Sunday, May 15, 2011

Survivor Redemption Island: Season Finale Recap

I came in to this season quite skeptical, but after a strong start in the first three episodes, I became optimistic about how this season would go. However, after that drag race of a start, we settled into a marathon of mediocrity with an incredibly sub-par season. I won’t repeat all of the problems I had with this season, primarily the entire Redemption Island Twist, but let’s once again be thankful for Rob and Phillip for providing us with some entertainment for the past 14 weeks.

One quick note in advance of tonight’s Season Finale, and it’s a personal apology to regular reader Choirchick22, for whom I inadvertently spoiled the result of last week’s episode. In posting the link to my recap, I gave the result, which is something that I always try not to do. If you’ve read my previous post on Spoilers (and the eerie similarities to what I did last week), you’ll understand why I feel so bad about that.

On to the Season Finale...
My Random Thoughts:

- Previously on…Survivor. Rob found an Idol, Russell cried, Matt owned Redemption Island, Zapatera had no shot at camp, David is a puzzle master (ok, I added that part to remind you in case you forgot), Phillip is crazy, and Rob is trying to complete a decade-long journey to win this game. 6 minutes of crap we already knew. I hate this part only slightly less than the Fallen Comrades montage.

- Are you kidding me? After a full season of having to watch that god damn spider almost every single week, you lull me into a false sense of security by not showing it for a couple of episodes, and then you bring it back this week to open up the Season Finale??? And with FOUR different camera shots in the first two minutes? Pure evil.

- At Redemption (Non) Island, Grant talks about being ok with getting voted out, and understanding that it’s just a part of the game (how come more people don’t get this?) Andrea talks about having to compete against the three big, beefy men and how she’s the “under-underdog”…and apparently she still has to sleep on the floor, even though the angry hairy guy is gone.
As the four of them learned that their final (Non) Duel was on the horizon, they decided that they would have an Eat’N’Pray Party, which involved them cooking the remainder of the rice, and praying before the competition. I was really put off by this scene, but only because I had to listen to phrases like “Thank you for Redemption Island” and “Who knew what a treasure awaited on Redemption Island?” Give me a break! This scene was nothing but a way to try and tell all of the fans who HATED the Redemption Island twist (which was almost everyone) how awesome it was. What a joke.

- The Final Redemption (Non) Island (Non) Duel was a fantastic challenge where the players had to balance a vase on the end of a beam, and the first one we’ve seen at the Redemption Island Arena that isn’t a callback from a previous season’s challenge. I have to ask, why wasn’t this the Final Immunity challenge within the game itself? I noticed that Matt was the only one using his left leg, which made me wonder if he was left handed, and if so, does being left-handed make you “left-legged”? I’m serious, would that be true? And even if you were, what’s the strategy here, would you choose to have your stronger leg on the beam to balance the vase, or on the ground to absorb your weight? I’m not sure. Also, I don’t understand why anyone was looking at the other competitors in this challenge.
Grant was out first, followed by Matt who appeared shell-shocked to finally be eliminated from the game. He had a look on his face as if he wanted to look up to the heavens and say “Hey! Where were you on THAT one, big guy?!” Then Mike’s vase dropped, and despite her “underdog” status, Andrea was back in the game.

I loved Mike’s parting comment after he was relegated to Jury Duty: “Today’s outcome was not what I wanted.” Really? You didn’t go into this final challenge hoping that Andrea won, and you went to the Jury? You know a season is boring when these are the best sound bites you can muster.

- So the Final Five of Rob, the 3 girls, and the crazy guy headed back to camp and tried to deal with the new Tribe dynamic. I have to say, as much as I’ve hated the Redemption Island concept since it was announced, this was an interesting turn of events that I hadn’t considered: having to deal with the awkwardness of the returning player being at camp. How do you make small talk? “So…what have you been up to these last few days?” “Oh you mean since you lied to me and tried to take my shot at a million dollars away, not much…praying, sleeping, balancing a vase on a piece of wood for an hour and a half.”

