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Survivor Fodder

Survivor: China -- FINALE! FINALE! FINALE!

Instead of going through an extensive play by play of how the last two hours of Survivor China went down, I'm going to assume you've already seen it because a) you've been following the season and wouldn't miss the finale b) even if you missed the finale live, you can watch it On Demand or on or on your Tivo and c) if you really are reading this and don't want to watch the finale one of those ways, then you probably only want to know what happened and how people feel about it.

Here's an extremely brief recap:

The reward challenge was won by Amanda, who came from just slightly behind to solve a puzzle faster than Todd. She won pizza, beer, soda, and brownies. She selected Todd to share them with her even though she had the option of choosing nobody, one OR two other Survivors. During the immunity challenge, Amanda balanced dishes longer than Denise and won the challenge with seeming ease. One note: I'd really like to know more about the rules of the challenges. It seems like people don't get the opportunity to ask questions and some of the rules are vague. Amanda placed one of her bowls upside down which helped with her balance and distribution of weight (lower center of gravity). This was a creative and good idea, but I have to wonder if other people thought of it, but assumed it was illegal. I wonder if in the Survivor Rules, they say, "Anything specifically not forbidden is legal" or something to that effect. It'd be good to know.

So with reward and immunity secured, Amanda went into the final four vote knowing she was in the top three, which this year means you made it to the end (three instead of previous years' two top finishers go before the jury). There is some talk about who to vote out, Todd or Denise, and Denise makes some pleas that Amanda feels bad about, but isn't about to lose a million dollars for. They all vote for Denise and Amanda, Courtney, and Todd are in the final three.

The final three go before the jury which seems to not be as angry as they could be and not nearly as personally affronted as people in the past. It's a level-headed group and it seems like after fourteen seasons, people are actually understanding that IT IS A GAME and everyone I trying to win a million dollars. It's not Romp-A-Room. Jean-Robert says he promised he wouldn't vote for Todd or Amanda if he got voted out, but hears them out as to why he was voted out (Todd says Jean-Robert was his biggest strategic threat). He also hates Courtney, but asks why she should win and is satisfied with all the answers--he calmly retreats leading James to shout, "He shut him up!" and laugh hysterically. James holds no ill will, Frosti looks a little upset, but not overly so and a simple, but awkward exchange with Courtney is all he needs to hear. A few people call out Amanda on being Todd Light and she defends herself by saying it was her strategy. Denise is still a little hurt, but she also understands and so while she is near tears, she is also not furious. More on Denise after. The angriest seeming person on the jury was Jaime, which was sorta weird, but I guess when Courtney was sitting there being useless, it was tough not to think she could have had that spot. Amanda and Todd had no reason not to vote her off and did most of the work on the show. In my mind, Todd is the clear winner and for once, it appears the jury doesn't resent him enough to give it to someone else, although Courtney looks to get a few votes. If Jean-Robert voted for her as a way to not let Todd or Amanda win as promised, if Frosti votes for her, if Denise votes for her, and if James votes for her (he liked her and Todd and Amanda backstabbed him), then she wins.


In a clever production twist, Jeff announces, "I know you all want to hear the results tonight! so that's what we'll do, live from Los Angeles!" and they cut straight from China to Hollywood where everyone sits newly groomed. They read the votes.

Todd. Courtney. Amanda. Todd. Courtney. Todd. Everyone at home immediately starts wondering what happens in the case of a tie. The final vote is read--TODD.

TODD WINS SURVIVOR! He jumps around excitedly, hugs Courtney and Amanda, and rushes off into the crowd to hug his family. Congratulations to Todd, he really did run the game from very early on and played his strategy to perfection.

Ok, so that was a little longer than I expected--here are some snapshots and comments:

*BEST QOUTE: When Courtney and Todd are discussing Denise, she says, "This isn't welfare--it's not my fault she sucks at life." (or something very similar) This is the best quote by her by far and she followed it up with, "God, I'm the biggest bitch in the world! " and she seemingly is. Somehow, she's still likeable, and during the reunion show, we get even more. She says that mostly kids recognize her, probably because she's the tiny girl with pigtails who can't do anything, but she does some funny voices and then reveals that she actually hates kids. Everyone laughs, and Jeff gives her the "you're nothing if not honest" backhanded compliment. And I think that's why she's alright in my book. At first I thought she was JUST bitchy, but she's actually just brutally honest and probably ridiculously raised (if her super-proper British dad was any indication). So all in all, you can mark me down as a fan of Courtney. At least she recognized her own uselessness.

