Survivor

The latest episode of Survivor did not disappoint as Russell Hantz was voted off the show for the first time ever.

It seems Russell’s Zapatera tribe members had watched the show one too many times as they were on to Russell from day one. In fact, the six-member majority alliance proceeded to throw the immunity/reward challenge last night, snapping their 2-game winning streak, just to get rid of Russell, whom they referred to as the extra fat that needed to be trimmed off.

Russell‘s ultimate demise was probably the fact that he could not get his hands on the hidden immunity idols — something that has helped him tremendously on his two previous seasons of the show.

By the time Russell realized the other 6-member alliance wanted him off the team, it was already too late to save himself though that did not stop him from trying a last minute ditch effort to sway Julie‘s vote. Julie convinced him she was on his side, but ended up staying loyal to her alliance.

The result of the tribal council was a rare three-way tie, orchestrated by ex-NFL player Steve, who is arguably the leader the six-member majority alliance of the Zapatera tribe. And despite Stephanie‘s redonkulous ramblings, the end result was a re-vote that sent Russell home.

Even better was the fact that Russell’s alliance members lied to him about Matt (“the blonde guy”) losing the Redemption Island duel to Francesca (“the black chick”). Russell was surprised to see Matt upon arriving to the Redemption Island.

This however doesn’t necessarily mark the end for Russell as he still has a chance – albeit a very very long shot – to get back into the game. Francesca on the other hand is off the show for good after losing the duel to Matt.

Meanwhile, Rob continues to rule his Ometepe tribe as well as his groupie alliance. Safe to assume Rob will not be suffering Russell’s fate anytime soon.

TELL US – WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON LAST NIGHT’S SURVIVOR & ON RUSSELL BEING VOTED OFF?

If you have yet to watch the premiere episode of Survivor: Redemption Island, please feel free to stop reading this while also heading right over to the CBS website to catch this episode. Yes, it was that good!

And for those who viewed the debut last night, you might be willing to attest that the tribal council was without a doubt the wackiest ever, and also one of the best ever.

The episode began with show host Jeff Probst introducing the returning all stars Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz to the two different tribes. Rob’s tribe seems happy and eager to have him on their team, while Russell’s tribe is willing to make do with the hand they have been dealt. Francesca makes a critical error at this point in the game when she opens up her mouth and states, “They’re troublemakers. I don’t think they’re here just to help us out.” Bad move Francesca, bad move. With those words, Francesca immediately put a target on herself.

Despite giving his Zapatera tribe a sweet speech about being a changed man, we immediately see Russell is back to his old tricks as he singles out the young Stephanie to be his new Parvati. The men in Russell’s tribe however are not so impressed and are already on to him, planning to vote him out the first chance they get.

Things take a more entertaining turn on Rob’s Ometepe tribe as his groupies… oops, most of his female tribe members seem to swoon over him, make googly eyes at him, and are eager to join his alliance. Let’s all hope Amber has nothing to worry about. One person not too willing is Kristina who immediately goes looking for an idol clue. Rob is on to Kristina, who is aware Rob is on to her and now realizes she poses a threat to Rob.

Meanwhile, “federal agent” Phillip, who for some reason has decided his saggy red briefs is the way to the $1 million prize, decides to pull the women together and let them in on a little secret. He used to be a “federal agent” yall!, as the ladies pretend to be impressed. Phillip also makes certain to put a target on his back by criticising the others and pointing out all that they are doing wrong. Francesca and Kristina both seem the most irritated with Phillip and his know-it-all condescending attitude, but the two ladies made a fatal Survivor error when they decide to form an alliance with an unstable game player. This brings their alliance to three versus Rob’s six member alliance.

This makes way for an epic tribal council as Phillip just flies off the handle for some unknown and unprovoked reason, proceeding to out his alliance while also revealing Kristina’s immunity idol. Phillip however makes certain to let us know he is not unstable, and what better way to prove that than by mispronouncing Francesca’s name a number of times. Who knew Francesca was so hard to pronounce?

Kristina takes a great risk by not using her idol and Francesca is the tribe’s first causality as she is voted off to the Redemption Island. Great episode overall. Would like to see Francesca return to the game as she appears to be a strong player. Those chances are however very slim. Pretty gutsy move by Kristina to not play her idol but her days on the tribe are numbered. She is that player who played way too hard, way too quickly. It will be interesting to see if Russell’s tribe does get rid of him quickly or allow him to make it far in the game.

