Ken’s overplaying of the game in the belief that he’s the mastermind came back to bite him again in Survivor: Gabon Episode 13, as his closest ally Crystal was voted out. That brings us down to a final five of Susie Smith, Matty Whitmore, Ken Hoang, Sugar Kiper, and Bob Crowley. One of them will be the Survivor: Gabon winner.
Susie has been, well, on the show and stuff. Aside from flipping and taking out Marcus, there’s not much to say about her. Matty’s been on the wrong side pretty much the whole way but somehow has survived in spite of that. At the beginning of the season, I was having trouble deciding whether Sugar was just an airhead or whether she was great at this game (that whole Ace thing didn’t help her any), and I’d have to say at this point that it’s the latter. Ken has played a strong game. Too strong. His last two strategic moves burned him, and his problem has been that he thinks he’s so great at this game, which has led to one too many bad aggressive moves. For the most part, Bob had a pretty lackluster run the first couple months, but he’s coming on strong toward the end both in terms of his ability to strategize and also as a physical threat.
Survivor finale delayed by 60 Minutes/football overrun? That’s new.
Ken’s not happy that he was completely in the dark, or that Bob made up a deal in his head that sounded similar to the deal they made together.
Sugar wants to be in the final three with Bob and Matty. As bad plans go, that’s a good one. Susie should get minimal votes, and Bob stands the chance of getting a lot of votes. Sugar manages to convince Ken that she’s still with him.
The immunity challenge is as complicated as it usually is at this stage. First they need to dig a hole big enough to get under a wall. Susie is the first through the wall. How did? How? Ken and Bob are behind her, followed by Matty and then Sugar. From there they’ll walk on some planks to get through an elevated maze. If they fall off, they have to go back to the start. Matty is the first to fall. Susie figures out the maze, and Sugar and Ken just follow her (this was a dumb idea). Bob finishes next then Matty. Then they will have to open a series of knots to open a gate. Opening the gate takes them inside the maze of Gabonese huts. There are 25 of them, three of which have puzzle pieces. They need three bags to start. Matty gets the first bag. He retains his lead and is first to two. Sugar overtakes him and is the first to start her puzzle, followed by Bob, Matty, Ken, but not Susie. We’ve seen in the past that puzzles are between Ken and Bob, with Bob having an edge. Bob wins immunity for his fifth straight challenge.
Ken still thinks he’s the mastermind, and he plans to just sit around and chill. The first thing he needs to buy himself with his earnings is a clue.
Matty doesn’t let Susie in on the plan. He tells her to just trust her gut.
Matty promises Sugar final two, and they want to get rid of both Ken and Susie.
At tribal council, Bob’s wins come up. For some reason, Matty builds Bob up in front of the jury and tries to make him sound like Superman. Susie, meanwhile, says she has no strategy other than to do as she’s told.
Ken brings up how Bob is trying to back out of the deal, and Bob doesn’t hold back, bringing up the blindside idea.
With 3 votes, Ken has been voted out, to the delight of the jury. Kenny had control of this game, but he overdid the master manipulator role, making aggressive moves where they were not needed. Ken goes out with one of the classier exits we’ve seen and doesn’t appear to hold any hard feelings.
And then there were four. Susie believes she’s a goner if she doesn’t win immunity, but she tells Matty she’d vote Bob if she were to win.
It’s time for the final immunity challenge (yes, we’re back to a final three again, which I never particularly cared for, since one person’s usually a throw away). Each player will have 200 wooden tiles that they will use to build a house of cards 10 feet tall. Isn’t there supposed to be like an endurance competition? 9 minutes in, Sugar’s house collapses, and everybody’s back at or near square one. She drops again at 6.5 feet, and Susie loses hers for a second time as well. Bob follows, putting Matty a bit ahead of everybody, though his strategy of building a solid foundation first may pay off in the long run. Bob’s collapses again, and he’s pretty much out. Now it’s a race between the other three to see who can be highest at 30 minutes, since they don’t need 10 feet if that time mark is passed. When Susie gets to 8 feet, she sits on her lead because she doesn’t want to risk anything. Matty and Sugar are trying to catch her about a foot behind, but they are unable to. Susie wins immunity. If there were no time limit, Matty probably would have won.
The final three plans have been dashed by underestimating Susie. The smart thing here is to get rid of Bob, as it was before. He’s a likeable guy, and there’s too much risk that there will be a lot of those “winning challenges matters” people on the jury.
