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The Buddy System

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"The Buddy System"
99556 D06031
Episode Information
Version: United States
Season: Redemption Island
Episode Number: 9/15 (330)
Original Release: April 13, 2011
Viewership (in millions): 11.09[1]
Ratings/Share (18-49): 3.1/9 Summary: Link
Episode Chronology
Previous: "This Game Respects Big Moves"
Next: "Rice Wars"

The Buddy System is the ninth episode of Survivor: Redemption Island.


Day 21

The tribes may have merged, but in name only. Rob details has a plan to keep them separate by having two places to sleep and even different shifts for eating.  Rob is doing everything he can to mess with their heads, and he's got control of the game and Ometepe.

Natalie tells Rob that Ralph and Ashley had a private talk about votes and Natalie's decision to not say anything to Rob who finds out anyway and now has an axe to grind.

Day 22

At the Immunity Challenge team mates have to dig down to retrieve a club and smash a tile, the first six move on to the next round. Then they have to submerge their heads in a water trough take a mouth full of water that has to be spit into a bowl filling up a tube, the first three to finish move on to the next round. The final step is to finish a block puzzle, the first person wins immunity at Tribal Council.

Grant is leading with Mike not far behind. The final round has Grant, Mike, and David fighting for immunity. Grant wins immunity.

Back at camp, Rob has 'Idol Paranoia', can't help but keep looking for another idol. Ometepe mulls over who they are going to vote out, David or Mike. 

At Tribal Council the votes are revealed;  5 votes for "The Feathered One", Phillip and 6 votes for Mike who heads to Redemption Island with Matt.

Day 23

Back at camp, Ralph is practically begging to be a part of Ometepe. At the Immunity Challenge, this one has the ultimate prize, cheeseburgers, and the Castaways have to hang for as long as they can and the last one to fall wins Immunity. Everyone has the option to either play for Immunity or eat the burger. Steve and Phillip choose to eat.

Boston Rob's hat falls first and then down he goes. Julie is first down in the second round. Grant and Ralph are next, with David as the only man against three ladies. In the end, Andrea is the last one down and takes the immunity.

Rob is running his tribe like an army, he convinces them not to eat some fish that landed dead on the beach because rigor mortis already set in; although Grant wanders off to the other side for a bite.

At Tribal Council, Rob gets a little nervous when the first four votes are against him. David gets six votes and he is voted out.


Challenge: Meso Soup
Each castaway will dig to retrieve a club and use it to smash a tile. The first six move onto the next round, where they must submerge their head in a water trough, take in a mouth full of water, and then crawl under the trough to spit the water into a bowl, which fills up a tube. The first three to fill up the tube move onto the final round, where they must solve a block puzzle. The first person to get the puzzle right wins immunity.
Winner: Grant Mattos

Challenge: Gang Hang
The castaways will hang from a bar for as long as they can. After twenty minutes, they will be allowed to use only their legs to hold them up. Once they drop from the bar, they are out of the challenge. Last person left hanging wins immunity.
Additional Stipulation: Before the challenge starts, the castaways were given an opportunity to eat cheeseburgers in exchange for sitting-out in the challenge, forfeiting their chance to get individual immunity.
Winner: Andrea Boehlke

Redemption Island

Because Matthew is still the lone inhabitant of Redemption Island, there is no duel.

Tribal Council

Day 22

Tribal Council 9:
S22 mike t
Mike (6 votes)
S22 andrea tS22 ashley tS22 grant tS22 natalie tS22 phillip tS22 rob t
Andrea, Ashley, Grant, Natalie, Phillip, Rob
S22 phillip t
Phillip (5 votes)
S22 david tS22 julie t
S22 mike tS22 ralph tS22 steve t
David, Julie, Mike, Ralph, Steve
S22 mike t
Mike Chiesl
(sent to Redemption Island)

Voting Confessionals

(voting for Phillip) Phil, you are one odd duck, brother.

Steve Wright

Day 24

Tribal Council 10:
S22 david t
David (6 votes)
S22 andrea tS22 ashley tS22 grant t
S22 natalie tS22 phillip tS22 rob t
Andrea, Ashley, Grant, Natalie, Phillip, Rob
S22 rob t
Rob (4 votes)
S22 david tS22 julie tS22 ralph tS22 steve t
David, Julie, Ralph, Steve
S22 david t
David Murphy
(sent to Redemption Island)

Voting Confessionals

(voting for Rob) Hopefully, this works.

David Murphy

Still in the Running

S22 francesca bw
S22 russell bw
S22 kristina bw
S22 krista bw
S22 stephanie bw
S22 sarita bw
On Redemption
S22 matthew t
On Redemption
S22 mike t
On Redemption
S22 david t
S22 andrea t
S22 ashley t
S22 grant t
S22 julie t
S22 natalie t
S22 phillip t
S22 ralph t
S22 rob t
S22 steve t


  • This episode marked the earliest appearance of a Second Chances challenge (a challenge that consists of parts of previous challenges of that season) under the guise of Meso Soup.
  • On Day 22, Rob reached his 100th day of playing Survivor.
  • This episode was the first time a castaway tried to jokingly make a vote worth more votes than it actually was. David Murphy tried to make the vote worth 4 times the amount while trying to vote off Rob Mariano, writing "Rob, Rob, Rob, Rob, please count as four votes" on his parchment. After Jeff Probst refuted the attempt, David replied by saying "didn't hurt to try".
  • The episode title is taken from Rob's strategy of making sure every time time his allies go around camp, they go in pairs and should not talk to anyone from Zapatera.