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RealityFreakWill:
Survivor Redemption Island Episode 2 blog 2/23/11

FRANCESCA ARRIVES AT REDEMPTION ISLAND
Here’s the truth about Redemption Island. It’s hard. You are alone. You have flint. You have a bit of a shelter that is full of leaks. You have a handful of rice. Let that sink in. It’s not much. Never forget that in a world of “loosely scripted” reality shows, Survivor is still the real deal. Survivor will kick your ass. Redemption Island could bury you.

I do believe that for the moment Francesca really does prefer Redemption Island, but if she lasts long that will change. She will get lonely and exhausted.

BACK AT THE OMETEPE CAMP
I love how confident Rob is at this point in the game. Rob only knows one way to play and that is full out, aka “all in.”

Remember, back in Heroes v Villains, Rob had a great plan at Tribal Council and it would have given him control of the game. But Tyson momentarily lost his mind and blew it by voting the wrong way and Rob went home. Rob is determined to not make that mistake again. He keeps reminding everybody in his alliance – if we stick together, we’ll be okay… but tonight showed once again how difficult it is to keep your alliance together.

How hard can it be to keep your alliance together? It sounds so simple until you factor in that there is only ONE winner. That means everybody in your alliance has their own motive and their own plan for getting to the end. It’s incredibly complicated and that’s why alliance almost always break down. It’s part of the design of the game. The question is when to leave your alliance. You want to leave it before it leaves you.

As you saw from last night’s episode even with an experienced player like Rob – what was true at sunrise is not always true at sunset. You have to adapt. Rob adapted and now Matt, one of his original six, is gone.

PHILIP GOES PRIMAL
This is why I love this guy. He is everything and I mean everything you could ever ask for from a Survivor contestant. He is so damn sincere, so earnest. I truly can’t get enough. I know a lot of you already hate him, save it for the comment section. I’m in Camp Phillip.

Philip is a real life version of “Del, the shower curtain ring guy” that John Candy played in Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

If you’ve seen the movie you know what I’m talking about. Del is an overweight, loud mouthed, slightly inappropriate salesman that Steve Martin meets while both are stuck trying to get home during a snow storm. The entire time you’re watching the movie, you can see why Del drives Steve Martin nuts. He’s friggin annoying as hell! Del even says at one point, “I know I’m a easy target… but you know what? I like me… and my friends like me.”

By the end of the movie, you not only like Del, you are rooting for Steve Martin to see what you see – that Del is a really good person. He’s just different, that’s all.

That’s how I feel about Philip. Well at least the easy target part! And yes the comparison is already being made. Philip and Coach are clearly brothers from another… …they’re equally awesome.

When Philip was using his homemade spear to hunt for crab, his tribe was making fun of him. I get it. It was a funny moment, especially Matt impersonating the late, great Steve Irwin. (The scene went on much longer but had to be cut for time.) I laughed hard when I saw it the first time. But when I listened to Philips interview I found myself truly moved. I’m not kidding. I listened to the sincerity with which he talked about his patriotism and I was touched.

In Philips world, the hunting for crab was all about trying to provide for his tribe by channeling his inner primal self. His celebration when he finally snagged a crab by throwing a rock, was priceless. “Killed with a stone, baby!”

OVER AT ZAPATERA
Ralph is another one-of-a-kind. It’s not just the man sweater, it’s his whole personae. Ralph and Philip and Rob and Russell – it’s guys like this that have kept Survivor on the air for so long. You may love to hate them but without them Survivor would be boring.

THE OTHERS
I think I said it last week, but the reason this season is going to be so stellar is that the rest of the contestants are equally great. I’m focusing a lot on Rob and Ralph and Philip right now but it’s only week two! You will see as the weeks unfold, we have some great people with big opinions who all want to win this game. I am so jazzed that we are only in week two!

RALPH FINDS THE IDOL
Was there a more unlikely guy in the world? He wasn’t even looking for it!

Ralph: “That was as easy as wiping your hiney with toilet paper!”

It’s not half as funny when I write it as it is when Ralph says it.

Ralph does bring up a good question re the idols. If the idols are so easy to find that even a self-proclaimed dumb ass (Ralphs words, not mine) can find it, can it really be that difficult? Maybe Russell isn’t such an idol finding genius. Maybe we just needed a dumbass to show prove it.