*NEW LOOKS: What the hell did the stylists do to the three finalists?? In order of best to worst, Amanda looked nicer and more professional, but also a little meaner with all her makeup. Courtney looked trampy and skeazy with her new hairstyle. She went from having a childish pep to having a skeavy smile. But nothing compares to Todd who, possibly as advertising for the upcoming movie, they dressed up as Alvin as in "and The Chipmunks." Huge coif, no facial hair, a red shirt and a vest. He looked absolutely ridiculous, although extremely less Iago like.

NO CAR?: Nope. No car this year. I think the curse of he car played itself out, and they had other more strategic rewards to deal with.

*WTF JAMES?: James is called out about his TWO IDOLS and Jeff calls it "the worst blunder in the history of the game" and James knows it. He says he just trusted his alliance and he thought several times about playing it, but just didn't. I think if James knew the word "hubrus" he would have used it. Sad sad day. Almost.

*$100,000: the People's Champion gets more money. People voted since Thursday for their favorite i.e. the best Survivor of the season, and James won, with Denise and Peih-Gee getting significant votes as well. So James got his. Plus, he said it's nice when people recognize him and he can help them with the grieving process. Also, he was in People magazine for like, "sexy person of the week" or something. They have that now? I mean, I don't have sexy YEARS or even sexy MONTHS really, but I could pull off a week. So he's doing alright.

*DENISE: To further my lack of faith in the establishment, Denise was not given back her old job when she returned home. They said she was too high profile and they didn't want her to be a distraction for the kids. So instead, she was hired as a janitor and has to clean toilets and vacuum floors and work nights. She hasn't gotten to see her daughter's field hockey games and she barely sees her family now. She gave an open plea for anyone with a lunch lady day job open to give her a call. Instead, as an extremely necessary and intelligent publicity move, Mark Burnett (executive producer) told Jeff Probst that he would be writing her a check for $50,000 dollars after the show to help her until she gets her situation worked out. It was an incredibly smart, but also incredibly generous move, and since he could afford to give everyone in Massachusetts that much money, I'm sure he won't be hurting too bad.

*ERIC & JAIME: Are dating. Like, for realsies. Hoorah. Jeff asks the extremely inappropriate question of whether he's still a virgin. I'm not going to justify it by telling you here.

*NEXT SEASON: Looks kinda sweet. Half the players are going to be All-Stars, including one player from this season (James! totally James! ), and half are going to be longtime fans of the show. It will be an interesting dynamic, and more so, I wanna see some of my old favorites come back--Gee, I wonder if Reality Show Whore Boston Rob will be in the mix! Also it's going to be in Micronesia.

*THIS SEASON: Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this year. Amanda was the only one of the final five I didn't think deserved to win an account of her riding Todd's strategy (yes, debateable, but that's my opinion). The players were interesting, I liked different ones at different times, and I had a few major opinion shifts like with Courtney. I'm sorry Ashley was out so early and Dave out so late. I'm gonna just say Chicken, solely to get his name in here somewhere. I'll be (begrudgingly) looking forward to the next season. I don't know how this happened, but I'm in it for the long haul, and I hope all of you are in it with me. Check back for updates, player profiles, and any news, and feel free to post some of your own in the comments sections or email me at The new season starts in February, so it shouldn't be long before we're all back here again. Thank you all for reading!

It's Cool, You Can Put Your Fires Out Now,

P.S. Thanks to anyone who played Survivor Fantasy League with me-- it was a terrible terrible interface with really poorly run rules and gameplay. I'm hoping next season it's better and more extensive, at which point I'll pay much more attention and we can try to win the league.

Posted by jon on December 17, 2007 2:10 PM
Permalink |

The school system where Denise is employed has released a statements saying Denise was actually PROMOTED to the janitorial position BEFORE she went on Survivor, and returned to the same position AFTER Survivor. It's not necessarily that that Denise was lying, but that the school system is not quite the villain everybody assumed from her remarks, whish were interpreted out of context:


1. Posted by: Cecil Rose at December 18, 2007 9:45 AM

So what do you think about the announce format of Survivor Micronesia - Fans vs All-Stars? And who would everybody like to see back?

2. Posted by: Cecil Rose at December 18, 2007 9:48 AM

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