Last week, Redemption Island was boring and Tribal Council was incredible. This week? The total opposite. And we can't stop talking about it. What a momentous occasion for Russell to be sent home for the first time in three seasons. Our Round Table writers convened to discuss whether we were sad to see him go or not and other pressing issues.
As always, we encourage answers from our readers.
Were you rooting for Russell to stay or happy to see him go?
Kyle Kalember: I was truly torn because I didn't want to see him go, but I'm also rooting for Matt to run the gauntlet. I want to see someone go the distance and get back into the game. The only other wrinkle that might be fun is someone gets voted off, wins the last duel and immediately gets put back in the game. If that doesn't happen I'm pulling for Matt to sweep his way back in. Ah well, Russell at least made the game more interesting with his final minutes.
Dan Forcella: Happy to see him go. I think I'm all Russelled out at this point. I need more Agent Phil.
Luke Dwyer: Russell's act had gone from "excitingly brazen" to "annoyingly arrogant" over the course of his three seasons, so it was time for him to go. His ouster will hopefully teach him to find the balance between those two, even if he's unlikely to ever play again.
Was there any benefit to Ralph revealing the idol?
Kyle: That remains to be seen, but his alliance really does seem like a solid group. They have complete control of the game in their tribe and overall in the game with tonight's win putting them up 2. Ralph really does seem to be rolling, but I'm always going to be a "keep it a mystery" guy in regards to the idol. You get better blindsides that way.
Dan: Ralph found his idol a couple weeks ago, and now that he has a six to two advantage within his tribe, decides to show it to his alliance? I hate this move. You have the numbers Ralph! There is no need to show everyone you have an advantage over them. The only thing it gets you is a bullseye on your back if things start to shake up. Dumb.
Jane: Talk about a rookie mistake by Ralph - a bit overzealous and probably cost him with the other tribe when it comes merge time. Taunting enemies on Surviver never works out. Russell was the king of that, Ralph should have kept his composure.
Luke: Now? He chooses now? Not last week when, if he was savvy enough, Russell could have saved himself by going against his alliance? After last week, there's now no benefit to telling anyone until the merge.
Is Phillip's underwear the worst piece of Survivor apparel ever?
Kyle: I can't imagine that it could be that much worse than the no-apparel approach from Richard Hatch. Which is worse, old junk in your face or old junk sort of randomly peeking out? I guess the surprise factor might make Philip more frightening since you never know when a turtlehead will pop out.
Dan: Don't you mean best? These pink panties are the most disgusting yet best thing to happen this show in a long while.
Jane: What is he thinking? First all, why does he own something like that. Second, who is he trying to impress, the girls or the guys? Did he make a bet with the other "federal marshalls" that he couldn't/wouldn't wear those on tv? In short, yes, worst apparel ever.
Luke: Boston Rob's comment about not wanting your friends to come over and see your Dad in his saggy underwear brought back scary memories. Having Phillip bring them back to life, and in bright pink nonetheless, is terrifying.
How big of an underdog is Ometepe against Zapatera right now?
Kyle: Huge underdogs. They really don't have a very strong tribe. However, they do have one of the greatest puzzle solvers in Survivor history. If the next few challenges are less physical and more mental Rob could will that tribe to a few close victories and pull the numbers even by the merge. Its not out of the realm of possibility.
Dan: How can they be that much of an underdog with Boston Rob and Grant on their squad?
Jane: After how weak the challenges have been this season, I'm refusing to answer this question.
Luke: Their performance in this week's challenge was pathetic. I'm starting to doubt Phillip was really a federal agent he was so weak. Even the great Boston Rob can't save them.
Is anyone a threat to Boston Rob?
Kyle: His own tribe is a threat to Boston Rob. Philip's underwear should be their mascot. I wonder how long its going to take until those things completely disintegrate.
Dan: Everyone is a threat to Boston Rob, especially his pal Grant. I see him as a big time sleeper to win this whole thing. He could kill some challenges. He seems really likable. And he hasn't many any enemies to this point. Look out.
Jane: Andrea just because she is still mad about Matt. If she was smart, she would come up with a plan to get rid of Rob, but that won't come until later in the game. The only threat to Rob is if his team doesn't ever win another challenge. He might be the last one standing, a la Stephanie.
Luke: Definitely not on the Ometepe tribe. No one there has the backbone to stand up to him and the brains to get him out of the game. However, Rob should be wary of the Zapatera tribe. They sent Russell home on their first opportunity. They'll do the same to Rob if given the chance.