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S38.E14: I See the Million Dollars

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One castaway’s game unravels and someone gets a chance to return to the game when the castaways “living on the edge” compete head to head. In the end, one castaway will take home the $1 million prize and earn the title of Sole Survivor.

Original Airdate 5/15/2019

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6 minutes ago, Rachel RSL said:

I wish somebody would remind Probst that his talk show was cancelled. (Nice of him to dress up for the finale. WTF wardrobe people?!) Did we really need a 10 minute long segment where he talked to every single weepy EoE person? Followed by an interview where we got to hear them ramble about Joe’s hair? 

I think Probst's wardrobe reflects the overall feeling of this season.  He clearly didn't care enough to not look like he's ready to go do yard work.

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I don’t know what show we’ve been watching all season, but it really wasn’t Survivor. Maybe it was the spinoff: Edge of Extinction. That way I can ignore it in rankings.

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At least Chris had the balls to go head to head with Rick at the end.  It was his only move to win instead of be second.

Not sure why Rick didn't try to get rid of Gavin.  I didn't think Lauren had any resume to win.  Julie had a better resume but she was rather unlikeable from your typical voting standpoint.  Plus neither of the final 3 did a good job of speaking per se.  Gavin didn't use his good ol boy shucks charm and Julie went with using her emotions as a tool?   Eye roll.

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One thing about Joe, I think he's better off on other game shows.  He won The Price Is Right (or at least helped the woman he was paired with win), and won Candy Crush with Wentworth.  Maybe he's better off going away from Survivor and carving a new game show path.

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Chris winning after being voted off is just disgusting. He played a good game for whatever days were left, but again he was voted off. EOE definitely ranks towards the bottom of the pack. If someone else that was never voted out and won, then this season would have been more tolerable. I liked most of the cast, but EOE made this season bad.

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I was happy to see Chris win. This is my first Survivor season (except for a few episodes of S1), so I’m sure I’m coming at it with a much different perspective than a longtime fan.

I didn’t have any real favorites, but there were lots of people I didn’t like. So glad that Devens lost; his faux-playful arrogance got on my nerves. 

And I suppose I get why people think Chris is undeserving because he was out of the game, but I think he took the best of a not-great situation and played a pretty decent game when he returned. Took guts (I assume) to give up immunity to fight Devens with fire, but I’m still not clear what his options were at that point.

So why did the entire jury look as fresh as a daisy, except for Eric, who was dressed like he was still hanging out at EoE? He looked rough!

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Oh!  Just posting again because I cant believe I forgot to complain about the BS "Sia" award. Wtf is this madness?  The viewers werent voting the way CBS wanted them to every once in awhile so now we have they'll just give away money to a contestant of their choosing?!  And all in the name of a pseudo-celeb who couldn't be bothered to come out to the reunion show and give out this "award" herself. My goodness, what utter nonsense. 

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Oh, man, that sucked. That sucked big time heaps. That sucked dog's balls.

DUDE! That was lame.

I wanted Rick to win so much, and that just sucked.

How bad was that, that I even feel sorry for Lauren now? Chris was one of my favorites to get back from EoE, and it still sucked. Meh.

This season started off dull, repetitive, frustrating, oddly edited; it picked up heat, it got funny, it got exciting, and then... I was so deflated by that outcome I didn't bother to crack open my special Survivor Finale snacks! That is some sad ending to a series. Oh well. Amen.

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That was unexpected...and almost enough to forgive such a terrible season. Of course, it helped that I always loved Chris's pretty face and wanted to see more of it and it really helped that Rick didn't win [which I assumed was inevitable]. I did fast forward through most of the episode, so I guess that counts against it.

Aubrey's weeks of rope twisting practice advantage on Extinction didn't help her much.

People I never want to see on Survivor again: everyone on this cast bar Victoria, Lauren and Chris [I could look at him all day].

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In more exciting news, Joe is currently in the process of chopping his hair off for charity.

