Survivor: Heroes v Healers v Hustlers

Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers vs. Advantages

Logan Saunders recaps Episode 13 of Survivor: Heroes vs Healers vs Hustlers.

HEROES VS. HEALERS VS. HUSTLERS VS. ADVANTAGES

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solewa

I suffered my own PTSD from the Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers finale. I never recapped it at the time as the whole Internet exploded in arguments and controversy due to the episode.

I don’t know what it is about Survivor in the US over the past few seasons, but finale episodes never seem to go well. What was the last one went that smooth? Kaoh Rong?

We are two months removed from the finale. The heat of the moment is gone. So, let’s recap this finale. . .two days before Advantage Island commences.

REMAINING:

BEN

CHRISSY

DEVON

MIKE

RYAN

Probst spends a couple of minutes outside of the studio pointing out that past Survivors are playing mini games like an outdoor Mario Party. He goes inside and recaps the season. Then we get the ‘Previously On’ segment which re-recaps the whole season for us.

Probst ends it by saying Ben pulled a Survivor first by playing a Fiji-era idol prior to the votes being cast. Of course, it is a Survivor first since the rules state that idols -must- be played after the votes are cast but before they are read. :/

After summarizing the sequence of idols (Ryan-Joe-Joe-Mike-Lauren-Ryan-Ben-Ben) and the advantages (Jessica-Lauren), we talk about the five players who are covered in them and proceed to night 36.

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NIGHT 36

As soon as they return to camp, Ben runs into the jungle for another idol.

DEVON: There can’t be an idol.

MIKE: There can’t be another idol.

The only time we have had an idol re-hidden in the final episode was Millennials vs. Gen X, and even that was an idol re-hide on day 36 as opposed to day 37. Given that M vs. Gen X had an unclear episode cycle, one could argue that the day 36 idol could have fit into the penultimate episode of the season since there was a TC on day 36.

However, there has never ever been an idol inserted into the game after the day 36 TC. So, it is no surprise everyone operates under this assumption.

Chrissy is the only one happy about Ashley’s exit as now nobody has a reason to eliminate her prior to Final Three (Mike is too big of a jury threat, and Ben must go).

Mike compares to Ben being the bad guy in any horror movie who keeps coming back to life. If you want a real horror movie Mike, try some members of the #JodyArmy who have been on Twitter over the past few weeks as The Amazing Race wrapped up.

CHRISSY: I would recommend none of us even hear him out.

I don’t think that will be too hard. You would have to be an absolute fool to not vote out Ben the first chance you get. Can you imagine Ben surviving a TC without immunity? The jury would be laughing at them (tm Margie O’ Donnell).

Ben sees everyone asleep. He reminds us he is here for his family once more like he is Harrison Ford, and searches in the pitch-black darkness. He is looking. And looking. We are on the verge of dawn (which, appropriately enough in the Survivor universe, means Ben is on the verge of tears).

There is no way he finds an id–oh. They did hide an idol on day 37 for the first time in 35 seasons. David Wright didn’t make it. My god. Ben is ready for a third Ben Bomb.

While the super fans are outraged at home, production smooths things over by giving us a full intro. That should calm us down. Sedate with us with your full intro, oh SEG.

Joe’s roar matching the roar in the audio for the intro. That’s good.

The full intro music is quite good. I am not a musician by any means, but somebody out there is bound to rank the 35 Survivor intros (granted Nicaragua and Borneo would tie by default).

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DAY 37

Devon starts a fire. I guess this might be important later.

Chrissy asks Ben if they can be friends again. They hug it out. Normally I would say Ryan is jealous of this, but this is 2018 and am aiming to be a better person.

Chrissy makes a worthy back-up plan of getting on Ben’s good side right after she told everyone else to not hear Ben out. She asks him if he is keen on taking the “three best to the end” if he wins immunity. Ben wasn’t born yesterday or the day before (maybe Michael Yerger was) and sees right through Chrissy’s escape route to day 38.

In other news, Chrissy needs individual immunity or we’re going to have a F4 sausage fest.

INDIVIDUAL IMMUNITY CHALLENGE #8

Jump up a stack of crates. Leap up to grab a set of keys. Cross a balance beam to grab another set of keys. Then open a puzzle where you must line up colored balls on a color-coded wheel. Move balls around (tee he) until the balls line up with the corresponding color on the wheel. First person to do so wins immunity.

