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  #26  
Old 2nd May 2012, 21:31
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Default Re: Survivor 19: Fina...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Who else voted for Russel besides shambles ?
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  #27  
Old 2nd May 2012, 21:51
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Default Re: Survivor 19: Fina...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

^ The rocket scientist.
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  #28  
Old 2nd May 2012, 22:11
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Default Re: Survivor 19: Fina...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Warning: another essay coming up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreWolfy View Post
@Cloud9: As a viewer, I would have voted for Russell at the FTC, along with Tashi. His social game was poor as we've discussed, but surely you can concede that he played the game well. He found idols and used them at the right time. He built alliances and removed threats. He played hard. He was not out there to make friends and be nice to everyone.
No, he's not, but he needs to make an effort. Survivor was conceived as a social experiment, and as fun as all the backstabbing can be to watch, it's still largely social. And he wasn't simply not being friendly, he was actively being hostile to them.

I like making fun of him but let me put that aside for some real talk. He was a good, not great player. We clearly got a very one-sided positive edit of his gameplay that makes it difficult to properly assess, but trying to look at it objectively, and not just buying wholesale into Russell's self-narrative, here's let's nevertheless assess his game as a whole.

THE RUSSELL POST-GAME CRITIQUE

-- He claims he controlled the game and was responsible for all the votes. The women he targeted early for "catching on" on would've been targets regardless. They were physical liabilities in a losing tribe. When his alliance disagreed with who he wanted gone, as in Ben, he couldn't do shit. Post-merge, his votes were all in the interests of the FF alliance as a whole except for the Jaison vote. How much was him calling the shots and how much was the alliance coming to the decisions together (like Jaison suggesting Shambo) or him taking charge and the others not making a fuss because the order failed to matter after Laura's elimination? For all his talk, he was part of an alliance and he needed their votes as much as they needed his. Nothing groundbreaking.

-- Finding the immunity idols without clues and using them properly. The most impressive part of his game. He didn't find the first oneentirely on his own - he saw Yasmin looking at trees and figured out she was looking for an immunity idol. He was lucky that the idols were hidden at the beach and there was no Exile Island. He's also not the first to find an idol without a clue - Gary in Guatemala did it first. Still, three in a row shouldn't be laughed at. He wasted his first immunity idol, but played his second perfectly in a key move. The third ended up being pretty pointless and he make yet another social faux pas when he smugly didn't play it but said he'd keep it as a souvenir.

-- He got Shambo on his side. The only social aspect he got right and an important FF advantage for a few TCs following the Erik vote. It was Erik's elimination that got her pissed off enough to defect though.

-- He got John on his side for the purple rock vote. John was willing to jump as soon as he got wind of Monica's plan to split the votes but Russell did try to sway him, as he should have. Point Russell.

--He won immunity at the right time Timing is everything and this was the best time to win it. Prevented a certain Brett victory and he got to choose who to take with him to final three.

Out of those, I'd consider his major moves that made a difference finding the idols, playing the idol at Kelly's elimination, developing a relationship with Shambo, and winning final immunity. Pretty good, but not controlling every step of the game like he says. He was helped by the fact that Galu largely self-imploded, but so were the rest of Foa Foa, so that's irrelevant to comparing him to Mick and Natalie.

OK, let's look at his flaws that I noticed:

--Terrible social game I hardly need to expand on this. He actively alienated most of his opponents at every turn. Some might argue this is inevitable when you're the face of an alliance voting them out, but Yul, Earl and JT would disagree. This is the biggest thing that screwed him - you can get by with no physical game but good luck winning without a social game - but there's more.

--Can't read people An aspect of social gameplay but let me expand on this. Social gameplay isn't just being friendly, it's having a good read on people (something Natalie showed in spades). He misread the jury when he thought he had them sewn up and they'd appreciate their grandstanding. He misread his allies that they were keeping him around because he was their leader, not their goat. He misread Natalie as a dumb girl who had no chance at anything, rather than a giant jury threat (something that was obvious even to us viewers with a limited edit).

--Can't resist bragging Did you notice that every time he said he was going to keep something to himself, everyone knew anyway? Like the first idol and how he was actually a millionaire, not a fireman who'd been caught in Katrina. If you're going to make up some sob story, don't go bragging about how smart you are for pulling one over on people.