Either way – Ralph has some major power. The big question is does he realize it? It’s not yet clear if Ralph knows exactly how best to use the idol It could be a bit of a waste – kinda like giving a Ferrari to someone who doesn’t like to drive fast. Time will tell if Ralph can handle the power of the idol or not.

IDOL PLAY IN GENERAL
It’s probably time for us to really switch up how we deal with idols and where we hide them. If you have an idea, please send it to me at www.jeffprobst.com under the “Ask Jeff A Question” category. Who knows you may end up having some influence on our game! No, I’m not paying for your idea. But if it’s good, I’ll certainly take credit for it and we might just take it and use it on the show! Welcome to Hollywood, baby!

MATT & ANDREA
Matt never saw it coming. How could he? He was smitten. He was thinking about a first kiss and Rob was thinking about another blindside. Think of Rob as the Godfather. The moment he saw that relationship forming he knew it was a problem.

As he referenced during the show, Rob made an alliance in Survivor: All-Stars with Amber and they rode it to the end. He then married her. They had a baby. And then another. So Rob knows that you can fall into an alliance that will extend beyond the game and that could spell disaster for Rob.

Side bar – Natalie is a very interesting contestant to watch this season. She is so young at only 18 years old (which means she was seven years old when we started! Seven!) but she seems to have a really great head on her shoulders. That’s the reason we put her on the show. She really impressed us during the casting process.

THE CHALLENGE
When I took the immunity idol from Ralph, he said, “I’ll get it back.” This kind of trash talking goes on a lot at challenges, but we only include it when there is a good story that comes as a result. Once again Philip provides the story:

Philip: I will outlast ANY man over there.
Jeff: What about the women?
Philip: That’s another day. We’ll see.

I am once again reminded of what I used to say about Coach – Who writes this stuff?!

THE POOL
Nicaragua didn’t provide a lot of water options for challenges because of the dangerous tides, so we built our own “swimming pool” which we have used for a few different challenges. The immunity challenge was a modified version of a challenge we have done a few times over the years and it works every time. It’s so much fun to do this challenge as a contestant and so much fun to watch.

One thing that emerged from the challenge – Grant is one helluva athlete. Ashlee is another one. I love contestants that go all out or as I mentioned earlier “all in.” I have a buddy whose nickname is “All In Jim” because he only knows one speed – all in. Contestants that go “all in” on Survivor are almost always memorable.

I’m a bit surprised that Ometepe is not doing better in challenges. They have a good group of people, but Zapatera really works well together. Very calm.

AFTER THE CHALLENGE
Immediately after the challenge ended, Matt walked over and shook hands with some of the Zapatera tribes. As much as I try to prevent this – typically by yelling something very witty such as: “Hey get outta there!” – it still happens. We don’t usually show it, unless… there is a story attached. This time there was… a big story.

That attempt at good sportsmanship really got to Rob. He’s no dummy. Those little “friendly” moments can often be the difference when it comes to a merge or even the final tribal council. Acts of kindness are so rare that when you do one it can have a real impact. Rob knows that Matt is a good kid and seeing him playing up the other tribe – worried him. When the Godfather gets worried, somebody is gonna end up with a horse head in their bed. Russell is much the same way. They both make BIG moves with one goal – get to the end.

AFTER THE CHALLENGE
You could really feel the air begin to let out of the Ometepe tribe. Back to back losses. Not a great way to start. Rob knows his tribe is in trouble. It’s one thing to be in a tight alliance and feel safe, but if you’re losing immunity challenges, that safety is only temporary as you will soon run out of numbers and it will be you who is going home.
It’s why it’s so important to win challenges. If you avoid tribal council you keep your tribe strong. When you go to tribal council, you rarely come out betber as a result. Ometepe has got to start winning or the morale will continue to drop.

THE HIDDEN IMMUNITY IDOL CLUE
This is a first. Russell is not in control. In fact, the joke is on Russell. I’m guessing that most of you love seeing Russell not in control. He has a clue to the idol but doesn’t yet know that Ralph already has the idol. He’s wasting his time.

For me though, the most interesting aspect of this moment was Mike’s comment about Russell:
Mike: “He’s the most untrustworthy person in this game.”

This comment came as Russell was sharing the clue with the two girls in his alliance, Stephenie and Krista. If you think about it, Russell is no less trustworthy than anyone else. He’s playing Survivor. He has an alliance and he immediately shared the clue with them. From their point of view, Russell is completely trustworthy.

