And the Winner of ‘Survivor: Samoa’ is … Who? You Gotta be Kidding

Dec 21, 2009  •  Post A Comment

In what is likely the biggest surprise in the decade that "Survivor" has been on-the-air, Natalie White was voted the $1 million first-place prize by a jury of her peers– the nine players on the show who had been voted out most recently.

I’ve been a big fan of the show since day one, and I don’t know who was more upset that Russell Hantz didn’t win–Russell or me.  In my TVWeek Open Mic blog I write about why I’m so pissed and why, heading into its big 20th Anniversary arc of the show, this might be a good time for "Survivor" to re-evaluate a key element of the series. Click here to read.

–Chuck Ross


  1. We’ve been bamboozled!

    I thought Russell outwitted, outplayed and outlasted everyone. Natalie had no strategy other than to align herself with the person who had worked hardest at being a Survivor. True, he was unlikable in almost every way, but he did play the game the best of them all. I do think Russell’s arrogance shot him down at the end. Telling people, “I’m runnin’ the show” only hurt him. I also think there was a slight generational shift in thinking. Russell’s old school ethic of work hard and do your best isn’t respected by those younger players of the game.

    Maybe in future seasons Survivor’s contestants will meet together after their tribal merge, sit round the camp fire and share their stories about why they deserve to win above the others, then a soft Kumbaya will be sung as they sway together holding hands. There’s a politically correct values shift occurring in the game that will lose viewers. I thought Russell was the “best” player of Survivor we’ve seen in a long time. He even found the hidden immunity idols with no clues! That was amazing and never done before. He was certainly an unpleasant character, but he won the game fair and square. If these are the new rules maybe next time a fish or palm tree will win.

  2. I agree that Russell should have won because he played the game better than anyone else. However, how were some of the cheap, underhanded and outright dishonest methods he employed demonstrations of the old school ethics of hard work and do your best? He exhibited some of the worst ethics ever. He lied to virtually everyone. He said and did whatever it took to get to move himself forward. He used people and then discarded them. In essence he has demonstrated all of the traits that the banking, automotive and finace leaders in the USA have been demonstrating which is why our economy is in such terrible shape. No doubt, Russell should have won but don’t talk about his ethics.

  3. I think that Russell did play a harder game than Natalie… but just think… He lied about everything and sabatoged his whole teamates. He didn’t deserve to get it anyways and he doesn’t need it either.

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