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Survivor: Thailand - Robb, How Could You Do This To Us?by Ken Kellam III -- 10/26/2002
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I have waited for this moment for six weeks, and thought it would feel so good when it finally happened. But somehow, seeing your torch snuffed out wasn't nearly as great as I expected it to be. Why'd you have to get human all of a sudden? Couldn't you just let us all relish the moment?
I'll admit that I had it in for you before the series even aired. "You gotta be kidding!" I thought when your luxury item was listed as a skateboard. And from there it was downhill, starting with your insistence on seeing Shii Ann's hands. Grabbing Clay by the throat and then calling him a whiny little punk didn't help matters either. At times, you seemed to almost be playing to the camera, trying to make people dislike you. Your constant sparring with Shii Ann, plus your confidence that she would be gone, made it even easier to dislike you. But somehow, something was missing at your last tribal council - mainly, animosity.
Dude, there have been two moments in Survivor history when I can remember cheering the loudest. One was the ousting of Jerri from the Outback, and the other was the departure of Silas from Africa. But unlike them, your departure really wasn't unexpected, even if your soul-baring was.
When you started fighting with Ken, I wondered exactly what you were trying to accomplish, and like many, snickered when you informed him you weren't stupid. I wasn't sure if it was strategy, frustration, or none of the above. I just knew it only added fuel to the tribal council fire. Later, when you decided to just up and grab a banana, I could see why the tribe was getting upset. Of course by this time, I was not inclined to take your side on anything.
No doubt about it, you came through in a big way in the reward challenge, and were a big part of the reason Sook Jai won. Nevertheless, it was still easy to respect Robb the challenge-dominator, while still having reservations about Robb the person, at least what was seen on the tube. Then, something happened. The tide really started to turn.
It probably started when you and Ken went into the jungle as a twosome. You really seemed to understand and appreciate what he was saying. From then on, the contempt for you and your free-spirited ways just seemed to slowly evaporate. It continued after your tribe lost the immunity challenge.
I'll admit, when you started rambling to the others about being a changed person with different priorities, a lot of questions came to mind: Was it heartfelt? Was it simply a last-ditch effort to stay in the game? How big of a part did the alcohol play? Or were you giving your "final comments" in advance because you knew it was probably your turn?
The alcohol may have had a bit to do with it, but I think it was genuine. Why? Probably because of the way you reacted after being given the boot. You didn't flip anyone off, take any parting shots, or walk away without looking back. The way you thumped on your heart, hugged Ken and wished the rest of them luck, plus your closing remarks, did indeed come across as sincere, since you had nothing to gain at that point. Plus, your explanation on the Early Show that the skateboard simply reminded you of home made you seem so much more human.
Robb, I wonder if we would have seen this side of you if you hadn't known it was your turn, or if you were in the majority alliance. Then again, if we'd seen this side of you before, you most likely would have been in the majority alliance.
Dude, you may be the most enigmatic Survivor of all time. In the beginning, you made it awfully hard to like you, and easy to want you gone. But when your time finally came, you made it awfully hard to enjoy seeing you get the boot. I expected to see you gone if your tribe lost, but certainly didn't expect it to feel this somber. Well, it sounds as if you learned a great deal from the experience. Skate safe, Bro!
Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com.
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