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Last night was the two hour finale of Survivor, and it’s a battle among the last ladies standing.  Jeff Probst recaps the season’s highlights, including Colton Cumbie’s rise to power and prompt demise and the ladies’ ultimate come back.

It’s the thirty-sixth night on the beach, and the women have voted off the last man.  Alicia is very confident in her friendship with Kim, but I think she may be tooting her own horn a tad too early.  The following day, Sabrina and Kim collect the tree-mail.  Kim approaches Sabrina about voting off Chelsea next, as she’s worried Chelsea will garner lots of jury votes.  While she plays cool, Sabrina is shocked that Kim is targeting her best friend because she’s popular with the castoffs.  However, it does make the likeable Sabrina wonder if she’s next on the chopping block.  No one is worried about the jury voting for Alicia and Christina. I have now decided I either want Chelsea or Sabrina to win.  Only took me an entire season to make that wishy washy determination…

The immunity challenge is pretty intense.  After untying several knotted ropes to get through a makeshift gate, each player must race along a balance beam maze, and must start back at the beginning in the event they fall.  After the maze, they will traverse a giant rope net collecting bags of (what else?) puzzle pieces.  The assembled puzzles will give three number clues the women must use to unlock a combination which will free their flags.  Christina is the first out of the gate, followed by Kim.  They are also the first to fall off to start again.  Alicia finishes the maze first with Chelsea right on her heels.  Chelsea is the first to collect her bags, but everyone is neck and neck on the puzzle.  Sabrina falls behind, but Kim and Chelsea are neck and neck.  Kim assembles her puzzle first, followed by Alicia.  Kim can’t get her combination right, and after multiple tries, she returns to the puzzle.  Alicia follows suit.  Kim, Chelsea, and Alicia are all up working on their combinations at the same time, and Kim finally gets it right, winning immunity.

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Back at the beach, Kim is patting herself on the back for being one step closer to winning.  Chelsea is beyond humbled that Kim thinks she is suck a strong contender, but yet she still wants her in the final three because of the strong friendship they have developed.  Chelsea tells Kim that she honestly believes it is Kim who deserves to win, and Kim gets teary at such praise from her friend.  Chelsea can’t imagine the Kim would ever backstab her–they are honest, and if Kim was going to vote her off, she’d make it known.  Kim, on the other hand, is mad at herself for telling Chelsea she had a hidden idol because now Chelsea expects to receive it at tribal council.

Kim talks to Sabrina, and she has Sabrina and Chelsea voting for Alicia.  After conspiring with Alicia and Christina, she has garnered two votes for Chelsea.  Both Christina and Alicia thinks it is beyond stupid to consider taking the two of the most well liked to the end and splitting the jury vote.  Now it’s up to Kim to decide who she’s ready to send packing.  On a side note, I want to thank whoever commented last week about Kim’s dirtstache.  It’s now the only thing I can focus on when I’m watching her talk.  Kudos to you.

It’s time for the first tribal council.  Tarzan looks about the same clean as he did dirty.  Jeff asks about the vibe at camp, and both Alicia and Chelsea talk about how calm the afternoon was and how little scrambling was done.  That’s not to say there isn’t any paranoia.  Kim talks about her tough decision, and touts loyalty as a major factor in who she wants in the final three.  This generates a huge eye roll from Kat.  And another.  Alicia states that she’s been Kim’s biggest advocate since the game started…um, I think she means Colton.

Chelsea reminds Kim that how she votes tonight could redeem herself in the eyes of the jury.  I am going to say, if Kim votes for Chelsea, I hope Sabrina kicks a$$.  When Kim doesn’t play the hidden idol, I think Chelsea knows her fate is sealed.  Holy hell!  I DID NOT see that one coming…and neither did AliciaChristina now knows who the true alliance is, so she knows she’s up next.  As Alicia’s torch is snuffed, she maintains she’s actually proud of Kim for being so convincing.

Kim apologizes to Christina for lying to her for such a long time.  Christina thinks she’ll still be able to squeeze a place in the final three instead of Sabrina.  The only glitch will be if Christina somehow wins immunity.  Chelsea is beyond grateful to Kim, as she knows it would have been in Kim’s best interest to get rid of her.  Before the final immunity challenge, the women must collect the torches of those voted off before them.  I had forgotten all about sweet Monica and Bill.  At Colton’s torch, the women all agree that the game would be totally different had he not gotten sick.  We are treated to little sound bites of each former contestant’s hindsight musings.  At Alicia’s torch, Christina remarks, “I love that girl.”  Yeah, that girl was the same person goading Colton and laughing in her face when Colton told her to go jump in the fire.  But whatevs.  Perhaps I could learn some forgiveness from Christina!  There is a ceremonial torch burning, and I think CBS probably could have totally made this finale an hour long.  Lots of filler here, folks!

