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Survivor Heroes vs. Villains: Final Finale, Part 4: Review


Season 20: Week 14+

Finale Part 4

Airdate 05/16/2010


And the winner is…


New York

Instantly, we are transported to New York, and a tribal-council like TV studio set, where Jeff Probst walks in with the vote jar. All our finalists are seated together, considerably cleaned up. The jury is seated off to one side, also considerably cleaned up, except for Rupert – still clad in tie-dye, same scraggly beard. Otherwise the men are now clean-shaven, saving only a moustache on Coach.

Sandra and Parvati look marvelous, Russell has a five-day beard and a new hat, so he’s not forced to wear his buff to protect us from the glare off his bald head.

Jeff naturally says this is probably the best Survivor season ever. Wonder if he’d ever get up and say “This season sucked, so let’s get it over with.”

And out come the votes:

Parvati – 1
Sandra – 1
Parvati - 2
Sandra – 2
Parvati – 3
Sandra – 3
(Russell has a wistful look on his unsmiling face)
Sandra – 4
Sandra – 5 THE WINNER!

Sandra gets a hug from Parvati and a hug and kiss on the cheek from Russell, managing to accept it gracefully, then makes her way down to the auditorium floor for more hugs from her family – including her husband, just back from Afghanistan. We see a cheering section from her home town in Connecticut, as well. She re-ascends to the stage and gets a hug from Rupert and Coach as the rest of the 20 survivors make their way onto the stage. Jeff points out that Sandra has become the first two-time Survivor winner.

Reunion Show

From somewhere, a tiara has made its way into Sandra’s hair. Did she bring it herself? All the Survivors are now seated together in center stage, finalists in front.

Jeff asks Sandra if being the first two-time winner makes her the best Survivor ever? “It makes me the queen, yes.” And later she agrees that two titles make her the best Survivor ever. Parvati is sitting between Sandra and Russell, possibly as a buffer zone. You can see fumes of chagrin rising from underneath Russell’s new hat.

Jeff asks Parvati if Sandra’s the best ever. Parvati points out that she, Parvati, has played three times, won, and is a ‘challenge dominator” so… Sandra interrupts to say Parvati’s played three times and only won once, whereas she, Sandra, is two for two.

Jeff asks Russell the same question, the opportunity he’s been waiting for, so he ticks off a list: “Social player: No. .. . Physical game: Maybe the worst physical player to ever play the game. Strategic game: Her strategic game from day one – get rid of Russell. And you know what – it never panned out for her. So let’s award her, for her failures.” Sandra is objecting and Russell talking over her, and Parvati holds the two of them back from each other. (See pic above.)

Russell says there is a flaw in the game. “If she can win the game twice, there is a flaw in the game.” [Boos from the audience.] Russell is in his element but Probst tells him he’s only got ten seconds to reveal the flaw. “What needs to happen, is America has to have a percentage of the vote.” [Cheers and applause from the audience. Is this a fickle audience or what?] Sandra says he still wouldn’t win if they had a percentage of the vote to which Russell responds “I would have won last season.” Sandra continues with “The only people who like you are sitting right there (pointing to his family).”

Jeff says that would be a different show, not the one they have here, if the audience had a vote. Jeff asks Sandra what was her key move. She says she was a fan first before she became a Survivor, and she learned from every season a little bit more to use in knowing what not to do.

Jeff turns to a very popular former winner, Tom Westman, and asks what it says that Sandra has never been voted out in her two seasons, despite having never won a challenge – even Courtney won a challenge [Yeah, one that involved sitting very, very still]. Tom says the game is 1/3 physical, 1/3 strategic and social, and 1/3 luck, and if you win it you deserved it.

Asked if he’s surprised he lost – not even getting a single vote, Russell replies he didn’t play twice – he played once, referring to his back-to-back seasons. Russell says “Let me tell you how good I am. [He holds up JT’s note, delivered with a gift immunity idol.] When I can make a winner – a winner – look like the dumbest player in history, I’m good, right?” JT is cracking up, good sport that he is, but then he snatches the note and tosses it at the stage-fire. Russell snatches it out of mid-air and keeps his souvenir. Jeff says this is what it was like. Every. Single. Day. Out. There.

Sandra gets to show off her husband in the audience. He’s going back to the ‘Stan in two weeks.

Parvati agrees with Jeff that teaming up with Russell worked against her. Jeff points out that Parvati has now racked up 114 days in Survivor – the most ever – and she’s tied for second in most individual challenges won with six, Colby Donaldson, despite his disappointing showing this season, has the record with seven.

Jeff asks Russell is he knew what happened to his hat. Russell says no, he couldn’t figure it any strategic reason for taking it, so was mystified, and didn’t know what happened until watching tonight’s episode. He says he gives credit where credit is due – burning the hat could fluster him at tribal council. Sandra tries to make out like it was a sanitation move “it was funky” at first, and says when she learned he’s worn it through two seasons she felt bad at first, but later when he started ‘acting all crazy’ that feeling went away.

Russell says he thinks Parvati should have won. Jeff asks Russell if he considered the effect of his actions on the jury. Russell says he plays the way he plays – as hard as he can – and he doesn’t worry about the jury, and it gets him to the end, every time.

Jeff ask Boston Rob if he’d have gotten further if he’d teamed up with Russell instead of opposing him. Rob says he probably would have, and his analysis of Russell is that Russell doesn’t play to win, just to get to the end. Russell: “And you play the game to win?” “I do.” “When have you won?” “I haven’t.” Rob lays down a challenge: “Given the opportunity, I’d gladly go back and kick your ass.”

