Was that not the most boring and unsurprising final tribal council ever? Was anyone even remotely concerned that Rob Mariano wasn’t going to win $1 million. I wasn’t. Once Andrea was the one that came back from RI, I knew Rob would win the million.
What started with so much promise for a great season really turned into a stinker and probably one of the worst Survivor seasons ever. My two cents for anyone who ever wants to play Survivor….if all you are going to do is ride coattails or go out there to make friends, or just lollygag your way through the 39 days, please, don’t put in a tape and tryout for Survivor. It’s horrible to watch. I’ve never been more frustrated watching in group of people play a cutthroat game like Survivor in my life. Between Zapatera’s ineptness and stupid game play to Ometepe’s complete LACK of game play, it was terrible. And then to hear people like Ashley in her exit interview say things like “I wouldn’t have changed anything about how I played the game.” ARE YOU SERIOUS? Did you last 35+ days? You sure did. Did you do ANYTHING to warrant winning $1 million? Nope. So how could you say you wouldn’t change a thing? You may not have a Boston Rob next time to tell you what to do. Then what are you going to do? My husband thinks I was overly hard on Ashley but I don’t think I was. There were MANY opportunities she had to take Rob out of the game and she never bothered to entertain the idea. How she ever thought that sitting with Rob in the finals, she still had a chance to win the money, is beyond me. That’s what bugs me the most. None of these people thought about the people who could beat them in the final 3. Not One!!! When planning to get to the end, you HAVE to think about who you are going to sit next to for the best chance to win. Not your best friend. Not the person who helped you get there. The people you can beat is who you should be taking. Actually you know who thought about that strategy? Rob. Guess who won the million dollars? Rob. At least Philip tried to go with a strategy to get to the end. It was an awful strategy but it was one to try. It worked in that Rob took him to the finals. But Philip pissed off so many people (except Ralph) that no one would vote for him. It was a more twisted form of the Russell Hantz strategy. But I give Rob a lot of credit. He played a terrific game with the hand he was dealt and rode it all the way to a million dollars. He’s says he’s done playing Survivor, but we’ll see.
I wasn’t sure how this last episode was going to go with all the RI people still left and eight people to get through. But they did a good job moving through it quickly. And as much as I dislike RI, I loved it for 2 simple reasons….no boring filler moments from camp leading up to the final TC and no fallen comrades montage!!!! I have always HATED the fallen comrades piece and I was thrilled beyond thrilled to see it gone from this episode!!! I still think, overall, that I am NOT a fan of RI. Now that the season is done and I watched it play out, I didn’t like it. I think once you are voted out of the game, you should be out of the game with no chance to come back. That’s my opinion. Now maybe it was because this season had a bunch of people who could so easily be swayed and directed that RI didn’t really have much impact and I am willing to give it one more season to see. But I’m skeptical. In this season, the 2 people who came in, went right back out. No drama and no change or impact. So I don’t really know what purpose it served.
You know what really cracks me up every season I watch Survivor? The interrogation from the jury to the final contestants. Specifically the issue with honesty and playing the game with integrity. This always drives me crazy. The game is OUTWIT, Outlast, Outplay. People behave and act differently on the island of Survivor than they do in real life. So why is it that every single jury from season 1 through season 22, has someone who feels the need to make the finalists feel like shit because they made a move that was “questionable” to get further in the game? I know people get hurt and it’s a tough game but it is a GAME. Not real life. I’m sure there are people who are who they are on the show (Na’Onka) but I would assume most people act one way on the show and another way in the real world. Boston Rob said it best on the reunion show. It’s such a hard game because you go in not planning on creating any real relationships but you do. It’s human nature. Survivor is a game but the relationships on the island are very real and it’s a very slippery slope between the two. You would hope, everyone (or at least 95% of the people) who play the game would understand it and not take it personally. I’ve never played Survivor so maybe it’s easy for me to sit here and say “suck it up!” But I was pretty pissed at the low blow Julie took when she brought up how people’s family’s would feel toward’s their game play. I know what she was trying to say but it really came out awful…especially Natalie. Say what you want about Natalie being brainless or not very bright or whatever but I think people forget that she is 19 years old. She just graduated high school! You remember how “smart” you were when you were 19? I know I was an idiot! Some would say I still am!!! I agree with Julie that Natalie should have been tougher and not so easily swayed by Rob but you know what, Survivor gave her a great life lesson. Stand up for yourself and make sure that YOU are always dictating the path you want your direction to go in….not someone else. There are many people who need to be in a certain situation for them to learn that. Unfortunately, Natalie’s situation was on national TV for all to critique. But I still thought for Julie to ask if her mother would be proud of her, was unnecessary.
As for the reunion show, it was also a downer. Not as interesting as year’s past. Although I was happy to see Philip extend his hand and apologize to Steve for calling him a racist and I was also happy to see Steve return the handshake and accept the apology. That was a cool moment. One thing that Probst brought up that I disagreed with was when he and Julie were discussing strategy. Julie mentioned that she was frustrated that the girls would never make a move or do anything. But then Probst threw back in her face that the girls (meaning Ashley and Natalie) got further than she did. While he isn’t technically wrong, I think he’s missing the point. Julie’s goal is to get Julie farther in the game. That’s what she was trying to do. But she needs help to do that. The girls were never going to do that because that’s not what Rob told them to do. Hence her frustration. Also, and this goes back to what I said before, that while Ashley and Natalie’s strategy may have gotten them further in the game than Julie, they still didn’t do what they needed to do to win a million dollars. So even though Ashley and Natalie came in 4th and 3rd respectively, they aren’t millionaires either, just like Julie.
Survivor is heading into it’s 12th year and season 23 in the fall and they are heading to the islands of the South Pacific. “There is nothing like a dame!! Nothing in the world. There is nothing you can name that is anything like a dame!!!” Sorry, I had to break out the Rodgers and Hammerstein there. But guess what is happening next season……RI is returning and 2 more former contestants are coming back to play the game. RI coming back I can deal with because like I said, it may play out very differently with other people playing the game. But another 2 former contestants coming back again? Is this what is going to happen with Survivor? We are just going to keep bringing former Survivors back to play? I don’t like that. I don’t mind All-Star shows or Heroes vs. Villains shows….they are some of my favorites. But I don’t like mixing veteran Survivors with newbies. Let the newbies play and see what happens. And then have the experiences players face off against one another. I think when you add the vets with the newbies, it really changes the dynamic and not for the better. Again, maybe this season will be different, but I’m not encouraged. Regardless, this is the only reality show I watch and it is the best and as long as Survivor is on the air, I will be watching it!!
Thanks for a great season! See you in the fall. “Bali Hai may call you….” Last R&H song I promise!