Survivor 22 – Redemption Island: You mangled my nets!

And I thought that having only Ometepe left would make this season interesting… No, it was just another predictable episode, with nobody but Rob willing to play the game, again…
At this point, the only thing that could redeem Redemption Island is if Phillipactually turns out to be the most amazing special agent and reveals at the final tribal that he played them all since day one. Anything short of that will rank this season among the worst.Also, I know I’m not going to make friends here, but what’s up with the religious nutjobs getting glorified this season? I know America is currently on a slippery slope heading towards more and more religious fundamentalism to the point that sometimes I have more and more trouble seeing the difference between some American Christians and other religious wackos, whether it is in Israel or in Afghanistan, but at least for the past 10 years, those crazy people were presented as crazy people on Survivor, not as heroes. First Matt, and then Mike, not mentioning Natalie’s mom.

Survivor, come on, for the past 10 years you did a great job at staying neutral and sensible when politics, religions and sensitive topics like that were involved. What’s happening to you?

Ok, let’s talk about the game a little (although there isn’t much game going on this season).

Redemption Island




Matt Elrod lives another day: Not much to say about Matt today, except that his dominance in challenges seems to be slowly fading as it has been beaten several times by Mike now. On the other hand, as you don’t have to win those “duels” to keep on going, why stand out even more than you already have (yet, I’m not sure Matt has this much reasoning in him).

Mike Chiesl lives another day: It was interesting to see Rob looking at him in the past two challenges. He sent Mike to Redemption Island hoping that he gets rid of Matt, but now he seems more and more scared that this is Mike who could return from Redemption Island and go on an immunity run until the final. And that could definitely happen, especially if Rob votes Grant off soon, as he should.
Was it a strategic move from Mike to let Ometepe see their loved ones? It had to be at least partly (the other part being religious wackiness). Was it a good move? I’m still debating it. I seriously doubt that it won him any jury vote from Ometepe, but it definitely seems that he lost Ralph’s. However, he also seems to have secured Matt’s because Matt is masochistic like that. Of course, it would have been a mistake to let Ralph and Matt have their loved ones and uplift their spirits and make them harder to beat in the next duel. I think the best option there was to be selfish, nobody would have had hold it against him and if anybody did, we can be sure that they were not going to vote for Mike in the final if he’s there anyway.

Ralph Kiser sent to Redemption Island:Ralph is pissed at Mike as he should. Will this have any sort of influence for the duels and/or the final vote? I seriously doubt it. I still hope that Ralph makes it back from Redemption Island, but his edit right now (or lack of thereof) makes it look more than unlikely.

Steve Wright is the third member of the jury: He was spent. And he spent most of his time since the merge wanting to go home. Sometimes Survivor hits big guys harder than smaller ones, as they need more energy and food. Another example that Survivor is the real deal (wow, what’s happening to me, has Jeff Probst possessed me for a minute here?)

