Before we even get started, please click the link below to set the tone for the forthcoming post:
In Honor of Russell Hantz
Instead of doing a plug for Craftsman and Sears, maybe there should have been an advertising plug for Kleenex. My goodness. I was not expecting tears. You know what Probst should have shouted don’t you? “There’s No Crying on Survivor, Redemption Island!!!” But he didn’t. Oh well.
I bet you thought you would never see it. But guess what? It happened. Russell Hantz is finally out of the game of Survivor. Now I know the feelings on Russell are pretty divided with no middle ground. You either love him or hate him. There’s no in between. However, there are different ways to love or hate Russell. As human being, I hate the guy. As a survivor player, I hate the guy. As an entertainment factor, I tolerate even mildly enjoy the guy. But love or hate him, you can’t deny that the guy put his heart and soul into playing Survivor. I know it’s only a TV show but in this instance, it is more than that because this show is all about competition. As someone who played sports her whole life at various levels, I always respect and appreciate someone who gives everything they have to win. Now, I don’t agree with being an asshole in order to do it, but Survivor is a different type of game and I’ve always said, you can’t hold real world values and decisions to the same standard as Survivor. You just can’t. Say what you want about Russell and the way he plays Survivor but he played it hard, he played it all out 100%, and he never took the easy road. After reading that you’re probably thinking, “well then how could she hate him as a Survivor player?” Because I still think there were things he did that were unnecessary and awful and the way he talked about and treated people was atrocious. Also I think the Russell you see on Survivor, is the Russell you get in the real world. I don’t know that for a fact, that’s just my opinion. I have less of a problem with people who behave a certain way in the game of Survivor because they are trying to win but it isn’t who they are in real life. Meaning, sometime you have to lie and go back on your word to win the game but the way you behave and how you treat people isn’t how you would behave or treat people in real life. There are certain people I never liked on Survivor…Russell, Johnny Fairplay, Sandra Diaz, Courtney Yates, NaOnka. Those are people who I think are just as awful in the real world as they are in the game. I know it’s not fair to say that because I don’t know any of these people personally. I base my opinion on interviews I’ve heard them in, other comments they make on Twitter or other social media sites, and the fact that they themselves have declared time and time again that “what you see is what you get.” Again, I know it’s not fair to judge them like that because I don’t know them and have never met them. That’s why, it’s an opinion. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.
I know Russell mentioned that this is his last time playing Survivor. I find that hard to believe. I can’t imagine Russell will ever stop unless he wins or Mark Burnett decides he was leaking spoilers and therefore violating his contact so Burnett wouldn’t want him back. Besides all that behind the scenes stuff, as long as Russell is invited back to play, I think he will play. Think about this for a minute…Russell has been playing Survivor almost non stop for over a year. I’m sure he’s burned out from Survivor at this point. But I think he’s being a bit of a baby as well. Part of the reason he got so far the first two times was that no one ever saw him play before. (Samoa and Heroes vs. Villains were filmed back to back.) No one really knew the kind of player he was. Until RI. So of course he had a huge target on his back. But you know why Russell will always come up short on Survivor? He refuses to learn from his mistakes and adjust his game play. Look at Boston Rob. In Survivor Marquesas, Boston Rob was more ruthless and cutthroat in his game play but he was loyal to his alliances. A tribal switch was really his downfall and only made it to the merge. In Survivor All-Stars, Rob played a more social game and made a key alliance from day one (both on Survivor and personally) with Amber Brkich. Even though Rob was still cutthroat (just ask Lex and Kathy their thoughts on him) he played a more standup game than Marquesas getting him to the end with Amber and sort of winning. Amber won the title but since they got married, they both won the money! In Heroes vs. Villains, Rob again went with the more social aspect of the game that worked for him in All Stars and wasn’t nearly as cutthroat, but an Immunity Idol and a man by the name of Russell Hantz was his downfall (and the fact that Tyson is an idiot!!!) In this season of RI, Rob now is playing the Immunity Idol game better and adjusting his strategy of how to use the idol to his advantage. We’ll see how it works out for him. One thing that was always consistent with Rob, he always stuck to his alliance no matter what. But as the game evolved, so did Rob’s game play. Russell only knows one way to play…like a bull in a china shop. He thinks his way is the best and he won’t change it. That’s why he will never win no matter how many times he comes back. If he doesn’t change how he plays, he’s a goner. And even if he does change it up, I think the damage may already be done. The only chance Russell may have of winning Survivor is if he is back on some sort of All Star team or someone comes along more devious than he is that he plays along with (probably again on some sort of All Star season.) I think Russell will be back at some point, but it won’t be anytime in the near future.
