Ok, so every year I nearly forget about the finale on a Sunday, and this year is no exception! Again, this proves why I am, in fact, in love with my dvr.
The finale starts with a recap of the season, and I am reminded about what a wimp Kathi was, and how nasty the injuries that Jonathan and James had were. I giggle with glee as I again watch the blindsides go down, right in a row, as Eliza was shown again and again with mouth agape and eyes gigantic.
After the recap, the ladies are shown stirring their pot like the happiest Final Four ever, I think. They deserve their happiness, it was an enormous accomplishment. It is always odd to see the contestants in Night Vision. No one looks like themselves. It's a little creepy.
When they wake up, they are still excited about their success. Parvati proves to be a good climber for the coconut harvest (Who needs Ozzy? Did I just say that?) Parvati tells Natalie that she glad she is there, because she is so convincingly manipulative. Natalie and Parv form a "manipulative bitch" bond.
They start standing on a pole in the water, lowering a bucket of water to help raise a key, which will unlock ladder wrungs that they have to put together to get to the win. It's a good one. More than the normal "stand on a stick" endurance challenge.
Parv and Natalie take off to and early lead, and Natalie gets her key first, with Parv right behind. Amanda is a bit behind them, and Cirie gets her keys a bit after Amanda. Natalie is the first to get to her ladder wrungs.
The ladder wrungs are tricky, because there are 16 that only go in one way, and Amanda makes up a lot of lost time and takes it! Yay! Go Amanda! It looked close there for a bit. Natalie has to be feeling rather vulnerable now.
Natalie settles in to fight when they get back at Camp. They talk about letting their last chicken free and "letting the rooster have his way with her." Natalie says, "if Gloria (that's the chicken) is anything like the women in this camp, she'd go out, mate with that rooster, and then rip his neck open." Nice.
Amanda and Parvati are chatting about who should go to the final 3 with them (because they are so solid), and they seem to be really leaning towards keeping Natalie over Cirie. Who knows how it is going to come down, though, because this is a completely unpredictable night. Cirie is feeling vulnerable, because "we've duped so many people with straight faces." Will she be next?
It's Tribal Council Time
Can I just say that Erik's hair looks a bit ridiculously well groomed? Did he get out of Tribal and go style his hair constantly until the next time he was called upon for Tribal? Seriously?
Jeff says that he thinks that these four women deserve Survivor Academy Awards. So true! Then, he starts talking about a possibility of a Final Two instead of a Final Three. Don't make any assumptions, especially not this season!
Cirie is the first to call out the alliance, saying that she feels on the bottom of the alliance, and Amanda takes exception to it. The jury grins, Eliza goes googley eyed. And it's time for the vote.
Natalie is voted out (no need for a vote count here, it was 3-1), and the Final 3 are all from the original Favorites Tribe! I went into this season rooting for the faves, but they were kind of disappointing overall. The Trio returns to camp, to see if there is another challenge in store for them for a Final Two?
On the way back to camp, Amanda called Cirie out for her little speech at tribal, and Amanda accuses Cirie of trying to make them look bad in front of the jury. Amanda is left crying because Cirie was yelling, and I hope this doesn't shake her in the final tribal, like she was shaken last season. They hug it out in the end, and Amanda is feeling scared of the possibility of a Final 2. She brings up that she has come straight from China to here, and she feels like she's been doing this forever. That's got to be rough. I'm pulling for her even more now.
In the morning, they let Gloria free. The chicken was confused and didn't want to leave, and she made a little nest on the sand to lay her egg. She just strutted around the girls, not quite knowing what to do. If she became such a tame chicken, she's not going to last long in the wild. They might have been more kind to kill her.
The Final Three are distraught to see a Tree Mail that was not food. It's time for the Fallen Comrades Journey and . . . it's another Immunity Challenge. It's going to be a final two after all, and Amanda broke down at the news. Buck it up, Amanda - get on with the challenge! Stay strong. No one else is really excited about the news, but Amanda seemed to take it harder than others.
