March 9, 2011 at 10:40 PM ET
By Andy Dehnart, TODAY.com contributor
And it is done: Russell Hantz is out of "Survivor" -- forever, he said.
After three seasons with nothing but Russell all the time, I don't even want to think about the possibility that he'll return someday. Instead, I will celebrate his loss and his crying breakdown afterward, which made his official ouster from this season all the more delicious.
Before arriving at the challenge, Russell promised that he'd beat Matt at the one-on-one duel, and then everyone else ("I'm going to pick them off, and I'm going to make them suffer"). As with many of Russell's promises, that failed to come true. Still, the Redemption Island challenge itself was quite dramatic: Matt and Russell had to assemble wood-block dominoes, basically, along planks connected to rope that would cause the planks to vibrate if they were touched. Matt finished quickly, but his dominoes failed to all connect with one another. Russell tried, but he, too, had a problem, and Matt's second chance gave him the win.
That's when Russell started sobbing and pulled his hat over his eyes so people couldn't see. Host Jeff Probst couldn't help but kiss up to Russell one last time, saying, "Russell, brand new for you. You are out of this game." And perhaps to stop the crying, Probst added, "You've played a very, very strong game two times."
Of course, Russell couldn't go home before being Russell. He dried his eyes and returned to his arrogant, egotistical and stubborn self with a sore-loser dismissal of any part of the game that doesn't work in his favor. "I respect this game too much to go out this way," he said. So much respect he allegedly leaked the results of two seasons.
"It's hard to be a professional quarterback and have pee-wee leaders on your team," he said. Once again, Russell proved he is incapable of wrapping his brain around his own loss. Things that don't go his way are never right, and everything else is. After all, it's not like his tribe members burned his clothing or lied constantly and then demanded respect for being truthful.
Russell also complained about "people who didn't really come here to play the game" (shut up already) and insisted, "This is my last time playing this game. That's it. I have nothing else to prove." To Russell's credit, he did give credit to Matt: "Matt, I give him props. Beat me."
Check out realityblurred.com for the rest of the Redemption Island drama, plus Boston Rob's fake constipation.