'Survivor' post-game: The pontifications of farmer Ralph
He was a diamond in the rough during the thrilling first few episodes of this season's "Survivor." Then, as we knew would happen, his alliance's early plan defeated them (as seen in the photo here, the jury as we know it is completely comprised of said alliance members).
Still, farmer Ralph seemed like a star with his lack of fear of (or at least willingness to go toe-to-toe with) villain Russell Hantz. He even got lucky by finding his tribe's hidden immunity idol. But he refused to listen to other strategies, and then even used up his idol on someone else, Mike, when neither was in danger.
"I thought I was really making a big move there, but was told wrong," Ralph told me during our phone interview. Tapping into his extreme confidence there and throughout the game, I asked if there was ever a time when he doubted himself.
"Yeah, when we merged I knew I was just biding my time," he said, alluding to Boston Rob's complete control of the other players. "I was kind of down in the dumpsters a little bit, but there was no way I would just give up. I was looking for an opportunity, hoping someone else would make a bad move."
"They (Russell, Stephanie and Krista) couldn't make their minds up," Ralph said. "We can't plan on tomorrow. We had a plan that came first, and I think the first idea's usually the best idea."
When I ask if being subtitled on screen surprised him at all (host Jeff Probst often felt the need to translate for him), Ralph said yes, but added that there were plenty of times Steve would talk to him and he'd be lost.
His favorite memory is winning the challenge with the barbecue reward (the meat was "a little sandy," but tasted great, he said), and revealed that like Julie he, too, looked forward to brushing his teeth again. He loves each and every one of his new fans and hopes to go back on the show so they can see what he's really like.
"I'm praying Probst will say, 'Ralph, we've got to have you back.' "
— Anthony Williams
twitter.com / anthonyw_ent
Photo: Jury members David Murphy, Julie Wolfe, Steve Wright and Ralph Kiser, at tribal council during the 13th episode of "Survivor: Redemption Island." Credit: CBS