Mainer Ashley Underwood won an immunity challenge — finally — in Wednesday night’s episode of Survivor, securing herself a spot in Sunday’s season finale that doesn’t involve a stay on Redemption Island.

The show began with the Murlonio tribe returning to camp after last week’s episode, in which the tribe turned on Andrea Boehlke and sent her packing to Redemption Island, the place where ousted tribe members fight each other in duels to try to regain entry into the game.

“I love blindsides,” Underwood said as they headed back to camp, because “in an evil way” it’s fun to watch the reactions of the targeted players.

Underwood immediately cemented her bond with her island BFF, Natalie Tenerelli, by telling her she would come to her with anything the other tribe members said about her — if Tenerelli would do the same.

But as soon as she was out of Underwood’s sight, Tenerelli told the camera that she was leaning toward “sticking with Rob.” Tenerelli has been in a longtime alliance with “Boston Rob” Mariano, who has been controlling the game so far.

Tenerelli even ran to Boston Rob and tattled on her friend from Maine: “She’s been saying, ‘It’s the two of us. You’re going to stick by me, right?’“

Boston Rob said that, with just seven days to go on the island, it might make the most sense to get rid of Underwood.

Meanwhile, Boehlke arrived at Redemption Island, where Ralph Kiser made her sleep on the ground as payback for not sharing shelter after the two tribes merged.

But Kiser soon became the next member of the jury after he lost a puzzle challenge to Boehlke, Mike Chiesl and perennial Redemption Island resident Matt Elrod.

Back at camp, Boston Rob talked about Underwood with Grant Mattos, who is a member of Boston Rob’s alliance.

“I don’t know, bro,” Boston Rob said, “but there’s something about her that I just don’t trust.”

Phillip Sheppard angered Underwood and Tenerelli by saying that maybe they didn’t need as much rice as the men because the average woman can survive on 1,700 calories a day.

“Maybe I’m not average,” Underwood retorted with a nasty sneer.

Boston Rob, lamenting the fact that Sheppard was only driving the women closer with his vitriol, said he thought Underwood and Tenerelli were “too close for comfort” and it was time to split them up.

Underwood told the camera that she knows Boston Rob would vote them off at some point.

“I think the best thing for me to do is get a big move going here,” she said.

Underwood’s idea of a big move was to suggest voting Grant Mattos off.

Boston Rob, his voice dripping with sarcasm, told the camera that Underwood had come up with “this genius plan.”

“All it does is give Ashley another way of squeezing herself into the finals,” he said.

Boston Rob and Mattos decided that if Underwood doesn’t win immunity, she’s gone.

“She’s ridden our coattails long enough,” Mattos said.

“Ashley’s had a free ride for 35 days,” Boston Rob said, “and her free ride is about to come to an end.”

Well, not exactly.

Underwood won individual immunity by completing a puzzle of a fish with one hand tied behind her back.

She also won a reward, Survivor’s version of room service: a three-course meal delivered to camp.

Underwood said it was “such a relief” to win, and she invited Tenerelli to join her in the feast.

“Days like today, man, I wish I stayed home,” Boston Rob said. “All of a sudden, Ashley’s a frickin’ genius.”

At tribal council, Mattos was the one blindsided, leaving Underwood still within striking distance of the million dollar prize.

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

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