Survivor 22 – Redemption Island: Too Close for Comfort

I was very excited to blog about this season before it begins. I had just started this blog (and transfered my old posts about Survivor to it) and I swore to myself that I’d cover it in as much detail as possible no matter what (on previous seasons, I have bee guilty to skip my reports at times). Probst had talked about it as one of the best seasons ever. The cast looked good and interesting… This was going to be exciting.Now, that the season is coming to a close, I almost regret having done so. How many hours – hours I will never have back – have I spent blogging about this embarrassment of a season? The things one does for just a TV show…

Season 23’d better be good or my love for Survivor may just not recover.

Meanwhile, homework has to be done and I still have two entries about this season to do.


Redemption Island


Andrea Boelhke lives another day: It seems that she expected a warm welcome at Redemption Island. Reality hurts, as Andrea has learned the hard way during those hours between being blindsided by the people she trusted blindly and the cold shoulder she got from Matt and friends. Her exchange with Matt was interesting, blaming each other for not jumping ship with Zapatera at the merge (and both had valid points). It was also adding salt to our wound, us viewers, as they didn’t just rob themselves of a chance to win the game, it’s their inability to take action of the merge that made this second part of the season so lame and borderline unwatchable. Let’s not forget that.

Matt Elrod lives another day: Did he arrive third this time around? Matt ceased to interest me too. At this point it seems obvious that he will be the one returning, and if he wins this season, it will be quite embarrassing.

Mike Chiesl lives another day: He really has been dominating these post-merge challenges on Redemption Island, and if he manages to return to the game, the remaining people (I can’t really call them “constestants”) there should be very afraid, as if he makes it to the end, he’ll win it all for sure.

Ralph Kiser is the fourth member of the jury: Goodbye Ralph, I liked you even if I didn’t always understand what you say. I really hope he gets invited back to a future All-Stars edition, although it’s unlikely.


The Murlonio/Mariano Tribe

Finally, they’re (sort of) playing the game. And by play the game I mean “think of betraying each other, but still letting Rob calling all the shots”.

Ashley Underwood: Oh, she won immunity, which made Grant’s backstabbing come one episode early. That my friends is great game play and great material for a good episode… Mmmm…. Not…
Grant Mattos sent to Redemption Island: Well, all I had to say about Grant this week was said last week (for those who missed it: he’ll still trust Rob blindly and he’ll get blindsided if he doesn’t win immunity). What’s crazy is that he’s so in love with Rob, that in his confessional on his way to Redemption Island, he’s still unsure that it is Rob who betrayed him. Dude! Get a grip, who else could it be?
Grant and his best buddy with whom he’s going to go to the end…
Natalie Tenerelli:She didn’t get voted out because she’s more clueless and more useless than Grant. That’s gameplay!
Former Federal Agent Phillip Sheppard:So this week, he antagonized the girls. Not a good thing for Rob, but maybe not such a bad thing for him, as he knows Rob wants him in the end next to him, and fighting with the girls is a good way to tell Rob, “see, those two girls in the jury” will vote for you, not for me, so this is where they belong”. Of course, I may just be giving too much credit to Phillip. I could also underline, that just like those two girls, not once he thought of a final three scenario with no Rob in it. 

Boston Rob Mariano: Rob is back! In case people had forgotten, what Rob is best at on this planet is not playing Survivor (although he’s pretty good at it when he has no competition), it is backstabbing his friends. Apart from that, at this point, he seems pretty well assured of a spot in the final three, unless the returning player from Redemption Island magically convinces the remaining players at that point to vote him out. Can he win? Well, we’ll see the possible scenarios in a few paragraphs.

Ashley and Natalie busy strategizing
Next person voted out: 
I assume that the person returning from Redemption Island will do so before the next vote. So I also assume that the next person voted out is that person if they don’t win immunity. If they do, bye bye Ashley, finally…Possible scenarios for the winner:

Hard to guess which way the jury will go with 8 people still technically in the game.
But on the other hand, jury votes could be quite predictable this time around for obvious reasons.
Let’s see who could get which votes:


Andrea Boelhke: If she makes it to the end, I doubt she’d get many votes. Grant’s maybe… Phillip’s if he’s not in the final three? 