The Murlonio/Mariano Tribe

Andrea Boelhke sent to Redemption Island: I have waited for that big move from Andrea for a long time. It never came. Worse, while she has been on the outs of her alliance since almost the beginning, at least I thought that she was aware of it. Apparently not (see her “Ometepe cheer” at last week’s vote). The only interesting thing now (and it’ll be interesting for about two minutes) will be her reunion with Matt on Redemption Island.
Ashley Underwood: Is there anything interesting or worth mentioning about her this week? Hmmm… No…
Grant Mattos: As Rob said, all Grant needs to do at this point in the game is to talk with Natalie, which he won’t. Everyone knows that Grant could simply win every single immunity until the end. Of course, most of Ometepe doesn’t care. Rob does, so Grant is most likely to be targeted as soon as he doesn’t win immunity. How pissed will he be at Rob? Good question, at this point, he may even forgive him, after all last week he apologized for beating him in the challenge.
Natalie Tenerelli: She’s amazing! Last week she spoke. This week she cried. What is she going to do next week?
Former Federal Agent Phillip Sheppard: So crazy or not crazy? I wish we had heard more of his conversations with his sister. But as I said in the beginning of this post: I really hope he is not and that this was all an act, this is the only thing that could save this season.
Boston Rob Mariano: Not only he has had an unfair advantage since the very beginning, but now he’s even being given the Hero edit (even though he’s as full of scumbaggery as he’s always been). Oh, poor Rob that passes out at the end of the challenge, let’s all feel bad for him. Come one, contestants always pass out at the end of challenges, it’s just not shown in the final edit. But if it is Rob, there we have to see it so that we feel sympathetic for him. Sorry I won’t. I also “liked” how he said that he has to win the million so that you can provide for your wife or something like that. Isn’t Amber a millionaire (plus all of the money both won in the many reality shows they were in and that I haven’t watched)? Maybe I misunderstood, maybe it was just this macho syndrome of guys that feel emasculated because they make less money than their wives? Is it was this is all about Rob?
And please people, stop saying that he’s playing the best game of Survivor ever. Him playing with people like Natalie and Ashley, is like me in a spelling bee contest in French and against Ralph. And no, that wouldn’t make me the best spelling bee contestant ever.


Next person voted out: 
Grant is he doesn’t win immunity. Ashley if Grant wins immunity.
At Redemption Island, depending on the type of duel, Ralph or Andrea will be sent to the jury.

Final and Winner:
Is someone from Redemption Island makes it to the final (and by someone I mean Matt or Mike) they’ll win no doubt. If Phillip reveals that he’s the best actor ever, he could win too. Is there any scenario where Rob can win? I seriously doubt it… Natalie and Grant also have their chance to win if they make it to the final, and in the case Vecepia Towery and Natalie White can celebrate, they won’t be the worst Survivor winners ever.

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?

17 Responses

  1. QuackerPacker says:

    I love Grant! I met him once in Los Angeles since I took a few of his yoga classes. I got to talk to him after after one. He was the sweetest person. He is also incredibly good looking, even better in person. I brought up Rob though and he looked down at the ground and I could tell he was very uncomfortable and not wanting to go there, so I changed the topic. Rob must have really hurt him, not only in the game but on a personal level. So sad. If fate were kinder he would have been cast in a season without Rob.

    He was fucked over in everyway. Fucked over by Rob. Fucked over by the stupid Redemption Island twist which made his final finish drop way down, and nobody even knows how close he was to winning the season, way closer than the two runners ups. Fucked over by his edit which was purposely butchered because the show had already happened, they knew Rob would betray him, and since they wanted Rob to be a hero they had to hide him and also downplay their friendship on the show. Poor guy, but he also has his own stupidity to blame, and also going to casting almost immediately after learning the show existed according to his bio pages.

    The funny thing is even though he played like a retard, had no strategic awareness whatsoever through the whole game, and had evil heartless Rob ready with his scalpel on Grant all along, there is a very good chance without Ashley’s fluke immunity win he still wins the season. Rob did actually want him in the final 4, and he has as good a chance of anyone of winning that final challenge, and I am sure he would easily beat Rob in a jury vote. All his castmates say he would have. The jury absolutely detested Rob by the end, but he picked 2 people who both did nothing, and almost nobody on the jury liked, so they had no choice.

    Had he also come up with some bullshit stories to Rob before Final Tribal Council this week how he should be terrified of bringing Natalie to the end due to the combined Natalie White/Amber factor, how he should be terrified of Phillip’s speech that he was playing an act all along, pushed the Natalie/Ashley alliance and its threats, pushed how Phillip was ready to throw him under the bus in a moment, and argued to Rob he was the only one who would never cross him, and that game wise he would be seen as just a poorer version of Rob and his puppy by the jury and easy to beat, even while not really believing any of that, maybe he could have saved himself as well. Or reminded the dumb girls Rob had an idol and even if they feared Grant in a jury vote more this was the perfect opportunity to get rid of Rob and flush it. Basically anything. However I dont think he is even smart enough to have thought about any of that, and he also was not smart enough to sense he was in any remote danger this episode, even after Ashley won immunity.

