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Survivor

Survivor Review: What if Boston Rob Hadn't Played?

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Who would be the most interesting character on this season of Survivor if Boston Rob were not present? 

Ralph? 
David? 
*gulp*
Philip?

The argument could certainly be made that Russell initially and Boston Rob recently have so thoroughly dominated the show that no one else has had a chance to evolve in to a more interesting personality.  Perhaps David is proving that recently.  With Russell out, he’s turned in to quite the villain and is arguably interesting. 

Grant and Boston Rob Hug

But, none of these characters ever seem to have nearly as many interesting things to say as Russell did and Boston Rob does.  Our Red Sox-loving survivor once again dominated this week’s episode first in game performance, but more entertainingly in what he does around camp and says in his confessionals. 

Here’s a sample of some of his gems this week:

Philip wanted to go to the duel.  He’s not allowed to go without a chaperone.  I gotta baby sit his ass for the day.
Philip has a big mouth, he likes to talk and he can’t be trusted.  He’s dangerous because of his stupidity.  He’s probably the most unaware person I’ve ever met in my entire life.
If we lose, there won’t be any blindside.  I’ll go right up to Philip and say ‘you know what, Philip, you’re going home.’  I’ll frontside him.
We almost lost ya, Philip!

The last one was probably the boldest thing he’s done yet.  He basically told Philip that if Ometepe had lost, Philip was going home.  The best part?  Philip didn’t even realize what Boston Rob was really telling him, so he didn’t even react. He gave Rob a quick, quizzical look before returning to the joy of winning.

Not only is what Boston Rob says funny, what he does is equally as funny.  He continues to be aggressive with the clues to the hidden immunity idol for almost no reason.  No one can find the idol because he has it, so what does he care?  Then again, why am I complaining?  It led to a hilarious moment when he tossed the clue in to the volcano without reading it.  Gold!
Ralph Interview

So if Russell and, most prominently, Boston Rob were not on this season of Survivor, would we enjoy it?  While it’s hard to find someone to get attached to, there’s no question it’s better than last season.  Even though both are crazy, Ralph and Philip are both more interesting than anyone from the fall. 

Would this be different if Rob and Russell were not included?  Our last memorable new character was Russell from Survivor: Samoa two years ago.  Since then we’ve only had one truly new cast and it completely flopped.  This season 16 of the 18 are new and none have been fun to root for. 

Philip has been interesting, but interesting like it’s interesting to see what happens with a car crash.  Ralph, his man sweater and his amazing ignorance (really, he didn’t know what cohesive means?) has been unique to watch, but after the initial shock of Ralph wore off, he’s been less engaging. 

It’s been a tough season for the women.  Julie, Ashley, Natalie, Sarita and Andrea have brought very little to the table.  Stephanie had a lot to her, but also sided with the wrong person and couldn’t get over her own anger with her tribe to save herself. 

Sarita Sits Out

Perhaps Stephanie would have been the character that emerged if Russell were not around.  She was ready to “play the game” right from the get go.  She’s got a mouth on her, which is always interesting.  Despite being small in stature, she had a lot of fight to her, even in challenges.  Without Russell and with the right replacement, she might be running Zapatera.

More from this week:

  • Why is David SO aggressive with Sarita?  He’s almost like an older bully who’s just picking on a younger, timid kid.  I don’t understand it.  Not only is it unnecessarily mean it’s very counterproductive in Survivor.
  • Philip could go down as the craziest survivor ever.  I know he’s got competition, but he’s putting on an epic performance.
  • Amazing how Boston Rob flipped Philip’s trust against him.  I think Philip was being earnest in truly asking what Boston Rob wanted to do.  Boston Rob turned it around to make it seem like Philip was suggesting keeping stuff from the tribe.
  • This is probably the first time we’ve ever seen Boston Rob struggle in a challenge and be bailed out by someone else – Grant.  However, I’d accept the argument that Rob was just trying to drag Philip’s 52-year old butt through the challenge and that’s why he was behind.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (18 Votes)
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    7 Comments New Comment Subscribe

    Avatar

    Survivor cured me as I will not watch anymore "has beens" allowed to play. I do not know why Survivor did not just give Rob the money at the beginning of the game and eliminate this whole season. Oh yeah...the sponsors.....

    Avatar

    We've been watching the Surviver and it seems like Phillip might be pretending some of his insanity to be a better opponent to keep till the final 3 and then be "easier" to beat. It would be a great play for anyone to play if its true. So who knows, he could spill the beans after the show.

    Mr-probst

    @Steve-O - Good point about the talent scouts. I didn't realize that Survivor: Fiji was so filled with players from talent scouts, but if it's true, the season definitely wasn't as good as seasons where players seemingly came through a normal application process.

    I know Dan from last season was a talent scout selected person and really wasn't worth much either. He just didn't bring the passion for the game that you'd get from someone who actively applies.