Andrea lied by telling the girls that the Jury said that they would be voting for Phillip, and while I appreciate her efforts to try and stir things up, could you not have come up with a better story than “Phillip is going to win” ? Ashley started strategizing right away, trying to figure out if it was a good idea to join up with Andrea to try and oust Rob, while Natalie's response to a possible game-changing move was to say ”Let’s just focus on relaxing today and figuring it all out tomorrow.” If you read my Finale Preview post that handicapped the Final Eight players, now you'll understand why I had Ashley at 8-to-1 and Natalie at 5,000-to-1.
- At the Immunity Challenge, I immediately realized that I was wrong last week when I assumed that they had used the last of the tiles this season, since there were FIVE HUNDRED of them in this challenge. Seriously, I would love for someone to go back on these last two seasons in Nicaragua and count all of the tiles.

I initially thought the concept of the challenge was good until I saw that each bag had the numbers in numerical order. How much better would it have been to have the numbers randomly in each bag and make for a real challenge instead of just "who can count the fastest and not fall off a beam." Rob looked like a penguin hustling sidefoot along his beam, but it wasn't enough as Ashley went back-to-back in Immunity challenges and won the necklace. Must have been the bedazzled jean shorts (where the hell did those come from??), or the skills she learned in both balance and counting by being a Beauty Queen and University Basketball Player.
For the record, I don't believe for a second that challenge was as close as we were led to believe. Ashley was way out in front, and even though we saw a tight shot of an orange Tile#98 being put in place, I think that was for dramatic effect. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure we would have seen a shot of a despondent Rob and his board with 98 of 100 tiles filled in.

- Back at camp, Rob brazenly said “Sorry Andrea, you’re next” which concerned me, because up until this point he hadn't really angered the Jury. Come on Rob! Natalie and Ashley promised promises to each other, and even went so far as to pinky swear, and say "love you" to each other...to assure the other that they wouldn't vote for each other. (Survivor Rules Clarification: Pinky Swears are not, nor have they even been, binding. This is under review for Season #23.)
Phillip snitched to Rob that the girls were talking. Rob shrugged and said “Yeah thanks Phillip, welcome to Day 37”, before going off on camera about how he was considering not using the Idol at Tribal Council, the last time he would be able to use it. My girlfriend's jaw dropped when he said that, and I clarified that there was NO WAY he would ever "keep it as a souvenir", as he suggested. He's just not that stupid. Yes, he said he likes to gamble...but not with this. Not by a long shot. I didn't believe for a second that he wouldn't use it under any circumstances.

- Tribal Council #1 was once again very predictable: Philip made the Jury laugh by reminding them that he is "The Undercover Specialist", Probst tried to encourage a boys vs. girls rumble, Andrea spoke the truth and tried to influence the jury, Rob shot back that Andrea is a threat to sit beside at the end, and then used the Idol based on advice from his mother that it's "better safe than sorry." Andrea was booted, and validated what a waste Redemption Island has been. Two returnees...two immediate eliminations.

Seriously, the most entertaining thing about this Tribal Council was the new Jury Members and their Stoplight-Themed shirts. Did you catch that? On their first Tribal Council on the Jury, Mike, Matt, and Grant had on solid coloured red, yellow, and green shirts...and sat in that order! Who's the CBS costume consultant who planned that one?
I can understand why Ashley and Natalie stayed loyal to Rob at this point. The reason they were describing flipping as "risky" was because they obviously suspected he had the Idol, and was going to use it...and by voting for him or Phillip, that kills the alliance that had promised to take them to the Final Three. Made complete sense to me.

- Back at camp, Rob called his shot at winning the Final Immunity and then I braced myself for the worst part of any Survivor Season (even worse than the Loved Ones episode), the Fallen Comrades montage. But did you notice? Did you?

THERE WAS NO FALLEN COMRADES MONTAGE!!

I know I've been making fun of it all season, but this was my first indication that God actually cares about Survivor!

- Earlier in this post, I was wondering why the vase balancing wasn't the Final Immunity Challenge, and once I saw the overhead shot of the course, I understood. Wow, what a set-up. Very impressive. Rob and Ashley separated themselves from the pack, but never from each other, and sort of worked together on the final puzzle portion, which didn't make much sense to me. Probst, meanwhile, continued his weekly habit of making fun of Natalie at challenges, yelling down “Natalie being a good sport and still running around.”

