Jeff Probst Jeff Probst

Cheers to Survivor for upping its game with Redemption Island.

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SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT KEEP READING IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN LAST NIGHT'S EPISODE!

It's been years since CBS' reality staple has really gotten me hooked, but the 22nd season has proven to be riveting TV (no wonder the network just ordered up two more cycles and renewed host/exec producer Jeff Probst's contract). Alleged "federal agent" Phillip Sheppard has emerged as the franchise's latest bizarro breakout character, and reigniting lightning rods Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz has turned out to be a masterstroke.

This week's elimination of Russell played out with maximum drama, as the manipulator extraordinaire was ironically unable to get dominos to fall in his favor. His subsequent breakdown — and remarkably quick recovery — allowed him to go down in flames, and scorch the earth behind him. He may not have outlasted, outwitted and outplayed his rivals, but the Survivor brand certainly has.

What do you think of Survivor: Redemption Island — and Russell's ouster?

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