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10-Year Rewatch: Samoa: RUSSELL! (And Maybe Others. But RUSSELL!)


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#1

raceguy120390

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Posted Jul 26, 2010 @ 2:54 AM

I can't believe we're this close to the end already.

This season was a flop for the ages, really. I mean, when the third-place winner in the popularity contest vote was a generic guy who was all but invisible until the final three weeks, there are huge problems. Of course, the show's solution to this for HvV was just to only reveal the top two, instead of actually doing something to fix the problem. Sigh.

#2

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Posted Jul 26, 2010 @ 3:40 AM

I tried to stick with this season, even through thick and thin. I really tried. But making it The Russell Show (with some Shambo) turned me off after the Ashley boot. From there, I just kept up with it by reading the episode threads. Even the people I'd been interested in pre-season weren't enough to make me watch. Especially since the two I was most interested in were gone first and third (or second, if you exclude Mike's evacuation).

I know we were supposed to root for the underdog alliance to topple the majority alliance just like in Cook Islands and Tocantins, but I . . . I couldn't do it. Even if the Galus did start to grate, I'm still one who liked them all (yes, even Laura) INFINITELY more than the Foa Foas. And guess why? They didn't have Russell! I suppose I liked Jaison, and I did love Natalie, but Mick's blandness bugged and Russell . . . well, you all know the drill. Still, this was actually the first time I threw in my lot with the majority alliance, so I was devastated when they were felled.

I think the most disappointing thing about Natalie's win was that we didn't get to see her game. Someone on a different thread said that it would've been a much better story had they contrasted her social one with Russell's strategic one (if you can call it that) throughout the season to set up a good social game vs. strategic game ending at the end, just as they did with Yul and Ozzy's strategic game vs. physical game ending in Cook Islands. But they didn't do it. Even more disappointing was that she had only fifteen friggin' confessionals of hers that were actually shown. And all because the editors were obsessed with getting us to think Russell was the greatest player in Survivor history when, as he clearly showed, he certainly wasn't even close.

I did like how Natalie tried her best to handle doing interviews with him after the finale, though. And Russell being reduced to tears after he lost in that 7-2-0 landslide.

As for the second-biggest camera hog of that season, I felt like we were being forced to feel sorry for Shambo in how the Galus treated her, but she did so many stupid things that made it happen to her, I just couldn't. And everyone's interviews of how Shambo was actually the not-so-nice one at camp made it even harder to sympathize. I mean, when Yasmin, Erik, Kelly, Laura, John, Dave, Monica, and Brett all confirm pretty much the same thing about her in interviews (and that's eight of the nine original, non-Shambo Galus, by the way, which is a glaring number), it's hard to feel all that bad for how she was treated when she basically ostracized herself.

All in all, a poor season that I give a D, kept from getting a D-minus or an F only due to Natalie's win saving it somewhat.

#3

Fukui San

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Posted Jul 26, 2010 @ 3:49 PM

Russell russell russell, russell russell russell russell?

  • Russell Russell:
  • Russell
  • Russell.
  • Russell!
Russell russell Russell! Russell russell russell... russell russell. Russell, russell russell Russell russell russell russell russell russell russell. Russell russell Russell Russell russell russell russell Natalie.

P.S. Russell

#4

Lantern7

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Posted Jul 26, 2010 @ 9:10 PM

From Miss Alli's blog:

Previously on Russell: The Story Of Russell starring Russell, Russell Russelled a Russell, but Russell’s Russell was Russelling Russell. Russell had Russell Russell Russell, and Russell Russell, “Russell Russell Russell.”

Also: Shambo’s mullet.


I will say this . . . you take Russell out of the season, you're left with some of the dumbest players in the show's history. And what good is it seeing everybody try to lose?

Edited by Lantern7, Jul 28, 2010 @ 10:58 AM.


