Monday, December 21, 2009
This post really only applies to fellow 'Survivor' fans as it pertains to last nights season finale of 'Survivor: Samoa'.
I'm going to fully impart what will likely be my unpopular opinion, drawing ire from feminists everywhere.
*On a side note--I consider myself somewhat of a feminist.
After all, I am particularly drawn to the musical likes of people like Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Linda Thompson, Linda Ronstadt, Carole King, and Carly Simon.
My favorite thespians are also female: Bette Davis, Joan Fontaine, Grace Kelly, Vanessa Redgrave, Shirley Maclaine, Julie Christie, Emma Thompson, Kate Winselt, Toni Collette, Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep--just to name a few.
I am a HUGE Diablo Cody fan (Screenwriter of 'Juno' and Showtime's 'U.S. Of Tara') and I absolutely LOVED Bettie Page.
There are many other reasons I call myself a feminist, but I think I made my point.
However, before I move on--I'd like to express my deep sadness of another female actress who left us way too soon: my heart weighs heavy at the loss of beautiful, young and talented Brittany Murphy ('Clueless', 'Riding In Cars With Boys'--just to name a few).
Onto my 'Survivor' rant:
In light of my feminist views, I nonetheless found myself rooting for a man who dubbed his alliance with young females: 'My dumb-ass girl alliance'.
This is a man who came into the game with the view of doing nothing but shaking things up and showing the world; "THIS is how you play 'Survivor!'"
And he outwitted, outplayed and nearly outlasted the hell out of it.
He single-handedly turned this season upside down.
This is a man who created chaos by burning his own tribe mates socks in the fire and emptying their water canteens while they slept--just to see what would happen.
He wanted to see some fight in his team.
This is a man who did the most despicable lying early on in the game by using the tragedy of 'Hurricane Katrina' as his backdrop, claiming to have lost his home and his beloved dog.
He's never even been to New Orleans--nor did he have a dog.
Not since 'Jonny Fairplay' lied about his Grandmother having died to receive favour from his tribe mates (she was indeed alive and well) had I been so disgusted by a player.
But....somewhere between Russell's lying, sabotaging and manipulating, he won me over and I found myself rooting for him.
Why? Because he was there to play hard and to win--and he proved it over and over.
He single-handedly picked off those who stood in his way at every tribal council.
His tribe, 'Foa Foa', was indeed on a losing streak against the stronger 'Galu' tribe, so, he used 'Foa Foa's' losing streak to his advantage turning a negative into a positive by eliminating those on his tribe who stood in his way.
'Foa Foa' was down so far in players that when the two tribes finally merged into one and individual immunity was 'up for grabs', there didn't seem a chance in hell of Russell--or any of the ill fated 'Foa Foa' tribe--making it much past the merge. They were sure to be picked off one by one.
However, Russell wasn't having it and he had other plans.
This man found hidden immunity idols without any clues (that was a first in 'Survivor' history)--one after the other--and starting making alliances with the enemy, picking off the strongest players that he knew he couldn't beat.
It's called a blindside.
Again and again until 'Foa Foa' finally outnumbered 'Galu' in the merge.
He aligned himself in the beginning with people from 'Foa Foa' who stayed loyal and allowed Russell to do the dirty work while they stayed quietly hidden in the background to his foreground, letting him 'take the bullets'.
He relished being the bad guy, the manipulator--and he did exactly what he said he was going to; he turned this game upside down and showed America how to play 'Survivor'.
He had no qualms about it--this is all for not only the title of 'Sole Survivor', but for a MILLION DOLLARS!
It's easy to sit in the comfort of our living room and judge what goes on and how someone like Russell plays the game. He's been called cocky, a dirty player, a cheat, a liar and a manipulator not to mention he is already a self made millionaire and an oil company owner.
Does that make him less deserving of a million dollars?
And as much as I would like to think I would keep my integrity in a game like 'Survivor', the truth is NONE of us knows what we're capable of doing out on an island away from family, friends, comfort, home, food and familiarity with you having to constantly plot, scheme and watch your back.
For a million dollars we might all just surprise ourselves and find out what were really made of--good, bad or indifferent.
Natalie was aligned with Russell from the beginning of 'Foa Foa' and stayed aligned all through the game (along with Mick and Jaison).
The only smart move Natalie really made in the entire game (she didn't win one single immunity nor found a hidden immunity idol) was backing up Russell's schemes and dreams to make it to the final three.
For this, she considered herself worthy of a million dollars.
Apparently the jury agreed:
Natalie was named 'Sole Survivor' over Russell.
Mick was also in the final three but proved to be an obsolete player with no spark or backbone--I don't believe he received even a single vote for the million dollar win and title of 'Sole Survivor'. Nor did he deserve one.
So, in the end, the bitter jury (are you reading this, Erik and Jaison?)--comprised of nine voted off members--awarded Natalie the title and a million dollars.
Because she's attractive and was nicer than Russell.
Not because she was deserving--but because she was nice (and I HATE to even think this of the already bitter jury--but being pretty, blonde, petite and sporting a bikini the entire game might not have hurt, either).
EDIT (Tuesday morning): Jeff Probst said it best in his 'Entertainment Weekly' blog he posted just this morning: "It wasn't a vote for Natalie--it was a vote against Russell."
Again, it's not because she played a good game--but because she was nice.
That's funny--I thought this shows motto was "Outwit. Outplay. Outlast".
Clearly my mistake.