Oh, and reward! Comfort food! Mashed potatoes. Gravy. Veggies. Wine. And cheesecake–

CHRISSY: CHEESECAKE! THAT’S MY FAVOURITE!

Yeah, screw immunity. We’re playing for some gosh darn cheesecake! Otherwise Chrissy was going to be indifferent to today’s challenge.

Survivors ready. . .Go!

Everyone swims at roughly the same speed except Chrissy. Ryan is keeping up to Devon as they all leap off the crates. We’re already at the balance beam. Chrissy is already blurred, and she hasn’t even touched the beam yet.

PROBST: Mike is the first across the beam! Who would’ve guessed that!

Some people.

Devon shortly follows. Then Ben. Then Chrissy. Chrissy is the first to unlock her puzzle before Ryan even shows up.

Ben is second to open the puzzle. Mike is third. Devon is fourth. This must have all been done in about five minutes. The challenge is clearly all about the puzzle.

Everyone is shuffling the colored balls.

PROBST: Chrissy has been moving fast since the beginning like she knows this puzzle.

She is in a Colored Ball Shuffling Club that meets every Saturday.

PROBST: Immunity at Tribal is the single greatest feeling you can have at Tribal.

Ryan would argue the single greatest feeling at Tribal is a hug from Chrissy. Dammit, there goes my 2018 resolution.

Chrissy already shouts out for a check. Probst looks it over. It’s done son, Chrissy wins her third individual immunity challenge and ensures the other four have never won an individual immunity challenge yet this game.

Probst asks Chrissy to invite somebody over for comfort food. She agrees to Mike since he wasn’t on the last reward. Oh, now she must invite one more. Chrissy invites Devon.

BEN: Chrissy is unbeatable. . .I need to figure out the best way to use this idol.

Unless you have idols. . .and I think there’s only one play with that idol. Just play it and be in the Final Four.

*

SOLEWA

DAY 37

CHRISSY: We each have our own chicken!

Mike, Devon, and Chrissy all examine the table of food for an idol clue. The food, the chairs, the wine, the napkins, the camera guy’s pockets filming the reward, everyone. No clue is found.

CHRISSY: Can we discuss the possibility of Ben playing a freakin’ idol?

DEVON: If I go home because Ben plays another idol, then so be it.

That might be a coded way for Devon to say, “then I’ll just accept that production hates me.” I could be wrong, but I think the remaining players may be a little frustrated with producers once they see Ben pull out a third idol tonight.

In case anybody suffers from short term memory loss, Chrissy reiterates that Ben is the target. Devon and Mike agree as they celebrate Final Four on Ryan’s behalf.

I hope nobody gets food poisoning from this reward. That tends to happen when somebody wins the final reward challenge of the game. Their bodies completely shut down leading up to the last couple of challenges.

Back at camp, Ben mocks Ryan for having babysitting duties while everyone else is on reward.

BEN: You have babysitting duty while they all eat.

RYAN: . . .

BEN: That must really suck.

RYAN: You’re telling me!

Chrissy brings up her dead idol from day 3. Mike points out Chrissy could plant it at camp or for Chrissy to wear it around her neck at camp to discourage Ben from searching for it. That is a really good plan, but only if. . .you know. . .

They return to camp. Chrissy is in the shelter having a food baby.

BEN: I’m going to go for water.

CHRISSY: Don’t waste too much energy.

Chrissy puts her idol around her neck and gives Ben the note.

BEN: An idol at the reward.

CHRISSY: Two in one day. I’ll wear one on top of the other, but I don’t know which one. I’ll be giving this one away tonight.

BEN: To me?

I guess she could give you the idol, Ben.

RYAN: That went well. He bought it hook, line, and sinker. It worked to perfection. He let us all know he didn’t have it.

BEN (confessional): Are you kidding me? I’ve got the real idol. The one in my boot!

Woody from Toy Story has a snake in his boot, but Ben from Survivor has an idol in his boot.

BEN (at the water well): “I’ve got a two-fer. . .no, you’ve got a none-er.”

I wish Ben would return to camp and see a nun sitting next to Chrissy in the shelter.