Jeff turns the topic to dumb moves, first bringing up Tyson’s changed vote that got him voted out and changed the course of the game. Tyson, who’s wearing his hair Jesus-style now, says you have to takes risks to win the game, leaving aside the question of whether this was a legitimate risk or just dumb. My vote is for “dumb”.

The other dumb move is JT’s. JT says he has no regrets – he had to take a chance to avoid going home. Jeff says Survivor has been conducting an on-line poll of “dumbest Survivor moved over the twenty seasons.” JT asks if there’s money involved for the winner – Jeff says no, the winner has to give some money back.

And the nominees are:

  1. Tyson’s vote switch that got him voted out. (H vs. V)
  2. JT’s giving the idol to Russell. (H vs. V)
  3. James getting voted out with two idols in his pocket. (China)
  4. Colby taking the wrong person to the finals. (Australia)
  5. Erik’s immunity give-away. (Micronesia)

And the winner, complete with Tiki trophy is… JT. He takes it with good grace and shows it around to the rest of the jury.

Jeff questions James about his ‘attitude’, especially with his exchanges with Stefanie. James says he’s disappointed in his knee, not his play. Amanda, of course, jumps to his defense.

Rupert says he actually broken two toes on his foot. He says the line between Hero and Villain is blurred, even though he likes the appellation “Hero”.

Colby says he knew things would be very different this time around when Coach manhandled him in the first challenge. He says he had more fun watching this season than playing, part of the reason being that they weren’t allowed to go in the water, or explore in the jungle, which he greatly enjoyed in seasons past.

Jeff compliments Amanda on being one of only four people to make it to the final tribal council twice -Russell, Sandra, and Parvati being the others, as well as second in most days played in Survivor, and yet, he says, some quality seemed to elude her, and we all knows this refers to finishing. She can’t explain it.

Stefanie – shoulder dislocated on day 1. She was grateful to come back a third time, saying she’s one of three that doesn’t ‘hang out’ with the others, and makes a plug for her restaurant.

Cirie – what could she do when she has such a large target on her back? Cirie says ‘not much’, it being too hard to break people’s pre-conceptions.

Jeff plays a clip of Coach’s tearful confessional with Tyson. Coach says he didn’t like the way he came across in the first game and tried to change it in the current game. He says he’s more humble and gallant with the ladies now.

Jeff introduces Amber in the audience, holding “our first Survivor baby” (which she had with Boston Rob).

Jeff announces that they’re giving $100,000 to the ‘player of the season’ voted on line, and the finalists are a good guy and a bad guy, Rupert and Russell. And the winner is… Russell. Russell, of course, takes this as proof of his earlier point, that the audience should have a hand in the decision.

Jeff asks Jerri how she liked her game. She says she was proud of how she played the game, and whereas the first time people hated her and wanted her gone, this time they liked her too much to keep around.

Danielle says she felt her melt-down coming on and it proved that she wasn’t really a villain, and finishes with a sotto voce “Russell, damn you.”

Courtney says she’s always having fun – the best time she possibly could.

Randy, on the reverse side, says he didn’t have any fun at all. At least he smiles when he says it.

Sugar, all the way to the finals her first time, then first out this season – says she didn’t have much fun in her three days. Especially since it rained so much.

Candice, it turns out, delayed her wedding to be in the show, but she’s happily married now.

Jeff reels off survivor stats:

  • Fifteen different countries

  • Over three hundred players

  • Nearly five hundred challenges.

  • Eleven men winners, nine women.

  • Average winner age 32.

  • Twice as many single winners as married.

There’s a tribute to Jenn Lyon, former survivor and recent cancer victim.

Next season will be in ------ Nicaragua. Impenetrable terrain, smoldering volcanoes, savage wildlife. New survivors next time, no all-stars.

CBS Early Show, Next Day

Sandra and Russell sit on the set in casual jeans, Russell still has his hat and his five-day beard, Parvati is all spiffy in purple dress and knee-high kid boots.

We see a clip of Sandra saying she’s here for one reason and one only – to win another million dollars. Sandra says it feels wonderful to have won twice, but it really hasn’t hit her yet because they haven’t given her the check, yet. They bring out the huge ceremonial check and present it amongst much merriment, then hand her the real one. Sandra is hoarse from the celebrations the previous night. She says she’s surprised she won, thinking Parvati had taken it.

Parvati says no outcome wouldn’t have surprised her, because tribal council was so intense.

Russell crows about his player of the game award, and says he doesn’t understand how he couldn’t get one single vote, and repeats his critique of the game, and also announced he’s trying out for American Idol.

Sandra can’t resist a last dig – she says when she saw his previous season finale she knew right away he hadn’t won, and for him to turn around and play the same way in a second season means he wasn’t learning anything.

Ask what she’s going to do with her million dollars, Sandra’s ready answer is “Pay my taxes first.” Where were you when Richard Hatch needed advice?


That’s all for this season, folks. Sorry about the lateness of this final posting. An electrical storm in the area caused my station to break in on the broadcast and I had to wait to see some of the final on “On Demand” later, then there were two other finales to cover, and whew!..

Thanks for reading, see you next season for Survivor Nicaragua!



The Final Three Survivors:

Sandra Diaz-TwineWinner!
Parvati ShallowSecond
Russell HantzFan Favorite

Survivor Poll

Posted by Cecil on June 1, 2010 7:36 PM
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