Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, "Banana Etiquette": Plan Voodoo child, please

A review of tonight's "Survivor" coming up just as soon as I slip on my Superman girdle...

Credit where credit is due: Russell is a smug, preening ass, but he foiled the hell out of Rob's attempt to run Plan Voodoo on him, and Tyson was unbelievably stupid enough to fall for it. (What was the risk, Tyson? In a 6-3 alliance where a tie is followed by a revote, no way Plan Voodoo should ever fail. Moron.) And some might argue that Russell's victory was a short-term one, in that he lost the idol and is still down 5-3, but his team could keep winning until the merge, and/or there might be a shuffle, and/or he might just keep finding hidden immunity idols. This was an easy shot to either get rid of him or get rid of his closest, most charming ally, and because Tyson was a putz(*), Rob's group accomplished neither.

(*) What was that Dark Helmet once said? "Evil will always triumph, because good is dumb"? Because the "Heroes" have been so inept and obnoxious, Tyson is part of what qualifies for "good" in this season.

As for the Heroes, meh. They made the right call, in that James is likely a liability in challenges, but this is two all-star stints in a row where Colby mentally checked out on the second or third day. Like Jerri, he keeps coming back because his acting career hasn't gone the way he'd hoped, but his heart's not in it, and it's hard to get the eye of the tiger back when you're cold and hungry and playing with a bunch of drips like Amanda and Rupert.

I don't like double-eliminations in theory, because they penalize a team that's kicking ass (Tom's Palau team also suffered one of those, though they just cut one of their deadweight players), but it's been so long since the Villains went to Tribal, or since we'd seen any major strategizing from them, that it was a relief for a week. I'm sure next week we'll be back to seeing the Heroes flounder while Russell wanders around gloating about his awesomeness, but at least this week he got to walk the talk.

What did everybody else think?


Mac said...

I don't remember Tyson being quite this dumb in his first go-round -- that was Coach's job -- but man, was that dumb. It's up there with James getting voted out with two immunity idols in his pocket.

Well, Team Rob flushed the immunity idol, and since there apparently isn't another one on the Heroes' beach, there presumably won't be another one for Russell to find. Hopefully, as far as I'm concerned -- unlike you, I've had nearly a full year of Russell now, and really, that's enough.

Andrew said...

I'm really tired of Russell surviving because the casting morons select the only people on the planet dumber than they are.

J. Newman Granger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Tyson wasn't completly stupid, i think. All it takes is one more person to flip over to russel's side to make tyson the one going home. I mean i would rather be in a 4 person alliance then a 6 person one you know what im saying, maybe tyson felt someone would flip?

Has anyone every done that before, gone to a person they both know there against and got them to flip there vote like that, you have to admit russel knows how to play the game, im not the biggest russel fan but im not a boston rob fan, and i like sandra as a character but she is one of the least deserving winners and she had no strategy in her season, so i guess that makes me a russel fan, scratch that i am a russel fan, im not going to let your hatred of him make me scared to say i like him, lol.

Alan, Tom is an aarogant ass as well, he had some line a couple episodes ago where he was like "I think its smart to get rid of threats early, they waited to long in my season to get rid of me and looked what happened, i ended up winning." and what Tom did to Ian, Ian was stupid to open his mouth like that but you know Tom would have taken whoever he had the best chance against as well, if he had the power to do so. Yes hes a good guy in real life just like rupert another guy i dont like but he is so full of himself i dont understand why you dont care for one but you do about the other. At leats russel's season was entertaining, taking out the most boring and stupid tribe like that, it was amazing to watch, Tom's season was painfully boring, which i cant really use that as a mark against tom though he did play a great game, but when a merge is 10 to 1 or whatever im out, and if you only address the points your right about i'll be mad, lol.

Love your blog, sometimes if i feel like watching the wire ill just read a review of yours and save some time doing something productive lol

oh btw best tribal ever

Michaelangelo McCullar said...

J, now you're shortchanging Russell some. He knew the split vote was coming. It was the only play. His comment was a good sound bite, nothing more.

Now, roll with me a minute, because I'm going to slightly defend Tyson here. I understand his thought process. Russell tells him he's going to vote for Parvati. So if that's true, then Russell would have no reason to play his idol. However, here's where things get interesting. Let's say Tyson figures Russell is swerving him to preserve his HII. So he goes ahead with the split vote, and Russell indeed does not play the idol. We now have a 3-3-3 tie vote. Now you're playing a shell game. What's the tiebreaker? Would they be building fire or something? Or would they be safe and the others have to pull a rock (contrary to popular belief, the rock still exists). If the others are threatened with the rock, someone's gonna bolt. And you have no idea which direction they're going to bolt. So in a sense Tyson was making a rational play. Of course, most likely I just put 1000 times more thought into this than Tyson did.

Anonymous said...

since when as a player been a genius because they figured out to split the vote J.newman Granger, you have to give credit to russel no matter how dumb tyson is, because it was russel that came up with the idea to tery that on russel, its not like russel lucked his way into that, and russel knew immediately that rob was lying when rob told him that everyone was voting for him, russel knew immedatiely it was a blindside, thats dumb on rob and smart on russel, an dlike i said before tyson could of been worried that russel may of gotten sommeone at the last minute

answer me this, have you EVER seen boston rob make the face he made at tribal council when tyson got voted off?

Anonymous said...

answer me this, have you EVER seen boston rob make the face he made at tribal council when tyson got voted off?

He made that face because everything he did worked, it was Tyson being a dumb ass that prevented Russell from being blindsided.

Give Russel credit for getting a dummy like Tyson to fall for his logic, but Rob and Sandra had it played perfectly, they just forgot to take the moron factor into account.

Carrie said...

Anonymous, I think Rob was just completely dumbfounded that someone could be so incredibly stupid as to go against his very solid plan. I doubt he even realized it was Tyson at that point, and was just so confuzzled as to who messed everything up. Both Rob and Russell played that situation pretty well, I think, and I was very fun to watch.

I love Rob like no tomorrow, so I am supremely interested to see the inevitable big BRob/Russell showdown. Take him down, Rob!

Anonymous said...


The first tiebreaker has ALWAYS been a re-vote. Also, I'm pretty sure the players know what the tiebreaker is going into the season. The problem with the one rock pull that seemed like a surprise (Marquesas) was because it was the one scenario where the rock pulling doesn't work, but the show hadn't thought it through and went with it (and has since switched to fire-making in final four vote situations.

Knowing that, I'm at a complete loss to figure out what Tyson was thinking, other than a deep desire to get rid of Parvati. In that case, the only thing I can think of is that he assumed that no idol was coming into play, and didn't want to vote out Russell in the re-vote (in which case, it sounded like Russell would be the target).

fgmerchant said...

I loved the ending, even though I too hate double-elimination episodes. The way Russell maneuvered Tyson into screwing himself was just masterful. That guy really knows how to read the situation and figure out the best route to take.

