Previously on Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs. Favorites, the four women left in the game wanted Erik out so it would be an all female final four. Unfortunately, Erik won individual immunity and the girls were forced to used their feminine charms to persuade Erik it was in his best interest to give immunity to Natalie. Erik did and was promptly voted out of Survivor and into the history books as the dumbest Survivor ever.
The women return from voting out Erik at Tribal Council and do a dance and have a nice big group hug. Women are wonderful! Women are great! Women are strong! Women are the best! Only women are left! They didn’t say all that, but that’s the general sentiment.
Day 37 dawns on the camp and Cirie is lamenting, sarcastically, the loss of all the men. They don’t need men. Parvati climbs a tree to get some coconuts just to prove the point.
Natalie tells everyone that she’s happy to still be there. Parvati is happy she’s there too. They have a special bond according to Natalie. Parvati says that Natalie has a way of convincing people she’s right…which sounds like a bad thing for a competitor in the final four.
Treemail arrives and informs the girls that there’s going to be an immunity challenge today. The girls aren’t very happy about it.
Jeff Probst explains how it’s going to work. All four of them will start at the top of a 20 foot perch (a post). When the challenge starts they will use a bucket on a rope to gather water from the ocean to pour into a bamboo shoot thing. As it fills it will left a set of keys. Once they have the keys they can jump off and swim to shore. On shore they will use the keys to unlock a chest containing 16 different shaped ladder rungs. They’ll assemble the ladder and climb to the top of the structure to raise their flag. First person to raise their flag wins.
So the challenge begins and the girls begin hauling water. Natalie gets off to a good start early with Parvati not too far behind. Natalie gets her keys first and jumps into the water. Parv follows. Amanda is somewhat behind. Cirie is really behind.
Natalie had a great start on the ladder rungs, but she apparently loses the lead because Jeff begins talking about how well Amanda is doing. It’s hard for us to tell who’s doing what. At some point Jeff actually says it’s Amanda’s challenge to lose. But then she gets to the last rung and it doesn’t fit! She’s placed a rung in the wrong place. She quickly goes back and finds it and fixes it, climbs to the top and raises her flag. Amanda wins immunity!
Let Him Have His Way With Her
Amanda’s very happy to have made it to the final three once again. She thinks that this time she played her game very differently and feels a lot better about it. I’m hoping that means she’s not going to fall apart this time.
Natalie correctly surmises that she’s the person on the bottom of the totem pole. She doesn’t plan to go out without a fight though. The women discuss letting the chicken out so the rooster can have his way with her. I’m trying to figure out why they haven’t eaten the thing yet. Natalie says if the chicken is anything like the ladies of the camp she’ll mate with the rooster then rip it’s head off…Natalie has gone to her dark place.
The rest of the afternoon is spent with all of the girls talking to one another and each wondering, in turn, if the others will turn on them. Cirie wishes it could be the final four, but she still works on Natalie because she’s afraid Amanda and Parvati might vote her out instead of Natalie. Amanda doesn’t know if she wants to vote out Natalie because she’s afraid Cirie might get more jury votes.
First Tribal Council
Before you know it, it’s our first tribal council of the episode. Probst brings in the jury and the girls all smile at Erik who smiles back and just shakes his head. Jeff notes that this is the first time there’s been an all woman final four. He also comments on the fact that the last four tribal councils have all been blindsides.
They talk about the blindsides and about how confident everyone is. No one is confident because that would be stupid considering their history. Then Jeff asks if they’ve considered what they’ll do when it gets to three or if they’ve just assumed the final three is good to go. Amanda says a final two would throw them for a whirlwind. It’s at this point that I know for sure there’s going to be a final two.
Cirie says it makes her nervous because she knows she’s on the bottom of the alliance totem pole. Amanda asks her why she thinks she’s on bottom. Cirie points out that it’s always been that way since the beginning with the two couples and it hasn’t changed because no one has ever said they wouldn’t vote for Cirie like they have for the others (meaning Amanda and Parvati for each other). Amanda gets upset but Cirie is absolutely right.
Anyway, it’s finally time to vote. We don’t see the votes before Jeff goes and tallies them. He reads the votes: Cirie, Natalie, Natalie, Natalie. And with that, Natalie is voted out of Survivor.
Amanda Is Shaken
Amanda is all pissed off at Cirie. She wants to know why Cirie was trying to make her look bad. Cirie says that she wasn’t. Amanda asked a question and Cirie answered it. Amanda says that’s BS. Cirie has to go through the whole process of explaining why she thinks she’s on the outside once again. The whole thing is a disturbing reminder of Amanda’s breakdown at the exact same point of Survivor: China.