ETA: Oh, Joe got a Sia prize of his own.  Sia said she’d pay him $15000 to cut his hair off for charity.  Joe accepted, saying he wanted her to donate the money to charity as well.

So...Probst brought up that Joe needed a hair cut. Did he run out of time for Sia to come out and chop it off herself?  

Edited by LadyChatts
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Ugghh. I didn’t want Devens to win, he was getting the unfair Ben stuff thrown his way right and left. But Chris winning is worse, somehow. I would have been AOK with Lauren or Victoria winning and generally ok w Gavin or Julie. Chris seems nice, and made the ABSOLUTE best of the hand dealt, but the game itself was unfair and  often unwatchable.  Ugh.

at least I get Sandra next season. Please don’t let survivor ruin Sandra.

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While I disliked most of the season, I enjoyed the finale. Of course, I fast forwarded through all the boring lessons learned monolog from the EoE players, so it wasn't a pure viewing experience. I just don't care about hearing all that.. 

In the challenge to see which EoE player got back in the game, I thought for sure Joe was going to smoke everyone in the field. However, I was thrilled to see Chris and Aurora ahead of him most of the time. And while I actually like Joe, I was glad Chris won.

Given the name for next season, I had to laugh at all the idols being played tonight, both real and fake. I think Devins can be crowned the new HII champion now. Didn't particularly like how he was gloating over the girls finding the fake ones, but I can't say I blame him. It just looked bad given how hopeful they were that they had found one.

Also wasn't sure where that whole split immunity idol came from, and how it was reintroduced. It seemed like it was going to go to whoever returned to the game, but I found it odd that they couldn't play it at the Tribal Council they just returned for. If you Survivor wants to give a returning player a fighting chance, just do so. Don't do it the way they did it. Devins also mentioned that he got something put in his bag from Production, but I don't recall him saying or showing what it was. Very weird.

I was also wondering why Eric seemed to be in his ragged clothes in the final jury as well. Did he not save some for later? Did Survivor lose his luggage? Did he lose a bet?

Gotta give the Anaconda, er... Chris, props for doing something we haven't seen done in long time: give up the Immunity Necklace. I doubt he would have done that during a regular vote though. Of course, him making fire was the only chance they had of knocking Devins out of the game. I just don't think Gavin stood a chance.

While I liked Chris, I really don't think it was good that he won the game. I just don't think players should return to the game. It would have been the same if Devon had won, though at least he played in the main game longer. And at least he was responsible for some of the more interesting stuff that happened in the game. However, other than maybe Gavin, I really wasn't rooting for anyone to win.

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Wow, I’ve never seen such levels of apathy for this show. I watch on DVR delay, so I’m always late to the discussion, and typically there would be about 3 pages of posts by now— for a regular episode. For a finale...? Much more. So the relatively small number of comments really says it all.

I have mixed feelings about Chris. I was not unhappy to see him make it back in, because I liked him before and he seems like a decent guy. But seeing him make it to the finals after only 2 rounds of play (one of which was handed to him) seems undeserved. But, as noted previously, going up against Rick like he did was a baller move and I give him points for that. And if either Julie or Gavin had won, I would have thrown things at the TV because they were both classic goats. So I guess I’m happy with the outcome....?

The way this was set up, with an exiled player able to return and possibly win so late in the game, I just don’t think there was much of a chance for a satisfying outcome. If Rick had gotten rid of Chis when he had the chance (and I was shocked when he didn’t), he would have won and the whole Exile aspect would have been a pointless diversion. So I the end, it was doomed either way.  I will be very surprised if they do this again.

Yesterday, I was playing an old season of Survivor on Hulu while I did some work around the house, and I was struck by the difference. Gameplay was so much more polite in the old days—no blindsides— and there were no idols. I’m not saying I would advocate a return to the old school  style of gameplay, not that it would ever happen anyway, but I would love to see another season with no idols. Just win by your wits and strategy; no handouts. How regressively revolutionary would that be??