#5

kimmykaybee

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Posted Jul 27, 2010 @ 2:42 PM

I think the most disappointing thing about Natalie's win was that we didn't get to see her game. Someone on a different thread said that it would've been a much better story had they contrasted her social one with Russell's strategic one (if you can call it that) throughout the season to set up a good social game vs. strategic game ending at the end, just as they did with Yul and Ozzy's strategic game vs. physical game ending in Cook Islands. But they didn't do it.

I agree. But Natalie is a girl, so she will always be a coat-tailing female who doesn't deserve the win. <end sarcasm> I find Natalie a much better player than she is given credit for.

I did like how Natalie tried her best to handle doing interviews with him after the finale, though.

Girlfriend stood up for herself, just like last season Sandra stood up for herself. That was when I became her fan.

I will say this . . . you take Russell out of the season, you're left with some of the dumbest players in the show's history. And what good is it seeing everybody try to lose?

True, but that's on casting. And they didn't have to try and solve that problem by making it the Russell show at the expense of the winner. Natalie got a shitty edit. When boring Mick gets more confessionals, something is wrong.

#6

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Posted Jul 28, 2010 @ 1:11 AM

This season is such a huge "what-if" for me. Take Russell out of the equation (& obviously one of the girls to even it up) & I wonder what we would have gotten. Or Ashley & Erik out since they were alternates who were added at the last minute. Or a tribal swap. Just anything.

The thing is, aside from Russell, Shambo, & Jaison, I liked or was indifferent about most of the cast. I liked the challenges & how most of them seemed to be more well-rounded & winnable by normal people.

Even with the same outcome, this season would have been fine had they not focused so much on Russell. He can take out half the cast for all I care, but seriously. There are other people out there & every single one of them played some role in the outcome.

Also, can I just say how irritating Liz was for a while in her determination to take out the women on her tribe? I really didn't expect that from her. And look what ended up happening to her...

P.S. I know they were both extremely under-edited (shocker) but I still liked Brett & Kelly. And if my info is correct, I believe they are engaged now.

#7

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Posted Jul 28, 2010 @ 8:23 AM

Who's Kelly?
No, really, who is she?

This was a season where you really wish they went back to the days where people just normally applied, and they got 16 normal, average Americans, who just wanted to play. Not organise "The Russell Show, with some Shambo and special guest stars, DaveBall, Brett and the Chick who Won."

This is a season where even if you tried to ignore it, fanwank it you could not escape the reality that everything was edited to make it the Russell show. [Not even Brazil was that bad with the Coach stuff. And as douchey as Coach v.1.0 was, he was never was as bad as Russell].

I am ashamed to admit though, that I had thought Russell had it sewn up and won, and I was shocked and surprised when Natalie won, [because really I don't remember seeing ANYTHING from her - which was sad], and I have to say I do respect the whole, "Yes, I voted you off, and I put you there, and this is why you should vote for me to win."

Then I remembered that while Richard said it [and won], and Brian said it [and won], Yul to an extent said it [and won], they all remembered what Russell didn't: humility. Sure you can say "You all lost because of me, hah, hah, hah" but you need to show on some level that you either felt bad about it, detached yourself from the game, and this is really not who you are, and kiss a little behind. (I realllly didn't MEAN to hurt your feelings, it was just the game, ya'll).

Russell enjoyed rubbing their noses in the mud just as much as he did booting them off. And the utter "irony" of his losing to his Dumb Girl Alliance [the queen of the Dumb Girl Alliance, at that] is so not lost to me.

#8

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Posted Jul 28, 2010 @ 8:33 AM

Who's Kelly?
No, really, who is she?


Kelly was the blonde chick with dreads that Russell idol'd.

#9

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Posted Jul 28, 2010 @ 8:51 AM

Kelly was the blonde chick with dreads that Russell idol'd.

Yep, that's her. She was pretty forgettable and she just laid around the beach in Samoa working on her tan. No wonder she was the second person voted off after the merge. She tried to play Natalie's game, but was far less successful. She was pretty boring.