Ashley Underwood:She’d get Natalie’s vote, if Natalie was voted out by Rob, but I assume it’s the only vote she can get. Can the Zapatera people vote for her against whoever else would be sitting next to her? Maybe one (who? why?).

Grant Mattos: Could he win if he returned to the game? If he hadn’t been voted out at all, he was a favorite to win it all. But for some reason, now that he is on Redemption Island, I have the feeling that this has hurt his chances to do so, unless he’s sitting next to Ashley and Phillip of course.

Matt Elrod: Matt gets to the end, Matt wins. He’ll get most if not all of the Zapatera votes.

Mike Chiesl:Same as Matt. If he’s in the final, he’ll get all of Zapatera votes, Matt’s and possibly Grant’s.

Natalie Tenerelli: She’ll get Ashley’s vote. Maybe a few more if she’s sitting next to Rob and Phillip. She could actually win, and that’s a scary thought.
Former Federal Agent Phillip Sheppard: This is quite simple, either at the final tribal council, Phillip reveals (and manages to prove) that he was actually a super spy and that he has played every one, shooting crew included. In that case, he wins by a landslide. Either he doesn’t, and I don’t see how he could get a single vote, no matter who is sitting next to him.
Boston Rob Mariano: And the big question everybody has been wondering: Can Rob win? I guess he can sitting next to Ashley and Phillip, or rather Andrea and Phillip. Other make ups of the final three? I seriously doubt he can.

And you? What do you think? Who do you think is out next, will come back from Redemption Island and who will win it all?

19 Responses

  1. QuackerPacker says:

    Haha you were wrong. king Rob won easily over Natalie in the end who you said he couldn’t beat.

    • David Billa says:

      Being wrong is part of the exercise of predicting things, isn’t it?
      In this case, I had underestimated how dumb the other contestants were.

      • QuackerPacker says:

        Grant would have beaten Rob 8-1 though, and Ashley would have beaten him 5-4. Natalie and Phillip were never winning a jury vote no matter what they said since they suck, and one speech is too late to change sucking. Even retard Ralph would have even beaten them.

  2. Grant Mattos says:

    Rob is such a cruel asshole. I thought he was a real friend. 🙁 I haven’t even talked to him since Survivor. He knows he would have lost to me in the Final 3. He wasnt man enough to take me on, and was scared of real competition. I have never been that hurt that much by someone I felt I really bonded with emotionally though.

    • David Billa says:

      Hi Grant,
      if you’re really Grant Mattos (seeing the e-mail address you left, I’d say you are) first of all welcome here and wow, I’m honored, you’re the first contestant to ever comment on my blog, even though I know that some other have lurked around here in the past.

      Concerning Rob, well, you’re preaching to the choir, I’ve hated his guts since season 4 and his first outing out there.

      Now with all due respect, not taking people who can be you to the end is part of the game, and doing so can cost you a million bucks (ask Woo in Cagayan), that’s why you need to take yourself to the end, or manage to have a moron take you.

      • Grant Mattos says:

        I do understand what you are saying. Having watched the game some more since my appearance on Survivor I can appreciate the strategic element of it much better than I did when I played. My biggest mistake was applying for Survivor having only started watching its past seasons for roughly 2 weeks. An example of how little I knew about the game is in my elimination episode. You mention me contemplating if Rob had voted me off (which I should have known regardless as we all foolishly allowed him to control everything that happened amongst our tribe). Well part of that confusion is only 1 vote for Natalie was read, 3 for me. So, demonstrating how little Survivor I had watched, and what an incredibly short time I had even known of the show, I figured that might mean there were 2 votes for Natalie and the 2nd wasn’t read. I think a lot of that was wishful thinking though. I wanted to think Phillip whom I was never chummy with had turned on me. The thought Rob had, when I thought we had a very close friendship with, broke my heart, and I couldn’t bear the idea. Deep down though I think I knew, and it started to hit me while on Redemption Island later that night.

