Survivor: Redemption Island Season Finale -- And the Winner Is...

It took 39 days, an unbreakable six-person alliance on the Ometepe tribe, the endurance to withstand the horrors of a saggy pair of pink men’s underpants, and a bitter final jury that seemed more interested in giving lectures (or lobbing insults) than asking questions [SPOILERS coming, so stop reading now if you haven’t watched the finale], but the winner of Survivor: Redemption Island is…Boston Rob Mariano.

In all honestly, the two-hour episode was essentially a suspense-free affair. As host Jeff Probst so aptly put it, Rob dictated the game and struck fear into his alliance members in “a style that would make any mob boss proud” — and any outcome other than his victory would’ve been inconceivable.

That said, I felt like Survivor‘s editing team showed their hands in the two instances where they could’ve built a little excitement. In the final challenge at Redemption Island, there were enough references to Andrea being an overwhelming underdog that you kind of knew in advance she’d bump off Grant, Matt, and Mike in a challenge to balance an urn on a see-saw contraption using only one foot. And then, there was the matter of the penultimate immunity challenge, where it seemed like Ashley’s victory had been foreshadowed during the “previously, on Survivor” intro; in that segment, Probst said Ashley had “lately proven to be a threat in challenges” — despite the fact that she’d previously won individual immunity a grand total of…once! Still, even though I felt like Ashley’s win had been semi-spoiled in advance, the challenge may have been the first time where watching people count to 100 played out like riveting drama.

Ashley’s victory left Andrea scrambling to form a female power-voting bloc with Natalie and Ashley, but the girls remained loyal to Rob and Phillip, and booted the odd woman out. (Watching the eventual champ play his hidden immunity idol at the last possible second — “my mother always told me better to be safe than sorry,” he grinned — was classic Boston Rob.)

And then we were down to Rob, Phillip, Natalie, and Ashley. Probst might as well have written the $1 million check to Rob the minute he narrowly won the final immunity challenge — a grueling maze-race capped with a word puzzle — over Ashley, seeing as how none of his three rivals really stood a chance of upending him with the jury. My favorite part of the course, though, was seeing Probst taunt hapless Natalie — “Natalie is being a good sport and still running around!” “Natalie once again completely out of this challenge!” — as she flailed and failed to make it beyond the quarter-way point of the maze.

Almost as appalling? Watching Natalie declare, “I would rather lose this game than lose a friend in Ashley,” then turn around and vote out her Survivor BFF while drawing a heart next to her name. (Ugh.) I mean, Natalie had to realize that after a season of pure, unadulterated coattail riding, she had zero chance to win the jury vote, so why not at least maintain a smidge of loyalty to someone whose friendship she claimed to value? That aide, I loved Rob’s tearful quote after winning the challenge, but prior to the vote: “Whatever happens now, I’m okay — even if I don’t win — which is ironic, because the only reason I ever wanted to come back to play again was to win. I feel like I did my best, but I’m not done yet. First of all, I have to figure out which one of these three idiots I’m gonna send home tonight, and then convince the other people sitting on the jury to give me a million dollars after my wife’s already won one.”

The other classic quotes heading up to the jury? Phillip declaring, “I learned that it’s okay to tell the world that I have a relationship with someone that’s been dead since 1870.” And Rob pleading, “now go wash your hands” after Phillip finally burnt his soggy, saggy pink skivvies.

Finally, before we call it a season, let’s count down the five funniest/most hateful moments of the jury proceedings:

* I howled at Natalie’s pitiful strategy with the jury, where she repeatedly pointed to Rob’s total dominance of the game, and her loyalty to Rob, as a reason to give her the top prize. Oh, that and…she’d be the youngest female Survivor winner ever? After Andrea eviscerated the teenage contestant, calling her unflinching loyalty to Rob “borderline creepy” and taunting her for succumbing to the “allure of riding coattails” over genuine friendship with Ashley, all Natalie could do was spout nonsense about how she performed admirably despite never having camped a day in her life.

* Ashley, who was kind of heinous all season, still managed to make me laugh when she stood up in front of her fellow players and announced, “Phillip, I don’t have any questions for you because frankly, I’m sick of hearing your voice. So I’m gonna speak, and you’re not gonna comment.” Naturally, this had Phillip tossing out tidbits like, “I will if I feel the need!” and generally foiling her entire plan to have the last word. Now that’s good TV.

* A boo-hiss to Matt for droning on about Rob’s being “duplicitous, manipulating, deceiving, and a liar.” Dude, you got outwitted, outlasted, and outplayed. If you wanted to do something noble, you should’ve volunteered at a soup kitchen instead of signing up for CBS’ long-standing reality franchise.

* A hip-hip-hurrah to Dave for using his jury moment to underscore Rob’s total dominance, just in case anyone missed it. “A little ruthless, but brilliant,” Dave argued. Indeed!

* And finally, watching Jeff Probst tally the votes at the live finale, we saw five votes for Boston Rob (enough to secure the win), three votes unrevealed (I assumed they were also for Rob), and one vote for “Phile,” because Ralph has apparently never met a name simple enough that he couldn’t mangle it.

Final tallies for Boston Rob: 117 days total, playing four seasons of Survivor over the last 10 years, 39 of them in Nicaragua, all adding up to $1 million (plus an additional 100K for the fan favorite prize). Even if you divvie it up over 10 years, that’s $110,000 per year. Nice work if you can get it, and survive it.

What did you think of the Survivor finale? Were you happy with Rob’s win? If not, which contestant were you rooting for? And what did you think of the smackdowns Phillip (and to a lesser degree, Natalie) got during the final episode? Sound off below, and for all my reality TV recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Ben says:

    This was written in stone from about the third episode.