Really, the question I was asking myself after every show was, "There's a Brett? Are you sure there's a Brett and that's not just a member of production?"

#10

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Posted Jul 28, 2010 @ 5:32 PM

Yep, that's her. She was pretty forgettable and she just laid around the beach in Samoa working on her tan. No wonder she was the second person voted off after the merge. She tried to play Natalie's game, but was far less successful. She was pretty boring.

I don't think Kelly was boring just very underedited. Plus Shambo chose her to be idoled out because she got along well with both sides of the divide in Galu. She probably would have gone far if Galu didn't vote for Russell at that TC.

From the little I saw of Galu I found that tribe more interesting. All the editing of the Foa Foa tribe revolved around Russell and I found him very one-note. I remember thinking at first his whole character was an act only to realise he really does take himself that seriously. Natalie was my favourite and I'm glad she won, but I don't like this season. It had a lot of potential but was let down by the worst editing in 20 seasons.

Edited by Daydreamer101, Jul 28, 2010 @ 5:33 PM.


#11

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Posted Jul 29, 2010 @ 12:51 AM

From the little I saw of Galu I found that tribe more interesting.


Agreed. I actually found the ambiguous dynamics of Galu in the early game intriguing while I found the Foas lame and exhausting. Much like Palau where some interesting divides came into play later (Ian/Tom, Katie, Gregg/Jenn), I expected something similar for Galu: only to have the only players I find likable with anything left to explore (really, by episode 3 I feel we'd pretty much drained the well of what Russell, Jaison and Mick had to offer) axed at mid-merge with the attention being thrust upon, once again, Foa Foa.

For the first time ever, I stopped watching Survivor after I read spoilers that Foa Foa toppled the Galus and Russell made it to the end. Not that I blame production for who succeeded, but I found it inconceivably obnoxious and irresponsible how Russell's actions were being edited as somehow "heroic and just" and the unfair distribution of airtime was tiresome. And for that, I DO blame editing/production.

I don't think Kelly was boring just very underedited.


From what we saw of her, I really liked Kelly. In fact, my favorite players from Samoa were Kelly, Monica and Erik - they all seemed colourful and snarky in what little we were given of them and I found their small tidbits endlessly more entertaining than Russell's song-and-dance. But YMMV.

I'm hoping editing/production learned from their mistakes here, because I would hate to skip another half-season of Survivor. Hell, if the next season hadn't been HvV (that I had spoiled for myself to ensure the Troll didn't win), I may have boycotted completely. But they won me back. Just barely.

Either way, Samoa is without question my least favorite season.

Edited by Oholibamah, Jul 29, 2010 @ 12:52 AM.


#12

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Posted Aug 3, 2010 @ 12:33 PM

Some of the non-Shambo Galu people seriously need to be brought back in a future season. If I had to pick one, it would be Monica. I couldn't help but love the way she went all kamikaze on Russell. She knew she was going, so why not stir up an entire shitstorm by aggravating the bandy-legged troll, and then rubbing it in his face and laughing about it at TC? Loved it.

Kelly was cute, but I honestly can't remember a single word she said, and I've watched the season three times. I believe Natalie had more game than she's given credit for. She was working that jury to the max during the game, knowing she didn't have to worry about actually keeping herself in it since Russell was doing all that for her. Russell made winning really, really easy for her.

#13

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Posted Aug 4, 2010 @ 10:21 PM

I couldn't help but love the way she went all kamikaze on Russell. She knew she was going, so why not stir up an entire shitstorm by aggravating the bandy-legged troll, and then rubbing it in his face and laughing about it at TC? Loved it.


I know, right? That was so awesome. It was like she was a on a mission of self-destruction since she had nothing to lose, since she had already lost. Why not make life a little more difficult for the others?

#14

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Posted Aug 6, 2010 @ 6:53 AM

If they really wanted to irk Russell, what they should have done is split up their votes some, go ahead and put 4 votes for Natalie, but put 3 votes on Mick so that Russell falls to third place.

