Here we are– made it to the end, the final episode of a crazy season of medical evaluations and bullying and some novice, awful play at times. Regardless of what you think or how you rate this season, it doesn’t matter. The last episode of Survivor that leads you to who the final three are is always entertaining, especially in seasons like this, seasons where it’s still wide open. A lot of the time it seems like a forgone conclusion as to who is going to win the season, but this year it does seem wide open if (big if) Aubry is taken out tonight.
Last week, because of Joe’s medical issue, we were robbed of seeing how things were going to play out. Would Tai have gone back with Aubry or would he have woken up and realized it was time to use his weapon of mass destruction and taken out Aubry? We missed seeing the dynamics of that Tribal so were left speculating completely with the Final Four here. Trying to figure out where we stand tonight, let’s look at every player and their perspective heading into tonight:
Aubry: Masterful job last week with appearing to win Tai back. Now the question becomes if Aubry is a known marked woman or if the rest of the group really can’t see that if Aubry is sitting there at the end, then they are all playing for second place. Aubry needs to get rid of Tai, who seems like the only person maybe that could have an outside chance to win a vote against her. Aubry’s main adversary is probably Cydney. Cydney is more cold, paranoid and willing to do whatever it takes to win, unlike Tai maybe. Aubry probably would rather sit next to Cydney than Tai, yet Tai might not try to take her out, but there is a better chance that Cydney might. Aubry has played the best social game this season, so really with an impartial jury, Aubry probably has the best argument to make as the player who outlasted and certainly outwitted everyone else.
Tai: If you were rooting for Tai, it was hard to see him seemingly choose to go back to Aubry last week. We will never know for sure how last week would have played out, but it certainly looked like Tai was ready to play ball with Aubry again. I hope early on this episode we will see what Tai is thinking and where his head is at. Again, if you’re rooting for Tai, then you have to hope he sees that he needs to take out Aubry.
Tai can make the argument to the jury, “Hey I’ve been a marked man from almost the start. I found two idols, I won an advantage in the game, and I played hard the whole game”. Now, Tai might be the one if sitting in the finals who would get the most wrath from the jury. Tai has been seen as a flip-flopper and disloyal, which some of that is true. I mean, he jumped ship from The S.S. Jason/Scot, which completely altered the game, and might be the move that decided this season’s winner? Tai needs to win this immunity challenge tonight like no other, and I have a suspicion maybe the comp might be geared in his favor, because Final Tribal would be way more interesting with Tai and Aubry sitting next to each other. I think, though, if he doesn’t win that challenge, that Tai won’t survive the first hour.
Cydney: Another lame byproduct of last week was not seeing which way Cydney was going to go. Would she have stayed loyal to Aubry? Would she have been the victim of Aubry, who appeared to be leaning towards taking her out? Did she have a clue that Aubry might have been prepared to stab her in the back? Cydney has been a force in the game, no question about it, not afraid all season to pull the trigger on a big move or blindside. I think her cons are that she has been hostile, paranoid to a degree where you want your Survivor winner to have a certain amount of calmness and smoothness, not pettiness. Cydney, at times, has displayed those traits, which I think probably hasn’t endeared her to viewers, not that it matters to her. What matters to her is winning the game, and so, does Cydney have a chance to win votes? I would say, sitting next to Tai she does. Sitting next to Aubry, it’s hard for Cydney to make that argument that her gameplay has been better than Aubry’s. Cydney overall this season is a top 3 player, so she might be unlikable, but she deserves to be where she is now.
Michele: Michele is boxed in heading into tonight by players who have much better resumes than she does. I don’t see her being the target because the other three probably would all agree to choose to sit by her in the finale. For Michele to win, it would mean that we are getting one of the bitterest juries in Survivor history and she would win by default. Not that she has played awful or anything, but she has been in the middle the whole season. She has been a number in some of the biggest moves this season, but her peak was in those moments, not in her overall gameplay. With that said, Michele still needs to play to win and that means taking out Aubry, as that would be her only way of carving out a narrow path to winner’s circle. Michele, only when compared to the top three, gets a little shade thrown her way, but overall Michele has had a good season. I don’t think tonight is her night, however. Look for Michele to maybe be the deciding factor on who goes and who stays!
So that is my take for the four competitors as they head into the Survivor ring for one last time this season. We head into this final episode with a lot of lingering questions that will be answered, that were delayed last week. Will everybody realize that Aubry is standing in their way or can Aubry once again pivot and shape the focus onto Tai or even Cydney? Aubry, early on in the season, looked like a Walking Dead zombie but started to separate herself right when the merge of different teams first happened. Will tonight be her coronation night or will we get another surprise this season?