BEN: I don’t even have to fake look for idols anymore. She made my job easier.

Now the question I can’t help but ask:

**IF BEN HADN’T FOUND THE IDOL YET, WOULD HE HAVE STOPPED LOOKING?

I think the answer is yes.

Chrissy rounds up Ben, Mike, and Devon to fake show the idol yet again.

BEN: The four think they’re so smart, but they’re like a bunch of blind mice running into stuff–

(We cut to MIKE stumbling onto the beach and falling flat on his face.)

Is Benry here too, baby?

BEN: I’ve got my hand on everyone’s fate. Ryan is safe. As far as challenges go, that boy hasn’t done nothing. Doc has done good at solving puzzles. Physically, Devon is the strongest competitor. This decision is huge.

I think Mike has the whole Healer jury on his side. Devon may have lost a couple points with the Ashley elimination.

Devon talks with Ben and Ryan in the shelter. He senses a weird vibe because it seems like Ben has given up. Ben giving up is fishy to Devon as Ben talks about looking forward to a meal.

After the conversation, Devon lays on the beach with Ryan. Devon pitches the idea of throwing his vote away on Mike to guarantee a 1-1 tie if Ben plays a final idol. Ryan disagrees with this idea and thinks it would piss Mike off despite the fact they all have to eliminate Mike at F4 anyway. However, Devon doesn’t want Mike to target him at F4 if Devon’s Spidey Sense proves to be false.

We go to Tribal Council and–oh, we’re going to talk random members of the audience who say Devon should put Mike’s name down. OK.

TRIBAL COUNCIL #14

(KATRINA)-(SIMONE)-(PATRICK)-(ALAN)-(ROARK)-(ALI)-(JESSICA)-(DESI)-(COLE)-(JP)-(JOE)-(LAUREN)-(ASHLEY)

X

(BEN)-(*CHRISSY*)-(DEVON)-(MIKE)-(RYAN)

Probst keeps talking about Ben’s idols and how he is here to play. Chrissy says it is impossible to babysit him 24/7.

Yeah. Somebody hunting for idols and constantly trailing them for 37 days straight sounds like a fun way to spend your Survivor experience.

While Mike is asked another question about Ben’s idol and defending that he has put in the hard work, Chrissy pulls out the Dead Idol. Ben pretends to have a long face.

BEN: Chrissy had quite the day today.

Probst asks Devon if she was graceful or gloating.

DEVON: She was more graceful than–

BEN: One hundred percent gloating. She referred to it as a two-fer.

CHRISSY: I may have said that.

Yeah, Devon says it is graceful after a guy who refers to his idols as a #BenBomb.

Ryan has been re-adjusting frequently due to Ben repeatedly playing idols.

After more talk about idols and idols and more idols, it’s time to vote.

Devon hunches over as much as he can when he goes to vote. He sighs and stresses. “Oh man.”

Probst returns with the votes.

CHRISSY: Does anybody want this?

RYAN: No.

(BEN makes a sound effect.)

BEN: Ben Bomb! La la la! Early bird gets the worm!

We call it a three-fer.

Ben goes back to his seat and plays his fake idol.

FIRST VOTE: BEN

SECOND VOTE: BEN

THIRD VOTE: BEN

FOURTH VOTE: DR. MIKE

FINAL VOTE: DEVON

Holy crap. Devon picked up on an unprecedented idol plant. Mike is devastated. He knows what is coming.

BEN: Now your fate is in those two.

DEVON: Yeah, it is.

And that’s probably a good thing. Mike is shaking his head. The only guy who could present a worthy case in the F3 to beat Ben. The other three only have one more shot to eliminate Ben.

Probst returns with the votes once more.

FIRST VOTE: MIKE

SECOND VOTE: MIKE

He is eliminated. Mike nearly pulled off one hell of a rally. Everyone praises his efforts as he vanishes into the darkness.

PROBST: I am going to give you something to sleep on–there’s a twist.

That is the last thing everyone wanted to hear except Ben. No amount of cheese and wine can stop their stomachs from churning tonight.

We head back to camp and–oh. We go back to LA and talk to Dr. Mike. Is the reunion show going to be really short or is the episode footage cut down more than usual?

