Eleanor of Aquitaine: "You're good. You're first class, Geoff. You'd sell John out to me, or me to John, or - you can tell me; have you found some way of selling everyone to everybody?"
Geoffrey Plantagenet: "Not yet, Mummy, but I'm working on it."
- James Goldman, The Lion in Winter.
This was a three-hour telecast, so we have a lot of ground to cover, which means a long column, so let's dive right in
The first half-hour of the Survivor finale was heartbreaking in the extreme. My beautiful Jaison, so gorgeous, so smart, so ethical, so poorly motivated. Ah well. It's all right, my darling, we can live on love, and vodka, and my movie millions, and more vodka.
The broadcast opened with a lengthy clip package that was interesting to watch mainly to see Psycho Russell's chest hair grow in. He began, back on day One, with a smooth, it now turns out waxed chest, which gradually, over the course of the 39 days, regrew out into his most (only?) attractive feature.
But it had its moments: MickMoron, a doctor and supposedly a man of science and rationality saying: "We do have a pox or a hex or some kind of curse on [Zsa Zsa]." Is that your medical diagnosis? If it is, I want another doctor.
And we had Dave Ball at the time of the merge, saying: "Unless something goes wrong, [Zsa Zsa] doesn't matter. Simple as that." This, we now see in retrospect, was the beginning of his transition from Danger Dave to Dimwit Dave.
Said Psycho Russell of Reverend Brett the Threat's late-game emergence: "What strategy did he do that worked for him? Absolutely nothing."
Wrong. Russell is here demonstrating one of the two blindspots in his own game play: failing to realize that lying low, flying-under-the-radar, and saving it for when it's needed is not only a completely valid game strategy, but guess what, Russ? It worked for him.
But Russell is incapable of acknowledging as valid any strategies but his own. It was a loophole in his game play that Sister Nat drove her truck right through to victory.
"It's a shame," said Russell of his remaining tribemates, "That I'm set up with these [sic] bunch of misfits, because I should be here with superstars." Russell dear, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Jack Nicholson, me, Harrison Ford, Dame Edna, Sir Elton John, and the rest of the Superstar Community are united on two things:
1. We're too busy to appear on Survivor, and
2. We don't want to be anywhere near you! Socks aren't free, you know.
Said Jaison of Rev. Brett: "Now this guy's going on an immunity run like we've never seen." Jaison my beloved, he's won immunity twice in a row. You did that a few episodes back, so you have seen it before. MickMoron has also won immunity twice, albeit not consecutively.
"He's not some freaking athlete genius," said Russell of Rev. Brett as part of trying to scare Sister Natalie into being a little less lame at the next immunity challenge (Waste of breath. She never won any individual competition in the whole series, except that last, all-important vote.) by convincing her that if Rev. Brett won immunity, she would be voted out. She believed him (with a profound, "That sucks."), but it ignored the very real option of her, her Prayer Warrior Jesus-buddy Rev. Brett, and Russell all voting together, which would allow them to take out whomever they chose, with Jaison and MickMoron unable to do anything about it. And still, the obvious thought of voting out Russell never seems to cross any of their alleged minds. He's out of immunity idols, really. No, really!
First Immunity Challenge: This one had two basic components, a race over a fairly simple obstacle course to retrieve puzzle pieces, and then assembling a jigsaw puzzle.
Survivor Challenge designers, when you're putting these things together, your first consideration should be: will this make for good TV? Obstacle courses make good TV. We can clearly see them. They're full of action. You can always tell who is ahead, who is falling behind, and how the standings change.
Puzzle-solving, as I have said here over and over and over, makes for crappy TV viewing. You see a person moving pieces around, cut to another player moving pieces around, repeat until Jeff shouts "Brett has won immunity!" You can not tell who is ahead, who is catching up, who is falling behind, or how they are going about playing it. All you can do is look at shots of the players moving pieces about, which can be cut together in any order, so it may well not even reflect the actual competition, until a winner is declared. Ever seen any other TV show on earth broadcast competitive jigsaw puzzle assembling? No, because, as TV viewing goes: IT'S BORING!!!
It's so boring, I wouldn't be surprised to see it added to the Winter Olympics.
Further, in this one, the obstacle course was so easy, it never became any sort of factor in who won the challenge. All that mattered was how fast you could assemble your jigsaw puzzle. Rev. Brett came in dead last on the obstacle course, and he still won the challenge, because he could assemble jigsaw puzzles faster than the Zsa Zsasians. So the obstacle course could be omitted altogether. Yawn!
But boy oh boy, does Jaison suck at jigsaw puzzles. Russell and MickMoron were both one or at most two pieces away from finishing when Rev. Brett won. But as for Jaison, who came in second on the obstacle course: his puzzle was still just a meaningless heap of pieces.
Well, at least it was quick. Jeff Probst, in his Survivor blog said that last episode's cocoanut Jenga challenge took four hours to play! What on earth took so long? Four hours of listening to Sister Nat's Prayer Warrior murmuring would have made me homicidal.
But Rev. Brett, the last Galuvian, won. At long last, a Zsa Zsasian would have to join the jury.
And then Russell made the $1,000,000 error. Stupid Russell. He could easily have voted with Jaison and MickMoron to remove Sister Nat to the jury. Had he done so, and still then gone on to defeat Brett in the next challenge, he might have another million dollars heading to Switzerland even as I write this. But no. Mr. "I'm the Smartest Person Here" Russell made his biggest mistake of the whole game: he decided to keep Sister Natalie around. Given his repeatedly demonstrated hatred and fear of women, this was an odd decision.
And I think his misogyny was behind it too. I think that, right up to the vote counting last night at CBS Television City, Russell did not believe a jury would vote for a woman to win. He was male. Of course the jury would prefer him.
Stupid, stupid Russell. He made two other overall errors, which I'll get to in due course.
Now, the strategizing and scrambling began, and through it all, Russell and Sister Nat forgot one thing that would have made it all irrelevant. Rev. Brett had bonded with Sister Nat over their shared religious delusions and Bible-fetish. She and Russell could have picked either Jaison or MickMoron as their fall-guy, and Sister Nat could have asked Rev. Brett to vote with them, and it would have been a done deal. There would be no need for Russell to work over MickMoron and Jaison, and thus make an enemy out of whomever was voted out.
But Russell reverted to his basic, Day One ploy, and he made a go-to-the-final-three alliance with each and every remaining player! Like Geoffrey Plantagenet, the little-remembered brother in between Richard the Lion-Hearted and King "Sign the Magna Carta" John, Russell believed he could sell everyone to everybody. He would have to betray two of those alliances, thus assuring himself of losing two more jury votes.