#15

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Posted Aug 6, 2010 @ 12:50 PM

The thing is, most people seemed to vote for Natalie instead of against Russel.
Unlike in season 20 when not only did lots of the people congratulate both Sandra and Parvati, they also didn't want to cast a single vote in Russel's direction.

#16

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Posted Aug 6, 2010 @ 6:57 PM

Good point, Isuzu.

I think a lot of the votes, Russell had already burned the bridges with them, so he was already lost.

I think they were voting for Natalie in the context that they were voting for her over Mick; and were all voting against Russell (or at least 7 of the 9 were).

In S20 case, according to Colby, J.T. and Amanda, it was a lot closer going into TC between Parvati or Sandra, but Sandra made the case to vote for her much better that it became a rout on her part.

#17

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Posted Dec 24, 2011 @ 1:54 AM

I know this season gets a lot of hate, but in retrospect, I think it was one of the better ones of the past few years. I sort of have a soft spot for it because it's the first season I watched since the first one - I tuned in because I knew one of the players (Liz), and I've been hooked every since. Anyway, what I like about the season is that the eliminations were pretty shocking and unpredictable - as much as I can't stand Russell, I love his "keep hope alive" after he plays his immunity idol and blindsides Kelly. And then there was another blindside the next episode, and Galu eventually managed to stage an upset. By contrast, the past few seasons have been so boring/predictable.

#18

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Posted Dec 26, 2011 @ 6:28 PM

I think Samoa was better than Nicaragua but I think the play in HvV and even Redemption Island dwarfed it. I'm not really sure where to put South Pacific because I've only seen it twice, but I think you're right in that Samoa was more enjoyable on a week-by-week basis at least.

I actually thought the boots were pretty obvious. They prefaced a boot by showing at the start of every episode who Russell was arguing with, Galu would beat them, and that person would go.

The post-merge votes were pretty interesting for the first few episodes. I hated Laura so I was interested to watch to see them get rid of her, but after that point I felt like we didn't really get to know much about Galu, so up until the "we have to get rid of Brett" phase it was sort of boring.

I really liked Eric and John on the Galu side and wish they would have been a little smarter in how to orchestrate things after the merge. These people showed a little Survivor knowledge but they straight up got outplayed, by Natalie first and foremost, by Russell grabbing all the attention and disorienting them, and I think Jaison is a little underrated in the UTR method that he used to get far.

#19

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Posted Dec 27, 2011 @ 2:40 AM

Agreed: from a gameplay perspective, this was a pretty straightforward and dull season, except for the collapse of Galu.

But I think it's my favourite cast ever, in terms of likability. Except for Ben and Shambo, I would hang out with any of these people, and could stand to watch any of them on TV all day. That makes The Russell Show all the more maddening: why let this little troll marginalize such an entertaining cast? (He's entertaining too, in his way, of course---but why not put a guy like that on Gabon, where his camera-hoggery wouldn't rob us of the chance to watch other interesting and charismatic players?)

#20

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Posted Dec 27, 2011 @ 3:23 AM

I guess they were excited to see a tribe come in to a merge down 8-4 and end up taking control, especially by use of HIIs that they found themselves without clues. They also had to feel like he was the one that was actually in control even though there are lots of indicators that she was. It's also the first time that someone was "evil" for the sake of being evil, and practically dictated their tribe's pecking order unilaterally on the basis of who wasn't kissing his ass enough on any given day. There had been seasons where someone like Coach was getting his way, but it was thanks mainly due to his alliance with Tyson and Debbie. Russell seemed to have an alliance just to have one and he rarely took the advice of any of his cohorts whether it was good advice or bad.

It's such a polarizing, strange season.