Mike: If we’re in this together, then show me the clue.”

You’re not in this together Mike. You’re in a different alliance. Would you show Russell the clue?

It’s an interesting thing that often happens on Survivor. You justify your ethics. It’s okay when YOU lie because you’re playing the game. When someone ELSE lies, they’re a scumbag.

If Mike thinks he can survive this game without lying to someone… he is in for a shock. Lying is okay on Survivor. It’s called “outwit” and it’s a huge part of the game.

I’m not saying this because I love Russell, or don’t like Mike. I happen to think Mike is a great addition to this season. I’m saying it because it’s fascinating what is happening on Zapatera. So much energy is focused on Russell that there is a huge blind spot on their tribe and somebody is going to notice and take advantage of it. Zapatera is winning… but they are at risk at putting the cart ahead of the horse.

THE SHOWDOWN
I have been waiting for this moment. Ralph v Russell. They met in the forest. The human sweater and the angry gnome.

Ralph: Russell there wasn’t no hidden clue in there was there? You didn’t win it. We all won it.
Russell: Calm down guys. This is how the game is played. You’re either with me or against me.

Ah Russell, he hasn’t changed a bit.

Russell: (to Ralph) I don’t like how you’re coming at me.

Ralph is really growing on me. He’s not quite comfortable talking to the camera yet. You can seem him a bit uncertain whether to walk away or keep talking but I like him. He’s certainly entertaining.

LUXURY ITEMS ON REDEMPTION ISLAND
We decided to give them their luxury items because quite honestly we were afraid they might lose their minds without something to help pass the time or remind them of home. Luxury items don’t really make their stay any easier but emotionally I think it brings some sense of peace.

HEADING TO TRIBAL
I’m not going to say anything about Philip saying “gallantry.”

But once again the gold star of the episode does go to… Philip. He is two for two. The explanation of his two tattoos was so good I had to watch it three times. Philip does not mess around. You can question a lot of things about Philip, but the man commits. Ink is forever. And not just one, but two tattoos. A gorilla and a lion. His explanation of their respective power and possible showdown left me a bit confused but damn I loved it. I want to put it on a t-shirt and sell it.

TRIBAL COUNCIL
Rob played tribal about as well as it can be played. A work of art. Rob’s experience is really paying off right now. He lied to Matt and Andrea, got Kristina to play the idol, kept Philip in check, dictated how Phillip should vote and got rid of Matt. Wow. That was pretty amazing.

At this point, Rob is in control of his tribe. His problem is going to be staying in control of the tribe. At some point somebody on his tribe is going to say “enough already.” Andrea could be his biggest threat if she decides to go for revenge.

The rain at tribal came out of nowhere. It’s going to happen a lot this season. Thankfully tribal is covered otherwise they would have been drenched. The rain was, as Matt said, literally blowing sideways. If you know me at all, you know I LOVE it when it rains. The harder the better.

MATT IS SHOCKED
Yes those reactions were real. Yes, Andrea was ready to cry. Yes, Matt was completely shocked. Stunned. Think about it, you are a big competitor like Matt and you have just started the game. You’re only a couple of weeks into the experience. You idolize and trust Rob, you think you’re safe and wham… before you know it you’re on a boat heading to Redemption Island. It was a shocking vote. Only time will tell if it was the right move. Rob either cemented himself firmly in control or just hung his own noose.

NEXT WEEK
Our first duel. Matt vs Francesca at Redemption Island Arena. It’s gooooooood!

http://www.jeffprobst.com/2011/02/24/survivor-redemption-island-episode-2-blog-22311/

ugot2bekidinmeny:
Survivor-Redemption Island-episode-3-blog

Historic Moments in time:

Jan. 10th , 1935 Canned Beer invented

May 6th, 1954 – First Sub-Four Minute Mile

July 20th, 1969 – Apollo 11 lands on the moon

March 2nd, 2011 – Russell Hanz voted out of Survivor: Redemption Island

Survivor fans all over the world will no doubt remember this day for decades, and if science hurries up, perhaps centuries to come. Those that missed the episode will no doubt tell their kids years from now, “I was there. I remember it like it was yesterday. Sitting on the couch and yelling at the TV.” And Russell Hanz will no doubt be telling this story to his grand kids, “I was so good they had to purposefully lose a challenge to get rid of me!”

It happened.

