'Survivor Samoa': And the winner is...

After 39 days, 15 vote-offs, 4 hidden immunity idols found, 2 medical evacuations, 1 escaped chicken, and countless acts of bravado and buffoonery, Survivor: Samoa finally has crowned its million dollar winner. Is it raucous Russell, who burned socks, emptied canteens, and collected idols; Natalie, whose smartest move was to never question Russell; Jaison, who took a stand against Ben early in the game and then promptly sat down and let Russell do the rest; Mick, who was elected tribe leader and then led exactly no one; or Brett, who went on an immunity winning spree right when he needed to? Well, find out the who, how, and why right after the jump by clicking the “read full post” link. And the winner of Survivor Samoa is…

…Natalie White. The 26-year-old pharmaceutical sales rep from Van Buren, Arkansas trounced Russell and Mick in the final three, receiving five of the seven votes read by Jeff Probst (Russell won the other two).

The episode began with Jaison being voted out first after Brett won his third straight immunity. Brett’s luck finally ran out in the final immunity competition, however, as Russell bested him in a nailbiting statue-on-a-poll balance competition. The Silent Wonder was voted out, leaving a final three of Natalie, Russell and Mick. The jury, however, clearly did not care that Russell completely controlled the entire game and won the last, most important immunity challenge, instead awarding the million dollars to the person they simply liked more in Natalie.

Click over to read my complete Survivor Samoa finale and reunion show recap. And make sure to watch EW.com Monday for Survivor Talk interviews with both Russell and winner Natalie. (Watch Monica discuss her jury vote in an exclusive deleted scene below.) And for all the scoop about the next season of Survivor, make sure to follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRoss. Now, tell us what you think? Was it a satisfying finale? Was Russell robbed? Did Natalie deserve to win? Sound off on the message boards and let us know!

More Survivor: Samoa:
Survivor: Samoa finale recap: Did the right person win? Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

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  • mark

    hmm…interesting. I’d would’ve been happy with Russel or Natalie.

    • MacAttackk

      Natalie would not be there if it were not for Russell…hands down she just rode his coattails. There always has to be a fall guy….and it was Russell. He deserved to win.

      • mark

        Russell wouldn’t have been there if it wasn’t for the loyalty of the Foa Foa four.

      • Rob

        Mark you could argue that Russel could swap Natalie with pretty much anyone and still be in the end. Natalie you definatly can’t say the same.

      • MacAttackk

        Russell had the biggest balls ever….making alliances, decisions, smooth talking….he made Natalie

      • Jeff

        Part of the game is getting the “Whiny Jury” (as everyone is calling them) to want to vote you. If you can’t do that, then you don’t win. He didn’t take the right people to the finals. That is possibly the most essential part of the game. He didn’t recognize that, so he didn’t deserve to win. That’s it! Stop complaining people, he isn’t the greatest. Great players know how to win, even with a jury that doesn’t like you. As tonight proved, Russell isn’t one of those players

      • Aaron

        Natalie + x = final three

        x + 2 others = finals three

        In the above to equations, x is required; all others are just pieces dependent on x.

        x was Russell…In my opinion, this was a sad outcome for Survivor…proves much of what is wrong with the world. In the end, jealously and the inability of the jury to see this was a game overcame good gameplay.

        And for those who said Russell wasn’t loyal…weren’t the other two in the final three part of his initial alliance? Sounds loyal to me…

      • Jeff

        Good gameplay is knowing how to get the votes to win. Russell should’ve read that the jury would have favored Natalie. He didn’t do that, so he isn’t the winner. The most important part of winning the game is getting the votes in the end. Russell wasn’t able to do this. Therefore he loses. His demise was all his fault. I’m glad the sore loser looked like he was about to cry

      • Hutchy

        Dalton says it all the time: the one factor that is impossible to overcome on Survivor, for the players or for the producers, is a whiny jury that refuses to recognize the best players. Dalton called this 5 weeks ago, saying that he could see this coming. Sure enough, unfortunately, he was correct. You can utterly dominate and do everything you can, but in the end, if the jury simply refuses to see reason, there is nothing you can do. I will say, seeing the jury’s surprised and bitter boo boo face reactions to the audience cheers for Russell (and for him winning the million) was priceless. They went in there expecting to be conquering heroes and instead the American public just pis sed on them.

      • Jeff

        It isn’t the fact that the jury was bitter, it’s the fact that Russell didn’t pick the right people. He is not the best player because he couldn’t recognize that you must SWAY the jury. He went into tribal thinking he was going to take it all. His arrogance cost him. The jury legitimately saw a more deserving player in Natalie. She was better socially. The best player doesn’t need to win. Players that win are those who get jury votes. Russell didn’t realize that, so he didn’t deserve to win

      • Aaron

        @ Jeff

        I don’t think you understand…the JURY did NOT vote for Natalie. They simple didn’t vote for Russell out of arrogance and jealousy. You keep saying that Natalie deserved to win, but why? What did she do that Mick didn’t do? Or for that matter, what did she do that ALL of the other contestants didn’t do (besides get lucky and meet Russell day 2)?

      • Jeff

        Natalie deserved to win because of her social game. She orchestrated the downfall of Galu by getting Erik’s own team to vote for him. She knew to stand by Russell because it was in her best interests. She was not arrogant, she was smart about the way she played. She didn’t taunt or intimidate people. Russell played a great strategic game, but Natalie made a better one. You can burn people in the game, but not be a jerk about it. This is what Natalie did. If Natalie and Mick are the same, then why did the jury vote for Natalie? SHE WAS PLAYING THE GAME. She was able to vote people out without making any enemies along the way, that sounds like a deserving player to me.

      • mark

        Rob, I agree with you to a point. However, Russel was in a position where he needed those three people. I guess he could’ve swapped her for a Galu, but he’d still find himself in that same position.

      • bradical

        Natalie didn’t even play…she just went along with Russell. I can’t believe Erik got the last word before the final vote. He had everyone in tears. Russell didn’t even get a real chance to defend himself. The jury didn’t vote for Natalie, they voted against Russell. It’s a shame that someone won who didn’t even really play and who’s argument to the jury was, I can’t believe I made it this far.

