All Star Strategy Finale: Squeal Like a Pig, Boy
Written by Mario Lanza
"We don't like being blown up, Sid. Or
smashed. Or torn apart. So from now on, you
take goooood care of your toys. Because if you don't, we'll
find out. We toys can see... EVERYTHING. So play nice!"
-Woody, Toy Story
following is my running diary from the evening of Sunday, May
9th. Per Survivor tradition, I will be watching the finale from
home with my wife Diana, as we sit here and crack jokes along with the
episode. This is always my most popular column of the season
and... since this is my last season writing Survivor columns...
hopefully tonight's column will help me end my career with a
bang. It is always fun to go out in style.
I would also
like to point that out that, per Survivor tradition, I will once again
not be attending the finale live in the studio. In the past this
has been because CBS has not offered me tickets. This year,
though, I decided to be proactive so I formally requested that CBS not
offer me an invitation to the show. It all ends in the same
outcome, of course, but there is a very subtle difference, at least in
my mind. That's right, this year I showed them. This year,
I stuck it to the man (tm Dewey Finn).
Anyway... the show is
about ready to begin. I am crossing my fingers that Rob doesn't
win. Mainly because if he does, then the jury needs to be
smacked. I will write more about this later. I am also
hoping that Amber DOES win. It's not that I am particularly a big
fan of hers, it is more along the lines of... well... because I have
been predicting an Amber win pretty much since day one. Amber
winning would be very good for ME, so of course it is a cause I
can put my full weight behind tonight.
and if Amber wins she can give the finger to all the Survivor
snobs who were so upset that she had been cast on All Stars in the
first place. I would love to see that happen. Shove it
right in their faces tonight, Amber!
Anyway, here we go. On with the show!
- We are live from Carson, California! And joining us for the big
finale are my wife (Diana) and our two very hyper children (Vanessa, 4
and Nicholas, 2). The majority of the comments tonight will be
made by Diana and me, as we sit here and riff on the show, in the style
of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The kids have been placated for
now with a combination of books and nachos (per the tradition of
the Pearl Islands.) With that being said, the finale is about to
begin... the All-Star season is about to come to a close... and Amber
is about to become a whole lot more important in the annals of Survivor
history. I am rooting for Amber tonight and Diana is rooting for
Rupert. And with that being said, the show is ready to begin!
As always, 2-year old Nicholas will be waiting with baited breath for
the opening credit shots of the bird and the monkey. His week
wouldn't be complete without commenting on the bird and the monkey.
- The show begins and we get the entire summary of Survivor All Stars
up to this point. Since we have seen most of this before, I
will just skip ahead to the beginning of the actual episode. Oh
yes, and there is Tina again. Hi Tina!
- Jenna Lewis wonders how she wound up being in the final 4, in a game
that once consisted of 18 of the best Survivors of all time.
Simple. It's called "You need the money the most and half the
cast didn't care."
- Rupert goes to wash out a pot and Rob immediately schemes with Jenna
to take him out at the next vote. Wow, Rupert lasted almost 2
minutes into the episode! That must be a new record.
8:16 - Jeff brings them food and a scrapbook. Amber says "oh my goddddd". Then she and Rob celebrate by doing it.
- Jenna tells us she will cave in and switch her vote if there were a
purple rock situation. Gee, there's a surprise. Though she
mistakenly says the rocks are purple and white, when the last time they
were purple and yellow. By the way, why do people assume it would
be a purple rock tiebreaker tonight? How do they know this
8:19 - The
Immunity Challenge! It is an eight sided maze. It reminds
me very much of the maze that f---ing Jenna Morasca won in the Amazon
to save her butt and f---ing make Matt and Rob vote Butch out
instead of her. That finale still f---ing makes me mad, even
today. As you can tell, I am still a little f---ing bitter that
Rob C. didn't win.
- Amber wins immunity, in a close finish over Rupert! It
was a close challenge but Rupert is done. Not much of a
- Stop the presses! The results are in! The ballots
have been tabulated... and TOM BUCHANAN PUSHED THROUGH THE
PAIN BEST last week! That's right, mark Tom down on your
scoresheets, for those of you who are scoring along at
home. Once again, this week's pushing through the pain award
Diana: "Yeah, that's a stretch. Since when did mental pain start counting?"
"Well, since he got voted out he doesn't get that free bottle of pirate
wine anymore. Maybe he got cramps from going sober too
fast, like a scuba diver coming up too fast and getting the bends."
We're back, and we can officially start the Rupert Boneham death watch
at this point. The clock is ticking and only a last minute call
from the governor will be able to save him at this point. And
even though Jenna CLAIMS she will force a tie, you know damn well she
won't do it in the end. She won't do it because...
- ... Ah, because Rupert just summed up my thoughts perfectly.