        Not to make excuses for anything, particularly my overall performance in Challenges, which while very good, was not up to the standards an ex NFL player should have been, which should have been pretty dominant. Of the many things about my performance on Survivor I am dissapoinetd with, that is yet another. That said part of the reason I came last in the final challenge is I realized Rob had in fact voted me out, and that gutted me to the core. My will was gone. Had it just been Phillip, I would have had more fight to return and still try and get to the end and win. I have to say that Mike Chiesl and Matthew Elrod were incredible friends to me and remain so to this day. They helped comfort me that night when I woke up crying, when I realized Rob had been the one to vote me out, and it might have impacted their performances in the challenge the next day too, where as you probably recall Andrea surprisingly won. Not to take anything away from her victory and return to the game mind you.

        Now that all said had Rob just voted me out, and that was it, we probably could have moved past things and remained friends. I was willing to initially. We had a heart to heart at Ponderosa, and he was actually quite nice, and no longer had any incentive to manipulate me with the game over and votes in, however they went. I even lied to him and said I had voted for Natalie to win, and he didn’t seem to mind.
        We sort of made up as friends, and we did keep in touch for awhile post game, even if the emotional wounds had not fully healed yet. Then I watched the season play out, and it was that much worse. He had told me it was a last moment decision to vote me out in favor of Natalie, and that it was made thinking of who he could win easier against at the end. Well that part might be true. However that still does no change the fact that I was never in his Final 3 all game long. He had one going of Natalie-Ashley awhile. He had one of Natalie-Phillip awhile. He even had one of Phillip-Andrea briefly. This means I was the only one of his entire alliance never in his Final 3. This from someone who is supposably a close friend. I just could felt at that point we: a) were never that close anyway, so what is the point pursuing a friendship with someone who lives far away anyway. b)not only did he intend to hurt me, but he wasn’t even prepared for how I might react to it, aka he didn’t even care much, c)I would not want to seriously pursue a friendship with someone who lied to me so blatantly from the start for strategic purposes.

        I also am free and open to admit I am a sensitive man, and I am emotionally fragile. Part of that is I grew up in a very close family. My parent’s divorce impacted all of us, and one of my brothers almost died from a drug overdose. My sister had a scare during her first pregnancy. We have had to bond together and give extra love and support to one another. So maybe I do need a little extra love and care from my friends than most. Rob is basically the opposite, especialy when you are another guy. He seemed to have an almost indifferent regard for the feelings of his male friends, while thinking only the women he is close to does he have to worry about things like feelings. He is not the right kind of person to be a friend to me outside the game. Even in his comments after the Reunion show I saw him making fun of me being hurt by saying things “the guy is an NFL player, he is supposed to be a big boy, the young girls got over it easier, he is not a young girl.” He basically has already stereotyped my personality by gender, age, and profession. He says “Grant cant handle losing since he is used to always being a winner.” He knows nothing about me! Making it to the NFL after the long road I had to get there, but only playing 6 games and not recording a catch made me feel like a loser. Not making the finals of Survivor after being in a great position to possibly win, all because my closest ally voted me out makes me feel like a loser. I up to that point in my life had hardly ever felt like a winner, and dealt with many insecurities and lack of confidence. How dare he just presume me. I am much happier now than I was at the time of Survivor, and am at peace with nearly every aspect of my life. Still his stated myth I have always been a winner and gotten my way is insane. It is kind of ironic he has 4 daughters now. Maybe god will not let him have a son, since he indicates with how he deals with other guys in his life (Lex being another example) he is insensitive to the feelings of men entirely, and it is best he does not have a son to raise.

        • David Billa says:

          Hi Grant,
          First of all, thank you so much for your openness about all of that.

          And believe me, I think I totally understand where you’re coming from. I don’t have the habit to be too open online, but let’s say that I’m a pretty sensitive guy too (I hide it publicly with my big mouth and my snark), and I’ve been burned by people I considered by best friends in ways that are not completely dissimilar (albeit in a very different context).

          Thanks again.