      • ChesterL

        Natalie won because of a “sour-grapes” jury. Russell out-witted and out-played not only Natalie, but everybody this season. In most other seasons, even if they don’t like the individual, they still respect his accomplishments. This season’s jury was full of people who were too “proud” to admit they were bested!!!!

      • Jeff

        No, Natalie won because she was smart. She played the game better than Russell. If Russell was smart, he should have known not to take the nice player. Part of being the Sole Survivor is knowing how to get the votes. Natalie knew how to get the votes, Russell didn’t. I can’t stress that point enough.

      • ChesterL

        Jeff, that wasn’t the case at ALL!!! This was a case of the jury being full of proud and bitter players. Natalie didn’t say or do anything to distingish herself in the final tribal council. Her best claim-to-fame was “I tried not to be one of the aggressive girls”. Wow! That’s really a great way to out-wit, out play! Not only was her game-play pretty “minor”, her tribal council answers were pretty lame as well. So, what happened here??? How did a jury end up voting for a lesser player. Because the jury did NOT look at who out-witted and out-played in this game, they looked at a way to punish Russell for their own hurt egos!!! This is something that Russell could not have seen coming or predicted. He had no idea what these people’s mental states were (fragile egos) after they were voted off.

      • Jeff

        If he is such a great player, then why couldn’t he predict it? He clearly antagonized these people and acted like a cocky jerk. He was so blinded by his ego that he could see how arrogant he was. Her answers weren’t weak either. By not trying to threaten a power player like Russell, she moved herself further in the game. It is a legitimate strategy. Not everyone has to be aggressive and arrogant to get things done. Natalie proves this. If it was Shambo or Jaison in the finals, I would have rooted for Russell and he would’ve most likely won. Natalie outwitted and outplayed Russell by latching on and being nice, while he was rude to everyone. It is a smart strategy . She worked with Russell on every vote but didn’t get any of the blame. Sounds like a deserving million dollar winner to me.

      • Survivor Blog

        Natalie won because jury hates Russell. Probably still does. Look at my Survivor blog for more insight. turnonmytv.blogspot.com

      • Survivor Blog

        Also…I’m pretty sure Erik wants to be an actor after his performances at tribal and at reunion. Pathetic. What else would a loser bartender want to do. turnonmytv.blogspot.com

      • ChesterL

        Oh yeah, that Erik speech might have been one of the lamest speeches ever! What a loser that guy is!!!

      • Citizen Scribbler

        Guess what? If people didn’t vote for Russell because they didn’t like him- that still counts! It isn’t unfair at all to vote for a person that you liked better. What god came down from on high and said that the player who makes the boldest moves deserves the prize? Part of the point of having a jury is that it is up to the individual to make their own choice based on their own criteria- otherwise, there would be no suspense to the ending vote and you may as well have a gameplay checklist which would guarantee a win for people who play the game agressively.

        In the end, Russell’s strategy was to be the best player in the sense that a lot of critics here are big on- he failed to accept that people could vote for who got through the game with their integrity the most intact. And that strategy cost him. He was the very best at playing his game- but it was a different game than what everyone else was playing.

        That Natalie used Russell as her shield speaks to her gameplay. Are the Russell fans just upset that she outplayed him?

        -Citizen Scribbler

      • notluvin

        Russell may have outplayed everyone but Natalie outwitted him socially and she did outlast him. Eric said it best, it came down to whose strategy you liked best, not that one was better than the other, just whose they like most. I say yaaaa for Nat.

      • sonny

        YES The jury got it right, Natalie and a few others were smart enough t keep Russhole around tto the finale, because they knew he couldn’t possibly win enough jury votes. His overbearing, egocentic, misogynistic, arrogant, bullying,sociopathic personality is not commensurate with outwitting the others-especially NATALIE!

      • Lil Tuts

        No, Jeff is right. The rules of Survivor never state you have to dominate the game strategically to win. All you have to do to win is get to the end and get the jury votes. Russell’s way of getting to the end was pushing through everyone, Natalie’s way was riding on his back. However, Natalie realized that she needed to be nice to people to get jury votes, so she was nice. Russell was not. Natalie gets SEVEN votes, Russell gets two. Natalie outplayed Russell, by letting him think he was in control when really the jury obviously favoured her.

      • sonny

        One aspect I find very interesting, especially to refute all the folks on here who think the jury are just sore, because they were voted off by Russhole, is that natalie was responsible for getting Erik voted off, and he not only gave his vote to Ratalie, but was probably ressponsible for getting some other jury votes for her. So, you see, there is a way to vote off your jury and still maintain your positive values, so that you are proclaimed, “Sole Survivor” If Russhole had a good soul, he could have still won the jury over- but he rather play the dark side, so he was he “soul loser”

      • lbj

        Natalie is one of the more undeserving winners ever – Russel should have received the votes hands down for the game he played. Best Survivor player ever!!! Seemed like Eric just wanted to get into Natalies pants with his spiel…and really, I would have stopped watching after the first couple episodes had it not been for Russel. He made the season.

      • Jessica

        The Foa Foa four would not have been there if it wasn’t for the loyalty of Russel. He was the one who kept them alive by having and playing the hidden immunity idol instead of having the others pick them off one by one. Russell is the one who planted the seed in John’s head to switch his vote. The only move Natalie or any other of Foa Foa members made was getting Erik off… the rest of the game playing was done by Russell keeping all of the Foa Foa in the game.

      • lana

        What is it about this game? For 19 seasons every contestant who plays KNOWS it’s a game. But they still take it personally and get their feelings hurt when someone outplays them. Is it because they’re immature attention-seekers? I’m always surprised at the bitterness…

      • Melina

        Yeah. Russell is the best player this game has ever seen. Russell was born to play this game. Natalie didn’t win. Russell just lost

      • Tommy

        What is so funny, as people get voted out and are made part of the Jury, watch there face’s as they come out and face the group as they are about to vote out another. Man if looks could kill, its part of the game, stab your teamates in the back and hope to advance to the final 2 or 3. Waqtch the previous shows and learn. Quit crying, you played a bad game and were voted out. Russ played the best game, but he was, way to cockey and that cost him the game, if he had opened with a more humble opening statement, he might have one. Nat, was smart to latch on to Russell and also she made a good move to win Bret over, so if Bret had one the last challange, I think he would have taken her to the final 3, she would not have won, but she would have been in the final 3, so, good for her. A million dollars richer and let the losers cry.

