<waves to OFG>
Hey...I did some digging and here are the refs I can find on the 'no standalone RCs' issue.
First is this article from EW (Dalton Ross) with JP quotes intermixed thru article.
text of interest (12/20/10)
In another format switch, since each episode will include a Redemption Island duel, you can expect there to be just one combined reward/immunity challenge per episode for the players that have yet to be voted out. “This is the most excited I’ve been in a long time when it comes to a twist. I really hope Redemption Island adds a new layer that we can use for years to come,” said Probst. “We have no idea what’s gong to happen. It’s a big risk. It could fail miserably. I don’t think it’s going to.”
Comment: It should be noted that it is NOT JP who makes the mention of 'just one combined RC/IC per episode' in this article....it is Dalton Ross. All that said, Dalton has proven to be a reliable source and subject to blatant misdirection and this info might have been derived in contemporaneous notes from talks/interviews with JP.
Next is this Andy Dehnart article ref, tho there is no indication where exactly his info came from.
Text of interest (12/20/10)
The official announcement of Survivor Redemption Island on Sunday night was followed by additional details about the new, game-changing twist. Among other things, there will usually be two challenges per episode, a combined reward and immunity plus the new redemption duel, while the twist is something that CBS has rejected for years.
Comment: I think the use of the word 'usually' might just mean...usually a combined RC/IC AND a RI Duel...meaning that there won't always be both a RC/IC and a RI Duel in each and every episode. And we have seen just that. Now how valid is AndyD's info? I think he's likely gleaning it from EW's article.
And another mention of the RC/IC issue in an interview of Mark Burnett by Andy Dehnart
Text of interest (1/07/11)
“One last question. So, Survivor has had some budget cuts that Jeff Probst has talked about, with back-to-back seasons,” I said, referring to the conversation I had with Probst a year and a half ago, when he told me that filming two seasons in the same location, one after the other, was only “because of budget cuts” and “to save money,” and said that change was “going to be hard on” the hundreds of crew members who produce the show. (Read that whole interview for the full quotes.)
I continued, “Do you think that’s hurt the show? Not being able to do two challenges an episode, having to stay in the same place?”
Burnett said, “We can do two challenges an episode. What are you talking about?”
“Like this past season: So many combined reward/immunity challenges,” I said.
“That had nothing to with budget. That was a creative choice,” he said. “We have plenty of budget to do whatever challenges we want.”
“It’s just to focus more on the strategy, then?” I asked, standing corrected and genuinely curious about both my apparently inaccurate assumption—that budget also affected their ability to do two big challenges an episode—and how interesting it is that producers are choosing to eliminate 50 percent of one of the major draws, the competition.
“It depends what’s happening in the episode,” Burnett said. “In the episode…” He was interrupted by someone who came over to give him a hug and make small talk, and so I didn’t follow up on this, but it sounded like he was suggesting that they decide how many challenges to have on the fly, based on what’s going on, and that doesn’t make sense, considering how much planning and work is involved in creating each challenge.
Burnett returned from talking to the other person and said, “It has nothing to do with budget. You ask such stupid questions.”
Comment: So Burnett basically skirted the issue and stuck to his story that the Producers can choose to do whatever they want each season and none of those decisions are based on budget...tho some decisions might be based on in-game events('what's happening in the episode'). Burnett addressed the budget issue, saying it didn't restrict separate RC/ICs, but didn't address whether time would be a constraining factor.
There might be other interviews/articles covering this issue but this is what I could find at the moment. Hope it helps.