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Survivor: South Pacific – Finale – Bitter Jury Syndrome Strikes Again

Who knew that Coach and Ozzy would be in the Final Four – I never thought in the wake of Boston Rob’s domination that two more tribes would let these two get within a breath of victory. That means that in the history of the combo plan of new players vs. returning players we have two winners, three finalists, and six jurors. Maybe it is time to retire this plan.

Oh, Albert, the other Finalist. He was dead before the body hit the ground. There was no way he was going to win, and then he got schooled in the Final Tribal by, of all people, Brandon. When asked if he knew after the necklace was handed over that Brandon was dooming himself, Albert could not give a straight answer. Albert, meet these fine folks – Becky, Cassandra, Dreamz, Sugar, Stephen, Mick, Russell, Sash and Natalie. The Zero Votes Club has a new member.

Before we get into a longer Treemail section – encapsulating three hours of Finale – something I need to say about the Reunion. I love the Reunion – conceptually. It is cool to see the dirty folks we have watched get cleaned up and get some explanation and follow-up. I wish CBS did it for the Amazing Race. However, the Reunion has been devolving and it really flew off tracks this time around.

Sophie won. So why was the whole Reunion about other guys? Because Probst has long had an affection for the great male players, and less respect for the great female players. Name one woman from the show’s past who has the affectionate last name status. He even called Russell “Hantz” last night. I’d say that Sophie’s game ranked up there with the best overall games. She is smart as a whip, she played with the tribe she was given, she made moves when needed, and she won big, big challenges. And then she was masterful at Final Tribal. She earned more of a show at the Reunion.

Instead it was about Coach. It was REALLY about Ozzy – which I can forgive a bit because of the Fan Favorite thing. And it was about Brandon and Cochran. And RUSSELL! Friggin’ Russell wasn’t even on the season – even if his specter loomed large over two of the contestants. He got more screen time than Rice who moved much of the narrative in the first half of the season. Heck, the kid who somehow got to ask Ozzy a question got more screen time than Rick (fifth place!), Mikayla, Semhar, Elyse or Papa Bear. We got to hear Ozzy – the former porn actor – preaching to kids about what to do in life, but we just glossed over the fact that Whitney cheated on, and left her husband for Keith on the show.

This was a great season but it was piss poor reunion.

Things I loved about the Finale – great challenges, high drama and a worthy winner. Now, an unlimited amount of Treemail items as we wrap up Season 23 and get ready for Season 24, One World. Tribes are separate but together, with more twists still to come. Woo!

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