Because the other major flaw in Russell's game play was that, while he was brilliant at strategy, amazing with finding hidden idols (to the point that some of my regular commentors refuse to believe the producers weren't tipping him off, never mind that fixing a game show like that is a Federal Crime. Readers, it would be idiotic for the producers of Survivor to risk a federal prison to help Russell's game, even if they had some motive for doing so.), and one hell of a manipulator, he was no good at all at the social game. The fool thought people would vote based on what he thought was worthy game play, forgetting or unaware that people will vote for someone they like over someone they do not like every time. Every time!
Maybe if Russell had ever liked someone besides himself, he'd know this. (Yes I know he claims to love his wife and kids. Every mother who ever threw their kids off a bridge or drove them into a lake thought the same thing.)
Jaison thought that the vote out of Sister Nat was so certain, he took a nap. For an Oxford graduate, Jaison is sure dim at times. He knows Russell. He knows Russell will not be napping, but playing the game. He knows that Russell has blindsided a long list of people who thought they were his buddies. He knows his own rather consistently lame challenge play makes him useless in the struggle to beat Rev. Brett. He knows that many on the jury respect him far more than Russell, to the point where he could possibly beat him in jury votes. He knows that all this constitutes a list of reasons for Russell to blindside him. He knows all that.
Yet he took a nap.
Russell explained his Jaison vs MickMoron dilemma was that Jaison can't beat Rev. Brett in the challenge. Excuse me. Jaison beat Brett in challenges twice! The fact is that, since they do not have any idea at all what the challenge will be, thinking you know who can, let alone will, win is insane. Rev. Brett is good at puzzles. Mick is good at strength. Shambles could bowl. What if it's a trivia quiz? Jaison might do very well. What if it's an endurance contest? Who knows who will win?
But we do know who can't beat Rev. Brett in any challenge: Sister Nat. Unless it's competitive praying, she hasn't a chance. And even if it was: Rev Brett can, and worse, will, quote long passages from the Bible. He might just beat Sister Nat even at competitive praying.
Equally mistaken, Russell's reasons not to keep MickMoron over Jaison: "Mick might beat me in jury votes." In the final vote, when it came, Russell got two votes. Mick got none.
But Russell has it set in his mind. He wants to face the jury next to the last of his "Dumb-Ass Girl Alliance," because no girl could ever beat him with the jury.
Stupid, stupid man.
Jaison told us: "I think Russell and I trust each other enough that we are comfortable. When I say this, I mean it. When he says that, he means it. And so I really do think it will be myself and Russell and somebody else in the finals on Day 39." Jaison, have you met Russell? You know, the gnomish guy you've watched lie and lie and lie right to people's faces before betraying them? That guy you watched lie to Shambles's face and then vote her off just two days ago? Why on earth would you think you're immune to his treachery?
Stupid, stupid man.
MickMoron was easily maneuvered by Russell into voting against Jaison. He was convinced because "Natalie's head is much more in the game than Jaison's." Perhaps, but so what? Natalie will never beat Brett at anything.
But I'll tell you whom MickMoron can't beat in jury votes: Natalie. Natalie will wipe up the vote with him. With Jaison, he at least had a chance.
Stupid, stupid man.
Sister Nat's reasoning for voting out MickMoron? "Then it's just me, you, and Jaison in the Top Three. We have a better chance." Mick's number of jury votes against Natalie and Russell? 0.
Stupid, stupid woman.
First Tribal Council: Oh dear. Shambles has had her mullet permed since last we saw her. Doesn't help.
Jaison: "There are two or three people up here who could command a lot of jury votes." Who? Rev. Brett might come damn close to a unanimous victory if he is in the Final Three, but who else? Against Rev. Brett, nobody. And it turns out that neither Jaison, nor MickMoron, nor even Russell can command anything like a winning number of jury votes.
Jeff asked Rev. Brett if he'd been "sandbagging" challenges, pretending to be a nothing, and then suddenly turning it on in this final push. Now I don't like Rev. Brett, any more than I like anyone who spouts long Bible passages, or even short ones, or even just Biblical punctuation marks, but I'll give him credit here. He didn't claim it was a deliberate strategy, but admitted he'd hit three challenges in a row that had played to his skill sets.
But then my grief became unbearable. My beautiful Jaison fell victim to his own lack of game focus, and his inexplicable trust in Russell. In casting his vote for Jaison, Russell said, "This is the best move for me to win the game." Turns out, Russell, you outsmarted yourself. If you'd blindsided the moronic bimbo Sister Nat, and kept Jaison, as we learned later, you'd have won. Voting out my Jaison cost you $1,000,000, and I say good!
Because of when his ouster came, Jaison got no "Family Moment." Drat! I wanted a glimpse of my future in-laws.
And Jaison was left bitter towards Russell over his blindside, although it was his own stupid fault for trusting a man whom he knew was a liar who would betray his own mother to win the game. But if that was Jaison's error, one of Russell's errors was not realizing people take it personally. Russell blindsided every single member of the jury. Yet he thought they'd vote him the money if he only keeps Rev. Brett away from them.
Russell is a compulsive alliance-maker. They're meaningless, because he only means the ones that can help him at any given moment, but he can not stand having someone around who thinks they're not in an alliance with him. It would be terrible if there were even one person on that jury whom he had not betrayed. So he made a meaningless, gratuitous alliance with Rev. Brett. He had done it. He'd achieved Geoffrey Plantagenet's Dream.
But Geoffrey was the only one of Henry II's four sons who was never crowned King of England (Henry's oldest son, Henry III, never reigned, as his father outlived him, but Henry II nonetheless had Henry III crowned while Henry II still lived, actually done just to snub Thomas Becket. Lovely people, the Plantagenets.), and Geoffrey's Dream would blow up in Russell's face as well.
Russell began laying out a line of crap to Rev. Brett about how the Final Three should be the people who most deserve to be there. (You mean like Nelson Mandela, Russ?) Rev. Brett, no genius, laid out this philosophy: "I'd rather go up against someone that's harder to beat and lose, than to like put myself in a position where I'm up against people that are easier to beat and win." You have to be 20 years old, from a sufficiently comfortable background that you've never gone to bed hungry, and be utterly stupid to say something that ridiculous.
You don't go on Survivor to test yourself against better players. You go on to win a million dollars! The point isn't were your opponents worthy. The point isn't playing against people who can beat you. The point is to obtain a big wad of cash!
Stupid, stupid boy.
And he's speaking in a hollow fashion. He knows that jury consists of all but one Galuvians. If he is in the Final Three, he wins. Period. He wins. So his "I'd rather go up against someone that's harder to beat and lose" bit is a load of garbage, and he knows it.