          • Grant Mattos says:

            I do admit I find this part funny:

            “Well, all I had to say about Grant this week was said last week (for those who missed it: he’ll still trust Rob blindly and he’ll get blindsided if he doesn’t win immunity). What’s crazy is that he’s so in love with Rob, that in his confessional on his way to Redemption Island, he’s still unsure that it is Rob who betrayed him. Dude! Get a grip, who else could it be?, and also “Grant and his best buddy with whom he’s going to go to the end…”, and even “Natalie Tenerelli:She didn’t get voted out because she’s more clueless and more useless than Grant. That’s gameplay!” The part about Natalie and Ashley strategizing witht he underarm pit sniffing is funny too.

            I don’t mind being razzed out some for my blind loyalty to Rob. I do deserve that for sure. So those aspects of your blog from that season I take no issue with, and I do get a good laugh out of some of them.

            One thing I do have to say also is Rob in person is far more charismatic and charming than he comes across on TV. He is good at making everyone feel you are the one he likes the most, even when he really doesn’t and is just playing you. What is that saying, being charmed by the rattlesnake.

            Still I should have been more perceptive to what was going in some of the sub alliances, and known more about Rob’s history in the game, and I take full blame for that. What is funny is even outside of Rob I was partly responsible for cutting my own throat. Rob had pushed the idea of getting rid of Phillip or Andrea to me the vote off before and I insisted strongly on Andrea. Andrea was my closest ally outside of Rob, and it turns out the only one (including Rob) who truly totally had my back going forward. Getting rid of Phillip would have gotten rid of 1 of Rob’s goats and probably put me in his final 3. Getting rid of Ashley would have actually given me a better shot at convincing Rob to keep me over Natalie, if for instance Andrea had won immunity. Part of the reason he kept Natalie over me was he worried about igniting Ashley and contrary to what the edit implied that Rob might want Natalie gone to split the girls alliance, that was in fact an additional reason to keep Natalie over me (in addition to the obvious reason that I was a bigger threat than her) as he didn’t want Ashley angry and targeting him, while Andrea was a closer ally to me and would give me more leverage with Rob. Heck I could have even gotten Andrea and Phillip to vote with me to boot Rob or Natalie now, and it wouldnt even matter who Rob wanted to keep between Natalie and me. So unknown to me at the time I helped cut my own throat going forward by being more responsible for Andrea’s boot than in fact Rob who was willing to send Phillip or Ashley home at that point, but I stupidly put my foot down on that.

          • David Billa says:

            That’s something I’ve also wondered during the season, everyone’s scenario and plan in your tribe seemed to include them, Rob and a third one to the end. Not once in the show, someone seems to want to get rid of Rob (except for Ashley before she was voted out I believe).

            Is it also the editing? You guys talked about voting Rob out, it was just not shown? Or is he that charismatic?

            Before the season even started, before I had seen any of you guys, I thought the concept of bringing back those two guys and those two only was silly as they’d obviously be voted out pre-merge…. Well, it happened for Russell, not for Rob.
            But I guess a returning player’s experience is invaluable out there, as every time there has been returning players, at least one of them was in the finals.

  3. Grant Mattos says:

    You are also right on where my votes would go hypothetically for certain players. Andrea and Mike are probably the first two I would have voted for to win had they reached the end. Matt would be next just since I like the guy so much, even if I don’t really think he played that good a game, but I also do really admire his Redemption Island streak. Like it or not (and I frankly hated it) that is part of the game this season and a few others, and balances some of his epic stupidity on the island itself.

    Between Ashley and Rob I don’t know where my vote would have, and Ashley would probably need to do a good job in tribal to ensure my vote, but just as you speculated in your final predictions, my first two votes would go to Mike and Andrea (in that order) before anyone else. Andrea for being a good friend and close ally to me the whole game, moreso than I was to her, for working very hard around camp, for playing a generally good game and surviving the final R1 duel against 3 strong guys should she have then carried that to make the end (which would probably require 3 straight immunities now too), and for being the only one in my alliance who didn’t backstab me even though I did her, and even saving me over her closest ally Matt. Mike for just being awesome, for playing a clean game, for being the true and respected leader of the rival tribe, for surviving so long on Redemption, and because the guy is like a brother to me (and still to this day is). One cant say he really did anything wrong, although in fairness he didn’t much chance to which makes it easier.