    • kyrjar says:

      It wasn’t written in stone. It was a ton of work on Rob’s part, at challenges, getting the hidden immunity and especially the social side. Rob was amazingly loyal to the Ometepe 6 and to Natalie. Even Grant right up to the point Ashley won and he really had no choice (tho he eventually would have had to vote him out before the finals).

      • Ben says:

        Undoubtably he worked hard, and saying it was set in stone is no insult. It’s just by episode 3 it was clear that Rob could see exactly what he had to do to win and that he was going to be able to do it.

        • Mikos says:

          Except it seemed too obvious – not logical, I know, but even at the end there I still wasn’t 100% sure that he would win :-)

        • Lee says:

          I’m with Ben. Sure Boston Rob worked hard, but you knew by episode 3 (or when Matt got voted out) that he was going to win. Everyone got scared of Boston Rob from that point on and became his sheep.

          I can see why Grant was upset at Boston Rob at the reunion. Boston Rob played Grant like a fool. And if it wasn’t for Grant winning all those challenges for their tribe, there’s no way Boston Rob would’ve had the numbers going into the merge.

          I still think this could’ve been a pretty good season if Matt had an ounce of intgelligence. I’ll never understand why he would trusted Boston Rob after he got him eliminated. If he had gone to the other tribe, they could’ve gotten rid of Boston Rob then and there. Boston Rob got lucky that didn’t happen.

          But I can’t entirely blame Matt. I also blame Ralph. Instead of wasting his HII by saving Mike, he should’ve given it to Matt (who would desperately want it after coming back into the game from Redemption Island) with the condition that he votes their way. Ralph blew it big time!

          The problem with this season was that it was filled with idiots. Starting with Francesca, Christina and Philip and moving onto Ralph, Grant and Natalie. This was definitely the worst season of Survivor.

      • Kevin says:

        Everyone talks about the perfect game that Rob played, but I think he just got lucky that an experienced player like him was matched up with some of the dumbest drones to have ever played the game. He controlled him team because they were star struck morons that he was able to brainwash into a Manson Family-esque cult. Rob is overrated.

    • Jess says:

      I agree. The casting directors/producers put Rob with a bunch of gullible idiots, who are still clueless as to what just happened to them on national TV. They all seemed to be complicit in handing Rob the 1 million dollars, like they didn’t even really care about it. Never before have so many idiots been placed on the same team in all of Survivor’s 20+ seasons.

      The suspense this season was over near the beginning. The only thing that could’ve saved this season was if the Redemption Island winner was placed back in the game at the end of the last immunity challenge or given automatic immunity in order to get to the final 3 and give their case before the jury.

      • JohnDoe says:

        This. If Rob had played with heavyweights of Survivor’s history, things might have turned out differently. Imagine if Parvati or Sandra had played this season…

        I mean, I’m glad Rob won finally, but anyone could see it coming from a mile away. What a disappointing season of Survivor, and I’m upset that it appears Jeff told us that Russell will be coming back sometime in the future, and next season looks like more of the same as this year.

        • seattlejohn says:

          worst season ever…I actually liked many of the new folks and would have welcomed the chance to see them play on an equal footing…but by Rob dominating the game what at first looked intriguing gave way to the Redemptiom Island snoozefest…plus the two episodes of double vote-offs to burn through the losing tribe…and did the teaser from next season look like Matt would be returning in kind of Survivor’s version of the Bachelor with the previous season’s runner-up returning to strut his stuff? I’ve watched every season to date but more returning players and Redemption Island may lose me as a viewer next time

        • lindaforsythe says:

          I feel that they bring back two guys already Rob, and Russell, enough already! Don’t they give any money to the rest of them?Rob already had amillion, then the stupid public gives him a 100.000. Can,t they get some newer people other Rob and Russell!

        • Aunt Sassy says:

          I stopped watching this show when they started bringing people back. Sorry, if you want Ron & Russell to win just write them a check. Why any new person on the show would keep any veteran – but especially Rob or Russell – around for any reason is just stupid.

  2. Sarah says:

    Why am I not surprised? The one person I didn’t want to win. It’s only because everyone on the island was stupid and kept him around. Did not one of those people ever watch a Survivor with him on it before to know how he plays the game??

    • Cup of Joe says:

      No wonder I chose American Idol over Surivor. At least it’s more exciting.

    • sashay says:

      Inevitable once you knew who was sitting beside him in the final three. I’d have voted for Rob too. Phillip and Natalie are two of the most undeserving finalists ever.
      I hope that’s IT for bringing back veteran players. I want all new ones from here on out.

      • Emaegf says:

        Nope unfortunately Jeff said someone is coming back next season. As long has it’s not Russell…

        • susela says:

          I’m betting one of them is Matt.

          • jeff says:

            The new season might already be being filmed at this moment, so I doubt Matt or Russel. For some reason I think it will be 2 women. Brenda (the early frontrunner in S Nicaragua) and maybe Jerri (the black widow) or Stephanie (from palau, guat, and hero vs. vill).

            Just a guess. Shambo as my 4th pick.

          • JenS says:

            I’m going on record with my guess. I think it’s Matt and that kid Eric with the shaggy blond hair (the one that looked like young Leif Garrett). Two of the biggest dupes in all of Survivor.

  3. Christina says:

    Anyone but Rob winning would have been a shock. He dictated this thing from day 1.

    • theresa ley says:

      I really wanted mr. pink underpants to win… I can’t beleive no one saw through rob and what he was doing. sham on them.