After back to back seasons during which he was never voted out, lasting the entire 78 days, Russell Hanz finally met a tribe he couldn’t control.

Russell Hanz is gone.

More on that later…

THE FIRST EVER REDEMPTION ISLAND DUEL

More history was made as Matt and Francesca squared off in the first ever Redemption Island duel.

Some background:

DUELS
We decided to use smaller versions of previous challenges as the duels because we knew they worked and we didn’t want any risks when it came down to a one-on-one duel.

LETTING THE TRIBE WATCH
The decision to let two members of each tribe watch was made just a few days before we began. That was Mark Burnett’s call. He was right. It created yet another layer by separating the tribe. The two people at the duel have valuable information but in exchange for it, they’re away from camp where alliances can shift quickly. The opposite is true for those left at camp. Information is king in this game so anytime you can create a situation in which some people have the info and others don’t, you increase your chances for great reality.

THE ARENA
The idea for the Redemption Island Arena came early in the process but the design and execution of the Arena was still mind blowing. The first time I walked into the half finished Arena I knew it was going to be a good season. The creative team that is our Survivor Art Department really hit it out of the park with this one. They created a ruin that looks as though it has been there for hundreds of years. It was built small enough to remain intimate but large enough to accommodate our cameras. It is one of my favorite builds of all time. What will they do next year?!

PRIOR TO THE DUEL
From a producing point of view we were certainly nervous before the first duel. Remember, this is a massive format change. Survivor had worked just fine for 21 seasons and now we are changing everything. This was our first test of the twist that we had pinned the entire season around – would the duel work?

From a drama point of view we couldn’t ask for me. I really thought Francesca was going to win. She was ahead so quickly that it appeared over. But Matt never panicked. Not for a moment. He continued to take his time and re-work his stick until he had it just right and then he went on a tear and made history, winning the first ever Redemption Island duel.

Matt is now the guy to beat on RI and if he can continue to win, Matt will get a chance to come back into this game..

The possible threat of Matt returning is already causing Rob major stress. You saw him trying to soothe Andrea, but I don’t think she was buying it. If Matt gets back in the game and Andrea is still around, there will be trouble.

LYING TO RUSSELL
I’m guessing so many of you were finding a lot of joy when Zapatera lied to Russell about who lost at the first duel. It does seem fitting that everything Russell had done to others for two seasons is now being done to him.

What is most fascinating to me is the justification of ethics. My most favorite topic. When someone is taking an action that “we” support then it’s awesome, it’s fantastic, it’s brilliant. But when it’s someone that “we” don’t like taking the same action, they’re a villain, a loser, untrustworthy. I’m just sayin… the Zapatera tribe is acting as dickish to Russell as Russell has acted to his tribemates in the past. Is one action more acceptable than another?

STEPHANIE & RUSSELL
Stephanie is no joke. She is a player. She’s smart and she’s feisty. Her idea for a fake idol, while not a new idea, was still a good one. It was a worthy performance as she pretended to protect her bag. The double team effort to get Julie to flip and join their alliance was a valiant effort. I give Russell credit, he chose the right person for his alliance as Stephanie is a barracuda. Stephanie’s problem now is quite obvious. She and Krista have nobody left. They must make a move or they’ll be gone soon.

RUSSELL’S ARM PIT
Damn that was nasty. Note to future Survivors, if you’re gonna shave body parts that previously have not been shaved, please do it a few times before you leave for location. Let your body get used to the sweating and the clothing rubbing against the skin because nobody should have to endure that visually disturbing sight.

THE CHALLENGE
As for the challenge itself, you might remember this from last season. It was a huge construction build and so unique that we decided to use it again. If you are one of the people strapped to the wheel it’s a bit unnerving to be spun round and round while going under water, having to take a gulp of water and then spit it into a tiny trough. You wanted to play Survivor, you got it.

Now to the more interesting aspect of the challenge.

THE THROW
It’s very easy to back seat drive in this game but if you examine Survivor history, throwing a challenge rarely works out well.

When you let the other tribe win a challenge you give them confidence. You give them what they need to begin to believe in themselves. You risk the momentum shifting to them.. Often, you are also giving up a valuable reward. All so you can get rid of one tribemember, which also reduces your numbers, potentially making you weaker when you go to the merge.