Meanwhile, in other Survivor news, Russell Hantz is now denying the allegations that he leaked out Survivor spoilers for the two previous seasons he was on. “The problem is with me, I am that villain and people take shots at me. Even though it’s not really who I really am in real life. So, you know, all I can say is it’s 100 percent false. It’s hard for me to sit there and take it, but I don’t give it any credit whatsoever,” said Russell on CBS The Early Show this week.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON EPISODE ONE OF SURVIVOR: REDEMPTION ISLAND? THOUGHTS ON THE CAST AND THE TRIBAL COUNCIL? SHOULD THE TRIBES VOTE OFF RUSSELL & ROB?

It seems that Russell Hantz is not only untrustworthy in the game of Survivor, but also in real life.

According to a new shocking report by the DailyBeast, Russell is responsible for leaking the accurate spoilers for the show during seasons 19 and 20, both of the seasons he appeared on.

How did this revelation come about? Well, it all began when Jim Early, a Survivor message board commenter, was able to accurately predict the order of eliminations and other spoilers for the two consecutive seasons of the show.

And while most networks simply ignore those who post spoilers, CBS took notice and decided it was best to file a lawsuit against Jim, who in turn decided to reveal the source of his information. Jim tells the DailyBeast that he started talking to Russell on the phone during which Russell would give him little details and tidbits. However, once Russell realized how much attention those teases garnered on the message boards, he decided to turn things up a notch.

“He just started coming out and telling me what happened: who was leaving, who won challenges,” Jim said. “All I had to do was pick up the phone and say ‘hello’ and I had anything I wanted.”

Jim reveals he handed CBS email spoilers he also received from Russell. It seems CBS was very pleased with all the information they got and ultimately decided to drop their lawsuit against Jim due to his “cooperation.”

As of the moment, it remains unclear if CBS will penalize Russell, who is set to appear on the upcoming season, for his actions. The DailyBeast reports the Survivor cast members’ contract clearly states contestants may not reveal “the elimination of contestants and the selection of any winner.” The penalty for doing so? “Liquidated damages” of $5 million.

As for why Jim gave up Russell as his source, Jim claims it is “because of his attitude about the whole thing,” and because Russell had tried to implicate another player.

And while Russell has yet to publicly comment on this story, he did make the following post on his facebook page recently. “If you love the game, you won’t go to spoiler sites. Like who really wants to know who wins the superbowl before you watch it play out? Don’ t be a retard, lol just watch it play out and you will like what you see.”

The new season of Survivor premieres Feb. 16.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS REVELATION? SHOULD RUSSELL BE PENALIZED BY CBS?

TMZ is reporting Survivor Nicaragua winner Judson Birza aka Fabio was arrested Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance.

According to law enforcement sources, cops first noticed Fabio riding a skateboard in the street, which is considered illegal. Fabio was then stopped by the cops during which they noticed he was acting strangely.

Ultimately, the cops determined he was under the influence and arrested him. TMZ adds that Fabio was also booked for an unrelated DUI warrant as well as a probation violation.

He was held on $37,000 bail. A new report by TMZ this morning states Fabio posted bail last night and was released, with a white stretch limo coming to pick him up. Nice to see he’s putting his $1 million winnings to good use.

Fabio seems to be denying the charges as he told TMZ, “Dude, this is such bulls**t … I got treated like a baby.”

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON FABIO’S ARREST?

Just a few weeks following the finale of season 21, CBS is now unveiling the cast of the all new 22nd season of Survivor: Redemption Island, which will reportedly include two former all-stars.

The battle begins this season in Nicaragua where the 18 castaways will be divided into two Tribes of nine: the Ometepe Tribe and the Zapatera Tribe. The tribes are comprised of individuals from all different backgrounds with the same ultimate goal: to be the Sole Survivor. While 16 of the contestants are new to the competition, two are former castaways who will be given another chance to compete for the million dollar prize and one last shot at redemption.

CBS has released the names of 16 out of the 18 castaways with the promise to reveal the final 2 contestants at the end of this week. It is heavily rumored that those two remaining contestants are none other than rivals Russell Hantz and Rob Mariano. Their return would definitely make for an interesting season.

As we have previously reported, this season of Survivor will be a bit different thanks to some new rules. In fact, host Jeff Probst explained the rule changes two weeks ago. The biggest change being that eliminated contestants do not leave the game but instead go instead to the “Redemption Island,” where he or she will face off against the next person voted off in a duel.