Rob won the Final Immunity, as he said he would, and guaranteed himself a seat in front of the Jury. I appreciated his display of emotion, and thought it was completely genuine, and to those haters out there who will undoubtedly say it was fake and contrived (as they accused in his near passing-out at the top of the stairs two weeks ago), I say to you: "Have a heart."
Rob after winning the Final Immunity: “Whatever happens now, I’m ok. even if I don’t win, Which is ironic because the only reason I ever wanted to come back to play again was to win. But, I feel like I did my best.”

- Before the last Tribal Council, Ashley thought it was Phil, Phil thought it was Ashley, Ashley talked to Natalie, Natalie made her another promise, Rob told Natalie to vote for Ashley, and Natalie wasn't sure if she wanted to. Did you catch all that?

It was at this point that I said to myself: "Holy shit, this is a carbon copy of the very first season!" I know I've already made comparisons with Ometepe and Pagong in that sense but think about this: in season #1, you had Richard, Rudy, Sue, and Kelly as the Final Four, and Kelly promising Sue she wouldn't vote her out, before actually doing it. In Season #22, you had Rob, Phillip, Ashley, and Natalie, and the exact same thing happened. I was fully expecting a rat/snake/dying of thirst speech from Ashley at the Final Tribal Council.

- Tribal Council #2 was the 10th predictable Tribal in a row, and Ashley joined the jury. That is honestly all I'm going to say about it.
- Now that the Final Three was set in stone, Phillip reflected once again on his great-grandfather, his place in the game, and then "celebrated" with Rob and Natalie in some sort of awkward three-person handshake that Rob and Natalie looked completely disinterested in. He then went on to explain that his strategy was to explain to the Jury why they are over there, and he is still in the game, and to rub salt in their wounds. Wow...there goes my "Phillip was acting the whole time" theory.

- The traditional breakfast feast of sausage and burnt pancakes was replaced by mimosas and sandwiches, before we got one final blurred crotch shot of Phillip in the river (my eyes!). Then, Phillip made his best move of the game, approaching the other two in front of the fire with those horrible pink briefs in his hand.
"I knew my manhood was not reflected in the briefs that I wear", he told them. For the LOVE OF GOD, Phillip...did you really have to use the word "manhood" there? You couldn't have said "dignity" or "character"...it had to be "manhood"???? Regular readers will know that I've never been a fan of the tradition of burning things (like the entire camp) before the Final Tribal Council, but I heartily appreciated those tighty pinkies making their way into the fire.

- I was originally going to break down the Final Tribal Council, but it was so repetitive and largely uneventful, that I'm just going to give an overview with some highlights.  Essentially, Natalie rode Rob's coat-tails the whole way, Phillip was antagonistic, and Rob smoothly answered every question. Natalie's opening statement and overall responses were so bad, even Amanda Kimmel was watching and saying "Wow, she's doing BAD!)

Andrea thinks Phillip is weird, and Natalie is creepy, Ashley was less venomous than I expected, but doesn't like Rob, Grant was thought-provoking, Ralph looked like a hairy Jason Mraz in that panama hat, and questioned Phillip's number of feathers (???)

Matt called Rob a duplicitous, deceiving, liar, which Rob astutely pointed out is a huge part of the game. I credit Rob for not following it up with "That's why I'm here and you had to compete in TWELVE Redemption Island Duels." Matt then said that the Jury has a tough time understanding who Rob is, which leads me to believe none of them have ever watched Survivor before...or The Amazing Race...or the half-dozen other reality shows Rob has been a part of. Seriously, he's the John Lithgow of Reality TV. (You watch how many times you encounter John Lithgow this week now that I've mentioned that.)

Julie tried to take jabs from a parenting point of view, and Steve called Phillip shameful and sorry before commending Natalie for being 19 years old. I nearly fell asleep typing that sentence, so let's move on.
Mike said that he felt closer to God, made some friends, and found some inner peace. That's cool, but I'll take the million if I'm still in the running. No offense to Mike, and I truly appreciated that sentiment from a player that I genuinely liked all season, but if that's what he took out of Survivor, then maybe a church retreat would have been a better idea.

