Survivor Ashley Underwood got to show her Maine chops Wednesday night during a log-rolling immunity challenge.

She didn’t win immunity, but did prove she is a card-carrying member of the Pine Tree State by making it to the finals of the challenge.

Wednesday’s episode of “Survivor” began with some wishful thinking from Steve Wright, one of the last remaining members of the Zapatera tribe. Maybe, Wright mused, Boston Rob Mariano would keep him and fellow Zapatera member Ralph Kiser and vote off the annoying Phillip Sheppard instead.

“Phillip’s not going anywhere,” the godfather-like Boston Rob said to the camera. “Phillip’s under my protection. As long as Phillip keeps up his stupid antics, he’ll be going with me all the way to the finals.”

At Redemption Island, Mike Chiesl and Julie Wolfe worried about Matt Elrod, the sweet Christian young man who seemed to be in a downward emotional spiral after spending 21 days of the game — much of that time alone — on Redemption Island.

“This is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” Elrod said, “wasting away — missing my family.”

After stating out loud that he’s ready to go home, Elrod nevertheless won another Redemption Island duel, along with Chiesl. Wolfe left the game and became the second member of the jury.

Back at camp, when Andrea Boehlke expressed guilt about the way she had turned on Elrod in the game, Boston Rob and his ally Grant Mattos once again showed their teeth by immediately plotting to vote her off because she expressed a little compassion.

During the log-rolling immunity challenge, Underwood went up against Boehlke and sent her tumbling into the water. But in the finals, the Mainer lost to her ally Mattos. Underwood not only missed out on immunity, she missed out on the giant chocolate cake and ice-cold milk that made up the reward part of the challenge.

Jeff Probst tossed a wrapped package to Wright and told him it was a twist in the game. It was not to be opened until tribal council.

At camp, the tribe tried to guess what was in the package. Boston Rob once again brought up the possibility of voting out Boehlke, and Underwood agreed with him.

“It just makes sense to get her out,” Underwood said, twisting the knife in Boehlke’s back.

Wright approached Underwood and the other women and tried to convince them to make a big, game-changing move and vote for Boston Rob, pointing out that they would then be in charge of the game.

“That would work if we actually wanted Andrea in on it, but we don’t,” Underwood said.

Instead of taking control of the game away from Boston Rob, Underwood and her friend Natalie Tenerelli ran right to Boston Rob and spilled the beans like high school girls trying to make points with the cool captain of the football team.

At tribal council, Ralph Kiser got voted out first. Then Probst asked Wright to open the package and read the first card. It said: “You will now compete in your next immunity challenge. You will then immediately vote out one more tribe member.”

The challenge was a kind of match game with cards. It would have been interesting had Boston Rob not won, since the Ometepe tribe would have had to eat one of their own.

But he did win, and Wright became the next person to carry his torch to Redemption Island.

Looks like Underwood is in a good position to make it into the May 15 season finale. Word is that eight Survivors will be in the final two-hour episode.


Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

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