Russell to Rev. Brett: "What I can promise you, is me and you will be in the top three." Yes, he can promise that. He'd be nuts to make good on that promise, and while Russell is evil, he's not nuts, and besides, ask each and every member of the jury if Russell kept his promises to them. Ask Jaison or Shambles.
The idea of this alliance is that, if Rev. Brett wins immunity, he won't vote to evict Russell, and if Russell wins it, he won't kick out Brett. Russell would be a fool to keep this promise, and Rev. Brett would be a fool to believe him. But then, if Brett were to win immunity, it wouldn't matter who he voted for or against. If he wins immunity, he wins the million dollars.
But then Tree Mail sent them out on the trek to the torches of the eliminated players. This is always a boring and pointless waste of air time, but they still keep doing it. And the scenery for the stroll was spectacular! So let's go along for a quick last bit on each of this season's players, most of whom, it turns out, have created fantasy myths in their heads to turn their losing the game into a victory.
Marissa. Who the hell ever remembers the person kicked out in the first episode when we get to the last episode? She was some girl who came on too strong around Russell, and became the first victim of his get-the-girls-out policy.
Marissa: "I learned a great deal about myself ..." Good, because no one watching learned anything about you beyond your name, which we quickly forgot. "... being a strong woman is way more important than getting any kind of validation from a man." Yeah sister. Right on. Of course, winning a million dollars is way more important than spouting empty 1970s feminist slogans to try and make losing look like winning.
Fat Chef Mike, the over-60 tub of lard who nearly died trying to pretend he was 30 and in-shape. Self-delusions can kill you.
Chef Mike: "I not only held my own, I made them respect me." First off Fat Mike, washing out on a medical less than a week into the game is not "holding my own." It is "failing miserably." Secondly, no one respects you.
Betsy the Cop. The woman who was actually butcher than Shambles, and smarter. But she made the big goof of letting Russell know she was wise to him.
Redneck Bigot Ben. Eradicated by Jaison for his rampant backwoods racism. Good riddance to bad rubbish. The tradition here is for the remaining players to find nice things to say about the eliminated players. MickMoron's nice comment on Ben was "I wasn't sorry to see him go." That's how awful he was. No one could come up with anything nice to say about him.
Ben: "[People] don't want to hear the truth because the truth hurts ..." Well, the truth hurt you, namely the truth that you're racist trash. Then he had this creepy addendum. "... The survival aspect, if this game was just survival, I would kill all these people." I don't think that's hyperbole or braggadocio. I think he means it. I think he would. I think those shallow graves near where he grew up should be investigated.
Yasmin From Planet X. The annoying, too-citified for the outdoors (why did she go on Survivor when she hates being outdoors? Did she think it would be a special urban edition?), beyotch who ordered everyone around, when not complaining.
Yasmin: "At the end of the day, the girl from the hood did do pretty good." No you didn't! You lost! And you were only the fourth person voted out, and the first person voted out of your tribe! Your tribe all hated you! You spent one day at the other camp, and they all hated you, and you so ignited Ben's fury (by telling him how to behave, and complaining about how he played the challenge) that he got himself voted out because of his reaction to you. You were awful! Suck on this: Shambles did way better than you did.
Whoever she is, she at least learned something from her experience. She learned that Russell was pulling the strings, and hers got pulled. At least she didn't give some bull about how "I think I did really well," like these other self-deluders.
Black Russell. The leader of Galu who, unlike Zsa Zsa's leader, actually led. If he hadn't washed out in a medical emergency, would Zsa Zsa have found Galu such easy pickings after the merge? I will always remember his massive pecs as one of the highlights of season 19, and his paternalistic, "I am man. I take care of the womenfolk" attitude as a real leftover from 19th Century male chauvinism. Speaking as a womanfolk, we can take care of ourselves just fine, thank you. Take note. You lost. A woman won.
And his Victorian paternalism hasn't deserted him. Here's what Black Russell had to say about his near-death experience on Survivor: "But for my wife and my daughter, knowing that they're there, waiting on me to come home, if it wasn't for them, I would-a rather died that day." (Note: not they're "waiting for me," but they're "waiting on me." Hand and foot, I imagine.)
If you know Black Russell, make sure he reads this. Email it to him, snail mail it to him. Rub it under his nose. And then slap him. Russell, that statement was pathetic! Your daughter will hear this, if indeed she wasn't watching. She should learn her dad is such a douchebag, he'd rather die than lose on a game show? Life is too precious a gift to throw away because you lost a game show. You should be ashamed of yourself. Deeply ashamed. Someone should have slapped your face when you said that, and I hope your wife hauls off and slaps you good and hard for even thinking such a thing.
You disgust me.
Liz, the abrasive Asian woman who rubbed Russell and me the wrong way. Said Sister Nat of Liz: "She was physical, let me tell you." Yes she was. She occupied space, had mass and volume, she could be touched, smelt, tasted, seen, and unfortunately, heard.
Erik the bartender. Said MickMoron of Erik: "Fierce competitor, almost psycho." Almost? This was the man who had a blood feud with a chicken. (And came in second)
Erik: "Voting me out was the downfall of Galu, and so I am completely content with how things ended up." He's "content" with blowing a million dollars because none of the people who betrayed him won either? I smell the fine odor of mendacity here. Also, he has not snapped to the fact that voting him out was Sister Nat's bright little plan. This forgotten detail will lead to irony in his vote.
Kelly. Who? The shots of her look like reused shots of Ashley. Are they sure these are two different people?
Kelly: "I could-a done it." Then why didn't you? Kelly, if you could have, you would have. You didn't choose to leave the game. You lost!
The Viper Queen. Evil Incarnate. Voting her out isn't enough. She needs a stake through the heart.
The Viper Queen: "I was clearly like one of the oldest people that was out there ..." Oh please. Black Russell, Shambles, Betsy, and Fat Mike were all older than you. You're still in your thirties. The age card won't play here, you evil cow. But do go on. "... You know what? You still can't beat me... You can't beat this gramma." Ah, actually, they did beat you. Notice how you are on the jury, and part of this parade of losers? That's called being beaten. Amazing how many of these losers think they won when they lost.
Old John. Said Russell of this rocket scientist: "For some reason he thought I was telling him the truth." Are you listening Rev. Brett, Sister Natalie, and MickMoron? He's reminding you, yet again, that all he does is lie and make fake promises. Why do any of you think that you're the sole exception to his lie-to-everyone rule? He makes no exceptions. Are you listening, Mrs. Russell? He makes no exceptions.
