The women have been in control ever since Ozzy got himself kicked out of the game, and Erik being an even bigger putz than Ozzy (or anyone previously for that matter) in Survivor: Micronesia Episode 13 continued that cycle, bringing us down to all women left. That leaves us with a female final four of: Cirie Fields (Survivor: Panama), Parvati Shallow (Survivor: Cook Islands), Amanda Kimmel (Survivor: China), and Natalie Bolton (fan).
Of these, Cirie has surprised me the most. Back when the season started I expected very little from her. I expected her to make it to the final five as a non-threatening player, but she’s proved to be more of a gamer than I had anticipated and has played a key role in many of this season’s boots.
Amanda was a deserving finalist in Survivor: China, but she made the mistake of keeping Todd in the game again and again and again. This time, though, she’s been just as strong a player as she was last time, but she’s set herself up really well with the jury. Unlike last year’s bitter and stupid jury that gave Courtney of all people more votes than Amanda, this season, the jury seems to love Amanda.
Even though the others protested too much and voted that Parvati mistakenly believed she was in control of the game, Parvati was in control then, and she’s still in control now, alongside her unwavering ally Amanda. This season, Parvati has gone beyond being just the flirt, and that combined with her strategic moves and alliances has made her a dangerous player.
Then there’s Natalie. It wasn’t that long ago that I even found out there was a Natalie on the island. Alexis aside, I don’t see what Natalie can do to actually get jury votes. Granted, like the other fans, Natalie did get the short end of the stick this season. Not only did they have to take on the more seasoned favorites, but so much attention was paid to the favorites that people like Natalie and Alexis remained largely invisible for more than half the season.
So that sets us up for the season finale, which begins in a few minutes in the typical format: two hour season ender, followed by the one hour reunion show in which we will find out who the Survivor: Micronesia winner is. Stay tuned to dingoRUE for a live blog.
Here’s the really weird thing. The recap of what has been a great season only took 5 minutes.
The girls are thrilled to see Erik go because now it makes immunity anybody’s game. In addition to the fact that it was just a(nother) priceless blindside.
Natalie believes that Parvati, who has everybody in her back pocket, is now her ally.
Now it’s the final immunity challenge, typically a harsh endurance competition. Except this season apparently. The women will start off on a perch 20 feet up and must use a bucket to raise a pole that will bring them keys that they must grab when they get high enough. Natalie is the first one to get her keys. She’ll need to jump in the water and swim to shore. Parvati is right behind Natalie. When they get to shore, they open their chests to find ladder rungs that they’ll need to assemble. Amanda is next to get her keys, with Cirie behind her. There are 16 ladder rungs, and each one will only go into one slot on the ladder. It’s largely about dumb luck at this point, as all the women are building their ladders. Amanda takes a big lead, and it’s her challenge to lose. Amanda is the first to raise her flag, and she wins the immunity challenge, guaranteeing herself a spot in the final three for the second season in a row.
Natalie’s well aware she’s the low woman on the totem pole. She’s going to explore all her options. Whatever that may mean. Unlike last time, she doesn’t have anyone to give her a brilliant plan, though.
Parvati and Amanda retain control, as everybody knows Amanda won’t vote Parvati out, and Amanda’s safe. So it’s probably either Cirie or Natalie. The good news for Natalie is that they know that Cirie’s a bigger threat in the end than Natalie is. Despite having a final three agreement with Parvati and Amanda, Cirie has seen how this season has played out and knows she may be in danger.
Natalie says she doesn’t believe there will be a blindside tonight. The jury thinks she’s silly. Jeff poses a question: what would happen if there’s a final two instead of a final three? Cirie’s worried about being on the bottom again. She speaks up to say that she’s been on the bottom all the time. This is a poor display in front of the jury.
Natalie has been voted out. No surprise to anyone.
The girls get back to the discussion at tribal council where Cirie said she’s on the bottom. It’s true, but it’s not a bright thing to vocalize. During the middle of a screaming match, Amanda breaks down crying. She especially doesn’t like the theory that there may be a final two.
They try to let Gloria, their last remaining chicken, go, but the chicken doesn’t want to go. She makes a nest to lay her eggs.
Treemail. Looks like a challenge. Yep, there’s one last immunity challenge. It’s a final two. The clear clue here was the previous immunity challenge, which was atypical in that it wasn’t a lengthy endurance competition. The lack of a rights of passage was also a big hint. Probst poked them about it at tribal, but there’s always the chance that he’s just being Jeff. Amanda breaks down again, a bad time to be losing focus since this challenge has the potential to be particularly difficult. She better pull it together.
After a long walk of looking back at the eliminated players, the final three arrive at the (actual) final immunity challenge. Each person has a long wooden cylinder that has been cut into several pieces. They must balance a ball on it. Every 5 minutes, the cylinder gets longer, making it more difficult. If the ball drops, they’re out of the challenge. Everybody is still in after 5 minutes. They all continue with no signs of difficulty through the second round, then they add two more pieces. Parvati is the first one out. Either way, she’s got a good shot of being brought to the final two, though. Amanda and Cirie survive the third round. They add two more pieces. Cirie drops the ball, but it’s during the 5 second grace period prior to the round beginning. Both of them survive this round, and they move on to the final round. The two final pieces are added. This round will go until somebody drops their ball. Cirie is out. Amanda once again wins immunity.
Cirie feels she’s probably going home. The smart move would be to keep Cirie around, but at the same time, there’s a question as to whether she wants to turn on her closest ally. Although Cirie did screw a lot of people over, my bigger concern for her would be that she doesn’t have the personal relationships that Parvati does. She also may not get as much credit as she deserves.