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Well, I saved 3 hours of my life not watching this tonight. What a bullshit season. Between this, GoT, and everything going on in the real world, this week has just been one giant black hole of disappointment. Not even looking forward to the next season. 

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Bullshit. This season was bullshit. All the idols and advantages were bullshit. The winner was bullshit. I have no opinion on Chris because I didn't see him play. He got voted out almost immediately and then did one cool thing by doing the fire challenge (also bullshit). It's Survivor because it happened on Survivor, but it's not Survivor. 

I feel about as angry as I did with the Ben season except I didn't like Gavin and Julie as much as I liked Devin and Chrissy.

I was thrilled when Devens got out at 4 but I'd rather that he won over Chris. At least I had a sense of his game rather than some rando.

I'm sorry Julie didn't get one vote. But that's kind of typical when the final 3 is two men and one woman. I saw a commercial for Etsy before the winners were announced and I wondered if that was a sign for Julie. 

It was not.

I will watch Survivor until the day I die or it's canceled (whichever comes first), but this is going into one of the bottom seasons for me. Maybe not the worst (Samoa was my least favorite ever), but it's down there.

Also why did we spend 20 minutes mid-final episode talking about Joe's hair? I'm a straight woman and yet I don't care about Joe let alone his hair. That should've been a sign of how terrible things were going to get.

It's just a show. I should really just relax.

I hope Victoria and Aurora come back. 

Ugh.

Edited by Steph Sometimes
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2 hours ago, Wandering Snark said:

 His unrestrained GLEE over his 'immunity idols' he his was disgusting. There was no need to do that and less need to revel in it. I hated his gameplay because it was unnecessarily cruel and self-aggrandizing. 

IMO, I didn’t mind the fake idols. His glee was the problem for me only because he was mad when Ron tried to trick him. Either be gleeful or be mad but don’t be a hypocrite just because it’s happening to you. 

1 hour ago, 30 Helens said:

Yesterday, I was playing an old season of Survivor on Hulu while I did some work around the house, and I was struck by the difference. Gameplay was so much more polite in the old days—no blindsides— and there were no idols. I’m not saying I would advocate a return to the old school  style of gameplay, not that it would ever happen anyway, but I would love to see another season with no idols. Just win by your wits and strategy; no handouts. How regressively revolutionary would that be??

I’ve been wanting a Survivor:No Idols season for a few years now. 

If you haven’t, watch a challenge from season 1. It’s so bizarrely quiet w/o Jeff’s constant narration. 

And they needed to change this from a 2 hr finale & 1 hr reunion show to an extra 1 hr regular episode, then the 2 hr finale & 1 hr reunion show. They always run over. It was almost an extra 1/2 hour they needed tonight. 

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1 hour ago, 30 Helens said:

Wow, I’ve never seen such levels of apathy for this show. I watch on DVR delay, so I’m always late to the discussion, and typically there would be about 3 pages of posts by now— for a regular episode. For a finale...? Much more. So the relatively small number of comments really says it all.

I have mixed feelings about Chris. I was not unhappy to see him make it back in, because I liked him before and he seems like a decent guy. But seeing him make it to the finals after only 2 rounds of play (one of which was handed to him) seems undeserved. But, as noted previously, going up against Rick like he did was a baller move and I give him points for that. And if either Julie or Gavin had won, I would have thrown things at the TV because they were both classic goats. So I guess I’m happy with the outcome....?

The way this was set up, with an exiled player able to return and possibly win so late in the game, I just don’t think there was much of a chance for a satisfying outcome. If Rick had gotten rid of Chis when he had the chance (and I was shocked when he didn’t), he would have won and the whole Exile aspect would have been a pointless diversion. So I the end, it was doomed either way.  I will be very surprised if they do this again.