Cirie brings up the fact that this Final Challenge is kind of poetic because it's like a blindside from the Game itself.
During the Memory Walk, I am reminded of some of the people I miss... Oh, Yau. I wish he had lasted longer. Joel and Mikey B. could have done better in another season. I still feel so badly for Jonathan. He was a great player. Chet, not so much. And Kathi, too. Don't miss her. So many of the Fans didn't get much screen time. I feel almost badly for them. The Final Three end up saying "Oh ____, I loved _____" echoed by "Yes, so did I!" about a lot of the people. Except Eliza. Parvati calls her an "arch rival." Now that would be an interesting super hero movie. When they get to Ozzy, Amanda says "I think he was the most well rounded ever," to which Parv says "And you like him." They are so getting together when this is all done. I wonder if Parvati and James are going to get together afterwards? I am still astounded by how little screen time Alexis got. She was a cutie, one would think she would have gotten more love from the editors. Guess not. Natalie called herself "her own biggest fan," and I am again glad that she didn't make it to the Final 3. The paddles of the Fallen go onto a giant bonfire, and it's onto the Final Immunity Challenge.
Oooh, it's a tough one. They have to balance a little ball between increasing lengths of handles That's tough. I almost think it would be easier to stand on a stick! The ladies are looking totally focused. Probst, typically, seemed to talk constantly. It's his job to try to psych them out. Parvati is the first one out. Cirie holds out for a whole lot longer, but then loses it, and Amanda wins the Final Immunity! Here's a big WOOOOOT for my girl. However, I forsee a lot of tears from her, because she hates to make decisions.
When they get back to Camp, Gloria is still sticking around. Cirie brought up the fact that her nursing career really prepared her for that challenge, and she was sad to lose it. Predictably, Amanda says that she is sick to her stomach over this decision. Parvati is making all sorts of assumptions that she is going to the Final Two. She makes the error of bringing up the fact that Cirie pissed more people off than her, and Amanda says "She did, huh?" Um, Parv, it's good to bring someone to the finals who has people mad at them. Amanda talks to Cirie, who pleads her case. I think it would be dangerous to bring Cirie, because she has been so manipulative, and some people are going to admire her for that.
Second Tribal Council
Amanda puts on the full blown pout when Jeff talks to her about the fact that she is the one making the decision. She broke down crying when Jeff told her to talk her through the thought process. Amanda hates to hurt feelings, as we saw in China. She's practically bawling when she casts her vote.
And it's Parv and Amanda to the end! I'm not super surprised, and I think it was a good decision.
All of Amanda's tears are dry by morning, and she and Parvati are happy and grinning. Amanda says "We've bamboozled every one else out of the game!" They are greeted by an incredible feast and they giggle like school girls. Mimosas for both of them!!! Amanda enjoys hers wearing a baseball hat with a chicken on it. Is that a portrait of Gloria?
They end their time at camp by setting fire to their shelter. Amanda gleefully exclaims "We're pyromaniacs!" Parvati cackles at depriving the rats of their home.
Final Tribal Council
Cirie cleans up nice. She looks really pretty in the jury. Whatever styling products Erik has been using, Jason didn't get any. His hair is a mess. It's called a happy medium, boys.
Amanda's opening statement is strong. She brings up her loyalty and her strong fight.
Parvati's opening statement is also good, showcasing her willingness to be conniving. :D
Jury Question Time.
Eliza: She's wide open for voting. She respects Parvati for the ouster of Ozzy. She hates Parvati for her spitefulness. Eliza thinks that Amanda is very superficial. Wow. Didn't see that. She has no question, but makes it clear that she's listening carefully.
Jason asks Amanda if she would have told Ozzy about his ouster if she had been in on it, and she says yes, no question. He asks Eliza what her qualities that are positive, instead of her Deviousness. She says she's an animal lover, so there. Didn't kill Gloria! Who knew that would come up at tribal?