Matty tells Bob he’s got to vote him out, and Sugar says she’s got to vote him out as well. Susie takes a different approach. She wants to get rid of Sugar, so she asks Bob if he thinks he would get a lot of jury votes. He refuses to cooperate. He also doesn’t want to answer whether she would have been voted out if he or Sugar won immunity. At least make an effort to come up with reasonable answers that may sway her vote.
As if Bob didn’t notice he’s in trouble, Susie keeps mentioning how she won again and again and again and again, apparently without realizing how it sounds.
Sugar’s got another bad plan. She’s thinking of forcing a tie, in which case she risks a huge jury threat getting through. Bob hopes the tiebreaker would be making fire.
Matty makes it obvious he’s voting for Bob because he can’t stab Sugar after she gave him the idol. Bob says that he thinks people like Matty, so he’d rather go up against Sugar and Susie in the end. It all comes down to Sugar, who has to decide between a brother figure and a father figure.
With two votes each, there is a tie. Because there are only four people left, it’s a firemaking tiebreaker. Bob is first to get fire, but it doesn’t last. He manages to revive it, though, and Matty’s still out of this. Bob wins. Matty has been eliminated.
Sugar’s played a better game than Bob, but it’s dumb moves like this that make me question her.
Susie says it’s important that she succeed just in trying. She’s become very confident and comfortable despite the rough start.
Bob doesn’t think he outwitted or outplayed the jury but that he did follow through on his original plan of just being himself and using his survival skills and personality.
Sugar plays up her gameplay, which was mostly impressive.
Charlie asks why they should be voted for in this new assessment, which would be a stark contrast from when they were voted so lowly in the tribal rankings previously. Susie’s response is that she’s trying. Sugar’s response is that they don’t necessarily have to vote for her, but it would be nice. Then he asks Bob about the intimate cuddling and spooning.
Crystal calls Susie a coattail rider. Then she tells Bob that Sugar controlled him. His response is that he, too, was riding coattails. She wants to know why Sugar voted her out, and Sugar’s response is because of how badly she treats people (is Sugar trying to throw the game away with these answers?).
Susie tells Ken she deserves to win because she’s an underdog. Sugar tells Ken she backstabbed him because he was a bigger threat than Susie. Now it’s time to revisit the deal. Bob repeats that Ken was trying to turn, but what Ken wanted was an admission that he should have given up the idol and been voted out just so he could keep his word to someone who was plotting against him.
Corinne will only vote for Susie if she agrees to have her vocal chords removed. Corinne doesn’t like one dimensional Bob and wants him to be a bitch like she is. She wants convincing that he doesn’t like Sugar. His response is about the laughing over the fake idol with Randy. Now she’s got a comment for Sugar, and it’s perhaps the most heartless jury comment ever, whether much of it is true or not. “You’re an unemployed, uneducated leech on society, and the only thing I would vote to give you is a handful of antidepressants so that no one else has to be subjected to your constant crying any more. And maybe if you got some, then it would seem a little more sincere when you are crying about your dead father.” Sugar flips her the bird, and we move on from there.
Marcus takes the opportunity to whine about how Susie turned on him (so he couldn’t turn on her). He considers it a moral problem for a mother and child educator to do that. Sugar agrees that she would put money toward lung cancer if she wins. Marcus wants to know why Bob never stepped forward. Bob gives a poor answer that the occasion never came up. He did make a couple good moves, but he doesn’t care to dwell on them apparently.
Randy wants to know why Susie feels sorry for him. He also wants to know why Sugar laughed uncontrollably. Since he asks if she was trying to make a jackass out of him, she’s got an easy answer that he already did that himself.
Matty asks Susie to bad mouth the other two. She didn’t like how Sugar humiliated Randy and how Bob got mad at her for winning immunity. Sugar tells Matty that she broke Kenny’s heart and let him down, which she apologizes for. His question for Bob is why the two people on either side are more deserving. Bob answers that he doesn’t think they are.
These answers are rather horrible. Then again, many of the questions were subpar anyway.
This band of misfits somehow almost gave Susie the win, but ultimately the Survivor: Gabon winner is Bob. Sugar, who played a better game than anybody on the jury, did not receive any votes. Of course, she threw away the game in Bob’s favor at the previous vote.
When asked what would have happened if Matty made the final three instead, 5 people say they would have voted for him. Uh, what did he do?
In addition to his $1 million prize, Bob also won the viewers’ vote ahead of Sugar and Matty, which gives him an extra $100,000.
While people continue to talk about Survivor’s ratings not being what they once were (what is?), it’s still a top 20 show and obviously will be back. Survivor: Tocantins premieres February 12.