Pearl Island Strategy #13: It's All Good
Written by Mario Lanza
"Sooner or later the question comes up in every medical student's
career. How much shock-trauma can the patient stand? Different
instructors answer the question in different ways, but cut to its base
level, the answer is always another question: How badly does the
patient want to survive?"
-Stephen King, Survivor Type
another season has come and gone. And now, here it is, my final
Survivor Strategy column of the season. As per tradition, I will be
writing a running commentary on the finale. These are just the comments
from my wife Diana and me as we sit and watch the finale in our living
room. These types of columns are always a lot of fun to do and are...
let's face it... just a lot less work than a normal column. I am always
kind of burned out by the end of a season, so this is my favorite way
to send off each season in style. No strategy... no
predictions... no game philosophy. Just the two of us sitting
around and cracking jokes.
But first, I have a few end-of-the-season comments:
There have been two spoilers floating around the internet all season,
and only one of the two can possibly come true tonight. And I have to
say... again... that I HATE spoilers. I hate knowing anything about the
show ahead of time, and I think it is a ridiculous pasttime for people
to spend so much time trying to ruin the Survivor experience for
others. But that being said, it has been a long time since a finale has
really surprised me. Inevitably during the course of every season, some
pinhead will email me and say something like "Oh yeah, I heard Lill
comes back to the game and she makes final two." It is nearly
impossible to go into a finale with an open mind anymore, the spoilers
are just too good and people just talk too damn much. So I knew early
on that Lill was coming back, and that the final two is supposed
to be Lill and Darrah, and I know that Darrah is supposed to be our
winner. However... that being said... there has been another huge rumor
all season that Sandra is the winner. Only one of the two big
rumors can possibly come true tonight, and frankly I hope that neither
of them does. I hope that Jon wins and just pisses everyone off.
Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?
* I have to make a
HUGE correction to my column last week. I said that Pearl Islands
finished taping right before All-Star was announced, and that timing
led me to believe that we had a winner that wasn't going to be very
popular. Well, it turns out I was wrong. Pearl Islands didn't
start taping until a few weeks after the All Stars announcement.
I had forgotten the gap between even and odd seasons, so I was
incorrect. A few people pointed this out to me and now I stand
corrected. In related news, I am an idiot. :)
* I am
going to make two predictions for tonight's finale, and we will see how
close I come. First off, I predict that Sandra will win. I did it in my
column last week and here I am sticking to it. I am not that
particularly confident in my prediction, I am mainly doing it just to
defy the Darrah spoiler. I can't bear to envision a world with Darrah
or Lill as a Survivor winner. And Jon isn't going to win, we all
know that. So by default I gotta go with Changa. My other
prediction is that I bet Jon Dalton will come off very well at the
reunion show. I bet he is much more charming and much more personable
in real life than we ever saw in the episodes. Murtz is willing to take
money on this bet, by the way, so we will see who turns out to be
* I was hoping to go to the Pearl Islands finale
this year but apparently no websites are getting tickets this year. And
it is killing me because the finale is taped like three blocks from
where I work. I can see CBS Television City from my desk as I
type this! Although if you remember my Thailand report from the
finale last year, CBS sat all the websites in the very back, in
something like row ZZZZZZ, seats 990-999. So the fact that
websites get no love this year doesn't really surprise me. My seat just
got downgraded this year, from the back row of the studio to the couch
in my living room. Oh well. Maybe next year.
The Running Comnentary
- We are sitting live in the Lanza family living room... in scenic
Carson, California. Your hosts for the evening are me (Mario) and my
wife (Diana). We are actually not watching the episode live, we are
watching it on tape, but I will write it up as if we were
watching at 8:00. Our snacks for the evening are Diet Pepsi and
White Castle Cheeseburgers. And with that, the show is ready to
8:00 - The
opening montage and recap will feature approximately 12 minutes on
Rupert, 1 minute on Jon, and 30 seconds on Osten's torch. That's right,
the all-Rupert masturbatory tribute is finally here.