Let’s get to it. It’s 8 pm Portland, Oregon time and for the final time this season we start Survivor now:
Previously on Survivor:
We are greeted by Jeff live at the CBS studios with a camera shot of everybody in the green room with the most random music being played in the background. Jeff, for some reason, is dressed in an all-black outfit, something a sophisticated cat burglar would wear.
Finally, we get the recap of the season so far, getting the recap of all the people evacuated. Geez, I completely forgot that Caleb was even in this season. It seems like a lifetime ago. Wow, there’s Jennifer, whom I picked to win this season…then she imploded in the second episode…Yeah, well, I did predict a woman would win this season and I have a three out of four chance for that and it does seem that we are headed that way.
Finally, we get to “real time” joining the remaining four players trying to sleep as the chicken is making chicken sounds and pissing everybody off.
Tai gives us the rundown on his status, telling us that he and Aubry are tight…that is usually foreshadowing for him and Aubry not being tight…
Aubry and Tai have a nice talk, planning on how to work together. They’ll probably take out Michele, as Aubry summarizes that Michele is a huge threat because she hasn’t “pissed” off anybody.
Next, we get Michele and Cydney talking about their status together. Cydney thinks she is in a good place in the game. These two want Tai to go next.
Bam! Right into the Reward Challenge. Winning player gets a steak, vegetable, and protein bar..now we’re talking here!
Jeff seems really fired up like the producers got in his ear telling him to “pick it up a little bit in these challenges” as if he were mailing it in all season.
The race to unlock the box by doing a puzzle continues as Aubry takes the lead in the comp, but she misses her first attempt at unlocking the puzzle.
Aubry can’t seem to crack the code, as everybody else starts catching up. Jeff is riding these people like an angry jockey with a whip on the horse.
After seventeen tries, Aubry wins the challenge! Aubry gets the choice to bring one person or not. Aubry ponders for a second, and for some reason, chooses Cydney…Well, actually it’s not for “some reason”, probably because Cydney would be the most vindictive if she wasn’t chosen. We will see if this affects Tai personally or not.
Okay, so as we’re waiting for the show to come back on, let’s really think about this. I mean, the winner can only be Aubry, Tai or Cydney, right? The jury isn’t bitter enough to give it to Michele, right? I say this because of what Aubry said at the start of the episode about Michele not having any “enemies” in the jury. I really can’t think of anything that Michele did this season that would make me think that she outplayed the other three people here. I mean she played okay, but we’re not talking about a Survivor winner here, right?
Back from commercial, we join Aubry and Cydney as they hug when they see the steak and other food items waiting for them…I would have started crying hysterically.
Cydney shares with us that Aubry’s choice of her for this reward solidifies her partnership with Aubry and how she feels good about her place right now.
Tai and Michele talk and Michele gives Tai the rundown on how they really do need to work together.
Michele feels like a scorned woman, not being chosen for the reward, and points out to Tai that Aubry is the smart one to take out next…
Tai seems appears not to be lukewarm on the idea…maybe not completely ready to turn on Aubry…He tells us he would be willing to, but I’m not sure I buy it YET.
Time for the Immunity Challenge. The comp today is a three-level puzzle. It seems to favor Aubry..but maybe I’m wrong.
So far Aubry is in the best place, with Tai slightly behind her.
Everybody catches up to Aubry and it’s anybody’s game!
Whoa…Michele steals the comp and wins Immunity! Wow, this makes things interesting. So I guess Tai is screwed here, or will Michele stick to her handshake deal with Tai to vote out Aubry???
Okay, interesting set up here. Michele with Immunity– what should the plan be for everybody? I guess for Aubry, it’s obviously a no-brainer Tai should go.
Cydney really has a choice here– stay loyal to Aubry even though game-wise it would be way smarter for her to sit next to Tai than Aubry, but I think she stays loyal in this case.
Tai should pray either Aubry or Cydney comes to him and asks him to vote out the other person. I guess Aubry will push hard for him to vote out Cydney. Will he be loyal to her or will he stab her in the back??? It’s tough to predict.
Back from break, Michele is feeling good obviously about making it to the Final Three and has quite a lot of power right now.
Tai awkwardly announces that he and Aubry are going to get “water”…code for both plead to the other person to stay loyal to each other for the love of god.
Sounds like Aubry is on board with ditching Cydney.
But now, Aubry is thinking if the vote is 2-2 and it comes to a fire-making competition that she might be screwed so time to rethink.
