapatera

Russell is ready to take charge. He better watch it, he'll be first out. He says he's not going to sabotage them at all and he's ready to win. Each tribe is given a Craftsman box to build a shelter. Ooh, fancy. Mike will be popular, he's handsome and a former Marine who did two tours in Iraq, so, ya know, wow.

Russell finds Stephanie like a moth to a flame. He can tell she's a cute girl who he can manipulate and has a bit of hero-worship/daddy complex going on with him. He does acknowledge that they cannot be seen together because she's "that girl." This is so meta. How come Russell never goes after tall women? Weird.

Kristen Wiig Sarita says they need to get Russell out immediately. She, David and Mike see what Russell is up to right away in regards to Stephanie.

Ometepe

Rob is really pitching in with the shelter and the tribe is happy to just smother him with praise and warm feelings. Seriously, he's reality royalty and he and Amber are so cute with their two daughters, how can you not just adore him?

Ome has a guy on the tribe I will have a hard time not calling Fabio because he looks like last season's Fabio. Phillip is rubbing people the wrong way right off because he's being bossy. Andrea the Farm Girl (represent, Andrea!) does not like her ax skills being questioned by Phillip.

Phillip then reveals he's a former federal agent and that means his word is good as gold and he's an expert at analyzing people's behavior. Uh, I'm not sure I would've presented this information in quite this way. It could've been presented in a very casual way, but him making a big proclamation makes him seem like a cocky jerk. Hilariously, in his next talking-head the graphics guys label him, "Former federal agent?" Heeeee. I love the editors on this show, they are so brilliant.

Toni Collette Kristina is wondering about the Hidden Immunity Idol clue and tries to look for it. Rob distracts Andrea away from the basket of stuff and then quietly calls Kristina on looking for the clue. She says she can't find it. He doesn't appear to find it either.

Phillip continues to be intense by going after Rob for an alliance, then separately Kristina. Wow, he needs to chill out. Meanwhile, Kristina thinks she's in trouble with Rob around because the guys are in awe and the girls think he's cute and as the "older" woman, she's kind of left out.

She also has her HII radar on high alert and lo and behold, she finds the damn thing just by looking for it. Wow, Kristina. Good for you.

Butt crack blur.

Kristina approaches Francesca and Phillip, as some of the other "oldies" to get Rob out. Francesca is on board, but Phillip is not so much.  He then starts grilling (or would that be "interrogating") Kristina and Francesca about the votes. .He gets totally condescending and I feel they will regret talking to him about this.

Also - what is with the nasty saggy red briefs Phillip has on? No sooner do I type that then Francesca says the same thing. She's fun.

Immunity Challenge

Each tribe is using big blocks to build steps up a temple. They then chop ropes with an ax which releases more steps to the top where there is a puzzle. First tribe that raises their flag at the top wins.

Zapatera gets off to a quick lead (because they are having people push in the middle of the blocks and Ometepe doesn't always seem to). Zap runs up, their hillbilly Ralph (I say that with the utmost affection for him) chops the ropes like a champ and they move to the puzzle.

When Ometepe kind-of catches up, Jeff puts it on Rob by calling him out as a great puzzle-solver. Zap's lead has disappeared, but they manage to pull it out, so they earn flint and Ome heads to Tribal.

Pre-Tribal

Kristina tells Francesca about her HII and says they should lull the girls into voting for Kristina, then the two of them plus Phillip vote out Rob and she plays the Idol. Wow, that's an early time to play the Idol. Francesca argues that it might be a bit early to vote out Rob since they need him to win challenges.

Rob has decided that Kristina cannot be trusted and needs to go. He rallies the young 'uns to split their votes between Francesca and Kristina because he suspects Kris has the Idol. Well, if that works and K/F get Phillip to vote for Rob, they'll have a 3-3-3 tie. Hmm.

As Phillip drones on to Kristina about wanting to know the votes she has, the editors put in a monkey blinking its eyes like it can't stay awake. Heh. Kris finally has to show Phillip the Idol because he can't stop blathering on about knowing all the votes. She's worried he'll spaz, but what choice did she have?

Tribal Council

Nothing much happens at first, but then Phillip the Big Mouth says that Fran and Kris asked him to cast his vote for Rob. OH MY GOD. Does he think that is going to win him any friends? Not only is he selling out the only two people who were even slightly interested in aligning with him, but is anybody else going to trust him now? I don't think this is seen as an act of solidarity for Rob, it's seen as an act of being a snitch. And snitches get stitches.

Phillip then loses his mind when Francesca interjects and Fran calls him a crazy person. He then says, "I'm a former special agent," which he follows up with "I can do 100 push-ups in 20 minutes!" and "I drive a Dodge Stratus!" Phillip then says he's voting for "Francesqua." And the coup de grace is when he spills about the Idol! STFU, dude! Holy jumping jackrabbits, this is making him look bat-crap totally insane crazypants.

Fran and Kris then have to scramble and deny everything and everybody is completely bowled over. Kris has to admit to having the Idol and Rob starts in on her for masterminding an ouster of him. She says they considered it, which duh, Rob has to be nuts to think they wouldn't even consider it. But he then gets awesome by demanding to see the Idol and telling her that if she gives it to him, she can stay. WOW.

She says no, he gives it back and Rob says he's going to vote the same way he agreed with the people he said he'd vote with. Then they vote.

We see Rob vote for Francesca and he says to the camera that they don't know enough to keep their mouths shut. Well, Francesca and Kristina do. Phillip is a certifiable nut. We also see Natalie vote for Kris and Fran vote for Phillip.

Kris does not play her Idol. The votes go Kristina, Kristina, Francesca, Phillip, Francesca, Phillip, Kristina, Francesca and ... Francesca. That is such a bummer. She was collateral damage and we liked her. Hope she comes back.

Phillip is one of the biggest idiots we have ever seen on this show and that is saying something. What the hell is wrong with him? Seriously, is he mentally challenged? What is his childhood trauma?

Next week: Francesca has to complete tasks at Redemption Island, even alone. Interesting.

Photo/Video credit: CBS
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