Maine’s Ashley Underwood went back to being a low-key player on “Survivor” this week, after two weeks of some good air time sunning herself on the beach.

She lost badly in the first individual immunity challenge, and she didn’t say much until the last 10 minutes of the episode.

The focus this week was on the merging of the two tribes.

Both tribes watched the sixth and final duel at Redemption Island, which Matt Elrod handily won, even though he was suffering from an injured foot.

Host Jeff Probst announced that with the next tribal council, Redemption Island would start all over again. “That means, Matt, you could be voted out and be right back here again,” he said.

The Survivors walked together to a new beach, where they had to choose a new name for their merged tribe. “Boston Rob” Mariano suggested Murlonio, telling everyone in the most sincere voice possible that it meant “from the sea, united.” Or something like that.

Murlonio, Boston Rob later confessed to the camera, is actually the name of one of his wife’s stuffed animals.

Once settled in their new home, the Survivors began their wheeling and dealing.

Elrod initially came up with a brilliant new plan: vote off two people, then, just when Boston Rob is feeling comfortable, blindside him. “This game respects big moves,” Elrod said.

But then the angel on Elrod’s other shoulder whispered that he was put in the game “to honor my God.”

Elrod is a born-again Christian who has spent a lot of time in the game reading a Bible. At one point, he drew a couple of other Survivors into a conversation about Jesus heading into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, noting that that’s about the same length of time as “Survivor.”

That didn’t sit well with Boston Rob, who noted that he goes to church himself, but “It’s like a Christian Coalition brewing here in Nicaragua.”

Boston Rob once again decided to punish Elrod for being a nice guy, and ordered his alliance to vote Elrod off.

“Dude, he’s such a good Christian guy,” protested Grant Mattos. “Well, he can still be a good Christian guy,” Boston Rob replied. Mattos finished his sentence: “On Redemption Island.”

At tribal council, Underwood defended her tribe’s hogging of the tarp that keeps the Survivors out of the rain, arguing that the Ometepe tribe won the tarp in a challenge, so why shouldn’t they sleep under it while the former Zapatera tribe gets wet?

The sweet-but-stupid Elrod, staring down the lions, was quickly sacrificed and sent packing back to Redemption Island. The reaction from the stunned former Zapatera tribe was swift.

“Let the fireworks begin,” pronounced Steve Wright.

Probst noted that whoever is voted out next week will have to face Elrod in a duel on Redemption Island. 

Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at [email protected]


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