    • David Billa says:

      I can’t speak of his intelligence outside of the game, but yeah, he had no idea how this game worked, and was playing a season one level game… with Rob.
      I don’t even think he could imagine people could betray each other and throw each other under the bus.

      • Quackerpacker says:

        Yeah I think he couldnt imagine Rob imparticular would ever vote him out. He thought he was untouchable in his eyes. Rob actually was thinking about voting out Phillip instead of Andrea the week before, and Grant was a large part of pushing on voting out Andrea instead, but he should have been thinking for instance it was much better to get rid of Phillip since that would just be too easy a temptation to take to the finals over someone like Grant. However Grant probably figured he and Rob both felt the same way and the final was already set as Rob-Grant-person X, and that they were maneuvering together to bring whichever person X they decided on together to the end. One thing about Survivor in general is you shoudnt want a bunch of obvious goats around you at the end, which some people dont seem to get (and Grant obviously wasnt even tactically aware enough to have half a clue), especialy when you arent the alliance leader and pulling the strings on the final choices. You have to actually want it to make sense for other people to want to take you to the end. Steve tried to warn him a week before it happened that it was inevitable. He was like a lamb to the slaughter.

        Like I said though having met him in person he is a super nice guy, very sweet. He probably doesnt have the right personality to play the game anyway.

      • Grant Mattos says:

        I am not stupid, and I knew what I was doing out there. Despite that I was the biggest jury threat of the final 6, Rob did want me in the Final 4, which isn’t that far from the final 3 I had expected. I would have had a great shot to win Immunity and secure my position into the finals then anyway. Had I gotten there I win period. Ashley screwed everything up for my game by winning immunity when she did. She also bullied Rob into voting me out instead of voting Nat or Phil out. Basically it was a fluke occurrence that ruined my whole game and situation in the end.

        I am also very sensitive to hearing criticsm. I am emotionally very fragile which is why I took Rob’s betrayal so personally. So please be careful the things you say about me.

        • David Billa says:

          The thing is that you can’t only rely on winning immunity to get to the end. One of the issue you all had is that it seems that none of you tried to get together and vote Rob out before it was too late. I don’t totally blame you though, he had a huge advantage being a four time player among newbies.

          Concerning criticism and calling you stupid or else. I may have done it, and believe me, I never do it with ill-intent (I rarely expect contestants to read my blog and it always feels a bit unreal when it happens). If I have hurt you, please accept my apology.
          Now, with that being said, I do talk trash on this blog, and I will continue to do so, the thing is that I clearly make a difference between the actual people whom I don’t know and I would never dare to judge (except for a few rare exceptions – I’m thinking of people like Will or Dan last season), and the characters that we see on TV and that are created through heavy editing and storytelling.
          I invite you to read the disclaimer I have posted on top of the page:

          So, yes, in the context of what I saw on TV, the character Grant wasn’t too bright in terms of playing the game (regardless on how you actually played the game), but that doesn’t say anything at all about the actual living human being Grant Mattos, whom I know nothing about, and actually all I’ve heard about you seems to indicate you’re a very nice and decent person.

          I hope that makes sense and that there is no bad feelings here, because I have none against you (and any “enemy” of Rob is my friend… except maybe Russell).

          • Grant Mattos says:

            It is ok. I stumbled across your blog by accident. I still don’t know how it happened. I was just looking up some info on my season and it somehow came up and looked interesting. I have read some of your reviews from other seasons, and they are even better than the Redemption Island ones, but then again you had more to work with. I admit our season was not the best.

