Monday, May 16, 2011

It’s Over!

Boston Rob Depositing $1,100,000
Last night, after 39 days and 14 episodes, Survivor: Redemption Island came to a grinding halt. The Finale and Reunion Show, although satisfying, featured very few surprises, despite the efforts of the production crew. Any self-respecting Survivor Geek had to have “Boston” Rob Mariano pegged as the odds on favorite to emerge victorious. 

Those who didn’t realize this have not been paying attention during the previous 22 seasons of the award-winning reality show. It was crystal clear to me that Rob’s mob was going to vote off Andrea in the first Tribal Council and Ashley in the second. Then it was all over but the crying.

Thinking back, I can’t recall a season where so many of the Tribal Councils were no-brainers; the outcomes were always blatantly obvious. Executive Producer Mark Burnett had his people doing their best to disguise what was going to happen, but the results were always inevitable.

Here is a recap of who was eliminated and when:

18. Francesca Hogi on March 2
17. Russell Hantz on March 9
16. Kristina Kell on March 16
15. Krista Klumpp on March 23
14. Stephanie Valencia on March 30
13. Sarita White on April 6
12. David Murphy on April 20 – Jury
11. Julie Wolfe on April 27 – Jury
10. Steve Wright on May 4 – Jury
 9. Ralph (the Furry Farmer) Kiser on May 11 – Jury
 8. Grant Mattos on May 15 – Jury
 7. Matt Elrod on May 15 – Jury
 6. Mike Chiesl on May 15 – Jury
 5. Andrea Boehlke on May 15 – Jury
 4. Ashley Underwood on May 15 – Jury
 3. Natalie Tenerelli – Finalist
 2. Phillip (Special Agent) Sheppard – Finalist
 1. “Boston” Rob Mariano – Sole Survivor

The most enjoyable part of the 3-hour extravaganza was the final Tribal Council where members of the jury had the opportunity to interrogate the three finalists.

Here the highlights of what the jurors had to say:

Andrea attacked Special Agent Phil and basically said he was weird. She then accused Natalie of being too close to Boston Rob in a creepy way. The Valley Girl from Wisconsin was angry.

Ashley continued the attack on the Special Agent and Natalie. However, unlike Andrea, she also went after Boston Rob. She wasn’t liking anyone at that particular moment.

Grant was kind of boring but also pursued the line of questioning concerning the relationship between Natalie and Boston Rob. I think it was at this point that Natalie turned to Boston Rob and said that she didn’t mean to be creepy. Touching.

When the Furry Farmer finished telling Natalie that she couldn’t do anything without Boston Rob, he starting playfully joking with Special Agent Phil. I sensed a budding bromance.

Matt cut into Boston Rob pretty viciously using some fairly large words. I had forgotten that he was a pre-med student. I was very impressed.

Julie announced that she didn’t respect any of the three, particularly Natalie. She stressed that Natalie’s mother should be ashamed of her. At some point Special Agent Phil began cursing at Julie. It got somewhat heated.

When it was Mike’s turn, he talked about how the game had changed him, bringing him closer to God. He then asked the three finalists how the game had changed them. Boston Rob thought for a minute and said that he now realizes that this is the last time he will play this game. Special Agent Phil said he had become aware of how blessed he was. Some pretty deep stuff. Then Natalie said she learned how to camp. Okay…

Steve congratulated Natalie and Boston Rob. He then made it very clear that he still had hard feelings towards the Special Agent because of the racial accusations he made back on day 25.

The attorney in David came out when, instead of addressing the final three, he addressed the jury. He said Boston Rob played the best strategic game Survivor had ever seen, that there should be no question when it came to voting for the winner. He said Special Agent Phil shouldn’t even be considered, while Natalie got by the whole time riding on Rob’s coattails.

David emphasized to the jury that Boston Rob totally controlled everyone’s thoughts and actions, blindsided each and every one of them, and that although his game was somewhat deceiving, it was “brilliant.”

After that dissertation, there was no doubt as to who was going to be voted the Sole Survivor. And that’s exactly what happened at the Reunion Show. Boston Rob and wife Ambah had $1,000,000 to help feed their two little bambinos.

Oops, better make that $1,100,000. I almost forgot that he also won the Sprint Player people’s choice vote and an additional $100,000. I guess that when it rains it pours.

Survivor: Redemption Island Reunion Show
Random Notes and Observations:

It was nice that the “tribute to those who went before us” segment was omitted this season. What a waste of time that is. Good move.

It was good to see Russell Hantz congratulate Boston Rob during the Reunion Show. He always was a class act.

Despite the fact that he never turns his Special Agent persona off, it was great that Phil offered an apology to Steve and shook his hand.

Host Jeff Probst usually makes a point to talk to each contestant during the Reunion Show. He did not do that last night.

I am not even going to dignify David’s lame ass marriage proposal by mentioning it. Crap, I just did.

Those who cleaned up nicely for the Reunion Show were Ashley, Mike and Matt. Especially Ashley. Yes, indeed!

Those who really didn’t were Andrea, Grant and Boston Rob. Unless it was a “style”, Andrea had a lot of her roots showing. Grant went for the Brawny Man look. As far as Boston Rob goes, can you say Guido?

Oh well, with $1,100,000, I guess he will be able to buy plenty of t-shirts, gold chains and product for his hair. He earned it. Way to go Mariano, you finally did it.

Before you click away, make sure you vote for your favorite baseball team in my new poll just to the right of the blog. Until next time…from the booth.


Leplume said...

Well, he IS a guido! LOL I was also glad they didn't do that remembering those who went before thingy. What I loved most was how Phil nailed himself FIRMLY in the coffin of doom by pretty much arguing and insulting everyone on the jury who spoke to him! HAHA!! Loved it! Rob just had to sit back and watch it happen.

Overall, a good season. Would have been much better had Russell gone further and made them squirm a bit. Loved how he couldn't say he woulnd't be back! Will he? Who will be the two people from the past that come back next time. Man, I hope one of them is Hantz.

At the end of the day, Rob deserved the win. But I just don't like him. Never did. A small part of me was hoping there would be one final terrific twist and that the jury would have all lost their minds and voted for Phil! Now THAT would have been a great finale!!

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

I felt the same way regarding Boston Rob. As much as I bitched and moaned about this season, I can't wait to see who the "veterans" will be next season.

Speaking of next season, I have been talking with FSGs Jamie and Patty 4-Names about having "guest" contributors to the weekly Survivor blog next season. You in? :)

Gregory (Greg) P Turco said...

This was a good season despite the slow start. Rob is a master. I would have liked to have seen someone try harder to topple him, but still Survivor is my favorite TV show.

sue said...

Oh my, I commented on this last night and it is not here ! So the end and Boston Rob won.... perhaps Special Agent Phil would have if it was not for the pink pants ! Not sure that there were any really 'strong' members on this season and perhaps that is why it was not so good. 'Til the next time.....(perhaps a female will win?) By the way I voted on the Baseball team !!!

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Sue, sorry it took me so long to get back to you. In the 22 seasons of Survivor, there has been 9 female winners. In fact, Sandra Diaz has won it twice. Another one of the female victors was Boston Rob's wife, Amber. She won it before they were married.