The only thing I am scared of is Russell being voted out next since he showboated that he was the one who found it! If he had given it to Parvati and just let her play it herself, then he might have been able to convince some folks that Parvati was the one who found it not him, and take even more heat off himself.

I really wish someone would vote out Sandra. Am I the only one who can't stand her even a little?

Unknown said...

I actually like both Rob and Russell, and judging by the comments on here each week I am the only one. I think you have to give Russell credit this week, regardless of how dumb Tyson played it. That's what the game is all about: getting dumb people to do what you want. Russell accomplished it, and Rob couldn't keep his dummies in line, this time. I hope they battle it out all season long.

Anonymous said...

Carrie, my point excatly, russel planted one ofhis "russel seeds" in tyson. Russel MADE Tyson make that dumb move, it wasnt Tyson being dumb on his own it was russel setting the wheels in motion to get tyson to do something dumb.

I'm going to say this every post because people dont seem to register that this could have been a possibilty, that Tyson was nervous russel got a 4th and would in fact not force a tiebreaker and tyson wold be gone, and that he hoped for the best, we dont really know the villain tribe dynamics to rule that out as a possibility

Benjamin Standig said...

Alan, that is very big of you to give Russell is due. Last season he was pulling off one crazy move after another, but this was probably the gutsiest. Not to mention, as you said, the foiling of Rob's plan and manipulating Tyson. Wow, wow, wow.

As for Tyson, no clue what he was thinking. Guess he wanted to pile on. Very much a Leon Lett-type play.

As for the Heroes, what a bunch of morons. No problem getting rid of James, but then why not do it last week? I mean, the tribe is probably stronger with the girdle man over the cripple, but Tom was better than both of them!

Anonymous said...

The problem with "Tyson thought there might be a fourth" is that in such a scenario, he doesn't know that the fourth person who flipped was someone who was supposed to vote for Russell (Rob or Sandra) or someone who was supposed to vote for Parvati (Courtney, Coach, Jerri). If it was one of the Parvati people (which is probably more likely, as Rob and Sandra seem less likely to flip given that they seemed most in line with the split), then his vote for Parvati is still meaningless (because it would create a 4-3-2 scenario where he still goes home).

Basically, Tyson foolishly thought he could guarantee Parvati's elimination. Which was dumb. If Russell plays the idol, then she's gone. If he gave it to Parvati, then no extra vote by Tyson would have mattered. The only conceivable way he guarantees her removal with his vote is if no idol is played. A fourth member of Russell's alliance already messes up any of Tyson's plans.

Michaelangelo McCullar said...


Yes, I'm aware the first tiebreaker is always a revote. That was my point. Probst stated a couple of seasons ago that they still have the rock for deadlocks. Certain situations, such as Stephenie and Bobby Jon in Palau or Cirie and Danielle in Exile Island, they use an alternate tiebreaker because using the rock in that case is unfair (the Paschal effect). But for other cases, they still pull the rock if they can't break the tie. And that was my point. If you had a 3-3-3 tie, and the remaining six have to revote, one of them was going to crack. No way they were going to risk a rock for Tyson or Russell or Parvati. So in the off chance that Russell was lying to Tyson about voting Parvati but was lying in order to preserve his HII, why not Tyson vote for Parvati? It would ensure she went home. But as I also said, I'm most likely giving Tyseon WAY, WAY, WAY, WAY, WAY too much credit for thinking along those lines.

Anonymous said...

exactly andythesaint, if tyson was paranoid there was a 4th then theres really no scenario that could help him so he was tryin the only thing that would work, im not completly ruling that tyson is a complete moron but to me that seems like the move a person who is desperate and not assured of the people around them

Anonymous said...

It'll get lost in all of this (as everything involving her does), but the second dumbest Villain week after Tyson had to be Danielle.

Why on earth did she decide to stick with being the third member of a three person alliance versus six others? What did she have to gain there? Being the seventh person in a seven person alliance isn't that great, but it's still better (and offers the chance of moving up). The only thing I can't think of (other than her simply not being all that bright), is that there's outside of the game dynamics at play, and Parvati has promised her a plumb position in an alliance with her friends over on the Heroes side (who may very well be Danielle's friends... which could explain her presence on this show). But that seemed to fall apart with the elimination of James this week too.

Anonymous said...

In a hypothetical re-vote, Tyson's alliance wouldn't have to worry about saving themselves in another tiebreaker. In such a scenario, Tyson and whomever didn't have immunity between Parvati and Russell don't get to vote. Now all five of Tyson's allies vote for the other (Parv or Russ), while Danielle and Parv/Russ votes for Tyson. 5-2, Tyson is safe.

Or, if no idol is played, Tyson, Parvati and Russell can now not vote, and it's 5-1 Russell (which seemed to be discussed, that Russell was the primary target in a re-vote scenario). I guess the one thing that's never been discussed on the show is even no one played the idol in the first vote, whether they'd then get to play it after the second vote. Then, and only then, would Tyson be in danger (but even then, the danger of his alliance flipping is negated).

Clearly, Tyson was confused. Because him changing his vote tonight could do nothing to keep him from going home (and, in fact, was the only thing that could make him go home).

Anonymous said...

andythesaint, i dont agree with you that being in a 3 person alliance thats unnumbered is worse then being the last person in a 7person alliance, especially with the immunity idol dynamics, the possibilty of someone flipping that also feels at the bottom of robs alliance, the villains near perfect winning streak, strong possiblity of some sort of merge and tribal flip up coming soon, and the fact she would be the last person targeted among russel and parv (that combined with the vilains dominance bodes well for danielle). The thing i would worry about if i was danielle is russel's and parvs bond, with russel doing that for parv, someone even as strategic as parvati has to feel loyal and indebted to russel, and danielle better hope its a final 3. she has no chance of winning at this point anyway so it doesnt matter.

To me russel and parv, and danielle are in a tough spot but not that tough, because the heroes that are left would be more likely to swing with russel, parv and danielle then band together with Boston Rob and vote off russel, parv and danielle, i mean i am talkin about a merge like everyone is still there but i dont know, i just rambled into nothing, what im trying to say is boston robs alliance of 6 at some point becomes dangerous because nobody wants to come in 6th, and i feel russel is smarter to form a small allanice especially with his immiunity idol prowess

Anonymous said...

yeah tyson would have nothing to worry about it was a 3 way tie, it would be danielle verus everyone else, but i dont think tyson was worrying about that

J. Newman Granger said...

Come on guys. Number of thoughts.

1) The 3-3-3 argument is dumb. They KNEW Russell had the immunity idol. He HAD to play it in some fashion and they knew this.They had the perfect plan to get rid of either him or Parvati.It didn't work which brings us to...

2) Come on, Tyson didn't do anything remotely to a logical move. The group of 6 he was in was very strong, very united. There was nothing at all to suggest it wouldn't go down the way it did for him. They knew Russell would either use it for himself or give it to Parvati. That is why they split their votes. So it would be 3-3 with whoever played the immunity idol having their votes nullified. Then they would go back and vote again and they'd have 6 votes. It's not rocket science.