Because Jenna is a single mom who REALLY wants this money and who
probably needs it the most anyway. Plus she is a member of the
first season cast, and all those guys are pissed off that Survivor fans
think they were pushovers. So no WAY will she take a dive for
Rupert. I have been saying that since day one. Jenna Lewis
wants that money and she wants to prove herself the most out of anyone
out there. That is why she was my preseason pick to win All Stars
(yes, soon replaced by Amber).
Rupert and Jenna are talking about the purple rock as if it were
gospel. Since when do they know that is the tiebreaker?? It
seems awfully closed minded to not at least consider the possibility
that the tiebreaker might be something else. Remember... ass...
- We go to the final four Tribal Council. Rupert is dead meat,
you can bet money on it. The jurors file in and... man... Tom
sure looks skinny without a beard. He looks a heck of a lot
different. Not quite Skinny Ryan different but at this point he
is getting in the neighborhood of Clay Jordan different.
- Amber says that she knows how the jury feels, because she was also
once betrayed by an alliance member, way back in Australia. But
she reminds us that even though she had been betrayed, she wound up
voting for that person to win. So she isn't terribly worried that
this jury will hold too much of a grudge against her.
Now... I know she is talking about Colby... but technically
she had an alliance with Tina too (albeit a secondhand
alliance). So technically she really had no choice but to vote
for a person who had betrayed her in Australia. She had an
alliance with both of them!
8:33 - Shii Ann just rolled her eyes in the jury. So did Alicia.
"This jury couldn't like mugging for the camera more. I don't
think they actually realize that they are no longer in the game."
8:34 - The vote starts. It is going to be 3-1 Rupert. Jenna aint taking a dive for nobody.
- We don't get to see who Amber voted for. Now come on. If
I could make a list of my Survivor pet peeves, this one would be #1 on
my list. WE KNOW THAT AMBER VOTED FOR RUPERT! There
is not a chance in hell she ever would have voted for anyone else, so
why not at least show us her comments? Let us know what she is
saying. Are we saving those extra 5 seconds of episode so we can
show Amber and Rob kissing one more time down the road?? What's
the big deal? Show us the damn voting comments!! There is
no need to falsify suspense just for the sake of having suspense.
What a crock.
- Jenna gets up to the podium and she pauses. She just stands
there... pen in hand... deciding what to do. It is a very tense
moment. In related news, our 2-year old son Nicholas is currently
running back and forth in front of the TV, pretending to talk into a
plastic phone. It sort of ruins the mood of the moment.
I have to crane around my daughter who is dressed up in a princess
costume and is offering me a pretend cup of tea. It's a tad
- That noise you heard was the sound of a thousand voices crying out at
once. It was the sound of worldwide anguish, the pain of a
thousand deaths. Actually, it was Diana crying because her
buddy Rupert has just been voted off. 3-1, just as I
predicted. It was a sad moment. But I still think that
Jenna made the right move for herself. Unless you read All-Star
Survivor: Hawaii, in which we took crap for having Tina make the exact
same choice in the exact same situation. Whatever.
- Rupert's final words. He says he is mad at Jenna but I can't
believe he is really all that surprised. He also says he is
"very, very, very, very happy" at the way that his game turned
out. But he says it in a flat, monotone voice and it sounds like
he is just trying to control his rage underneath a smile. This
reminds me of a stunt that comedian Andy Kaufman used to pull whenever
he got in trouble for something he did on TV. Whenever he got
busted for crossing the line of good taste, he would always have to go
on the air and issue an apology. But he liked to do what he
called a "Vietcong Prisoner of War Confessional." This consisted
on him staring blankly into the camera and reading his apology off
a cue card without a shred of sincerity, as if someone was pointing a
gun at him from somewhere off camera. He did that whenever he had
to issue an apology on TV, and that is exactly what Rupert's final
words reminded me of. *numb look* "Yes, I'm so very
very very very very very happy." *blank stare* "I had a
good time." *totally emotionless* "Yes this was fun."
- We are back from commercial, and it's time for the Survivors to take
part in their final rite of passage. Jeff hands them a canister
and he tells them to lube themselves up... er, I mean paint themselves
up. I think it would be funny if Rob wrote GARCIAPARRA
across his back with a large number 5 underneath. I wonder if he
would be able to spell it.
- It's time for the torch walk! This brings forth
flashbacks from last season. Where, in one of the proudest
moments in Survivor history, Jon honored Nicole Delma by saying
"she had a smokin' body." Ahh, true poetry always has a
way of bringing a tear to your eye.
- The torch walk begins. And immediately I see that they aren't
going to let the players comment on the torches this season.
Again, thank you Mister Dalton for THAT. We get to Tina's torch,
and we hear an actual voiceover from Tina. In her sweet southern
accent, she says to Jenna: "You voted me off, you bitch! I hope
you burn in hell! Dureetos!!" Just kidding. Tina
actually says something about being proud to have come back or about
having lots of life experiences. I don't know, it was pretty much
the same as every other Tina quote this season. They were
all pretty much interchangeable.