      • El says:

        Schooling them and playing brilliantly, you mean? Don’t hate the player, hate the game, to use an awful but appropriate expression here.

        • Jess says:

          I don’t think anyone hates Rob for playing the game as best as he could, but people absoultely have the right to be shocked at how stupid and gullible the people on his team were. Rob wouldn’t have won if the casting directors didn’t purposely place him with a bunch of gullible idiots. I’ve never seen such a stupid team on Survivor in all the 20+ seasons. Some of them are still clueless as to what just happened to them on national TV.

          • A says:

            The producers didnt put him on that tribe. Russell and Rob blindly chose buffs and whichever buff they chose dictated the tribe they ended up on. Rob could have just as easily ended up on the other tribe and it would have been a completely different game. It’s not Rob’s fault that no one on his tribe was smart enough to vote him out early on. He definitely deserved to win this season.

        • Steve says:

          Wrong. I hate Rob. An egotistical douche. A 3 time loser that was lucky to be on the worst Survivor tribe EVER. He did not win, the rest of his team just forfeit and played for 2nd place.

          • postsalot says:

            bittermen, party of one!

          • tripoli says:

            Exactly! I don’t quite hate the guy but had he not ended up with the dumbest group to ever play the game, he would not have won. For the 4th time! I enjoyed some of his game play early on but his cocky, douche bag attitude wore thin pretty quickly. I can’t have too much sympathy for those he betrayed/blind sided. Clearly they were too stupid to actually play their own game(with a few minor exceptions), rather than blindly follow someone just because he had unsuccessfully played the game before. If any of the players on his team had watched Rob in his previous seasons, they’d recall how quickly he turned on his right hand man, Lex, the first chance he got. Glad to see Grant wasn’t willing to believe the ridiculous “it’s just a game” excuse. The way you play the game is a refection of your character and the things you are or aren’t willing to do for money. Worst season so far. Once Matt and Andrea were out of the running I pretty much lost interest. Least deserving final 3. Here’s hoping next season is significantly better than this train wreck of a season.

  4. Barb says:

    This is why I stopped watching after episode 4. And I had watched every episode of every season before this. Like Ben said, it was decided very early on when Rob’s tribe refused to play the game.

  5. Lorie says:

    YES!!!! WTG ROB!

    • TT says:

      Lorie, Rob would backstab fans like you in a heartbeat if it meant he could win something. You’d probably be okay with that though. His fans are no different from Natalie- rooting for Rob to win so that you can help inflate his ego even and be subservient to him. whoop-dee-doo

  6. Quinn Mallory says:

    I’m glad Boston Rob win and deservedly so (he dominated). Now, I hope he happily go off into the sunset (or yet another reality ventures) and truly retire from Survivor.

  7. Tonya says:

    WOOT!!!! Finally!

    • TT says:

      Lorie, Rob would backstab fans like you in a heartbeat if it meant he could win something. You’d probably be okay with that though. His fans are no different from Natalie- rooting for Rob to win so that you can help inflate his ego and be subservient to him. yay!

      • postalot says:

        Ahahahaha, did Rob backstab you in a game of only post once?!

        You hate Rob I guess cuz whining about backstabbing on Survivor is like whining about tackling in the NFL.

        • TT says:

          I don’t hate Rob. I just think his fans are identical to Natalie- subservient, ignorant, and easily manipulated, just how he likes them.

  8. Deb says:

    The fact that Rob can justify any behavior as okay because he was “just playing a game” makes me wonder if anyone in his life can ever trust anything him. What if he’s just playing a game with them?
    You are what you do.
    The only legit winner of this show, for me, was Tom who won his way to the title. His win was won on a daily basis, while Rob’s was won by lies and deceit. I stopped watching entire seasons of the show because it celebrates manipulation. Tonight I just wanted to know if Rob was finally going to find people stupid enough to trust him.

    • dee says:

      If you’re looking for ethical players to celebrate than you shouldn’t have by=passed Ethan Zohn. Probably the nicest player ever to be on the show.

      • Sandy says:

        I have to agree that Ethan and Tom did play pretty clean games. I’d also add Danni Boatright to that list (she did turn a six person alliance around and won the final immunity and even took the player who could beat her.)

    • Zach says:

      You do realize this is Survivor right?? Its literally in the title of the show to “Outwit”… If you want a friendly camping trip in the wilderness I’m sure the Brady Bunch will have had an episode like that at some point…

      • TT says:

        Zach, you can outwit and outlast people without selling your soul, or at the very least, without insulting every person on your tribe to the camera. Rob did that every chance he got, and that isn’t part of “the game” either, that’s when you are really “you”.

        Tina, Ethan, Tom, etc. won this show without being manipulative and lying to nearly everyone they talk to, and making fun of them on camera, etc.

        • postsalot says:

          You equating Rob on Survivor with “selling your soul” ?! Your hate is making you delusional.

          • TT says:

            I don’t hate Rob. You really need to learn how to differentiate people who state opinons and make valid points from those who have declared that they actually “hate” someone.
            Rob wasn’t playing Surivor again because he needed the money. He played it because he had an ego that needed boosting. People who are driven to do negative things to other people for the sake of boosting their own ego are basically selling their soul. This applies to anyone, not just Rob. Rob is just one of many who do this.

          • Steve says:

            @postsalot Your idol worship would make you a PERFECT match for Rob’s tribe… a sucker.