Yesterday, I was playing an old season of Survivor on Hulu while I did some work around the house, and I was struck by the difference. Gameplay was so much more polite in the old days—no blindsides— and there were no idols. I’m not saying I would advocate a return to the old school  style of gameplay, not that it would ever happen anyway, but I would love to see another season with no idols. Just win by your wits and strategy; no handouts. How regressively revolutionary would that be??

I totally agree. With 30 Helens. See what I did there?

Seriously I agree. I too was surprised to see the lack of pages of comments here. It was ok to see Chris win but not super satisfying. In another season watching a Rick Devins win would be kind of annoying since most of it seemed to be idol play. But he was actually visible in the game, playing.

I think they should stop hiding idols earlier in the game. Once a certain tribal hits, if an idol is played, that’s it.

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I cannot believe Chris won. He was not even present with the gen pop until a few days before the 39th day. This idea of allowing anybody back into the game after they are voted out shoots the show's concept in the foot. 

Seriously, how could he win? How does a guy win who was in another location for almost the entire run of the season? It is like a teacher giving an award for "student of the week" to a student who was absent all week. 

This final episode was preposterous. 

good article at People

Edited by DakotaLavender · Reason: added a link
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I don't even know how to feel at the moment.  How can someone who's been out of the game for almost a month still win?  Yet he was a better choice than the other two, IMO.  How does that even happen?  This was all just so...I don't even know what else to say right now. 

Edited by eskimo
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What annoys me the most about Chris is the fact that he was with the jury through almost the entire game.  He was the third person voted off.  The only people who didn’t make it to the end with him were Wendy and Keith, and only Reem went before him.  So he was there to greet every person that was voted off.  And he got information that he then used back in the game that ended up tanking Victoria and Lauren’s games.  So he had info that no one else in the game was privy to, was handed an idol that got him to the final 4, and bonded with the jury.  In addition, I felt he stole Gavin’s move in going to fire against Rick.  I feel like the jury likely already had their minds made up, but obviously Chris had nothing on his resume.  That’s the one and only move he had was getting lucky that he got fire faster than Rick.

I really hope the jury give insights as to why they voted the way they did.  I think I’m most surprised by Victoria, Eric, and Joe voting for Chris.  Yes, Gavin might have blindsided 2/3 of them-but isn’t that a game move? At least it was better than being blindsided on day 8 and not even returning to the game until day 36.

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I lied, I do know what else to say right now.  I just figured out why I'm so bothered by this season, especially coupled with the previews of next season.  Not so much because of a couple of off seasons themselves, but they are so far out in left field that I'm really concerned that the entire show is going to become a caricature of itself.  Is this how it all ends? 

Edited by eskimo
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6 minutes ago, violet and green said:

Chris was voted out for spoiling a vote (blabbing to Wardog). He was not the target of the vote. He got voted out for being dumbly loyal to the wrong person, but mostly for opening his big mouth at the wrong time. He was then out of contention at being voted off (again) for weeks.

Devens was voted off and got back in, in a few days - he was back by day 17 - and was then a target for the next few weeks.

Gosh! Who had to play harder, for longer?

Who cares? They were both voted out. And then they won their way back in. And then they played a decent game with the time that they had.

Rick played a crap social game and got himself in a position where he had to win immunity and fire to make the final.

Chris made a huge move by putting both Julie and Gavin in the final, especially after both of them said that they wanted to win their way into the final.

And Rick being Rick voted for Gavin, not the dude who put his own neck on the line. Probably because he was angry that Chris didn’t take him to the final or let him beat Gavin or Julie to get to the final.

Rick was happy and go lucky when he was screwing with other players but whiney and petulant when things didn’t go his way. 

I don’t like EoE as a oncept and don’t think either Chris or Rick should have had a chance to win but suck is life. 

So, yeah, don’t care that Rick lost to Chris. They both lost before the merge so neither one of them should have been there.

I am more disappointed for Victoria and Lauren who never had a chance to win their way back in.