--Playing hard not playing smart He says he spent hours searching for the idols while scoffing at the thought of others "making friends" and not playing hard. Cool, but there's a tradeoff. He played hard, but he played only half a game. Winning over the jury doesn't start on Day 39, it starts on Day 1.

--Most of his wheeling and dealing either came to naught or actively bit him in the ass. Remember the first post-merge episode where he failed to make any inroads into Galu? He is a bad negotiator when he doesn't have any power behind him because people can see through him and don't trust him for shit. Then there's promising Jaison he'd say if he was leaving but blindsiding him instead. He did the same thing with Shambo but since she was the only one he'd made a decent social relationship with, she forgave him. Or making a deal with Brett to take him with him if he won immunity, and reneging. Being a good player isn't backstabbing for the sake of it when it doesn't benefit you. He's about strategically sound as Dreamz here.

--Wrong choice of opponents in the final TC He had Shambo right there for god's sake. Even a Jaison or Mick combo at final three might have split the votes enough for him to win.

Now once again, several of those flaws had a greater impact on his eventual loss, specifically the social game, unnecessary backstabbing, inability to read people, and wrong choice of opponents.

So would I vote for him? What does it matter? I'm just a viewer, I don't get a vote, nor should I. If I were in the jury, I'm sure I'd have a very different experience than watching from home. It's not as if the extent of Russell's strategic game was somehow any more hidden to them than us. He was more than happy to brag about it to them at every turn. We just got the flashy Russell-positive edit, they got the real deal.

At any rate, it has never been a rule of Survivor that the jury has to vote for the best. Jeff says that they must vote for who they want to win. If they want to vote against someone because they pissed them off, it's their prerogative. That's part of the game - negotiating a jury of humans with human emotions.

Now I ask you, do you think someone who only played half a game is a great player? Does someone who ignores such a vital aspect of the game as the inevitable jury vote (19 seasons and this is the one thing that has remained constant) really understand the game that well?

Quote:
Ultimately, that back-fired on him, because the game is more complex and subtle and he completely missed the social game. But so did Mick, and I'd say Russell deserved to be in the final three much more than Mick did. Just because Russell played a poor social game doesn't mean be played a poor game overall. Foa Foa was 4:8 down at the merge and managed to elimate all of Galu. Of course that wasn't exclusively Russell's doing, but he played his part in that.
No such thing as deserving in Survivor but I agree that Russell played a better game than Mick. I do disagree with what seems to be a widespread attitude that Russell played so much better than the woman who beat him 7-2 and was complicit in all those same Foa Foa votes.
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  #29  
Old 3rd May 2012, 09:15
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Default Re: Survivor 19: Fina...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloud9 View Post
Warning: another essay coming up.
No problem - great essay, which I agree with completely.

I have a few additional points.

Quote:
-- He claims he controlled the game and was responsible for all the votes. The women he targeted early for "catching on" on would've been targets regardless. They were physical liabilities in a losing tribe.
I think it was also the case that his tribemates were happy to go along with his wishes because it meant that they wouldn't be the ones voted out i.e. an "anyone but me" scenario. As you point out, when they really wanted someone gone, he had no say in the matter.

Quote:
-- Finding the immunity idols without clues and using them properly. The most impressive part of his game. He didn't find the first oneentirely on his own - he saw Yasmin looking at trees and figured out she was looking for an immunity idol. He was lucky that the idols were hidden at the beach and there was no Exile Island.
Erik and Dave (or was it John?) also had the idea of looking for the idol, although they did have the benefit of Shambo's clue for where the idol at Foa Foa's camp was hidden. So while Russell finding three idols is undoubtedly impressive, it's not quite as innovative as he'd like to think.

Quote:
The third ended up being pretty pointless and he make yet another social faux pas when he smugly didn't play it but said he'd keep it as a souvenir.
He also made a mistake when he told John that he had it and then decided that he needed to get rid of John instead of Dave, which ran the risk of alienating Shambo.

Quote:
-- He got Shambo on his side. The only social aspect he got right
I don't know how much it says for his social game that the only person he befriended was the one everyone else didn't like. And since she was ready to defect anyway one of the other FFs might have been able to get her on their side, but he just happened to be the one who did it.