        • tripoli says:

          Well said. As much as he was “loyal” to the final six, he was still an ass and would have tossed anyone of them at anytime if it suited his needs. I would have had a sliver of respect for Natalie if she had stayed loyal to Ashley and voted to keep her for final 3. But being under Rob’s cult spell for 39 days, clearly made her as big an ass as he is. They are so far from the league of payers who did play the game with a little integrity and respect. I’m so glad to see that there are so many comments not in favor of Rob. He is quite over rated at this point.

    • susela says:

      Rob repeatedly said that his life is a different reality from the game. He clearly loves his wife and kids, and wept when he won the final immunity because he had worked so, so hard to make that final three. The man has heart—but he is also a poker-playing strategist.

      • TT says:

        Liking your family is pretty easy, though, lol. We’ll never really know about his “real life”… but we should be able to see his real self when he’s one-on-one with the camera crew, and he was always making fun of people, and pumping his own ego up. That’s not the game, that’s who he really is. And the people who worship him are just like Natalie- subservient, ignorant, and easily manipulated.

        • Sandy says:

          I have to agree with some of TT’s post. I do think part of why Grant stopped talking to Rob was some of the things Rob said to the camera – those moments showed more of who he was as a person (and he really had not changed from his first season – he made fun of people then.) I don’t recall Ethan Zohn or Tom Westman or Danni Boatright doing that. I don’t even remember Parvati doing it to the extent that Boston Rob (and Russell Hantz for that matter) disrespected their fellow players.

          • Sandy says:

            And even though I said the above, I still think he played best out of the final three this season although the jury was far too easy on him. I also believe there was a lot we did not see as far as strategy from other players.

    • fr says:

      This is silly, you should be able to separate real life from a competitive game for a million dollars. He didn’t hurt anyone and he didn’t do anything illegal, he talked a good game and it worked.

      • TT says:

        you don’t have to hurt someone physically in order to hurt them in some way… especially when Rob talks into the camera the way he does, insulting just about everyone and laughing about it… So, how do you know he didn’t hurt anyone?

        • Snsetblaze says:

          Well obviously he did hurt someone … Grant, who seemed like a genuine nice guy, stopped talking to him and those two were insperable. And that one other season, he lost his friendship with Lex, I believe. So was his making fun of others worth it?

  9. Mike says:

    Boy was that an unfair season: putting a bunch of newbies up against the best ever. (And big time jeers at the producers for not thinking that Russell would be out before he could turn around.)

    • TT says:

      Mike, if he was really “the best ever”, wouldn’t he have won back in Season 4 when he first tried to win? Or at least the 2nd time…

      Rob’s fans are so gullible, just like he likes them…

  10. Mike says:

    Survivor 23 will bring back two former players and will be shot in the South Pacific.

    • JohnDoe says:

      I know, and I hate it. CBS apparently hasn’t figured out why their Survivor ratings are alarmingly dropping…

      It’s because people are tired of seeing the same faces on the show, brought back, time after time. Not to mention, they stopped taking applicants it seems, all in favor of recruiting SoCal “mactors” instead to fill stereotypical roles on the show.

      • sashay says:

        Well, this season Andrea applied, and knew quite a bit about the game. I think she would have had a good chance to win, if she hadn’t been up against the Rob juggernaut. I was going to say that I hope there’s a few people like that in the next season, but I’m thinking seriously about skipping this one. Another redemption island? Two more seasoned players? Forgetting the negative response to the second chance island (since it was already planned/set-up while this one was filming), the fact that Matt won every challenge but the last should have alerted them to the fact it was a giant, colossal mistake.

  11. Deb says:

    Well it’s about damn time Rob. Wtg guy….Reading these comments above truly crack me up. Who cares how he played the game, apparently he played it well enough to win and that’s all that matters. It’s a game people, get over it. Well deserved win without a doubt. You ROCK Rob!!!!

    • TT says:

      Deb, if winning is all that matters to you as a viewer, then, did you congratulate every other winner of Survivor the same way you’re congratulating Rob, and telling him he “rocks”?

      • Shania says:

        IT: Newsflash: Rob isn’t actually here to be congratulated by Rob, nor were all of the previous winners. I also seriously doubt whether Rob reads this blog (sorry, Michael). Who cares whether she congratulates him, and who cares if you disapprove? Like she said, it really is a game, not real life. I don’t think I could play that way myself, but I do understand her point. And when it comes down to it, most of the other people on Survivor weren’t any nicer. Grant was all too willing to screw over Ashley, and Natalie when Ashley won immunity. What makes you think any of these other people were more deserving? Andrea is the only one I can think of, she played hard and strategically without making snarky comments (except deservedly to Phil at the final TC) and genuinely felt bad about Matt’s reaction.

  12. Gen says:

    Personally, I love Rob! You can’t say that he didn’t play the best game ever. I didn’t think it was fair that they awarded him the fan favourite too. They should have given it to Matt. It’s always nice to see someeone who didn’t win, walk away with a prize and Matt deserved it.

    • Steve says:

      He did not play the best game ever. There, I said it. He simply had a team that did not play the game, no strategy, no effort, no brains. The luck of the draw set up the victory. It almost seemed planned. Maybe Mr. Burnett has a confession to make.

  13. dave says:

    how many votes did phil and nat get

    • Tavis says:

      Based on the seating at the reunion, Phillip got one vote and Natalie got zero. Phillip walks away with $100,000. Yay! I liked him!

  14. Tavis says:

    Yay! Glad Rob won!! This season was great—from Russell getting the boot early on to the Ometepe 6 dominating til the very end. I loved the systematic destruction of Zapatera. Good season! Congrats Rob!

    • JohnDoe says:

      If you think this season is “great” than you obviously never watched the early season of Survivor, or All-Stars.

