"Russell was shown as looking like a fool when Coach and Rob cornered him over Parvati."
That's debatable. That Coach and Rob thought it was stupid is true. That the audience was supposed to think Coach and Rob were right, I don't know.
"The editing focused on Rob's alliance view of the search for the idol. It never even showed Russell looking for it other than to show Sandra catching him."
This would be where my underdog theory kicks in. If we see it from Russell's perspective, it's, "Whoopee, Russell found his fourth idol. Big deal." However, seeing it from Rob's perspective, it's, "What a boob." Then, bam!, Rob's alliance is in trouble.
"The editing has shown Danielle in nearly every discussion involving Rob's alliance. In fact, when Sandra came back to camp saying Russell had buried himself by looking for the idol, it was Danielle who replied off camera that Russell was gone because that was what they agreed to. Watch it again. It is obvious it is Danielle talking though she is not pictured."
So we've seen two things from Danielle. One was allying with Russell, which may or may not have been a lie. The other was being near Rob's alliance and replying to things off-camera, which easily could have been obfuscation. Or biding her time. There's nothing to suggest she isn't waiting to see which side is a better bet (a situation which Russell's idol could fix).
At best, that's a toss up. But, for me, in the absense of a vote to clearly delineate where everyone stands, I go for the most explicit evidence. And the scenes on the beach with Russell are more compelling than being an extra in Rob's scenes.
"After the edit in S19 featured Russell to the exclusion of nearly everyone else, do you think they'd try to cast him as an underdog this time around?"
Yes, I do. For the very simple reason that he was the only show in town in 19. This time around he's up against a person or two people are actually entertained by. If you're CBS and Boston Rob loses the Russell/Rob face-off, wouldn't you want to milk as much out of him as possible before he goes? There'll be time enough later for Russell.
Also, It's not as if it's just the underdog edit at work here. Looking at it from the other side, it's a "pride goeth before the fall" edit for Rob. Everything that was making for a "Russell is a boob" edit becomes "Russell was right all along" in retrospect, and everything that seemed "Robfather is in control again" becomes "oh how the mighty have fallen".
Not to say that's how it'll happen. That's just my guess. And I think the editing, if it doesn't back me up, at least doesn't preclude my predictions.
"Summation: I'm not a Russell hater. I think he should have won S19 hands down, no question."
I'm not a Russell lover, either, though I too wish he would've won. Rob has always been one of my favorites. I just don't think this is his time.
"AND, don't you think its odd he hasn't found the HII yet?"
Not necessarily. Maybe they want you to think it's odd, thereby heightening the surprise when he does find it. Then again, if he had found it soon after he got the clue, you'd think they'd show it so they could use it in the previews for next week. Then again again, what if next week is a Hero boot? You can see why they'd reveal his finding it next week so that the week after (or the week after that) could be when they tease it in the preview.