Survivor: Redemption Island

Seems Like a No Brainer, Part 2

By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst

May 18, 2011

They've won over $2.2 million by playing Survivor.

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And with that, I see absolutely no way Rob loses. The only question now is will he be a unanimous choice? Counting David, I have him with six guaranteed votes, with two up in the air. If David swayed them, that's eight for Rob. The only potential different vote could be Ralph voting for Phillip...if Phillip's friendship is that important to him.

And with all the talking finished, it's time to vote. And this time, you're voting for a winner. We only see two votes during this portion. We see David vote for Rob as he says that he would have much rather played the game with Rob than against Rob, but that's how it worked out. And we see Ralph's vote for Phillip, telling him to spend it wisely and that he loves him. Who'd have thought that of all the people on this game, Ralph would be the one to come away liking Phillip? As usual, Jeff gets the votes and then takes off. I think I mention it every season, but I totally miss the whole outrageous production number of Jeff getting from the island to the live reunion. I mean, really...would it kill ya to throw a guy a frickin' bone and do it one more time? Just for me?


Anyway, Jeff comes into the live reunion, congratulates the Final 3 and talks about how hard the game is and how rough the final Tribal Council was. Jeff asks all three if they think they have enough in there to win. They all say yes, but they can't really believe that, can they? Let's get to the votes. First vote is for Rob. Second vote is for "Phile". After that, everything's coming up Rob. And by an 8-1 vote, the winner of Survivor: Redemption Island is "Boston" Rob Mariano. As he goes out to be congratulated by his family, we're left to sit and reflect. I said all along that Rob was playing the best game. He was at the top of my Power Rankings from the beginning. And yet, I kept saying, "there's no way he can win." Shows what I know, eh? His game may not have been perfect, but it was certainly the most perfect game of Survivor we've ever seen played.

Before this season, David Mumpower and I had several heated debates on the merit of Rob and Russell. I appreciated Russell's game and felt he was completely robbed of the title in Samoa. I thought Rob was overrated, having failed to make the jury in two of his three Survivor appearances. While I still feel Russell was screwed in Samoa, I do have to eat a little crow on the Rob thing. With this season, he has elevated himself into the top three to ever play this game. Arguing over where he falls within that three is an argument for another day. For now, let's just all sit back and feel good about the jury doing the right thing and rewarding the guy who truly deserved to win this season. Congrats to Rob and also congrats to Phillip who has all but guaranteed that we'll see him in another Survivor season real soon.

And speaking of another Survivor season real soon...the 23rd season of Survivor is right around the corner and if you didn't stay awake for the Reunion Show, Jeff gave us a little taste test of what's to come. Survivor 23 will be headed back to Samoa (the site of Survivor 19 and 20) and Redemption Island will be making the trip with it. Hopefully, they'll tweak RI a bit - maybe cut it off at the merge, or if they keep it going, maybe not keep so many people there. Hopefully they learned from this season that carrying almost half the cast to the finale isn't good TV. Also making the trip for S23 will be two more former castaways coming back for their own redemption. I have scoured the interwebs trying to get a line on which two players are coming back and all I can find are rumors. Without anything concrete, I'm not going to report anything. Let's all just hope that we never see Russell and Rob walk off that helicopter again. I think seven combined seasons for these two is plenty. It's time to pass the torch onto some other fantastic Survivor characters.

Well, kids, it has been a pleasure sharing Redemption Island with all of you this season. I can't say for sure that I'll be back recapping Survivor: South Pacific, but I feel safe in saying that BOP will definitely continue the recaps. Thanks for hanging out with me and we'll see you back here in the fall for Survivor: South Pacific. Until then, take care.

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