Survivor season finale recap: The Right Player Won

Eight people went into the final episode, but when all was said and done, the most deserving player emerged victorious
Ep. 14 | Aired May 15, 2011

YOU GOT ROBBED Boston Rob stuck it to the other players one last time

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

The most shocking development in Survivor history! It immediately caused a huge uproar online, with people tweeting each other messages like, "What happened?" "I can’t believe it!" and "OMFG!" The last time a finale moment caused this much of a scandal was when Russell Hantz lost to Natalie White. I'm speaking not of Boston Rob's victory over Natalie and Phillip, mind you, but rather the omission of the Fallen Comrades montage! Usually the only drama involved with the Fallen Comrades tribute is whether it will be by land or by sea. Not this season. Perhaps there simply wasn't time because we had to hear from Rob 683 times about how he played for 10 years, never won, and it had all led to this…blah, blah, blah. Or maybe they just realized that having players wax nostalgic about people they never even played with or cared about was absurd ("Krista…uh, yeah, she was…um, a girl…blonde, I think?"). Either way, no awkward remembrances or burning of wooden name planks up on a mountaintop with a dramatic 360 degree helicopter shot for us.

You know, no one has made more fun of the Fallen Comrades montage over the years than me, but at least it would have been a little more unpredictable than the final result. Make no mistake, I'm not complaining about said result. I always want the most deserving player to win, and it is impossible to argue that Rob was not the most deserving player. (Of course, I said the same thing about Russell Hantz in Samoa, and people still take issue with that.) The problem was never Rob: He was brilliant. The problem was the competition — or complete lack of it. Rob was treated like a rock star the second he showed up and then the adoration only grew form there. As a result, there was not any real drama since Matt was voted out for the second time. I really do wish we could rewind the entire season and Rob and Russell would have picked opposite buffs. That could have been fascinating to see, because the Zapatera tribe would not have given Rob the free ride that Ometepe did. We can't do that, of course. But we can rewind this final episode and reunion show to see how the final chapter went down in a season that shall from here on out be retitled Survivor: Rob Takes Candy From Babies.

Things start off with Grant's arrival at Redemption Island. He's unsure if Rob or Phillip betrayed him. Try both! Meanwhile, Andrea is unsure on how she is going to beat three athletic studs in Grant, Mike and Matt at the next — and final — duel. The last Tree Mail gives the RI inhabitants some time to reminisce about their stay at the Loser's Lounge. Matt, who looked like he wanted to kill himself a few episodes back, calls it a "special place" and Mike says he'll miss it as well. Evidently, it is not special enough to burn to the ground like they always do with the regular camp shelter at the end of every season. Every season except this one, that is! No Fallen Comrades? No burning down shelters? What the hell show am I watching anyway?!?

NEXT: The final duel

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