            I am pretty sure I will never be invited back onto Survivor, and even if I were I would be split 50/50 at best to whether I would want to play. It was an amazing experience, and I will always treasure it, but it also is a difficult thing to go through for an emotional person like me. On the other hand a part of me feels I could do better in every facet of the game than I did, so that would be the only thing that would make me even consider.
            I do like that I did get very near the end, and most people say I would have won had I gotten there, so in that sense I can feel some satisfaction with my performance. However even if I had won, which despite my final finish I was much closer to doing than say the 2nd or 3rd place finishers, there would be many aspects of my play I would cringe at today. I know even if he will never credit me for it I was a huge part of Rob’s win too. So in any case I don’t think I have to worry about what you would say about me in a future season of mine, as I highly doubt there will be one.

            Still had things gone as they were supposed to (even the way Rob wanted them to) I would have had to win only 1 immunity to reach the finals. I guess the ideal scenario is not having to win immunity at all, but still my point is Ashley’s unlikely immunity win when it happened really impacted things. I had a much better chance of making the finals and winning even with my own “lacking in awareness” plan than it appears. You do have to admit Ashley’s late immunity run, and winning immunity the time I was eliminated was an unlikely occurrence. So I wasn’t in as good a situation as I felt I was in, but it also wasn’t likely to be as bad or impossible tow in from as it might now appear.

            I think one thing my season is a great example of is that people should be more conscious of voting out goats. Notice how Ashley badly wanted me voted off even over Phillip who she despised (while she atleast somewhat liked me). Now on one sense that makes sense. Out of the 5 left- Ashley, Rob, Phillip, Natalie, myself, I am the biggest jury threat (not being cocky, just reality) while Phillip is the lowest jury threat of all. However what she should have considered is that Rob and Natalie might also want to take Phillip to the end instead of her. Why not, he is easier to beat than her as well. That applies to my thinking as well. We were all too eager to keep the goats around forever. I allowed an alliance to form where I was literally surrounded by goats- Natalie, Phillip, Ashley, and still expected Rob and the others would never target me. You need to think of goats as threats to, since they make it less likely for you to make the end, and if you don’t make the end you cant win. I should have gotten rid of some of those too obvious goats sooner, and kept some other jury threats around. That is something Survivor players need to become more conscious of. Watch Kass probably be kept around until near the end of Second Chance Survivor, possibly making the final. The others should not want her around that long. She is leaving the good players 1 less final spot, and they don’t even think from that scope most likely, just as I and others on my season didn’t.

            Thank you for your final kind words by the way. They mean a lot to me.

          • David Billa says:

            Grant, once again, thanks for leaving all of these comments, it’s awesome to have your side of the story, and if you like my blog, stay tuned for this Fall, I intend to blog the hell out of Second Chance (well, I hope I’ll find the time, not like the past two seasons.. I think I’ll make time for such a season).

            Actually, I think I’d love to see you play again. I believe that this time you would actually get to play (or that we’d see you do it), and as you said, you now understand the game better than you did back then. But I understand the toll it can take on you too.

            Rereading what I wrote about you(r character) I realize that while I have been harsh at times, I also wrote things like the fact that I loved your confessionals, because you showed more insight than the life at camp suggested, and things like that.

            Yes, in recent years goats have become an important factor in the game, and even from a viewer perspective it’s sometimes annoying to see this unlikable person going to the end and taking so much screen time.
            However, while I agree with you from a viewer perspective, I’m afraid that goats are here to stay. Contestants all think that they can take the goat to the end and that they can get rid of the threats. Only a few truly exceptional players can afford to get rid of the goats (I’m thinking Kim in One World for example)… Exceptional players and people who can’t play that well (I’m thinking Woo in Cagayan). But yeah, I agree, when you want to take a goat with you, you must keep in mind that other people will want to take the goat instead of you too.

            In Kass’s situation, I think she’s the exception. While she’s in theory the perfect goat, I think she’ll be voted out very early because her unpredictability makes her simply too dangerous, as she can screw anybody’s game at any time. I’d be surprised if she’s not the first one out in her tribe.
            On the other hand, I think Woo can make it very far again.

