Sunday, April 4, 2010

Survivor History Revisited: Colby Choosing Tina and Not Keith To Go To The Final

In discussing a few days ago on whether or not Colby Donaldson was washed up as an effective Survivor player, it got me thinking about one of the most controversial decisions a competitor has ever made in the game...and it centered on the actions of the Colbster. Way, way.....WAY back in time (10 years) ago when Colby was just a pup (26), he proceeded to tear up the competition Down Under in winning 5 individual immunity challenges and finding himself with a guaranteed spot in the finals. One more decision had to be made however and that was whether or not Colby should choose either Keith Famie or Tina Wesson to escort him to the Final 2 and get a 50/50 shot at winning the million bucks.

Colby's choice came down to this: either take the unpopular and disliked (especially by Jerri Manthey) Keith to the final and almost guarantee a million dollar victory or choose to take Tina who was much more well liked and seemed to gain a level of respect for being an older competitor who always put forth maximum effort around camp and at challenges. Clearly the latter choice was anything but the guarantee of winning the money that taking Keith would have been. So after weighing the merits of both, Colby ultimately decided to take the chance of bringing Tina to the final with the reason being that he didn't feel that Keith had the resume or merit to be sitting in front of the jury. Additionally, Colby and Tina became close and there was almost this mother-son thing going on there. And when you saw Colby interact with his real mother in the family visits camp episode, you know how much of an impact that has on him.

In the end, we all know that Tina took home the million dollars by a 4-3 margin and at that moment the first big bluder in Survivor history was cemented in history forever. Since that time, many harcore enthusiasts like myself and even interviewers of Colby himself have questioned the wisdom of the move and how he pretty much let a million dollars fall right between his fingers. Colby has been a good sport about it however and has never let it be known publicly that he regrets his decision. I am sure privately that is another matter as there is almost no doubt in my mind that Colby sometimes sits up at night Charlie Brown style and wonders "if only I had done things differently." That has got to be quite a heavy burden for anyone to carry knowing they let that much money fall by the wayside. And maybe even on a biggr level, Colby might be regretting not getting the title of "Sole Survivor" just as much if not more. Maybe that's part of what fuels him to keep coming back to play the game. Ultimately, I believe Colby deserved to win either way and I also believe he thought he had it in the bag either way and so it wouldn't have mattered who he took to the final. Be that as it may, Colby's blunder will go down as one of the most talked about moves in the history of the game.

What do you think? Did Colby totally blow it by picking Tina over Keith? Or should he be commended for sticking with his principles and standing by his friendship with Tina????

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