Let’s get into the continuing stupidity of Zapatera. Last week I thought they made a mistake throwing a challenge and voting out Russell. I thought they were really short-sighted and were so tunnel-visioned on voting him out that they couldn’t see the big picture. Well I may be the big buffoon after all because I really thought them throwing the challenge to vote Russell out was going to shift momentum to Ometepe. It didn’t because Ometepe lost again. Just when I thought Zapatera might be vindicated two stupid things happen…both involving Ralph. First, Ralph tells everyone, for no good reason, that he has the immunity idol. Dear God here we go again. WHY??? What purpose did it serve to tell your tribe you have the idol?? All you did was put a target on your back. If I was on that tribe, the first thing I would think to do is blindside Ralph to get the idol out of play. But here is the kicker with that logic, which would have worked beautifully in the past, what happens to the idol if Ralph is voted out without using it? Does he have to give it up and therefore it goes back in the game? Or does he get to take it with him to RI and keep it so that if he re-enters the game he still has it? I don’t know. Either way I think it’s dumb. Then Mike starts crowing about how this is great for them. How is it great for you exactly? Ralph has the idol not you. Has he given ANY indication he would use it for the tribe’s benefit instead of his own? I don’t think so. But I always love how people get excited when someone else they think they are close to, finds an idol. The second stupid move by Ralph happened right after Russell lost at RI. After Russell had his tearful breakdown, he stood up and in a split second remembered that even if it was only for a few more minutes, he was still in the game. He talked about how pissed he was that his team had so little respect for the game, that they threw a challenge to get him out. He also talked about being the star QB on a team full of pee-wee leaguers. Ha! Well Ralph had enough and started having diarrhea of the mouth. He tells him he is clueless and how he found a hidden immunity idol without a clue 15 seconds into the game. Russell starts to laugh and asks him to show it. He goes to grab it and Sarita tells him not to do it so he all of sudden yells just kidding! I faked you!! Yeah right. Nice try rooster. Now not only does Ometepe know Ralph has an idol but then Russell proceeds to tell them that Sarita is in charge and Mike and Steve are really tight. “See Jeff, I had to stay in this game somehow. Now through these 2 (pointing at Kristina and Philip) I can stay in this game. Now if their tribe wins and takes out these dummies, more power to me.” This man’s ego will not be denied! Again, way to go Ralph and let everyone on the island, including the opposing tribe, know you have an idol and take all your power with it away. It’s people like Ralph that I always can’t wait until they are voted out. These huge egotistical people who think they are the greatest Survivor players and who think they are unbeatable yet couldn’t be more stupid.
My final thought is that I worry Boston Rob maybe making some big mistakes that could cost him. While I think he is playing an amazing social game, the strategy part is concerning me. He has now gotten rid of Francesca, Matt, and Kristina. Three very strong physical players are now gone and the only challenge they have won is the one Zapatera decided to throw to get rid of Russell. I think Rob has forgotten one of the most important rules in Survivor…get to the merge with the dominate tribe numbers. How do you do that? Win Challenges!!! If he keeps voting out strong people, there will be no one left fast. Now Zapatera has proven to not be the most strategic players yet. Physical, yes. Strategic, not so much. Some bad decisions have been made and I wouldn’t be surprised if their tribe alliance falls apart at some point. The previews for next week are already starting to allude to that. David and Julie to me don’t seem on board with Ralph, Sarita, Steve, and Mike. Not 100%. If Stephanie and Krista can get those 2 to flop and start to divide that 6 person “alliance”, then Rob may be ok because he is 4 strong and possibly 6 if Andrea and Philip stick with him.
Can’t wait for next week!!!