    So you are a good judge of that sort of thing.

  4. Grant Mattos says:

    You are correct. Although is hard to tell since our alliance didn’t talk to each other nearly enough, outside of each of us talking to Rob, about strategy. Apart from only Natalie-Ashley as the remaining exception. Andrea and I talked about strategy separate from Rob too, and she even broached the idea of getting rid of Rob and going to the finals together with someone else (possibly Phillip as our goat to ensure 1 of us winning). However I was just bullshitting her and had every attention of cutting her first of the core Ometepe 6, which as I said I realize now was idiotic on my part. I have kind of lost touch with Andrea but if I talked to her again I would apologize for my treatment of her in the game too. She was a completely loyal ally to me who I did not appreciate at all, which was my own undoing as well.

    Yes though I think each of our final 3 plans included Rob. Mine was Rob-Phillip-myself. I thought both guys were on board with that too, which is why I was so sure they were voting Natalie out after Ashley won immunity. I should have noticed how close Rob and Natalie had gotten, and also that Rob always puts strategy (taking Phillip and Natalie to the finals was an obviously superior strategic choice than taking me obviously) above friendship. I do think we had a real friendship out there, but he was never going to put that before the game. I should have also noticed that he asked me who I wanted to go home Phillip or Natalie. That should have been a red flag since while we made many decisions together, he never started a strategic talk like that. He always came flat out to me with a name who he wanted to go, and never proposed it like a question, and the most I could do is argue to change his mind. So that should have already been a red flag something was up, and he me worried.

    Then Natalie, I think her dream final 3 was sort of Rob-Natalie-Ashley due to her feelings towards both Ashley and Rob. On the other hand I think her brain final 3 was Rob-Phillip-Natalie since she knew that was her best chance of winning the game, and despite that Rob cleaned up in the end it still was really her best chance of winning. Ultimately though I think she would have been fine with whoever Rob insisted on to her. So if Rob had said Natalie, Rob, and myself, she also would have gone with that, although I know she like the rest of my tribe (except Andrea) was worried about facing me in front of a jury, and I do take that aspect as a compliment atleast.

    Then Ashley. I think he final 3 was always herself, Rob, and Natalie. I dont think she ever wanted to take Phillip to the finals just because she hated him so much, that she put that above the game situation. I know she didn’t want me, since she is open that she feels she couldn’t have beaten me in a jury vote. I know she didn’t even consider Andrea at all. So yeah her final 3 would include Rob too.

    Phillip’s final 3? I think he was fine with Rob, myself, and him. He was also fine with Rob, Natalie, and him. I dont know if he even really knew Rob wanted Natalie in the finals before me or even cared. I think he knows he wasnt going to win, so in his case it wouldnt matter that I was a much tougher jury opponent than Natalie was. He embraced his goat role, and even treated final tribal like a joke. I know he didn’t want to go to the end with Ashley. He was close with Andrea, but I think he accepted nobody on the tribe wanted her at the end, and was fine with that, and did not even put her in his final 3 plans either. Before the merge he did want to get rid of Rob but nobody else was on board. Post merge he was completely loyal to Rob and did not even consider a final 3 without him either. Granted none of us liked or trusted him enough to talk strategy with him, and had someone approached him, who knows.

    That leaves Andrea. Andrea’s ideal final 3 was Rob, myself, and her. As I mentioned she was willing to work with me to get rid of Rob though, had I been on board. She broached the subject to me but was hesitant since she knows how far up Rob’s asshole I unfortunately was, and didnt want to get in trouble with him and drop further down his alliance, so I would have had to show more initiative to her on the subject. So I think of all of us she would be the most likely to consider a final 3 without Rob, although his first choice final 3 had Rob in it as well.

    When Matt came back into the game his final 3 plan was himself, me, and Rob. Although he told me he was open to Andrea-myself-Rob too.

