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Survivor: Caramoan – Finale – And The Meek Shall Inherit A Million Bucks

Dawn and Cochran give very good arguments, Sherri is a babbling moron. Dawn says that she had to talk herself into being ruthless and embrace the duplicity and deviousness inherent in winning Survivor. Cochran talks about his lifetime fandom – the high school buff wearing, the newsletter, the senior thesis. He talks about being good with timing his moves and how he lied, deceived and is owning it all. He is going the full Todd Herzog approach to jury management. And it is the right move. Sherri makes no sense and reveals that she is a millionaire already. So, no one respects her game, and she’s already rich. Why even stay? Just say to Probst – look, I know I lost, just send me to Ponderosa so I can have a sandwich.

Malcolm – He essentially tells Dawn to own it too. Don’t fall back on the backstory – own the game. He asks Cochran what he has that Malcolm doesn’t have – and Cochran says it is the heightened level of insecurity that someone like Malcolm cannot ever have.

Eddie – He dismisses Sherri as being carried to the F3 – which she denies. The jury laughs. Not good, Ms. Cougar. He calls out Dawn’s hysterics, which she blames on the wear and tear of the game. Of course, no one else was doing that. He asks Cochran if he would be with the AMC, in front of them or behind them at the bar. Um, ok. Cochran says he would be at the bar with them with two women on his arms. That’s the way you win an Eddie vote!

The Specialist – He ex-communicates Sherri from the Stealths. No idea why. He calls Dawn disruptive at camp. HA!!!! Pot. Meet kettle. Holy crap! And then he essentially tells Cochran he is voting for him.

Erik – He speaks more here than he has all season long. He is mad for Brenda and asks Dawn if she knows how much damage she caused. Of course, two other people voted for Brenda, but whatever. Then he and Sherri get into it in what may be the strangest, and most irrelevant argument in the history of Survivor Final Tribals. He calls her useless, she tells him to shut up and sit down.

Lord Snow – Best of the night. He points out how Dawn and Cochran played the same game and yet Dawn is getting hammered by the jury. He wants Dawn to show why what she did was better than Cochran. Good question. She says that she developed the relationships and he reaped the benefits. Essentially, it was her research, her leg work and Cochran was the strategy guy. Cochran correctly points out that he had to manage her – be her therapist – because she couldn’t handle the job on her own.

Reynold- There is one in every jury. Of course it would be Reynold. He calls dawn a fraud and then demands some answers! WHAT. DOES. SHE. THINK. ABOUT. HIM?!?! Really. She hems and haws and eventually (correctly) says he is a chauvinist and vulgar, but has a great sense of humor. Reynold loves this because it is about HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIM!!!

Andrea – I think the youngest juror becomes the grown up in the room by being gracious. Then she becomes the child in the room by asking Cochran what animal resembled his game. He answered well – the chameleon. But still.

Brenda – Oh Brenda. All season you did nothing, but you saved it up for this. She gives Cochran a bit of a poke over the family visit, and Cochran explains how he can separate the emotion and the game and will thank her appropriately outside of the game. And then she addresses Dawn. They had a bond which she felt was betrayed. Again, I don’t get the deep bonds that Survivors always express during these jury speeches. Unless they were friends on the former player circuit, a la Boston Rob and Lex, they knew each other for a month. On a TV show based on lying where only one out of 20 can win. That they’ve both played before!!! Sure, be disappointed, pissed, whatever but shake it off. If you are afraid to get lied to or embarrassed on TV – don’t go on Survivor.

So, because Brenda was embarrassed, she wants to get her pound of flesh from Dawn. So she reminds her about the retainer. If you recall, Dawn was threatening to quit if she couldn’t find her false teeth retainer after she lost it in the water. Brenda helped her and found it. So, the question is, would Dawn have quit if Brenda didn’t help. Dawn says no. So, with that logic, take out your teeth, Dawn. If she truly would have played for another two weeks with a huge gap in her bottom teeth, prove it by showing it on camera. There is logic to Brenda’s argument – I helped you not quit over embarrassment, so prove to me that you wouldn’t be embarrassed if that was a lie. However, what it amounted to was a public shaming of a pretty nice lady. I hope Brenda was embarrassed afterwards because when Dawn bared her missing bottom teeth it was very, very awkward. I felt uncomfortable just watching it. To me, it was ugly. Not Dawn. But the whole scene.

We go to vote and we only see Phillip vote for Cochran. That meant either a shutout or the Show was doing an unexpected fake out. We moon transition to live television from California as Probst reveals the votes. Sherri knew she was out, Cochran was pretty confident and Dawn knew she’d at least make enough prize money to fix her teeth better. And, yes, Probst reads the votes and they are all for Cochran. Winner.

Cochran has won Survivor. Ozzy has not. The end.

Reunion
Really not happy with the reunion this year. Basically what happened was Brandon was banned from the show. That would have left a huge 800-pound Hantzian elephant in the room in the gap between Laura and Matt on the dias. Probst would have had to address that, according to published reports, threats were made against Phillip and they chose to keep Brandon away. More to the point though, Brandon is an unstable entity and this is live television. This hour of television became payback for the idiotic decision to put Brandon Hantz back on the show.

So, in order to whitewash the gap, the producers took the whole pre-boot Survivors off the stage and into the audience. BOO!!!! That is unfair – just give them their due just like every pre-jury cast member before them. One cursory question about Julia’s driving, Hulka’s eye, Francesca being first out again, etc. Instead, we had filler after filler. We had a poor frightened 11 year old girl who loves Malcolm be traumatized on TV. We have Boston Rob peddling his Boston Rob Rules book – I wonder if he did this based on Phillip’s homage or if Phillip was doing it to hawk Boston Rob’s book, in cahoots with his former ally. We have Rudy Boesch making more gay slurs on the air. We have a weird taped segment of a naked Richard Hatch. We got zero questions for Sherri and Erik – two top five finishers – but instead we get Eddie’s brother proving that he is clearly Eddie’s brother.
Boo. Never do this again, Show.

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