Old John's clip included a lovely shot of his tugging on a rope which caused his crotch, bulging in an attractive manner, to get thrust into our faces in slow motion, even slower when I reran the shot four times in my homo slow-mo. Old John: "But your ability to connect with idiots who can't process things properly is a lot of what this comes down to." How very, very true. "Idiots who can't process things properly" is the perfect description for about 15 of these players. In fact, "T-Shirt Designer" Rev. Brett should make up a T-shirt that reads: "Idiot who can't process things properly" and give it to Shambles. Tell her it says "These colors don't run," and she'll wear it proudly everywhere. (I've seen nothing to convince me she can read. She had half the camp read her idol clues for her.)
Dimwit Dave. The creepy, so-smart-he-doesn't-know-he's-an-idiot guy whose revolting body made my flesh crawl every time he went shirtless, which was all the time. He strutted his skeletal, emaciated frame (He arrived in Samoa already looking like he'd just finished playing Survivor) around nearly nude as though he were one of the hunks. He strutted his mouth around as though he were one of the brains. He was neither.
Not-Laura. The Viper Queen's identical handmaiden who made little impression, though what impression she did make was bad. So bad that Russell again broke with tradition in his - ah - eulogy: "I think [Not-Laura] was the fakest person here." This from a man who never spoke the truth, and who told people he'd lost his house and his doggie in Hurricane Katrina. Also, "fakest" is a fake word. There is no such word as "fakest."
Not-Laura had one of the weirdest versions of the I-really-won delusion: "You come to a point where you're like, you know what? I'm going to do this for myself, and I'm going to put my awl out there. And that is, in itself, is winning a million dollars." No it isn't. Winning a million dollars, something you failed to do, is winning a million dollars. I don't care if it's the most fancy, diamond-encrusted awl in the whole of the leather-working world, no awl is worth a million dollars.
Shambles. Rev. Brett reminded the remaining Zsa Zsasians that their triumph was due in large part to Shambles's lack of integrity, her disloyalty, her willingness to betray her own people, and her unfathomable stupidity. They agreed. They were all glad Shambles had been such a malleable, gullible fool. And Russell wasn't finished profiting from her idiocy either.
Shambles: "I was alienated, shunned, disrespected ..." And that was just in the first grade. Thank you. I'm here all week. Please tip your waitress. "... It makes me incredibly proud and happy that God made me the person that I am." Okay Shambles, don't blame God for what you are, whatever the hell you are. God has a perfect alibi. She doesn't exist. But I know few who find being alienated, shunned and disrespected makes them proud and happy. I'll give you this, Shambles, you are unique - I hope! Two of you would be too many. Hell, one is too many.
Jaison. Man of integrity. World traveler. Oxford graduate. Stanford law student. The most gorgeous player of Survivor: Samoa. Also given to fits of fecklessness, easily discouraged, not a quitter, but a near-quitter, and too trusting.
Jaison: "I am really proud of myself for not-quitting ..." That's setting your pride bar rather low. "... I take away from this a new confidence in myself to be able to get through difficult hard times." As opposed to easy hard times? At least he didn't say, "Well, although I got duped, betrayed, and voted out, I kept my self-respect, so I really won."
Final Immunity Challenge: Okay, lame as the preceding immunity challenge was, this one was a real nail-biter. For one thing, it would decide who won the game, because if Rev. Brett won immunity, he would win the million dollars. The jury would be seven Galuvians to a single Zsa Zsasian, and those Galuvians would be looking to reward their compatriot for avenging them all against the Cult of Russell. If Rev. Brett is in the Final Three, he wins. Simple as that.
Secondly, the challenge itself was good. It was simple, visual, and played well on TV. The players were balancing statues on poles. Every couple minutes they had to add another length to the pole, making it both longer and also less steady. Last one to drop their statue wins immunity.
How lame is MickMoron? He went out first. I wouldn't have thought Sister Nat had a shot at balancing hers more than 30 seconds, but she outlasted MickMoron, though only by seconds, and she barely avoided getting her skull knocked open by the plummeting statue.
So there it was, Russell and Rev. Brett going to head-to-head, and my gracious, it was gripping and suspenseful! The poles, as they got longer, got more and more wobbly. A bit of breeze came up, not helping at all. One errant gust would do it. Suddenly a challenge seemed to be directed by Hitchcock. (Dear Hitch. I wish I could tell you about the film I did with him, Amnesia, but I can't seem to remember a thing about it. Critics called it "unforgettably forgettable.") It was edge-of-the-chaise-lounge viewing, right up to the moment when Russell won his first-ever individual challenge, and Rev. Brett lost a million dollars.
Said Russell: "This [the immunity necklace] is worth a million dollars right now. In my opinion, I just won the game." Ah Russell, your opinion is moot. Only the jury's opinion matters, and they have a quite different idea.
Rev. Brett, with only Russell's promise to take him to the Final Three to fall back on, a promise Russell would have to be dumber than Shambles to keep, is already rehearsing his face-saving spin on how losing is really just winning in a lower tax bracket: "Its been an awesome experience, for sure. I'm like a little girl, all emotional." I don't know how emotional he is, but he is rather like a little girl, completely flat-chested.
A teensy bit of suspense was milked out of Russell floating around the idea of voting with Rev. Brett, creating a MickMoron-Rev. Brett tie, then going to a fire-making challenge, let the best man win. In other words, letting chance in. This would be a monumentally stupid thing to do. This would be insanity on so high a level, it should result in involuntary commitment.
But Russell was choked on pride and hubris in the wake of winning one challenge, albeit, truly the crunch challenge, but there were still the previous fifteen immunity challenge losses to mitigate his overweening pride. But Russell's pride was not to be mitigated.
Russell: "So what do you all think of my chances of winning a million dollars now?"
"Um, I think that you're going to win," said the woman shortly to win.
Said Russell of Rev. Brett: "He's the kind of guy that I want my daughters to meet one day." He's a Bible-thumper. Why on earth would you want your kids to hook-up with a Bible-thumper? That's the sort of person a sane human dreads their daughters meeting. He's the sort who would insist on saying grace before cocktails, who would be hitting you with Bible quotes, who would bring your grandkids up in a church, the sort of jerk who puts the Christ back into Christmas after I've gone to all the trouble of getting him out. Why doesn't anyone ever want to "put the X back into Xmas"? That sounds like a lot more fun.
MickMoron had a paranoia attack, becoming convinced that Russell was going to keep Rev. Brett. Russell was floating this idea to Rev. Brett, even repeating that nauseating bit about wanting his daughters to meet someone like him. (Little Russell girls, run for your lives! As soon as you're 18 that is.) I understand why the producers included this footage; to try to create some artificial suspense about the vote. But I do not understand why Russell was even bothering to consider it. He would be a ripe fool to do it. He floated the idea that maybe letting Rev. Brett control his own fate might make the jury respect him for keeping the strongest player around. Russell, nothing short of single-handedly landing an airbus in the Hudson without losing a single life would get you the jury's respect at this point.
