I must admit that I am at a loss as to how this whole Redemption Island twist is going to play out. As Matt's previous automatic ouster after his first return has shown, the twist becomes futile in the face of a united alliance led by someone who understands the dangers of allowing such a huge threat to even have a chance of reaching the the final TC, so if the Redeemed Survivor is placed back into the game any earlier than F4, it would make a mockery of the whole concept. But giving the RS a straight shot to the F4 also negates all the extreme efforts of someone like Rob, who has worked very hard at controlling the game from day one. Of course, that is sometimes what Survivor seems to be best at, so the possibility can't be ruled out.
Even if, say, two or three competitors are brought back from Redemption Island, we end up with a virtual repeat of the previous twelve weeks of episodes, because the Ometepe alliance has probably already been schooled in counting the jury votes, and realizes that anyone that isn't part of their clique is a shoe-in. I don't see how any Ometepean would gain any benefit whatsoever in throwing in with the returnee(s). Perhaps Phillip? It couldn't hurt his chances after all - he has none. And it would give him a chance to brag how it was he and he alone who took down the Robfather at the end. Goat that Phillip is, he wouldn't even be a target for elimination even after he had done the deed. The remaining Ometepeans would have to concentrate on taking out the returnee(s) just to survive. If Phillip really knew how to play the swing vote, he could possibly remain in the F3 without a returnee in the running. But I just don't see that happening. And it would presuppose multiple returnees just to set such a scenario in motion, plus
assuming that Phillip could actually sell himself as an ally to the returnees in the first place. (Ralph might be sly enough to try and temporarily align with Phillip for survival's sake, but I don't see Matt or Mike doing something so deceptive. Andrea would definitely go for it.)On a side note: I thought that Grant was holding back a bit in the final staircase race. He didn't seem to be nearly as fatigued as Rob, for instance, and seemed to be content with simply keeping pace with Andrea as back up in case Rob couldn't seal the deal. Nice move, if true.