            And you’re very welcome. I’m the one who should say thank you for all the comments you’re leaving. 🙂

  2. Grant Mattos says:

    You are right to joke about me apologizing for beating Rob at a challenge too. I remember that well. I even screamed out “I love you Rob” after eliminating him in the quarterfinal stage and saying “I am so sorry bro.” Then of course sharing my cake with him so it was if he won anyway. Gaaah, what I would do to take that moment back now. Even if Rob and I still had an amazing friendship today I would still cringe at that sort of thing today. At times I looked like I was getting ready to wed Rob, rather than trying to take a million dollars away from him.

    To defend my (and indeed it was, particularly in hindsight) ridiculous mancrush on Rob, a lot of that is from my football background. Football is really an amazing sport for that sort of thing. Your teammates, all 30, 40, 50 of them are not just friends, but literally family. Everyone of them. Either when you on the mere practice squad as I was mostly of my NFL career, or a star as I was in my college career. Basically the whole bromance and brotherly love thing is something I had gotten to acquired to in my real life it was hard to not seek out in an environment like that to give me some feeling of protection and comfort out there away from family, friends, food, and familiarity for 40 days. Being newly engaged to my now wife, the beautiful Christina Cox, I was overly paranoid about getting close with the females in front of a camera. To the point it got silly. So that also made me latch onto Rob that much more.

    • David Billa says:

      I understand much more your “bromance” with Rob, from the football player point of view. It never occurred to me back then, probably because:
      1. I’ve never played team sports.
      2. You look so different from the typical NFL player (I mean, your personality) that I quickly forgot about that aspect of your background.

      I also understand the situation with the girls.
      Playing the game single, in a relationship, engaged or married can change a lot of things about how you interact with members of your preferred gender.

      • Grant Mattos says:

        In real life I have a lot of female friends. And while I never behave inappropriate (anything too sexual or sexually suggestive) I am very affectionate towards them, hugging often, and being quite intimate in that way. I restricted myself even more that due to being paranoid about the cameras and what Christina would think, so I had lukewarm relationships with most of the females in the game. The only one I was somewhat close with was Andrea. The funniest part is my wife even said watching the season together with me that I should have gotten closer to the females no my tribe and allowing Rob to get closer to them than I did allowed him more power on the tribe, and she is right. I really wanted to, especialy since the women on my tribe were hot and likeable (Ashley comes across as a major bitch in her edit and she is at times, but most of the time she is much nicer than her edit appears, the bitch edit was on purpose). I just restrained myself due to paranoia of my upcoming wedding and the close proximity to cameras.

        I am not a typical NFL personality, you are right. I come across as an alpha male (the typical gruff football player or big sports figure personality), and a part of my personality is very alpha. I am a great guy to have a beer with, and am quite funny in real life, and am a big guys guy, so in that sense I am alpha most of the time. However I have an emotional beta male interior that you have to get to know me well to understand. I also am very laid back and calm many times, which is my yoga background. There is also a part of me that is very sweet and loving. So it is a mix of a lot of different personalities, but really 4 main ones combined into one, and each come out at different times and in different situations. I definitely stood out from my teammates on various football teams though, for better or worse, but I was never unpopular with my teammates despite my uniqueness.

        • David Billa says:

          Yes, that’s what I meant about “playing with girls” (I wasn’t very clear above). Most of my adult life, I’ve also had more female close friends than male close friends, and yeah, with cameras around and heavy editing, some things could misinterpreted (reminds me of Laura and Aras – was it Aras? – in Blood Vs Water).

          And yeah, I think, that while the editing screwed with many things, they got your personality right for the most part.