- In the opening montage, we see Lill losing the Morgan fishing hook
and then crying. This will mark the first of many times that Lill will
cry during the finale tonight. For your convenience, I will keep a
- We see Jon's dead grandma lie again and, as always, it is hilarious.
It gets funnier every single time I see it. Even Diana will
begrudgingly admit that it makes her laugh. I think it is the shot of
Thunder D wiggling and prancing out from behind a rock that does it.
Face it, Thunder D is funny. He just is. Diana says
"The worst part of it is... you get devastating news and it has to be
from THIS guy. That's terrible."
8:06 - In the recap, Darrah starts to strategize out loud. My ears immediately start to bleed. Make it stop!
- The opening credits begin! Yay for the credits. All in all, this was
a great season and I am sad to see the Pearl Islands opening credits
for the last time. Congratulations to all involved on a
truly amazing 13 episodes.
- We are back from commercial and the show starts. Lill sees Jeff
carrying a pitcher of juice and she immediately bursts into tears. She
apparently really loves antioxidants. LILL'S CRYING TOTAL FOR TONIGHT:
8:13 - Lill
makes two references to the fact that she is a Scout. I would
like to keep a running total of how many times she does this too.
It has a chance to actually beat the crying total.
Then she asks if Jeff will join her Boy Scout troop.
8:13 - Jeff gives Lill her letter from home and... you guessed it... she bursts into tears. CRYING TOTAL: 3
8:14 - Here is a funny finale riff:
Lill (To Jeff): Jeff, do you wanna join a Boy Scout troop?
Diana: Yes, but not yours.
8:14 - Jeff leaves camp and this causes Lill to burst into tears. TOTAL: 4
- Darrah is talking and crying at the same time. I make a mean joke
about how that is like Jon trying to lift a weight and dunk a
basketball at the same time. Diana admonishes me and I vow to be nicer
for the rest of the show. We will see how long this lasts.
- Sandra opens her letter from home. It is from her kids and it begins,
"Dear motherfucker..." Okay, I bet that joke got a laugh. It does seem
odd that her letter is typed, though. That seems very formal for a
letter from her kids.
- Lill cries when she reads her letter from home. TOTAL: 5. Jon glares
at her and sighs at her theatrics, it is a pretty funny scene. Although
Lill's son drops a really neat Pete Rose quote on her in his
letter. He writes (paraphrased), "In every contest there is a
winner and there is a loser. I prefer to have someone else be the
loser." I like that sentiment. Nice job by Junior Morris.
- Jon goes off on Lill's crying spree, and he makes fun of her for
putting on such a show about it. He then IMMEDIATELY turns his
attention to strategy, and starts driving a wedge between Darrah and
Lill. And within 30 seconds, he now has Lill hating Darrah. What??
Is it that easy?? I swear, you can debate the merits of Jon's ethics
all you want but he is either the greatest evil strategist the show has
ever seen, or he just has the weakest competition. I can already
guarantee that Jon won't be the first one to go tonight. Darrah and
Lill just don't have a chance against him right now.
- Jon accuses Lill of pulling "Hearts and Flowers" and he says she will
do the exact same thing in front of a jury. And it works. Lill goes off
and she pouts after her spat with Darrah. Wow. Jon gives
a fun smug little grin as he watches his wedge plan come to
fruition. Darrah then pulls a Christy, where she refuses to
commit to an obvious slam dunk vote against Lill. If Darrah gets
voted off first, she now has no one to blame but herself.
8:18 - Lill cries in a confessional because no one will take her to the final two. She is too likable. CRYING TOTAL: 6
8:19 - Darrah with another good Darrah-ism: "Lill is being selfish. All she wants is to win, like everyone." Wow, good point.
- It is official. Darrah or Lill will be leaving first! Sandra
confirmed it and now I am thrilled. Number one, because Jon will be
safe. And number two, because it shatters the whole stupid Lill-Darrah
final two spoiler. I am so happy. Now the ending will be
unpredictable! Yay for us and boo for the spoilers. Piss on all of
8:21 - Jon
explains his theory on how to play this game. Create tension between
two people and inevitably they will both wind up on the chopping block.
This is a very savvy strategy which has worked well for him all season.