Mike tells us that he asked Ryan if he should vote for Devon, and Ryan said not to. He is going to kick himself that he didn’t trigger a 2-2-1 vote. Oh well.

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SOLEWA

DAY 38

DEVON: Insane.

Yep.

Devon went with his gut and made the sick read. All four are sitting around the fire.

RYAN: You’re the first [to play three idols in a row successfully]. You’re ruining my game. Congratulations.

At least Ben is a good stand-up guy in the game and in real life. It’s easier to suffer a Triple Idol Extravaganza at Ben’s hands rather than at a Hantz’s hands.

CHRISSY: I can’t get rid of Ben and it is driving me bananas.

B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

The other three fear the twist. Any twist could only help Ben unless the twist is “Ben can’t compete in this challenge because he won’t stop playing those f–king idols”.

DAY 38

FINAL INDIVIDUAL IMMUNITY CHALLENGE

Probst asks for the talisman back from Chrissy.

CHRISSY: I hope to see you again soon.

When you win immunity three times, you can talk to immunity like a person.

They will stack letter blocks on a very wobbly platform. The first person to spell HEROES, HEALERS, HUSTLERS wins immunity and a spot in the Final Three. The winner of today’s challenge also receives the final secret “advantage” of the game.

The “advantage” really needs more quotation marks around.

Survivors ready. . .Go!

They must unlock the wobbly structure with their foot. If they drop pieces, they must lock their structure, pick up the pieces, and go back to their starting barrel.

Ryan has an early lead of four blocks. A very early lead. Probst reminds us of Ryan’s early lead multiple times.

Ryan has HEROES. Ben has HEROES. Devon doesn’t have a single letter locked in. Chrissy only has one letter.

Ben isn’t panicking as Ryan finishes HEROES HEALERS. Then it goes back to HEROES HEAL.

Ben has HEROES HEALERS. Neither Chrissy nor Devon have a word spelled. He has his final pieces.

He places the infamous upside-down ‘U’. HEROES HEALERS HNSTLERS. Ben locks it in and goes back to his barrel.

PROBST: No Something is not right.

Ben, who has spent too much time hunting for idols rather than sleeping. He sees what is wrong and unlocks. Nearly every single letter falls.

Ryan unlocks and nearly loses everything. Chrissy loses everything. Devon has a couple letters up, but Ben has most it together again before he loses every single letter.

I wish this would just go on for hours and hours. The sweat drips. The pieces become slippery. The challenge gets progressively tougher.

Ben has HEROES HEALERS together. Chrissy has HEROES –ST-ER-S together. Ben is back with his final pieces. Chrissy runs back for her last four pieces. Ben has HEROES HEALERS HUSTLERS. He just must lock it back in. His foot misses as ten pieces fall. Devon fist pumps.

Chrissy is one letter off. She puts it on the board and locks it in. She heads back to her barrel and nearly falls over in her celebration.

PROBST: An epic final challenge.

. . .Which shall be diminished by whatever twist is coming. Everyone remarks on the challenge as Ben cries and stares out into the ocean. Chrissy is crying as a seventeen-year dream comes true and ties the female record. If only there was a Final Two, so she would inevitably break it.

Chrissy says the fourth individual immunity win feels better than the first one. We call it a quadruple-er.

Probst hands Chrissy a note.

CHRISSY: I almost forgot.

The Internet wishes they could forget it too.

CHRISSY: The icing on the cake would be Ben going home.

Too bad we’re all cutting back on our sugar intake.

So, we go back to camp and–oh. Probst reviews footage of the audience’s reaction to the challenge like it’s a game of Wipeout.

He talks to a woman who loves Chrissy.

MAGGIE: She was unreal! A-ha! She is just showing it is unreal what she can do at her age.

Then we talk to some kid named Grant.

PROBST: That upside-down ‘U’

GRANT: Yeah–

PROBST: It’ll haunt him forever!

What a conversation with Grant. Jeremy & Sandy would be proud.

SOLEWA

DAY 38

Chrissy hugs Ben and congratulates him on always keeping everyone on their toes. Ryan and Devon hug him too. It isn’t going to make him feel any better.

BEN: Our retirement, my kids’ college. . .I let it all slip away.

Man. Dude is devastated.

