Sunday, May 16, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Finale Thoughts

Let's get this out of the way: Sandra was gifted a millon dollars tonight.

I don't mean to belittle her accomplishment of being the first two time winner, but at the same time she was dragged along until the end and was given votes on the basis that she wasn't Parvati or Russell. Kudos to her for determining her best path to victory, but I'm not sure that makes her the best player this season and I know it doesn't mean that she is the best player ever.

Realistically, her best strategic move in the game was convincing Russell to vote out Coach. And yet, at final tribal council, she refused to even acknowledge the move, realizing that it would distract from her narrative of "I hate Russell as well guys, just like you!" Even still, she had to get past Parvati, who was very strongly playing the "I was running the show, not Russell" card, trying to get the credit for putting the jury on the jury. Unfortunately for her, the jury was so willing to give her that credit, she ended up not winning even though she deserved it more than Sandra.

(Thought experiment time: If it's a final two instead of a final three, and the final two is Parvati and Sandra, with Parvati sending Russell to the jury, does Sandra still win?)

I'm left torn as to whether Parvati has earned the best player ever. On one hand, making it to final tribal council twice against players who had played the game before is a major accomplishment. On the other hand, a 1/3 record isn't the best. Should the final vote for Heroes vs. Villains be given less credit, or should Parvati's apparent lack of a social game in this season remove her from contention? It's a tough situation, because both sides of the argument have merit.

As for Russell, he got unfairly attacked at times at the reunion. When Jeff was asking him about considering the jury, they both ended up talking past one another. Russell's point was that he had played the game for 78 days straight and didn't know whether his strategy was successful or not, so he couldn't correct any holes in his game. Jeff's point was that there was a glaring hole in his game and he wanted to know if Russell put any thought into the jury's opinion of him.

(Side note: Russell's point about playing for 78 days straight was especially odd when during the finale, Russell made a point that he brought the players he thought were weakest with him and that "didn't work". If he hadn't had a chance to find out whether his game play had worked out, how did he know before the final tribal? It's a question that I doubt we're going to get an answer to.)

Also, Rob's assessment of Russell's game play, specifically that "Russell plays to make it to the end, not to win. I play to win," was completely self serving and horrendously false since ROB LOST ON ALL-STARS FOR THE SAME REASON RUSSELL did. I'm glad Russell called Rob out on that comment, and Rob's comeback was weak and got the cheap pop.

I'll be back on Tuesday with a few more thoughts, including where this season ranks amongst the rest.

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