Jon might not be the best player ever, but he might be the best player
ever at escaping a vote. He and Sandra are both very well schooled in
that skill, and that is why both of them will wind up in the final
three. I tentatively predict that Darrah will leave first tonight.
8:25 - The final four immunity challenge! The players file into Tribal Council.
- Does Rupert always have to sit in the middle of the jury? Is it
written somewhere in his contract? Is it a CBS clause? Because he is
ALWAYS front and center, like he is the king and he owns the jury. He
also still has on his rainbow tie dyed tank top, which I guess is now
officially his trademark. Like Big Tom and his overalls, Rupert will
never be allowed to wear anything else again in his life.
- A new twist! Jeff announces that the immunity challenge will be the
jury against the players. It is neat idea and all, but there is
no way that any one player could beat a five-headed jury.
But then again a "no immunity tonight" twist is a pretty nifty
idea. Hmm... I will have to use that some time in one of my
All-Star stories. I like it. Oh and, as always, Rupert holds the
tablet and he will be the one answering the questions for the jury.
8:27 - Throughout the challenge, Jon totally mugs and plays to the jury. It is pretty funny.
- Only Jon guesses that the best way to avoid a shark attack is to stay
out of the water. "Only the smart aleck got it right." That was a
funny moment. Jon once again mugs to the jury.
- The jury wins the challenge so none of the final four are immune. Big
surprise. But I would like to point out that Jon DID beat all the
women, just like he said that he would. Hooray for cocky predictions
Jeff asks the players about their letters from home and Lill tries so,
so hard not to cry. It is kind of touching to actually see her
hold it back. But then of course she cracks and she eventually
lets the waterworks go. She starts sobbing and Jon makes fun of
her to the jury. Diana suggests that CBS should put little hearts and
flowers on the screen. Lill made a valiant attempt to hold it all
together... but she broke in the end so it still counts. CRYING TOTAL:
8:33 - It is
Darrah's turn to answer questions and you can just see the disinterest
in the jury's body language. They are all saying "Please just
vote her off. We don't want to listen to her in the final two." It is
pretty funny to watch. None of the jurors are interested in
anything she says.
8:36 - Darrah is voted off. She appears to be nuuuumb with shock. Diana and I make this exact joke at the exact same time.
- In her final words, Darrah is upset. She claims she only
weighs 60 pounds soaking wet. I guess scales work differently down
in the south. But I have to say that by the end I developed a little
bit of a soft spot for Darrah. I make jokes but I really did kind of
like her by the end. I didn't want her to win, of course, but that has
more to do with spoilers than with her. She got blindsided, but
she did make quite a run the last couple of episodes. She won
three immunities and her only real fault (as a character) was that she
just didn't talk very much. But I tip my cap to her, she did well.
I am glad she is out of the game but she was one of the good
8:41 - We are back from commercial and we can't resist one last Darrah joke. I apologize.
Jon (to Sandra): Do you think Darrah was thinking about it when she left?
Diana: No, she was busy thinking about boob jobs and chocolate chips.
- The Pearl Islands Rites of Passage (tm) begins! The final three will
be burning each player's torch on the deck of a shipwreck. Wow, what a
cool idea! But the funniest thing is that Jon and Sandra are two of the
people that will be doing this. Two out of the final three players
participating in this ritual don't have a whole lot of respect for
anyone else, so is is going to be amusing to watch. It would be
hilarious if Sandra dropped an mf bomb on somebody.
- The final three are supposed to carry the torches over to the boat
and Diana wonders if Jon will be able to carry four torches at once. I
think this is a very valid concern.
- We get a sad shot of Osten's torch, laying back all alone on the
ground at Tribal Council. It's funny, every time we see that shot
it looks sadder and lonelier and more pathetic. In fact, if you look
close you can see that Mark Burnett has actually taken a dump on it.
8:45 - Ah, the first tribute. Jon says that Nicole had a "rockin' body." Kinda brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it? *sniff*
8:46 - Lill cries when she sees Skinny Ryan's torch. Bet you couldn't see that one coming. CRYING TOTAL: 8.
Lill: "Ryan, I didn't cry in this game until you were voted out."
