Survivor season finale recap: The Worst Jury Vote Ever

Did the right person win Survivor: Samoa? Um, how should I put this? NO!
Ep. 15 | Aired Dec 20, 2009

GETTING PLAYED Russell may have been the season's most aggressive player but Natalie's the one who rode his moves to the winner's circle.

Monty Brinton/CBS

A travesty. That's really the only word for it. Wait, here's another one: A joke. You could also go with absurd, ridiculous, lame. I'm going to make sure that I am absolutely clear about this: Natalie winning over Russell is the worst jury vote in the history of Survivor. That honor previously belonged to the All-Stars season, when a bunch of bitter Bettys couldn't handle being outsmarted by Boston Rob and awarded the million dollars to Amber instead. But this is worse.

You may not like Russell. You may consider him cocky, sneaky, and lots of other things. But he OWNED this game, and he owned the final Tribal Council as well. Natalie's opening speech to the jury contained NOT ONE SINGLE REFERENCE to anything she did well in the entire game, just that it was ''the hardest thing I've ever done.'' Hey, hand her the million then! Later, she talked about how her big strategy was to NOT be aggressive. That was her strategy!!! Don't do anything. Again, hand her the million!

Look, Natalie seems like an absolute sweetheart. I have nothing against her whatsoever. I hope she enjoys the money and uses it well. The jury members are the people who should be ashamed. And don't give me any of this baloney about the social game. Todd in China blindsided and betrayed and went to the final Tribal Council owning every single move he did. You know how that jury responded? They respected it and handed him a million dollars. Not this time. There is no WAY any of those players can honestly think Natalie played a better game than Russell. They can say they liked her better and would rather give her the million dollars. But no way can they say that she played a better game, no matter what crazy Erik says. And let me make something clear: You may have been rooting for Natalie because you liked her better (And that's fine. I get that.) but if you are voting, and you take that job seriously, you have to put that aside and vote for the best player. Any way you slice it, Natalie was not the best player. Jeff Probst tried his best at the reunion to paint her as a worthy winner, starting off by prompting her to talk about her key move of helping get rid of Erik, and then going out of his way to jumpstart a conversation about how much better her social game was than Russell's, but even he seemed half-hearted in his attempts. Probst knows a dud winner when he sees one. He won't ever say it, but if you read between the lines, you can tell.

NEXT: Brett's no Mike Tyson but he delivered one last good jab

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