Obviously, the majority of the Surviverse is in elation at finally seeing Russell shown the fricking door last night. Of course, Redemption Island still keeps the puke in the game, but we can forget that for now.
Regardless, this result begs the question: is throwing a challenge still a bad move even if it means getting rid of Russell?
A very good question- this. With the answer only to be known at the end of the season.
I have been stalwart in the opinion that throwing a challenge is ALWAYS a strategical error, besides the fact that it also robs the viewer of potential entertainment. That, however, is certainly debatable. As could have been pointed out to the little mouth that could, Stephanie, Sandra won PI after being part of a tribe that threw a challenge (though she was actually against throwing the challenge), and Ozzy, of course, made FTC and came within 1 vote of winning after throwing a tribe challenge. So, it isn't like history comes down decidedly on one side or the other.
Just as a numbers game, and a game that can always throw a twist at you, intentionally reducing your numbers seems like a no brainer bad move. However, as pointed out last night, was Russell really a number? If you can't count someone as a number already, then there doesn't seem to be a downside to booting them out. I think certainly in this case, removing Russell could actually be an addition by subtraction.
In fact, at this point, should Zapatera consider doing it again to get rid of Stephanie? Perhaps. I think it is already clear that she would jump into any alliance that would allow her to burn the majority of Zapatera. So, since she can't be counted on as a number herself, why not do it again and jettison her as well? Even if you go into the merge even or down two people. All you need is Andrea or Kristina still being around to swing the majority back to you.
I found Stephanie's rant about numbers funny considering the first time Russell went into a merge, he was in a 8-4 minority, and of course, considering that Russell himself has said "screw numbers."
I also found it humorous that Jeff would try to imply that voting off "this great player" would hurt the tribe. Hahaha... voting off the biggest tribal cancer of all time could hurt the tribe?? Good one.