Diana: "Yeah, six whole days."
- Jon looks like they are forcing him to do all these tributes at
gunpoint. He clearly doesn't want to be here. In fact,
I wonder how many takes they had to do before he stopped saying stuff
like "That's right, I beat you too, you fucker! Kiss my ass, I
blindsided you! Ric Flair!" I mean gosh, can you imagine if
Lill wasn't here to be all sappy and emotional? What if the final three
was Darrah, Sandra, and Jon? What a production nightmare.
- Lill gives a VERY classy speech about Andrew and how he always wanted
to be a good and fair leader. That was very big of her after all that
she went through. So kudos to Lill and to good sportsmanship.
Although... I am guessing the fact that you got revenge probably
helps you to like your enemy better.
8:47 - Rupert's torch. Jon says that Rupert had a "rockin' body." Just kidding.
8:48 - For Christa's tribute we get a slow-motion shot of her famous "slingshot face." Very funny. Very Christa.
- Ha ha! At the very end of the tribute they tack on a last minute
"tribute to Osten." You know the producers didn't want to do
that. I bet somebody threatened a lawsuit if they didn't at least
say something about him. But it gets tacked on at the end,
and it amuses me that according to the producers all of Osten's
highlights were bad. He is drowning, then he looks sad, then he is
drowning again, then he quits. Very touching. Very inspirational.
- The shipwreck is burned to the ground in a wonderful sendoff.
You know, in my stories I put a lot of time thinking up good sendoff
tributes for Rites of Passage and this one was fantastic. If I ever
write a story set in Norway I will do a Viking funeral sendoff just
like this one. That was one of the best Rites of Passage
ever and it was fun to watch.
- The final three immunity challenge begins! Jon, Sandra, and
Lill are balancing on crates in the ocean. "This is based on an old
pirate torture." Well, it's not REALLY a torture, since the prisoner
could just jump off into the water any time they wanted. But okay
we will just go with it.
8:55 - Jeff calls Sandra "the lippiest mother we've ever had on the show." Hee hee.
- Sandra falls! Now it is Jon against Lill. And... there it
is. Jon offers her a final two deal. Yeah like that wasn't
coming. And in a very funny exchange, Lill keeps refusing his
deals, much to Jon's annoyance and surprise. He simply cannot believe
that she is turning him down. "Do you understand how deals work,
Lill??" "I take you to the final two. That's what a deal is!"
Jeff cracks up at this whole exchange, it is pretty darn
8:57 - Well
this is interesting. Lill starts to talk trash. She tells Jon
that these are just crunches and that she can stand up here all day if
she really wanted to. Yeah, Lill! It is nice to see her turn into
bad ass for a change. She totally has Jon psyched out now, you
can just see it.
8:57 - Great exchange.
Jeff: I think Lill just said "Game on," Jon.
Jon: I think Lill just said "Game over."
the way, you can interpret Jon's comment one of two ways. Either Jon
knows he is screwed, or he knows that Lill is about to throw away a
million dollars. In either case, he is probably right.
8:58 - Jon tries to strike one last deal and Lill tries to change it around.
Jon: "Well then that's not really a deal, Lill."
ha. I am really enjoying this scene. This might go down in my top ten
funniest Survivor scenes ever: Jon and Lill arguing over deals.
- No surprise. Lill wins immunity. You could see it coming a mile
away. But it is impressive that both of them (especially Jon)
lasted nearly three hours on those crates! I would never have predicted
that. But watch, Lill is going to go martyr herself now. She will vote
Jon off and ruin any chance she ever had at winning. She is going to
choose glory over victory. That's right Isabella, are you reading
this?? Take note!
- Lill claims that her winning immunity "had nothing to do with
strategy." Damn right it didn't. It was as far from strategy as you can
possibly get. You know she is going to vote Jon off, you can just see
9:04 - Sandra
says that if Lill is smart, she will take Jon to the final two.
Everybody seems to know this except for Lill. Sandra is going
to be unbeatable.
- Getting ready for Tribal Council. Everyone packs up their stuff and
Lill starts singing "Amazing Grace." You know, it is times like this
that Lill can be a little much to take.
