Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:33 am
Survivor Finale: Redemption At Last
Turn back now if you don’t want to know what happened during the epic three-hour Survivor: Redemption Island finale event, which aired on Sunday night.
The maestro managed to secure his victory at last. Joined by Natalie Tenerelli, 19, and Phillip Sheppard, 52, “Boston Rob” Mariano, 35, faced one of the show’s most unsympathetic juries in history… and still managed to procure all but one of the votes.
Only Ralph, the red-haired farmer, cast a vote Phillip’s way, no surprise after the touching heart-to-heart the two shared at the last tribal council. Rob, who orchestrated the entire game from day one, offered up a sweet speech to the jury before they unleashed a bitter tirade against the last three standing. Natalie was best known for being Mariano’s faithful lapdog, Phillip made himself one of the most unpopular castaways in show history… and in the end, it was David who most eloquently pleaded Rob’s case to the others.
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In an unprecedented final tribal council, David eschewed his right to ask the three final Survivors questions to extol Rob Mariano’s game-playing virtues. When host Jeff Probst counted out the final votes during the live reunion special, the four-time Survivor contestant finally reached his goal. Wife Amber (who won the million-dollar prize on Survivor: All-Stars, where she met Rob) and the two mini-Marianos (they have girls, Lucia and Carina) were in the audience to see the victory.
Rob was reunited with fellow Survivor villain Russell Hanz on the Redemption Island incarnation of the series, but this time they never had the chance to square off. Russell was eliminated by his own tribe way back on Day 8, and Rob was free to coast to the finish line unfettered.
Jeff Probst found it to be “close to a perfect game as anybody’s played.” So far. Survivor returns in season 23 with South Pacific, which will again feature Redemption Island and two (as yet unnamed) former castaways.
You can see more of Rob Marino soon on The History Channel, where he’ll be competing and hosting in a show called Around the World in 80 Ways.
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