Then, my good friend Puzzle Master Dave spoke directly to the Jury, emploring them to do the only logical thing and vote for Rob. He "controlled your minds, controlled your thoughts", and was "ruthless but brilliant." Did you catch the music as he was speaking? Like we were all walking through a haunted house together, huh? He was right in his assessment that Rob's game was the best strategic game ever played.

David Murphy, you are my hero.

I'm not even joking. If you're reading this, I make this promise to you: I will buy you any puzzle or game you want, based on that speech. I'm totally serious. Email me and we'll set it up. Jenga, Puzz 3-D, Rubik's Magic...you name it.

Was there any doubt Rob was going to win after watching that Jury questioning? And let's be honest, with the way that Phillip and Natalie responded to the Jury's questions, Rob probably could have taken his Buff off and gagged himself and still won the million. If he hadn't wrapped it up before, they certainly sealed the deal for him. Yes, "Phile" got a single vote, but the best player ever finally did it...and took home the million.
Congratulations "Boston" Rob Mariano. Never has a Survivor winner been more deserving.

Random Thoughts on the Reunion Show

- Probst looks wrong in a black shirt, Ralph looks like he's auditioning for ZZ Top, Grant looked like he was auditioning for Fiddler on the Roof, Ashley appeared to be wearing dreamcatchers for earrings, and Matt continued to follow the path of Fabio by chopping off all of his hair for the Finale. Missed opportunity, Matt...with Thor killing at the box office right now, think of the money you could have made on the streets of NYC taking pictures with tourists.

- I told you they knew Rob had the Idol! I knew it! That's why the non-flip made sense.

- "What you’re thinking right now is “What is Phillip really thinking?” " Well done, Phillip. Glad to hear that your Former Special Agent status is now confirmed. I give Phillip a lot of credit for being the bigger man and apologizing to Steve, despite Steve's pathetic speech at the Final Tribal Council.

- “That’s as close to a perfect game as anyone has ever played on Survivor.” Truer words were never spoken by the King of the Blue Shirts.

- Matt: “I started the game deciding that I was going to blindly follow my heart.” Perhaps the worst Survivor strategy ever.

- I was surprised to see how stung Grant was by Rob's actions. Hopefully that can be repaired.

- Russell got a total of 2:57 on the show (yes, I timed it). How awesome was that? And about two minutes of it was bitterly complaining about Steve.

- Sprint Player of the season: Boston Rob. Very easy choice. It could only be him or Matt...there shouldn't have even been other options.

- I love how Probst missed the entire back row except for Russell. How pissed do you think Francesca, Krista, Kristina, Sarita, and Stephanie are?

- David is now doing puzzles with Carolina from Tocantins. How many of you thought she was going to say no when she said "Shut it Down"? I love how Amber was right in between them on the proposal shot, and I kept waiting for Rob to yell down from the Stage. "Hey David, I did that better, too!"

- I can't even begin to tell you how disheartened and disappointed I am that Survivor South Pacific (Season 23) will see the return of Redemption Island. So disappointing. But I'm going to give you my predictions now on who I think the two returning players will be...

Phillip and Coach.

Throughout the summer I will be recapping Big Brother, as well as writing a number of non-TV related posts. With almost 600 posts here, I’m sure you can find something you want to read. Please feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. I’m glad you found me, I hope you’ll stick around.

Remember that you can also add me on Facebook or on Twitter, where I post all new posts as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined. I’d love to have your thoughts on the Finale.

Thanks for reading this season. See you in the Fall for Season 23!

26 comments:

Kelly said...

Thanks, I've enjoyed reading your survivor posts.

Anonymous said...

Great Season Finale Recap Sean! Thanks for all your insight and laughs during this season's Survivor. Looking forward to reading your take on Big Brother this summer!

Quick question, when Ralph was questioning the final 3; was I hearing things or did Phillip call Ralph "Rob" twice?!!

Daniela aka Mizinvancouver from TVCH

Choirchick22 said...

Due to what one of the commenters said previously on your blogg, I'm betting Marty is one of the returnings. *I really hope it is at least!!* On to my thoughts on your thoughts.

Thanks for the shoutout. :) No worries about the spoilers.

