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Is this the most frustrating 'Survivor' ever?

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I’m writing this just having seen this evening’s Survivor, and will mention a few things that occurred, so here’s your BIG, DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU, SPOILER ALERT!

Now, then. I’ve watched every week of the new season so far and remain (a) fascinated by Russell Hantz, and (b) dismayed at the way the bullet-shaped villain has not only taken over the season, but is still one of the very few contestants who’s displayed a vivid personality. I can’t recall an edition of Survivor stocked with more bland-o’s.

I tend to think of them more or less the way Russell does: Laura, Monica, Natalie, John the “rocket scientist” — they’re all tedious. And this week, I found myself in complete agreement with Bad Russell when so many were whining about the rain and the cold. If Russell could withstand this, what was the problem with the rest of them?

Let me make a distinction: It was pretty clear that the collapse of Russell Swan was due to his body just giving out. All we have to go on is what we see, and what I saw was a guy who was working five times harder than most of his tribe-mates to make fire, do chores, participate in competitions, etc.

But the rest of them, on either tribe? Ehhh… Sorry, I don’t think the brash, obtuse Shambo cuts it as a personality worth spending a lot of time with. I suspect the producers must be in a bind: It’s risky to give Bad Russell so much screen-time and build him up in viewers’ minds as the season’s break-out star. Seems as though even this bunch of snivelling goofballs are going to snap out of what Russell likes to call their “zombie” trance and vote him out, right?

On the other hand, in such a poorly-cast season, what’s the alternative?

Oh, yeah: regarding the no-tribal-council decision this week? I’m sure Survivor major-domo Dalton Ross probably knows the rules and the math for why this was inevitable given the show’s production schedule, but bottom line: That decision stank. I tune in to see someone leave the place walking, torch snuffed.

How about you? Did you like tonight’s drama? Think Russell Hantz is a worthy antagonist who’s earning all his screen-time?

Let me know. Also, follow me @kentucker

For more on Survivor:

Exclusive Survivor scoop on Jeff Probst’s ‘scariest moment’