Survivor: San Juan Del Sur

Survivor: Jury Duty

Welcome back for the last Survivor episode of this season. Finales are in the air as the Serial Podcast finale comes out tomorrow morning. Two big finales in under 24 hours apart. Plus, I’m in the championship game in my fantasy football league, so if I win the game I win $1000 dollars. Needless to say these next few days are pretty exciting for this guy.

When we look at the ending of Survivor we tend to look at the remaining players in the finals, but what we really need to be looking at is the jury. The jury is the single most important piece of the Survivor puzzle because they are the complete “wild card” in the game. Not all Survivor juries are created equally. The Jury isn’t some faceless blind lady of justice; sometimes it’s a bitter jury, sometimes it’s a “we respect the game” jury, and sometimes it’s a “I’ve been drunk eight out of nine days at Survivor Ponderosa and I think I got the ‘clap’ from the blonde girl” jury.

In my opinion, there is nothing worse than a bitter-jury. I go back to the Russell Hantz season, the first time he played and lost to the woman who spoke seven times throughout the whole season and was basically taken to the finals as a hostage.  I’m sorry, I don’t buy that playing like that is a strategy. The jury that season essentially said “F**k you, Russell Hantz. We would rather give the money to a blonde mannequin than you.”

I don’t like the argument that jury management is part of the game. I mean, I could agree with that statement if in the finals the players left had all played a relatively equal game… like maybe one player dominated physically but another player orchestrated big moves at camp. Then I could see myself as a jury member weighing things like “Was the person a douche?”.

I also don’t like how the jury is not sequestered because there’s the potential for too much one-sided storytelling, too much potential for a mob-like mentality to form. Don’t we want the “best” player to win in the end? For that to happen, it comes down to the jury swallowing their pride and voting with their heads and not their broken hearts.

This season, I feel like we’re going to get a mix in the jury:

Jeremy: I’m hoping will vote on gameplay alone.

Josh: Fairly confident he will vote on gameplay alone.

Reed: Moderately confident that he will vote on gameplay alone.

Wes: Will understandably be biased towards Keith if he is in the finals; otherwise, I think he would vote on gameplay.

Alec: I would guess an irrational, incoherent, bitter jury speech would come from him.

Jon: Tough call…If Jackie is in finals, we all expect him to go that way with his vote. If she is not in finals, I could see him wanting to vote on gameplay but Jackie would passive-aggressively steer him towards becoming a bitter jury member.

We don’t know the rest of the jury at this time, so let’s look at who should win this game:

I think there are only two and a half players left in the game who really have an argument that they deserve to win the game. Missy with a non-partial jury would have the best argument to win the game. Natalie is not that far behind Missy and I think she would have the jury on her side which is against what I believe in, but nonetheless the facts of life. Even with that said, she would be a deserving winner. Keith is in a distant third…I can’t get over “Stick with the plan” from a few weeks ago.

Missy: In my opinion, for the majority of the season played the best social game. She got other players to vote not according to what was in their best interest but according to what was in Missy’s best interest, and for me, that’s the clearest way to judge a player’s Survivor game. She might be the one to take the brunt of a bitter jury’s wrath. I think for Missy to be assured the votes, she needs to be sitting next to Baylor and Jackie.

Natalie: Natalie to me didn’t emerge in this game until Jeremy was voted out. I think up until then she was the second banana. Since then though, she has evolved into a stone-cold Survivor killer, doing great in competitions and pulling the right strings at camp. I think Natalie would win in any finale scenario that she is in, unless she’s matched up against Missy. Even then she might still win though. Her best case scenario to win is sitting by Baylor and Jackie as well.

Keith: Tough call here. Keith has been a lot of fun to watch this season. I just think his gameplay is not as strong as Missy’s and Natalie’s. I don’t think there would be protests if he won the game though. For Keith to win, he needs to be sitting by…surprise…surprise…Baylor and Jackie.

The most fun scenario would be Keith, Missy and Natalie sitting together in the finals, but I don’t see how that could possibly happen. Let’s pretend though…IF that happened I think the winner would be Natalie. In that scenario, she would narrowly beat Keith.


Here we go; the show’s about to start and if I think about any more Survivor scenarios, I’m going to turn into Russell Crow in A Beautiful Mind:

Buckle up. It’s 8 pm Portland, Oregon time….


8 pm

Jeff Probst starts us off at the live studio in Burbank. He reads the cue cards like it’s the first time he’s ever done so, over- enunciating at random words and overusing his hands.

