We’ve watched all 20 seasons of Survivor and thought we had seen it all.
This season, however, bringing together 20 former players, incoherently thrown into two teams, “heroes” and “villains”, was a total shock. Who would have thought that there were still new tricks to be tried after 19 previous seasons? Yet this season, which ended last night, featured new tactics and surprises never seen. I guess if you put together 20 people who have all played before, their creativity is stoked. It was a pretty amazing season.
Unfortunately, it’s also the second season in a row where the winner was completely undeserving, more of an anti-vote to not award the prize to the pushiest, most aggressive, strategic player ever, Russell Hantz. Russell played two seasons back-to-back and dominated both seasons. But getting to the final three wasn’t enough; of the 18 total votes cast in the two finales, Russell received only one vote in support of his winning the game. He ticked off so many people that the juries wouldn’t vote for him to win, despite his being the dominant force. He openly admits that he isn’t the least bit interested in the social aspect of the game and it showed, both in his behavior and in the results.
I can’t decide if I’m happy or sad about it. On the one hand, it showed that people don’t want to reward rude, pushy behavior. It’s kind of a victory for niceness. On the other hand, the best player didn’t win, twice. And as a gamer that bugs me.