Diana: "Ah, now I remember why they voted her off on day 9."
- Final Tribal Council starts. There is no suspense, so why even
bother. You might as well hand Sandra a million dollar check right now.
But I do have to say it is a little sad that the Sandra-Jon feud will
never really be resolved. It was such a great storyline, and it
lasted all season, but it never quite ever reached any sort of a
climax. Oh well. This is how you can tell that Survivor is
unscripted. Sometimes important storylines just kind of fizzle in
Jon is voted out of the game. Well, poop. I am sad, but of
course I knew it was coming. It wasn't as tough for me to watch
as Rob Cesternino leaving was (I can still barely watch that episode.)
As I predicted a long time ago, Jon goes out exactly where
he should have gone, in third place. Sadly, Jon was just never
accepted. The fans never really embraced him. He just didn't fit
in. It is INSANE how much I needed him to win... and now he is
out of the game. So much for my dreams.
9:12 - Sandra has a happy look on her face. She is already spending the million dollars in her head.
- We go to commercial and Diana and I discuss the last vote. It
was definitely strategic suicide but in all honesty I doubt that
Lill could have beaten Jon in a final vote either. But who cares,
really, because she has now effectively taken that chance out of her
hands. She has martyred herself in favor of Sandra. And I know a lot of
people will compare Lill to Colby after the season is over, but in
truth they aren't really all that similar. Colby fulfilled a promise to
a friend, and took Tina along just like he promised he would. Sure, he
lost, but he lost for the right reasons. But Sandra had no idea she was
going to the final two. Lill threw away any chance she had
at victory just so that Sandra could wind up winning over Jon. To
me it seemed like an attempt to martyr yourself just because you wanted
to be a martyr. Because that is Lill, the ultimate victim. You could
see this decision coming in the editing all season. This was her
Diana again gloats that she picked Jon to finish 3rd in the very first
episode. And I point out that hey, if you go back and look, I did too.
I wrote that since Jon was my favorite, he would have to finish third.
That is just the way that it works. And of course it came
true again. But hey, third place is probably the best thing that
could have happened to a player like him. Jon got the hero's
exit. He was the last truly feared player in the game. I hope I am not
the only one who will miss him.
- Back from commercial, and the season is all but over now. We
are going to have an Ethan ending-- a fan favorite in a final two vote
they cannot possibly lose. So just sit back and enjoy it, at least this
won't be stressful for anyone. Let the Changa celebration begin
9:18 - Lill
claims that she has more friends on the jury than Sandra. Lill
officially loses the game right here. With this statement she
begins the slow, inexorable march to her doom. Maybe she was confused
and she thought it was the OUTCAST jury that would be voting.
Because in the real world, I am predict a 7-0 Sandra win.
9:19 - Lill: "Jon thought he could just demand my vote, and I would do whatever he wanted!"
Diana: "Well, it worked up until yesterday."
- Sandra makes a very funny comment about people being blindsided at
Tribal Council this season and always being "all over the damn place"
trying to find their torch. Ha! Sandra never fails to make me laugh.
- Lill makes a very valid point about people at home not being able to
judge the actions of the players in the game. That is actually
something I am glad she said. I know I am as guilty of this as anyone,
but it IS a stressful game and we cannot possibly relate to what they
are going through while we are sitting at home. As columnists, we
should all be reminded of this from time to time. Yes, me too.
9:22 - Sandra predicts that the final vote will be 4-3. Diana and I both predict 7-0. Time to find out!
- Final Tribal Council. And Jon is now sporting the porn mustache to
end all porn mustaches! Wow, that thing is a sight to see. And he
struts into Tribal Council like he owns the place. I am glad
to see that he hasn't changed. By the way, why is Lill still wearing
the immunity sword? Does the last immunity winner always wear it for
the final Tribal Council? I don't remember.
- Opening statements. Sandra claims that she was always a team player
(bad answer). Lill does okay but she insults jurors by saying
that some of them "like to snooze a lot" and that they "all turned
their backs on me." She also starts speaking in the third person, like
Reggie Jackson. Apparently Lillian Morris did this for Lillian Morris.