Zapatera was so focused on getting rid of Russell that they could see nothing else. From day one, their focus has been “get rid of the cancer.” They wanted him out so badly, they not only threw a challenge, but they gave up a TARP! Next to flint, a tarp is the most sought after item on Survivor.

The other big risk is that anytime you go to Tribal Council, regardless the plan, you risk being voted out.yourself. Blindsides are very common in this game.

That’s how badly Zapatera wanted Russell gone!

THE OTHER SIDE
Having said all of this, I’m sure there are times when the risk feels worth the reward. Leaving Russell on your tribe is risky. He’s a proven player who can manipulate and if you go to a merge, and he’s on the bottom, it’s a given that he’ll flip.

I’m not second guessing Zapatera’s move, but it will be interesting to see if history repeats and Zapatera lives to regret their decision.

TRANSLATING RALPHSPEAK
I don’t know if it’s my Midwest roots but I understood Ralphspeak almost immediately. Sure, it takes a moment, you have to let it roll through your brain, but as it makes it’s way across your neural pathways, it slows enough that you can pick up enough words to make sense. Ralph is a sharp dude, don’t underestimate him just because of the unique way in which he speaks.

RALPH’S SLIPPERY SLOPE
Ralph’s biggest issue is not his manner of speaking, it’s his ego. Ralph is heading down the same slippery slope of ego that has consumed Russell. Ralph is not quite as smart a Survivor player as he thinks and his biggest liability is his mouth. He doesn’t think before he speaks. Ralph has the idol and he’s been strong in challenges. He has so much going for him but if someone doesn’t get his ego in check he’ll do himself in.

WHAT I DON’T UNDERSTAND
When the entire tribe knows they threw a challenge and they’re about to vote out the person that they threw the challenge to vote out… and that person knows they threw the challenge too… why do they still lie to me when asked, “Did you throw the challenge?” I never get this. Maybe it’s just a basic premise surrounding the idea that “saying less is more” at tribal council. But now that I’ve seen the interviews confirming that they absolutely threw the challenge, I am once again confused as to why they wouldn’t say – “Yes we threw it, so we could vote out Russell. Come on Probst, how hard is this to figure out?”

As I often do I refer back to the idea that maybe this is why I am only a host, not a player.

THE NEAR BLINDSIDE
Did you think Russell had Julie convinced? Ah we’ll never know how close she was to flipping sides. A lot? A little? None at all?

THE OUTCOME
After all was said and done, Julie stayed true to her alliance and just like that – Russell was voted out.

Were you happy? Sad? Are you rooting for him at Redemption Island or do you want to see Matt destroy him?

This is brand new territory for Russell but we all know that Russell can never be counted out. He is always playing. But he will have his work cut out for him with Matt. Matt has had a few days to adjust, Matt has been to the Arena before, Matt has already competed and won a duel. On top of it all, Russell thinks he is going to battle against Francesca, a far cry from the athletic abilities of Matt.

Will Russell try to intimidate Matt? Will he try to befriend him? Will Matt ask Russell to pray with him? Ah so many good questions.

You don’t want to miss next week – it is do or die time for Russell Hanz. You can’t get a better tease than that.



http://www.jeffprobst.com/2011/03/03/survivor-redemption-island-episode-3-blog-3211/

ugot2bekidinmeny:
Survivor Redemption Island Episode 4 Blog 3/10/11

AN ERA ENDS

It’s still settling in. Russell is gone. The evil, tattooed, sock stealing, water dumping, idol finding Survivor gnome is gone. His reign is over.

For any of you who are already frustrated that I’m going to dedicate most of this blog to Russell, you might as well stop reading.

This time, let’s skip the beginning and save that for the end…

PHLLIP
Am I still the only one who enjoys Phillip? I read your tweets and your comments on the site and I am surprised that Phillip annoys so many of you. Don’t you see any fun in watching him? It’s not like you’re stuck on an island with him. He’s on your tv. For my money he is gold every time he opens his mouth.

Even something as simple as grabbing the tree mail becomes an adventure as he peers through the rolled up scroll like a telescope.

My favorite Phillip moment of this episode was after the Duel when Phillip was walking with Rob and Grant – holding court, stretching out the story of what he learned at Redemption Island, much to the frustration of Rob.
Rob: Hey dumbass, aren’t you in MY alliance? Don’t you work for me?

Even simply writing that sentence makes me laugh.

