For Russell, Survivor is now the Crying Game

Hope you’ll place the Sheppard Stamp on my latest 5 Redemption Island Revelations:

5. Crybabyitis – The self-proclaimed King of Samoa is dead. This season was supposed to be a showdown between Boston Rob and Russell designed to settle the score from Heroes vs. Villains. Unfortunately, Russell irritated his tribe so much, they decided to throw a challenge to rid themselves of him as soon as humanly possible.

Russell had a shot at redemption, but once again, he came up short. Russell talked the talk until the bitter end, but his gameplay could not back it up. Russell is a great survivor player, but he showed zero desire to adapt his game to fit his current situation. Russell insisted his way of playing the game was right and then sobbed uncontrollably and blamed the other players once he lost. Russell Hantz has said the game of Survivor is flawed. Right about now, it feels like it’s working just fine.

4. Boston Besting – Boston Rob has a lot of things going his way these days. For Boston Rob, he saw his nemesis defeated without lifting a finger, he has a vice-grip on the entire Ometepe tribe and now holds the precious hidden immunity idol. Everything looks good until you remember that Team Boston Rob is now 1-3 in the challenges and the one victory came when Zapatera threw the contest.

Make no mistake, Boston Rob is in a great position within his own tribe, but he’s in a world of trouble come the merge. Being down in the numbers at the merge is by no means a death sentence, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Zapatera isn’t gunning for Rob. Faced with that scenario, Boston Rob likely won’t have to be faking stomach irregularities for much longer.

3. The Pink Panther – After a quiet episode last week, Phillip was back in full force. Is it too early to start dusting off a space in the Smithsonian for Phillips fuchsia underwear? My love for Phillip only grows every week, much like the ever-expanding blurred area covering Phillips exposed nether regions.

Phillips contributions to this week’s episode were more than just underwear modeling. While Boston Rob seems to have a soft spot for Phillip, Phillip attempted to get a new alliance going with Kristina. Phillip even attempted to gain favor for Kristina by giving Boston Rob the information that Ralph foolishly leaked on Redemption Island.

Rob needs to be very careful about keeping Phillip in his plans. I believe that Phillip is the Gilligan of Survivor Redemption Island. Every week on “Gilligan’s Island” the Professor would concoct some elaborate plan to get off the island and without fail Gilligan would somehow screw it up. As the skipper of this tribe, Rob needs to remember that the longer Phillip is around the more likely he is going to mess up HIS elaborate plans. Luckily, for Ginger, Mary-Anne and company, the real Gilligan wore boxers.

2. Right Place, Wrong Tribe – While I was happy to see Ometepe keep Phillip around for my own continued amusement, I was disappointed to lose Kristina Kell. I really think that Kristina had all the skills to be a great survivor placer, but she couldn’t ingratiate herself back into Boston Rob’s good graces after the first tribal council. Boston Rob quickly assessed that she was the biggest threat to him and put a target on her back immediately. I think Kristina might have fared better over at Zapatera but I guess we’ll never know. Things won’t be any easier for Kristina when she squares off against her former tribemate, Matt, at Redemption Island.

1. Going Streaking – Matt is on a bit of a hot streak over at Redemption Island. While running the table and getting back into the game will be no small feat, I think that Matt’s momentum will make him incredibly tough to beat. Matt is beginning to get what I call “The Ken Jennings Factor”. In 2004, Ken Jennings was able to win 74 games of Jeopardy in a row. Each day two new players would show up and attempt to beat a man with an incredible amount of experience in the game they were about to play. Knowing what to expect on Redemption Island and overflowing with confidence, Matt might very well find eventually find himself back in the game and out of Jeopardy.

How did these last few episodes of Survivor Redemption Island affect Russell’s long-term legacy? I’m interested in hearing what you think. Let me know on twitter, @robcesternino

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