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Chris played the hand he was dealt near perfectly (after messing up initially before getting voted to EoE). He schmoozed the jury endlessly, getting potential votes and information. The other players at EoE were idiots to share so much information, and he used it when he got back into the game. He played Lauren (who was a complete moron to use her idol to save him) and then made his "big" move to take out Rick Devins (which was the ONLY way he could have won the game. If Devins had won the firemaking challenge, he would have won the game. If Gavin (or Julie) had beaten Devins at firemaking, HE (or she) would have won the game.

I hate the whole EoE twist, and the firemaking at final four, but that was the game they were playing.

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Think I feel bad for Victoria the most in all of this.  

Put me in the group that was entertained by Devens.  Main reason is that you could see the fun he was having all the while working his butt off to stay.  I didn’t take his efforts in a negative way but I’m not necessarily a survivor purist.  Hope I’m saying that appropriately — I’ve been in need of giggles and Devens provided them by his antics.  

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I loved Rick's big showy, hard scrambling game, and I liked Gavin's quiet, strategic game.  That neither one won because some guy who's name I could barely remember came in at the last minute with insider info and an idol in his pocket -- maddens me. 

 Chris's immunity move was impressive, but he really had no choice.  He knew he couldn't beat Rick if he was in the final and he also knew he couldn't trust Julie or Gavin to beat Rick at the fire challenge. Chris tried to coach them but could see they weren't as good at fire making as he, himself was.

I hate the fire challenge.  I hate that someone can outwit, outlast and outplay for 38 days and then watch his game go up in smoke over something as random as the wind.

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Listening to Hannah on Rob Has a Podcast finale episode and she nailed this.

Most of the jury was in Chris's, and Rick's, position. They were voted off and wanted to come back and compete. They each had a chance to mend wounds with people that they voted off. They bonded over how crappy EoE was.

And whenever Gavin mentioned that Chris hadn't played the whole game he pissed off more then half of the jury. Gavin wasn't giving them credit for how hard EoE was. Never mind that Gavin wasn't able to understand what they went through because he had never been on EoE.

Who did the returnees vote for? I think they voted for Chris, which is beyond ridiculous.

ETA: From the EW interview with Chris

"

How were you feeling about your chances when you were walking into that Final Tribal Council. I’m sure you were doing jury math in your head, thinking, “Maybe I got this guy, maybe I don’t have this person.” How are you feeling about it?
Part of what I did before I got back into the game, which, again, I was one of 11, right? But my strategy was to have really legitimate conversations with people, saying, “Hey, if I get back in this game, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what needs to happen, but what exactly needs to happen to earn your vote?” I remember Wardog was like, “If you try to go out and win every immunity challenge, you’re not getting my vote.” If you make it to the end and win immunity, you’re not getting my vote.”

And so that was one small tidbit. I said, “Okay, I’ve got to throw a challenge. I cannot win my way to the end. I’ve got to be vulnerable for a vote, maybe see an advantage come into play and then make a big move, and do all those within a short period of time.” So, you know, that played a big role for sure."

So Chris had the time to ask the Jury what he had to do to win and they told him. LOL

Stupid season.

Edited by ProfCrash
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Chris kind of won me over.  He played a very smart game when he returned and (IMO) did more in the few days he was there than the other two did in 39 days.  And his answers to the jury were well thought out.  However, sitting out for 30 some days and bonding with the jury gave him a huge advantage but did not allow the audience to get to know him at all!  (Honestly, before the episode I could not have told you his name.  There was a Chris and an Eric, they were interchangeable.)  I figured the returnee would win, whoever that would be.  The only people who did not vote for Chris were the ones who were booted after his return, with the exception of Aurora. 

Huge fail for Survivor.

At least the Tribal of a Million Immunity Idols was entertaining.

It looks like CBS posted Ponderosa videos for everyone.  Too late, I don't care to watch these people anymore.

Without a doubt Rick will be back to play again.