3) Look Russell played his season well, but he also played against some of the most inept players ever to play the game and did indeed lose, bitter jury or not. I watched the season on iTunes beginning to end recently and as entertaining as he was he really didn't make THAT many incredible moves. He only really only played one idol of consequence.

4) Boston Robs face was not of a man outsmarted but of a man confused at how someone was dumb enough to not carry out even the simplest of plans.

5) Not sure who said it but Palau was an immensely entertaining season and easily one of my favorites. It was a good group of characters and I really did enjoy seeing one tribe decimate the other, something that has never happened in Survivor history, and probably will never happen again. Tom is one of the best winners ever.

6) Still can't stand Rupert....or Amanda...and thank god James is gone. Not sure the logic in voting him off now after sending home Tom. They should have just kept him as a vote for the merge. He wasn't a threat for individual immunity and he would have been a solid vote.

7) Anyone else thank they are setting up the Colby resurrected narrative? He's making it far.

My main point isn't that Russell sucks. He obviously dominated his season. But I don't think he's even in the top tier of the players out there and if they had seen his season he'd have been gone really fast. You can't underestimate this. If every player watches Samoa they know he lies, he finds immunity idols, he plays immunity idols, and he lies. That is his whole game...I was never a Boston Rob fan but he was a much better manipulator and a master in the challenges, something Russell is not.

Andrew said...

It's obvious Coach is flipping after that speech, because that's exactly the stupid kind of thing Coach does. And then to prevent a tie, Sandra will flip as well, and I'd guess Rob is the next villain to go home and the show will describe it all as Russell being brilliant, when it was fundamentally Tyson making one of the five dumbest plays in the show's history. This is also why I think Micronesia was a bad season, because it wasn't people getting outsmarted, it was a contest of which dumb model/actor would do the dumbest thing.

And then you'll have the five most obnoxious Villains and the Heroes who are generally stupid and worthless. Depressing.

Unknown said...

Haha, look at all the Russell HATERS! Keep it up, keep doubting he is the greatest to ever play this game. He always has a plan, and always makes the right move. Bravo, Russell!

As for the Heroes, I don't know why they don't vote off the worthless Rupert. James with no legs could beat him in challenges.

Benjamin Standig said...

I'm confused by some of the comments about the Villians vote:

Tyson messed up. He was supposed to vote for Russell and instead for Parv. The insane part was that if he did in fact believe that Russell was voting for Parv as well, then that by itself would have ensured she was getting the boot. There was ZERO reason for him to change his vote, other than to pile on.

Andrew said...

Yeah, Russell's also a gratuitous dick, so will always lose the most important part of the game and is thus NOT the best to ever play.

I'm pretty sure that was Yul, but I'm open to other options.

Unknown said...

Also, I think it should be noted how the Villains are so drastically underestimating Russell.

First, they let him go off and find the Idol, not thinking he would do something crafty with it.

Then, they all see him pull Tyson to the side, but they make no effort (that we saw) to grill Tyson about the conversation and talk him back into plan A.

I think they've all learned their lesson now. Also, it was extremely wise of Russell to turn to Coach and talk about keeping his word. I think Coach will be in Russell's pocket now.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like as long as Russell is alive in this game, this board is going to be a series of 'he's only surviving because everyone else is so dumb' comments. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I hate Russell but HIS strategy played out well. I really hope that Danielle will not be Russel's Natalie this season.

I don't like Tyson, so I'm glad he was voted off :D

Colby's attitude is disappointing, if that were Tom, he will not throw the towel!
How I wish this double elimination happened an episode earlier, Tom could have won immnunity, oh well.

J. Newman Granger said...

Chris and other Russell Lovers Anonymous,

Russell is a good player. Best ever? Come on now lets be serious. I've watched every season front to end and while certainly worthy of his all-star status, he isn't even a top 5er and be lucky to be top 10. Hell, Parvati has won and has him wrapped around her finger already.The REASON he is around and having any success is for the 3rd time NO ONE GOT TO SEE HIS SEASON BECAUSE IT WAS FILMED 10 DAYS AFTER SAMOA ENDED. He has seen every other player play and no one has seen him. He wouldn't be able to do anything if they had seen him play and thus would not have made it this far because he certainly isn't good at challenges and everyone would know what a snake and prick he is.

Anonymous said...

Alan, If J.Newman Granger's first post means what I think it means (where he mentions a "leak boot list") then its a likely spoiler and I hope it will be deleted. If I've misunderstood his comment, apologies.

J. Newman Granger said...

Same thing happened to Richard Hatch in first all-star season. They knew what type of game he played and he had no real cards to play because of it. Subsequently he was voted off early. And he was an infinitely better strategizer than Russell.

Anonymous said...

J.Newman Granger your bias clouds your judgement. First off ill address point 3

3)had Russel's season been seen yes he probably would have been voted off early, which proves you do think Russel is a good player, because there would be no reason to vote off a bad player. You make it sound like getting voted off early in all stars means your a bad player, it could mean your a bad player or it could mean your being targeted because your a good player, like in the 1st all stars richard, tina, and ethan were going early because of that not cause they were bad players, so that line of thinking and acting like that would be a mark against him that he would be target is incredibly stupid

now your point 1 & 2
1,2) Ill admit that Tyson Possibly just was stupid, but you are assuming alot in that a 6 person allinace is strong based on very little camp life shown and the mere fact that a 6 person alliance has a strong possibilty to have a person that doesnt feel very unified or with the group. I dont know what "THe 3-3-3 argument is dumb." Thats such a general statemnt that it shows your not very sure about what your talking about or else you would be more specific about why it is, Russel knew that they knew he had the idol, its not like Russel was caught off guard by this

and now point 4
4) i wouldnt say rob was necassrily dumb, which i may have said in previous posts (a little harsh) but russel outplayed him, by rob hammering home to russel that is was russel going home, russel was smart enough to know it was a blindside, and rob changed his strategy, to a smarter startegy yes of going 3-3-3, which does mean that russel was wrong about it being a blindside at first, just like boston rob may thought something else at first and then changed to the tiebreaker. Ill say this again, when did the vote splitting strategy become a "genius move" it was an idea tossed around by the galu tribe in samoa the tribe you and i both agree are complete idiots so obviously it isnt some inovative new technique.

Now we think initally it is going to be a blindside of parv because that's what rob said he wanted to do, so there russel already read him correctly, but then rob changes his plan up and russel adjusts......correctly, russel probaly knew (SOmething Tyson possibly didnt) that the chances of swaying someone was slim, so he went to a last ditch effort of tryin to stack the votes one way so that the idol's use could be used in an effective way. You seem to be glossing over that no matter how stupid tyson is, russel is the one who planted the idea for him to be stupid.

as for point #5
5) to each there own, im not a huge Tom fan, my favourite part of survivor is usually the merge where people scramble and form new alliances, and there was very little of that in season 10, except near the end, and even then there were really no ballsy or interesting moves made, again i cant fault watever tribe tom was on for being so dominant, but im more a fan of seasons of survivor like samoa and the amazon where the dynamics shift from week to week.