I never thought of the cast was overly likable. There were some puzzling people in the cast like Dave that I would have liked to know more about but there were also plenty of people like Jasmine, Kelly, Monica, and even Brett that seemed completely dull. I guess if anything I would have liked to see the season play out where the tribes were somewhat even for the first few weeks of the show so we could get to know more about Galu. The story that we got was that was that they were just one big happy family that all worked together and were impossible to beat despite a few internal conflicts, but then all of a sudden at the merge they collapse like a house of cards.

Edited by TheShowStopper, Dec 27, 2011 @ 3:24 AM.


#21

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Posted Jan 13, 2012 @ 1:47 AM

I think Samoa was better than Nicaragua but I think the play in HvV and even Redemption Island dwarfed it.

I think the play in HvV dwarfed it, but RI was nothing but an excuse to hand Rob a million dollars, IMO. I don't think anyone played well in that season--including Rob. Rob didn't have to play well to win. RI was one of the seasons that I couldn't sit through in its entirety. Unfortunately, that's become more common for me over the recent seasons. At least, in Samoa, there were people playing for themselves. That didn't happen in RI for very long.

Edited by BDArizona, Jan 13, 2012 @ 1:48 AM.


#22

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Posted Jan 13, 2012 @ 11:36 PM

I think the play in HvV dwarfed it, but RI was nothing but an excuse to hand Rob a million dollars, IMO. I don't think anyone played well in that season--including Rob. Rob didn't have to play well to win. RI was one of the seasons that I couldn't sit through in its entirety. Unfortunately, that's become more common for me over the recent seasons. At least, in Samoa, there were people playing for themselves. That didn't happen in RI for very long.


It started out that way but those people were smartly kicked off early in the game. Most of the players weren't "not playing for themselves," there just happened to be a few that thought they would have an easier time winning a jury vote against Rob given that he had played before and they hadn't. Both Grant and Natalie seemed to rely on that and that alone, and Philip was somehow counting on just arguing his way to a win at the FTC but that obviously didn't happen.

Andrea and Ashley actually had similar strategies but Ashley didn't want to work with Andrea when came back into the game from R.I. because she thought that she could do it on her own and that Andrea being on R.I. would pull votes away from her.

Rob pretty much took care of everyone else on his tribe early-on that had a capacity to work against him. That's what made it such good gameplay. Sending Matt to R.I. when he did was really a gamechanger because if things would have proceeded "as usual" with someone like Matt hanging around until the merge because he could help Ometepe in challenges, we could have seen someone like Kristina come back from R.I. and go the other way at the merge and then it would have been harder if not impossible for Rob to win. He made a great move for himself by bouncing Matt when he did because even had he been successful in making it all the way back in the game, Rob still had a good enough relationship with him and is still a great manipulator to keep him loyal one last time when it really matters.

I think Zapatera might have operated the same way had they gotten a returning player that wasn't so repulsive and annoying that they felt like they had to just get rid of him as fast as possible. I could see more than a couple from that tribe trying to take Russell to the end and make it 3-for-3.

#23

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Posted Mar 2, 2012 @ 12:11 AM

It is correct. What you described is S22. Yogurt Baron is talking about S19, in which Galu came into the merge with 8, and Foa Foa came into the merge with 4.


In fairness, it's my fault for calling it "Samoa" when every season happens in Samoa now. :)

Dave Ball will always be on my list of the stupidest people to play the game.


It really frustrates me that Galu had so many awesome characters...who sucked so much at the game. I've argued before that Samoa had the best cast ever, but really, it's just Galu. With the exception of Panama's Casaya, I have never loved a tribe more, from a character/entertainment perspective.

So, Dave Ball. I cannot off the top of my head name a Survivor line, ever, that I enjoyed more than (paraphrase) "I got chickens. What did you do? Not that. Peace." Sara M's recaps confirming that, yeah, the Dave Ball we saw is pretty much Dave Ball (she knows Dave Ball in real life), just enhanced the whole effect for me. These are real, entertaining, awesome people. Why did they have to suck at Survivor so much?