Well, she finally calms down and both Cirie and Amanda apologize to one another. Amanda’s completely in tears. Time for another group hug! That’s the best part of an all woman alliance!
Amanda says she almost lost it when Probst mentioned it might be a final two, but Parvati says thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s no way that could happen… Um, yeah… Cirie says it would break her heart to find out itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s going to be final two, so she doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t want to celebrate quite yet. I’m now completely convinced it will be a final two.
The next day the women decide to let the chicken go. They do so, but the chicken just hangs around camp. Stupid chicken.
All three of them go to get treemail. The treemail says they will honor the memory of the other 17 contestants ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œbefore proceeding to your final immunity challenge.” Yeah, didn’t see this coming. The three girls are shocked. Shocked! They’re all sad. Amanda breaks down and cries…again. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThis just sucks completely,” she says.
I don’t understand how they didn’t see this coming. It doesn’t make any sense coming from three fairly intelligent people who have all played this game before. I mean, consider the following clues:
- They hadn’t yet honored the fallen Survivors which is always done before the last immunity challenge.
- The last challenge wasn’t the usual endurance type immunity challenge that has always been the last immunity challenge.
- Jeff never once said to them that it would be their last challenge, and, in fact, was specifically vague about it. He always says when it is the Final Immunity Challenge and he always says “for the last time, Immunity is back up for grabs” or something pretty close.
- Jeff actually asked them at the last Tribal Council about the possibility of having a final two – that’s a pretty big clue.
Leave it to Cirie to put it into a little perspective. She tells us itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s almost poetic to have a final two instead of a final three since theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve been blindsiding people left and right. They essentially got blindsided themselves. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWhat goes around comes around.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?
Some Gave All
The three of them arrive on Exile Island where they walk around gathering the staffs of all the people who’s throats they had to cut to get to where they are. They try to say nice things about all of them as usual. Boring stuff, but necessary. The only thing that warrants a mention is an incredibly stupid comment by Natalie in a voiceover. She says, “If a woman has the opportunity to think, she will outwit a man. Hands down, every time.” What? If she has the opportunity to think? That doesn’t even make sense. Add that to the list of the stupid things you’ve said. There are dumb men and there are dumb women. Why do people insist on saying such ignorant things?
Final Immunity Challenge
Jeff welcomes the ladies to their “Final Immunity Challenge.” After taking the immunity necklace from Amanda he says, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œfor the last time, immunity is back up for grabs.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? See, I told you.
For the challenge they will each have a long cylinder that has been cut into seven pieces. In the center piece there is a slot on which rests a metal ball.
When the challenge starts they will pick up the first piece using handles which press against the sides of the piece. The ball must not fall. Every five minutes they will add two more pieces of the cylinder, making it more difficult to hold and balance. If the ball drops, they’re out. Last person with a ball wins and gets to decide who they want to take with them to meet the jury. Just like old times.
And the challenge beings. Jeff does a pretty good job of talking about how they need to focus which only helps to distract them. They all make it to the first five minute mark where they get to put the whole thing down to add the next pieces. Then they all make it through the second round.
In the third round Parvati loses control and her ball drops. The round ends just as Cirie is about to drop hers as well. Cirie actually drops her again as the next round is about to begin but Jeff says it doesn’t count if he’s still counting. So, they reset and start again.
They finish that five minute round then add their final pieces. This round will go until someone drops their ball. It looks early on as though Cirie is having the tougher time. Apparently she is because she drops her ball. Amanda wins immunity!
They all go back to camp where Amanda has to make the toughest decision of her life (her words). Cirie and Parvati both assume she’ll pick Parvati to go to the finals with. Parvati says she’s not worried. Still, there’s tons of talk about what the jury might nor might not do. Amanda doesn’t know what she’s going to do.
Second Tribal Council
Jeff points out that there’s really only one decision to make – who’s going to the Final Tribal Council? He notes that it’s a tough decision since they’ve been together since the very beginning. That’s all Amanda needs to open up. She says that winning immunity was a blessing and a curse. SheÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s guaranteed to be in the final two but she has to choose who goes with her. TheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re so close, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œitÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s just a hard, hard decision.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? And with that little speech you can actually see her losing votes in the jury…
Jeff asks Amanda to talk about both Cirie and Parvati. I think she should keep her mouth shut since she’ll be facing off against one of them in front of the same jury who’s watching right now, but Amanda talks up good points of both girls. She then talks about how it’s so hard because she’s going to hurt someone. It’s obvious that Amanda is, once again, allowing her emotions to control a decision that should be made with her head.