The loser goes home with the duel winner going on to face the next arrival at Redemption Island until one person is left standing. That individual will get a chance to return to the game. The other rule change is that producers will get to decide whether or not people who quit the game during the jury stage will get to stay and vote for a winner.

The new season of Survivor premieres February 16 at 8/7c on CBS. The cast photos and bios below –

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE THE CAST PHOTOS AND BIOS!

UPDATE – CBS has now confirmed that the remaining two castaways are returning vets Rob Mariano and Russell Hantz.

“Having never been awarded the title of Sole Survivor, Hantz and Mariano return to compete for the $1 million prize and one last shot at redemption,” CBS said in a statement. “They will each join a separate tribe of all new castaways at the start of the game, but it is the tribe who will ultimately decide if they will welcome the knowledge of an experienced veteran, or view these former castaways as a threat.”

During the reunion show of Survivor:Nicaragua, we learned that the upcoming season of the show would be bringing us some new rules!

In a new interview, host Jeff Probst discusses the new format and rules. The most notable change on the upcoming Survivor: Redemption Island, which premieres Feb. 16 on CBS, is that when a contestant is voted off, he or she won’t leave the game but instead go instead to the “Redemption Island,” where he or she will face off against the next person voted off in a duel.

The loser goes home and the duel winner goes on to face the next arrival at Redemption Island until one person is left standing. That individual will then get a chance to return to the game.

“We did a haphazard version of Redemption Island a few years ago called the Outcasts,” Jeff explains. “It didn’t work and it didn’t please the audience and there was one fundamental flaw – we didn’t tell people up front it was going to happen … So I have no problem with people coming back into the game because everybody knows up front [now]. A rule can’t be unfair if you know going in. It’s an equal opportunity.”

And thanks to the two infamous quitters, NaOnka Mixon and Kelly Shinn, being allowed to quit the game and remain on the jury, much to the fury of fans, the show has now implemented new rules regarding quitters. From the new season on, producers will have total discretion on whether to keep quitters on the show or leave them off the jury. “The most frustrating part for me was that both of them, due to a precedent we already set on the show, were allowed to stay on the jury and have an influence at the end of the game,” Jeff tells PEOPLE.

In other Survivor news, Matthew “Sash” Lenahan found himself in the same position as popular villain Russell Hantz during the finale show. Despite playing a pretty good game, Sash ended up not only losing the game, but receiving zero votes from his jury peers as he simply ruffled too many feathers. In an interview with TV Guide, Sash discusses not receiving any votes and who surprised him the most on the jury. Excerpts below –

TVGuide.com: Why do you think you didn’t receive a single vote from the jury?
Matthew “Sash” Lenahan:
It’s rough. I think I played a great game on the show. I don’t regret anything. I think I made the best move every step of the way, and I did the best that I could. I can’t control how the jury is going to vote. I did think that I had a shot tonight, but I think the jury voted a lot based on emotion and previous relationships, and not necessarily based on the way I played, which is how I would have based my vote. I just thought some of the members of the jury would have respected the game more.

But saying that, Fabio is a great winner. I am a super fan of the show, I’ve watched all 10 years and 20 seasons, and no one has ever played like Fabio has. I thought I knew all the twists and all the turns and all the angles, but he played a way I’ve never seen, so he’s very deserving.

TVGuide.com: Was there anyone on the jury whose comments surprised you the most?
Sash:
It really surprises me because this is a game. There are some people, Jane in particular, who tried to hit below the belt. You saw with me, the comments she made about my mother, the comments she made about Marty and his kids. It’s a game. I had my game face on, but I love everyone. I don’t hold any grudges. I know that they are all amazing people, but it’s a shame when you see people take it to a level that’s unnecessary.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW RULES? DO YOU THINK SASH SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN SOME VOTES? DID JANE TAKE THINGS TOO PERSONAL?

Los Angeles native Jud Birza aka Fabio became the $1 million winner of Survivor:Nicaragua after outlasting, outwitting and outplaying his fellow competitors following 39 days in the rain forest.

The 21-year-old college student and model beat out musician Chase Rice, 24 and real-estate broker Matthew “Sash” Lenahan, 30, to become the youngest Survivor contestant ever to win the game.

Fabio won by a 5-4 vote, beating out Chase. And in what can only be described as the Russell Hantz effect, villain Sash received zero votes.