      • Tavis says:

        Actually, I did, and this season was fantastic! Just goes to show that you shouldn’t make assumptions, Doe! :D

  15. Coug80 says:

    Rob won because he played a brilliant game and deserved it. Two “undeserving” players were sitting beside him because that’s the way he planned it. Way to go, Rob!

    • Steve says:

      He won because his entire team, after episode 3 or 4, did nothing but wait for direction. If he was on the other tribe, he would not have made the finale. If he did, then he would have deserved it.

  16. Tani says:

    After Watching every season and only watching last season after the first few eps already aired i was already watching too many reality shows and never did watch this season and now i am glad i didnt! I liked Rob for about a season then it was overkill with him on Survivor like bringing back Jesse every season on BB after he left too much! Maybe i will watch next season but if they bring back same old people next show then i wont watch.

  17. susela says:

    I loved David’s final remarks to the jury, and his honest admiration for Rob’s brilliant strategic game. Rob deserved this on so many levels—he played the social game well, establishing close relationships with each member of his alliance; he worked hard and made himself valuable around camp; and he won challenges when it was critical to do so. The jury may not have liked feeling betrayed by him, but it would have been a travesty to give the money to coattail Natalie or obstreperous Phillip.

  18. Lunakit says:

    Did everyone else also get an ANNOYING 10 second delay with an NBC AD before this page showed??! Is that new to TVLINE or hs that been happening? ANNNNNOYIIIIIINGG!

    • Eddie Z says:

      Definitely new. VERY annoying as is the wallpaper ads on either side of the page. TVLINE 4 months old and already SOLD OUT.

  19. John Berggren says:

    Awesome season.
    Perfect game.
    Deserving winner.
    Can’t complain.
    Loved David’s final analysis.
    Hope Grant can move beyond it.
    Who returns next cycle?

    • Elena says:

      You found this predictable season awesome??? I don’t see how. Rob’s team was the laziest team ever. It would’ve been more exciting if they actually tried to do something themselves.

      • JohnDoe says:

        Same. Awesome? WTF? You could see every move this season from a mile away. I’m happy Rob won, but Jesus this season sucked.

      • John Berggren says:

        Absolutely. It was a blast watching a master of the game take charge and get to the end – and be rewarded for it. Along the way, Phillip was entertaining as hell (annoying yes, I wouldn’t want to live with him, but funny from afar). The Redemption Island twist was pretty decent too.
        I’m someone who hated Rob back on Marquesas, and again with All Stars, but I grew to like him on Heroes Vs Villains, and I’m glad he finally got to win here.

        • Yolanda says:

          Calling Rob a “master of the game” shows just how ignorant his fans are. ANYONE who has been on Survivor four times would have learned *something*. A loser three times is hardly a “master” of anything. There were so many idiots and egotists who were cast as newbies this season, that either Russell or Rob were bound to win, yet their fans still blindly exalt them as if they did something remarkable and praise-worthy. Nothing Rob did was anything of the sort.

  20. del says:

    If Matt’s God is listening, the two players returning this next season will be Phillip and Coach. Oh yeah.

  21. Steve says:


    Rob’s tribe NEVER made a move. They handed him the reigns and fought for second place. They were the dumbest, least motivated team I have ever seen play the game.

    This is the first time I ever felt the entire panel of finalists were undeserving. Natalie, did nothing. Phil, stayed himself, but just followed Rob. Rob, grabbed the biggest losers and walked into the finals.

    There was no strategy, because none was needed. The dumb asses would do whatever Rob said. He did not earn their loyalty, it was prepackaged with their fan boy idol worship.

    EVERY week I would wonder when these schmucks would make their move… they never did. NOTHING. They were betrayed one by one, yet they kept running to the guy slitting the throats like a dog that runs back to the master that just beat it.

    Dumbest team ever. Naive.

  22. Larry says:

    I actually was kind of disappointed with the season overall. I liked the contestants much better than the last season but there were two things wrong. One, Redemption Island was a bust -both contestants who survived to come back into the game were voted immediately off. There should be some sort of immunity imposed to at least give the returning contestant some time to stir the pot or build up some rapport with the other tribe members. Why should the other contestants bother keeping the outsted member around when they have been voted off already once. The second problem was Boston Rob’s expertise on controlling his team. It got very tedious to watch and wonder why nobody was challenging him. That’s because he has played this game three other times. He knows this game -inside and out -and is perhaps the greatest player ever. There just wasn’t any drama this year and that’s a shame because I think this cast has been the best in quite a while. I found it quite boring to be honest. Once Matt, Mike and Andrea were out -the finale was very anti-climatic. I felt I wasted the last hour watching -because I already knew Rob was going to win.

    • Steve says:

      I mus disagree to a certain degree. RI was okay. The only reason Matt was booted, was because he was too dumb to protect himself. If he votes against the other tribe that betrayed him, it is a completely different game. HE gave Rob the championship.

      All that talk about God. God will determine my fate. Hey dummy, God does not determine your fate – if you believe, he gives you free will. God may have helped you return from RI, but only your own stupidity put you back there.

    • K2 says:

      Joan of Arcadia
      I just watched Joan of Arcadia and thought it was fantastic. It’s on my must see list now.

      I loved the “anticlimatic” line. “That’s anticlimactic. Anticlimatic means you’re against the weather!”

  23. jef says:

    Did any of the Rob tribe ever watch the show before? This money was handed to Rob by a bunch of totally stupid people. They should have gotten rid of him right away. Unbelievable.

  24. Irv says:

    Apparently Rob got someone’s panty in a bunch. Boring season but Rob was masterful. I thought it was hilarious when he recommended the buddy system and the alliance agreed.

