Here's the thing about Survivor that I admire so much - things can occur that may not make you happy, but you can't deny they're thrilling and make for great TV. One place these kind of competitive reality shows can excel -- especially ones where the audience has no say in the outcome -- is the unpredictability. From the moment Richard Hatch won (actually earlier, when his alliance began to successfully take out lovable people like Gretchen) it was compelling TV, because it threw out the rules of standard scripted series. Here, the bad guy can win - or at least have huge moments of triumph.
To me, Russell is the bad guy this season. I was rooting for him last season, but this time out he's annoyed me - and I can't help but put all of my fandom towards Boston Rob, who is my favorite Survivor contestant ever. But while Russell has too many notable faults - including ones that lead to his loss last season - to stop me from calling him a "perfect" player, he is undoubtedly great at this game in many ways. And he proved it again here.
What was so much fun (though also nerve wracking!) about watching Russell and Rob go at it this week was how great they were at predicting each other's moves. This was the week we usually get when the show starts with this many contestants, where both tribes had to vote someone out, and I was both surprised and overjoyed to see Rob end up totally safe early on, after he won immunity - kicking ass again.
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