We get the recap of what has turned out to be a pretty good season of Survivor. We’ve had a little of everything this season, and overall, the ride has been enjoyable. I think we’re in for a good finale tonight.

8:04 pm

We get a short video package of the remaining players’ paths to this point and let’s just say that Jackie’s was short….

8:07 pm

We join the players in camp as Jackie starts shouting at Natalie and Missy for the Jon the vote…I mean, are you kidding me? Pipe down Jackie. You and Jon did similar things all season long.

8:10 pm

Commercial: I guess this is a good time to plug as any. With Survivor ending, I will get to write more at Rob’s sister site I’m really trying to talk Rob into letting me write a recurring dating blog. I have enough stories to make at least seven or eight mediocre rom-coms. Until that happens though, I’m working on my first blog on famous songs that have been ruined by being sung in movies. Case in point: Tom Petty’s Free Falling, played in Jerry Maguire by Tom Cruise:

Normally, when a cool song plays while you’re driving or at a party or anywhere really, you can sing along and not feel like a douche, but in this case, if you’re driving and Free Falling comes on, you get that awful feeling that you’re doing something from a movie. You get this weird feeling that you’re going to get all Tom Cruisey if you sing the song and your body actually has an awful physical reaction when you try to sing along.

IF you’re in a car and this song comes on and you want to sing along, it’s like the powers of Scientology prevent you from feeling okay with it. It’s even worse if you’re in the car with someone else because you both inevitably will have the thought of: “Do I sing and pretend that I’m not thinking about Jerry Maguire right now, or do we both acknowledge the scene in the movie and sing anyways?”.

More of that to come…..

8:13 pm

We come back from commercial as Baylor and Missy are having a heart-to-heart about whom to take to the finals. Baylor wants to take Natalie, which I think is a mistake. Missy appears to be okay with it, which I also don’t get.

8:15 pm

We go to the Reward Challenge, which at the last episode of every season always feels like a waste of time. I guess they get to play for an advantage at the next challenge but it still feels like a time filler.

Are we all rooting for Keith with our hearts? Is there anybody not related to Jackie or Baylor who is rooting for them? Maybe I’m acting like a big a prick towards Jackie and Baylor…..I’m okay with that actually.

8:19 pm

Keith wins!! All the men who are watching this with a member of the opposite sex discreetly fist bump.

Keith has to send somebody to Exile and he chooses Jackie. Again, secret fist bumps commence.

8:22 pm

We’re back at the live sound stage with Jeff, and I don’t know if it’s the lighting, but my god his jet black hair dye looks really pronounced tonight… his hairstyle, too…Wow…He looks like a cross between an aged Ricky Martin and your Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Oregon (GO DUCKS) Marcus Mariota:

8:25 pm

Commercial: Has anybody else seen the preview for the new Terminator movie?

Can this please not suck? I don’t think we can handle another shitty Terminator movie. The last one with Christian Bale was terrible. I’m a little skeptical. I mean, in the future, would they really send a seventy-eight year old Arnold for this mission? Wouldn’t there be younger, less stiff models to send back for an important mission like this? Stop me if I’m wrong, but is the chick from Game of Thrones playing the young Sarah Conner? Remember Linda Hamilton looked so steroided-out in Terminator Two (all-time classic movie BTW) that she has never been seen or heard from again? Seriously, where in the hell is Linda Hamilton…and for that matter the kid from that movie who played her son? So many questions….

8:27 pm

We come back from commercial and join Jackie at Exile Island. She seems resigned to her fate. Jackie gets emotional and shares her story which now makes me feel like a dick.

8:29 pm

Back at camp, we join Keith as he reads his clue. He gets to go to a practice spot to preview and practice the next challenge. We get a trip into the mind and thoughts of Keith as he practices. Keep practicing, Keith…

8:32 pm

Commercial: Not a lot to say because we just had a commercial. Right now I’m grieving the death of the San Francisco 49ers football season. The only way I’m getting through this is that, like I said, my fantasy football team is one win away from winning me 1000 dollars…Is there anything worse than reading about the success of somebody else’s fantasy football team?

8:35 pm

Back from commercial and we get a little bit from Natalie talking about the importance of this comp. I think she is safe no matter who wins.

8:36 pm

We go to the immunity challenge.  Jackie rejoins the group and gets a slow sympathy clap. Missy decides that she is going to try to play in this comp.