Quote:
-- He got John on his side for the purple rock vote. John was willing to jump as soon as he got wind of Monica's plan to split the votes but Russell did try to sway him, as he should have. Point Russell.
Yeah, this was a big move and one you definitely have to credit Russell for.

Quote:
--He won immunity at the right time Timing is everything and this was the best time to win it. Prevented a certain Brett victory and he got to choose who to take with him to final three.
Yes and no. Yes, Russell got to choose who to take to the final three, but if he'd won immunity a bit earlier Brett would have been gone and he'd have more options as to who his final three would be.

By the time he finally won immunity, he had no choice but to take Mick and Natalie. That could have been avoided by different voting choices at final five/final six, but his hand was forced a little by not being able to vote out Brett.
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  #30  
Old 3rd May 2012, 09:49
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Default Re: Survivor 19: Fina...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Pretty much, he got to the end by bullying and getting HII's.
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  #31  
Old 3rd May 2012, 11:20
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Default Re: Survivor 19: Fina...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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Originally Posted by Citanul View Post
He also made a mistake when he told John that he had it and then decided that he needed to get rid of John instead of Dave, which ran the risk of alienating Shambo.
Yeah, it didn't amount to much but there were still enough Galu members at that point to be dangerous if John were to get wind of his elimination and Shambo wasn't voting the same way as the FF.


Quote:
I don't know how much it says for his social game that the only person he befriended was the one everyone else didn't like. And since she was ready to defect anyway one of the other FFs might have been able to get her on their side, but he just happened to be the one who did it.
This is an interesting one because Shambo appeared to have contempt for the other FFs. You could argue her nastiness at FTC was because she was trying to ensure a Russell win but I think that she needed someone like Russell specifically to sway her. For all her whining about victimisation, Shambo honestly does seem to have a chip on her shoulder about certain kinds of people and I can easily see her labeling a bubbly, feminine pageant girl as a 90210 regardless of the Natalie's behaviour. Mick and Jaison didn't seem to make the effort Erik and John did to know her. Russell on the other hand seems like her kind of guy - closer to her age, a self-made man, is as scornful of the younger Galu mindset as she is. So I don't know, I can't really see Shambo welcoming any offers from the other three FFs because she's such an emotional, self-pitying asshole.


The ramble about Russell's strategy I wrote is long enough but I've just realised I left out yet another big flaw in his gameplan. The sabotage of his own tribe early on that may likely have contributed to FF's losses at ICs. While it's impressive to overcome an 8-4 voting deficit, how much of that situation was as a result of him emptying water canteens, burning socks and lowering his tribe's morale.
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  #32  
Old 3rd May 2012, 12:07
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Default Re: Survivor 19: Fina...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Quote:
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This is an interesting one because Shambo appeared to have contempt for the other FFs. You could argue her nastiness at FTC was because she was trying to ensure a Russell win but I think that she needed someone like Russell specifically to sway her. For all her whining about victimisation, Shambo honestly does seem to have a chip on her shoulder about certain kinds of people and I can easily see her labeling a bubbly, feminine pageant girl as a 90210 regardless of the Natalie's behaviour. Mick and Jaison didn't seem to make the effort Erik and John did to know her. Russell on the other hand seems like her kind of guy - closer to her age, a self-made man, is as scornful of the younger Galu mindset as she is. So I don't know, I can't really see Shambo welcoming any offers from the other three FFs because she's such an emotional, self-pitying asshole.
You might be right. I was going by the way she seemed so happy to be with Foa Foa when she was sent there that I felt she might still have been open to them even without Russell.

Or maybe I'm just trying to give him as little credit as possible.
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  #33  
Old 3rd May 2012, 12:34
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Default Re: Survivor 19: Fina...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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Originally Posted by Citanul View Post
You might be right. I was going by the way she seemed so happy to be with Foa Foa when she was sent there that I felt she might still have been open to them even without Russell.

Or maybe I'm just trying to give him as little credit as possible.
Yes, but it's interfering with my need to give her as little credit as possible.

With Shambo and her tendency to dwell on petty slights (real or imagined) it's so hard to predict what she'd have done. You have to put yourself in that labyrinthine mess of insecurities, grudges and self-martyring tendencies that is her brain.