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I would like to add up how many tribal councils Chris did NOT have to survive??! OK, EOE may not have  been as easy as Ponderosa, but you weren't leaving unless it was your choice.

Still angry this morning.

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Well that's done - can we retire edge of extinction now.  Do I hate Chris for winning - no.  Do I think Chris should have won - hell no.   There was no outwit, outlast or outplay in his win.  The only thing edge of extinction did was turn the game into "make friends".  Oh and did they have a rough time on extinction in terms of shelter and food - yes so I won't discount that.  BUT!  Big, Big, BUT..........they still didn't "play", especially those voted out early, they didn't have to go through individual immunity, who's in my alliance, who are we voting for tonight, am I in trouble, they didn't have to outplay tribe mates in challenges.  What they did get to do, again especially those voted out early is commiserate with those voted out later, tell them how they understood, it's tough, I'm on your side buddy and all sing kumbaya.   And to put them in an even better position the earlier you were voted out the less the rest disliked you, after all you had no hand in their ouster.  I thought the whole point of the jury is get people who you voted out, blindsided or even back stabbed to vote for you in the end?  How well does that apply if you were out first and never voted for them at all?

Again not hating Chris, he's not terrible (I think I'd have felt that way if it was Wentworth or Reem or a few others who returned) and he did hustle and play for the few days he was back.  But the idea that you can not actually play and win over those who had to fight at every tribal whether going tough through idols, manipulating alliances or just playing the goat?  That just doesn't sit well as part of the Survivor we know and have watched. 

Edited by sigmaforce86 · Reason: clarified my "them, they and you" so it makes sense!
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This season was odd.  First of all, I couldn't believe we were already to the end, and I hardly noticed--usually I start to get more into the season as we get closer to the end, and this season I kept waiting for the moment I would get into it.  I think I just never really knew the people well enough, or who was on whose side...  

I was liking Rick's various moves near the end, so I found that entertaining, and I do feel bad that he couldn't make it to the final 3.  Chris redeemed himself a bit with his move to do the fire, but I agree with everyone here that it is very odd to have someone voted out early come back to win.  It really does go against what Survivor is all about.  

That said, I did like how Rick and Chris worked together at the end, the humor of the fake idols, etc.  Chris did a great job at deceiving the others.  

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I found Rick to be such an insufferable ass that I reveled in his failure on the fire-making challenge.  Yes, Chris sucks as a winner (although he seems like a really nice guy), but for me Rick would have been even worse because I thought he was a dick.

I'm still angry that they do the whole fire thing at the end now.  It's completely unfair that the "reward" for winning the final immunity challenge is NOT being able to vote out the person you really want gone.  Idiotic.

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Chris was the 3rd voted out on day 8. He was the 2nd player to return on day 35. I think the problem was production. They only allowed 2 players who were voted out to return and the 2nd player returned too late in the game and we saw it on finale night.

So we saw very little of Chris during this season and then he goes on to win. This is actually absurd and an embarrassment. How does that even happen? I was shocked. 

I also think the format of having three go to the final is awful. It used to be two, and the winner of the final competition made the choice of who he would sit next to and Jeff called it a million dollar decision. I hate this fire making challenge.... it takes away the power from the final comp winner and the fun was to see if that winner would make a smart decision or be loyal to an alliance member. 

Edited by DakotaLavender
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I have mixed feelings about the episode.  I really enjoyed the idol madness and I think Lauren is more strategically aware than we have otherwise seen as she at least realized there was a chance that her idol was fake.  I like the variation of the six different stations challenge being played over water (it was beautiful!).  But, like others, I don't like that one of the final three spent about a month with the jury.  There's a reason that jurors in high profile cases may be sequestered-to ensure that nobody interferes with their verdict.