You may hate it, but I LOVE the fallen comrades part. It shows the human side of all their relationships with each other, and I was looking forward to Rob's thoughts on Grant. But no! It was nowhere! It bummed me out man.

Glad Rob took it, though who was surprised? He earned it. Best game ever played by a survivor.

I know you say this season is boring. You said the same thing last season. I've kinda noticed that every season is "The most boring season ever" to people, both before I read this blogg and now. I think you just have to accept the way the game goes and realize that sometimes the fun is cackling while one person destroys the other players.

I'm so shocked that frontiers man Grant reacted so badly to Rob! I kinda wanna go back and watch the first few episodes to see what set Grant off. Seriously you pointed out that when Grant got voted out, he accepted it was part of the game. Where was that at the finale? Honestly watching all the confessionals from Rob over the season, I think he seems like a wonderful guy outside the game. Crazy that people are so uptight!

Was it just me or did David's girl look like she kinda didn't wanna marry him? I mean how long have they been dating? Seems a little rushed. I did like his speech to the jury though. I hope he sees this blogg and emails you. :)

Natalie looked to be on the verge of crying all reunion. I kinda felt bad for her, but then I realized I'm the exact same age, and I do NOT respect how she represented my age group. She didn't do anything the whole season and her plea to the jury was "I did everything Rob said and I never spoke against him! I'm such a a good listener!!" Horrible. I agree with Julie. If she was my daughter (or even my friend for that matter) I would have told her that I was dissapointed in her game play. Bleh!

Love that Rob finally won, though I will be sad to see him gone from Survivor. Can't wait for Russells next season! (You know it's coming eventually. Just wait for the next all-stars.)

Wow I feel like I just wrote a whole blogg on your blogg!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious post. I'm definitely a fan now. Can't wait til Big Brother! I'll keep you as a bookmark.

Sean said...

Anonymous, I thought I heard him say Rob too, but I backed up the PVR and it was indeed Ralph.

Choirchick22, I say these last two seasons were bad because they were. Prior to that, I thought the last few seasons were stellar. You have to admit this was a pretty weak cycle.

I too was surprised by Grant's reaction. Maybe there's more to it than what we saw on TV.

Carolina definitely looked shocked. I hope David emails me too. It's posted on his Facebook wall.

I think Natalie's game play was disappointing because it was non-existent. Period.

Shari said...

Great recap! I sincerely hope Boston Rob is finished and we never have to see him again.

MacGruber said...

Wow what a strangely fascinating season. Best first and last episode ever, mediocre inbetween.

Gotta love Phillip, he stays true to himself even at the last tribal council. Phillip never pretends being not crazy. LOL he seriously told to Jury members to not vote for him and to "GO TO HELL"!!! hahaha

I also wish to see Phillip and Coach in the next season. That would be out-of-this-world-awesome. The best awesome there is.
Doesn't even need to be survivor, I would totally enjoy watching them both doing literally anything. Cooking, talking, fighting, excel spreadsheets, walking dogs... you name it... wouldn't matter what they did, their crazy would make it hilarious.

PS: Best moment of survivor ever: Rob winning the last immunity challenge. It was so intense, I couldn't help myself but to jump up and cheer with him. The thought of him finally getting what he deserved long ago was so liberating. Kudos to Rob, the best survivor ever.

Anonymous said...

God recap dude. Better than Dalton's. I hope I don't get a virus. lol. just kidding. you write well, I enjoy your recaps and I'm glad you write. See ya next season. Thanks.

arabella said...

I missed the finale tonight. Thanks for the recap. Enjoyed reading your point of view

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't you temper your man crush for Rob with acknowledging that he SHOULD have played the best game after all the practice he's had?

James said...

Some thoughts on the final episode:

Julie was totally out of line questioning Rob and Phil's mettle as fathers and for attacking a 19 year old kid for being a follower. Thats what 99% of 19 year old kids do. Get off your high horse hippie, and maybe you'd see your really the one that needs some character work.

-Steve accused Phil of being a pretty sorry man. I think its much more sorry to not be the bigger man and keep a comment like that to yourself.

-Andrea is super hot.

-What's with going into the final episode of the season and still have EIGHT active contestants. Redemption Island either needs to be retooled or done away with completely.