- In a voiceover, Richard claims that he's either a lot
older, or that the game has gotten a lot harder than it used
to be. Actually Rich, the problem is that the players are just
smarter than they used to be. They get smarter and smarter every
season. And that trend will continue.
- Ha ha. We get a flashback of a chafed Colby, walking around
with diaper rash. I will never get tired of seeing Colby walk
around in a saggy diaper that leaks.
- We see a flashback of Ethan falling off a beam and hitting his head
on the barrier. Once again proving that nobody pushes through the
pain quite like Ethan Zohn.
- We get a flashback of Tom being smacked in the face by one of
those giant Mega Blocks. I forgot how funny that scene was.
Forget what I said about Ethan pushing through the pain the best.
TOM pushed through the pain the best this season. That is my
final answer. Unless you count Jenna M. or Sue or Rudy...
- The players finish the torch walk and they arrive at the final
immunity challenge. And here we are... Jenna, Rob and Amber...
battling it out for immunity. It is "Hands on the Idol",
and it should be great. This should be thrilling. This
should be tense. This should be...
Oh you did NOT just break for commercial right there.
I sit here and grumble, I will just flip through the channels for a
while. And hey! Look, Harry Potter is on ABC!
Wow, I forgot this movie is actually pretty good. And hey
look, there are the three Harry Potter kids, all grown up now, sitting
and commenting on the movie. How old is that Weasley kid,
anyway? He looks like he's about 30. And my, that is
an unfortunate mop of red hair he's got now. He looks eerily like
Malachi, the homicidal teenage cult leader in "Children of the
Corn." Yet despite my best efforts to turn away... I am
transfixed by him. He is almost hypnotic. Can't....
look.... away.... from.... the Weasley kid...
Must... turn... back... to... CBS.
Must... not... look... directly... at... the ginger kid....
Must... push... through.... pain.
- And we're back to the show. Since our children are running
rampant across our living room (it sounds like a free juice giveaway at
Chuck E. Cheese right about now) Diana has decided to placate the kids
and calm them down for a while. That's right,
mommy just brought out the milkshakes. And that means we
should be able to enjoy the next 10-15 minutes of the show in actual
silence. That very rarely happens around here.
- Hands on the Idol is about to begin. Here we go. And
since females always win this challenge (unless it is Brian against the
AARP), it should be a good, long matchup. Jenna and Amber should
be a great battle. And I predict that Jenna is going to
win. Go Jenna!
- Ha ha. Jeff just told them that they should "take off any
clothing" that might get in their way. Translation: Amber
and Jenna, please get topless. I think Jeff had a flashback to
Amazon for a minute there. Sorry Jeff, this is the wrong
Jenna. This Jenna will keep her clothing on. But you can't
blame a guy for trying. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
- The immunity challenge begins. I comment that this is the best
combination of three people they have ever had for this particular
challenge. All three of them should be pretty good at it.
"Okay, before we begin... does anyone have to adjust their top?
Does anyone have diarrhea? Anyone need to cut a deal with
Vecepia? Anyone need to remind Rudy of the rules...?"
- One hour has elapsed. Jenna tells Jeff that she can last
exactly one minute longer than the other two. Jeff says "Game
on." It reminds me of one of my favorite Survivor quotes ever,
from the final immunity challenge last season in Pearl Islands:
Jeff: Did you hear what Lill just said? I think she just said "Game on."
Jon: I think she just said "Game over."
- Jenna lifted her foot! Jenna is out! Amber has just won a
million dollars! Jenna disgustedly sits down and she takes a
seat. She also whines that she didn't really break the rules,
just like her brother claimed that he didn't really break the rules
about three episodes ago. The parallels are almost eerie. We now
realize that "Lewis" is a Dutch name that loosely translates to
"Nuh uh, no I didn't!"
- Uh oh. Jenna is out of the challenge, but neither Rob nor Amber
trusts the other one enough to step down from the pole. This is
going to be funny. And now they get into their first
fight! Rob and Amber, bickering with one another over who
gets immunity. This should be classic.
8:57 - Due to the strain from their argument, Rob and Amber break up.
8:57 - Amber loudly announces that she and Rob are no longer on speaking terms.
- Rob loudly announces that he is now in love with Jenna, and that he
always has been. Amber turns her back on him in defiance (while
still holding on to the idol, of course.)
Amber gets jealous of Rob and Jenna's new bond, and she announces she
is now dating Ethan. Rob grows furious over this and he starts
cursing at her in comical Bostonese. The angrier he gets,
the more Boston he gets. He is stahtin' to cuhse pretty hahd
Amber tells Rob that last year, she had an affair with Hunter.
She calls Rob a knucklehead. She claims that Hunter had a bigger
penis. Rob cries.