          • Grant Mattos says:

            Yes, I was too worried about something being misinterpreted. I should have used every form necessary to play the best social and strategic game possible, and if that meant some flirting with the girls to manipulate them to my favor, so be it. I am sure Christina would know I am trying to win a million dollars for us (not that we lack in finances just so you know, for me the thrill of winning would have meant even more than the money), and she is always my #1. Rob certainly didn’t hold back in the heavy flirting with the females to get close to them. As you might recall one juror referenced his relationship with Natalie as creepy.

            I am pretty sure I have more close male friends and men in my life than females, but I also have quite a few wonderful and very close female friends in my life. I feel I need both as they bring different qualities and I need a balance of both in my life. Including some Survivor contestants such as Natalie Bolton and Brenda Lowe, both whom I adore. Brenda and I watched her being voted off by Dawn on Caramoan together, and we cried together, since it reminded me of what Rob did to me. She wanted me there since she knew more than anyone I would understand her pain at that moment, and that is also why I cried watching it since it brought back those old memories and feeling that I had mostly buried.

            I admit I haven’t watched my vote off episode in years. It is too painful. It is all because it is Rob who turned on me. I would have much rather been voted off with Andrea voting me off instead of Matt in the first vote after the merge for instance. Even Rob voting me off had I been voted off then and won the RI duel much later on wouldn’t bother me the same way anymore as I would understand I had been away from them all so long. Had I won the RI duel I would have absolutely blown up at all 4 of my tribemates, especialy Rob and Phillip, and my only way to reach the end for sure would now be an immunity run, as I would have come back so hardcore and aggressively, I would have immediately alienated the other 4. Had I won immunity though I would have pushed the girls to get rid of Phillip (since Ashley, Nat, and I knew Rob had the idol), and pointing out to them Phillip was Rob’s #1 to take to the end, not me or either of them. I think I could have managed that. I would also have finally shown the gusto and self assertiveness I sorely lacked up until then.

          • David Billa says:

            I knew you were friends with Natalie Bolton (whom I both loved and hated in her season – loved because she was the only new player who could go head to head with the returning ones – hated because she was “evil” – very sad she wasn’t on the ballot for Second Chance), but I didn’t know you knew Brenda.

            I adore her (and I would have a huge crush on her if I was single and if she wasn’t just on a TV screen). I was so pissed by how screwed she was in Caramoan both by editing and by Dawn. I’m mad at her for not winning Nicaragua though, she could easily have, I believe.

            I can imagine what you guys must have felt watching yourself being betrayed like that, reliving it, on national TV.

            Actually, if I were to play Survivor (which was a dream of mine a few years ago, but it will never happen, first of all because I’m not American – and the French version is terrible, I don’t even watch it, except when I’m on vacation at my parents house – my mom loves it, but she doesn’t understand English so she can’t watch the real thing), that’d be the two hardest things for me:
            – not making friends there, if there are people I like, I won’t be able to help it and then I’ll have to betray them or they’ll have to betray me.
            – watching (a heavily version of) myself on TV, I’m not sure I could.

            Yes, you need to return to show the assertive you. 😉 I think that’s why I was hard on you sometimes in my comments. I never had any hope about Natalie and Ashley. Phillip, I hope was pulling an act, but even if he had, he was annoying to watch (but that would have been rewarding at the end). You… I kinda rooted for you at first, but I wanted to shake you so many times: “come on, take control of that game, stop following Rob!!!”

            So, yeah, come back if you’re ever invited back. 😉

  3. Grant Mattos says:

    Brenda has the kindest heart ever. She is incredibly emotional though, even more emotional than I am (and I already gone into depth that I am an emotionally fragile person). Like me she can be guillible at times, and buy into relationships at the expense of the game. Perhaps to an even greater degree. In a way I feel what Dawn did or was doing to Brenda was even worse than what Rob did to me. Yeah actually I am sure it is come to think of it. Since while what Rob did to me I still strongly feel was wrong and it tore me up lets compare:

    -Rob’s other alternatives to voting me out were Phillip, the biggest goat in Survivor history probably based on how he was on Redemption Island. Or Natalie T who was also a pretty big goat, a far easier jury opponent than me, not a threat to beat Rob in the final challenges of the game which I was, someone he was also very close to and liked a lot and calls his little sister, and someone he promised the finals on day 1 (which me he had not done nearly that early no matter how close we got during the game). She was also 19 and he probably felt a duty to keep that promise, and for him to do all that work and drag unbearable Phillip only to dump him there would also be hard. So while I don’t forgive Rob, especialy not without an apology or some kind of acknowledgement how much he hurt me, I can atleast rationalize he was in a tough decision voting out any of the 3 of us, and purely game wise I was the best choice of the 3 options for Rob’s chances to win the game too.

    -Now lets look at Dawn’s blindside of Brenda. Well it was right after she picked her for a family visit. Then the twist came and in typical Brenda style she selflessly gave that up to more people. Dawn throws one of her tantrums and seemingly holds that against Brenda (I am sure that was part of her choice to blindside her at that exact moment). After Brenda’s incredibly selfless act to everyone, even if it didn’t work out for Dawn in the end, Dawn goes along with a blindside planning of Brenda. Unlike Rob’s situation with me where I can atleast acknowledge he was backed into a corner with 3 difficult options, Dawn chooses to save Eddie in her blindside of Brenda, who was never an ally of any kind in the game (not even a minor ally like say Sherri or Erik), and is just the last remaining of both the Three Amigos and Fans alliance. Unlike Rob eliminating his biggest threat in favor of 2 goats, Dawn’s move made no strategic sense at all. Cochran was a bigger threat than Brenda, and Brenda gone forced her to go to the finals with Cochran as she was running out of options and trustworthy allies, and she was never beating Cochran. Brenda she atleast might have had a fighting shot against. She also alienated the jury with such a big and unexplainable blindsided, further obliterating her chances. Even if she would never vote Cochran out given how close they were (and I can atleast admire that loyalty as it is what I wish Rob had shown to me) she probably has the best chance then with Brenda and Cochran both as they could take some of each others votes, and without the big Brenda blindside she could pick up some strategic based votes. So in no way did it even make any sense towards the goal of winning the game, which voting me out instead of Natalie atleast did.

    Also as much as Rob hurt me I do still feel even after watching the season play out we did genuinely have a very close friendship and while he handled many things poorly, and was dishonest about the nature of our alliance, and dishonest to me about so many things, he was not dishonest about the level of our friendship for those 35 days atleast. I do not think Dawn ever liked Brenda much at all, or their friendship was anywhere near as close as she potrayed it to Brenda. An example of this could be shown in that you can tell quite obviously Dawn doesn’t even give a shit Brenda wont talk to her anymore. Dawn probably wasn’t even planning to after the game regardless anyway, as there was never much of a relationship. While Rob as you could tell by the Reunion show was visibly upset at my choice to end our friendship, so for all his mistakes it was atleast a much more genuine and real friendship and it is nice to atleast know he did care about me. Totally unlike Dawn and Brenda, which was largely just Dawn manipulating Brenda even more emotionally, using what was at best a borderline friendship to her advantage in the cruelest and coldest way possible. So in that sense I found it a bit repulsive to be honest.

    The editing was whack as they didn’t even show hardly any of the so called Brenda-Dawn friendship until that episode, and then tried to make such a big storyline out of the Brenda blindside by Dawn. Really I don’t follow the logic in that. Brenda in general was edited terribly and her excellent social game which many of those on the island with her spoke of was hardly reflected in the edit at all. As for Nicaragua, she played a really good game I feel. She got too aggressive at the wrong time, and that led to her doom. Had she waited a little longer to show all her cards, she could have gone all the way I feel. She tried to play a more under the radar and good overall social game on Caramoan on purpose, and it was working out pretty well for her until the Dawn blindside.

