Survivor: the Finale, and then some*

Mom took excellent notes for me last week, while I was at The Party, so I know that Shambo is now on the jury.
And now the finale is upon us. I wasn't able to give the show as much of my attention this time around but I still loved it. Did it go quickly? I think so. Are there still players I don't know? Yes.
Am I still intrigued? Yes.

Pretty scenery.
Many people voted out.
Natalie, the nice girl, Jaison, the social conscience, Mick, winner of many challenges and Russell, The Most Powerful Player and Brett, who has come from behind and won two immunity challenges.

It's day 37. There's tree mail. A test of balance, speed and patience.
Jaison isn't feeling well.
Russell says they must get rid of Brett.
Natalie is doing laundry.
Jaison and Mick agree that Brett must go and they are worried about it.
Russell tells Natalie that she has to win so Brett can go or it will be her voted out next.
Natalie feels there is now way she can beat Brett.

They go to the challenge where they must race over obstacles, grab a bag of puzzle pieces, climb a steep platform and solve the puzzle.
Four former Foa Foa's vs. one last Galu.
Russell is flying through the course.
It doesn't seem that hard!
I have to admit. I'm disappointed. I have no interest in Brett winning this season.
I don't care much about Mick either - but if Jaison or Natalie won, I'd be pleased...the thing is: though I don't like him, I believe Russell deserves to win. But Brett? It could be editing, but I don't care at all about Brett.

They return to camp.
Natalie knows she's "hangin by a thread."
Russell wants to keep Natalie because he feels he can beat her in votes at the end.
And who does Russell think should go? He weighs it out. He decides Mick should go and tells Jaison. Jaison trusts him. But he tells Mick that it should be Jaison. Mick believes him too.
Mick and Jaison both believe they have had a pact with Russell from the beginning.
Then, Russell and Natalie talk about who they will choose to go - and whomever Russell chooses will be the next one out.

At Tribal, the Jury is fresh faced and clean looking.
The team talk about how to decide the vote - vote out the strong? The weak?
Jaison goes.
Shame on me for thinking it would be Natalie - I forgot that Russell is running the show.

Brett is thrilled to be in the final four.
Natalie thanks the lord.
In the morning, Russell confronts Brett - does he think he can beat him?
Russell thinks the top three should be people who deserve it - he tells Brett and promises him they will be in the top three. He makes a pact. And shakes on it.
Brett brings tree mail...ah, time for the Fallen Comrade Salute.
Mom and I contemplate what we will do for the next 30 minutes as we have no desire to watch the sweeping camera shots of the cliffs and sea.

We realize: there were no family visits this season. There was never any coverage of food or the lack of discussed, everyone ate all the time without mentioning shortages of rice or trouble finding fish or fruit. Bathing suits magically appeared even though players worked and swam in underwear in the beginning of the season. No one got those infamous tear-jerking letters from home and there weren't any real water based challenges. Will there be some kind of strength/endurance challenge here at the end?

Time for the Final Immunity Challenge.
Balance and concentration is required as players must balance a statue on a pole - and the pole gets longer at intervals.
Personally, I don't think I could balance the statue on the first length of pole, no less add another section without toppling it.
New sections of pole must be added every two minutes.
Mick is out first.
Natalie is out second.
Russell vs. Brett.
Six feet of pole with a statue at the top.
The wind picks up.
Both men struggle and recover.
They must add another foot of pole.
Russell is shaking, Brett is wobbling.
Brett's falls off!
Russell wins! His first immunity! AMAZING.

Mick tell us what a nail-biter it was.
Will Russell take Brett to the end? Didn't he promise he would? Will that be his last lie?
Russell speaks highly of Brett.
Mick is very suspicious - he doesn't trust Russell...Natalie tries to re-assure him.
Russell goes to speak to Brett, tells him how much he admires him. He explains to Brett that he will set up a tie vote so that Brett and Mick can do a fire challenge.
His "head is spinning" - it's going to be tricky to pull off.