- In the heat of the argument, Rob accidentally calls Amber
"Sarah." Amber says "Oh my godddddddd" and she gets angry.
She announces that Cesternino is now her favorite Rob of all
time. Rob angrily retorts that Amber "is not, nor has she ever
been," as hot as that Filarski chick on The View. Jeff winces.
- After three tense minutes of fighting and bickering, Rob and Amber
make up. They once again proclaim their true love for one
another. And after a quick bout of makeup sex (while somehow
still holding onto the idol), they are once again back together as a
couple. The competition is back on.
- Amber accidentally reaches out and touches the idol. Amber is
eliminated, and Rob Mariano just earned himself a spot in the final
two. Lex and Tom and Kathy laugh evilly back in their hotel
room. They have been waiting for this. Rob might as well
just quit now, I don't think he will want to hear this barrage.
- We know that Amber is going to beat Rob in the final two. Amber
knows that she will beat Rob in the final two. And of course
Jenna knows that Amber will beat Rob in the final two. Jenna
comments that Rob is "about to give his girlfriend a million
dollars." And it is true.
- The editors are drawing this vote out as if there is any doubt that
Rob will boot Jenna. They actually try to make us believe he is
debating both choices. "Hmmm, should I bring the hot girl to the
final two in the chance that we might hook up for real after the
show? Or should I dump the hot girl and never have a chance to
score with her ever again? Hmmmmm... Which girl do I want
to give the million dollars to? My girlfriend, or the other
one? Gee, let me think about this..."
- Rob asks us at home, "What would you do for a million dollars?"
The answer, of course, is moot, since Rob won't be coming anywhere
near a million dollars. So why don't you tell us what you would
do, Rob? Perhaps you would play differently next time?
- We're at Tribal Council now. Jenna seems quite upset any
time Jeff brings up the fact that she lifted her foot during the
immunity challenge. She doesn't seem to believe that it actually
happened. It is at this point that I remember we saw a very
detailed closeup of Jenna lifting her foot off the stump, right at
the moment it happened. Hmmm... how much do you want to bet that
CBS "re-shot" that particularly moment, just to cover their butts in
the case of a lawsuit? Because there is no way the camera was
focusing on her foot right at that exact moment. There is no way.
- Lex just mugged for the camera in the jury box. That's the 24th
juror mugging in the past hour! It's a new record!
- Rob is about to cast the fatal vote (FOR JENNA) even though the
editors are trying to make it suspenseful as to who (JENNA) he might
pick. I ask Diana if this is the only final three in the history
of Survivor where all the players have at least one prior vote. I
think it is, but I don't have the time to do the research. Can
anyone confirm this for me?
Pulau Tiga: Kelly had no prior votes.
Australia: Tina had no prior votes.
Africa: Ethan had no prior votes.
Marquesas: Did Neleh have any prior votes? I vaguely think that she did.
Thailand: Brian had no prior votes.
Amazon: Rob had a prior vote, I think.
Pearl Islands: Sandra had no prior votes.
- I tell Diana that if Rob votes Jenna out... that means he doesn't
think he can win. If he votes Amber out... then he thinks he
still has a chance to win. Here we go...
9:10 - *BUZZ* Good bye Jenna. And congratulations Amber Brkich, on being the winner of Survivor: All Stars.
- As we go to commercial I am reminded that this season wouldn't have
felt complete without the jury getting a chance to tear Rob a new one
in the final two. It would have felt incredibly anticlimactic if
we never got that "Rob gets raped for being an asshole" closure that we
needed. So the last hour of the finale should be a lot of
fun. Well, unless you are a Rob fan.
My final words to Jenna (you knew they were coming): This
is what happens when you vote out Tina on day three. I hope
you learned your lesson.
- We are in a commercial break and our kids have systematically
destroyed one third of our living room in the past hour. And I'm
not kidding, one third of our family room is simply gone, it has
vanished into the ether. To buy us another hour of silence, we
bribe the kids with some microwave popcorn. Four-year-olds and
popcorn rarely go wrong.
"We had to switch from milkshakes and move on to popcorn.
Nicholas was getting WAAAAY too territorial over the rights to the
milkshake. He almost had his entire head in the cup by the end."
- We're back. And it is now time to start the "Destroy Rob at the
final TC" countdown. How bad do you think it will be?
- Rob answers us. He thinks that "They're all gonna hate
us." I think he's wrong. I actually think that Rupert might
not hate them. But the others... well... yeah, kinda... but then
again you asked for it.
9:19 - Rob and Amber celebrate by once again doing it, right there on the beach.
9:21 - Rob claims that "it's their problem if they took it personal." Diana beats me to the response.
Diana: "No, it's about to be YOUR problem."
9:22 - Rob and Amber do it again. Just one last time for good luck.