Fabio, who won the last three immunity challenges, stated numerous times that he is not as dumb as others thought he was. Dog trainer Jane Bright, 56, was declared the fan favorite, winning the $100,000 Sprint Fan Favorite award. NaOnka Mixon, who host Jeff Probst called “a great villain” admitted that she “acted a fool” on the show but ultimately defended all her actions.

And thanks to NaOnka and Purple Kelly aka the Quitters, Jeff announced last night that starting with the new season, quitters will now have some repercussions, such as not being allowed on the jury. The decision will however be in the hands of the show’s producers.

The next big announcement was that the new season will have a new twist called Redemption Island. According to Jeff, when a contestant is voted out, they will go to Redemption Island and stay there alone, before being ultimately joined by the next person voted out. The two will then compete in a duel and the winner will remain on Redemption Island. After a certain period, the last person left standing on Redemption Island will get to return to the game.

We also got an update of Boston Rob and Amber. The two just delivered their second daughter Carina Rose on December 10th.

My Thoughts – I thought Fabio made an excellent move in deciding to vote out Holly. He’s definitely not as dumb as he appears. Holly would have likely won had she made the finals and quite frankly, I believe she deserved to win. She is the only member of the older tribe left in the game, the only woman left standing and she made some great moves in the game. She is the one who orchestrated the elimination of Brenda — a major competitor. Had it not been for Holly, Brenda would have likely been in the final 3 with Sash.

Personally, I was rooting for Fabio the most and I’m glad he won. I did not think Chase deserved to win at all and believed his game play was about as impressive as Kelly Purple’s. He just seemed to go with the flow, doing what others told him to do. I’m not surprised Sash didn’t get a vote. I’m guessing he failed to watch Russell Hantz’s performance on the last season. Part of Survivor is the social game and pissing everyone off and backstabbing everyone is never a good idea. Sash was a bad player in my opinion because he lied when he didn’t need to, thus making himself more enemies than he needed to.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS SEASON OF SURVIVOR AND FABIO WINNING? SHOULD PLAYERS LIKE SASH & RUSSELL BE PUNISHED FOR BACKSTABBING? THOUGHTS ON THE NEW RULES?

Ben Henry aka Benry found himself the latest eliminated outcast on Survivor: Nicaragua after he was blindsided and sent packing.

In a new interview with TV Guide, the 24-year-old club promoter talks about being blindsided by Chase and his alliance, how his competitive nature might have led to his downfall and also touches on NaOnka Mixon and Kelly Shinn quiting the game. Excerpts from his interview below –

TVGuide.com: How surprised were you to get voted out?
Ben “Benry” Henry:
It was a complete blindside. It was fun to watch with friends last night because nobody had any idea who was going home. … I think it was cool. It was an episode where people were on the edge of their seats and really up in the air as to what was going on. Personally, I did not see that coming. I was completely blindsided. I had no idea what was coming and I thought going into it that we were going to vote Fabio off. I thought that was the mutual consensus.

TVGuide.com: Do you think Chase’s alliance chose to vote for you over Fabio because of how close you came to winning the immunity challenge?
Benry:
Yeah, I think so. Definitely between Fabio or I, I think they looked at it and they really saw me as more of a physical threat and that I had been more of an asset to the tribe in pre-merge game … [They thought] I would have been a dangerous person to sit next to in the top three. I think they also thought Fabio is kind of dumb and would play along, so they sort of had him in their back pocket. They saw me as being a little more intelligent, a little bit more aware so I was the bigger threat.

TVGuide.com: At least you can say you gave it your all, unlike the quitters.
Benry:
It’s a bummer. They have no regrets, but if it were me, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night still. I heard a good quote the other day: “Quitters never win and winners never quit.” … I think it’s unfortunate that they pulled the plug with 11 days left, but it just goes to show that what kind of people they really are.

TVGuide.com: A lot of people are upset that they’re still on the jury. What do you think about that?
Benry:
There was definitely a lot of talk about that and I didn’t think they would be allowed on the jury. There’s really two sides to everything. Part of me says that they’ve been involved in the game and involved in conversations so their vote is somewhat valuable. Another part of me says that if there seven on the jury instead of nine then the vote still would have been there. I don’t know.

TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON BENRY’S INTERVIEW AND HIS ELIMINATION? PLUS THOUGHTS ON TONIGHT’S EPISODE?

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