The ladies meet with Jeff for yet another immunity challenge.  Each player must use a long stick to “maneuver small wooden bowls through a steel channel.”  Yes, I am quoting Jeff because I have no other way to describe it!  They must stack ten bowls, but there is a spring at the bottom of the structure which makes the bowl stacking rather Jenga-like.  Kim gets a early lead, but she drops one.  She manages to come back, and she and Christina are practically tied.  The wind begins to pick up as Kim takes a large lead.  She wins her umteenth immunity challenge.

At camp, Christina tells Kim that she’d rather not be blindsided if she’s going to be voted off next.  Kim tells her she fought a good fight, but she’s taking Sabrina and Chelsea with her.  After sharing the exchange with Chelsea, Kim starts to second guess her decision.  Maybe Sabrina would be a better choice.  At tribal council, Jeff is shocked that Christina didn’t put forth much effort to try to strategize.  She’s just willing to give up any chance to win.  Sabrina defends herself, and Kat whispers to Troyzan what a great speaker she is.  Watching the expressions of the jury while Christina tries to explain why she didn’t try harder is hilarious.  Most of them would do just about anything to be sitting where she’s sitting.  Kim cryptically relays to Jeff that things aren’t always what they seem which gets some fierce side-eye from Sabrina and Chelsea.  I really think this could either way, as Chelsea originally thought Christina would be a wiser choice to take to the final three.  Of course, my predictions are always wrong.  The original alliance remains strong, and Christina is the last member of the jury.

The following morning, Sabrina is emotional and overwhelmed at how her life has been blessed.  She hopes that her inner city students will see what she’s accomplished and will take chances in their own lives.  Kat’s right…she’s incredibly well-spoken.  Chelsea weighs the idea of winning the money versus all the things she’s already received from the experience–the adventure, the memories, the genuine friendships.  At this point, she feels like she’s gained so much, so she puts off thinking about the prize.  Kim has impressed herself with her strength and perseverance in light of a recent divorce, and she thinks the game has helped regain her confidence.  Awww.  I kind of wish they all could win.  I am beyond floored that their alliance lasted from day one, and I truly believe they all really like and respect one another.

At the final tribal council, Kat is clearly ready to ask her questions.  Chelsea is the first to address the jury.  She compliments Kim, and she apologizes for not playing more emotionally like Kim…she doesn’t have that connection with the jury members that Kim formed.  Chelsea realized she needed to “check out” after struggling with Jonas’ vote.  Regardless, Chelsea will respect however they vote.  Kim basically asks for forgiveness and hopes that her fellow castaways will remember the essence of the game and why they all chose to play it.  Sabrina talks about her strategy and reveals that she was laid off from her inner city teaching job just two weeks before the game starting.  The prize to her is a necessity.

Jonas starts off the question session, and he is hilarious.  He is excited for each of the girls.  He tells Sabrina if he were voting on straight popularity, Sabrina would have his vote.  He just doesn’t understand how she could be beaten by a senior citizen in some challenges.  Tarzan wakes up to realize Jonas is talking about him.  If he were voting on looks, Chelsea would have all the guys’ votes as she’s the hottest girl this season.  This comment gives rise to the little green monster as Kim mutters “nice” under her breath.  All jokes aside, he wants to know if Chelsea ever made any bold moves without Kim’s direction.  She admits that it was her idea to vote off Kat.  As for Kim, Jonas thinks she played a flawless game until she voted off Christina.

Christina wants to know who Kim thinks she has a better chance of winning against, and Kim is quick to say Sabrina.  Christina also wants to know why Chelsea is a b!tch.  What?  Model Jay understands Sabrina’s strategy for challenges, but he wants to know why she also seemed lax a camp.  She explains that she only learned how to swim before coming on the show which didn’t make her the best candidate for fishing.  Michael wants Kim to define “blindsiding” and she throws Troyzan under the bus.  Tarzan’s mustache is kicking while he thanks God for the adventure, and he thanks the women for keeping him around long enough for his wife to get to come visit him on the island.  He’s using ginormous words and fighting off tears.  Chelsea is crying to Tarzan for showing her what a true love story is, as she didn’t know it could exist.

