Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Survivor: Redemption Island Episode 4 Thoughts

I know that this should feel like a momentus occasion - Russell Hantz has left the game of Survivor before a final tribal council. And yet, it just feels flat.

When Hantz broke down crying after losing his Redemption Island duel, I thought this was going to be his redemption. But then he railed against his tribe and how they wronged him and that feeling was long lost.

We shouldn't be surprised that Hantz didn't leave in a "classy" manner. After Samoa, he felt wronged that he did not win. After Heroes vs. Villains, he felt wronged that Sandra won. And now, after Redemption Island he felt wronged that his tribe threw a challenge to vote him out.

No matter how valid a point he might have had, Russell has tarnished an already diminished reputation by once again complaining about his lot in the game. At some point, he might realize that he has something to do with how he has been perceived in this game, and how his actions affected his end result in each season. For now though, he will have to take pleasure in watching those who voted him out, uh, win.
***
At the outset of the season, I made a wager with my friend Gary. He had just started out the season by naming Kristina his #1 ranked player, and I felt that this was totallly unjustified. Her directness was going to be her downfall, so I wagered that she would not even make the merge. Gary happily took the bet. He's since renounced his pick and I took his buyout offer.

What happened with her? The same thing that happened with Russell - the desire to be the one to defeat the great Boston Rob or Russell Hantz was too much for them to overcome. Thus far it hasn't come back to hurt Russell's tribe that they voted him out, but it still could (especially if a tribal switch comes into play.) And Kristina is in Redemption Island because she wanted to make a huge play when it was unnecessary.

Even tonight, Kristina could have avoided being voted out, but she played it too cute, and planted a seed about the hidden immunity idol into her adversaries. Unfortunately for her, the seed was worded so ambiguously that it lead people to believe that she had the idol and put a target back on her. All she had to do was play it cool, and not say anything. But her desire to prove how great of a player she is took over, and she made yet another dumb move. She's basically this year's Marty, only with a better player than Sash leading the charge to dump her.
***
It's interesting to note the difference between Boston Rob and the rest of the players. Rob finds the idol, and keeps it secret. Everybody else tells somebody, which ends up causing the whole tribe to find out and diminishing the value of the idol to basically be a two week benefit - stopping you from being voted out in one week, only to be voted out the next.

We'll see if he can continue this, but for now, it's a great play by Rob which should pay great dividends.

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