Next, Michele and Cydney hash out their plans. Michele makes her pitch to vote out Aubry. Cydney is so paranoid that she keeps replying awkwardly “me too” with literally everything Michele says. Michele points out that Aubry in front of a jury would be able to smooth talk them and that Tai “can barely talk”…Yikes…I’m surprised CBS kept that one in tonight.
It sounds like Cydney is down to vote out Aubry.
Next, we get Michele, Cydney and Tai talking about voting out Aubry. Tai is doing his best to talk them into voting for him, though. He should just say: “Yes, sounds like a good plan”.
Next, we get Aubry telling us that she has weird vibes and kind of thinks she may be the one to go. This would be a smart move, though, from the other three.
Okay. Here we go. It’s Tribal time.
Aubry speaks ominously about how big the choice is tonight.
The writing on the wall is seemingly spelling out that Aubry is going to get voted out.
We go to the votes!
Wow, we have a tie. Tai stays loyal to Aubry and we are headed to a fire-making competition.
Okay, so I’m trying to process all this, but I guess maybe Tai doesn’t want to piss off another potential jury member? Or what? So it comes down to who can make fire the fastest. Who would be favored? What the hell is happening?
Back from commercial, without a lot of set up, we jump right into the fire-making comp. Really, though, even if it might be idiotic for Tai, it’s still refreshing to see it decided by the basic primal value of making fire in Survivor.
So far, Aubry has a fire growing and Cydney has nada. This looks like it’s all Aubry.
It looks like the jury is pulling for Aubry as Jason mocks Cydney.
Whoa, Aubry loses a lot of her fire and is going backward. In fact, I’ve never seen this before, but Aubry’s fire goes out completely. Wow.
Okay, so Aubry gets her fire going, and Cydney can’t get hers started.
Aubry wins and Cydney becomes the 8th member of our jury.
Before we go to commercial, Jeff does a live interview with Cydney’s mom. Why? Maybe Cydney can learn to make a fire next time she goes on Survivor? Too Soon? I mean she didn’t even get a little fire going…That’s the one thing you practice for before you go on the show, right? I mean, I’m not being a dick here am I? Anyways, we get it. She wanted her daughter to win.
Thinking of TV finales as we are here for Survivor (obviously not the series finale for Survivor), I was remembering my all-time favorite season finales and I think in Lost season one when they blew up the opening to the “hatch” still ranks as probably my all-time favorite.
That was a great ending to that first season that ultimately left me with about 617 unanswered questions. Lost has been kind of the forgotten “good” show over the last few years. It’s hard to remember how big Lost was at the time.
The Sopranos, obviously, had a huge series finale: The Soprano’s series finale
I’ve come full circle on this and I’m convinced he was killed right when they cut to black. Earlier on in that last season, Tony and Bobby talk about what it’s like when you die, everything going to black, no sound…So I’m saying Tony was killed there. I can’t be talked out of this theory.
Okay, back to the final hour of the show this season.
Aubry is stunned that she won the fire comp.
Tai shares with Michele that he can tell that Cydney was surprised by the vote. Ah, Michele shares that she was also surprised by the vote.
Whoa, what a bombshell. It turns out we are not going to have a final three; we’re going to have a final two! Okay, so this is crazy. We head to the next Immunity Challenge.
Okay, hold the phone! Jeff tells us that they are the Final Three. What is happening????!!
Turns out the winner of this challenge gets to vote out a jury member! So this is a Survivor first, right? The winner gets to vote out a hostile jury member. Tai would probably have an easy choice with Scot, not sure who Aubry or Michele would choose if they won.
The comp is a balancing comp where they have to stand on a wobbly board and stack some balls.
Michele and Aubry are pretty much neck-and-neck here.
Aubry chokes and knocks down her balls and Michele is your winner and gets to vote out a jury member for the first time in Survivor history, right?
Michele has turned into a beast this last episode. Whom will she target on the jury???? I would guess Joe.
So what’s up with the “late night wars” these days? From afar it seems like Jimmy Fallon is kind of the number one king right now? Maybe Jimmy Fallon #2, Cobert #3, Conan #4??? Does it even matter anymore? All the way up to like the mid 90’s, basically it was a 3 station world as far as late night TV goes, so NBC, CBS, and ABC had the monopoly and late night TV was just a two person fight with Leno and Letterman. But really, does the post-Generation X really give a shit about late night hosts or their shows???? Like what was the hubbub for Conan? Remember when that was like the biggest story in the country for a year? Then Conan went to TBS and …….nothing happened. There hasn’t ever been buzz about the Conan show…there’s nothing…like why did anybody care to begin with? Only because it was awkward TV for a couple months when it was clear that NBC was going to push him out, but really how anti-climatic has the whole thing been? It doesn’t matter and it’s awkward. I will give it to Jimmy Kimmel for the funniest bit I still think I’ve seen by any late night host in the last ten years: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwIyLHsk2h4
Back from break, we join the happy group of three as they group hug and quietly size each other up and pretend to promise to be BFFs for forever.