    • Amy

      CBS should be kissing Russell’s behind. Without him this season would have been booooooring. They barely even showed Galu the first 6 episodes. Russel found 2 idols without even clues…..he was the most entertaining player ever….Russel is the sole survivor in my mind-he doesn’t need the million-but that is what they voted on. Wonder if they took out the million dollars, would the jury still voted that way?

      • chris

        you are absoulty right. Russel got robbed blind. He had this game figured out sence day one. The jury was the worst i have ever seen. They voted in hate,not respect for the true player of the game. Live strong Russ.

      • NC

        Which is why he is on Season 20

      • JasonHomey

        I commented early in the game that Russell must go far and so must his team because I couldn’t name more than 2 people off the other tribe even though they were winning.

      • tamar

        I’m so disappointed. Yes, with out Russell I doubt their would have been a foa foa four. Russell was the best player hands down. Jeff maybe you should make sure that the jury members understand the definition of a “Sole Survivor” title. What a bunch of bitter people. Jaison, what a disappointment he was. Did he not watch the game shows. For the Jury to think so sanctimoniously is beyond comprehension. Obviously, they were fine doing what Russell did until it got them voted out. What a bunch of crap. RUSSELL GOT ROBBED! To see him so visibly upset. To think I rushed home to what this. It makes me sick. For him, it was not so much about the money but about the game. We are with you Russell.

      • tamar

        I betcha!

      • Aaron

        Natalie + x = final three

        x + 2 others = final three

        In the above to equations, x is required; all others are just pieces dependent on x.

        x was Russell…he would have made it to the final three, regardless of the players he chose to accompany him. In my opinion, this was a sad outcome for Survivor…proves much of what is wrong with the world. In the end, jealously and the inability of the jury to see this was a game overcame good gameplay.

        And for those who said Russell wasn’t loyal…weren’t the other two in the final three part of his initial alliance? Sounds loyal to me…

      • Gleekster

        The game is about knowing your competitors and obviously Russell did not know his jury. They could be seen as “whiny” etc. You can be the best strategist and not win which we just saw.

      • julie

        He was very loyal to his true alliance and I think he was the best. His downfall was his expecting the jury to vote logically and not emotionally. However I did think that Natalie made a good case for herself by countering the coattails comments with trying to not be the too aggressive woman because she is right. That’s why Laura has been pouting on the jury for weeks. I was a littel disappointed with final tribal council, they were all pretty boring except for Erik. Nobody really gave the final 3 a chance to say anything interesting. That Galu jury was a bunch of sore losers, they were more than ready to do the same things to Foa Foa they just never got the chance bc they were so arrogant.

      • Jacqueline

        I disagree. I thought Russell getting so much time and focus made this season boring. We didn’t know the names of the other players because CBS did not give them a chance to be known. Total focus on ONE player makes for a boring season, and I won’t be wasting my time watching season 20 if they do the same thing again.

      • ChesterL

        Russell did so much in this game! Every week he made bold moves and manipulated the entire game! Natalie’s “big” claim-to-fame was “not to be one of the aggressive girls”. The jury actually rewarded somebody who didn’t do much besides “not being aggressive” and who rode Russell’s coattails, rather than Russell himself! What a bunch of sour-grapes jury members!

      • Angel240

        You know, I didn’t think I would be upset if Natalie won but I am really ANGRY. I know you can’t say what you would do if you aren’t there but I would HOPE that I would be able to look at the game play and vote for the best player. Russell deserved the win more than any player I have ever seen on this show. PERIOD!

      • jake

        This was not real. It was a game and the jury clearly forgot that. Russell did it all and they hated him for that. I think viewers need a bigger role in who takes it home. Not a bunch of whinners who got played by a great player of a GAME.

      • Zoinks

        In a world where Obama won a Nobel “Peace” Prize for doing absolutely NOTHING…other than not being Bush, it’s completely appropriate that Natalie won Survivor for doing absolutely nothing other than not being Russell.

      • Jason

        @Zoinks…hilarious. Funniest post I’ve seen on here.

    • Russelle

      Although if Russell won, his head would have popped from his overblown ego. The reunion show would have been Russell yapping, noone else would have got a word in edgewise.

      • nurseyoda@hotmail.com

        Out wit and out play? I don’t think so …more like a popularity contest to me..was the jury watching the same show as the rest of us? Russell WAS the best player! And Natalie, the only thing she did was be nice!

      • Kat

        First I thought Russ was robbed even though I didn’t like him. Of course, he was the most noticeable strategic player. But I also noticed what a good social game Natalie played throughout. Russell reminds me of a driven ruthless businessman who will step on anyone to get to the top. Is that admirable? I think not. The business person who is nice to his staff, and plays well with others can also be as successful. I’ll take the one I like over the ruthless player.

      • Aaron

        @ Kat

        Was Natalie even nice? To me, she was simply “there.” If we are talking about “nice,” then why not Mick? What did he do wrong that Natalie didn’t? They BOTH rode the coattails of Russell, and both had a part in the decisions…

        Seems to me the JURY had an ego problem…they simply couldn’t give the BEST man the title because they were “hurt.” Grow up, it’s a game…they were outplayed.

      • WTF

        That would have been fine with me. He made the season interesting. Without him on there I would have been watching PBS.

      • ChesterL

        This was simply “sour-grapes” by the jury. Russell outwitted and out-played Natalie. I am extremely disappointed in this outcome. In most seasons, the people who are the power-players don’t make it to the end. This was a rare case where a power-player made it all the way, then was robbed by a “sour-grapes” jury.

      • OMG

        I am so glad he didn’t win. I was totally on his side until he was acting like such a d*ck in camp after winning immunity. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. And then to be such a poor loser and offer to pay her money to let Jeff call him the winner – he has no class and is a poor sport.