    • David Billa says:

      Once again, thanks for your insights…
      And don’t feel bad about Andrea, I think she understands it was a game move from you, and if you’ve seen Caramoan, you know that she has done much worse since. 🙂

      • Grant Mattos says:

        She was a devil in Caramoan. I loved it. It sucked seeing her go out the way she did with an idol in her bag though. She is a very attractive lady by the way. Even more in person than on TV. I think if I were single I probably would have flirted quite a bit with her and might have developed a crush on her in Nicaragua.

        Just wondering what do you think my final 3 plan on Redemption Island should have been, and how do you think I should have gone about arriving at it. I know it is much easier to say these things in hindsight. The way I look at by the latter part of the game Natalie, Phillip, and Ashley were all pretty loyal to Rob. Ashley might have been willing to turn on Rob, but she was completely loyal to Natalie which kind of indirectly chained her to Rob as well since she overtrusted Natalie the same way I overtrusted Rob. Phillip knew he was a goat, was happy with it, and that only Rob was likely to take him there despite this so would not have likely flipped at that point IMO.

        So I think Andrea and myself would have had to try and work something out with Ralph, Steve, and possibly Julie. Final 8 or final 9 would have been my last real chance to make a big move on the rest of Rob’s alliance. At final 5 I guess it would have been possible to set up a blindside of Rob with Ashley and Phillip, or a blindside of Phillip with Natalie and Ashley but it wouldn’t have been easy.

        One thing the edit didn’t show is I did sense I might not be as high up with Rob or in the alliance as I suspected the days leading up to my vote off. However I also strongly suspected Ashley was the one going home that night if she didn’t win immunity (which it turns out I was right on atleast), and I never imagined her winning immunity since despite her athletic background she had been quite poor in the individual immunities to that point. When she did I had to scramble in my mind what to do, and I was definitely worried. That is why I stormed to the beach after the challenge finished if you recall. When Rob came to me on the beach and ensured me I was ok and one of Phillip or Natalie was going though, and after a short conversation we agreed on Natalie, and gave me an eye to eye handshake and a warm hug it put my mind totally at ease though, and I stopped scrambling for ideas. I didn’t expect him to flat out tell me if I was going home, but I didn’t expect him be THAT convincing and elaborate given our friendship if he already knew he was voting me out. That is another thing that really hit home hard. I thought contrary to my concerns all was ok now, haha. However before then I was wondering what I should do exactly, since I sensed I might be the new target after Ashley won immunity. I broke it down in my mind some and I knew Natalie was very close to both Ashley and Rob, so it wouldn’t be easy for her to be voted out since that is 3 people out of 5 (counting herself) who will be tough to vote for her. I knew people were dragging Phillip as a possible finals goat by then, not only Rob but everyone. Ashley had immunity. Rob had backing of everyone left, and the idol. Plus I was the biggest jury and challenge threat left, and the next 2 were now seemingly safe- Ashley with the idol, and Rob for a host of reasons, leaving only the 2 biggest goats as alternatives to me. So before my talk with Rob I was really concerned, and he just sucked me into his spell and put my mind falsely at ease.

        • David Billa says:

          I see how it can be easy to develop a crush on Andrea. 😉

          Of course, it’s always easier on hindsight.
          I think you would have won no matter what had you reached the final three (except maybe against Andrea or Mike), but you had to get rid of Rob much earlier in the game. The turning point of the game is for me the merge, when Matt, Andrea and you (or at least Andrea and you) should have joined Zapatera to vote Rob out.
          When we get to your vote out, there was nothing you could have done really. With Ashley winning immunity, nobody else still in the game had an interest in keeping you. I don’t think you could have saved yourself at that moment.

          And I almost want to meet Rob one day. I’ve always found him unpleasant on TV, but the number of people (including you) who told me that he can be so charismatic in real life intrigues me.

          • Grant Mattos says:

            Here is one funny thing to wonder about this episode too. What if Rob had won that immunity. He would been forced to choose someone for the reward. I assume he would have chosen either Natalie or me, so in a sense he might have been forced to show his true hand. Had he chosen Natalie I would have been surprised and already begun to question my situation going forward. Had he chosen me I would have remained somewhat in the dark about my position in his alliance (which is why I think he might have for that exact reason, it is why I chose Andrea for the cake reward after all). I could see him even choosing Ashley, so she wouldn’t see her impending blindside coming. It would have been an interesting moment and pretty telling regardless.