Going back to point #4. " A man outsmarted,'s semantics really, if you can confuse someone even if its at the hands of an idiot Tyson, your still the one doing the confusing, and russel confused rob, russel didnt seem confused at all, just ballsy and shrewd.
i have to split up my response into 2 cause it wont let me post this much but i got more

Anonymous said...

2nd part

You say that boston rob is a much better manipulator then russel. Both rob and russel both went to a merge on there first season down in men and one didnt even make it on the jury and one came in 2nd, granted russel had the immunity idol advantage, ill give you that but he only needed it once. And in all stars Rob's tribe went into the merge with the numbers, so it was a formality really, ya his tribe outplayed physically, but rob was stupid to so overtly screw over lex and kathy, because even if he lost amber he still would of had numbers going into the merge, and also wen it got down to the final five rob could of sided with big tom with amber and basically insured himself into the final 3 but instead he goes with rupert and jenna, even though i think jenna was in a sub alliance with rob and amber which again basiaclly ensures himself into the top 3 unless theres immunity choas he screwed tom uneccsarily and played it stupid in my opinion. W/e though, i think boston rob is a great player but i think of 5 or 6 players that are better, yes one of them being russel

Unknown said...

I haven't watched Survivor since season 2, but I had to jump in here to say the picture at the top of this post is scary as hell. Is the blonde really that emaciated?

Anonymous said...

no its an illusion

J. Newman Granger said...

I do think Russell is a good player and by no means do I think going home early is an indictment of a bad player. I mean come on look at some of the people still there and try to not laugh and say they are better than a Tom or Cirie.

I just really disagree that Russell outsmarted Rob in any way here. And just as I assume things you're assuming that Russell had this all figured out and when I guarantee you he was very, very nervous when his name out first. If his ace in the hole was that just saying he'd vote for Parvati to Tyson then that's not really as much genius as it is desperate. Rob, someone who had never played with immunity idiols before, had Russell on this one. It's not his fault Tyson made a blatantly idiotic move.

Look I loved Russell in his season for the most part. He really grew on me, but I don't think he is some greatest player of all time. He played an idol when he didn't need to, essentially wasting it. He found another one and used it well. And he won the final immunity challenge against Brett. But he cost himself the game by being rude, obnoxious, and mean throughout the game when he didn't have to and his inability to realize this might cost him the win shows that he isn't and wasn't a complete player. He deserved to win that season just like Boston Rob deserved to win All-Stars, but if you go back and watch Rob was much more straight forward with Lex and Kathy then Russell was with just about anybody.

I just can't give Russell as much credit this season because he knows the other players games when they don't know is. Just can't get around it.

BUT everyone is sick of this about Sandra? I'm loving her sassiness this season.

Hatfield said...

Haha, Greg, I came in to ask the same question!

Andrew said...

The answer is yes, Courtney is gross, if I remember right she lost maybe five pounds total in her first season, and she made final tribal council.

Anonymous said...

no dont change the subject on me lol, i said that getting voted off early could mean its cause your a great player, but it could be cause your not, like rudy, his was physically unift, ur making it seem like i think the only reason people get voted off early on an all-star season is cause there a target, which i never said.

I agree that Russels plan was very risky and possibilty not that good, but i see Tyson gone, and russel and parvati still in the game, and rob confused, i dont possible understand how you think rob outsmarted russel in any way, the person russel wanted gone went, and russel was the one who made it happen, whether or not is was a bad plan to begin with doesnt really matter at this point cause it worked.
Rob never played with immunity idols, ah poor baby, you dont need a novel to come ith the immunity idol to figure out how it works, besides im sure rob has seen other seasons of the show, and im also quite sure someone on his alliance would be more then willing to explain how it works, so that cant be an excuse.

i agree russel has an advantage being from the most recent season that hadnt aired, but in a way its a slight......SLIGHT, disadvantage because rob used his perception as a leader to his advantage and someone like J.T. has flipped his image over, in a suprsiing way, russel doesnt have thoose luxuries, but i do still think he has the advantage.

And you act like everyone has a "game." each season of survivor is different and people play the game different.

I agree that both russel and robs stupidest trait is there ego that costs them in the end. but again i think if brett hadnt won immunity, russel would have been able to bring diff people to the end not worryin about havin to have the best physical threats along with him, and he would of had a better shot, but of course brett did win and thats the way it did go so you cant play what if.

Yes rob was honest, because he had the numbers, once russel had the numbers he was honest and upfront, and while rob told lex he as gone and was "straight-shooting" he had already significantly angered Shi-Ann, Kathy, aNd Lex, ironically im pretty sure Shi-ann and Kathy both voted for rob anyway, but it wasnt a strategical display of genius that got him to the end, it was the fact that him and his tribe did very good at the challenges, the fact that boston rob did the worst standings wise of any returning all star and didnt have a target on his back, and the fact that people like rob cesternino, Tina, and rich hatch did.

Anonymous said...

that previous statement was addressed to newman granger, sorry i didnt make that clear

Anonymous said...

and yes russel looked visibly nervous and tribal council, in a way i had never seen before, just like rob looked like i had never seen him before

Andrew said...

Rob in All-Stars had a really fantastic strategy. He had a set of two person alliances that all ran through him. This is obviously a dangerous way to play if people realize that you're the puppetmaster, but if it works it's really fantastic.

You'll also note that Rob recognized and discussed with Amber specifically that his strategy might fail and he'd be blamed for every move they made. Unlike Russell who was SURE he would win. Rob knew there was a chance he wouldn't, and I suspect that's a large part of the reason he came far closer to winning his season than Russell did his.

Additionally, the key reason Rob's plan didn't work is because Tyson didn't act rationally or can't count to four. I haven't decided which it is yet.

Galactus said...

@ J. Newman Granger

Your analysis of the gameplay of Russell, Rob and Tyson (or his lack of gameplay) are completely valid and on-point.

Anonymous' analysis sounds eerily familiar to "Kathy" on another Survivor blog and the logic of the analysis completely escapes me.

Sonia said...

The only thing that doesn't make sense to me i s this: the other Villains HAD to see Tyson talking to Russell -- Jeez, Courtney was THERE when Russell asked to talk to Tyson! WHY wouldn't they grill him and ask what he said, and try to convince him to revert to plan A?

Phenomenal work by Russell. He may not make it much further with no immunity idol, but that was pretty cool. I would love to see him take down Boston Rob. But then the rest of the season would be SO boring...LOL.

Anonymous said...

ya exactly andrew, "rob's" plan that anybody could of came up with didnt work because russel ruined it.

