Ox Notes: December 22, 2009

Survivor: Samoa ended its entertaining season on Sunday night with a disappointing finale, as jury members cast petty votes against the man they felt had wronged them — choosing instead to reward the more palatable option among his two opponents in the final trio.

It’s not that Natalie played a bad game; she made the moves that were most likely to get her to the end. But, compared to Russell, she might as well have been camping next to the Survivor set, only to stumble into the game by accident.

As far as the audience knows, Natalie never once considered voting for Russell, despite knowing exactly how manipulative and untrustworthy he was. (Mick and Jaison are also guilty of the same blind faith and lack of initiative.) Russell, on the other hand, played the game from the second it started.

EW’s Dalton Ross subtitled his finale recap "The worst jury vote ever". Jeff Probst, despite being kind to Natalie during the reunion show, made it clear in his blog that he felt Russell should have won.

Ratings for the Survivor: Samoa finale were up over those for last fall’s Survivor: Gabon finale.

Now, on to the interviews. Winner Natalie White spoke with EW, People, TV Guide and Reality TV World. Reality Blurred combined its interviews with Natalie and Russell into one article.

Russell Hantz spoke about his defeat with EW, People and Reality TV World.

If that’s not enough, Reality TV World interviewed Mick Trimming and Jaison Robinson, while Reality Blurred interviewed Mick, Jaison and Brett Clouser. Last Thursday’s victim of the vote, Shannon "Shambo" Waters, chatted with EW, Reality TV World and People.

CBS has video of Shambo, Jaison and Brett during their brief time at Ponderosa.

Next up is Survivor 20: Heroes vs. Villains, which debuts on February 11. While CBS hasn’t announced the official cast of returning contestants, Survivor Sucks has a list of likely cast members that I’d be willing to bet on. The list contains the only name I need to see to make me excited for the new season: Coach.

Ox Notes will return on January 5, 2010. Happy Holidays!