But Russell can not stop playing the game. He may well have gone on playing it for weeks after he got home, and he and his family were discussing the ways they would spend the money he returned from Samoa convinced he had in his pocket. So he went on pointlessly leading Rev. Brett on. Maybe he was hoping to find a way to betray him that would still land him Rev. Brett's vote. No such luck. His vote would be solidly for his Prayer Warrior buddy Sister Nat. Once they bonded over the Bible, this pugnacious pagan was out of luck there.
Second Tribal Council: Jaison was almost unrecognizable. He'd removed every strand of hair on his head except his eyebrows (and even they were gone by the time we hit the reunion show), and was wearing glasses. Was that why he did so poorly at so many challenges? He couldn't really see them well enough? Jaison, if you need glasses, why weren't you wearing them all through the game? Maybe if you'd worn your glasses, you'd have seen Russell reaching up to stab you in the back. Jaison is still beautiful, but he looked better with hair and the beard. If he's shaved his chest again, I may have to slap his hands. Anyway, it was nice to see him in a clean blue shirt, instead of that filthy, rotted old yellow one, though no shirt would still be preferable.
Poor Jeff had to keep some blather going here, but honestly. This was not going to be a blindside. We all know Rev. Brett is going, so why not get on with it?
Since Russell had not lost his mind, Rev. Brett was shortly showering, shaving, and joining the jury. All of Galu was gone. The underdog, loser tribe of Zsa Zsa was going to produce the winner, the most amazing tribal come-from-behind (Little Dougie's favorite way) in Survivor history.
But Rev. Brett was not immune to the "Even though I lost, I really won" syndrome: "I kinda feel like I went out on my own accord to some degree." Oh? You voted for yourself to be eliminated? You chose to lose the immunity challenge? Because it looked to me like you were fighting to stay in the game. The only way for you to leave on your own accord (as opposed to leaving of your own accord, which would be grammatically correct.) Would be if you bought yourself a Honda Accord with the money you didn't win, and drove yourself away in it.
As I've said, Russell can not stop playing the game. Rather than laze about the last day, as is the custom, he was busy trying to psyche out MickMoron and Sister Nat over what they would say to the jury at Final Tribal Council.
Russell proposed a screwdriver toast (I assume they were screwdrivers. Surely no one is so depraved as to drink orange juice without vodka! Yuck!) Saying: "You know, I said from Day One that I was going to get here, and here I am." And this makes you different from Sister Nat and MickMoron how?
Sister Nat tried explaining to Russell that her aligning herself with him on Day One was her strategy, although there were roughly seven people that aligned with Russell on Day One, and two or three more the next day. Said Russell: "If you want second place, you'll have to do better than that" Note that: "if you want second place." He was already assuming that she had no shot at winning. He had that locked up. All she could do was battle MickMoron for second place. Watching this a second time as I write, after seeing it through to the end already, this irony was delicious!
Russell told them the logic he intended to use on the jury: "Here behind me I have sitting ..." Note: not with him, but behind him. "The nice guy and the nice girl. Have they outwitted me? Have they outplayed me? If they have, give them the money, because they deserve it." I see the logic. He most certainly did out play and outwit these two witless dolts. The problem for Russell is though, that's not how Survivor juries think. They vote for whom they like! And the guy who engineered the blindside of every single one of them is not well-liked. When Willy Lohman yelled at his son Biff "You gotta be well-liked," he may have been wrong about Life, but he was telling him how to win Survivor.
MickMoron was closer to reality when he postulated that some on the jury might say they liked his path better than Russell's, and give him their vote. He had only two problems with that: 1. Although the jury tends to vote for whom they like, it turned out he was even less popular than Russell. And the second problem, well, we'll get to that in council, but here's a hint: $.
"Don't make me make you look stupid on the jury. I'll put you in the jury," Russell threatened Sister Nat. First off, he meant "Don't make me make you look stupid in front of the jury." Secondly, she's perfectly capable of making herself look stupid without any help. In fact, not making herself look and/or sound stupid is quite beyond her range. And as for putting her in the jury: it's way too late for that.
As Sister Nat cooked them all eggs, Russell counted off the votes he was certain he had locked in: Shambles, Dave, Brett, John, and Erik. Well, he was right about Shambles, but I am mystified as to why he thought any of these others would vote for him. He betrayed John. He just betrayed Brett, who is Sister Nat's fellow Prayer Warrior anyway, so he'd be voting for her regardless. Dave doesn't like him. Russell was lolling in smug arrogance, yet, for the first time all season, he was coming across as just as stupid as all of the others.
And the strategic advantage he was gaining by playing this mind-game was non-existent. It was just meanness to his allies for no real reason. Remember this when he claims he isn't the bad guy he "played" on TV. This was meanness for the sake of meanness.
Before leaving for the Final Council, they torched their camp into an inferno, and then wandered off, leaving it roaring. We saw them heading down the beach, with smoke belching up from their camp. If only we'd seen the huge tongues of flames from the forest conflagration they'd started, but I suppose the TV crew had fire wardens to put out the blaze before it consumed the whole island.
But as they walked, we also heard Russell's last belching of egotistical delusion: "If Mick or Natalie won this game over me, that would just be a shame. You know, it wouldn't make any sense to me. ... I really think this jury is going to put my name down. I've accomplished the impossible out here, all by myself, and brought a couple of bums along with me." Ignoring for a moment his casual contempt for his two remaining allies, I have to point out that:
1. He has not "accomplished the impossible." If he's accomplished something, then it was not impossible. You can not accomplish the impossible. Does he know what the word "impossible" even means?
2. What he has accomplished, he did not accomplish all by himself. He had help, a lot from the "couple of bums" still with him, and some from some people he later betrayed who are now sitting on the jury, waiting for him.
Final Tribal Council: Jeff pointed out that all three of the finalists had voted to oust every single member of the jury. There was not one person innocent of the juror's plight. While interesting, this merely evened out the playing field. They were all three at an equal disadvantage with all the jurors.
In his opening statement, MickMoron relied on the idea that he had played a moral game: hadn't lied or needlessly stomped on people. We all knew whom he was inferring had done that. But whoops. He'd participated in blindsiding every member of the jury except Rev. Brett. Just because he let Russell do all the dirty work didn't make him innocent of it, as he had connived at it. And you could see it wasn't playing. In fact both Shambles and Jaison were shaking their heads in denial of his fake claims of moral piety.