9:30 - Time for the jury questions.
- Ryan O opens by saying "Is it really fair since you were only here
for 29 days?" BAM! I was wondering how long before somebody would play
the Outcast Card. But seriously, every single jury question should
start that way. "As an Outcast... how do you think...?" Like I said, I
would really not be surprised if Sandra won this vote 7-0. In fact I
would almost be disapponted if it was anything but 7-0.
- Sandra claims she never rode any coattails "because I'm still
standing here!" Yay for Sandra. Cocky is good. Damn right I deserve to
Lill evades Rupert's question and of course he sighs... heavily.
But then he makes Valentine's Day eyes as Sandra explains that
she didn't know he was going to be leaving that night.
Sandra: "I voted for Jon, cause I was mad at him for some reason."
Diana: "She doesn't even remember why! She was mad at him so many times she forgot that specific reason!"
Sandra handles Rupert's question beautifully, and he practically walks
over to kiss her on the cheek. He is so incredibly easy to read.
Um, yeah, it is now 2-0 Sandra by the way.
- Tijuana asks the final two to slam one another. And Lill goes off on
the most ironic tangent when she claims Sandra rides coattails and that
"I said to her, do you have a mind of your own and can you figure out
things for yourself?" It is reasons like this why Lill tends to drive
me nuts, she is so incredibly naive and forgetful of what has happened
in the past. I can name at least five examples of where Jon had to tell
her what to do, and she doesn't even seem to remember this. Sandra
follows this with a wonderful answer that "Lillian is responsible for
every single one of you sitting on that jury." Sandra just completely
blows Lill out of the water on this question. (Author's Note: And
Tijuana later voted for Lill???)
- Christa goes off on Lill hiding behind her scout uniform and she
comes down on her pretty hard. Then Christa lobs the ultimate softball
question to Sandra, "Tell us your greatest scheme!" I'm surprised the
two of them didn't just start talking baby talk. It should be 4-0
Sandra by this point.
Burton asks how well the two of them would survive on an island alone.
It is a boring question and Jon appears to be falling asleep in the
jury. Neither answer is all that great although you can tell from
Burton's response how he is going to be voting.
Burton (to Sandra): Good answer!
Burton (to Lill): Please just stop talking now.
- Darrah speaks. Uh oh. She asks how Sandra and Lill got where they
are. Sandra just NAILS this question, saying she got here because
people had other agendas and because they always had other fish to fry.
And as long as it wasn't her, she would just go along with it. Open and
shut, bam, that's all she needed to say. Lill says she is here because
she was never a threat.
Diana: "I'm here because of a twist that brought me back after I rested in a lodge for 10 days."
- Jon speaks. Jeff introduces him by saying "I'm sure you have
something interesting to say." So Jon comes up and he asks Sandra
how well she represented Puerto Ricans. She NAILS this question too,
"If I don't look out for number one, aint nobody gonna look out for
me." Man, she is very good at this. Lill doesn't stand a chance. But to
her credit, Lill comes back with a wonderful answer too. She claims she
never wanted to wear a Scout uniform in the game, that it wasn't her
choice. She says it wasn't her idea and that the jurors shouldn't be
able to penalize her for it. That was a very good answer
too... but it is also too late. Lill's awesome speech at the end is
simply too little, too late.
9:50 - Time for last rebuttals. I still think Sandra will be winning 7-0.
- Both women give great final speeches. Lill's is particularly strong,
calling it "bullshit" that people hold her to a different standard
because she is wearing a Scout uniform. She says if she could do
it all over again she would never tell anyone that she is a Scout. And
she makes an excellent point. It is one of the best Survivor jury
speeches I have ever heard. But the problem is that it won't make
a difference. No one really respects Lill and the jury is probably too
young to be swayed by that argument anyway. It was a great moment for
Lill, but she is about to be trounced.
- The jury starts to vote and I predict we will see none of the votes.
Because that is a sure sign of a blowout. And I am surprised that
we actually see Tijuana's vote for Lill. I wonder if the producers made
her do that so it wouldn't be a 7-0 shutout. By the way, I am
only half kidding about that.