THE GAME CONTINUES
Despite losing one of the biggest players of the season, the game continues and Boston Rob is on fire. On fire. This is why Rob gets invited back so often. He’s really good and he’s really fun to watch. After four times playing, Rob has his PhD in Survivor.

For those of you who complain about it being unfair because Rob has played before – let me remind you of the basic rule of Survivor – the tribe votes out whoever they want. Just like Zapatera did with Russell, Ometepe could have chosen to get rid of Rob early on, but they didn’t. They gave Rob a chance and now Rob is starting to prove his worth as a leader, while simultaneously playing a very good game and positioning himself as a threat to go deep. As many days as he lasts in this game, he earns them all. I feel that way about every contestant. Whether they sand bag it like Sandra or come out swinging like Russell. You earn it.

THE RACE FOR THE IDOL
Rob searching for the idol while the rest of the tribe was playing “Sunday at the beach” was one of the most riveting scenes we’ve ever had. We had to cut it significantly for time. He was really hustling to make sure he got back before Grant and the girls realized he had been gone.

As I watched the first cut of this at home on my MacBook Pro, I was literally squirming in my seat. Remember, I’ve never seen this footage. I was screaming “Hurry up! Find it! They’re gonna be out of the water soon and wonder where you are!”

I’m really not as biased as I sound, it’s just that I love good drama. If it had been Ralph or Natalie or Russell or even Sarita I would have felt the same way – “Hurry! Hurry!”

THE REWARD/IMMUNITY CHALLENGE
Let me educate you about the future of television. Product integration. It’s a phrase you hear in every conference room of every advertising agency in New York and every television network in Hollywood.

On Survivor, product integration is when you take something like the Sears Craftsman tool kit or the Sprint Evo phone and you build it into a challenge or a reward. Lots of you guys complain about these product integrations. But here’s the thing – you are the same people who are DVRing your show to watch it later at a more convenient time. The problem is when you watch it later, you skip through the commercials. The advertisers know this, so their only option is to get their products inside the show so you can’t avoid them.

This is not going away. This is the present and the future of television. Product integration. Don’t waste energy fighting it. Embrace it.

While we’re talking about it, let me brag on Survivor for a moment. Nobody integrates product as well as we do. Last night you watched an incredibly dramatic challenge that was built all around tools from Sears. The tools were used to complete the challenge. The tools were necessary. It worked really well.

Many shows just shove product integration into their show. We work hard to make it work as well as we can even though the products don’t always lend themselves to the middle of a jungle.

But the bottom line is this…without Sprint, Sears and our other sponsors, we aren’t on the air. It’s that simple.

WHAT IS RALPH CROWING ABOUT?
Fortunately, Zapatera won the challenge, because if they hadn’t I would have been on their ass for throwing the challenge in the last episode. But I will say this, if I was on the Ometepe tribe I would have a hard time not knocking Ralph right off that perch as he crowed like a Rooster. That is one annoying move.

Ralph’s ego is going to be his biggest obstacle. He’s not alone. It happens to a lot of people. They do something amazing, like finding the idol, but then they so badly want to share their brilliance with everybody else that they weaken their position by telling everybody.

I do it in my life all the time. I’m constantly giving away information that would be better off kept to myself. It’s so hard to just shut up. Ralph – shut up. You’ll go further.

On the other hand, the fact that his crowing annoys me, means it probably annoyed Ometepe, which means it’s working!

THE REWARD
I offer proof once again that Survivor is the toughest reality show of all time. Note this conversation from Mike and Ralph regarding the food reward:

MIKE: I’ve never been this hungry in my life. I haven’t thought about sex in two weeks. All I’m thinking about is food.

RALPH: It tasted great. I sucked stuff out of my fingernails that haven’t been cleaned since I got here. And I asked any of the others ones if they wanted their fingers cleaned and licked, I’d work on them too.”

RALPH: Steve, can I lick that mustard off your nose? Your tongue ain’t long enough.

TRIBAL COUNCIL
Once again Ometepe is back at tribal council and by a 4-3 vote, Kristina is sent to Redemption Island where she will have to face Matt in a duel.

Okay now to the guts of what made this episode historic. The Fall of Russell. It started with a late night arrival at Redemption Island.

REDEMPTION ISLAND
Russell was not expecting to find Matt sleeping in the shelter. He was expecting Francesca. I think that tiny little “lie” that Zapatera told him had a big impact on Russell’s psyche. I think expecting to find Francesca and instead finding a young, very fit Matt threw him for a loop and began his downfall.