Chrissy and Ryan chat.

CHRISSY: I could be a millionaire. You could be a millionaire. Devon could be a millionaire.

RYAN: I know one thing. Ben will not be.

Ben pulls over Chrissy for a chat in the jungle.

CHRISSY: This is how I will respond to you: I will go into Tribal and hear you out.

Chrissy walks alone to read her “””advantage”””.

CHRISSY: You will choose one person to sit next–AHHHH. To sit next to you at Final Tribal Council and force the two others to make fire. Winner “”earns”” their seat in the Final Three, and loser goes home.

Chrissy knows Ryan has never made a fire in his life. Therefore, Devon must battle Ben in a challenge Ben should have no right competing in. She tells Devon about the twist and how he needs to beat Ben in fire.

Devon is a chill guy and embraces this twist the Internet will inevitably freak over. He wants to single-handedly take down Ben. The horror movie analogy that Mike made earlier is not too far off now.

RYAN: How fun will this twist be Chrissy on a scale of 1-10?

CHRISSY: Zero.

Chrissy identifies with the audience.

RYAN: I couldn’t beat him.

DEVON: I know.

RYAN: Who knew my inability to make fire would save me on day 38. How ironic.

Devon practices alone. The flint breaks.

DEVON: It tells me that I am not supposed to invest too much energy into this beforehand. I am supposed to enter this challenge calm.

Gold medalists in the 2018 Olympics will disagree with that mindset.

“Don’t train hard at a task and prepare for it. . .it’ll only mess you up.”

TRIBAL COUNCIL #15

(KATRINA)-(SIMONE)-(PATRICK)-(ALAN)-(ROARK)-(ALI)-(JESSICA)-(DESI)-(COLE)-(JP)-(JOE)-(LAUREN)-(ASHLEY)-(MIKE)

X

(BEN)-(*CHRISSY*)-(DEVON)-(RYAN)

PROBST: It is one of the most electric challenges we’ve ever had.

“It’s the most electrifying challenge in sports entertainment!”

We talk about pointless crap until Chrissy reads the note aloud; the jury is happy.

CHRISSY: I hope it ends in a certain way.

No kidding.

PROBST: The third spot will be earned–it won’t be just given.

Or how about earning your spot by playing Survivor the proper way rather than banking on a twist that will likely be retired after season 36.

Ben’s knee is bouncing.

BEN: I get a second chance.

Er, fourth chance. The Rob Mariano but all in a single season.

Probst repeats about how the third person will earn their third spot. This indirectly hurts Ryan who is taken to the Final Three and I guess didn’t “earn” his spot.

Oddly enough, my dad thought of this twist idea about five or six years ago. I told him it was a really dumb idea since there are still two options for everyone to vote for at TC when four players remain. It is one of many reasons why nobody should listen to my dad’s ideas.

It is #BenvsDevon.

The dudes are sparking the magnesium. Chrissy and Ryan are very clearly cheering on Devon. We think Devon has a fire, but it goes out. Ben has one and it isn’t going out.

Probst coaches Ben into putting sticks on the fire or else it’ll go out early. I… don’t think you can coach someone during a challenge, Probst. The fire is enormous.

PROBST: YES! BEN EARNS THE FIRE SHOWDOWN AND EARNS THE FINAL SPOT AT TRIBAL COUNCIL!

No. That spot wasn’t earned, man. It was given.

Survivor: Cook Islands: Probst is unhappy with Final Two’s, and decides Survivor games need to stop prematurely at Final Three. The only reason why there is a jury at Final Two is because a TC can’t properly function with two people, and consists of 50 percent of the eliminated players, and jurors vote out the fifteenth person from the game. Cook Islands opts to halt it at three because he didn’t like F2 outcomes when his favorite goes out in third.

Survivor: HHH: Probst is unhappy with Final Threes because his favorite goes out in fourth and decides pre-season that halting the game at four and increase the odds of the obvious underdog going to the end of the game.

So now Survivor ends two rounds early.

If you want anybody to get screwed over by a twist and take it well, it’d be Devon. He is still smiling’.

Good news: Probst says during his Devon interview that we will be seeing this twist for Advantage Island, and now will see his favorite go home in fifth rather than fourth. . .unless they find an idol on day 37 or something.

