User Score: 1473
Although the final four did participate in the Rites of Passage ritual, it was cut from the episode due to time. It was the first time in the history of the show that this ritual was not shown during a season finale.
Over the course of his four appearances on "Survivor", this is Rob Mariano's ninth time winning individual immunity. Also, Rob has now spent 117 days playing Survivor, more than any other contestant (breaking Parvati's previous record of 114 days).
Throughout the season, Matt spent 27 days on Redemption Island and only 9 days at his tribe's campsite.
Andrea becomes the first woman ever to succeed in a duel on Redemption Island.
With one vote cast against him at Tribal Council, Phillip becomes the all-time "Survivor" record holder for most votes cast against in a single season with 16.
Not including any specials, reunions or re-cap episodes, and only counting episodes with game play in them, this is the 300th episode of Survivor.
At Tribal Council, Steve and Jeff reference Rob's deal with Lex from episode 11 of "Survivor: All-Stars" where Rob ended up betraying Lex in order to save Amber.
Rob joins Parvati Shallow, Amanda Kimmel, and Rupert Boneham as the only "Survivor" contestants who have now been part of three merged tribes.
For the second time in the show's history, a contestant was voted out of their tribe twice and had their torch snuffed two individual times in the same season. The first time was Burton from "Pearl Islands". This is also the second time in history a contestant that was previously voted out returns to the game in the same season (this also occurred in "Pearl Islands" with Burton and Lillian).
Russell Hantz becomes the second contestant to have played three or more times and still never sit on a jury after Rob Mariano. Russell also becomes the second contestant in "Survivor" history to play the game three times and only be voted out once after Amanda (during "Heroes vs. Villains").
Although he was not completely eliminated from the game, this episode features Russell's first time being voted out of a tribe and getting his torch snuffed out.
The Reward/Immunity Challenge in this episode was similar to the Immunity Challenge from episode 5, "Turf Wars", from "Survivor: Nicaragua".
Kristina finds the hidden immunity idol in this episode. Although this is not the first time a hidden immunity idol was found without a clue, it is the first time in the history of the show that the idol was found in the premiere episode of the season (Russell H. found the idol without a clue in the second episode of "Samoa"). It was also the first time that the tribe's votes were not revealed during the credits in an episode with regular game-play in it.
This season's cast features the return of Rob M. and Russell. This is Russell's third time on the show and Rob M.'s fourth. It is the first time in the show's history that a contestant has played four individual times. This season also features two former NFL players (Grant and Steve).
This season marks the fifth time that previous contestants have returned to play the game after "All-Stars", "Guatemala", "Fans vs. Favorites" and "Heroes vs. Villains".
The concept of eliminated contestants being allowed to return to the game was previously used in "Pearl Islands", but was first used in the Israeli and Philippine versions of the show.
"Survivor: Redemption Island" was filmed in Nicaragua, making it the second time the show has filmed there. This is the fourth time that a location has been used more than once, after Panama, Palau and Samoa.
This season was titled "Survivor: Redemption Island".
In response to Kelly S. and NaOnka quitting this season and being allowed to be on the jury, Jeff Probst announced that, from now on, the show's producers will reserve the right to determine whether or not a contestant who quits during the jury phase for any reason (other than medical or family emergency) will be allowed to sit on that jury.
Towards the end of the reunion, Rob Mariano announced that he and wife Amber now have two children. Their youngest daughter, Carina Rose, was born on December 10.
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