There's not really that much to say about this episode, which I wasn't that into until the end:
- Stephanie faking the idol was a great move. I loved how Russell was able to say he had it and Steve just bought it. Russell was able to use his perception to his advantage. Also, she's really good looking. I have a mild crush.
- One thing Rob can do that Russell can't so much, learn from his mistakes and change up his game by trying to find the hidden idol. He might be making a fundamental mistake though. If he finds it and doesn't tell his alliance, and then uses it, the other members of the alliance might see it was untrustworthy.
- I was mildly surprised by the Zapatera having no divisions between them that went above voting out Russell. We weren't shown otherwise, but I'm still somewhat in disbelief.
- I'm not sure Julie ever thought of going to Russell's side. Dan was whispering in her ear at Tribal Council like a plan already had been formed.
Gonna address these point.
1. I do enjoy this move, although, not to rain on your Russell-love, Russell did get tricked by this on Heroes vs. Villains, when Rupert realized he was screwed, and decided to put a rock in his pocket and pretend it was an idol. It saved him for 3 more days. Also, Stephanie is cute, but she is a bitch and I can't wait for her to go. She was sucking Russell's dick the entire tribal council. I know she needed to say these things to solidify Julie, but it came across as her just creaming at the thought of Russell. I think she wants to have Russell's little troll babies.
2. I don't know if that's a bad thing for Rob. I find the biggest blunder too many past contestants make is they reveal to too many people that they have the idol. If it were me, I would keep it to myself, or tell one other person (in Survivor Fiji, this allowed Earl and Yau-man to solidify an alliance and coast to the endgame). Instead, people love to brag about the idol. Especially Russell. In Heroes vs. Villains, he found a few idols, and every time he showed Parvati and Danielle. When Parvati found an idol, she kept it to herself. Smart girl.
I will argue, though, that Ralph almost got voted out because he didn't tell anyone about his idol. I think in a situation like that, where you are splitting the votes just to be safe, I think it's alright to tell one of the people who are voting Stephanie "Russell doesn't have the idol, vote for him". Even just one person.
3. There definitely is a hierarchy within the majority alliance. I think Julie, Sarita, and possibly David are on the outs. They are safe for now, but I would keep a watch out for David. He may not feel content with his position in the alliance and take the people who are 4th and 5th on the totem pole, and try to orchestrate a flip. I'm getting a strong Rob Cesternino vibe from David, and that was Rob's big move in the Amazon.
4. Dan? You mean David, right?
Everything else I pretty much agree with. As much as I was happy that Julie opted to vote Russell out, I think the better move for her at the next vote would be to align with Krista, Stephanie, Sarita, and David and try to vote out Steve or something. Fortunately for Zapatera, Russell was not overly strong in the challenges, so I don't think they lost a key piece of their tribe. However, throwing challenges is always a good way of tempting fate in Survivor. Many times before have tribes done the same, and that was all it took for the other tribe to get on a roll.