Similarly, Erik's little speech about how if you fight with ShamBEAU, you just look like a bitch, is an all-time classic. Anytime Erik talked about ShamBEAU is an all-time classic, actually. And John Fincher may have been the show's second-greatest sufferer of Tyson's Disease: a clearly intelligent, almost frighteningly articulate guy, who at a critical juncture seemed to go out of his way to make the worst move he possibly could.

Russell Swan, too---did he not see Borneo, where the guy who spent the whole first episode lecturing everybody from a tree won? Working around camp is such a small part of the game, all things considered, that working yourself literally almost to death is just so stupid. Yasmin's drama at the Foa Foa camp was reasonably entertaining, for a first boot.

Monica? Beautiful. Kelly? Beautiful. Laura? Best-looking grandmother I've ever seen. ShamBEAU? Irritating, but, in places, hilarious (remember the time she "produced one egg"? Yeah, ShamBEAU, that was all you. Nothing to do with the bird.) The one weak link in the entertainment, Brett, was so invisible that that became a source of entertainment.

Next to a legitimate winners-only season, I think maybe my dream all-stars season would be Galu vs. Casaya.

#24

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Posted Mar 4, 2012 @ 7:32 PM

I really liked every male member of Galu but didn't like any of the females at all. Laura was sanctimonious and insufferable, Shambo was... a lot of things. Monica seemed to have a nice personality but didn't seem particularly deep or interesting, and we didn't really get to see anything from Kelly. Yasmine was beyond annoying. I actually think I liked Shambo the most, surprisingly, because I found her entertaining both when she was intentionally trying to be funny and when it was unintentional.

I thought Fincher and Erik were very funny and could have both played very well under different circumstances, but avoiding TC like Galu did really put them at a strategic disadvantage (in terms of capability) against Foa Foa. Russell seemed like a nice enough guy, and Dave was also entertaining. In terms of likability I would put Galu just inside the top half of the 40-something tribes we've seen. I for one despised Casaya.

Just for reference my favorite tribes in the history of the show are Kucha, Jalapao, Boran, La Mina, Ometepe, and Kota (in addition to Kuror and Aitu, who I assume most people like)

Edited by Afterglows, Mar 4, 2012 @ 7:33 PM.


#25

TDI Ashley

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Posted Mar 4, 2012 @ 7:51 PM

Don't see what was so hot about La Mina. Casaya was far more interesting.

#26

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 12:56 AM

Cirie and Bruce were truly the only two individuals on their tribe worth spending camera time on. Aras was dull and beyond sanctimonious, Danielle's responses at Tribal Council (and even some of her confessionals) were headscratching and bizarre, Courtney was annoying, and while Shane provided almost constant entertainment he was also obnoxious and losing his mind. I personally don't find entertainment (or amusement from a strategy perspective) in watching an endgame that's full of people that are incessantly fighting or whining about things that simply don't matter. To this day I still have no idea why Danielle was brought back for HvV, she brought nothing to that season and nothing to Panama either. Exile Island remained my least favorite Pagonged-season ever (before South Pacific came along of course). I'm sure some people were amused by the total dysfunction, which I greatly attribute to Courtney's natural personality, Danielle's lack of personality, and Shane's detox, but I didn't care for it.

I found Sally, Austin, Nick, and Dan MUCH more interesting and FAR less annoying when they were onscreen, and the same can really be said for Terry when he was not having to constantly take on an entire tribe by himself, and have to deal with the disappointment of living with people that were slowly and surely pissing their own game away just out of a refusal to work with him when the time was right for each of them.

Edited by Afterglows, Mar 5, 2012 @ 12:58 AM.


#27

TDI Ashley

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Posted Mar 5, 2012 @ 3:39 AM

I'd better carry this to Exile Island's Rewatch thread before this goes off-topic. I'll respond there.

