‘Survivor: Philippines’ castaway spotlight: Russell Swan

Thanks in part to the craziness known as Fan Expo, we are restarting our “Survivor” castaway spotlight series a little bit later than initially planned — but now, we are going to highlight every cast member on the season daily until they have all had their moment in the sun.

This time around, our focus is on a returning player whose previous experience rivals Mike Skupin for one of the scariest in the show’s history. In some ways we’re surprised that Russell Swan even wanted to give this another go, but now, the question is whether or not he will make the most of his second chance (and drink some more water along the way).

Name – Russell Swan

Age – 45

Location – Glendale, Pennsylvania

Past “Survivor” experience – Although his Galu tribe was physically dominant through the early stages of “Survivor: Samoa,” Russell (who was really viewed as theĀ otherĀ Russell that season) became too transfixed on being the chief and helping out to make sure that everyone was feeling okay and taken care of. Thanks to that, he neglected himself, became severely dehydrated, and ended up passing out cold during a scary moment in a challenge. Jeff Probst has since said that he was genuinely worried for Russell’s life at the time that the incident happened.

Strategy – The first time around, Russell was the alpha male and the father figure — while he did have an alliance with some of the other men, he didn’t really seem to talk as much game while trying to take care of the camp and everyone around him. This may have just been editing, but Russell actually had a good bit in common with Skupin when it came to his game.

Strengths – There’s no question that this is a strong, tough guy with every capability of taking down anyone in a physical challenge. He’s also a diehard fan, and you know that he is not going to give up unless he is either voted out our pulled out by producers (take for instance what happened last time). He’s also had time to think about what his mistakes were in this game — even though he was pulled out, he was probably not going to win the game anyway due to the structure of the Galu tribe and some secret alliances.

Weaknesses – The biggest problem with Russell — and what got him in trouble — was that he was too concerned about pleasing everyone around him. You have to be selfish in this game, and you also have to be cunning as much as you are nurturing. We just didn’t see a lot of strategy talk from his last time, so we don’t really know if he is a good player or not in that department.

Prediction – So long as his health is fine, Russell seems primed to at least make the merge in this game. He’s a provider, and he is a physical asset during some of the early challenges that involve pure strength. However, we also are not sure that he is going to be able to avoid a massive target that will be on his back come around the top 12. We see him as an early-to-mid jury player, and it will likely take an immunity run to get him any further than that.

How far do you think Russell will go? We want to hear some of your thoughts below! To check out more of our spotlights, be sure to either click this link or the photo to the right of this article.

Photo: CBS


Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!