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21 December 2009 @ 12:01 am
'Survivor' finale :)  
My thoughts on the Survivor winner and runner-up and why I think it landed thus ...

I'm thrilled that Natalie won over Russell (I literally cheered) for a few reasons -- I've liked her from the beginning and she was one of my three fave choices to win from the beginning (her, Mick or Jaison). However, the main reason that I'm so happy that she won is that this will hopefully make future players realize that being a RAGING, ARROGANT ASSHOLE is not going to win you a million dollars. I grew to mostly appreciate Russell towards the end (before his overwhelming hubris on day 39), but still, I did not want him to win because of what an utter and complete ass he was. I don't care if it's a "game," I don't think that anyone should *EVER* be rewarded for that kind of behavior.

Russell was there at the end for two reasons and two reasons alone: 1) He kept finding immunity idols, and that WAS awesome and 2) He aligned himself with the right people, and some of those people were responsible for getting rid of the other people he needed to advance. In other words, dude didn't do it alone, and because he played such a poor social game, he deserved to lose. Natalie won because of three reasons: 1) She wisely chose Russell as the big bad to hide behind, 2) it was SHE who set the Erik ouster in motion and THAT (yes, Russell, that!) was the turning point of the game and, unlike Russell, 3) she played a wonderful social game and developed levels of friendship with pretty much everyone there. So, go Natalie! She deserved to win.

Now next season (cracking up at Heroes vs. villains) -- oh, please, please, please give me Sugar, Ozzy and Yau-man. I know, I know, likely won't happen, but if I could get those three, I would be in Survivor Heaven. To see Ozzy glide through the water and be kick-awesome at challenges again, to see Sugar be adorable and delightful and crack me up again, to see Yau-man be the most awesome person alive again .... YES! (ETA: Saw a spoilered list that looks pretty sure of most of it and I'm some happy. I'll just say that.)

ETA: I'm reading TWoP and am shocked at the number of people who actually believe that this was a bitter jury who based their votes on emotion. I truly do NOT believe that was the case this time. It was a matter of strategy and Erik really laid it out at the end: Russell was an arrogant douchebag who got to the final three by lying and backstabbing everyone -- he's here due to a "negative" reality, Natalie was a sweetheart who played a great social game and stuck with a targeted player -- she's here due to a "negative" perception. Both effective strategies, and when looking at it that way, one final question of how you played the game has to be considered: The social game and Natalie clearly beat Russell there. Not bitter, just more people choosing to reward the negative perception over the negative reality.