      • joshua

        @omg,i think russel was trying to scare them in his strategic ways ? he wants them to be scared and not motivated for the speech.OH and he only offer 10 k cause he truely know that he deserved the game title and not nathalie .(he would win if there was a fair jury )

      • sonny

        You could tell he was obviously upset, almost to the point of tears. Good, he needs a little taste of humble pie- instead of getting intoxicated on all those grapes reserved for the king. The audacity to bring a pair of socks, and then, instead of giving them tto Jaison, which would have made me laugh, he put them into the fire. I’m glad his dream went up in smoke! He was the least deserving castaway from my point of view.

    • darclyte

      Worst.Jury.Ever. While I understand not wanting to reward “bad behavior,” I am NOT a fan of giving the money to someone who NEVER won ANYTHING. She won because she wasn’t Russell, and that’s it. And they sort of had an “All Stars” season in Spring 2008, so here they are again. Heroes vs Villains, what is this, NBC?

      • DW

        Basically, the producers decided to shoot two seasons back-to-back at the same location to save money. They needed a “gimmick” since they didn’t have a new and exciting location.

      • Hutchy

        Think of the previous All Stars, another season ruined by a bitter unreasoning jury…of course, Boston Rob was 3 steps ahead as always, by marrying into the million before they could rob it from him! Or the other quasi-All Star season, fans vs faves, marred by another questionable winner, Parvati, who literally did virtually nothing all season aside from the social aspects.

      • Aaron

        @ Darclyte,

        “She won because she wasn’t Russell, and that’s it.”

        Exactly true. And for everyone who stands up for Natalie, then why not Mick?

      • Jeff

        Hutchy how in any possible way can you say that Parvati didn’t deserve to win. Like your best friend Russell, she literally made an alliance with everyone. She had to burn people, but she did it in a smart way. Parvati voting Ozzy out was one of the best moves in Survivor history. The fact that you say she did nothing is completely idiotic. She is one of the most deserving winners in Survivor history. Sorry man, you got that wrong!

      • julie

        Kelly not believing Russell when he said he was not like that in real life made me mad. Another person who can’t understand it’s a game. I wonder if that means in real life she is nasty and mean to middle aged women who aren’t as pretty as she is ala Shambo?

      • barb

        Russell should have won!! HE played the game and Natalie didn’t do anything

      • John Debono

        @Jeff: Let’s give credit where its due, Parvati didn’t come up with Ozzy’s blindside, that was all Cirie, just like every other one of Parvati’s “Moves”, she played the exact same game in Cook Islands with the only difference being that Cirie is a lot smarter then Adam.
        As for Natalie, I think she is a fairly deserving winner. Made the right strategic moves at the right time (Getting my pick Erik voted out early), bonding with the religious Galu members and letting Russell believe he was in control.
        As for Russell, he played an A strategic game but a D social game at best. I mean Yul from Cook Islands faced very similar odds and really did nothing different from Russell except be a lot nicer about it. Really the pray circle at the reward should have been enough to blindside Natalie and take Shambo and Mick with you. He thought the jury was pawns who’d vote for him no matter what and was simply put wrong.

      • NS

        Parvati was one of the strongest winners ever. She created a lasting alliance and was their leader. She made moves and completely deserved the win.

      • Tego Livi

        I don’t know where people get this crazy idea that the jury has some kind of obligation to vote for someone who “deserves to win” (whatever that means). They can vote for whoever they want, including physical attractiveness, pleasant personality, or alphabetical order. They are a reality show jury, not a criminal jury.

      • darclyte

        At least Parvati won immunity once.

    • Rosalie

      Stop you whinning! Russell loss because he forgot that it’s also a game of social skills. He forgot to take that part seriously. Russell would have not gotten to the final four either if it were not for Natalie, Mick and Jaison either. Russell was just a big mouth. He found a way to outlast everyone else, but that is it. Everyone is saying that the jury was bitter, not as bitter as Russell was during the finale, talk about a sore looser. He knew that at the end he would need jury votes. I loved Erick’s speech, it was the anti Sue Hawk speech if you ask me. Also the best player doesn’t always win. If you look back at season one, the best player hands down was Kelly, but she lost to the arrogant Richard. Kelly was the first one to start talking about a voting block(remember her, Stacy and Sonja tried to oust Rudy) but Sue betrayed that alliance. Kelly also had the social skills down, she was not condecending towards the Pagons even though she knew she was going to vote them off, unlike Rich, Sue or Rudy. She was also a physical force to rekon with and a great team contributor. Unfortunately Sue was bitter. Anyhow, Russell was not the best player this season, but he was the most entertaining. Saying that Russell is the best player would be like saying that Ballon Boy Dad is the smartest Publics Relation person. Just because he got everyone’s attention doesn’t mean that he got everyone interested in his life. Go Natalie! Russell you are not the Sole Survivor and I guess you showed future contestants that the way you played is not the way to win the million dollars, and that it is in fact hard to win it! Stop being a sore looser Russell, you made good T.V. but you were not the best player.

      • Aaron

        @ Rosalie,

        “I loved Erick’s speech”

        ^^ that would obviously explain your position on this matter. You do know that Survivor is a game, correct? Russell outplayed and outwitted. Natalie got LUCKY. Had she not met Russell day 2, it is probable she would not have made it to the final. Conversely, I strongly believe Russell would’ve made it regardless of his chosen “pawns.”

      • WTF

        Richard Hatch was the ORIGINAL snake on this show. Not only did he deserve to win for outwitting the rest but he MADE Survivor a MUST SEE show it’s first season. Without him I doubt there’d be a season 20!

      • Tobias

        Erik’s speech and later comments revealed everything that was wrong with this show. To him, what distinguished players was merely “arbitrary”, and the “least deserving” is therefore the “most deserving”. Once you eliminate any objective criteria for distinguishing contestants, anything is possible. Including Natalie defeating an inarguably more deserving player – Russell.

      • laskeland

        I’ve been watching survivor since the show started. If the goal of the game is to fly under the radar and make friends, then I guess the best woman won. As much as I couldn’t stand some of the things that Russell said, I admired his playing ability. He out smarted the other team. Who do you guys think would have made up the jury?
        Who should he have taken to the final three?