- In a surprise cameo, Heidi Strobel pops by to ask if anyone here
thinks she should have won the Amazon. "Does anyone here think I was
the best player? Anyone? Please just say it."
- As the jurors vote I am reminded that Rupert LOVES Sandra because she
never actually turned on him. And the irony of course is that if
he HAD stuck around longer, she would have had to vote him out
eventually. Of course she would have, that's just what Sandra does.
I wonder if this ever occurred to Rupert.
10:00 - THE LIVE VOTE TALLY! WELCOME TO LOS ANGELES (where it happens to be raining right now. Go figure.)
- Wow, everyone in the jury cleans up nice. Everyone on stage has the
exact same clothes they had for day one, that is a nice touch. And here
comes the vote reveal.
- Sandra wins! 6-1! The only surprise to me is that it wasn't 7-0. Yay
for Sandra. And congratulations to all involved on a great season. From
start to finish, Pearl Islands was great. See you next season for All
a wonderful ending to a great season. It all worked out exactly as it
should have worked out, the right person won, and the editing was top
notch all season. Because that was really my biggest beef with
Amazon. It wasn't so much that Jenna won, I was more upset
because the storyline didn't suggest that Jenna was going to win all
season. In retrospect you can see why it happened now (Jenna was
popular, Matt wasn't) but the ending just seemed wrong at the time. And
it still seems wrong if you go back and watch it. The editors
just totally blew it.
But this season was the complete
opposite. Sandra played a nearly flawless game from start to finish,
and there were lots of clues she was going to win if you go back and
look. In fact, I can't believe I didn't call her as the winner earlier
on. She played the exact same strategy as Vecepia, and here I am having
written that Vecepia was the single best Survivor player of all time.
My goodness, Sandra just tagged along with the vote the exact same way,
in the exact same style, and I never even caught on that history was
repeating itself. I kick myself for missing it now, but Sandra
was basically a Vecepia upgrade. She was Vecepia version 2.0, if you
will. She is liquid metal. Because unlike Vee, Sandra never actually
received a single vote. She just tore through the game from start to
finish and at no point was she ever actually in any real danger.
So I will go on record as saying she was a BETTER player than Vee,
because Sandra was a little more proactive. Vee just avoided the vote.
Sandra deflected it.
Sandra will be one of those
universally respected winners that we very seldom get on this show. We
haven't had a huge fan favorite win Survivor since Ethan, and I think
that Sandra will be thought of more highly than Ethan was. I think her
legacy is going to be solid. After all, she is likable, she is
funny, she is strategic, and she is respected. What more do you
want? Her winning was the perfect way to end a wonderful season.
do have to say this though. I kind of worry about Lill after the
season. The fallout from this finale is going to hit her pretty hard.
She just got TRASHED in the final jury, and it was on a personal level,
not a strategic level. I wonder if she is going to need some time to
recover from all of this. She seems like the type of person who in real
life would have been rattled by the anger that everyone was directing
at her. Now personally, I don't know if they were being fair to
her, or if they were just being poor sports, but I can say that if I
was a juror I probably would have treated her the exact same way. She
is one of those people who just seems to rub other people the wrong
way, for whatever reason. And I wasn't surprised that she was
trashed as badly as she was. I am sure she is a nice person in real
life and all, but I can definitely see why the jury was angry with her.
She tends to be inconsistent in a lot of her actions.
the grand scheme of things, Jon Dalton will go down in history as one
of my all time favorite Survivor players. I was entertained by
him from start to finish, and the franchise will never be the same
now because of him. And because of dead grandma. He was a
great player, he was a scheming player, and yes I do think he actually
would have beaten Lill in a final vote. He set out to be the star
of the show and he suceeded, and I hope that people appreciate how much
be brought to the season. Whether they liked him or not. But at
the same time... Jon was NOT the best player in Survivor: Pearl
And as usual, the right person won.
is a comedy writer and sometimes-employed programmer from Los Angeles.
He is also the writer of the new Survivor: Okinawa project, which
debuts next week at Survivor-Central. Watch for it!