For all things Survivor! Updates on cast, charities, episode recaps and more!
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Honestly I didn't fall for the tears .... yet still he is eating some humble pie!
What I honestly thought would not happen...happened.
My first initial thoughts were stunned as I watched it happen. Afterwards I was left speechless and did not say much really until I was able to digest what I saw. I texted a few friends with a text that said : "3 words; OH MY GOD!" then followed by the word "speechless." Maybe 4 words but when you are in shock who counts? lol
Now that the initial shock has worn off I would like to post my thoughts on not only tonight but on Russell through his journey. I do wanna emphasize I do respect Russell in the fact that he was able to play 3 seasons and go to the Finals in 2 of his 3 seasons. That is a feat and cannot be taken ever from him. But I must be honest and say that I have never liked Russell in Survivor and in all honesty I should not have been shocked by the night's result.
Instinctively prior to the season I made early predictions that I did not believe Russell would make it to the merge. I have always felt that Russell has zero social skills and felt that for him to even attempt to make it through this season that he would have to bring more than the psych out game he is famous for playing.
My instincts on him were dead on as we all pretty much saw that he brought to the game again the same Russell m.o. down to the two pretty girls strategy and the same bully technique he is famous for employing. But this go round...people were on to it and his m.o was not gonna cut it. Not with Zapatera.
Russell's game all through the seasons just was that and that alone. The ability to psych out people and get into their heads to get his desired effect.
He used it to the hilt in Samoa and it got him to the Finals. But what kept him from winning Samoa is that he has zero social skills whereas Natalie did. He bullied people and even during the FTC showed more arrogance than skill and he lost to a less strategical and more sociable player because of his arrogance.
Was his game the best that season? Perhaps strategically but socially he sucked!
To win a game like Survivor there should be a good social game to go along with the strategical. Because after all that is really what Survivor is..a social experiment and game. Russell just flat out lacks that part of the game. Another large part of his success in Samoa also was idols. Those idols saved his butt.
During H v V IMO Parvati was the better player of the two and I still feel she played the best game of everyone that season. In fact I feel she deserves the title of Best Player to Ever Play Survivor. NOT RUSSELL.
Parvati made him look good.
My thoughts are that during H v V he played a good game strategically but got lucky with idols again and used them to his own benefit to draw Parvati and Jerri to him. Russell knows how to play people psychologically and knew by doing so he would seal them with him.
He again made the Finals that season and again was denied.
Why? Again he lacked that necessary social game...
He is a bully and the jury decided their decision on who played a better social game. Not who played better all around...the answer in that case would have been Parvati but because she had played close to Russell that cost her and Sandra won due to that.
This go round Russell entered the game saying that he had learned from his previous seasons and was going to play a kinder, gentler game.
Well of course he is going to say that! Russell plays a psychologically based game and he knew that straight off he would have to say that to make himself lesser a target. If he is appearing to be less of a bully, lesser a force he would stand at least a shot. That to me would be predictable. If I were in his shoes I would have employed the same thing.
Thing was he had not changed his game one iota and Zapatera tribe caught onto that and got on the ball to make sure he had an early exit. Russell's challenge to Ralph became his undoing as Ralph was in solid with the larger group. Ralph has the social game from what I have seen so far and is a provider and pure strength. Which he showed us tonight.
PLUS HE POSSESSES AN IDOL.
Russell basically from what I saw was low man on a totem pole stripped of power and possessed no bargaining power whatsoever. Plus his m.o wasn't cutting it this time.
On redemption Island it came down to GOOD vs EVIL in that you have a kid there with a good attitude and a good heart (Matthew Elrod) going up against the villain of all villains in Russell.
I have to admit I thought Matt was a goner. I should never have discounted the kid though as he has solid heart and is a fighter.
While on RI Russell is a man scorned plotting pay back and showing the ego we have come to know him so well by. My opinion again is if he would have stepped away from the ego for a few maybe things would have turned out differently for him. But he didn't and in the end Russell has to face the truth..he just doesn't have what it takes overall.
Especially if you come up against more stronger competitors and people who can and will think for themselves. Plus have the desire to win at all costs. Even if it means throwing a challenge (which is NEVER a smart idea as it does and can in the end rebound back and bite you) to get someone out who can be the biggest threat in the game. But tonight's events comes back to his m.o. and of course the fact that he would not shed that ego of his.
After Russell lost the duel he started to cry.
Now watching this it would appear that he is human and the tears he is shedding may come from a human reaction to loss and forevermore losing his shot to ever win.
Which I do feel on the surface part of the tears were. But I also feel given Russell's m.o. of ego and psychological strategy that those tears had a bigger story to tell and that was of a scorned and burned Russell. Those tears were also part of a revenge as well as he is leaving the game wanting his departure to be avenged. Don't forget he sold out the Zapatera tribe and Ralph unthinkingly helped him by revealing he possessed the idol. Ralph allowed his feeling of triumph over Russell to cloud his better judgment.
Can't say for sure if it will cost Ralph as the two who witnessed it..one is a jerk and has no clue what he is doing (Phillip) and one is smart but is no longer directly in the game to use it (Kristena) so we shall see what comes of his utterance.
But make no bones about it Ralph now is pivotal so I will be watching him more in the coming weeks.
As to Zapatera they are one serious tribe who have the desire to win and are not messing around at all. The only thing as a viewer watching all of these wham bam early moves is that by merge or just after that it may grow stale watching the season and may even become predictable.
Far as Ometeppe goes it does seem Rob is in solid control and the tribe is mostly his minions. Kristena just stood out too much and it cost her. Plus her working with Phillip initially was not a good move.
Tonight she chose to work against Phillip rather than with him as she knew that if she stayed with Phillip she would stay as solid an outcast as Phillip now is. It was a damned if u do and damned if u don't scenario. Body language wise I do see Kristena as having the real respect from Ometeppe and that Phillip doesn't have that.
Make no bones about it when Phillip is no longer of use he is going to be out. Rob now doesn't trust him and the tribe are very very annoyed with him. In fact unless things do change..if Ometeppe goes back to TC Phillip is next.
Kristena was selected to go because she is a threat to Rob and Phillip has now pissed off Rob and on Ometeppe it is whatever Robfather wants..it is done. So Phillip Shephard's days are now numbered.
The season has had some high points already and tonight's shocker is one. Rob and Ralph BOTH have won out over Russell as of tonight. I am sure to them that victory must taste awful sweet like my famous Amish banana split :)
Enjoy the rest of the season everyone and til next time keep your torches lit and never give up on your dreams!