The reunion shows are so bad, but never moreso than when Probst has a few favorites in the cast who he talks to while ignoring everyone else. And that's how this one goes, as Probst only wants to hear from Rob, Matt, Phillip, and, of course, Li'l Russell, whose camera time is blessedly short. There are a few interesting revelations, too: it turns out that Natalie and Ashley knew about Rob's idol all along and that's why they didn't align with Andrea when they had the chance. We find out that Grant has hard feelings against Rob and Li'l Russell has hard feelings against everyone. Matt still loves God and Mike loves the Marines. Phillip really was in the Army and has the very nerdy photo to prove it, and he may well have been a Federal Agent as well, as Probst interviews Diane Hardy, a current Federal Agent and former training academy classmate of Phillip's who says that he is for real. And that's how I lost all faith in our government if I ever had any in the first place.
I've also lost all faith in this show, as Probst announces that next season is going to follow the exact same terrible format this one did, even featuring the return of two former contestants. And speaking of former contestants returning, David manages to give Season 18's first boot Carolina more camera time that the current season's first boot gets when he proposes to her and she reluctantly says yes. She also says a few swear words, not all of which were edited out. We'll see if they're still together by the time the next season premieres. Oh, and Rob won the Fan Favorite $100,000 prize, of course. No one else had a chance. Or the screentime.
After a montage of Rob's best moments this season (I don't know how they managed to whittle this down to just a few clips when the entire season was basically a Rob is Awesome Clip Show), we begin the reunion portion of the evening. Probst has changed out of that stupid safari shirt he insists on wearing for the first five minutes of the live show and asks Rob if he had any hope of winning this game when it began. Rob says that he figured if he could get past the first few votes and win his tribemates over, then he would have at least "a shot." He says he was really nervous on the first day, but when Kristina (who we see in a brief glimpse cut off like all of her hair) went off looking for the idol and put a target on her back, he had the chance to weasel his way into the tribe and help them build the shelter and show that his experience could be a valuable asset to them. Probst asks Rob why he picked the allies that he did. "Loyalty," Rob says immediately. Really? I could have sworn it was "stupidity" and "obviously never having seen this show before." He says he picked Natalie out as being really young and needing someone to help her through this game who would be loyal to him in return. Probst says it was bizarre to him how no one in his alliance seemed to talk to anyone else about anything game-related. "It was almost cult-like," he says. Rob says he worked very hard to make that happen, saying he would check in with everyone on the tribe and find out who they were talking to and what about. Apparently, no one else on his tribe wanted to or thought of doing that.
Probst then manages to turn his gaze away from Rob and ask Ashley why the girls didn't get together against Rob. Ashley explains that the one real opportunity they had to do that -- when Andrea came back from Redemption Island -- was also the last time Rob could play his idol. Which, by the way, she and Natalie knew he had. Yeah. The editors decided not to tell us that. I guess it added some suspense and made it possible that the girls would try to team up against Rob, but it also made them look like Rob slave morons. And I don't like it when a reality show leaves out gaping holes in reality. I mean, I know they all do that and I should be used to it by now, but I always thought of Survivor as better than most of them. But I guess it isn't anymore. Also, Natalie and Ashley are still Rob slave morons even though they knew about the idol because they didn't even think about blindsiding him out until the one time when he was almost sure to use it. Ashley says that knowing that Rob had the idol and having immunity herself, she thought staying loyal to Rob and voting Andrea out was her best move. Probst cuts her off to point out that Rob's older daughter has been making noise during Ashley's one moment to speak. Yes, even Rob's children are camerawhores. He is raising them well. I can't wait to see them on Season 56. We get a shot of the family unit of Amber, the baby, and the 2-year-old, and Probst tells Amber that if she needs to leave because the children get too loud, she can "just skedaddle. It's fine. No hard feelings." Yeah, I'll bet Probst would love it if Amber left. Then he could have more alone time with his precious Rob.