So, to recap the past four rounds: Ben has needed three consecutive idols found and an unprecedented twist to protect him from four TCs. No individual immunity challenges.

0% survival-0% survival-0% survival-0% survival turns into a Final Three position. It sucks for Ben because he is a likable guy who would have been a perfect mid-to-late game boot who was a fun character that overplayed his hand.

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SOLEWA

DAY 39

Ryan thinks he was in control for most of the game but finds himself in an underdog position.

RYAN: I have to convince the jury I was in control the entire game; it is a complete lie, but it might work.

We have a day 39 meal. Chrissy and Ryan sure love their rewards as of late.

Chrissy recaps her being terrified by this game so much she vomited at the first immunity challenge but now won four individual challenges.

Ben says this will be the only shot he has at a million-dollar night.

FINAL TRIBAL COUNCIL

(KATRINA)-(SIMONE)-(PATRICK)-(ALAN)-(ROARK)-(ALI)-(JESSICA)-(DESI)-(COLE)-(JP)-(JOE)-(LAUREN)-(ASHLEY)-(MIKE)-(DEVON)

X

(BEN)-(CHRISSY)-(RYAN)

Huh. Devon shaved.

And now we have another terrible twist that came about last season–nah, just kidding. I think the Survivor slogan is just a slogan, but I do find this dialogue with individual jurors on a bench that is active to be a good change. I am not going to complain about everything.

Devon looks so serious when he is clean-shaven.

“OUTWIT” PORTION

Desi speaks. She praises Chrissy’s talismans/talisman, Ben’s idols, and Ryan for being beatable. She wants to give Ryan a chance to speak.

Ryan says he was the social gamer and found the advantage on the boat on day one to build his Chrissy and Devon alliance. The alliance of seven was something he conjured.  H was talking a bit too fast.

Ashley asks him why he never had a conversation with her. Ryan says it parlayed as a social conversation through Devon. Joe and Lauren want Devon to co-sign it. Devon does indeed co-sign.

JP jumps in if Ryan knew about the JP and Joe vote. Ryan didn’t know.

Joe praises Ryan for coming out as the puppet master for Devon.

JOE: Ben, your social game was horrible. The only conversation was you yelling at me, and me and Chrissy butted heads. You guys focused on idols and challenges.

Ben apologizes to Joe for bringing the Marines into it. He talks about how he used to not be able to sit at a Christmas dinner because of his PTSD. I have a feeling Ben is playing up this card a bit to get votes. It’s a million-dollar night, y’all.

Chrissy says she had no intention to blindside JP. She got to know each person individually. Like real things.

Chrissy tells Joe he doesn’t want to get married because his parents got divorced and marriage doesn’t work.

Probst summons Cole. He talks to Ben about having food issues. Cole hates being labeled as a thief. Ben admits to Cole killing it in challenges and painting him as a food thief–oh. Ryan jumps in that Ben had an active vendetta against Cole.

Ryan is right, but Ben knows how not to lose a jury vote. Ben says he told real stories.

Ashley says Ben kept telling stories while Chrissy was an active listener. She starts talking about Cole’s SAT scores.

RYAN: That’s just throwing out random facts.

Hey, Penny voted for Clay to win rather than Brian in Thailand because of random facts.

Ryan said Chrissy got to know Devon through him.

CHRISSY: Ryan, just because you’re present doesn’t mean we are not making relationships through you.

Desi is proud of all three and care for all of them and this is just a game and can still trust the people around them. . .OK then.

“OUTPLAY” PORTION

Cole is a wilderness guide and survival skills is impressive to him. . .then proceeds to be impressed by Chrissy’s challenge wins and Ben’s magic stick hunting. You know, classic camping skills.

Cole wasn’t impressed by Ryan. Ryan didn’t want to step on anybody’s toes at camp and is why he didn’t want to do anything. Desi said she hadn’t done any of that stuff either, but still stepped up.

BEN: You just talked about iced coffee.

CHRISSY: You hardly got water.

Poor Ryan.

Cole praises Ryan for setting up the idol underneath the flag because it put a huge target on his back.

Chrissy wasn’t allowed to play sports as a kid and that she couldn’t do anything physical. She is proud she is part of a group of four contestants out of 258 who had won four individual immunity challenges.