  25. Naynikay says:

    I think Boston Rob deserved to win the game was to outplay, outwit, outlast. Now personally, I dont think I can ever play that way, my morals won’t let me. Don’t hate the player, hate the game Lol. If you don’t like that the conniving one wins, don’t watch it.

  26. Me says:

    My Random Thoughts:

    – Before the last Tribal Council, I said to myself: “Holy ****, this is a carbon copy of the very first season!” Think about this: in season #1, you had Richard, Rudy, Sue, and Kelly as the Final Four, and Kelly promising Sue she wouldn’t vote her out, before actually doing it. In Season #22, you had Rob, Phillip, Ashley, and Natalie, and the exact same thing happened. I was fully expecting a rat/snake/dying of thirst speech from Ashley at the Final Tribal Council.

    – Phillip said “I knew my manhood was not reflected in the briefs that I wear.” For the LOVE OF GOD, Phillip…did you really have to use the word “manhood” there? You couldn’t have said “dignity” or “character”…it had to be “manhood”???? I’ve never been a fan of the tradition of burning things (like the entire camp) before the Final Tribal Council, but I heartily appreciated those tighty pinkies making their way into the fire.

    I hope you’ll check out the rest of my recap at

  27. joblo says:

    I think TV Line needs a new Survivor recaper. Slezak is better sticking with just AI.

  28. Pat says:

    Much of what everybody has already said here is true.
    * Rob played a great game, but then, why wouldn’t he, with all that practice?
    * Yes, he is a manipulative egotistical maniac — but again, the man has at least some reason to feel pretty good about his skills; he’s only worked 117 days in the last 10 years (plus however long he and Amber were on The Amazing Race) and between the two of them, they’ve got over $2 mil to show for it.
    * Yes, the rest of his tribe was a bunch of naive and/or stupid newbies. If he had been on the other tribe, he’d have been gone first (even if they had to throw a challenge to make it happen — wink, wink) So was it planned by the producers? Wouldn’t put it past them.
    * Yes, it was a boring season once it became clear that nobody on Rob’s team was ever going to try to take him out. I don’t care how much of a Christian you are, getting back in the game and then handing Rob the info he needs to send your ass right back to R.I.? Are you kidding me, Matt? Even Ashley’s half-hearted attempts late in the game ended with her still following Rob’s lead (quite literally in that last challenge).
    * I stayed tuned for only one reason — Right up until the final Tribal Council, I thought there was a small chance that Philip would pull the greatest upset of all time. But that final Tribal Council made it clear he really is an arrogant-for-no-reason jerk and possibly the most un-self-aware person ever to walk this earth.

  29. Pat says:

    How could Philip have pulled off that upset I mentioned?
    He should have smiled broadly, tossed that stupid feather into the fire, and said in his friendliest voice: “I’m really sorry I acted like such a complete jerk the last 38 days. But my strategy was to be this season’s villain so everyone would want to take me to the Final. Once it became apparent the rest of my tribe was going to follow Rob wherever he went, I apologized to him for targeting him early in order to get him on my side, then I just amped up the “crazy” (of course I knew that wasn’t a racial comment) to make myself all the more appealing as the guy you want beside you tonight. So far it has worked. If you guys vote for me, my strategy will be complete.”
    I know that would have gotten him my vote.

    • Amy says:

      Word. Especially since Philip specifically said in confessional that he was playing up the crazy and was planning a big reveal. Maybe the fumes from the burning underwear just went to his head…..

    • Chris says:

      I was really hoping for a Keyser Soze reveal from Philip — that he would turn out to have just been playing crazy this whole time. I’m surprised no one has tried that before in 22 seasons of Survivor. But, of course, he was just actually crazy.

  30. Cory says:

    Rob played a hell of a game and that’s what it boiled down to. What was disappoining was the derogatory and seemingly arrogant comments made to philip and natalie. They made it to the end, sure thanks to rob, but they still weren’t on the jury at the end. Sure philip is different, but that’s what was so amazing about his game, he was himself, different sure, but we all knew who he really was. Hold your head high phillip. Natalie, just young, inexperienced, and naïve, wisdom comes through patience. Rob knows all aboutit after 10yrs.

  31. jeff says:

    Say what you will about this season, but Boston Rob controled this game better than anyone ( Expcept Russel Hantz’s 1st attempt when the jury robbed him). Is it it wrong this is his 4th try? I say maybe and probably. However, congrats to Rob, he might have won in heroes vs villians if Tyson didn’t russel and change his vote for no reason.

    • Celeste says:

      jeff, the Jury doesn’t rob anyone, they reward someone a million dollars. No one is entitled to that money, no matter how they played. People like you always forget playing the game well means NOTHING if you can’t get a jury to give you the million dollars at the end. Russel was a complete ass, and he’s never going to have a jury award him 1 million dollars. He should’ve thought about that before he played the way he did.

      Russell and Rob fans are so gullible…

  32. sapmson says:

    Most people forget season 21 Nicaragua was horrible until brenda got blindsided.
    It was still bad until Fabio went on his immunity challege run and won.

  33. Kgfury says:

    I’m sick and tired of reading about how weak Rob’s tribe was yadda yadda yadda. Rob is the best player to ever play the game of survivor and that’s the bottom line. He has kept the greatest alliance of all…his to Amber and it’s going strong.

    This game isn’t necessarily a reflection of you in real life because you have to suspend yourself to even ever effectively compete well and that’s what Boston Rob did.

    When he was on the Amazing Race people bitched about them and they came in second I believe. The team of Rob and Amber.