Michele and Tai talk about whom Michele should toss off the jury. Tai thinks Neal is the way to go. Why Neal? I guess because he and Aubry were close, but if I were Tai I would push for Scot.
Awkwardly, Michele goes to Aubry for her feedback for some reason…Pretty funny when Michele says she is leaning towards Joe while Aubry desperately tries to deflect her away from Joe…If Michele goes along with that it would be hilarious. Joe is the only one for sure, whom you know where his vote is going.
Next Michele goes back to Tai and tells him she is leaning towards Scot..Tai for some god awful reason thinks Scot might be on his side…Yeah, no, big guy.
Michele doesn’t know which way to go. It has to be Joe if you’re a Michele fan and you want her to win the game…
We head back to Tribal as the jury arrives and has no clue what’s about to hit them.
Michele reads to the jury what her advantage is. The jury all has a look of “Shit. Is my free vacation and daily per diem about to end?…God, I hope she doesn’t pick me” on their faces.
Aubry tries to oversell how making a “logical move” here is the wrong move as everybody looks confused as why on earth would anybody not get rid of somebody who clearly is not going to vote for them.
Michele tells us how she is going to make her choice, then has to walk over to write the person’s name down instead of just saying it out loud for some reason.
The jury member that gets 86’d is Neal…Okay, Neal is gone but not before he says something really serial killer-ish to Michele on his way out…Wow..havent heard from Neal in six weeks and the first words out of his mouth, he decides to find his inner Ted Bundy…Good look…
Neal tells us it doesn’t matter that he got voted out because everybody else in the jury thinks that there are two other players left in the game that have played better games than she has. Hmmmmmm a fake-out by the show to steer us in a false direction???
Good examples of differences between men and women on Facebook: Women generate likes for their pictures or post when they post something about their kids in a park going down a slide or a kid eating ice cream all messy or a picture of themselves looking at the kid in a moment where it’s supposed to look like the camera happened to catch the “moment”– like the mom didn’t know somebody was taking the picture so it can look more “deep” or something–and then by the Facebook constitution law, all her friends are required to click the like button and comment about “how beautiful” that specific kid is. Yes, we have covered this before and you never see a guy on that chain of likes or messages.
No, for guys the only thing to generate “heat” on Facebook is when we can publicly shame one of our friends. For example, yesterday one of my friends was doing this thing where he does 22 pushups a day and posts it for some military awareness thing and challenges two people every day. Naturally, after the second day, one of the friends makes fun of the form or the lack of fitness from the friend and then that unravels to thirty comments about how big of a douche either the person commenting on the friend trying to do a good thing is or the person actually doing the pushups is, not for the cause itself but because of the outfit or anything else trivial. Seriously, I’ve never seen so many dudes post to a thread before. They should have an all-male and all-female Facebook feature. Make it a little safer for the guys to share and the women to have their own thing. Although it would only be a matter of time before porn and sports gambling ravaged the guys’ side of things and the girls’ page would just turn into a more irritating JC Penney’s photo family photo gallery.
Back from break, as the three people relive the Neal send off and how creepy it was.
We pick up the next morning as all three go for a walk and find a scale and mirror.
Michele makes her pitch to us as to why she should be the winner…It seems a little weak. Let’s all be honest here. I mean even if you’re a big Michele fan, you can’t say she had as big an impact as Aubry or Tai.
Next, everybody enjoys some food, as Tai tells us about how he needs to win Scot’s vote, thinking that he can appeal to Scot’s sense of “fair play” and love of Survivor…Um yeah..I don’t think Scot is in your corner, Tai…
Next, we get Aubry’s pitch. And look, again, let’s be honest, Aubry has the best argument to win this game. Aubry should win unless the jury is just incredibly hostile.
Okay, speak of the devil, it’s time for the jury to shine. We head to Tribal.
Wait, no, we don’t. We head to commercial.