-Really, put these numbers in order? Being that this was the challenge that got you into the final four, I think we have a winner for WORST CHALLENGE EVER.

-Two players are coming back next season? I agree Marty would be a great choice as he was underutilized in his season. For the second player, Coach is so likable that I wouldn't mind seeing The Dragonslayer make a return, but his social game has always been pretty lame and predictable. Maybe someone a little more conniving like Sash would be a good fit, or even a wildcard like Ace would drag the show out of the "you have to be an All-Star to come back" formula.

yoko_vibe said...

I couldn't catch the last 1/3 of the reunion show, so... what? They're bringing back MORE veterans to 'mix it up' with regular people? Ohhh, that was the worst thing they ever did. And they're doing it AGAIN. >_<

Choirchick, it was probably the way he tended to talk about his tribemates like they were his flunkies and he was just there to control them. He didn't talk about them with much respect (though I don't think he ever said much that was negative about Grant *specifically*).

Anonymous said...

It seems to me they cast a couple of strong personalities, a bunch of pretty girls it is hard to separate in your mind until the end as they do not stand out in any way, one weirdo (or two), a couple of handsome guys and one or two older people. I think there should be more stronger personalities. I didn't even care who won because I really thought Boston Rob had enought money from the $100,000 plus Ambers Mil although I agree it came down to yes he had to win. The rest either were non deserving as they didn't do any work nor stand out in any way or I wouldn't trust them with a million to spend. I rambled, but I hope you get my meaning. Get better casting!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Sean, I forgot to mention that I got up this morning, raced to the computer as I was looking forward to what you had to say and you didn't disappoint me in any way.

R.P. McMurphy said...

I agree that Rob and Phillip were the salvation of the show this year. I was really hoping Phillip would have played up his "outcast" role to appeal to the jury but he proved incapable.

I laughed out loud when Jeff announced those bags were full of numbered tiles. Couldn't be the finale without some sort of tiles involved.

I'm with you as I had my finger poised on the DVR fast forward button but, alas, no fallen comrades walk. Hallelujah!

I was sure I saw a cut shot of Matt during the preview for next season that corresponded with the announcement of the return of Redemption Island so I think he will be one of the players coming back.

I love the idea of Coach and Phillip on TAR but, after last night, would be open to Ralph and Phillip as well.

Thanks for all you work on the recaps.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but how exactly is Rob the greatest player ever? It took him four seasons to win and he only won when he went up against the dumbest cast ever. His track record against good competition is mixed at best:

- Voted out pre-jury on Marquesas
- Runner up on All Stars
- Voted out pre-merge on Heroes v. Villains

He lucked out with this sad sack of fools. There are a number of Survivors I would rank ahead of him: Parvati, Richard, Tom, Sandra.

About last night's show, you know a season is AWFUL when Phillip Sheppard is the 1st runner up. How could Probst not ask Zapatera about throwing the challenge or Kristina about the idol play? I found the reunion show lacking.

Mary said...

I love reading your updates...have ever since LOST. I look forward to your Big Brother stuff (thats my summer guilty pleasure).

As for Survivor and this season. I've said it before and I'm going to say it again. BORING!!!!! I predicted this 6-7 weeks ago. I will say that Rob did play a good game....best ever? I doubt that. Honestly, the only good thing he did was win a few challenges and have the strategic mind to keep tabs on everyone BUT even that was easy with this cast of people who were his cult. Even Probst said it. It was odd....and made for a very boring season. I watched because I love watching this game and I actually enjoyed the craziness that was Phillip. I also watched with the hope that someone....someone would grow balls and try to do something in this game instead of say "okay Rob."

I just hope CBS is done with Rob and his wife. I hope they both just want to go home and be a family with those adorable girls. I'm done with Rob and his wife...Survivor, The Amazing Race. Be done and live your lives already! LOL

I look forward to next season. Onto summer programming!.

Sean said...

Thank you everyone for all of the Comments and kind words!

I will post a Comment in here tonight to respond to much of what has been asked/said in the Comments section.

Keep 'em coming!

Anonymous said...