    • tripoli says:

      How is a guy who failed to win the first 3 times, the greatest player of all time? And only one his 4th try because no one bothered to play against him. I would argue that Parvati is perhaps the best to ever play, but that’s not really the point. Rob’s team was stupid, and brainless, and as many have said, basically refused to play the game. Pretty weak that the only person he managed to stay loyal to was someone he was/is sleeping with. And he still lost to her, so really, who played who in that alliance? Sure it worked out for them in their personal lives, but within the game, Amber was far superior in their All Star season.

      • Abe Froman says:

        As much as I hate to say it, Richard Hatch was the best player of all time. He went in without the luxury of watching previous seasons, had no idea how the show worked or what it would take, and won the million dollars.

    • Abe Froman says:

      Actually, you could argue Rob is the WORST Survivor player since it took him FOUR tries to win the game.

      • Celeste says:

        Exactly. Like someone stated on this board already, Rob’s fans are identical to Natalie (subservient & gullible).

  34. Catherine says:

    I love Rob’s win! He played brilliantly!

  35. Evan Meadow says:

    The two shocking moments of the entire finale:

    Rob winning the fan fave award. Seriously, I thought Matt had that won hands down. Shocked that Rob got the majority vote.

    The marriage proposal. LOL I don’t remember that girl though I know I watched that season, and I’m halfway convinced the acceptance of the ring really won’t last that long. She never did look like she wanted to accept it, shock or not.

    • Buffy Freak says:

      There was a bit too much backlash against Matt and his constant God talk. He turned off alot of people with that. He might have won Fan Favorite had he (or the editors) toned it down a bit.
      Agree about the marriage proposal. David just seems like a d-bag and she didn’t seem super-excited.

    • susela says:

      Yes, it seemed as if she accepted only because she was on national television. Hope she lets him down easy once they’re in private.

  36. Pete says:

    It wasn’t so much that Rob was amazing, it was that after 21 previous seasons the rest of the cast were amazingly stupid. I spent most the season pulling out my hair.

    A really REALLY poor season all-in-all. Survivor producers need to be very careful with their use of

    A) Redemption Island
    B) Previous survivors returning

  37. Bob says:

    “Hey, Am-buh, I finally won. I was Wicked Good.”

  38. Billy Virgo says:

    I keep seeing people in this thread saying people like Ethan and Tom and a few others won this game with integrity, but the thing they don’t realize is that the “reality show contestant occupation” mindset has dramatically changed the way this game is played over the past 5 years. Instead of loyalty, people are wanting to blindside other people every chance they get. Being a villain is what a good portion of people strive for anymore due the fact that they think it will land them another reality show gig down the road. A lack of integrity seems to be rewarded more so these days. If you are loyal and stick to your word, you are labeled as a coattail rider.

    I blame the producers for this phenomena more than anyone else because they tend to encourage it. It makes for good TV, but don’t expect to see anyone who plays the game with integrity to ever win again. It will either be a manipulative villain or it it will be a coattail rider who wins because the jury can’t get over their bitterness.

  39. Dave Walls says:

    This was about as impressive as a Major League pitcher beating a T-Ball team.

    It’s only watchable if there are others around who feel like playing, and seeing how this thing was over and done with a long time ago, it’s almost like they cast this whole season up so Rob could win.

    Yawn. Pay him his million, and get off my TV for-EVAH.

  40. Corky says:

    When Amber won the All Stars, didn’t Rob come in second? He would have won $100,000 then so HIS total over 10 years is 1,200,000.

  41. susela says:

    To those of you who doubt that Rob played the best game ever, because his team appeared too “brainless” to go after him—did it ever occur to you that part of his gift was that he made every single one of those people feel smart for being on his side? Even at the end, Natalie and Phillip were thrilled with themselves not for getting to the end, but for getting to the end WITH ROB. It takes a lot of charm and hard work to pull that off. Rob may have made it look easy, but that kind of domination is never easy—and boy, did he deserve this win.

    • Kgfury says:

      I want to facebook “like” this post right here. I hate it when people take away from winners.

    • Yolanda says:

      LOL! When the producers purposely cast a bunch of gullible idiots, it’s really not that hard to convince people like that to do something. Put Rob with any other team, and he loses for the fourth time. There’s no way he would’ve been able to convince Mike, Julie, Ralph, etc. that they should keep him around. The producers cast a bunch of people after they had extensively examined each of their personalities, and what values they each had, inexperiences, etc. Did you notice how ill-prepared Rob’s team was for camp life? My goodness, I’ve never seen such a dependent, lazy group of people. They were tailor-made for a Season with two veteran players. One was going to go home early and the other was going to win, it was just a matter of who got which team.

  42. Nick says:

    How many people in this forum are gonna hop on Robs d*ck lol. He did not play anywhere close to the best game ever. I am a survivor fanatic, I have seen every episode of every season, and this is probably the worst season yet (definitely in the bottom 3). I really did seem like th producers were setting this up at numerous points of the season. No one, and I reapeat NO ONE on Robs tribe ever even pondered voting him out. No one of his tribe were even playing the game, and it was evident from episode 1. Rob would have had the same fate as Russell had he been on Zapatera. And for people to say he played the best game ever is actually detrimental to the game. Russell played 100000000000000000 times better game then Rob in Samoa and FvF. In Samoa he dominated the game even though he failed to have numbers at all points of the game. He made shockingly bold moves, and knew exactly when to cut the throat of the person next to him. Rob didn’t even have to make a big move because his tribe was full of a bunch of airheard nimrods lol. It’s clear that only Boston Rob fans believe this was the best game ever played because so many people think it wasn’t even close to the best game ever, and very few think it was. Just look at it this way, it is much easier to get perfect on a test when it has 1 question you have done 3 times before, rather than a test with 100 questions that you have never done before. Boston Rob is no where close to the best ever. He has played 4 times, and has been booted pre-merge 2 out of the 4. Russell played 3 times made finals 2/3 and the only reason he didn’t make it again was because his tribe threw a challenge to get rid of him. Look at all the other winners. Robs game didn’t involved any big, bold moves, not much strategy, and really not that much hard work.