- I comment that Rob can't win because nobody from Boston should ever
be allowed to win anything. I half expect Amber to reveal
that she is actually from New York and that her last name is
Steinbrenner. As usual, Boston is going to finish in second place
tonight. Just like every year since 1918. And then of
course, per tradition, the rest of us will have to keep hearing about
9:24 - Rob and Amber fight, break up, get back together, and then do it.
- It is time for the final Tribal Council to begin. Rob and Amber
file in to take their seats. Both Diana and I think that this
will be a blowout in favor of Amber. Diana says it could be
unanimous. I figure that the only way Rob wins is if the jurors
suddenly realize that they don't want to lose to Lamber Brkich.
But that seems like a pretty slim chance to me.
"Yeah, great, Amber made the final two. It doesn't mean she's a
mastermind though. Remember, Lill made the final two as
9:26 - Rob is
giving his opening speech. Wow, it looks like Jenna found her
makeup drawer! Is that even still her?? And I already miss
Jon Dalton's giant porn mustache.
- Diana and I take a poll: Who will be the angriest juror?
I say Lex, without a doubt. Diana says Tom. And we both
agree that Kathy could be a dark horse. And we both agree that
the jury will take ALL of their aggression out on Rob. And that
Amber will walk away scot free. Which, you know, is probably
what she was planning to do all along.
- Rob and Amber have spoken and we now cut away to commercial.
Cool, they are making a movie about Charles Manson. They should
get Brian Heidik to play the lead role. C.C. could play Squeaky
Back from commercial. And the fireworks are about to begin.
Here comes Lex, and Lex looks PISSED! His speech ends up pretty
much being exactly what we expected. Lex calls the game
"truth serum", he blames Rob for selling out all of his values, and he
tells Rob that the money will NEVER be enough to buy it all
back. He then punches Rob in the face, he keys his new car, and
takes a dump in Boston Rob's Red Sox cap. Yeah this vote is
probably going to go to Amber. Just a hunch.
- Kathy comes up and Kathy is REALLY emotional. She guilts Rob
hard and she asks what he thinks that people think of him now.
And Rob ALMOST starts to cry. You can see that he didn't
really realize how bad this was going to be. I almost feel sorry
for the guy. Because to be fair, I don't think that Rob intended
this game to be as dirty or as personal as it turned out to be in the
end. I think Rob just got caught up in the moment and he got
caught up in the spirit of controlling the game. And I don't
think he ever saw how it looked from the jury's eyes until this
9:35 - Kathy ends with "I was crushed, Rob. You were like a son." Wow.
9:38 - Rupert giggles during his jury question. You can never really get enough of Rupert giggling.
- Alicia comes up and she gets off a good line about both Rob and Amber
butt-kissing their way to the top. "I can't decide which one of
you has more crap on their lips." By the way, did you know
that the term "brown-nosing" literally refers to fecal matter? I
only found that out recently. Having someone's shit on your nose
is the actual definition. Anyway, Alicia asks them to describe
the way they played the game. In one word. And I can't
believe that Rob passes up the chance to say "Hahd." That would
have been perfect!
- Shii Ann comes up and she trashes Lex and Kathy for being
upset. Gee, and you wonder why Shii Ann never gets along with
"Shii Ann seems to have a reserve of proverbs at her disposal to use
when the spotlight is on her: People in glass houses shouldn't
throw stones... wise people know enough to keep their mouth shut
(Zbacnik)... she is almost a human fortune cookie!"
- Jenna Lewis comes up and she asks them what they will do with the
money. Yawn. Why does this question get asked every
season? You know the final two players will just throw out some
B.S. charity as their answer. Although I always wanted to know
how Brian Heidik would have answered this question. That would
have been the best Tribal Council answer of them all. "C.C. needs
a bigger boob job, plus I was thinking of hiring somebody to chew my
food. Oh and I was planning on having all of you killed.
Also I always wanted to sponsor a bikini team."
9:44 - Tom comes up
to speak. And here we go! Tom asks Rob and Amber
why THEY should win over the other person. Rob totally blows it
here. He should have said "Amber rode my coattails the entire
way. She didn't do a thing!" But his newfound nobility
towards his girlfriend won't let him do that. But to be fair,
Amber doesn't really go for the kill either. She could have said
"Rob was a dick to his friends and then he made fun of you guys and
your loved ones after you were voted out." It is almost as if she
wants to make this vote closer than it has to be. She totally
could have buried Rob right there.
"I wonder if Tom's closet looks like Smurfette's. Does he just
have a row of 20 identical pairs of overalls hanging in there, and
HILARIOUS! Tom offers to shake Rob's hand, and then he pulls it
away before Rob can reciprocate. Too funny. "Don't be
stupid, stupid." One of the funniest final TC moments ever.
Rob and Tom end the showdown with a glare.