MATT v RUSSELL: GOOD vs EVIL
This duel was the closest thing we’ve ever had to Good v. Evil. Matt, the young man who puts all his faith in God, battling against Russell, the older man who many believe is a force of evil. It was historic before it began.

THE DUEL –
As many of you already know – challenges and duels are created and built weeks in advance. We had no idea who would be playing this duel but I couldn’t have been happier that it involved so many different skills: balance, patience and thinking ahead.

Everybody on the crew was invested in this duel. We all loved Matt, he was a favorite, he had been on Redemption for days and he was very likable. On the other side, you have Russell – a guy that has been such a polarizing force on our show that you couldn’t help but want him to win simply because it is such a huge story if he does. It’s also a huge story if he loses. So in that sense, it was a win-win.

The drama was fantastic. First Matt thought he had it… but he was short. Then Russell thought he had it, but he too was short. I was pacing back and forth, as excited as I’ve been at a challenge in a long time. Finally Matt, who never panics, got it together and won the duel. In doing so Matt single-handedly put an end to the Russell era. It’s over.

THE TEARS OF A WARRIOR
The tears that Russell shed were real. It was a very emotional moment for a guy who has spent most of the last two years of his life playing this silly little adventure game called Survivor.

It was emotional for all of us to watch him break down. It was a gift from Russell to let us see the emotion. We all knew the day would finally come –when Russell was finally sent home- and we all wondered how he would respond. I loved that he shared it with us. That’s how Russell did everything – full tilt boogie.

I’m guessing that a lot of the Russell haters were moved as well.

Like him, love him, hate him, despise him – there is simply no denying that Russell has given Survivor as much if not more than Survivor has given him.
If you are a fan of Survivor, then you too owe Russell a nod of the head. The dude brought it. Every single day he played – he brought it.

In some ways he reignited our franchise as he brought in a new kind of villain. An unscrupulous terror.

To give context… Johnny Fairplay is a clown… Russell is a villain. I’m not sure Russell is a nice person. I wouldn’t want Russell to know where I live. There isn’t much I would want to do with Russell outside of Survivor.

But within the world of Survivor, Russell is family.

When you make a deal with the devil, you must be prepared to get burnt. So complaining about Russell would be hypocritical. We put him on the show in Samoa, we invited him back in Heroes v Villains and he completed the trifecta with Redemption Island.

Russell will go down in history as one of the most notorious contestants of all time. Maybe THE most notorious.

For all he has given us, I have to take my hat off to him and say “thank you.”

RUSSELL LIVES ON
Before the tears could even dry, the Russell of old was back, once again stirring up trouble. As with Rob, this is another example of why some players get invited back and most don’t. Russell played Ralph like a finely tuned fiddle. He baited the hook, dropped it in the water, let Ralph nibble on it and then hooked him. As charming as Ralph is, he was so outmatched it was hard to watch.

Russell suckered Ralph into bragging about the idol in front of the Ometepe tribe. They now know he has it and if a merge comes, and Ralph still has the idol, it may cause him more problems than it will help solve.

In that moment, Russell flipped the game once again and he did it after he’d already been knocked out of the game. That’s why he’s played three times and… despite his claims that he’s finished… that’s why he’ll probably end up playing yet again.

Thanks for the memories, RH.

I hope you will all leave your thoughts about Russell departure on the comment section. Love him or hate him, if you’re a fan you have to have an opinion.

You can watch the emotional and dramatic conclusion of the duel again

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor/video/?pid=m8w62dYF9EWwwJ2Xa_P0cWzuhXCDeAma


http://www.jeffprobst.com/2011/03/10/survivor-redemption-island-episode-4-blog-31011/

georgiapeach:
Stay tuned folks... you heard it right here.



--- Quote ---That’s why he’s played three times and… despite his claims that he’s finished… that’s why he’ll probably end up playing yet again.
--- End quote ---

Prophet:

--- Quote from: georgiapeach on March 16, 2011, 10:20:58 AM ---Stay tuned folks... you heard it right here.



--- Quote ---That’s why he’s played three times and… despite his claims that he’s finished… that’s why he’ll probably end up playing yet again.
--- End quote ---

--- End quote ---

:lol3:
You would think the only reason CBS would renew the show for two more seasons was because they vowed never to bring Rob or Russell back!
:lol3:

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