Sister Nat's statement was even more disingenuous. She simply blathered on about how this was the hardest thing she had ever done, how people told her she was crazy (I'm sure that's happened all her life, but what has it to do with Survivor?), how the experience had been humbling for her (How big an egotist must she have been before, if this is her humbled?) and ending with this odd statement: "Without each and every one of you, I would not be sitting here. I appreciate it. Thank you." Huh? How is it she would not be sitting there without each and every one of them? Are the jury her parents? Did they all pitch in money to send her to Samoa? Is she referring to the fact that only their being voted out meant she got to stay in? Was she thanking them for letting her blindside them? What was she talking about?
Russell took his position that his brilliant game play should be rewarded, so he recounted, one-by-one, how he shafted each of them. Russell, who up to this episode, has been very smart, suddenly turned enormously stupid. Apparently he actually thought that reminding them, proudly reminding them, of how he had personally screwed all of them, dashed their dreams and hopes just to feed his ego, would win their votes. He has made the essential blunder of all sociopaths, forgetting that other people are actually other people, and not extensions of his own fantasies. He expected them to vote according to his vision of anything-to-win, screwing-you-over-means-I-deserve-to-win ethic, because he would. He doesn't realize that they are not him. They are other people, real people, whom he has screwed over, doing so smugly and proudly to feed his ego, and guess what? They resent him for it.
Except for Shambles, who is too stupid to work out that it was he who screwed her over, who tempted her into betraying her own tribe, and who took away her solid gold Harley. She still thinks of him as her friend, even though he lied to her face, and betrayed her.
He wound up with: "May the best man win," and there was just a momentary flicker in Sister Nat's eyes as she caught the subliminal insult. She tucked it away, assuming he just meant "man" in the sense of "human." He didn't. He meant man, specifically himself. And to our old misogynist, it was down to him and MickMoron, because, of course, no one would give the money to a girl. Why would you give a woman the prize? She hasn't got a penis.
However, the women on the jury caught the insult, except for Shambles of course. Russell had just talked himself out of Kelly's, The Viper Queen's, and Not-Laura's votes, if he'd ever had them at all.
Jaison went next. He let each finalist speak about their financial situations, and then added facts to what they said. Sister Nat said how she'd quit her job to do the show. Jaison pointed out that she squirreled away a heap of money first. Russell tried to make himself sound like a small businessman, struggling to keep a just-turned-solvent business afloat. Jaison then made sure that everyone knew Russell has a seven figure income, and is already a millionaire. You could see that Russell wanted to kill him. MickMoron brought up a $320,000 student loan debt that got him through medical school that he felt would take him years to pay off. Jaison said: "Doctors do get paid very well, especially when you get fellowships at one of the most prestigious hospitals in America." Oops. Well there went pleading poverty.
We can count on Shambles to be startling and bizarre, and she did not disappoint. First off, seeing her in make-up was disconcerting. Why was she trying to look like a woman? Oh right. I forgot. She sort of is one. The low-cut blouse showing off the boobs could turn Warren Beatty gay. And the perm in the mullet made her look like a tranny verison of Billy Ray Cyrus 15 years ago.
But it was what she had to say that really startled: "I would just like to apologize to America for dismantling Galu, because I'm really questioning that judgement call at this point." Is she repenting of her alliance with Russell? I can see her apologizing to Galu, but why apologize to "America"? Shambles, America doesn't care.
She asked MickMoron if his overall game play could be called "feckless." MickMoron replied: "I would actually have to look up 'feckless.' I don't know what feckless is."
Shambles quickly replied: "Well I think that's a really good idea after this is over. I'm done with you." So she didn't know what it meant either. As a scathing put-down of MickMoron, I found it feckless.
("Feckless" - adjective: 1. Ineffectual, feeble. 2. Unthinking and irresponsible. The first meaning would certainly describe MickMoron's tribal leadership, but his gameplay got him to the finals, which is more than her feckless gameplay did.)
But oh, her toss-out to Sister Nat was even better: "Natalie, the word that just is resonatin' in my mind ..." [Was Shambles up all night with a Thesaurus?] "... that starts with a 'C,' can you finish it?"
This caused an interruption at my home. I was swallowing some vodka at that moment, and Shambles's request to Sister Nat to finish her C-word caused me to do a full-strength, Danny Thomas spit-take, drenching Little Dougie and the computer in booze that is much too pricey to waste on drenching him. It also caused me to freeze-frame the DVR on a shot of MickMoron doing a bug-eyed take that showed he thought it was the same word I did.
Sister Nat was not to be baited: "I'm gonna let you finish it, Sham." On CBS prime time?
Shambles: "Coattail." Jeff Probst looked disappointed. Frankly, given that Sister Nat is from Arkansas, with a backwoods drawl, I had naturally assumed the word was "country," only perhaps, in her haste, omitting the second syllable. As for being a put-down, again, coattail-riding is a perfectly legitimate strategy, and has won this game for more than one annoying dishrag of a person.
Sister Nat explained how she saw what happened to Marissa and Betsy when they got too aggressive, and chose her way of playing to survive, which she did quite well, but before she could finish her reply, Shambles rudely interrupted her: "I'm calling just major BS on your sentence you just hit me with. I'm like cracking up inside like you have no idea." Oh I think I have an idea how much she's cracking up. What little sanity Shambles had leaking was leaking out her ears and caking in her hair. Anyway, Shambles announced that she was not voting for MickMoron or Sister Nat. Gee, then who is she voting for? Oh yes, the guy who used her, lied to her face, and, when it suited him, shafted her right into the jury. Why?
This is about Sister Nat not letting Shambles join her in the shower at the auction, isn't it?
Rev. Brett asked MickMoron out on a date! Well no wonder he didn't really even try to get into Sister Nat's panties, even after they connected over Jesus. I guess this was Rev. Brett's subtle way of letting MickMoron know, if he wanted Brett's vote, he'd have to put out. Works for me.
MickMoron describing his and Rev. Brett's future date: "Wake you up a little sweet nothing in your ear.
Rev. Brett: "That's a good beginning." Rev. Brett, you have been flying under the radar! Or should I say, flying under the gaydar? I might add, Rev. Brett sat down again, without asking anything of Russell or Sister Nat, who was busy anyway, expunging him from her Prayer Warriors rolls. After all, how can she pray to end gay rights with a homo right in the squad, hitting on doctors?
Kelly, after expressing disdain for Sister Nat's helpless (or even - dare I say it? - feckless) female act, hit Russell with the big question, the real question: "Russell, you've said many times, you're going to lie, cheat and steal your way through this game. Does that apply to your real life also?"
"No," Russell lied, "Not at all. I am one hundred percent different outside of this game."
You don't go on TV and transform into someone else. In the pressure of this game's ordeals (ordeals so severe that it nearly killed not just a fat old man in his 60s, but also a bull-like tower of strength in the prime of his life), you find out who you really are. It reveals you.
