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Ressell Mania

The next day at Onomatopoeia, Phillip turns fetching treemail into yet another display of his weirdness. "The early bird gets the worm. In this case, he gets the mail," he says, taking a rolled-up scroll out of the basket and then looking through it like it's a telescope. He returns to camp and reads the mail out loud to his tribe, who appear to be trying to sleep. I kind of love how Phillip is determined to annoy everyone else out of bed. Our worldly Former Federal Agent? doesn't know what "Rochambeau" means as he reads that two people from the tribe will again be allowed to watch the Redemption Island battle. Phillip says he'd like to go, then volunteers Kristina to go with him. She says sure, and the rest of the tribe doesn't care enough to protest. Phillip tells us that he's hoping to get some "intel" at the arena that will help him in the game. Over at Zapato, Sarita and Ralph decide to go, and Sarita is very much looking forward to watching Li'l Russell's defeat. Not as much as I am, though.

Li'l Russell and Matt prepare to do battle against each other. Li'l Russell says he likes Matt and thinks he's a good guy who he'd root for in "the real world." But, he says, this is not the real world. It's The Real World/Road Rules Challenge. So Li'l Russell is rooting for himself. Matt says Li'l Russell is "the biggest villain" in the history of the show, but Matt is fighting "to honor [his] god." Uh oh -- someone better tell Matt that the prize is actually a million dollars and not Jesus' eternal love or he is going to be really disappointed if he wins. They arrive at the Arena, and Probst explains the challenge: they will each be given a bunch of blocks to stack on platforms like dominoes, ultimately toppling them and releasing a ball that will roll off the last platform and break a tile. The first person to break his tile wins.

Probst mutters a go and the stacking begins. Li'l Russell's former tribemates quietly cheer for Matt, who Probst disappointedly reports seems to have a slight lead over Li'l Russell. Matt is the first to tip over his tiles, but about halfway through, two are spaced just a little bit too far apart and the chain stops. Li'l Russell is pleased, believing that this is his chance to win. His tribemates are clearly upset about this. As am I. But I am expecting Li'l Russell to sweep these challenges and return to the game, so I'm not surprised. Li'l Russell decides to try his luck next, only to have the same problem Matt did and have to start over. Which means Matt gets a second chance! He tips over his first block, and slowly but surely the rest of his blocks fall until the ball is released and shatters Matt's tile. Sarita screams in delight. I'm waiting for Probst to tell us that Li'l Russell will be sent to a Redemption Redemption Island, for surely he can't be out of this game so soon, can he? And yet, Probst calls them both forward, and congratulates Matt before turning to Li'l Russell and saying that, for the first time ever, he is out of the game.

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