Alexis wants to know why Parvati thinks she might be a better role model for young girls. Parv says that she is more independent and fierce than Amanda. Alexis says that she thinks Amanda is a great actress, and they didn't believe her tears. Amanda claims to be completely genuine.
Natalie has a crush on Parvati. She asks a confusing question about how her strategy gets her by in the bedroom. Huh? Natalie calls Amanda beautiful, and then says that she has a glazed over look, and Amanda says that she is in it to compete, and she wants to earn everything. I am totally confused by Nat's questions.
Erik feels burned by Amanda by the way that he called him out. She defends her reaction to him, and it is not a way to get his vote. His reaction really shakes her.
James says that Parv fluffed him. Not sure what that means, but he wants her to be honest, and she says "Ha ha, got you, sucker!" She then says that she had no chance of winning with him and Ozzy, and that's true. He also said that Amanda pretty much has it in the bag. We'll see about that.
Cirie asks why Amanda chose Parvati. Amanda says that Parv was the powerhouse in making the decisions. I don't know about that. Cirie asks Parv why she belongs up there instead of her. Parv says that she was more above the radar than Cirie, and that she couldn't compete with a mom of 3.
Ozzy says that he is the biggest idiot up there. He is still bitter about being voted out. He tells Parv that he threw his friendship away for money. He does not want to even hear her speak. He says that the hardest part was taking away time with Amanda. Yup, his vote is totally going to Amanda, because he's falling in love with her. Amanda is left with a big grin on her face, cause she's going to have Ozzlets! (who thinks they are going to get engaged a la Rob n' Amber?)
It's the big move to the final, and everyone's looking all cleaned up. I am stunned when Parvati wins it! It was 5-3! I didn't see that one coming. Well, at least Amanda can know that she did much better in the final tribal this time, and she got Ozzy out of it!
Cirie got a haircut, and it looks nice. Parvati gives full credit to the women's alliance. Amanda does not look good in that yellow color and Farrah Fawcett Hair. She looks better in Island Chic. She says that being in the game so long has messed with her head and has given her trust issues. Cirie says that she is still thinking about the Final Immunity Challenge, and knows that if she had won that, it might have turned out differently. Natalie is proud to have Haters on MySpace. She claims to be very complex, but that bitch is in there.
There's a little showcase of the beautiful blindsides, and Ozzy says he can "almost understand how someone would be able to kill in the heat of passion." He's so funny.
Eliza's got some Cher hair going on. Jason has the unused Hidden Immunity Idol sitting on his desk to remind him of stupid moves. Not as stupid as Erik's, though. Not by a long shot. He says that he is not used to playing people like chess pieces to win the game, and he wasn't really prepared to play like that. Burn to Parvati. "Certain morals come into play with that."
Jeff calls out James on being an expert on dumb moves, and James is again quotable. "He had the life vest floating in the water, with the three girls in the boat, and he took off the life vest and handed it to the girl in the boat." He's so great.
Next is a highlight on the injuries. Jonathan's leg is still hurting him some, James had a lot of therapy and a lot of antibiotics. I love that James is still a gravedigger. Kathy is looking 80's glam. That's not a good look for her. She is still a wimp, mentally.
The love affair question comes up. Ozzy and Amanda are still together, which is cool. Ozzlets coming!
Mary and Ryan from Survivor Pearl Islands are together too. I don't remember him, but good for her! (I hardly remember her, either).
The Candidates for the Sprint Money ($100,000) are Ozzy, Amanda, and James. James wins it! I think it's because he's so quotable! He won last season, too. Amazing. Jeff gives a shout out to Fairplay's daughter, who is adorable, but it is still obvious that he does not like the guy at all.
Ending on a very sad note, Mikey B's mother passed away a month ago. How sad, on Mother's Day.
And next season.... another in Africa! This time, in Gabon. It isn't in the dessert of the first Africa season, so I think it is going to be cooler. Surfing hippos. That's cool. And it's going to be HD, baby! It's not until the fall. So, sadly, this is it for my Survivor Blogging until then. Bring on the Summer Reality Shows.