Perhaps her vindictiveness against Laura and co. would have won out no matter which FF approached her. Perhaps she would have turned her nose down at Natalie because she reminded her too much of the 90210s and was too cosy with Laura. What happened happened and it's difficult to speculate just how much of that was Russell's doing.
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  #34  
Old 3rd May 2012, 12:39
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Default Re: Survivor 19: Fina...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

What happened to my post of yesterday?

I agree with comments made by TB and Sabre as well as those made by Cloud. Throughout the season I never recognised Natalie as a "player" but rather an ineffectual coat-tail rider and, as you say Cloud, this was possibly due to editing. It's certainly not hard for me to give credit to non-physical female players, but to me both Natalie and Mick were uninspiring, wishy-washy contestants and like Sabre said, I would have voted for Russell because I felt he was the better of 3 evils game-wise!

I agree with TB - a totally unsatisfying finale!

Did anyone notice how much weight Russell (and Shambo) had re-gained at the finale? I was quite shocked especially since Russell did back-to-back seasons!

I knew SA was very far behind in seasons but didn't realise that Samoa took place 4 years ago! There was an interview with Shambo in the recent YOU mag and it was mentioned there.
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  #35  
Old 3rd May 2012, 13:28
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Default Re: Survivor 19: Fina...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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What happened to my post of yesterday?
I didn't see anything. Perhaps the forum ate it when you tried to post it?

Quote:
I agree with comments made by TB and Sabre as well as those made by Cloud. Throughout the season I never recognised Natalie as a "player" but rather an ineffectual coat-tail rider and, as you say Cloud, this was possibly due to editing. It's certainly not hard for me to give credit to non-physical female players, but to me both Natalie and Mick were uninspiring, wishy-washy contestants and like Sabre said, I would have voted for Russell because I felt he was the better of 3 evils game-wise!

I agree with TB - a totally unsatisfying finale!
Yeah, it's a pity because it's almost as if Samoa was sacrificed to the altar of HvV and dedicated to hyping up Russell as a villain. They made literally the whole season about him, built up his strengths, hid his flaws, and straight up told us this is the greatest player ever to play the game and then we watched him lose to someone who'd barely been given a storyline. They had to know that this was going to ruin the ending for a lot of people but they went ahead and edited it like this anyway.

And it was all so fixable. They had such a satisfying story right there, hidden just below the surface. Don't make him the anti-hero protagonist and give him a set of cardboard cutouts to battle. Make him the antagonist and give his opponents enough screentime that we care about them. Make Natalie the David to Russell's Goliath. Instead of showing him endlessly bragging about his latest unnecessary exploit, take the time build up Natalie's storyline and show her working her angles (according to post-show materials and interviews, they're there and just weren't shown). Show why Russell's wrong, why Natalie's not just a dumb little girl, and you suddenly have a much better ending.

I just think back to a season like Fiji and wonder what would have happened if Earl was given this ridiculous invisible Natalie edit and the whole season had revolved around Dreamz. Would we be complaining that Dreamz, also an erratic backstabber who shaped the season with how he voted and pissed off too many people, was robbed?

For all our talk about strategy, and who's the best player, sometimes it's the editing choices that fascinate me more.
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  #36  
Old 3rd May 2012, 22:20
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Default Re: Survivor 19: Fina...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

twinkle, Samoa premiered in September of 2009. It was 4 or 5 seasons ago, not years ago.

Finding idols without clues has become a pretty common thing since Samoa. In the latest season, the producers don't even bother handing out clues, they just say, "There are idols out there--go find them!" I'm surprised that Russell said that it took him 4-9 hours to find one. I've read in interviews with Jeff that he says they make them easy to find on purpose. They *want* the contestants to find them.
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  #37  
Old 4th May 2012, 10:46
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Default Re: Survivor 19: Fina...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

^ 2009 is not years ago?
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  #38  
Old 4th May 2012, 12:37
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Default Re: Survivor 19: Fina...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The YOU magazine interview with Shambo said "4 years ago", but September 2009 would make that just over 2.5 years! How long after filming does the show actually premier in USA (and countries other than SA)?
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  #39  
Old 4th May 2012, 12:45
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Default Re: Survivor 19: Fina...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I think that YOU assumed that the US only has one season per year like us.
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