Yes rob seemed alot more aware of his style of play and how it might hurt him in the end, but i think russel realized this to seem extent as well which is why he wanted to bring others to the final 3 but brett messed that up. Im not standing up for russel on that point cause i agree its a good one, but theres alot we dont and also just because your self-aware of your failings doesnt mean you played a smarter game, it just means your more self-aware.

Ill say it again, boston rob did the worst of ANY returning all-star (Season 8 all-stars) so that already worked to his benefit, and the fact that everyone agreed rob cesteriono was a threat was something that worked in his favour. and aligning yourself with 1 person in a tribe of 6 seems very stupid to me but wat do i know. also rob was on a tribe that was winning challenges and he was a big reason, because yes he is a good challenge guy but because the rest of his tribe (rob c., amber, big tom, sue hawk, and alcia) were not that great.

Boston rob played a good game in all-stars, great i cant say that, he had alot of things in his favour, and he screwed over to many people unesccarily because i feel he could of still gotten very far without her, just stay with big tom, rupert, jenna, and alicia, and then once u get to 5 take out rupert and jenna, that way u can say i was loyal to my tribe the whole way through.

And with people acting like russel only got lucky because he was dumb, your making it sound like Boston Rob played with a bunch of Mensa members, during his seasons

Adam said...

Here's what I don't get:

For Russell's strategy to work, he had to know (or hope) that Tyson was supposed to vote for Russell before being persuaded to switch to Parvati. Otherwise, if Tyson was supposed to vote for Parvati anyway, then it's a 3-3-3 vote where Russell gets eliminated after an initial tie with Tyson (w/Parvati's votes-against erased.)

So: did Russell guess correctly on Tyson's role in the plan, or did he learn it somehow?

Anonymous said...

galactus, please be more specific, i would love to debate with you,

How is rob smart for thinking of "splitting the vote", oh my god lets all pronounce rob the best player ever because he thought of splitting the vote, a theory im sure courtney, jerri, sandra, tyson, and coach (k maybe not coach), had thought of also.

2nd of all russel reads rob like a book when rob tells russel its him, at a point where rob is being an idiot and playing to blindside russel and stack all the votes on pavrati, a stupid plan that russel immediatly figures out. Russel then knows that is not in fact the case and goes to tyson and admits defeat, tyson buys it stupidly yes, but it works, just because someone is stupid doesnt mean its a bad plan, it means that russel tooka guess on wat would work and guessed correctly.

You can say russel got lucky at the expense of others, maybe, but you cant say that rob played some brilliant game. and russel just made coach's idol look foolish......hmm another mark for russel.

and people keep ruling out the possibilty that tyson could of thought that russel had a 4th person and he was done anyway.

Andrew said...

I'll admit I'm biased because Rob actually plays the game like a game and thinks in terms of "how is this best for you (to do exactly what I want)."

Russell plays the game to get camera time, and it bugs.

Andrew said...

I suppose I should add that Boston Rob is obviously a lover of being on TV, but he doesn't style his Survivor game to do so.

He DID style his Amazing Race to do so and bugged me far more on that show, until all the moralizing people who were lame started to hate him.

J. Newman Granger said...

I agree with Andrew on his comments. And Anonymous what is the 4th person nonsense you speak of? Isn't that a big "what if"?

Listen Boston Rob is not the best player of all time. No matter how you cut it you have to at least win to be in that upper echelon. Yes, there are some undeserving winners, but thats the whole point of the game. The best players, and players who won, in no particular order were Tom, Yul, Hatch, Heidik, Todd Herzog, and I am sure I am leaving others out.

But I do think Rob is a better player than Russell no matter the outcome of this season.. I don't care how he did in Marquesas. Can't argue in one of your posts that you play the game differently each time than keep hammering home that point. Hell, Parvati was worthless in Cook Islands and won Micronesia.

And as far as tonight went he did outsmart Russell. He made one more strategic move in splitting the votes and Russell stayed because of a desperation move on his part and a all-time idiotic move by Tyson. Rob had him, Russell got lucky. There isn't anything wrong with that, that's the game, and what matters is who stays and who goes, but in no way, shape or form did Russell outsmart anyone last night.

Andrew said...

Ugh, Todd talked about being a good player without BEING a good player.

He handed a huge dude two immunity idols and then didn't realize it was a problem until AMANDA pointed out how stupid that was. And while I love Amanda for being awesome eye candy and sticking around forever, the girl is not the brightest.

Other than that I think I agree with your list. Though there are some non-winners who, given a second chance, might be up there. Ian and Penner (who had a path to victory in Micronesia until the worst designed challenge in history ended his game) are the first two that come to mind.

J. Newman Granger said...

I put Todd in there solely for the fact that he owned that final tribal council like no one ever has. He was the first person since like Hatch to just own up to everything he did and not back down from it and be proud. He was dumb in giving James the idols, but he also controlled that game from day 1. Annoying, yes, but good player.

And while I agree there are a lot of non-winners who are up there (like Boston Rob and Russell) I disagree with Ian and especially Penner. Penner was down in numbers already in Micronesia and Ian gave his final 3 slot away. I would have loved to see Ian on another season though.

I think for non-winner greats you have to put Colby in there too. He dominated his season and basically decided, hey, you have the million bucks Tina. Also, Ozzy was probably the best ever in challenges and easily could have won Cook Islands. I'd put Cirie up there as well. Strategically, got to be one of the best if not the best.

Alas, just to throw it out there. There can be no argument who the best ever was and hate him or not its Richard Hatch. The man invented pretty much the blue print for the game when there was no model or notion of how to play. I'd say Tom and Yul fall directly behind him in some order.

Anonymous said...

the 4th person nonsense i speak of that there are 9 people, 6 on one side and 3 on the other, and that scenario with russel having the idol can create a 3 way tie that works to the 6 people Boston Rob's advantage because obviously if there is a tiebreaker then robs group has the numbers. if russel has 4 people in his alliance and rob has 5 then no tiebreaker situation can can be created and russel, pavrati, danielle, and whoever that 4th person could of been have control because no tiebreaker can be forced. Obviously the only way this could work is if boston rob and his alliance didnt know there was a 4th person, because if they knew it was 4 to 5, rob and his group could just take a guess and hope they dont vote for the person that has the immunity idol, that might play it.

I feel that Tyson could have felt that someone in Robs alliance didnt feel all that tight with rob and decided to switch to make russels alliance 4 (4th person), obviously that isnt true but if tyson believes it he could believe hes gone and go to some sort of last ditch effort even though it wouldnt look good either way.

Again i dont understand how rob got the better of russel yet someone from robs alliance is gone. TYSON WAS DUMB. WE GET IT. but russel did that, russel made that happen, you cant dispute that, no matter how dumb tyson is russel had a plan that worked.