I thought the Reunion Show was kinda boring. I think David Murphy Should have another shot in this game! He was unfortunate enough to be on a weak tribe that was only concentrated on ousting Russel, looked what happened after that? they lost challenge after challenge. With that being said, I love how David spoke to the jury, Did it swing a lot of votes Rob's way? Maybe, since he ended up getting 8 of the 9 votes. I do wish they had shown the votes on air this year as they have in seasons past. And one more thing, PLEASE stop having a final three! Final two's are much more interesting!. Next Seasons Redemption Island Returnees, Matt and Chase or Phillip and Coach.

marla said...

your blog has been super fun. thanks for the great recaps. it’s way better than anything on ew. Including jeff’s blog, but don’t tell him I said that.

funniest line: No offense to Mike, ... then maybe a church retreat would have been a better idea." CLASSIC!

and i don't get why the jury doesn't get it either ... my thought is that the producers tell them to be mean and get them all riled before they go up there... because it's A GAME! it's a game, you are supposed to outwit and outlast... and if any of the jury members MADE it to the final three, they'd be saying THE SAME THINGS. it's so annoying to me.
PLUS when did those people get so high and mighty. all that church and God stuff ... well it was enough to make anyone who is Christian want to join some satan group. i'm all about God but it was really pushed in everyone's face. ick. they just came off really self righteous, which really isn’t from God. How ironic.

grant looks way hotter, and way less like a muppet. natalie looks clueless, just like she did on the show. rob completely deserved that million for making the show so fun to watch. I’m sure they paid him to be on. Russell will be back, but no one cares, really they don’t.

david just annoyed the CRAPINSKY out of me. NO ONE CARES that he fell in love with a former survivor cast member that no one can even remember. I just felt bad for the producers, trying to pull out one last dramatic twist that no one gave a flying rat’s a$$ about. I rolled my eyes big time.

I loved what James said about steve… “Steve accused Phil of being a pretty sorry man. I think its much more sorry to not be the bigger man and keep a comment like that to yourself.” What great insight. I don’t like the bitterness at the end from the jury – it’s awful.

All in all, this was the best season ever. i adore rob. Maybe everyone would get it spot on after 4 times of the same show… or maybe not. :)

Thanks Sean! Until next time!

Anonymous said...

For all that have said that Rob is not the greatest of all time because he has had so much time to practive the game, I pose this question to you. Is it possible that this is a game that becomes harder to win the more times you play, as you become a "known", thus targeted player?

Rotay

Sean said...

MacGruber, I have to agree...started and ended with a bang, but what a yawner in the middle. Phillip and Coach on excel spreadsheets - maybe not a real ratings-grabber, but I get your point, they are TV gold.

Anonymous (3:41) - Thanks very much, that comment means more than you probably realize with the anger that gets directed my way from the EW boards. Much appreciated. (And if you came from EW, I'm happy that you didn't get that imaginary virus.)

Anonymous (4:37) - What does the number of times on the show have to do with anything? For each successive time someone returns to the show, it gets HARDER to win, not easier. (See Rotay's point at 7:28 pm) Maybe you should temper your sour grapes with something to cleanse your palette.

James - many great points, but I agree most of all with your assessment of Julie. Her comments were spineless, and out of line, and I chose not to give them space in my recap. Thanks for calling her out.

Anonymous (6:53) - I've been saying it for three seasons now: STOP RECRUITING AND START USING APPLICANTS AGAIN.

Anonymous (6:55) - Thank you so much. That's my favourite comment from this entire season! Very flattering.

R.P. McMurphy - You and I are always on pretty much the same page. Loved your comments this season. Thanks for your loyalty to this site. Re: next season, I'm pretty sure it hasn't been filmed yet, so those images we saw are generic ones, I would imagine, as opposed to actual footage.

Anonymous (9:26) - I'll give you the argument of Sandra and Parvati as competitors for the title of Best Ever, but Tom and Richard? yes they won, but what happened when they came back? Rob has been much more consistent than any other player, save for Parvati and Sandra. And you KNOW he deserved the All-Stars win. More sour grapes.

You are, however, 100% correct about how lacking the reunion show has become. It's almost painful. There's never enough time to cover everything we want asked, and then it's filled with BS like 5 minutes of Terry Bradshaw last season, or David's ridiculous proposal this time.