I can't forget Tom's first jury speech, back in Africa. He made
everybody laugh when he asked why the lions in Africa licked their hind
ends. Because they needed cleaning? Or because they had
just eaten the mush that Mama Kim had prepared and they needed to taste
something better? Tom Buchanan should be elected to the Reality
TV Hall of Fame just for his final TC speeches alone.)
- Diana comments that Tom is great because you can never tell when he
is angry. He has a very controlled type of anger, so his tirades
just seem to come out of nowhere.
- As we go to commercial, I tentatively predict we will have our first
ever unanimous vote tonight. Diana thinks there is a good chance
of that too.
We're back from commercial. And it is time for Rob and Amber's
final jury speeches. Both of them look incredibly
depressed. Rob actually has two black eyes. I'm not sure
how that happened.
I called it! Now Rob starts crying. It is around this time
he is starting to realize that he might be blacklisted from attending
Survivor events in the future. It is going to be like "Well
is Mariano going to be there? Then screw it, I don't want to
go." Rob starts tearing up and it totally ruins any chance
he might have had with this jury. You can't play mister badass
and then start apologizing for it at the end. You can't have it
both ways. Now he is going to come off looking like a big wuss.
- Amber's final speech is over and it is now time to vote. And
Jeff now reiterates the "Christy Smith Rule," which means you have to
remind the jury that they are voting for the WINNER this time
around, not the loser. Per CBS' new contractual clause, he must
repeat this instruction at least a half dozen times, each time
accompanied by a picture of Christy Smith looking hangdog and guilty.
- First vote. Jenna Lewis tells both of them that they should
step up and take credit for the way that they played. And she's
right, Amber and Rob both acted like a couple of sad sacks in
their jury speeches. They both should have shown more
pride. I have said it before, and I will say it again.
You CAN'T play cocky all along and then try to switch and be
humble at the end. No one will respect you at all if you do
that. Just ask Neleh.
- Kathy votes for Rob. I actually thought that she might. I
still don't think that Rob will win, but it might actually be 5-2 now
instead of 6-1 or 7-0.
- All the votes have been cast. I comment that win or lose, Rob
really loses. Because he has lost a ton of fans and prestige
tonight and I think that he knows it. Diana comments that it must
suck for Amber knowing that when she wins All Stars, she only won
because people hated Rob. It must kind of suck when you only win
Jeff takes the votes, and the urn, and he boards a helicopter.
And in a surprising cross-show promotion it is actually Donald Trump's
helicopter from the Apprentice. Jeff is shuttled all the way to
New York City. Although sadly, in a tragic accident, a chip from
the ballot box falls from the sky and it lands on Omarosa's head,
killing her instantly.
- One look at the New York skyline reminds me again that Rob can't
win. In yet another cheap shot, I once again comment that Boston
can't win anything in New York. Ever. They might as well
show Babe Ruth cast the deciding vote for Amber. After all, the
Babe was known for having an affinity for tasty young females, so
he probably would have done it.
- Probst lands in New York and he walks to Madison Square Garden.
But first he has to Frogger his way across a busy street filled with
10:01 - Probst
is in the studio and he is greeted by a raucous crowd of Survivor fans
(of which I am of course not a part of.) By the way, if you
look very closely, you can see S-C's own Murtz Jaffer in the seventh
row of the audience. Murtz is holding up a sign which reads
"Murtz" on one side and "Hogan Rules" on the other. It seems like
Murtz thought he was going to Wrestlemania tonight.
- We get our first glimpse of a cleaned-up Rob and Amber. Rob
looks a lot like Colby (or as Diana says, he looks a lot like Sean from
Real World: Boston.) And Amber apparently came straight out of a
Whitesnake music video from the 80's. She is wearing an "I
Heart Rob" T-Shirt. Rob Cesternino sees this and he excitedly
jizzes in his pants.
Ahhh, the big moment. Rob gets down on one knee and he
proposes. Amber of course refuses his deal, just like she did up
on the pole. Just kidding. Amber says yes. Then Rob
backstabs her and says he was lying. Again, just
kidding. Rob and Amber are now officially engaged. It is so
wonderful that we are now watching a chick show.
Diana: "At least Rob was smart enough to propose BEFORE she became a millionaire. That should help with the pre nup."
- Rob and Amber celebrate by doing it, right there on the bench, in
full view of the crowd. It is a shocking display of passion and
hormones, but I am reminded that this is not the first time this has
actually happened. Remember that Jenna Morasca and Matthew von
Ertfelda did it at least twice back during the Amazon finale.
- Diana comments that Rob and Amber remind her of Sean and Rachel from
the Real World (another reality show couple-turned-marriage). I
refuse to admit I have any idea who she is talking about. Or that
I ever watched the Real World at any point in my life in the first
place. Although PS Real World Seattle was the best.
- Here comes the big reveal... who is the winner? And how
much will Amber win by? I say she wins 5-2. So does Diana.
- Wow! It was close, and Rob ALMOST won. How did that
happen? But Amber pulls it out (duh) in a tight 4-3 vote.