8:42 pm

The practice pays off. Keith is your Immunity Challenge winner! Big win Keith sends us off to commercial sitting shirtless on a rock like he’s posing for a 1981 Playgirl addition.

8:45 pm

Before commercial, we join Jeff live as he joins a Make-A-Wish kid who got to design the competition that aired last week…I’m not a monster if you’re expecting me to make a joke right now……..

8:46 pm

Commercial:  We two hours; therefore, I have to share everything. Right now, I date both in the organic way (meeting someone randomly, on blind dates, or out somewhere) and at online dating sites. The thing about online dating is how awful “breaking the ice” is. I mean, you’re basically car shopping, but in this case, you’re shopping for a girl. You scan the make and the model of each girl: maybe you look for the fully-loaded model that comes with a personality and humor, or maybe you’re frugal and just looking for something sensible.

When you see something you like, you are expected to then send a message to initiate contact. The thing is, maybe there are like ten girls on the site that you think are cute. Do you then just spend time crafting the most epic, charming three sentences you’ve got in your repertoire, copy and send to all ten girls, and pray to god that one of them takes the bait? Really, in my case, I don’t struggle to meet girls. I struggle to meet the “right” girls.  In my case, am I able to trust myself that I am even reaching out to the right women, or am I just enabling myself to more efficiently hook-up with girls when I shouldn’t? To be continued……

8:50 pm

Back from commercial and we join Playgirl’s Keith at the rock as he stumbles through the script he was clearly asked to read off-camera.


8:52 pm

Natalie and Jackie chat in some body of water that I feel we haven’t seen before…Jackie pleads her case to Natalie, and actually, I agree with Jackie that her best move is to take out Missy.

8:54 pm

We go to Tribal Council. It looks like Jackie will go. There’s really not a lot to comment on….unless Natalie throws a huge curveball here……

8:58 pm

We go to the votes…..Wait… No, we don’t!!!! Natalie, with an epic move that probably just won her the game, uses the idol but gives it to Jackie….Not only that, but she doesn’t take out Missy with the idol, she takes out Baylor! What a move! I can’t believe she did it…Great move, though…She just won the game.

9:01 pm

DO we really need to keep joining Jeff at the live show already??? This time, he lines up eight confused people as has them say: “Never missed a show” or something to that effect. Only he pulls the mic too quickly and the whole segment is one giant disaster.

9:04 pm

Commercial: I’m still stunned by Natalie’s move that she just made. I guess her thinking is that Missy is hurt and can’t really compete in a competition. It was clear that the jury loved that move. If she makes it to the finals, it’s over. Even though I think throughout the WHOLE season Missy played a better social game, Natalie is closing the show strong.

9:07 pm

Back from Tribal where we join Natalie and her thought process. Missy and Natalie talk; Missy seems to be more accepting of what happened than one would have thought, considering she almost turned into Kathy Bates in Misery when Reed called Baylor a brat:

9:09 pm

Jackie is still under the delusion that she has a chance to win this game…That’s enjoyable to watch.

9:10 pm

We go to the Final Immunity Challenge and it is a massive one. Missy has to sit this one out. Tough luck.

9:19 pm

Wow, after a long comp, your winner like I said all along is …Jackie! Keith, Missy and Natalie all secretly are happy that they could be sitting next to her in the finals.

9:21 pm

Commercial: So back to online dating. I feel like for someone like me they need to have a Love Connection “Ask the Audience” feature wherein I would choose three girls and then people would vote on who they think the best person would be for me.

Speaking of which, they really need to bring back Love Connection and keep it exactly the same!

9:25 pm

Back from commercial, we join Jackie, Keith, and Natalie as Keith makes his pitch. Poor Keith, making pitches is not his strong suit.

Natalie points out that whenever Jackie stumbles into any sort of power position she becomes awful and unbearable (paraphrasing).

9:27 pm

Jackie is talking to Missy about possibly voting out Natalie, which would probably be her best move, but let’s be honest, she has no move that will lead to her winning the game.

9:29 pm

We go to Tribal Council. Everybody takes turns making their cases. Once again, it’s going to come down to the dummy, though.

9:33 pm

We go to the votes……and your last jury member is Keith. He played a good game.

This sets up a great head-to-head finale between Natalie and Missy with Jon’s stupid vote probably screwing things up because his vote will be the only one for Jackie.