Im going to keep sayin itcause u dont seem to understand, splitting the votes is the smartest strategy of course but its not like you have to be Albert Einstein to come to that conclusion is what im saying. You said in a previous post that oyu thought GAlu in Season 19 were idiots and they were aware of the splitting the vote strategy.

you said rob had him and russel got lucky, fine but rob ultimately rob didnt get the best of him at that tribal council you have to admit that. Rob's plan didnt work, because Russel say that Tyson was stupid becasue Russel was smart enough to sense that, Russel going to tyson and sayin that isnt an obvious strategy like splitting the votes, its an odd thing to do but it worked.

and Russel read rob perfectly and guessed correctly thinking that Boston ROb initally wanted to blindside parvati.

The fact that i have to keep repeating these points because you havent addresed them makes me feel that you know im right or else you would have, you just keep sayin the opposite of what i think but u never say why your right, and you never say why im wrong, you just say things with no backing up/

And as much as i love Yul he was lucky he had Ozzy with him and also lucky he had an immunity that he could play AFTER a vote which basically ensures that at one point Yul would have been able to choosen who goes even if his alliance had shrunk at that point, penner had to switch or else yul would have played the immunity idol wen it was his turn to go and there would have been no way penner could of won, at least he had a chance siding with Yul.

Brian Heidek, Todd, and Tom are great players, and to a certain extent so is hatch, but if hatch was playing wiht people with a shred of intelligence he probably would have been voted out..... Stupid Sean

ANyways this isnt mean-spirited from me, im just kind of annoyed cause u dont seen to be acknowledgeing my points, if youve noticed you have swayed me a bit on certain aspects but i feel that robs splitting the vote theory is obvious, best way to go but obvious, and russel's successful manipulation was smart because it shouldnt have worked but did

Andrew said...

Ian was smarter gamewise (he correctly identified the threat from Gregg and nullified it, for example) than Tom who used his father figure status to browbeat Ian into losing a million dollars. The final episode in Palau made me kind of hate Tom.

But Ian was VERY good at the game part of Survivor. An older, more mature Ian would be incredibly good at this game. That's why I include him.

And when Penner left it was him, Eliza, and four fans who liked him on a tribe that was strangely good at winning challenges. They had James and Parvati to knock out with the four fans, and then a decent shot at entering the merge 6-4. He didn't have it for sure, but he was in an excellent position.

Also: not in a bad position when Candice decided to rejoin her boyfriend in Cook Islands. And beyond that, bless him, he handed the game to Yul because Parvati, Candice, and Adam were horrible people.

I tend to like people who understand that Survivor is a game first and foremost, so those two I will always love (until Ian's breakdown, which is why I want him to get another chance).

Another player who was VERY good and didn't win is Yau-Man who thought the same way. For that matter, Earl is a decent contender for best player. And those two were part of the best episode in the show's history, despite being on an incredibly poorly thought out season.

Unknown said...

That's a fair comment about the 3 - 3 - 3 split,but I think it's for a different reason.

If it's split 3 ways, and Russell's allowed to play the HII the second time around. there's a chance in the rush to get Russell out, they forget to split the vote and Danielle's lone vote (assuming that the votees can't vote again) pushes Tyson out.

I think what happened was this: Tyson assumes that Russell would not risk his guaranteed safety because like the numbers go if he gives it away he goes home. (assuming no one is stupid) So as far as Tyson is concerned Parv is done. he decides to change his vote to say to Russel, hey man I'm certainly willing to work with you down the road. (because frankly I can't see Tyson willing to work with Boston Rob after the merge for very long. You don't want Rob in there anywhere near long enough that he might pull off an immunity run.)

Russel has such a huge advantage going into this season because no one has seen him play. I think should he ever get a third chance, he's out 1st chance they get.

I don't see Tyson doing this if he had seen russel pull essentially the same move on jon last season.

Andrew said...

Thing to note about Yul: dude was riiiight behind Ozzy in all those challenges, just in case Ozzy slipped up. He could have managed without Dolphin Boy, though it certainly became easier for him with that particular challenge monster in his alliance.

Anonymous said...

Why is no one talking about what a STUPID move it was for Russell to give away the idol!

It must be a case of deceptive editing, b/c otherwise, there would be no logical reason to think Tyson wouldn't follow through with the split vote plan.

Russell is obviously the casualty in the re-vote, so why risk the chance that they (a) pull off the split vote or (b) just vote for him in the majority.

The only situation that this is a good move is if Tyson blows the plan and votes for Pavorti.

So the real question is, what was edited out to give Russell this confidence? Or did Russell get stupid lucky.

Anonymous said...

I love both Russell and Rob. Tonight showed why they are both two of the greatest players to be on survivor. Both did an incredible job. Tonight was really an amazing episode with a tribal council second to none. Russell showed he really can hold his own against the best and that he deserves to be an all-star. Unfortunately, I predict that Russell will be gone in the next 3 weeks. Unless the merge happens sooner than I expect, Russell will go home when the villains go to tribal.

Andrew said...

Why is no one talking about what a STUPID move it was for Russell to give away the idol!

It must be a case of deceptive editing, b/c otherwise, there would be no logical reason to think Tyson wouldn't follow through with the split vote plan.

Russell is obviously the casualty in the re-vote, so why risk the chance that they (a) pull off the split vote or (b) just vote for him in the majority.

The only situation that this is a good move is if Tyson blows the plan and votes for Pavorti.

So the real question is, what was edited out to give Russell this confidence? Or did Russell get stupid lucky.

He did it to get Coach's vote. This was the actually very good play Russell made. The Tyson thing was just him getting stupid lucky, but IF it worked this gives him 3 votes + Coach who is going to flip (the speech was aimed at him) and then Sandra will vote for whoever is not her, so she'll flip as well and make it the majority alliance. This is why it's a HUGE advantage to have seen previous seasons. You know that Coach is the kind of guy who can be persuaded with a hokey speech like the one he came at Tribal, and you know Sandra is basically always a free vote and has no permanent allegiance other than herself.

Also, according to his day after interview: Tyson thought Parvati and Danielle would turn on Russell to save themselves, thus making it a 5-3-1 vote and he REALLY wanted Parvati gone so switched to make it 4-4-1 and then Parvati goes in the tiebreaker vote. So he really hated Parvati and it had nothing to do with Russell, as much as the editors make you want to think it did.

J. Newman Granger said...

Russell was lucky. It was a desperate move that paid off. He had no certainty in Tyson changing, it was just a toss in the air and fortunately it worked. That's no more strategy than any of the million Survivor players who tried to cast doubt in peoples heads and change votes last minute. Only thing is Tyson just happened to be dumb enough in this instance. Russell is good, but not in the best ever discussion. He has a few things he does well, very well, and it worked in Samoa because of various reasons. You can't deal in what ifs, but I am fairly certain if Other Russell doesn't go out of the game than that tribe doesn't disintegrate the way it did. Obviously that's not what happened.....but you fail to see that Russell is being played right now by Parvati who has him under her spell enough that he almost went home tonight giving her the idol. So maybe we should be debating Parvati v. Boston Rob

J. Newman Granger said...

Digging and agreeing with Andrews analysis above mine

Ben H said...