It’s finally time to vote. Amanda makes her vote which doesn’t take Jeff long to tally. He comes back and reads it: Cirie. And with that, Cirie is voted out of Survivor.
I guess Cirie was right about being at the bottom of the totem pole after all. Amanda cries and hugs her while Cirie assures her it’s okay. I’m thinking Amanda lost her vote.
In her final words she says, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHere I am again, coming up just short.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? She apologizes to her family and says she tried her hardest, but it just wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t meant to be.
Amanda and Parvati wake up happy, of course. They’ve made it to the end. They get their final treemail – food and drink to celebrate. Parvati thinks that she and Amanda pretty much own this game since Amanda made it all the way to the end in China and she made it almost to the end in Cook Islands. Yeah, but did either of you win?
They talk about how this is the biggest accomplishment of their lives. Amanda says that over the past six months she’s spent 78 days living in the jungle. There’s not much she can’t handle after that.
Both Amanda and Parvati tell us how they think they’ve done. Amanda says she’s been loyal to her alliance but Parvati has made the jurors angry by doing whatever she had to do – being cutthroat and aggresstive. She thinks people will vote for her because she’s been loyal to her alliances.
Parvati says that she’s played the game true to herself. She thinks she’s played cold-blooded, aggressive, cutthroat…she was playing to win. She thinks the best point she can make to the jury is to say she has been a powerful, controlling player throughout the game.
Final Tribal Council
Probst brings in the jury then begins by telling them that they’ll each get an opening statement then they’ll face questions from the jury and then the jury will vote.
Amanda goes first. She says she came into the game wanting to play a loyal game and fight physically, strategically, and mentally to the end. SheÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s proud of how she played and wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t be sitting there without help from all of them. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œSo, thanks.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? Yeah, she just thanked them for losing to her. That’s like “What Not To Say To The Jury 101.”
Parvati goes next. She says she knows she came into the game with a reputation as a flirt. She knew she had to play aggressively. She says the only thing she could do was make bold power plays. She points out that with a powerful group of women they pulled off some of the biggest moves in Survivor history. She says the jury should ask whatever they want and they’ll get honest answers.
Now it’s the jury’s turn to ask their questions:
Eliza – She thinks they both played a great game, “But I honestly have no idea who IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m going to vote for tonight.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? She says she spent all 24 days with Parvati and thinks that voting out Ozzy was ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œa brilliant strategic move.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? However, she doesn’t respect the things Parvati did that wasn’t related to strategy such as talking behind her back and making fun of her, etc. So, Eliza thinks Parv might be a mean person.
She thinks Amanda played a great and impressive strategic game, but listening to her talk ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œliterally made me want to kill myself sometimes.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? She doesn’t know if she can vote for someone who is so “superficial.”
Jason – He first asks Amanda if she would have told Ozzy about the plan to vote him out if she had been included. She says, “yes.”
Jason then shows he doesn’t understand the meaning of words by saying he’s had “misconceptions” of Parvati as “a devious, manipulative player.” He wants to know what some of her redeeming qualities are. Parv says that she was loyal to her alliance with Cirie and Amanda (of course, she would have said the same if it had been Alexis or Natalie with her). And she’s an animal lover.
Alexis – She asks Parvati what makes her a better role model than Amanda for young girls, because thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s one of AlexisÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ passions. Parv says she’s more outspoken than Amanda which makes her more independent. She doesn’t like things being done for her. She says Amanda would go along with the flow while she is more willing to make bold moves.
Alexis tells Amanda that she’s seen a bunch of Oscar-worth performances from her, especially when she was crying about sending Cirie home, so she wants to know if there’s anything genuine about Amanda’s game. Amanda says she hasn’t faked anything at Tribal Council, tear-wise. She said voting out Cirie was genuinely the hardest decision she’s ever had to make. She doesn’t want sympathy votes.
Natalie – Natalie says something about both of them having her respect then says that Parvati labeled herself as a flirt and is probably the most masterful person in the history of Survivor in that area. She wants to know how that resonates for her in the bedroom? What!?! Jeff doesn’t get it either. Everyone is either stunned or laughing or confused.