Why on earth was it even that close? Did Christy get to cast a
vote? What went wrong? The gamblers in Vegas must be going
nuts. I don't think Amber actually beat the point spread.
- Amber wins! Amber wins All Stars! Amber doesn't even seem
to be all that excited about this, this win clearly wasn't a shock to
her at all. She clearly knew it was coming. Although maybe
she is just numb that she is suddenly also engaged as well. The
girl just might be in shock at the moment.
- Amber finishes by flipping the bird to every website and every
Survivor fan who trashed her before the season started. She then
makes a Jonny Fairplay "F" and "Y" gesture with her hands and she
struts off the stage. Then Lex and Tom descend on Rob and they
beat him to death with an uberspoon. It is a satisfying ending.
that's it. Another season of Survivor comes to a close, and the
most improbable winner in Survivor history has been crowned and
presented with a million dollar check. Well, by improbable
of course I mean "pre-season" improbable. Most people didn't give
Amber even a 1% chance to win when the cast was announced. Heck,
didn't even want her to be there in the game in the first place.
But once the season started, you would have to have been nuts not to
she was final four material, easy. Because I said it before and
of course I will say it again, quiet unthreatening under the radar
females always do
well on Survivor. And of course All-Star Survivor
was DESIGNED for a player
like Amber. In my mind, she was the most easily predicted
winner the show has ever had. And it's fun to say that about a
girl who Bryant Gumbel once referred to as "the dumb one"
good thing about Amber winning is that
it makes me look like a genius. That's right, almost EVERY
single one of my predictions came true in All Stars. Take away my
pre season love for Tina (whatever, bite me
Saboga), and I almost predicted the entire storyline of the
season. And that was without spoilers, too. I have to say
this was easily my most successful season ever as a prognosticator.
will be good to retire on a high note.
I am pretty
happy that Amber won, but I am even more happy that Rob lost.
Because while I was a big fan of Rob in Marquesas, I just couldn't get
behind him at all this season. I didn't like the way he treated
people. I didn't like how he tried so hard to make everything personal
repeated smear campaigns against Ethan, just so he could make Ethan
look bad in front of the girls.) And I just could NOT
condone the way that he handled Lex. All he had
to do was keep Lex around for one vote... just humor the guy for one
little vote... and he could have salvaged that relationship. And
Richard (and others) will say that Survivor is just a game. But
know how close Rob and Lex (and a lot of the players) were before
All Stars, you would understand that this was a lot bigger deal than
just a game. Rob and Lex were part of a very tight inner
circle of alums, in fact they might have been the closest two Survivors
out there outside of Rodger and Elisabeth. These guys were all
friends and they all hung out together
quite a bit. People like Richard and Colby (and probably
Shii Ann) are not a part of the tight alumni community, and they don't
hang around outside the game with anyone like Lex and Rob do. So
Richard doesn't really get it when he says
that it was just a game. It was only a game to -him- because he
give a crap about these people in the first place! So for Rob to
Lex like that... well... I can understand why Lex would be so
pissed. I don't blame him at all. And that's why the ending
of All Stars
wouldn't have worked for me unless the jury got a chance to take Rob
out behind the woodshed and give him the Deliverance treatment. I
wanted to see Boston Rob bent over a log, squirming and crying, during
final vote. That was the only ending for this ridiculous season
that would have satisfied
me. And it looks like I got my wish. The ending took a lame
season that was probably a giant mistake in the first place, and it
turned it into a lame season that was at least a little more satisfying.
eight seasons of Survivor, there is only ONE thing I
never got a chance to see that I always wished that I had. There
is one thing I always thought would be funny to see on Survivor.
And as the season wound to a close, I thought there might
be a chance that it might actually happen during All Stars.
Because you need a really pissed
off jury member for this to go down.
The thing that I
always wanted to see on Survivor was the
"retribution blindside jury vote." What that means is that
somebody who was blindsided during the game takes
the chance to blindside a player in the final two as revenge. For
example, someone like Tom goes up to Rob at the final Tribal Council
and he lobs him
the easiest softball question that he possibly can. Tom asks him
a jury question like
"Rob, tell us why you deserve to win." And then after Rob's
answer, Tom just nods his head and says "You voted me out, but I
respect you for it. You beat me at my own game, and I think you
win. So congratulations Rob, because you got my jury vote."
then Rob is all disarmed and he is feeling like he actually has a
chance to win. But when Tom goes up to cast his jury vote, he
voting for Amber instead. And his voting comment would be
something awesome like "You blindsided me, boy, and now I'm gonna
you. Hope you like how it feels, asshole."
