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'Survivor' reunion recap: Love! Valor! Resentment!

May 16, 2011 |  6:07 pm

100554_0105bc There wasn’t a lot of earth-shattering information revealed in this season’s “Survivor” reunion, but it was par for the course. Boston Rob, the winner, reviewed his strategy, which we’d all followed for the last few months. It may be hard, but remember when just the thought of Rob going all the way, let alone getting any jury votes or winning, seemed absolutely ridiculous?

That was a neat strategy for the returning player. The fact that enough of his competition bought it and failed to gather the gumption to stop it made it awesome. Rob’s victory was made even more impressive after Ashley revealed that he told her and Natalie that he had the immunity idol. They never thought to try to flush it out before it was too late?

She went on to say that, when Andrea returned from Redemption Island, that was “a pivotal moment” when they more seriously considered flipping on Rob. But Natalie said they couldn’t, because they knew he had the idol, and it being the last time he could use it, he would.

But wait! What’s that I hear? It’s Rob’s kids interrupting the proceedings, and host Jeff Probst acknowledging them and not-so-subtly telling Rob’s wife, Amber, to get them out of there.

Andrea spoke about how locked-down Rob had them, Phillip talked a lot more nonsense (though good guy Rob tried to make us see things from Phillip’s perspective), and Julie was kind of forced to apologize to Natalie for her jury speech. I wonder if she’s seen this video, though?

It got uncomfortable when Probst asked Rob about his friendship with Grant, and it became clear that our own WeHo yogi Grant took a lot of Rob’s behavior personally. It’s easy to say that Grant’s being a sore loser, but in spite of Rob’s strategy and control this season, I imagine it was Rob’s burgeoning cockiness that got to Grant. What with him giggling after throwing immunity idol clues into a volcano and the like.

We then moved on to Matt, who won lots of fans by surviving 10 out of 11 RI duels but still played the game by blindly following his heart, and therefore became the first person to be blindsided twice on “Survivor.” He said his family and friends felt bad watching him struggle but were proud of his openness with his faith. Then there was a good minute or two of awkwardness when Probst had to ask (he did have to ask, though) if Matt and Andrea are an item. Andrea said he’s cute, and blushed, while Matt said they’ve talked but he lives in Nashville, she in Wisconsin. So… no go for now.

Iraq war vet Mike then took center stage, basically saying that “Survivor” is just as hard as the fighting in a war but “your life’s not on the line.” You wouldn’t think that with the way Russell, God bless him, had to go off on his former tribe once more for losing on purpose to vote him out. And after all that, he backed off his statement that he’s done with “Survivor,” telling Probst to “keep my number.” Of course.

It was also announced that Rob won the $100,000 Fan Favorite award, with 40% of the vote to Matt’s 36%. Probst had some active federal agent in the audience to confirm or deny Phillip whether was an actual federal agent (it took awhile, but the answer was yes), and then David proposed to Carolina Eastwood, from “Survivor: Tocantins” (her answer was also yes). Both instances were rather awkward, due to timing and personalities.

And the tease for the next “Survivor”? All we know is that it takes place in the South Pacific, the Redemption Island twist is returning, and two more former players will follow in Rob and Russell’s footsteps. Think Colby Donaldson would be up for yet another go?

I’ve got more from Rob, the winner, and the two runners up later, and still have interviews with Grant, Matt and Andrea scheduled. Let me know if you have any questions for ’em.


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

'Survivor' post-game: The pontifications of Ralph

'Survivor' recap: Too little, too late?

— Anthony Williams / anthonyw_ent

Photo: Boston Rob, right, embraces his wife, Amber, and their two children after being named the winner of "Survivor." Credit: CBS