    Avatar

    I have been thinking about this season vs. previous seasons and the (re)use of players who have previously played the game.

    I don't know if it is a fair comparison to bash on this season's cast, because everyone's game plan changed once they found out about Rob and Russell joining the show. Who knows how differently it would have been if neither of them were there? Perhaps Francesca and Kristina would still be there because they wouldn't have been trying to eliminate Rob so intensely? If that were the case, they would be interesting to watch, because they likely would be changing up the game. Similarly, would Grant, Matt, Natalie, Andrea, and Ashley immediately have formed an alliance if Rob wasn't there? I don't know. But once Rob was on their tribe, they flocked to him as the leader because of his past experiences.

    On the other tribe, Stephanie's game would have probably changed a bit too, because her goal was to be the next Natalie (who won with Russell but save one "power play" was not ultimately that exciting to watch). I think because Russel left, Stephanie became an interesting player, motivated by the realization that she was on a tribe of people she considered to be dolts and she was on the wrong side of the numbers. Despite that, her strategy at camp once Russell was gone lacked imagination (in fairness I was a huge fan of he play to Rob at the duel, but again it showed that her strategy was simply shaped by someone who already played the game).

    Part of the charm of having people who have never played the game before (like last season) is watching their learning curve as the game progresses. While many people thought last season was somewhat of a downer, I actually enjoyed it despite how much Jane and her stupidity annoyed me as well as Naonka and her irrational, self-centered, insanity bothered me. That said, some players like Fabio, Marty, and Brenda were enjoyable to watch. The problem with last season's cast was that some of them (Purple Kelly) were so completely worthless to the game that it detracted from the overall value.

    Another point that I want to make is that when CBS' "talent scouts" go out and find people to play, I think it already hurts the quality of the season. For example, look at Survivor Fiji. I think it was the worst season, and it was primarily filled with people the "talent scouts" found. If they select people who enjoy the game, have watched all 22 seasons, and applied like they were supposed to, then CBS would get a better cast and certainly one with people who are willing to make bold moves.

    Seriously think about it. Boston Rob's tribe doesn't even seem to grasp the concept of the hidden immunity idol clues! (and most of them are "talent scout" products). If CBS wants a good season, they should cast a random cross section of American life and culture. Seasons where half of the contestants are form CA really detracts from the show. Case in point, this season 10 contestants come from CA. The cross-section of America is what makes this show interesting and what hooked everyone during the its first 8 seasons.

    On a sidenote, I wish Ometepe had lost because I really wanted to see Rob "frontside" Phillip. Although, I think Phillip will play a more interesting role next episode with the re-insertion of the redeemed player and a merge at twelve. I expect the next two episodes will be pretty good. I also doubt Rob has a target on his back at this point. I, too, can live without armpit-funk scenes. Finally, how similar are Coach and Phillip? Do you think Phillip is trying to be like coach, or is he really that out there?

    P.S. -- Let me know if you need some "pinch hitters" for the Round table. I am happy to offer my services. :)

    Purplegossipgirlbass72

    If Rob wasn't here this season, it would probably be as boring as last season. Stephanie would've been the only one with a fire in her game, because I don't think Phillip would've been this crazy without Rob to motivate him, and he probably would've already been eliminated.
    Also--> is it just me, or is the Zapatera tribe EXTREMELY boring? Krista was so right. They won't know what to do with themselves when they're forced to play the game!

    Mr-probst

    Hey Lauren,

    Believe it or not, we've actually had some technical difficulty with our Round Table writers being able to watch the past two episodes, so we haven't had the Round Table. We'll be back for sure next week!

    I love your input, keep it coming. Every week I'm amazed at how clueless the rest of Rob's tribe is, but I don't want to write the same thing week after week. How is no one talking about this?

    Any thoughts on my assertion that Stephanie could have been interesting if Russell wasn't around? I think that, like Russell, she wouldn't have been well liked, but would have really stirred things up.

    Avatar

    I missed that comment to Phillip! Wow, B rob is arrogant, but he has a reason to be. I can't believe that the other members of the tribe haven't even thought about the immunity idol. They know Kristina had it, but do they not get that once it's played it is rehidden? I was hoping that Phillip (and I can't believe I'm saying this) would tell the girls about the clue Rob was hiding to get rid of him. The problem is the only one who would care is Andrea.

    I'm really hoping Matt comes back on this last duel despite his advertised injury and the two can team up to get rid of Rob and most of Zapatera. They are really the only two I like on the show, and I am beginning to agree that the only interesting Survivor seasons are the ones with returning players.

    I know most people aren't a fan of Russell, but at least with him, he was always scrambling and some how able to stay alive, which was fun to watch. With Rob and his followers, he knows he has it in the bag. I guess next week will be interesting since we will finally be at a merge.

    P.S. Did I miss the round table from last week?




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