    I understand your being frusterated with my play on Redemption Island. Believe me I am frusterated with my own play on Redemption Island. I pride myself in being a leader, and I let Rob lead me around by the nose the entire time. Seeing footage and realizing he didn’t once have me in his final 3, made it all the more humiliating to see play out. Atleast I learnt that I cant feel satisfied with myself that way. If I ever play again I would rather be a 1st boot playing the game I want to play than going to the finals playing a feckless game. Even if I had won that season of Redemption Island, which wasn’t that far fetched in that it probably only required Ashley to not win that immunity, and myself to win the F4 one, I would still be somewhat disgusted with the way I played as I know I have a lot more to offer than what I gave out there. I would probably rate myself the worst ever winner in that case, or atleast top 3 worst, and what is scary is I wasn’t even close to the worst possible option to have won my season either.

    I am sure you would be an awesome Survivor player if you ever played. It is obvious you understand the game and by your snark on all of us, I couldn’t see you allowing yourself to be misled or play a patsy on a wrong strategic course. You would probably have a 6th sense what is really going on at all times which you need in this game. Now in fairness it is much easier from home watching then actually being out there, but I am sure you know that already. I do think the thing that might be hard for you would be voting out a good friend. I know you have said you agree with me on disagreeing with what Rob did to me, yet we also both agree it was necessary for him to get rid of me there to win the game. So in a way while he was wrong, and so wrong it ended our friendship, he was also right I grudgingly admit also, if that makes any sense. I think you get what I am saying as confusing as it sounds. I do sense you might have a harder time having done the same thing in the same situation, which would make you a great friend, but also make it tougher for you to win. It would depend exactly how the alliances and situations shook out though. Our season wasn’t a normal season in too many ways to get into.

    I have had a more down few days, but probably wont be back online much until after your blogs for the new season start just to let you know.

    • David Billa says:

      Yes, Rob voting you out made total sense, it’s the way he did it (and acted afterwards) that’s wrong. Dawn voting Brenda out at that moment didn’t make much strategic sense. Actually, I think she could still win before voting Brenda out, but she lost the million at that moment.

      I wish I could see Brenda play a third time, but I suppose it’s highly improbable.

      If I was on Survivor, I think I would do well strategically, but socially, it could go either way, if I like the people I’m playing with, I could end up making real friends, and then things would get tough if I have to blindside them or if they have to blindside me. On the other hand, if I don’t like the people in my tribe, I don’t know if I’d be capable to pretend to like them 24/7.
      Also, physically, while I would pull my weight around camp, I would suck at a lot of challenges (I can’t swim well, don’t have much upper-body strength, etc).
      And my downfall could be hunger. If it’s a season where food is scarce, that’d be the end of me. I can’t think well when I’m hungry, so strategy would take a hit (but it’d be the case for everyone), but also I get very grumpy and my social game could get badly hurt by that…
      Oh well, lots of “ifs” that will never be put to test by reality.

  4. Grant Mattos says:

    I also probably will play for sure if I am ever invited back now since I know I have atleast 1 fan who wants to see me play, haha. Also the experience, despite the ups and downs, was unforgettable and carried so much value, and I made some wonderful friends from the show as well. Even my time with Rob I treasure since it was very positive, we had alot of wonderful times together, and despite that I know now how far he was deceiving me in the game, I still do think we shared a genuine friendship and brotherly bond for 35 days too, so I don’t regret that despite my feelings of bitterness and hurt towards him now. Basically any bad is far outweighed by the good, and the lessons I learnt from the bad are also important, and unique ones that you differ from anything you could get in regular life.

    Natalie Bolton is amazing and she is incredibly funny also in real life. She was the one who encouraged me to try the show. She said the intangible games are indescribable, regardless how you do, and that she was so right on. She has a persisting positive attitude, but is a very strong and independent women, a lot like the women we saw on Seasons 24 and 29.

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