Leif is honest in saying that he is still harboring some ill will towards all three of the women for voting for him, but he congratulates them on a game well played.  Alicia gets up and only talks about what a threat she was and how well she played the game.  No questions from her.  Troyzan questions Kim about her move to get rid of him, and she cites her decision was based on Jonas’ exit.  Oh sweet, sweet Kat.  She has Chelsea, Kim, and myself in tears.  Kat admits that she was totally destroyed by being blindsided by the girls.  She then reveals that she’s been hiding something from them too so they wouldn’t think she was weak.  Kat talks about the open heart surgery she had at age twelve and how she will be having another later this year.  That said, she doesn’t have the time to harbor any anger, and she plans to vote on who she believes played the best game.  Kat urges the jury members to do the same.  She thinks that voting out of anger isn’t what the game should be about, and it takes far less energy to just let it all go.  What a sweetheart.

The vote tallying, of course, will have to wait for the live reunion.  Three hours, CBS?  Really?  At least everyone is clean.  Kim and Sabrina are tied with two votes each.  Kim gets two more votes.  Chelsea is receiving no love.  Kim is declared the winner.  Chelsea and Sabrina seem genuinely thrilled for her, so they are clearly better people than I am.  Kim celebrates with her family while all the non-jury castaways are ushered onto stage.

Jeff is impressed with the women’s ability to get the men to vote off other men.  He also reminds us of Colton convincing the men to get up immunity, and Sabrina admits she’s glad she gave Colton the idol.  Speaking of Colton, he’s in the hot seat for his bullying and racist one liners.  Ironically, he’s sitting next to BillJeff won’t let Colton try to double talk his way out of taking credit for his behavior.  While he says he was taken aback by what he said and how he acted, Colton is quick to remind Jeff that blogs were saying the show got boring once he left.  Bill says he could kind of understand Colton using his job situation as a means of convincing others to vote him off the island.  However, the meanest things he was saying were off in his private interviews when no one was around (like saying Bill should kill himself), so his meanness was just for the sake of being mean–not for strategy.

Jeff hones in on Colton’s mom in the audience.  After wishing her a happy Mother’s Day, Jeff asks her if she was embarrassed by the way the things her son said, and she apologizes on his behalf.  Um, why is Blossom on Survivor?  So apparently Mayim Bialik is not promoting Big Bang Theory (sure), but instead she’s such a huge Survivor fan that she wrote Jeff a letter a year ago asking to be able to come to the finale.  I’m expecting her to tear Colton apart, but Mayim touts him as great entertainment and wishes he had stuck around longer.  In the infamous words of Joey Lawrence, WHOA!  Another audience member agrees.  Jeff isn’t sure that Colton wants to mend fences, but he gives him another opportunity to profess how much he’s not a racist and loves everyone…even Christina.  I’m convinced.  What about y’all?

Next up, Tarzan tells Jeff that he is one hell of a surgeon.  Jeff also jokes about Tarzan’s stinginess in the auction challenge when he makes so much money.  His wife is questioned by Jeff, she says simply says, “The game is afoot.”  They are a perfect match.  Tarzan is in tears.  She reveals that she sometimes calls him Tarzan, a nickname he’s had since age eight.  Kat’s antics are highlighted.  Jeff admits that he sometimes thought she was crazy.  Kat gives another heartfelt speech about not wasting time with the bad, and how the show let her embrace her inner kookiness.  Jeff then reminds Alicia that she said Kat was like one of her special needs children, a comment he says outraged many fans.  Alicia turns on the waterworks as she apologizes and talks about how much she loves her students and her job.

Jeff announces the top four fan favorite/players of the season in the running for $100,000:  Kim, Chelsea, and the Zans, Troy and Tar.  He quickly tells Chelsea and Tarzan that they are out of the running.  Kim wins by a clean sweep, and Troyzan’s face kind of starts to twitch a little.  Troyzan tells Jeff that he’s been compared so some of the Survivor legends by fans he meets.  Leif shares the pressure he felt to do well for little people community, and he expresses the hurt he felt by Colton’s comments.  He also says he’s loved being an inspiration to little people for being on the show, but I think his level of class pretty much makes him an inspiration to any fan of the show.  Speaking of classy, Monica talks about how proud she was to get to do something for herself after being such a super mom and wife.

Bill received a standing ovation for a comedy gig he had the night before, so he takes the time to discuss how that was validating for him as he strives to make it a full-time career.  I can’t be sure, but I think I saw Colton roll his eyes.  Jeff then asks Christina is she was shocked by the bullying she got from Colton and Alicia.  She gives a very well spoken answer without saying a negative thing about either of them.

We are treated to a montage of infections, ripped skin, dehydration, and med-evacs.  Thanks Jeff.  Next season, three players who left their seasons before being voted off (aka, they were airlifted out) will rejoin three tribes of newbies in the Philippines.

THOUGHTS ON THE FINALE AND THE REUNION?  DO YOU THINK THE BEST PLAYER WON?  DO YOU BELIEVE COLTON IS AT ALL REMORSEFUL?  REMIND ME AGAIN WHY BLOSSOM WAS THERE?




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