      • Mike

        What show were you watching again? It must not have been this seasons Survivor. Of course Russell was this seasons best player Considering his neck was on the line for tribal council except the last showed how well he played I don’t care what anybody says, this jury voted out of spite. I’m still wondering who was Russells second vote.

    • james

      The two that Russell took to the final should have been fine – if the jury any other jury in Survivor history instead of the idiots on this one. What a joke.

    • Deb

      Natalie did outlast outwit outplay, she figured Russell out early, knew enough to let him do the dirty work and that was a good strategy. Russell wasn’t a loser, he walked away with $100,000 dollars and I thought it showed how arrogant he was to think he could buy the title of Sole Survivor. Mick, he was too full of himself in the end and that was his downfall. I think the best player won

      • eric

        this show has been on for how long and anyone making comments really surprised.. okay. popularity starts in school and social skills is unmentioned minor education everyone gets. anyhow 24hr a day effort, scheming, planning exploration, resourcefulness, perception of multiple personalities, agendas and judgement gointo every move, decision and ability to adapt, create and execute = superior play!! who did what, who worked, who brang A game, who napped, who waited for somethin to happen, who relied on grade school tactics, who spent time actually invested in winning a GAME? nat=no, jaison=kidding me, erik= just words, shambo had more energy fire and play than 90% of show. luck involved too.. winners make own luck. Ever work for lazy poor person peopl? doubt it! losers win looser jury vote! guess fame and momentary fame corrupt. Russell will be remembered. nat -not so!!

    • Ms KSwiss

      I’m glad Russell won Fan Favorite, and he should have won hands down he outwitted, outplay and outlasted all of the bitter Jury, Russle played the better game!!

    • Dana

      I don’t think anyone in the history of Survivor deserved to win more then Russell. The problem is that people take things too personally so he couldn’t win over the bitter jury members. It is a game; of course you can do things in the course of the game that you wouldn’t normally do in your real life, such as deceiving people. I think he played an excellent game and it was a shame that the jury could not respect that and instead gave it to the person they felt was “nicer”. The only reason she made it was because he chose to bring her, it could have been any number of other people there at the end with Russell.

    • Kate

      I kind of felt like there was a better answer to Kelley’s question to Russell that might have swayed some…so honor, intergrity etc are important to you..yeah…and then should have added, while I lied in the game and if circumstances were different, I was loyal to three other people in this game, Mick, Natalie and Jaison and if not for Brett winning immunity, the Foa Foa four would have been the final four.

    • Betty

      Russell played the game to get to the final round but his final jury-swaying speech was so boneheaded and arrogant he made it impossible for people to side with him. He obviously doesn’t have people skills or knows how to play the endgame. The jury speech he gave was cringe inducing and even if he played the game “tactically” he just didn’t have the tact at the end to make most of the jury want him to have the win. His ego-redneck persona is just not that loveable.

      • Tommy

        Betty, as I wrote earlier, I agree with you completely, Russell might have won, if, he would have toned down his jury speech and not been so arrogant. Also, I did not like how most of the way through the game, he kept referring to his teamates as idiots and stupid, he started out way to cocky for me. Did not like him from the begining.

    • Betty

      Every Survivor ends with the jury having to choose the “lesser of all evils” rather than the best player. The whiners feel jilted out of the cash so they choose to not give the money to the finalists they hate rather than choose a winner. It comes down to SPITE not rational decision making.

    • Alex


  • lori

    I’m physically ill. Yet another undeserving little nothing from the bowels of hickdom wins Survivor! Its enough to make me wanna just stop watching this show.

    • Lacey


    • wendy

      Please stop watching and putting comments on the site, you nasty piece of @3%! Every time I see your name I get sick.

      • lori

        every time I eat your greazy burgers I get sick…I hate WENDY’s

      • Harrison

        Wow. Stop taking your medicine, did you?

      • bridget

        do you or anyone know how to email natalie

      • Anna

        Bridget, you might be able to message Natalie through Facebook. I believe many of the contestants have pages there.

    • Pam


      • alickofsense

        Yeah,..we could all start a site to give Natalie the award she really won, the “SHOESOLE SURVIVOR,”.. trailin’ in Russells dust! She should spend that money on grapes,…half of them to sour up real good to present to the ” joke jury'” and half of them to personally feed to Russell for the rest of his life! Long Live “King Russell”,..the ultimate sole survivor of all time ! No piss-ant jury can bestow that, or take it away,,..it is, and was,freely given to him by the vast majority of the american public. And, hopefully, CBS will change things so that next time MEDIOCRITY cannot be rewarded. That’s alot of what’s wrong with our entire society !

    • ChesterL

      Russell got robbed!!! All of those who say “he should have taken Jasion and Shambo” to the end. Yeah, right, and what guarentee would he have had that Brett wouldn’t have made it to the end? Shambo and Jasion were USELESS in challenges. He pretty much had to stick with Mick and Natalie to make it tougher on Brett to win the challenges. His only downfall was an “over rightous” jury!!!!

      • Joe

        Jaison and Shambo were easy fodder. Shambo was pretty much hated by the jury and Jaison was simply there. So the premise that Russell might have won if he had taken both of them is valid.

      • D

        @Joe-You’re not getting it. If he had eliminated either Mick or Natalie it is possible that Brett might have won 4 challenges in a row and then gotten to the jury. Then Brett wins the million.

  • fipilele

    Russell was robbed!

    • MacAttackk

      Best Survivor player ever…outwitted, outlasted, outplayed!!!! Russel got robbed

      • DC

        Natalie was barely acceptable, but Russell should have won. The Foa Foa four would not have been in the final five if not for Russell. The “purple” gang and that loser Jaison are just a bunch of whinny whimps. Another lame finish to a great season.

      • Jeff

        If Russell was the BEST PLAYER EVER, then he would’ve realized that he should not have taken Natalie to the finals. Part of being a top game player is ACTUALLY WINNING THE GAME. If Russell was “best” then he would have known to take Shambo and Jaison. He didn’t do that, so he isn’t the best player ever. I know that everyone is bitter, but those are the facts. SORRY!