9:35 pm

Again…back with Jeff at the live show. His jet black hair has slowly evolved into light brown. If this show continued for three more hours, he might start looking like Wesley Snipes in Demolition Man:

9:38 pm

Commercial: Here we go… a final three of Natalie, Missy and Jackie. I wonder if we will get to see who Jon would have voted for if Jackie was not left in the game. Like I said before, I think we have short-term memories, and so I think Natalie will win, but I think just slightly that Missy has played a better game. I don’t think Natalie winning would be a travesty or anything, as she would be a really deserving winner.

9:40 pm

Back from commercial, we join the three ladies at camp. Missy is talking about facing the jury…I really think she is going to face the wrath tonight.

The ladies get to enjoy their final meal together and drink a little champagne. I couldn’t drink before the biggest speech of my life.

9:43 pm

Game time… We go to the Final Tribal Council of the season.

9:44 pm

Missy makes the first speech. Alec again looks on slack-jawed, possibly stoned. Missy’s speech is pretty good; she owns her move again Jon. She might be saying loyalty too much, though…

9:45 pm

Jackie makes her speech next. I don’t agree with any aspects of how she is portraying the “moves” she made that got her here, but I will say that she did a good job delivering the speech.

9:47 pm

Natalie goes last. She highlights the Outwit-Outplay-Outlast mantra as she demonstrates how she did these things. She closes the speech by saying that for the last vote they should have voted her out not Keith because now she is going to win the game.

9:49 pm

Commercial: While we’re waiting for the jury to ask their questions, it just feels like Natalie is going to win the game. I just hope the jury won’t be bitter. I want to see good questions, not personal attacks on the players… unless it’s towards Jackie ;)… kidding….

9:51 pm

Back from commercial and Jon starts us off. Jon questions Jackie asking her what move she made alone that affected the game. Jackie points out the turn against Josh. Jon does his duty…He set her up with a softball.

9:52 pm

Keith goes next, and wow, he brings a little bitterness towards Natalie. His hair went from grey to dark brown…Maybe this is where Jeff got the idea for his hair tonight at the live show. I’m actually pretty surprised that Keith just spent his question berating Natalie for not being truthful. Come on, Keith, you’re better than that.

9:53 pm

Alec, who clearly is stoned, asks a producer-prepared question to Natalie like he’s Jeff Spicoli.

Natalie handles the question beautifully playing to Alec’s ego as she tells him that one of her biggest moves was voting out Alec. Missy also gets a question from Alec that she answers very articulately, talking about the “control” she had during the game in getting people to vote the way she wanted.

9:55 pm

Baylor is up next. She makes everyone cringe when she goes, “I’m so excited to see three girls up here…Represent!”. On cue, Baylor takes this opportunity not to ask a gameplay question to anybody, but to perform a Lifetime Movie of the Week monologue complete with tears about her and her mother’s journey….Gross. That was just awful.

9:56 pm

Josh is up next. I have faith in you Josh. I love Josh; he dismantles Jackie with one question. She almost loses it, but she holds it together and makes it through that moment.

9:57 pm

Wes goes next. I think Alec has rubbed off on him a little too much as he laughs through a question that nobody understands and is looking disturbingly like a half-human/half-creature from Where the Wild Things Are.

9:59 pm

Jeremy is up next. He starts his statement by saying “I’m a student of this game”. Is that self-appointed or were there online classes that he took to get that moniker? He rambles for thirty seconds not asking any questions and leaves. Weirdest, creepiest moment of the season.

10:00 pm

Reed goes last. He gives props to Natalie for her gameplay. He then gives props to Jackie. He then decides to slam Missy. He calls Missy the “wicked step-mother”. Wow, Reed, very bitter, but I have to hand it to him. It was like watching a negative political ad and it was effective. His speech completely wrecked Baylor who looks like she is having a nervous breakdown.

10:08 pm

We go to the final vote of the season. It’s feeling like Natalie. I think Reed’s speech was good… harsh, though. I think Missy played a better game than he gave her credit for. He turned out to be the most bitter of jury members this season.

10:09 pm

Creepy. I made the Missy/Misery movie joke earlier, and now when Baylor casts her vote, she utters the most famous line from Misery “I’m your number one fan”.

10:11 pm

We go to the votes…



Jackie (WTF… 2 votes?)




Natalie…who wins on that vote

Great season…..but really I’m more concerned who cast the second vote for Jackie……Please tell me….


Very exciting season… I can’t remember the last time The Finale seemed so in doubt…in my head at least. Missy would have gotten my vote, but like I said, Natalie winning is completely legit, too.

It’s late and I’m tired. It’s been a fun season. Thanks for reading me! I will be back soon at http://

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