They then have a weird conversation about how Parvati is a flirt and about how she flirted with Natalie on several occasions. Natalie looks like she enjoyed it. Parvati says that Natalie is sexy. Obvious pandering. Natalie continues to ask some really confusing question about how flirting relates to her intimate life. Parvati apparently figures it out somehow and answers that flirting helps her get what she wants. She says she can develop genuine relationships without flirting, but ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œit is an old standby, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m not going to lie.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?
Natalie tells Amanda that she is clearly beautiful and appears to be strong, but that she always has a glazed over look on her face. She wants to know if that is her strategy or if that’s who she really is. What? A zombie? Amanda is, of course, perturbed by the question. She says that it’s neither. She’s a strong woman who made intellectual and strategic decisions. She doesn’t want anything given to her…which is probably good because I don’t think Natalie is going to be giving her a vote.
Erik – Erik says that not too long ago he would have 100% been voting for Amanda because he respected her and thought of her as a big sister…or a cousin…(or a girl he’d like to get with…my words). Lately, though, he’s been feeling pissy because he feels like she threw him under the bus at the last couple of Tribal Councils. He’s torn up about it. He wants to know why she felt she could judge him in front of everybody. Yeah, I don’t get that.
Amanda tells him that everything she said at Tribal Council was honest. He was disloyal to her and tried to vote her out which hurt her. She wasn’t going to just sit there and take it. She tries to say she’s sorry that she hurt his feelings, but her interrupts to say it’s too late for “I’m sorry.” She’s said that to him before. He’s not buying it. “Too little, too late.” Doesn’t sound like she’s getting Erik’s vote either.
James – James claims he’s not going to be difficult because Amanda pretty much knows she has it in the bad…which I think means he’s voting for her. But he wants to point out that Parvati came to him with a bunch of “fluff” after voting out Ozzy and he wants her to pretend that part didn’t happen and re-enact it by giving him a different, believable version.
Parvati says something like, “Ha ha! I got you, sucka! What!” But James didn’t think that was good enough. Parvati protests and says that’s what he told her at the time that he wanted her to say. James says she’s exaggerating and he just wants her to be honest. It’s a game. She agrees and says that it’s a game who’s motto is “outwit, outplay, outlast.” James says, “Exactly.” Um, I don’t know if we’re getting anywhere here… I guess James thinks we are, though. Parvati finally starts saying what he wants to hear – that she doesn’t think she could have won with him and Ozzy in the game so she got rid of them.
Cirie – Cirie asks Amanda a classic trap question. She wants to know why Parvati deserves a million dollars more than Cirie herself does. She’s obviously trying to get Amanda to say why Parvati is more deserving of being in the final two than she is. The correct answer is, of course, that she’s not. Amanda should say that she took Parv to the final two because Cirie would beat her in a heartbeat if she went up against her – that would be both flattering and honest. Instead, Amanda says Parvati played a very aggressive, bold game and stood by her game the whole time. She respects that.
Cirie wants to know if AmandaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s words mean she didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t respect CirieÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s game. Amanda says no. She respects her game as well, but Parvati made bolder decisions and was the powerhouse in making the decisions happen. This shows Cirie that Amanda didn’t really know what was going on plus it shows the jury that Parvati was a powerhouse – a really bad answer.
Cirie asks Parvati why Cirie should be sitting in her seat and Parvati should be on the jury. Parvati answers correctly by saying that Cirie played ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œa pretty brilliant game.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? It was a little more under the radar than ParvatiÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s, which is a great strategy, but she canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t compete with a mother of three. Spot on.
Ozzy – Ozzy says he might be the biggest idiot up there. But I can easily spot several others that far outclass him in the idiot department. He says that he is truly and to the bottom of his heart hurt by what Parvati did to him. He thinks it was a good move, but she put a price on their friendship and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œthrew us away like garbage.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? He doesn’t understand how she can say she’s a role model when she’s so willing to discard a valuable friendship like that. Man, these guys must have really been good friends in real life. But Ozzy doesn’t want an answer from Parvati (not that he’s asked a question) because he doesn’t want to talk to her.
Ozzy says that the worst part about the whole thing is that Parvati took away 14 days (rather presumptuous don’t you think) that he could have spent with Amanda. He continues speaking directly to Amanda. He tells Amanda that when he told her he wasn’t playing her he was being honest. He’s having feelings that he’s never had before and he honestly feels like he started to fall in love with her. She’s an amazing girl and he wants everyone to know it. Amanda is all smiles.