While Russell can be annoying he played a damn good season 19 and if he wasn't so smug and arrogant he would have won the million dollars. He figured out Rob's play and found the weak link in Tyson. Gotta give him credit there. Even though it looked like a no brainer it's still hard to give the immunity necklace to someone else and risk going home.

Great tribal council all around and I never thought I would see Rob have the Peyton Manning face.

Andrew said...

If I'm right, the final five (the Villains are getting to the merge with a majority, if there are any puzzle challenges for immunity before then) would be:

Russell, Parvati, Sandra, Coach, and Danielle. Which makes F3 Russell, Parvati, and Danielle? Danielle wins because Russell is an ass, Parvati has already won, and Alan's pre-season prediction is right.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand: what happens when it's a 3 way tie between Tyson, Russell, and Pavarti. And Russell doesn't use his idol? Then it's a revote but aren't all 3 people tied eligible to be voted off? Making it an ongoing 3 way tie?

Andrew said...

The three tied votees wouldn't vote.

So it would be five of the Robliance voting for whoever and Danielle voting for Tyson.

Making it probably a 5-1-0 Parvati goes home vote.

tribalism said...

Wow, until the results of the Tribal Councils started coming in, I thought we were in for the most predictable episode ever.

I think James would have been gone last week if it wasn't for the fact that JT has been so intent on getting rid of people with any iota of intelligence. Candice is very lucky to have won individual immunity, while Colby can thank himself for not demonstrating much in the way of brainpower.

Despite the knighting of Coach at the hands of Russell in the previous episode, it was telling to see that Coach’s hate for Parvati couldn’t overcome his own warped sense of honour (i.e. his previous commitments to the hobbit's alliance).

If anyone is interested, more of my thoughts on this episode can be found on blog where I go into detail about why Russell's tribal council success was really just 90% luck and 10% good strategy on his part. Click my username for the link.

a_ugochi_en said...

You all are giving WAY too much credit in trying to tease out his motivations and strategy. Here's the thing I have picked up by watching Tyson in Tocatins and in the outtake videos on - he is vain, foolish, egotistical and not very bright, though he thinks he is. Russell played to his sense of vanity and stupidity by kissing his ass and making him feel "privileged" to his "shocking confession" and so dumb Tyson felt safe enough to disregard the group strategy and do his own thing, thinking that in the end it wouldn't matter. And for that, Tyson got to hang out at Ponderosa for an extra 20+ days.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Tried to post links to two videos that are up on CBS's website where Tyson explains his logic (one is his day after video, one is his full speech after the vote), but they didn't take, so here is the gist of what he said:

Tyson knew that their group of 6 would split their vote (3 for Russell and 3 for Pavarti). From there, he believed Russell when he said he would vote for Pavarti. Tyson then assumed that Pavarti and Danielle would act in their self interests and vote for Russell. This would cause a 5-4 vote that would vote Russell out (assuming Russell didn't play the idol, which in my opinion, is a stupid assumption). Tyson wanted Pavarti to go first, so he decided to switch his vote at the last minute so it would end 5-4 against Pavarti.

I am a fan of Russell's, but the truth is, he could not have known this specific event was coming. Russell took a risk and assumed they would simply vote Pavarti out, and the threats made against him were simply a way to flush the idol out while getting rid of Pavarti.

What a bizarre turn of events.

Nicole said...

I don't want to rehash the analysis above, but I have to say that both Rob and Russell made this an exciting episode to watch. I actually knew who was getting eliminated before I watched it and still it was a great tribal council. Without getting into the debate of who the greatest manipulator on Survivor is, especially when this season isn't over yet, I think that Russell needs to be given some credit for getting Tyson to change his vote. Tyson was not that dumb on his original season, and we can't keep saying that Russell's manipulations only work with dummies, unless everyone happens to be a dummy. Tyson was sort of on the outside of each faction anyway, so he was the perfect target to choose.

I also agree that giving his HII to Parvati has won him Coach's support, which means he has 4 in his pocket to Rob's 4 and he just needs one person to flip. Depending on how the wind blows, Sandra could be the one to flip, especially if the merge is coming up and someone like Rob is a greater threat as an individual than not. If not Sandra, then I could see Jerri flipping.

The Heroes tribe has been boring, but are finally showing brain power by keeping Colby over James. I think they were over doing the whole Colby is not mentally in it routine because I suspect that this will invigorate him, and if he can get to the merge, who knows what can happen, especially with Jerri on the other side.

Amanda has got to go though. She was acting more like a friend than a competitor with James and has not contributed much value at all.

I don't like that we still haven't heard much from Sandra or Courtney. Sandra has got to be manipulating things as much as Rob, or at least contemplating various strategies.

I don't expect Danielle to have anything of worth to say, and it looks like she is the tag along with Russell and Parvati, so unless Russell goes next week, she is unfortunately going to be around for a while.

Unknown said...

one thing I wanted to add if you watch the voting confessionals. Russel walks up to the voting booth head down the entire time. He writes down a name never shows it never says anything to the camera. It is the image of a defeated man. He had no idea what was going to happen. His plea to coach was for a vote should it come to a revote.

If Russel was truly truly a strategic genius, he should have done what Tyson thought he was going to do.

Vote for Parv and not play the idol. Then he has a chance to go to coach or Tyson the next day and point out he still has the idol, if they want to vote for him again they would have to split the vote 3 and 2 if either flipped they would control the vote and if they knew they had a three strong secret block Russell could keep holding on to the HI and save it for the merge.

That would be brilliant gameplay, what actually happened was he got lucky because Tyson overthought the entire thing.

Michaelangelo McCullar said...

Seriously, every Survivor thread has to devolve into a Russell argument?

J, I will agree that what happened was more Tyson being dumb than Russell being brilliant. But you do have to give Russell a modicum of credit for approaching Tyson in the first place. I mean, Tyson wasn't going to be spontaneously dumb. Russell had to plant the seeds of stupidity in his head.

Chris said...

Can we not just say that both Rob and Russell are good players? While the vote split is an obvious strategy it still takes a leader to really push it through. But his true success is because he has been able to captivate all these people (except Russell) into ignoring that he's easily the biggest threat on the tribe. He's not only a good social player but a major threat at challenges.

Russell on the other hand seems to be the only one not worshiping at Rob's feet and for good reason. He recognizes him as the threat he is. You can call his move desperate or lucky, but in the end, his plan worked. Nobody from his alliance left, and one of Rob's did. You can't ask for a better outcome when down in the numbers than that.

I'm guessing Russell feels he can be more risky with the idol considering his tribe is clearly dominating the challenges. Odds are he may not go to another tribal until the merge at which point Rob is probably target #1.