They go to Tribal.
Jeff talks to the players about who might go to the end.
Is Brett worried?
Brett challenges Russell to take him to the end.
Time to vote.
Brett, Mick, Brett, Brett.
Russell smiles, the Jury shake their heads.
Next? We'll sit through the Pleading With The Jury part of the episode.

The next morning Mick, Russell and Natalie have their celebratory final breakfast. Russell talks to Natalie about what she'll say to the jury. He warns her that they will say she rode his coat-tails and did nothing around camp.
Mick says he was a hard-working trust-worthy guy and took a different path to the end.
Russell threatens Natalie: "don't make me send you to the jury."
He's especially evil while Natalie cooks and Mick listens quietly.
They burn the shelter.
Russell is completely confident. He's brought "a couple of bums" with him. Sheesh. Now I'm not sure about him. But he HAS played SO well.

The Jury arrive at the final Tribal Council. Now the Jury must decide.
All three players have voted for every single member of the Jury.
Each player must state their case. The Jury then ask questions.
Then they'll vote. (And we would assume, go live, to learn who wins.)

Mick speaks first. He makes his nice-guy speech which the Jury does not seem to believe. Lots of head shaking.

Natalie talks about how hard the game was for her and thanks the Jury for helping her be there.

Russell tells the Jury that he made huge moves to get where he is. He talks about his manipulation and strategy.
"If one of these people has outwitted me, then give them the money."
"If one of these people has outplayed me, then give them the money, but I don't think that's the case, and may the best man win."

Jaison demands that the players tell us who they really are and then points out that each player has plenty of money.
Shambo criticises Mick and accuses him of being feckless, accuses Natalie of riding coat-tails, she'll be voting for Russell.
Brett butters Mick up.
Kelly sticks Natalie and wonders if Russell is the same IRL.
Monica congratulates them but saw no passion in Mick or Natalie.
Dave asks what they think their chances are of winning.
Laura wants to know what they learned about her.
John grills them each.
Eric doesn't see how Mick deserves to be there, attacks Russell, and tells Natalie that she has the most integrity and just might win...
Jeff goes to LA. On foot.

And we are Hollywood!
A tough season says Jeff.
Mick, Natalie and Russell, and a jury of their peers.
Jeff reads:

Mom: It's a Christmas miracle!

*I will have the Christmas Outfit/Love Actually dvd contest winner tomorrow
! I think!


Grandma Cebe said…
I think that if American had voted for the winner, it would have been Russell. Like him or not, he'd played the best game.
Unknown said…
I haven't watched survivor in many years, but got captivated by evil russell about 4 weeks ago, and watched the last few episodes. While I agree that russell was a good strategest, his social skills were really lacking and he just totally missed that his constant bragging and assertiveness about how great he was wore really thin. As I watched, I saw what was essentially a man deluded with his own sense of glory and power, and that isn't a winner, that's an egomaniac.

That the man cried when he didn't win, and then tried to BUY the title from Natalie.... that's a sick sick man. I'm glad he didn't win, because even though he was the number one powerhouse from day 1, he was manipulative, conniving, and evil, and those are qualities of a loser, not a winner. And a major control freak to boot.
Anonymous said…
I still think Russell played the best overall game, and was certainly the most entertaining.

In the end, I thought of Boston Rob's great game, and how AMBER won.

Anonymous said…
Wow, am I a rotten judge of character? Margalit's comment is making me wonder why I was rooting for Russell.

Jan said…
I was positively gobsmacked that Russell didn't win. Still am! It's a game and he clearly outwitted and outplayed everyone...everyone who ever played it, as far as I'm concerned! (Which is not to say I was really rooting for him...was I? Hmmm. He did make it interesting though!)
However, I alternately cringed and felt sorry for him while watching the reunion show. Clearly *pride goeth before the fall* applies here.