    • Irv says:

      But Russell was an unknown in both games. As soon as he was a known factor he got booted earlier. I don’t agree he’s the best player ever but he played one hell of a game. It made the season boring, but it also made me laugh a couple of times considering the blind faith that his tribe put in him. Plus you’re dead wrong that no one pondered voting him out. The tribemates talked about it many but just didn’t pull the trigger.

  43. JHarnes says:

    Rob is victorious! He deserved it!

    I can’t help wondering though if Russell had been allowed to make it to the Merge. Then that would have been a real battle! His tribe throwing a game just to get rid of Russell seems to be the key play of the entire game. That tribe never recovered and could not even crack Rob’s alliance.

  44. pam says:

    THis was the most predictable, boring Survivor ever. I’ve watched every episode of every year, and was not impressed. This is not meant to malign the contestants- it’s the producer’s fault. I was hoping that the last 3 at Redemption Island would have a team challenge against the last 3 Survivors and whichever team won could go to the final tribal for the million. Now that would’ve been a twist!!!!!

  45. Sundance says:

    Probst was right: That was as close to a perfect game as anyone has played in 22 seasons. More amazing because they’ve watched him three times and seen him (not Amber) engineer a win before. Watching him strategize was fascinating–especially knowing it could all tumble like a house of cards at any moment.

    Dave was brilliant in his jury speech–a realist among whiners. Grant came across like a kindergartner sucking his thumb. How do you make a living in the NFL when you can’t distinguish between the competition and life? Agree with Slezak on Matt. My faith is important to me, but I wouldn’t try to prove it by vying for a million dollars on a game show that’s built around duplicity. And the firewoman had some nerve talking about integrity after lying through her teeth to Russell, throwing a challenge, and burying a man’s shorts. Please.

  46. shaunna says:

    so happy Rob won-he was the reason I kept watching. Only too sad I will not get to see him on future shows. Rob played the game the best- and never was unkind or mean like others. Sure he played to the camera in between teammates a lot but it made for fantastic entertainment.
    And can I be the only one who saw it was so glaringly obvious it was so tongue-in- cheek when Rob outside of ear of teammates would make gloating pompous comments like “then again I am no ordinary man”?- he seemed like he was laughing at his own camera character as much as anything. Rob never was visious to anyone, he never lost his self-control or was cruel of tongue, unlike so many other contestants. Rob seemed to have a real feeling and compassion for the lives of others- even Philip- which doesn’t mean he had to forgo the tenets of the game to “outwit, outplay, outlast”. He played the game sticking to those three tenets, wihout ever being cruel or mean to others. He realized he did not have to, something the other angry contestents never understood. You do not have to be vicious, lose your temper, say cruel things to others to hurt their feelings. Well done Rob!!!!!! We will miss you on survivor and will never see the likes of your kind again.

    • ?? says:

      @ Shaunna, rob was “never unkind or mean to others”, was “never vicious” to other players, “wasnt cruel of tongue”, “he felt compassion” for other contestants???? Did you watch any of this season???? He may not have done any of these things to their faces but he certainly slammed, name called, put them down, slandered them behind their backs. He had nothing but cruel things to say about them to the camera when he was one on one with it. Atleast the others said what they felt to the persons face. Phillip knew everyone hated him & thought he was crazy because they frequently told him or made references to such. But the only thing Rob was to these people’s faces was coniving & deceitful. He waited until they could not hear him to be malicious & “cruel of tongue” as you put it. Yes the game is to “outwit, outplay & outlast” your opponents but there is a classy & honorable way of doing such & i dont believe Rob had either. The only feeling he had to fuel his desire of winning was simply egotistical greed. Coming back a fourth time after losing three simply proves that, & the fact that he said himself he “wasnt there to make friends”, it was simply “to win it for his family”, should be clear enough for all.

  47. ladyspade says:

    hmmm, I don’t profess to be any kind of expert and on the very first show Rob was on I actually hated him. Fell in love with him in allstars(except for his thing with amber who made me totaly notious) and thought he was fantastic again this season….i’m not sure why everyone is saying the hole tribe was stupid??? there was actually 3 players who saw rob’s threat right from the start and were originally going to do something about it, Francesca Kristina and actually Phil…Rob’s dominance & really phillips craziness (no racial slur suggested)just thwarted it….i don’t think they were so stupid as the recognized Rob’s ability to help them strategize in the game…i mean the zap tribe voted Russell out right away and look where that got them….I think if the had voted Rob off like that…none of them would have won cuz the zap’s would have crucifide them……it was just the other tribe member’s stupidity that let rob win…cum give the DEVIL his due….Rob could have played like russell and just totally rubbed everyone the wrong way but insteaad he put up with all their drama, the girls uselessnees and i will say it again Phil’s craziness and won them all over.which wasn’t easy…I would like someone to tell me exactly how you can play a completely upstanding and moral game and still win??? i don’t think it is possible…you have to back stab someone to get to the top..i don’t agree that is so in life but i don’t see any way around it in the game of survivor