I just think its silly to keep arguing about who is smarter. Rob pushed the best plan to both out the idol and vote off Parvati or Russell. Russell smartly figured this was probably the plan and went to work on someone he thought he could work over. They both chose the smart path given their respective positions. This time it happened to work in Russell's favor and I loved it. There is nothing better than seeing the Manning face at tribal council.

Unknown said...

Stupid Russell luck saves him again. I mean who changes their vote because the guy you’re voting for asks you to? And no, being great at easter egg hunts doesn’t make a great player. Rob is the great one and it’ll be a shame if Russ worms his way to the end again. Russell sucks.

Alex said...

Here's why Tyson flipped: last time he played, he was told they were doing a split vote exactly like this, and then they secretly targeted him instead. He got paranoid because it was exactly this situation that cost him the game once before.

And Russell probably remembered that. It takes a smart man to know exactly where the weakness is.

Anonymous said...

one of the beautiful things about survivor is that a vote that happens this early in the game can totally change the entire way this shakes out. You have to assume had russell or parv gone down then the other one wouldn't be too far behind. It seems like those players that can manage to give themselves a couple extra days end up making noise. I think when this season is over we might look at this as the single most important vote of the 39 days


J. Newman Granger said...

Tyson didn't get voted off because of a split vote in Tocantins. He got voted off because JT's alliance decided it was a chance to get rid of him over Sierra and thus did.

Boston Rob played his moves perfectly. Yes, what matters is Russell is still there,but not sure who he outsmarted in this instance since I think Tyson outsmarted himself (NOT BASHING Russell, just saying didn't think he did anything brilliant here).

Tyson's vote was inexcusable. Voting for Parvati because Russell told him he was voting for Parvati made no sense in any way you look at it. If Russell had voted for Parv like he told Tyson, thats still 4 votes for Parvati. He would have 3 votes for Russell. There is NO WAY he is going home unless well, he did what he did. It was idiotic and I think its the dumbest move in SURVIVOR history in that he essentially voted himself out. Rob's face wasn't that of a man outsmarted, it was a face of realization that someone either couldn't count or was damn near idiotic.

I give Russell the credit for having the cajones to give his idol way, but if Tyson does the sensible thing than Russell is peaced and we're all talking about how dumb a move that was.

On another note, I have really come to respect Sandra's game a lot more. Staying low key and just voting where the numbers lie, especially in a game with this many egos, is pretty genius.

*Don't take this as bashing Russell. The guy dominated his season. He should have won. He deserved to win. He is also (for the most part) good television. But a lot of things fell his way in Samoa and he made some questionable moves (getting rid of the idol for no reason. I am not as impressed with his ability to find immunity idols that season even if it was great television. Just not sure how he is any better than say a JT (who is so-so), who essentially did the same thing coming into a merge down a number of players (he only had 2 other members besides himself) and essentially got his alliance to the end. Oh yeh, and he won! I just think we sensationalize a lot of things and want everything new to be "the best ever". And lest we forget Vanuatu winner Chris who was the only guy left surrounded by an all girl alliance and somehow still won.

Russell is fresh in our minds because his season was this year. Entertaining guy, really good in a down season, and whether or not he makes it far in this game or not I won't put some label on him. No one has seen him play (aside from Parv who had inside info from a casting friend). He better win or he'll be crying at the reunion again because if he ever came back a 3rd time he'd be gone very, very fast.

J. Newman Granger said...

Check out Tyson's interview on enlightening. Let's you know the dynamics of it all (they knew Russell had the idol, Russell was panicking, Coach had already told them, etc, etc)

dez said...

Russell wasn't panicking when he played the idol, as Tyson said; he was sizing up the reactions of the Rob alliance. He must have seen something in Tyson's face to know Tyson had flipped to Parv and so he made his grand play to not only boot Tyson, but also secure Coach's vote (let's face it--Coach really IS that dumb).

J. Newman Granger said...

Whatever, we could debate it forever. It was a great episode whether you like Russell or not. Problem I find with him is he really doesn't have a chance to win...Tyson summed it up perfectly:

"The difference between Russell’s game-plan and what I would do is that I would stab somebody in the back, but I would do it so gently that they actually liked me for it, while Russell would come in with a sickle. And once he was done chopping the person in the back, he would cut them into little pieces. And then I don’t know what he would do with them, but he would make it super painful. And that, I think, is a very faulty way to play the game in that you’re not gonna win anybody’s vote. I was kind of hoping that Russell would stick around, but out of nowhere else to go, he would have to come to me."

Even if Russell lasts longer than Rob I wouldn't consider him a better player anymore than I consider James a better player than Tom. So many factors play into these All-Star seasons.

J. Newman Granger said...

This is a great link as well for a Tyson exit interview where he says that CBS edited it to make Russell look smarter than he seemed. Come on guys, got to be privy that out of the hours and hours of footage they have they can make it look a certain way and we all know CBS goes to sleep at night thinking of Russell...

Anonymous said...

I don't think that russel is that smart or cunning. He is the one that everyone hates to hate and the show is designed to keep him around just so the they (including me) will keep watching hoping that they/I will see him voted off

Anonymous said...

Boston Rob has fallen prey to the Hunter phenomenon:

"My problem was that I went camping with a bunch of knuckleheads."

Chris said...

@ J. Newman

You mean to tell me that Tyson is going to try and deflect some of the attention his way by claiming that Russell wasn't as smart as he seemed? I know they can tell a story with editing, but Tyson is still the idiot here. He's the one who changed his vote based on what Russell had said. He can twist that around any way he wants, but if Russell doesn't come talk to him, then chances are he sticks with the original split vote and he stays while either Russell or Parvati goes. Its also nice that he can offer advice on how he would play....from Ponderosa.

The thing with all the immunity idols last year, was that I think by the end of it people just quit trying to put his name down because he just consistently had an idol, so while he may stumbled a little in playing them, the simple fact that he repeatedly found them was enough to throw everyone else off their game.

Like I said previously, I don't know why we can't say that Rob and Russell are great players. Neither move was that groundbreaking but it was the best move at the time and they are the ones that led them. They should really align together and just take over the game. Of the people left, they are easily 1 & 2 at strategy.

J. Newman Granger said...

Pretty sensible. I agree that Tyson is still an idiot my point being just there is a ton of things that went on in the hours and hours they were out there that we never saw. I think Tyson over thought his scenario, I don't think Russell persuaded him. And I am not saying Russell is not a great player, he is, I am just not one for hyperbole and sensationalism. I think Survivor Steve's blog at the end of Samoa really sums up my opinion of him. If you haven't read it you should check it out.

Jim Teacher said...

Gotta say that I love the night scene in which Russell tries to lay on the smarm and ingratiate himself with Rob, only to have Rob come right at him with the right hook. Russell has not experienced such aggression. It's interesting to see his eyes boggling as he rambles on in the angry monologue afterward, feeling threatened.

alex s. said...

Just a minor add: I don't think the Rob-led Villain majority can be all that tight exactly because it's Rob-led. At some point, they have to get rid of Rob.