Mary - thank you for transitioning from my LOST recaps to Survivor (and on to Big Brother). Keep in mind just because he was dealing with idiots, doesn't mean it wasn't impressive that he accomplished it so dominantly as a target from Day One.

Anonymous (1:44)- I've spoken at length on the evils of a Final Three. I hate it.

Marla - Thank you for your kind words. I'm very flattered. Yes, there was too much religion/faith as a plot-line in this season. If Matt had ended up winning, then maybe you could understand it, but clearly with the predictability of this entire season, CBS was looking for sub-plots to dramatize. Don't necessarily agree with your thoughts on David, but your rant certainly made me smile.

Rotay - Great point. See you in Las Vegas in July for the WSOP.

Many of you are predicting who the returning players may be, and aside from my initial prediction of Phillip and Coach, I have heard (just in these comments) Marty, Sash, Ace, Ralph, David, Chase, Matt.

I don't think we can just randomly throw names around hoping they come back. To be honest, if they told me that Chase and Ace were coming back, I may fall asleep before I even read the end of the press release. If it's going to be only two, I think they will be big names.

I could see Matt returning since he spent so much time on Redemption Island, and it is returning again (Please GOD let it actually be an Island this time). But, as we learned, Matt isn't the greatest strategist, so I wouldn't expect him to last long if he does return.

Thanks again everyone. LOVED reading the comments!

Eudaemon said...

Thanks for the write-ups this season, Sean! It was fortunately a gratifying ending, would trade that for a drama-filled season with an undeserving winner anytime (eg. Pananma, Guatamela). Rob's accurate gameplay contributed in part to the lack of drama in this season. Many people don't give him enough credit for what he achieved, citing that the other players didn't know how to strategise. Ironically, in some ways, it is easier to play with/against smart players, than those who don't strategise. Because the latter group can be unpredictable, make irrational decisions and tend to be easily swayed since they have no opinion/strategy of their own. Rob must be so busy and paranoid constantly. So Rob took a leaf from Russell's book and played the perfect strategy for this season, which was to control his strategy-weak alliance with fear, trust and the new brilliant buddy-system. The difference with Russell was, Rob didn't have Russell's ego and didn't trample over the jury. Watch and learn Russell - that's how you control the game, and still get the jury votes.

shipaddict said...

I didn't find your blog until the night of the finale, so I have spent the last couple of days reliving the entire season here. I have laughed til I had tears in my eyes. All-time favorite line - "why do I have to be the cat's ass?"

I don't want to scare anyone, and I hope that what they used for the previews for next season was all stock footage, but my daughter SWEARS she got a glimpse of Shambo somewhere in there. I have been too scared to look myself. If Shambo comes back I would love to be able to boycott next season. But knowing how powerless I am over my reality TV shows, I won't have that kind of strength. I will just have to make sure the puke-bucket is handy. I would like to see Tyson come back!

AWESOME season Rob. You rocked. You totally deserved the win. I barely remember him in Marquesas, hated him in All-Stars, fell in love in Heroes vs Villains, and the love continued thruoghout this whole season. So glad you were finally able to do it. And yes, I think the game gets harder the more times you attempt it.

Michelle said...

My DVR didn't record the season finale of Survivor. Fortunately, ALL the reality shows that are aired live (2) are replayed during the week. Unfortunately, the season finale of Survivor was a week later.

I updated my FB status that I would not be on mcuh and then STAYED OFF just to make sure I didnt read a spoiler. Even asked DH not to find out. LOL

I didnt find out. I was glad. Of course, I also stayed of my reader, just in case, someone headlined it.

Anyway, I enjoyed your recap.

My hope is that it's Ozzy coming back. I enjoyed Phile's antics, dont' get me wrong, but I can't do another season of him.

I loved how Russell got to tell America once again how stupid his tribe was. Cause they were!

MIYAMOTO said...

I couldn't agree with you more on this season.
Many ex-contestants say that they would love to go back on the show, then why are they whining about BostonRob's fourth shot at the million dollar?

The people sitting with him in the F3 were there because he wanted them there.
It's boring because he played the most perfect game!
Any former survivor contestants definitely can’t play Survivor just like Boston Rob, even If they play with the same 16 dummies from this season. (or playing with a bunch of amateurs)