Anyway, that is just
something I always wanted to see on Survivor. And I thought Tom
was going to do it during All Stars. He actually had that look in his
eye for a minute. So for any future player who reads this column, please
make my dreams come true and do this sort of thing on the actual show one day. I know you guys read
my column, so make me proud. Somebody please do a retribution
blindside jury vote in the final jury. I mean, come on, if you are going to use
your vote for revenge, you gotta do it right!
It has been a lot
of fun writing this column for the past three years. And it has
been a blast having actual Survivors write to me because of my column
or because of my stories. Thank you especially to:
Gabriel Cade - Who is
always classy and who always gets a bum rap from the online Survivor community.
Plus Gabe is still annoyed that I had him lose All-Star Greece on a
balance challenge, so I kind of owe him for that. Sorry!
Cooper - Who pulled some strings to get free tickets for Diana and me to
attend the Survivor: Thailand benefit brunch. And who actually
called me and left me a voice mail because she liked All-Star Alaska so
Tanya Vance - Who essentially wrote the ending to All-Star Survivor: Greece for me, and who is super nice.
Diane Ogden - Who helped me with my All-Star Greece story more than anyone.
Peter Harkey - Who I am still supposed to meet the next time I go to a Survivor event.
Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien - Who helped me with All-Star Hawaii when she didn't even know who I was.
Helen Glover - Who sent my wife a butterscotch cookie bar recipe in exchange for a copy of All-Star Alaska.
Brown - The first Survivor contact I ever had. Nick is a good guy
who has moved on to bigger and better things in his life.
Lex van den Berghe - Who is a great guy and a great ambassador for the show.
of course Rob Cesternino, who is my Survivor protege. Just kidding. Rob and I are mutual fans of one another for a reason. And I
have to say that if you don't vote for Rob C. to win the million
dollars for fan favorite, you are going to make me sad. Vote for Rob! He is the
best player never to win! Reward the guy for his contributions to
the franchise! He is still living at home in his basement, yet he is the
single most influential player the game has ever seen. Come on and help a
Yeah, okay, I know. I know that Rupert is going to win. So
do you. But at least help Rob make it close. I mean, the
guy didn't even get to talk at the reunion show. Help him win
back his pride. Besides, CBS already helped Boston Rob out by handing him a
construction challenge during the game. And now they are
making it up to the other Rob by handing him an internet challenge.
He is just supposed to win this. It is not even supposed to be close, you guys are his people!
Yes, Rupert will probably win. But let's
see how computer savvy Rupert nation really is. Because one thing you can say
about your average Rob C. fan is that they probably know their way around the internet.
That's just about it for me.
In retrospect, it has been a lot of fun. I have been with
Survivor-Central since its very first day on the internet, back when Murtz was putting
together a new website and he was trolling for recap writers over at Survivor
Sucks (right after Australia ended). You see, S-C was originally
supposed to be a spoiler site, we didn't even have any columnists. But
Murtz found me, I said that I wanted to write recaps, and that is where it
started. My first recap was for Africa, episode 1. I titled it "Frank
and Beans." After Africa ended, I talked Murtz into giving
me a weekly column during Marquesas and that is where my readership
really started to take off. And I am proud to say that I eventually helped
turn Survivor-Central into a columnist's utopia. I am glad I got a
chance to help convert S-C from a dreaded and evil spoiler
site (boo!) into a more noble and enlightened fan site (yay!).
But seriously, Murtz has created a great site here and I am glad I was a
part of it. Thank you to Murtz Jaffer for giving me a chance.
okay, I might as well come right out and say it. Even if the ONLY
reason I ever wanted to became a columnist in the first place was so I
could stick it to Mighty Big TV for not hiring me a couple of years
Most people have never heard that side of the backstory.
it has been fun. Drop me an email sometime. Now it's off to
Valhalla, now I get to go back to watching the show as just some
regular random fan. There will be no
more spoilers for me, no more stressing over what to write each week,
and no more
hearing about how some douchebag wrote a book that celebrates how he
spoiled Amazon and how he ruined it for everyone. Now it is back
watching the show and enjoying it as a fan.
Keep on pushing through the pain.
The S-C Apprentice:
was my last column ever. *cue sad music* But as I have
mentioned before... I will be running a contest in the offseason called
"The S-C Apprentice." Basically I will be choosing between 10 potential
writers to see who gets to take over this column (and the Power
Rankings) next season. I will be running the game just like the
real Apprentice show, only it will all be writing challenges. The
results will be posted on the message board all throughout the
offseason (as well as a writeup of who gets fired each week). If you are
interested in playing, and possibly taking over as the writer of
Survivor Strategy next season, drop me an email. I hope to hear
from a lot of talented writers and Survivor fans. This could be your
big shot to become a columnist! We already have 30+ really good
Lanza is a 30-year old writer and programmer from Los Angeles. He
is the lead author of the S-C All-Star
Stories as well as the smash hit Survivor: Okinawa
(currently on the finale.) He also wants to become a big shot TV
writer someday. If you happen to work for a TV show, please drop him a