Time To Vote
It’s finally time to vote. This time, of course, the jury will be voting and they’ll be voting for the person they want to win. Erik votes for Amanda while saying that he’s willing to forgive and forget if she’s willing to do the same. You know, I’ve always thought he had a crush on her and now I’m quite certain of it. Alexis and Natalie both vote for Parvati as expected. Ozzy votes for Amanda. They show Eliza thinking and thinking and thinking about who she wants to vote for. I don’t know how long it really was but they made it look like it was a really long time. We don’t get to see who she voted for. Jeff collects the votes and takes off. The two finalists hug.
The Reading Of The Votes
In an instant we’re in New York and on a live stage where they’ve recreated the Tribal Council, but everyone looks weird all cleaned up and wearing too much makeup. Jeff says that the word from fans is that other than the first season this may be the best season ever (yeah, I actually thought Season 2 was the best).
It’s now time to read the votes: Parvati, Amanda, Parvati, Amanda, Parvati, Amanda, Parvati (no one ever mentioned what would happen if it was a tie), Parvati. With that, Parvati wins Survivor: Micronesia – Fans vs. Favorites.
The two finalists hug then Parvati goes down to the audience and hugs her family. Once again, Amanda gets close, but not close enough.
Another season of Survivor comes to a close and once again I feel slightly disappointed. Although I did enjoy this season for the most part, I’m slightly disappointed at the producers for what happened at the very end.
I am a fan of the two-person final Tribal Council as opposed to the three-person finals we’ve had for a while now. I applaud the decision to go back to a two-person final (although it remains to be seen if this was a one time deal or if the change will stick), but I deplore the way the producers did it. In a game of strategy such as Survivor there must be certain elements of the game, certain rules, that always remain the same in order for the game to be played with any kind of skill at all. If you change the basic components of a game of strategy all you are left with is a game of luck and chance.
When faced with a three-person Final Tribal Council, Amanda was sitting pretty in the driver’s seat when she was set to go up against Cirie and Parvati. The two of them had played essentially the same game and had done little to differentiate themselves or their gameplay. There is a better than even chance that at least some votes would have gone to both Cirie and Parvati. As we saw in the actual voting, Amanda only lost by one vote (well, one not counting Cirie’s vote). If she had faced both Cirie and Parvati it seems likely that at least one or two of Parvati’s votes would have gone to Cirie while Amanda more than likely would have kept her three votes for sure. Amanda would have won.
However, by changing the three-person final to a two-person final at the very last moment, the producers changed a monumental strategic element of the game, but left no opportunity for the players to adjust for the change. It was patently unfair and left me, a lover of the strategy part of Survivor, feeling very unfulfilled yet again.
I also have to question the casting decisions that were made this season. The season was billed as a showdown between past Survivor favorites and ultimate Survivor fans. Unfortunately, the supposed Survivor mega-fans seemed more like Big Brother rejects who had barely even seen an episode of the show. Sure, a lot of them came in spouting off about strategy but that just proved that they weren’t very good (or smart) fans of the show because any smart fan would know that spouting off about strategy would be the sort of thing that would get you kicked off.
Kathy and Chet were downright inexcusable as contestants. Even Erik who knew a lot about the show seemed to have no idea how the show actually worked. During the reunion show he said something about how getting to the final two would have required him to do something that he wouldn’t have been willing to do. If you want to be on Survivor, season 16, you should probably have a general idea of what kind of ethical and/or moral boundaries the game might bring up and force you to confront.
It is my contention that every season of Survivor should be filled with “fans” of the show – people who actually watch and want to play the game. I’ve had enough of cry babies and wimps. I’ve had enough of those who go on the show and make mistakes that they should have learned by watching Season 2. I would like to watch and be impressed. If I continue to watch and see people who insult my intelligence with their ignorance of the game and general stupidity about life, I’m probably going to get bored and upset. And I’m not the only one.
Here’s a thought. Put me on the show. Not just me. Put people like me on the show. Put bloggers and writers and strategists and people who recap the episodes on Survivor for a season. Survivor gets truly interesting when people begin making big moves and blindsides and gutsy calls. I guarantee you’ll see more strategy and more intrigue and more of these types of moves when you put people on the show who have actually watched the show and have seen the things that work and don’t work. I guarantee it’ll be more fun to watch.
Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox. Overall it was still a pretty decent season. I’m sure the summer will seem pretty long, but the next season of Survivor will be here before you know it. It looks like it’s going to be another good one!
Amanda Kimmel, Parvati Shallow