It also seems to me that survivors should learn a lesson about taking goats to the finale.  Julie was there and others weren't.  If she wasn't sure of her goat status, the laughs she got when talking about her strategy of being emotional, as well as the push back when she claimed credit for Julia's vote out, along with 0 votes should have informed her.  Yet, she stayed in the game the entire time.  I don't have a clear read on Gavin, but I do think part of his fatal error was trying to claim that a former jury member (which Chris was-Jeff stated over and over that he was bringing in the jury members of which Chris was a part of for about a million tribal councils) would not be a valid winner when the deciding people would be...jury members.

Also, Wentworth-take a seat.  I guess she was trying to focus attention on herself during final tribal council.  Oh, and when Jeff interviewed her later and she was all about being a role model I just sat here trying to mentally get her to just shut up.  Oh, and the same with Joe who also sees himself as a role model who will keep coming back to Survivor.  

I was very frustrated when Chris had to teach Julie and Gavin how to make fire.  Really?  They've been in the game the entire time and hadn't perfected their fire making skills?  Unbelievable.  

All in all, the producers should have predicted this outcome and they probably did.  However, they probably thought it would be Joe or Wentworth who would come back and win.  I'm sure they thought up EoE as a way to ensure that a returning player would win; so at least that brings me some joy-that it kind of blew up in their faces.  Yes, an exile from Extinction (which, again, if it was extinction it would be they would be extinct and therefore not coming back into the game) won, but not the exile they wanted to win.  I kind of love it when people try to manipulate an outcome and get a totally different result from the one they wanted.

I will always continue to love Survivor, but sometimes the producers and casting directors just make it so hard for me to do so.

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25 minutes ago, TaraS1 said:

I found Rick to be such an insufferable ass that I reveled in his failure on the fire-making challenge.  Yes, Chris sucks as a winner (although he seems like a really nice guy), but for me Rick would have been even worse because I thought he was a dick.

I'm still angry that they do the whole fire thing at the end now.  It's completely unfair that the "reward" for winning the final immunity challenge is NOT being able to vote out the person you really want gone.  Idiotic.

I am thrilled that Rick lost. He was happy and gleeful only when he was in a power position or screwing with people. When he lost or was on the bottom he was a petulant wuss. And he was a hypocrite. Ron and Julie were big meanies because Ron gave Rick a fake idol and Julie played along but it is totally ok to make fake idols and giggle when they play them.

I get that it is game play and I don't have a problem with it but Rick is like your typical early elementary school age kid. It's not fair when you do something that hurts me but it is ok when I do it to you because I am being clever.

Overall, I think fake idol play is dangerous. You hope that it lulls your opponent into a false sense of security but you had better own up to using it for strategic purposes and not that you are just trying to make someone look like a fool. After Rick's display to Ron and Julie "What, did you want me to look like an idiot to my child?" and then play the real thing he probably shouldn't have been grinning like a mad man when Julie and Lauren played their fake idols.

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Unpopular opinion, but in the end, I was happy to see Chris win.  He played the hell out of the game those last three (or whatever) days, totally schooling everybody else in this season and in many other seasons. 

It's not his fault that EoE existed ("The concept's not on trial," thank you Wardog).  Survivor has always been about adjusting your game to the changing circumstances and Chris was savvy enough and flexible enough to make the most of his situation -- and to figure out how to use EoE while there to help his position later.  Smart guy, playing the long game.

I'd've been OK with a Devins win since he also played a hell of a game, but in a more traditional way.  But the baller move of taking Devins head-on in the fire-making challenge was when Chris won IMO.  Others say "he had no choice" but to play hard, but most other players would not have the stomach for that kind of gameplay (including, as Chris mentioned in the article quoted above, throwing one of the ICs to prove to the jury he could stay in the game without winning immunity).

I was kind of meh about this season overall but found myself really excited and nervous watching Chris after he got back into the game.  I feel sorry that people will want to put an asterisk by his win.

Also:  he is beautiful.

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Whimsy

Technically the winner is announced at the beginning of the reunion, HOWEVER, the winner can be discussed in the episode thread.  Don't venture here until you've heard who has won. 

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