But Russell went right on lying, "I don't want my kids to think that this is how I really am. I'm not like this at all." He's the anti-Popeye: I'm not what I am. Russell, you can tell your kids whatever you want. By the time they graduate high school, they will know who you really are, not whom you pretend to be. What you say to kids doesn't matter. All they ever hear is what you do.
Kelly: "Instead of lie, cheat and steal, in real life, maybe three words will replace that?" (I played it over and over, and as near as I can hear, that garbled sentence is what she said.)
Russell: "May be hard to believe, but honor, integrity, and loyalty." No, it's not hard to believe.
It's impossible to believe!
You want to know what your daughters will get from watching this show, Russell? Don't do what Daddy does. Do what Daddy says. You must be kind, honest and truthful - unless you're on a TV game show playing to win a million dollars, and to indulge your ego, by trying to show that you're smarter than all the chumps who don't just talk about trust and loyalty, but actually practice it. If you're playing on TV for a million dollars, kids, there are no rules. Lie, cheat, screw your friends, betray your allies, stab every back you see turned towards you. And then mock your victims and laugh at them on camera. Morals are for suckers.
When MickMoron, in answer to a question from Not-Laura, tried to put himself out as morally-superior to Russell, Russell called him on it, pointing out that he was behind him, cheering him on, more than glad to help, and to benefit from it. Yup. Both Sister Nat and MickMoron were Russell's accomplices, and are just as guilty of his lying and betrayals as he is. Only his ego and his gloating are his sins alone.
Dimwit Dave's question was boring.
The Viper Queen's question, not surprisingly for one so self-involved and evil, was about herself: "Russell, what did you learn about me that enabled you to beat me." It's the old joke: Enough about me; let's talk about you. What do you like best about me?
Russell's convoluted answer ended with: "If it wouldn't a took place like it did, I don't have a doubt in my mind you would be here right now." In the words of the late, great Anna Russell (no relation to Russell, I hope for her sake): "Things would be so different if they were not as they are."
In answer to a request to "Blow my mind" from Old John (He must be old, to have finished that request with "mind."), MickMoron said, "In terms of character, you're not going to find a better, more solid guy up here. You're just not. I'm not one of those people who thinks that the ends justify the means, and you don't treat people like pawns." But MickMoron not only went along with Russell's behavior, but he aided and abetted every one of his assassinations and betrayals. His mealy-mouthed defense was actually costing him votes.
Erik asked no questions. He was just up to lecture them. He said to Russell: "Did you get to the right place by behaving the wrong way? I've never been in a situation in my entire life where that was the case." He hasn't? He, the womanizing bartender, never lied his way into a girl's bed? He missed the presidential election of 2000? Has he never watched Survivor before going on it? Has he never heard the name Richard Hatch?
He rather perceptively referred to MickMoron's pose as "delusional entitlement." He quickly made it clear that he was voting for Sister Nat. I guess he never worked out that she was the one who engineered his blindside. I wonder if, when he saw that on TV, he repented of his vote too late. He may have suspected. He wrote his vote as "Ratalie." He insulted her at the same time as he voted to give her a million dollars. Erik darling, I have a list of foul and vile names you can call me, as long as a million dollars comes with each one.
Results & Reunion Show: The vote count was done live in CBS Television City here in Los Angeles. I can't think why I wasn't invited to be there. How rude, after all the loyal write-ups and advice I've given them. Harumph!
Five votes for Natalie, two for Russell, two uncounted. Oh Russell, all that plotting and planning, all that gloating and bragging, all that wallowing in public amorality, and you still lost.
How'd everyone look? Well Russell has lost weight in his face since doing the show, although his belly was back to full size. Maybe his hat was too big.
Sister Nat had not simply regained the weight she had lost, but had gotten rather plump. Her face was practically twice as wide as it had been at Tribal council three minutes before. Her face is now, well, fat. Even clean, made-up, and with her hair groomed and shiny, she still looked better on the island. I would not have recognized her. MickMoron had shaved off the beard (which was too bad. It was becoming to him) and his face had filled in somewhat, though not nearly as much as Sister Nat's.
Shambles has gained rather a lot of weight. Remember that she took off 70 pounds to do the show. She hasn't put all of that weight back on again yet, but she's easily gone half the distance.
The interesting thing is, Russell was clearly very upset about losing. It was not just disappointment. He looked offended to have lost. He played the best, strongest game. He dominated the whole season. No one denies that. He deserved to win! How dare they deny him his just reward? He was like my darling Vincent Price in the masterful horror comedy Theater of Blood, driven to murder all of the London theater critics because they denied him an acting award he felt he deserved.
Except that Russell didn't outplay and outwit. He did a hell of a lot right, but he forgot, or never understood, that it is still a social game. To win, you have to not just last to the end. You have to get the jury to vote for you. Their votes are not going to be based on your criteria. It will be based on theirs. He was offended because he felt he deserved to win, although why anyone would feel such monumental duplicity should be rewarded I can not imagine, nor could anyone else, except Shambles, and whoever his other vote was from. (They did not reveal who voted for whom, nor even count all the votes, once one player had a majority. We know only that Erik voted for "Ratalie," and Shambles voted for Russell.)
A player who was really as smart as Russell thought he was, would find out what makes each player tick, so he'd know what the key was to unlocking each individual vote, and play that. Russell thought he'd get votes because he found idols, and bamboozled a sad sack of a tribe, and one deranged loon in a mullet into doing his bidding, only to find out that the phrase "deserves to win" means different things to different people.
"You don't think I had a good social game?" Russell asked Jeff, and via proxy, me, "I had Jaison, I had Mick, Natalie, Shambo. They trusted me. That's why they stayed with me. That sounds like a pretty damn good social game to me."
No it doesn't. Jaison ended up voting against you. And almost the entire jury, certainly a majority of them, loathed you so much, they gave the money to the blond bimbo who rode in on your coattails. They didn't do that because they felt she deserved it. They gave it to her because they considered her the least of three evils. Your social game is why Natalie is now a millionaire.
Jeff, master Sadist, polled the jury as to whether, had Russell brought Shambles and Jaison to the end instead of Sister Nat and MickMoron, he would still have lost. Oops. According to the jury poll, he'd have won. But because he wouldn't listen to me, and voted out my beloved Jaison, and kept the Prayer Warriorette and the dimwitted doctor, he lost.
But we had not yet plumbed the deepest depths of Russell's ego. He made an astonishing, insane offer. He offered to give Natalie $10,000 if she'd deed him the title of "Sole Survivor."
The thing is, Russell, if you buy it, it's meaningless. She won. That's it. That's over. She won the title. Even if she deeded it over to you, she'd still be the winner. You'd still be the loser.
But typical of Russell, here we are, so many months after the game ended that they've shot a whole additional season since, and Russell is still playing the game!
