First Challenge – A giant balance beam maze, followed by a rope net containing five puzzle piece bags, followed by a puzzle (duh!), a clue to three numbers revealed in the puzzle, a combination lock, and that’s it. Alicia and Chelsea emerge from the maze in first place. Chelsea hysterically giving Alicia a “Girl!” exclamation when her path was blocked. Alicia unwrapped the wrong bags from the net – unsure who benefitted, I think it might have been Cha. Chelsea gets to the puzzle first, followed by Sabrina and Kim. All five wound up on the puzzle at the same time, with Kim solving it first. However, her numbers were wrong. Alicia joined her in being incorrect. The two of them regrouped and returned to the locks with Chelsea and Kim solved it first.
This was dramatic – no question about it. The win for Kim rendered the hidden idol irrelevant, with the question remaining if she would give it to Chelsea. By not giving it to her, I instantly knew she was not going home. Chelsea would have been pissed if she got blindsided and denied the idol.
At Tribal, it became obvious that Kim was the swing vote. Even Probst knew it. The questions were all about where she was going with her vote. No one was really concerned. Chelsea gave the code answer of how Kim would gain respect of the jury for sticking with her and Sabrina. In the end…
First Vote – Alicia 3 (Kim, Chelsea, Sabrina), Chelsea 2 (Alicia, Cha)
Challenge #2 – Some odd springy contraption with a path set out to pass a bowl through that you hold with a long stick. The one who stacks 10 on top first wins. Really, I have no idea how to describe this. It’s basically a bizarre variation on the plate stacking challenge. I was pissed right away because I have always believed that the final challenge has to be an endurance challenge. If you want to win…don’t give up.
But instead, we get a busboy challenge. Meh. Cha actually did well in this challenge, going bowl vs. bowl with Kim. For Cha, it came down to a poorly placed wind gust that slowed her down – her bowl tower wavered – and allowed Kim and her structurally stronger tower to prevail. Kim began to laugh and cry upon her win – probably because she knew that was a million dollar tower of bowls.
That’s what this season came down to – that sentence. A million dollar tower of bowls.
Vote #2 – Cha didn’t even try to scramble. Probst was incredulous. How can you essentially give up at the Final Four? At least try and convince one of them to throw you a bone and let you compete in a fire challenge. Do something. But she didn’t. And so…Cha 3 (Kim, Sabrina, Chelsea), Sabrina 1 (Cha).
Final Tribal – The opening statements…Chelsea stood up and essentially said she isn’t really a bitch, she just played one on TV. I didn’t see a bitch? Did you guys? Sabrina said she didn’t play hard on purpose and was laid off from her teaching gig two weeks before the show started (thanks budget cuts!). Kim said she is a fan of the game and that it is more than poker, voting people out takes a toll. But she thought of her family and kept the eye on the prize, and she hoped the jury saw that too.
Sushi – Hysterically, he led with my hated jury question of limiting the Final Three to one word answers, I braced myself. He said, I want you to answer with “yes, Master Jonas.” HA! He called Sabrina popular, but sucky at challenges, Chelsea the “hottest chick” this season, and Kim was flawless until voting out Cha. Chelsea called the Kat move her move – which it was to an extent. It was Alicia that put it over the top.
Cha – She wanted Kim to pick between the two others on who to take out – she said Chelsea. And Cha asked Chelsea why she hated people. Whatever. My final take on Cha – terrible player, pretty woman.
Jay – Shots taken at Sabrina’s bad challenge and camp involvement. Meh.
Michael – Something about Kim perfecting the art of the blindside. Translation – why did you blindside me? She said he was the only guy Troy would take out, and that was the big move. She’s right. In fact, I’m skipping the order for a minute…
Troyzan – He enabled Kim to take over the game with that move against Michael. However, he wanted to hear from her the moment the game changed for her. Not sure if he was going for this Michael move – perhaps to somehow lay claim for being responsible for her rise. She said it was the Jonas vote that was the turning point, and she is right. That shifted things to 6-5 for the women, and in theory, they could have voted for any guy at that point.
Tarzan – He spewed out the dictionary a bit, but the bottom line is that he tearfully thanked them for keeping him around so he could see his wife. Chelsea falls apart and said that she wanted this in a partner, what they have. Nice moment.
Leif – He wanted to find out why he got voted out. Dude. You have no breasts. That’s why you were voted out. Seriously, was he actually ON that island?
Kat – Biggest shock of the night. I expected Kitten to give a bitter F U speech. Going back and watching Ponderosa videos, she lashed out at Alicia when she was voted out. It could have been ugly. It wasn’t. She was “destroyed” by Kim, but she was ok. She reveals having had two heart surgeries and needing a third and had no time to be angry over this stuff. She turns to the other jury members and implores them not to vote out of anger. Wow. I give you this, Kitten, you really, really surprised me here. I take back most of my immaturity criticism – that was a big hearted move.