I keep seeing previews for the new Alice and Wonderland sequel. Did the first movie even warrant this sequel? I can answer that in one clip:
No! Can Tim Burton please make a f**king good movie again????? Let’s be honest here– he’s gotten a pass for the past fifteen years. I mean, am I forgetting something here? What the hell happened? We all need to set up an intervention for him and Johnny Depp for that matter. Alice and Wonderland, especially his Alice and Wonderland is not what we need right now. I would rather see Edward Scissorhands Part Deux. Johnny Depp hit it big playing Captain Jack, but we need something new from Johnny and replaying his awful portray of the Carrot Top Mad Hatter is not the answer.
Now we head to tribal with the jury. Let’s see who is going to be the most over-the-top bitter jury person.
Nick starts us off by telling us that there is going to be some animosity tonight. Okay great. Nick condescendingly explains what he wants to see from each person. I guess they need to listen to the guy. I mean, he only got voted off nine weeks ago.
Debbie goes next. She comes off a little hostile, coming after Tai and his flip-flopping…actually asking if he has multiple personalities…Give me a break, Debbie, and go back to Red Lobster. Tai handled it pretty well.
Debbie gives Aubry a softball question. Aubry handles it well.
Julia goes next, attacks Michele calling her lucky, saying she hasn’t had to strategize until the very end. Julia softened her tone towards the end, I bet she was coached to be hostile but then lost confidence in that façade halfway through.
Next, Julia attacks Tai, saying his game fell apart at the end. It seems like Tai is getting the wrath tonight.
Next Joe comes up, dismisses Michele completely, and gives Tai his first crack on why he deserves the money over Aubry. Tai makes his argument over Aubry which wasn’t that strong.
Aubry hits a homerun in her answer which sounded prepared and it was very well said by Aubry.
Next Jason is up. He tells us his vote is up in the air…He looks like he is trying to manage his emotions even though it’s clear he is beyond bitter. He goes after Michele first calling her game lucky, basically. She handles it well.
Next, the question Jason really wants answered: He asks Tai why he left him and Scot. Tai gives a pretty good answer, though.
Cydney is up next. She wants to know if Aubry was going to vote out Cydney all along…I guess forgetting that she wanted to do the same thing?
Next, Cydney gives Michele a softball, knowing exactly that Cydney just wants to hear that she would have been taken to the finals if she would have had the final say in things. What a waste of a question and time. Come on, Cydney. You’re better than that.
Finally, Scot goes. Scot is completely over-the-top bitter telling Tai that he blew all the advantages that he had in the game. He asks Aubry why in the world he would vote for her…and Aubry is as confused as we are as to why would Scot be pro-anybody else, but for some reason, he is pro-Michele for winning the last two immunity challenges? It seems so bizarre for him to have that view on the game.
Aubry makes her speech to the jury as to why they should vote for her. Again, she has the best argument here.
Next, Tai makes his speech. He has the chicken in hand which I think adds a lot here. He gets emotional but says some very nice words.
Michele goes last and she makes an okay speech. She gets emotional, but she makes a passionate speech.
Wow, this is crazy. Are they really going to hand this to Michele? I mean, I kind of get it if they’re bitter towards Tai, but what is the argument against Aubry again?????
Can I get a ruling on sushi? Healthy, right? Yes, a little rice is not the best, but as far as a diet goes with exercise, sushi isn’t going to hold you back, right? I mean, I hate and can’t cook, so I’m looking for healthy alternatives here as far as eating out. I do Bento’s, chicken and rice which seems okay–good protein. I know fish is like the best to eat as far daily meal consumption goes. Dieting really is mental, though. I have found that after a few days you do get used to eating better, start feeling better, and all that good stuff. I’m sticking with sushi for the next 30 days unless somebody tells me differently.
Okay, everybody goes to vote. It has to be Aubry…but I feel like she might get screwed here…Wow, what a shocker if this happens.
After everybody votes, we have a ceremonial goodbye for Mark the Chicken…everybody gets emotional as the little fellow does nothing but walks twelve inches and pecks on the ground…
Finally, we go to the votes:
The winner of Survivor: Michele…Wow…
Wow! It’s late and I have to work helping teenagers get off drugs, but this is a travesty. How exactly does Michele have an argument over Aubry? I mean, it’s not like a Russell Hantz situation here where she pissed off everybody…What a disappointment…That is to say, that obviously we enjoy Survivor and all that, but when the jury ruins the ending by voting for somebody, who at best you could say deserved second place, it’s a little jarring. I wasn’t even the biggest Aubry fan this season, but you can’t logically tell me that Michele played a better game than Aubry. There is just no way. I feel like this is the ending to Lost. I’m left with way more questions than answers here.
Thank you for reading me all season long, and I will see you next season!