      • James D

        Jeff, completely agree with you. Natalie was very likable and Russel overlooked that. He knew that he was hated. I would have liked to see him win. Jaison is the saddest excuse of a survivor contestant. He had so much potential, but completely wasted it. He was a whiny baby.

      • Paula

        Why does the winner have to represent everything that is wrong with the world. In the real world people like Russell win everyday…but that doesn’t make it right. Good for Natalie.

      • Jenn

        Jeff- as a die hard survivor fan the point that you bring up is the one thing I can take comfort in. Yes- Russell played hard and was super deserving. But in order to win you have to sway the jury, and he obviously picked the wrong person to take to the finale. Does seem like this jury voted on friendships/relationships and not on the Outwit, Outlast, Outplay theme however. But hey- Russell was smart enough to know that was a part of the game and he chose the wrong path. Kudos to Natalie for building good relationships and riding the right man’s coat tails.

      • Jeff

        Glad I could comfort you. People on here just don’t understand that building positive relationships is an important part of the game, as is bringing people to the finals that you know you can win against . If Russell was the Survivor “God” that everyone thinks he is, then he would have realized that. You can be a manipulative as you want, but being a good social player is the most important aspect of the game!

      • Babylouallie

        I agree witheveryone who thinks Russell should have won. At 1st I didn’t like him. But it was a game to win million dollars not a sympathy contest. Russell was by far the person who should have won. I have to rethink if I will watch the next survivor.

      • Jules

        Jeff, somehow I feel cheated by the editing job CBS did. The Q&A session made it look like Natalie’s answers were subpar and therefore the audience was dumbfounded to see that she actually won!

      • Jeff

        This season was definitely the “Russell Show” but I think Natalie contributed a lot. She deserved to win because she made the moves she needed to make in order to be number 1. Russell’s arrogance didn’t do it for him. I was not surprised that Natalie won, I think she deserved it. She played the social game that you need to play in order to win. Survivor rules don’t state that the best strategic player must win. Social players win this game. Natalie was a terrific social player.

      • Aaron

        @ Jeff,

        I don’t think you understand…the JURY did NOT vote for Natalie. They simple didn’t vote for Russell out of arrogance and jealousy. You keep saying that Natalie deserved to win, but why? What did she do that Mick didn’t do? Or for that matter, what did she do that ALL of the other contestants didn’t do (besides get lucky and meet Russell day 2)?

      • Jenn

        Natalie did play a good social game- but I think the more important point is that Russell played a HORRIBLE one. Put yourself on the jury and think of how you would take his smug, arrogant “I’m going to keep this hidden immunity idol for a souvenir” bit and all the rest of his antics. He made for great tv. I loved it from my couch. But I would have been so ready to take him down had I been on the jury.

      • Jeff

        Natalie deserved to win because of her social game. She orchestrated the downfall of Galu by getting his own team to vote for him. She knew to stand by Russell because it was in her best interests. She was not arrogant, she was smart about the way she played. She didn’t taunt or intimidate people. Russell played a great strategic game, but Natalie made a better one. You can burn people in the game, but not be a jerk about it. This is what Natalie did. If Natalie and Mick are the same, then why did the jury vote for Natalie? SHE WAS PLAYING THE GAME. She was able to vote people out without making any enemies along the way, that sounds like a deserving player to me.

      • Cynthia

        Russell wasn’t the best player. He had no concept of what he needed to do to win the jury over. He alienated too many people. You can’t win that way. Natalie was always playing the game. She was quick to see that the women were being voted off one by one so she faded into the background. Then she realized that the other guys in her alliance were going to go along with Russell. She did them one better. She went along with Russell too but made him take the fall for betraying their alliances. She was smart as hell and if you can’t see it I suggest you watch reruns and keep your eye on her.

      • ChesterL

        Jen, Jeff, Cyntia, NO WAY was Natalie a better player than Russ. It was simply a case of an “over-rightous” jury. Natalie didn’t do anything to distinquish herself during the game or during the final tribal council. And there would have been no way Russell could have been confident that taking Shambo/Jasion would have been able to beat Brett the last 2 immunity challenges. Both Shambo and Jasion were horrible at challenges. It made A LOT more sense to take Mick/Nat to help fight off Brett. Russell (and nobody else) had any way of knowing that the jury would have been full of so many fussy, whinny, bitter, overly rightous, sour-grapes people!!!

      • CeeCee

        @ChesterL~you keep harping on the jury, but most of the jurys, especially the ones that were blind-sided, are pissed and short-sighted. That is a factor in Survivor that has made or broken many players…it *is* a part of the game. Rus made assumptions and paid for them. The reason the jury did not vote for Mick is because he was completely lame….and Natalie was clever, adept and made herself essential to the Foa Foa alliance. They would never have gotten Erik off without her *social skills*, and that is what got them all to the finals.

      • sonny

        Russhole didn’ even deserve the 100 Grand he got. He’s a sore loser’ I just watched the early show, and it looked like He was up all night drinking, and he stayed his obnoxious self, saying Natalie was a cheerleader and he was the quarterback_ what a moron! I don’t think Russhole knew he was hated by he jury. I mean alot of his friends seem to tthink there is a rule book for winning survivor. The last rule that everyone including Russhole, seems to forget, is you need to have THE MOST JURY VOTES ! Say Congratulations to Natalie, instead of crying that the title of “Sole Survivor” wasn’t for sale.

      • Tony

        Typical sore loser jury…I thought Russell played it about as well as he could. I thought his jury performance was good…emphasize the game…emphasize outwit/outplay/outlast…but as is the case with most of the Survivor juries it is populated with people who think they should be in the finals and they would have done it with integrity even though given the opportunity they would have back stabbed whoever was in the way to get there. You can’t get to the end without tricking people. Oh well…season 20 should be a good one…

      • KEH

        Russle is not the best player.. he is the one who created the bitterness in the Jury.. They didn’t find that in a south sea hotel.. it was served on a cold plate by Russle who got his own left overs.. Even he didn’t think being the best at the end had value he dumped brett. Jeff Probst like many gameshow hosts only sees the most overt part of the game. Natalie is a sales person.. she has plenty of ego.. she was the only one that from start to end dumped the ego for the goal.. russles need not only to win but to be seen as the POWER was why he lost.. HE created the loss ergo.. lack of ego control makes him an above average player not the greatest and the Villians who won will eat him for breakfast next season.