Joe says he found two idols in ten days (in the same spot) while Ben found three in about six days.

BEN: While they were sleeping, I was looking for idols.

Which led to the upside-down ‘U’.

DESI: How did you allow Ben to go off on his own to look for idols that many times?

CHRISSY: We thought we were trailing him the best we could.

And who wants to go on Survivor and be somebody’s prison guard for 39 days? What the hell kind of adventure is that?

“OUTLAST” PORTION

Ryan went to thirteen of fifteen TCs. He had a big enough social game to prevent his name from coming up. Nobody dragged him here.

MIKE: Stop. What have you learned from playing this game?

RYAN: I was rejuvenated from my dad coming out here. . .Valuing the simplicities of life.

(MIKE nods.)

Ben had a hand in voting out every person on the jury. He was a hurdle in putting food for their families.

MIKE: You will always be a legend, but why should you win?

JOE: It sounds like you’re giving up now.

BEN: I never quit battling y’all. I put myself here. I am out here for my family and talked about stuff in the military and coming back with PTSD.

I would absolutely love to ask Ben if talking about military and PTSD at FTC was part of his strategy. I know this was a controversial subject online when the episode aired because people thought he was exploiting this a bit too much to make people feel sorry for him, and others thought he was being 100% genuine with it and served their country.

CHRISSY: I f–king kicked ass at the challenges, strategically, and made connections with everyone without leaving a trail of destruction. All moms are heroes and put themselves on the line every day. Not like a firefighter or a marine, but we are also healers, and also hustlers. In a way my game and who I am is all parts of that. . .I have been applying for sixteen years. You never give up on your dreams. Whoever wins the season is the representative of the season, and the representative of your season and we can all be proud of that.”

Represent your season. That is a mindset that keeps being brought up ever since Samoa. The winner represents your season.

We go to vote.

LAUREN votes BEN and hopes he makes something better for veterans.

DEVON votes RYAN. He didn’t think Ryan could pull it off tonight, but always roots for the underdog.

COLE pauses before voting.

ASHLEY votes CHRISSY. She wants Chrissy to represent her season and found reasons to not vote for all three players.

Probst grabs the votes and comes through the audience.

PROBST (quietly): Hey! Cochran!

He’ll always love his Cochran.

After finishing his walk, he tells the cast that the season started out slow then picked up halfway through. Thanks to Dr. Mike, I suppose. Probst jokes about Ryan’s heart beating through his tiny chest. Ben is a vet. Chrissy is a working mom. We talk some more nonsense then reveal the vote.

FIRST VOTE: BEN

SECOND VOTE: RYAN

THIRD VOTE: CHRISSY

FOURTH VOTE: CHRISSY

FIFTH VOTE: BEN

SIXTH VOTE: BEN

3-2-1. One vote left. Please let there be a tie.

FINAL VOTE: BEN

Dammit. Social media explodes.

We get a ten-minute highlight reel for production to justify Ben winning this game. We know how the rest of this reunion show will go.

*

I initially started working on a finale review when the episode aired nearly three months ago, but man social media was tough to endure. It was tougher knowing Ryan was down on himself and that Chrissy took her defeat really hard. She didn’t show up at the afterparty and lost her job too.

I also feel bad for Ben who has to win with a gigantic asterisk chained to him.

Chrissy spent sixteen years applying.

Chrissy was down on the bottom pre-merge, post-switch, and post-merge but rallied at all three phases to be in complete control.

She won four immunity challenges. Three of those times should’ve taken out Ben, but idol miracles and a game-breaking twist robbed her of a win.

We were also robbed of a Chrissy vs. Devon showdown at FTC. Seeing Devon’s really strong social game and charm up against Chrissy’s strategic and challenge dominance is something I -really- wanted to see.

Furthermore, I would’ve loved to see Mike compete in that Final Immunity Challenge and be the true underdog of the season.

I find that much more compelling than “guy gets by with three idols and an unprecedented twist go his way”. Sigh.

It was also tough to see middle-aged women go after Chrissy. I don’t know why middle-aged women tend to be angry with middle-aged women on Survivor, but it happens every. freakin’. time.