However, a $10,000 bribe means little to a woman who just won a million dollars ten minutes earlier. She turned him down flat. Jeff thought she was nuts. To just let him call himself "Sole Survivor," she could get a big chunk of additional change (which Jeff inflated ten times, to $100,000. Well, it isn't his money.). Jeff announced he'd have taken it.
In one nicely humorous moment, Russell had brought some socks to give Jaison for the ones he had burned, but when Jaison basically gave his opinion about what a louse Russell is, Russell took out the new socks, and burned them again!
We got a Shambles montage, opening with Black Russell choosing Shambles (whom, in his defense, he had just met seconds before), as the "smartest" player on his team. It seemed unlikely back when we saw the first episode. Now that we've seen the whole series, we know she was hands down, not merely the stupidest person on Black Russell's tribe, but the stupidest player of the whole season, and possibly the stupidest person that's ever been allowed to play Survivor at all. The montage showed many of her dorkiest, most embarassing moments, along with a lot of people basically saying what an idiot she is. Cut to Shambles live in the studio, having watched it as we did, with a pained, forced smile on her face.
Hilariously, Shambles was wearing a headband the exact same color as the shirt Erik was wearing seated just behind her, which made her look like the top of her head had been sliced off, and was hovering in the air an inch and a half above her head, and in the gap where her brain should be, nothing but a void. That this image was unplanned and utterly accidental only made it funnier.
Her caption still gave her occupation as "Former Marine." That's not an occupation. That's what she used to do. Are her current employers, if any, ashamed to be publically identified with her? Also, it turns out her last name is Waters. She does suggest a character from a 1970s John Waters movie, someone Edith Massey would have played if only she'd been less talented. Just the day before, BBC America had aired David Tennent's penultimate Doctor Who story, The Waters of Mars. Now we know who Shambles's family is. She one of The Waters of Mars. The hair is alien. No wonder she thinks she can talk to chickens.
Turns out kids love her. This makes sense. She has the intellect and maturity of a third grader, albeit, a not-too-bright one.
They put up a photo of Shambles in 1986 when, not only was the mullet darker, but, to my amazement, she was actually kind of pretty, except for the hair. Although it is clearly the same face, all the prettiness of that earlier, hopelessly dim woman is gone now.
The revolting Viper Queen (with their still giving her profession as "Office Manager" rather than "co-ordinator for conservative lobbyists and servant of Satan, plus Ladies Pastor") said of her relationship with Shambles, "There's been forgiveness given." That's the usual hypocritical, holier-than-thou Christian stunt of trying to appear morally superior to your enemies by declaring that you've "forgiven" them. It is always mealy-mouthed hypocrisy. "Forgiveness" is just a word they use, without truly ever forgiving anything. Popes used to forgive people too, and then would signal for the torches to light the pyres under the stakes the forgiven heretics were chained to.
Yasmin From Planet X jumped on the hypocrisy bandwagon, saying of Redneck Bigot Ben, "I was raised to forgive. Definitely not forget, but I forgive Ben." That forgiven-but-not-forgotten bit is Christian hypocrisy at it's purest. If you truly forgive someone, you forget about it. They "definitely not forget," because they are only saying they forgive you to try and look holier than you. Christians: they may kill you with kindness, but they will kill you one way or another.
Dimwit Dave: "I found that coming out, I really felt like I had a new family." Dave came out? About time. I mean I read his CBS bio: no girlfriend, no wife, degree in opera, former flight attendant. One of those might apply to a straight man, but all of them?
Black Russell talked about watching his near death experience on TV with his wife. He described her as screaming, "You're dead!" and his being unable to convince her that he was not dead, since he was sitting next to her, speaking to her, but she kept yelling, "No, you're dead!" It takes a special kind of love to go on a high-rated CBS TV show and deliberately make your wife sound like an utter moron.
Viewers phoned in votes for a Viewer's Favorite prize of $100,000. Not at all surprisingly, it went to Psycho Russell. Well, he did make the season entertaining, and people seem to love a rogue, and it's a lot easier to like Russell if you never meet him in person. I might add, I've had commentors here backing up their assertions that the hidden immunity idols were fixed, with the producers flaunting federal laws to all but hand Russell the idols, since he found each in less time than it takes to type this sentence. I pointed out in my replies to them exactly what Russell said here, that he spent hours and hours and hours looking for them. It's just editing that made it look like he couldn't scratch his butt without an immunity idol falling out. (Some of you are so cynical.)
Jeff also brought up Russell's famous comment, "The Dumb-Ass Girl Alliance," this being a man who lives surrounded by women: a wife, two daughters, a large mother, no sons. Well Jeff, everyone knows that there's nothing that can make a man into a virulent woman-hater faster than being the only male in a household of women. But Jeff did point out what needed to be pointed out, that one of those dumb-ass girls beat him out for the million.
Then Jeff let us meet the poor woman married to Russell. She of course spoke glowingly of him. (She said he was charming. Has she forgotten that we've been watching him for three months?) Of course she did. Jeff won't be going back to Texas to protect her from him. She was wearing long-sleeves, the type that could cover bruises. I'm not saying she has bruises, just that, the way she was dressed, we'd never see the wounds, the cuts, or the brandings.
Jeff yanking Redneck Bigot Ben from a competition was brought up. Jeff: "Just so I can feel safe going home tonight, are we okay?"
Ben: "We're cool, buddy." But his mike was shut off before he probably said under-his-breath, It won't be tonight, and you'll never see it coming, you bastard
Jeff couldn't resist pointing out to MickMoron that the home audience didn't vote for him either.
Fat Chef Mike is now just Chef Mike, as he has lost 65 pounds since doing the show. Well he certainly had it to lose. And Russell had Survivor: Samoa to lose, and did.
So that's it for Survivor: Samoa. Come February 11, season 20 of Survivor will arrive, an all-star season, pitching a tribe of past-show villains (what do you want to bet that Russell looked facially gaunt from having done the next Survivor already? Oh please, do not let ex-Coach Wade, aka Voldedork, be on the new season.) against a tribe of past-show heroes. Barring my getting a better gig, I'll be back here, running it down by merrily insulting all and sundry. In between then and now, I'll be back in two weeks with my round-up of the years dead celebrities. The "deadline" is soon, so if you're famous and you want to be included, better pop off fast now. (Nice show of commitment, Brittany.) I'll also be recapping the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. (The Oscars too, of course, but Survivor will be back before then.)
Meanwhile, have a very merry annual Christian Cultural Incursion, and a Happy Arbitrarily-Chosen Spot in our orbit of the Sun. And cheers darlings.
To read more of Tallulah Morehead, go to The Morehead, the Merrier, or buy her book, My Lush Life.