  • lori

    The jury were pathetic. Yes, Russell is a pig of a man – but he did deserve it over that empty-headed little hillbilly!! Or at least Mick, who I thought was unfairly attacked by all of them. But at least I got to see Jaison voted out first!

    • Deb

      Russell the southern hillbilly deserved to win? Lori, take your meds, your psychosis is showing.

  • Gregoire

    She literally did nothing to win. One of the worst winners in reality TV show history.

  • Beth

    Yes, Russell was robbed. Bitter people on the jury are so annoying.

    • Zoey

      all part of the game….but this jury was particularly vengeful and fill of spite because they were so burned by Russell. Rusell ate Galu up…Laura is the biggest sourpuss ever!

      • alioops

        I agree with Zoey. The jury WAS vengeful and Russell did burn them all. YES, LAURA IS THE BIGGEST SOURPUSS EVER. I can’t even stand to look at her face.

      • KWise

        Laura is a ridiculous sourpuss. She and the other “pretty girls” (aka mean girls) were awful to Shambo, and that was their PRIMARY DOWNFALL. But instead of owning up to that huge mistake, she has to act all arrogant and suggest that Shambo was just jealous of her, the strong “grandma.” Whatever Laura – go crawl under the rock you came out of.

      • D

        Can’t stand Laura-she was even a pain in the butt on the reunion show!

      • Bond Girl

        I thought it was funny that Kelly was questioning Russell on what kind of person he is in real life while we witnessed her and Laura being high school beotches at Ponderosa, AFTER they were done with the game. Idiots. I actually expected a little more from Erik as well. Just wish I knew who the other intelligent person was who voted for Russ.

    • cheryl

      Yess you are so right…Survivor is about just exactly what Russell did….All the very Bitter people voted against him….They ALL COULD HAVE PLAYED THE GAME…THEY CHOSE NOT TOO….MAYBE RUSSELL WILL BE BACK IN FEBUARY ..I BET HE WILL BE…

    • Cheryl

      Yes lets award Russell for being what America tries not to be.. Russell is a man of not integrity, honesty or pride. He is just a head strong man that hates to lose.

      • Hutchy

        This isnt a cross section of America. Its a game show, no different then Jeopardy. Under the rules as established in the universe of the game show, Russell was far and away the best and most deserving player. It always has and always will be this way, dating back to Richard Hatch. Sometimes honesty and integrity do win, look at Yul. However, you have to play the game well.

      • alickofsense

        I beg to differ Cheryl,..on the contrary, Russell showed more integrity,honesty, and pride than almost ANYONE else on Samoa Survivor. Everyone else, {except Shambo,} played the exact same way..just not as well,.then,they had the gall to get all justif-y and righteous when it came to voting for a winner. As usual,the losers choose a “winner” who is not much better,(or maybe not even as good a player,)as themselves,..that way,the blow to their egos isn’t quite so devasting. In your view of “how the world should be,” we reward mediocrity. That’s why we have a bunch of worthless fat-cat senators and congressmen “back patters” in Washington with their hands out lookin’ for the kickback. As soon as somebody comes along that says “WOW,LOOK,THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES!”, they kill him dead, or try to! Russell was honest to the public and to himself,he didn’t try to sugar-coat his reasoning or himself,..I’ll personally take a ruthless but honest person over a righteous self deciever anytime.

    • debbi

      When the jury so overwhelmingly shows their contempt and pettiness at being bested, it says so much more about them than it does about who they vote for.

    • sonny

      You could take any jury, any 10 people, who spent 39 days with Russhole, and I guarantee he would never ge enough votes to win the dough. He has no social graces, and rubs people tthe wrong way. He won’t win Season 20 either. I tthink it is what might be called a personality flaw. Who, among all you Russhole lovers, would like to have him for a friend or neighbor?
      Make sure you don’t hang your laundry ou on the line!

      • alickofsense

        ME you eedjit,…I bet you a dollar if Russell were my neighbor and my house burned down,he’d offer me a place to stay nextdoor with his family,..unlike almost all of the others who would give me phoney condolences and a social services number! YOU on the other hand sound like the kind of hole I’d rather not live next to. Perhaps you don’t know that our Country was built by people just like Russell,honest,determined,take no prisoners kind of guys. I also bet that You would have run back to mamma if you had been in the Revolutionary War. I’d like to see how Dave would have done there,or Mick,or Jaison,or almost ANY of the other men in the game, excepting perhaps Brett. THEY WOULD HAVE ALL MADE HUGE STRATEGIC MISTAKES,..and as for the women they would have done what they did..cat-fight,gossip, and whenever possible,hide behind a man who COULD do it,( ie:Natalie.} If this country is ever physically invaded by a foriegn presence you can bet your surfboard that the backbone of the resistance will come from the Southeastern U.S. You have no respect for excellence and think that a dentists smile and good grammer with no discernable accent and a good height and “family stature,”and “social graces,”make a man,..they don’t. Maybe he won’t win the dough next time,..but I guarantee you SONNY it won’t be for a lack of trying !

  • Bk

    Russell was robbed and twitter is getting slammed with people feeling the same way. Its who outwit, outplayed, outlasted – Russell!! Natalie did nothing but ride coat tails! ugh!!!!

    • Joe

      But he played a one-sided game. Russell: Strategy – A, Social – D, Physical – C+
      Natalie: Strategy – A-, Social – A, Physical – B-
      Simple as that.

      • Mari

        That’s an arbitrary grading scale. And I don’t see how Natalie beat Russell in the physical game. Russell was the one running through the jungle and he actually won individual immunity. Natalie was a weakling from beginning to end. Further Natalie shouldn’t even get a grade for strategy, as Russell was thinking and planning for the both of them. She was just a robot saying, “Whatever you say, Russell.”

      • D

        @Mari. It took some SKILLZ to get Galu to oust Erik. That was Natalie’s doing. A robot could not have done that.

