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'Survivor' recap: And the winner of 'Survivor' is ... Boston Rob

May 16, 2011 | 10:07 am

2214_Publicity_Still_55 Even with me putting off writing down the winner of this season’s “Survivor,” it should be more than obvious who did. There was nothing the others could do -- besides, you know, kicking butt when it mattered -- and as predictable the outcome was, it wasn’t undeserved.

I mean, you can have a season like the last one, where anyone can win in the end, but most of you loathed Nicaragua. We can’t say the producers responded to that, since this season and the last were both taped last summer, but there were a bunch of great elements together. Two former players, in two separate tribes, treated in two completely different ways, plus a big twist to the game.

But look at me, I’m blabbing on like a jury member who doesn’t care to hear what you have to say. Let’s recount the evidence and go over the verdict.

Grant arrived at Redemption Island. Andrea was concerned about going up against three strong men who’ve done well in challenges/duels, but whaddyaknow, she bested all of them for the chance to rejoin the game -- even Matt, who’d been at RI the whole dang time (only in the game for seven days). Of course, Andrea having been to RI and sharing info with others voted out, it didn’t really matter when she came back.

The girls didn’t listen to her when she said both Rob and Phillip would get votes over them, but Ashley wisely/luckily fought for and won immunity. At the following tribal council, too much was laid out in terms of who could and couldn’t win. Andrea should have deflected all honors thrown her way, but she just smiled as usual, and she was sent packing.

Back at camp, Ashley and Natalie jumped up and down over being the last remaining girls (once again), and Ashley laughed off Andrea saying they hadn’t made big moves. “She’s not here anymore, and I am, so I get the last laugh when all is said and done.”

Fast forward to Ashley being voted out next, so I guess she did get the last laugh. For the record, Ashley was right behind Rob in the last immunity challenge. Like, she just followed him around in the maze and even collaborated with him when trying to solve their individual puzzles. She, like everyone before her from Ometepe, thought she was safe for some reason. Ah well.

So here’s where, if you didn’t already know who won/wins, you should’ve figured it out. I don’t care how many times you say we’ve seen “undeserving” people win over those who worked harder, dirty or not. If Ashley had made it to the final three, we might have had more to argue over. But when it was among Boston Rob, the hated and aggravating Phillip and the teacher’s pet who was almost always perplexed (and that’s putting it nicely) in challenges, there was no competition. Kind of like most of this season.

That’s why most of the jury members didn’t have questions for the final three and just decided to run their mouths. Mike had one of the best questions, asking how they grew during the game. Ralph asked Phillip if he liked him (?!), Julie tried to be a nice mean girl, and Steve complimented Rob and Natalie while pointedly calling Phillip “a sad man.”

Andrea called Natalie’s relationship with Rob “creepy.” Ashley went back and forth with Phillip, wanting to insult him without response (as if), thanking him for giving her patience. Matt told Rob everyone he betrayed was having a hard time knowing who he really was (“I thought I loved Boston Rob, he was so cool …” I imagine them thinking).

David, the attorney, wrapped it up professionally, of course. He told the jury to discount the fool and listen to the 19-year-old girl who said she owed it all to the pro sitting beside her. And that’s how it went down.

I could say I was surprised to see Ralph throw a vote Phillip’s way, but not after their cute/awkward moment during that tribal council. It didn’t matter anyway, because when we switched to the live shot at New York City’s Ed Sullivan Theater, Rob was named the winner. After four times in the game, over 10 years. Congrats, sir.

More on the reunion, and follow-ups with the last few players standing, later.


'Survivor' recap: Too little, too late?

'Survivor' post-game: The pontifications of Ralph

'Survivor' post-game: Forget women, it was food that Steve pined for

— Anthony Williams / anthonyw_ent

Photo: Rob gets emotional after the last immunity challenge. Credit: CBS