#28

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Posted Mar 6, 2012 @ 8:25 AM

For a frame of reference, Foa Foa could have likely been one of my favorite tribes ever also because Natalie and Jaison are two of my all-time favorites, but the dysfunctional nature of Russell, Ben, and even Mike (with what little we saw from him) was too much to bare. I really liked Liz and Betsy and was pretty much indifferent towards the rest of their tribe, but those huge negative personalities really ruined it.

My big question concerning Samoa every time I rewatch it is always wondering what would have happened if Russell would have went about addressing his need for control in an understated way, instead of the excessive "sabotage" style that we saw. He could have very well been the head of the major alliance in Foa Foa and given how the tribe was put together there's no way he would have been among the first couple of people booted if he had refrained from being overly aggressive.

He couldn't even leave well enough alone at the end of the game when it came to how he sent a couple of people to the jury. By the virtue of being down 8-4 and having to "idol" a few people out of the game, he was obviously never going to be in the running for Kelly or Monica's votes, but he really could have handled Brett, Erik, Jaison, and Dave a lot better than he did. Obviously booting Natalie as opposed to Jaison was also a huge error, and would have likely resulted in at least 1 or 2 more votes going his way.

Edited by Afterglows, Mar 6, 2012 @ 9:53 AM.


#29

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Posted Mar 7, 2012 @ 9:17 PM

What I love about Russell the Survivor character - and hate about Russell the Survivor character - is that doing things any way other than the way he does things just isn't on the table. Asking, "What if Russell played Survivor like a human being and not like Russell?" is like asking which NBA team he'd sign with tomorrow if he woke up seven feet tall, except that the latter scenario is much more likely. It's fascinating, and it's the only reason I'm glad he played three seasons (although I wish they hadn't been all bunched together like that).

Russell is probably better at doing his Russell thing than any other Survivor player has ever been at doing what they do. No one has ever run the game as thoroughly or as well as he has, if by "well", you mean "determining the boot order and getting the things he wants to happen to happen, right up until the jury vote". It's that amazing ability at 999 of the 1,000 things that go into playing Survivor, combined with his active efforts to keep himself from doing the 1,000th thing ("win Survivor"), that makes Russell an interesting character. His performance in HVV rebutted the usual "Well, if he could do it all again..." argument. His performance in Redemption Island rebutted the, "Well, if he'd seen Samoa before he went on HVV..." argument. By RI, he knew he was the least-likely person to ever win Survivor, based on how he usually played. And he couldn't help it. He tried to play the same game a third time. That's not ignorance. That's inability to do anything else.

#30

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Posted Oct 12, 2012 @ 1:13 AM

The latest episode of Philippines - which is about Pete "creating chaos" and Russell Swan getting voted out - got me to thinking about Samoa. It's funny how similar the Russells are: while the chaos Pete is creating on S25 is game chaos, Hantz tried to create camp chaos (burning socks, etc.) But he created no "game chaos" at all. Instead, he ended up in an incredibly tight alliance of four that was able to overcome a numbers disadvantage at the merge, but created a jury that had no reason to reward him specifically, when the reverse-Pagonging was so clearly the effort of a united team.

That didn't strike me when Samoa first aired, not having seen most seasons, but now that I've seen players like Sandra and Cesternino, I realize that a guy like Russell, if he could win (and I don't think he could) would win in a "game chaos" season where he randomly ends up at TC next to a Lill. But he lost because of the lack of chaos---because he ended up at FTC as the designated asshole of a very solid alliance, and in that kind of a situation, the jury's going to reward the alliance member with the better social game.

Meanwhile, as tempting as it was at the time to think that Galu fell apart due to Swan's medevac, having seen him on this season, I'm wondering if they didn't fall apart due to him being their "leader" in the first place. His "I am the leader, and what I will lead us in is walking around and randomly washing rocks and never drinking any water" left Galu without any strategic cohesion. Swap out Swan and a random other Galu for Malcolm and Denise, and does that tribe gets eaten by Foa Foa? No way - because a good leader would've led them in the game, into bonding together and not turning on each other, and not just into working around camp.

Short version: Russells suck.