      • dawna

        Natalie played hard in the challenges. Remember her hanging on by her legs in the flag challenge? Plus, let’s consider strategy. If you recognize that you are not going to be the most physical player or the boldest player, then what are you going to do? Be useful around camp, do whatever you can in challenges, make strong alliances, and work as part of the larger team. That is a VALID strategy and it got Natalie a million bucks.

    • leo

      But for someone to outwit and outlast you can’t do that the first 90% and then just get cocky and stop playing because you know that money is in your hands. He taunted Mick and Natalie to think about the jury questions and prepare, but he did little preparation other than get ready for people to fall to their knees and crown him as the best player ever.
      An athlete who brings the puck 90% of the way to the net and then starts raising his hands in victory does NOT get the goal and instead gets a huge dose of humble pie. It clearly tasted like ashes in his mouth BUT I would bet that if and when he’s in the next one (how can they not ask him) he’s smart enough to have learned from what worked and what didn’t in his final round.
      Natalie played a good game – watching the montage at the reunion showed many times she worked her tail off for her tribe and gave this game everything she had and more. HOWEVER how she WON the game was her humility in the final tribal and her willingness to pay respect and gratitude to those who got her into that position. She outwitted him for sure – no question – at that final tribal.

  • XSE Drake

    Russel played one of the best games in the history of the show, and lead his foursome to the end after being decimated from early on. He deserved to win. I agree that Natalie played well, but this is just another case of the jury voting emotionally and going with the less objectionable finalist. It reminds me of Amber winning over Boston Rob. That’s one of the show’s biggest flaws: the jury is reliably unable to vote for the best player, and instead for the least offensive player. Such a shame.

    • Lisa

      Totally agree. I was so bummed that Russell lost to Nat.

    • Jan

      I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Jules

      Agreed.Cannot stand how jury just closes themselves off because of their bitterness to one person. Jaison is the perfect example. Smart, stand-up guy let his emotions cloud the right decision.

      • Ashlyn

        Well, to me, that IS the beauty of Survivor. Sometimes the jury goes with their emotions, sometimes they go with logic. To me, a good Survivor player is someone who is a good observer of people and their behaviors, someone who is flexible enough to adjust to people around them and know when to appeal to them by being likeable and when to appeal to them by playing a good strategic game.

    • mary mac

      Yeah, but Boston Rob MARRIED Amber, so he got a piece of that million.

  • alsina57

    Russell was the best player, but his ego and attitude were his downfall.

    • alickofsense

      NO,I disagree,…his downfall was the fact that the bitter jury couldn”t swallow the undeniable fact that he played the game so much better than they did. The game itself is fatally flawed if it continues to allow undeserving players to win the ultimate reward. Who really deserved it?..can you name any other one person,(..and in my mind, Natalie is WAY down on that list.} You can’t,..can you,..no-one but Russell deserved it. Russell played his ass off,He’s the only one who stands out. Frankly, CBS needs to change to an ending vote detirmined by the viewers,or Survivor might not survive much longer,

  • Jeremiah

    I’m really upset with the jury, they clearly held a grudge against Russell. While I’ll admit that Russell could have been a little more subtle in his gameplay he deserved it ten times over natalie.

    • norma

      long live king russell i’d want him on my side in real surviving

  • Derek Peterson

    Ridiculous. Russell owned the game from day one. He should have won.

  • lori

    JT and Natalie. UNdeserving! Are Survivor juries now voting for who has the least money, education and desire to wear shoes?

    • Cathy

      Wow, every comment you make is a disparaging remark against Natalie b/c she comes from a small southern town. You have no proof on her level of education and it was stated on the show that she made alot of money in her former profession. Did you perhaps lose a man to a southern belle at some point in your life?

  • J

    THRILLED! Natalie made some great moves, and Russell was a self-important, misogynist jackass.

    • Carolyn

      Great moves??? What show where you watching??? Russell may not have needed the money but thats not what the show is about. I dont think the JURY should be the sole voters, how about making it a viewers choice??

      • mark

        viewer’s choice would be the worst decision ever.

      • Anna

        The viewers do get a choice. It’s that Sprint $100,000.00 thing. Russell won it. Happy now??

      • D

        The viewers are not THERE. The winner would totally depend on the editing. It would be totally unfair.

    • Ken

      AGREED! Natalie played it perfectly.

      Let Russell be Russell, stay under the radar and build up the goodwill of the jury.

      Russell was hoist by his own petard and I friggin love it.

    • MacAttackk

      great moves??? what???? all she did was whine and say “yes Russ”…way to stand up and be a strong woman…sad really. Russel was robbed

  • Kiki

    Russel should have won

  • A Travesty

    I am furious with this vote, since it clearly shows the bitterness of the jury members did not allow the rightful, best player in the game to win. Mick and Natalie would not even be close to sniffing a million dollars without Russell’s game play. If you, as a jury member, can’t recognize that, then that is quite sad. Arrogance is what it is, but he backed it all up.

    Come on, this was a travesty.

    • Tom

      Natalie owes half of her winnings to Erik. Without his epic and emotional speech, I don’t think Natalie gets enough votes. She had not convinced anyone on that jury that she was worthy of the money, but Erik certainly did. Makes you wonder if the producers knew ahead of time what his comments would be, because it was perfect to have Erik’s remarks lead directly into the vote.

      • Indy

        Yes, Natalie does owe Mick a big “Thank you.” I wonder if he would have voted the same had he known that Natalie was behind his ouster.

      • Tammy

        100 percent agree with you Tom—she won by ONE–he swayed someone and that’s all she needed. I bet it was someone who felt they needed to “right” a “wrong” they did in the game

      • Tobias

        Yes, Erik’s speech may have been the difference, and it was a shame time did not allow it to be countered. His speech revealed everthing wrong with this season – he saw distinctions between contestants as “arbitrary” and felt that being the least deserving made one the most deserving. This bit of illogic obviously prevailed, and allowed a less deserving player to win in what should have been an easy decision.

    • Indy

      I wasn’t furious, but I was extremely disappointed. While Russell was very arrogant, he did back it up, like you said.
      “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

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