Amanda says she’s going with her gut. The jury doesn’t appear to appreciate this long drawn out discussion.
As expected. Amanda and Parvati remain together and go to the final two. Erik, Natalie, and Cirie really should have teamed up to take them out, though I don’t know that that necessarily would have been any more beneficial to Cirie than this way (and it would have been less entertaining). The question for Amanda is: did she make the same mistake she made by keeping Todd around in China?
Amanda plans to play the loyalty card; Parvati plans to play the controlling card.
Eliza says she doesn’t know who she’s going to vote for. She respects the strategic move Parvati made to take out Ozzy but doesn’t like how she treated her as a person. She feels that, strategic game aside, Amanda is too superficial and that listening to her talk made her want to kill herself sometimes (something people said about Eliza during her season).
Jason asks if Amanda would have told Ozzy he was going if she knew about the plan. She says yes. Parvati believes that her loyalty to Cirie and Amanda is her redeeming quality. She’s also an animal lover for not killing the chicken.
Alexis wants to know why Parvati’s a better role model. She says she’s more independent and outspoken, whether that’s for better or worse. Alexis doesn’t believe that Amanda is genuine, and Amanda tells her she didn’t fake the tears and doesn’t want sympathy votes.
Natalie asks Parvati a question about how being a flirt relates to her intimate life in the bedroom. What the hell does this have to do with anything? Natalie calls Amanda a zombied pretty girl pageant queen and asks if that was strategy. Yeah, this doesn’t make a great deal more sense. Why did they let Natalie talk?
Erik claims he would have voted for Amanda before he went all stupid, but now he has questions. She apologizes. He’s still bitter that he’s an idiot.
Parvati tells James that she couldn’t win if she stuck with him and Ozzy.
Amanda tells Cirie that Parvati deserves the money more than Cirie does because she made bolder decisions. Cirie wants to know from Parvati why Parvati should be sitting in the jury instead. Her response is that Cirie played a great game but was more under the radar.
Ozzy believes he’s the biggest idiot up there, and he’s still bitter over what happened three weeks ago. Get over it, dude. He tears Parvati apart for throwing away their friendship. Oh geez. Whine whine whine. This is like Lex in All Stars, who apparently was still reeling by the time Big Brother All Stars came around. He doesn’t want to hear a response from Parvati but instead wants to tell Amanda that he’s falling in love with her.
Despite his earlier whining, Erik votes for Amanda anyway.
Alexis (it is Alexis, right?) votes for Parvati because she likes her better.
Obviously, Ozzy votes for Amanda.
Eliza’s still deciding, pausing for dramatic effect.
With the conclusion of the final tribal council, we head back to the States for the reunion show and a live reading of the votes for the winner.
The winner of Survivor: Micronesia Fans Vs. Favorites is Parvati. It’ll be interesting to see how the jury answers the question as to how they would have voted if Cirie were there instead, but taking Parvati with her was a very risky move by Amanda.
Parvati says she hoped to play the flirt, but when Jonathan started to target her, she decided to get more aggressive.
Amanda now holds the record for number of days on the show, and she’s dragged both of her original alliances to the end… though in each case she didn’t win.
Cirie says she’s spent every single night thinking about the last immunity challenge and that losing that was her only mistake in the game.
Natalie’s okay with having some haters. She wanted to play under the radar, which she did quite well. After some pushing, she admits that she can be a bit of a bitch sometimes.
Ozzy has gotten over what happened on the island and says the relationship has healed and Parvati’s an amazing girl. It took a bit of time, but it’s nice to see that mature attitude finally develop.
Erik agrees he’s gotten a life lesson from the women blindsiding him. He initially thought that it was a stupid move, but he doesn’t entirely regret it because he’s not conniving enough to turn on people like you need to do in order to win Survivor.
James has welcomed a lot of people to his dumb Survivor group. He responds that, of the three moves, Erik made the dumbest move, taking his lifevest off and giving it away. He removes his crown and gives it to Erik.
It’s an injury montage, much of which was caused by poor challenge design.
Jonathan’s leg is okay now. James’ finger is also okay. He continues to get hit on at the graveyard. Kathy explains more why she’s a quitter.
Ozzy and Amanda are still together. In addition to them, Mary fell in love with Ryan from Survivor: Pearl Islands. He asked her to marry him three days after their first date. Three whole days?
Amanda, Ozzy, and James received the most votes for favorite players. One of them will win $100,000. Unsurprisingly, James has won this vote.
Jonny Fairplay found love with Michelle Deighton and has a daughter named Piper. Yeah, weird.
Mikey B lost his mom, who got sick around the time he left for the island, a month ago.
That concludes this season of Survivor. A lot of people (myself included) had been saying that the past few seasons have been getting boring, largely due to poor casting. However, between this season and Survivor: China, it appears to be back on track, as these have been two of the best seasons ever. Hopefully they can keep it going, though this season with all the half stars is going to be tough to top.
Survivor 17 will be returning to Africa. They will be heading to Gabon. Survivor: Gabon Earth’s Last Eden will be shot for the first time in HD. This is the first time Survivor has been to Africa since season 3. That season has long been known to have been a difficult season to shoot. The dustbowl atmosphere with no food collecting combined to make it one of the harshest environments faced by Survivors (and didn’t help the producers get a lot of bikini shots either). As always, stay tuned to dingoRUE for live recaps from the east coast.