            I could see you and Rob getting along in real life as funny as it sounds. Honestly while you seem like a nice guy I think you could relate to some of his shit talking he does since you seem like someone who would do a lot of it too, just in a more sophisticated way of speaking, but even more snarky and cut up. I mean it is hard to say as I only know you through the internet and I was his buddy for 35 days in a game, but never really experienced time together in real life much.

            Do you ever travel to America or Canada. I looked at your other blog a bit and it seems you are very interested in different countries, culture, and travel.

          • David Billa says:

            Would I be friends with Rob in real life?
            Interesting question… But as you said, he’s more charismatic that one would think, so maybe.
            I like to talk trash of people but with a caveat: I do it about Survivor contestants, but as previously mentioned, I do it keeping in mind that it’s the heavily edited character I’m talking trash about (in more recent seasons, I’ve tried to tone it down a little, your season, I went all out indeed). In real life, I do it too, but usually about people I genuinely dislike and don’t interact with. I’m never all smiles in front of you and then dis you in your back.

            Yes, I love learning about other cultures, but unfortunately, I don’t travel much these days. Since I moved to Japan, four years ago, I either didn’t have the time or the money to do it. I hope to be able to do it again when my kids are older, but it will take a few more years. Also, living so far away from home, when I can travel, I usually fly home.
            So, I haven’t been to the US in 10 years (lived there from 1998 to 2005, this is how I’ve become a Survivor fan) and I have never been to Canada. Hopefully one of these days.

  5. Grant Mattos says:

    I just wanted to say I finally got up the courage to watch my boot episode in its entirity. It was pretty emotional for me to watch. Especialy Rob looking me in the eye, shaking my hand, saying he was voting Natalie out, then voting me out. The way he went about the blindside was so awkward and uncomfortable, and it would have been tough for me to move on from and form a close friendship in real life as someone that can lie to me that easily and seem so convincing about it. I know Survivor is about lieing and deceiving and betraying friends, and I get all that, but he really processes things in the most unconfortable way and doesnt even seem to have remorse about hurting people he professes to cares about. Oh well. I watched it 3 times to get it out of my system and the 3rd time I felt better. It was a good thing for me to go through I think.

    He did seem sad about voting me out. That was atleast some comfort to me I guess, I dont know. Honestly I still cant even articulate my total thoughts on the whole thing well even today, the whole thing and my emotions relating to it are still confusing all around. I think if I ever play again I will have to play like a total asshole, and almost play a Boston Rob style game. I hate hurting people I care about, as that is not the kind of person I am, but I know if I set barriers for myself it would handicapt me in playing properly, and would probably lead me to being the one getting hurt just like here. I allowed myself to get too invested in my friendship with Rob to play the game properly.

    • David Billa says:

      Glad you finally had the time to watch it.

      The more I read you, the more I feel that you just can’t play like an asshole, simply because you’re not one.

      I always say that if I ever played, I’d be one too, but once real bonds start to form it’s hard to be an asshole “just in the game” with those people.

      Recently Stephen shared a tip that Cochran gave him and that reminded me your relationship with Boston Rob, Brenda’s with Dawn and more.
      Cochran told Stephen that he won Caramoan because while Cochran was friendly and friends with everyone, he would never get into deep heartfelt conversations with them. He would create bonds with people, but only in the context of the game, never really going into things that are from outside of the game.
      Dawn would do the exact opposite.
      And in the end, people would feel extremely betrayed and hurt by Dawn on a human level (see Brenda) while they would only feel betrayed by Cochran on a game level (and hurt only in their pride of having been defeated.
      So they would really be angry at Dawn, when they would think Cochran was simply a better player.

      Boston Rob did some of that (in his own way) with you guys.

      So, yeah, I think that one can lie, deceive and betray on Survivor without being in asshole. You just need to make sure you’re doing those things in the context of the game and not on a personal level.

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