I remember the day after the finale I encountered multiple middle-aged women at my job who didn’t like Chrissy and thought it was great to see her lose at the end. It didn’t matter how many twists/advantages/idols got in the way–they just wanted to see her lose.

Come to think of it, middle-aged women rarely win in a Final Tribal Council scenario. Some people were talking about this leading up to the finale saying Chrissy wouldn’t win in a final vote no matter what because of Survivor history. Theories range from strong women not being portrayed positively, and others who say that contestants get furious with middle-aged moms on Survivor because “moms shouldn’t play like that”.

I mean, the only time a middle-aged woman has won at the end is when Denise beat Lisa Whelchel and Mike Skupin. If you can only win a jury vote against a Mike Skupin then. . .you know, maybe there is a debate on our hands.

At the end of the day, it’s just a silly little TV show. Some of us are able to wake up after a finale and just move on to our day-to-day stuff with some fun debate about a game, and some. . .well, some make it our virtual battlefield. Thirty-five seasons and Survivor still produces this emotional fight online between random super fans. We’ve got 34 US seasons, two Australian seasons, and a Kiwi season that didn’t have this Final Four twist or nine individual immunity idols within 39 days.

Between TAR Canada 5, Big Brother Canada 5, Survivor 35, and The Amazing Race 30, it has been a rough 365 days with various reality TV finalists and twists that frustrate us.

However, within that we’ve got The Amazing Race 29, Belgian Mole, Wie is de Mol, and Australian Survivor to make it all better. Australian Survivor and the last two seasons of Belgian Mole has been absolutely blowing my mind.

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Now let’s rank the players and the seasons briefly.

18) JP

You know, he, is, you know, ranked at the bottom.

17) Katrina

Crazy. Too bad she didn’t go further.

16) Simone

Not all super fans fit in with Survivor.

15) Roark

If only we saw more footage of her edit. Editors didn’t do her justice.

14) Joe

Chill, son.

13) Cole

Him collapsing onto the shelter will never not be funny.

12) Jessica

Nobody has mentioned her virginity so much on Survivor since Erik from Survivor: China.

11) Desi

A strong neutral presence.

10) Ryan

Alright, he was a decent speaker and took his loss well.

9) Ali

Patrick’s presence out there made her too trusting too early. The short-term advantage became a long-term hindrance.

8) Ben

A guy with PTSD who loves Ben Bombs. . .wait, what?

That whole undercover double agent storyline was a unique one to watch.

7) Patrick

A great early villain. He would be ranked lower in this if he had made it all the way to the end. His logic was entertaining to see as well as watching Lauren own him.

6) Ashley

Great commentator.

5) Devon

A rare alpha male dude who was compelling to watch.

4) Mike

I love his analogies.

3) Alan

Producers called this season a slow start. . .thanks to everyone except Alan.

2) Chrissy

A huge badass who hopefully isn’t too haunted by this season’s ending.

1) Lauren

One of a kind.

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Rank the Seasons

1) Pearl Islands

 

2) Palau

 

3) Africa

 

4) Tocantins

 

5) Fiji

 

6) Marquesas

 

7) Borneo

 

8) Thailand

 

9) Cagayan

 

10) Philippines

 

11) San Juan Del Sur

 

12) Heroes vs. Villains

 

13) Samoa

 

14) Vanuatu

 

15) Guatemala

 

16) Kaoh Rong

 

17) Worlds Apart

 

18) Amazon

 

19) Millennials vs. Gen X

 

20) Gabon

 

21) Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers

 

An experimental season with twists that excelled while others crashed that is made up with a fairly amusing cast. I also admire production’s desire to try and create new challenges on a budget that is shrinking as much as Cole’s calorie intake.

 

22) Second Chances

 

23) Nicaragua

 

24) China

 

25) Micronesia

 

26) Cook Islands

 

27) Australian Outback

 

28) Blood vs. Water

 

29) Game Changers

 

30) South Pacific

 

31) All Stars

 

32) Exile Island

 

33) Caramoan

 

34) One World

 

35) Redemption Island

 

Coming Up Next: Let’s do a tally of how many advantages and idols will be in the mix this season! Will we crack the record of having nine idols? We will find out over the next thirteen weeks! See you soon!

P.S. Gotta love the hat. Ben loves his hat.

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