Well, the rollercoaster season of Survivor: Cook Islands came to an end last night. We finally learned which ethnicity reigned supreme, at last putting an end to hundreds of years of bitter racial divides. Now we know which race is best, and we can simply acknowledge that and move on. Oh, I kid, I kid. I wouldn’t want the PC Police to come arrest me (that “politically correct,” not “personal computer”). Nevertheless, this was a highly unique finale. The jury interrogation — normally the high point of the season — proved to be somewhat bland whereas the final vote was more exciting than any outcome since All-Stars two and a half years ago (when Ambah won by one vote). And then there was that endurance challenge. No, I’m not talking about the one where they stood on poles in the ocean. I’m talking about the one where they tried to make fire for ninety minutes. Ah yes, good times. All in all, a solid finale to one of the best seasons in years.The big finale began with powerful, glorious images of the ocean. Well, actually, it began with a twenty-five minute recap of the season thus far, but that’s neither here nor there. Once we were done viewing the traveling school of fish that encompass the Cook Islands fauna, we then moved onto a significantly less inspiring image: Adam sulking around in a tent. Yes, the last remaining whitey (and former Raro tribesman) was essentially biding the time until his elimination, possibly wondering why he never was able to fly like the eagle he knew he could be. “I had no one to sleep with. It was like I was back on Exile Island,” he complained as he adjusted to life without Poverty. Poor Adam. Aaron Eckhart looks can only get you so far.
Meanwhile, Sundra began talking about how at this stage of the game, it was time to start thinking individually. People’s feeling might get hurt, she warned — as if she could ever hurt anyone’s feelings. She’d probably start to cry at the thought of betraying a hermit crab, let alone a tribe member. Nevertheless, Becky somewhat echoed Sundra, saying it would be advantageous to get rid of Ozzy if they had the chance. Of course, anyone who’s ever seen Ozzy in a challenge knows that he will never not win immunity. EVER. (I’m convinced that one time when he lost to Adam was some sort of practical joke).
We then cut to a shot of a centipede, another Mark Burnett fave, and then it was time for some tree mail. The gang received a clue that looked like some sort of spider web, and for a brief moment, I was optimistic that the Big Brother spider might make a triumphant return, spewing white jizz on the Survivors for no apparent reason, much as it had done so beautifully this summer in the Big Brother household.
Before heading out to the challenge, the Aitu Four all held hands and prayed, with Ozzy saying, “The vision that we had is finally going to be coming true.” Hmmm… Could this mean bad news for Ozzy? Eh, probably not.
Later, the Aitu Four and their giant man-slave Adam all trekked on over to the Immunity Challenge where Jeff Probst eagerly said, “Hope you’re ready for some fun today.” He then suddenly began yelling, “C’MON! LET’S GO!!! HAVE FUN!!!!” Okay, he didn’t say that. What he did do, however, was introduce the players to the next elaborate obstacle course. Everyone had to race around a ropes course to eight different stations, collecting a bag of puzzle pieces at each one. After each station, the players had to return to their own designated table and drop off their pieces. Once they had all eight bags of puzzle pieces, the survivors would then use the pieces to create an eight point compass rose, and if assembled correctly, a flag would raise. If this all sounded fun but not necessarily spectacular, think again. Jeff Probst informed us: “For what it’s worth, in thirteen seasons of Survivor, this is the most difficult puzzle we’ve ever had.” That’s right, most difficult puzzle EVER! And with that, lightning flashed in the heavens, a gust of wind burst through my window, and ten bats flew into my living room, all while Jeff Probst evilly cackled “MWAHAHAHAA” in my head.
Your mind will explode just by LOOKING AT THIS, THE MOST DIFFICULT PUZZLE EVER!!!
Personally, my favorite non-endurance, finale immunity challenge is still the blindfolded maze during Amazon. I can’t think of a harder obstacle course than that. But I digress…
Anyway, the challenge started, and soon everyone was crawling around this mammoth obstacle course, for the most part easily navigating through its various pitfalls and traps. Surprisingly, Ozzy was behind with the bags, and at one point everyone — including Becky and Sundra — was ahead of him. It felt weird and scary to see Ozzy so far behind, and quite frankly, I was so disoriented that I nearly broke out in a cold sweat and tremors. But of course, Ozzy’s no slouch, and after some animalistic tumbling and scampering through the course, he managed to catch up to Yul, who had been leading the pack. Sure enough, the balance of power shifted as Yul stumbled off the course at one point and Ozzy continued to glide on through like the nimble jungle boy he is. Eventually, the two wound up tied with six bags apiece, and then, of course, Ozzy took the lead. Soon, Ozzy was at work on THE MOST DIFFICULT PUZZLE OF ALL TIME, and while Yul took a while to get his eighth bag of pieces, he caught up with his friendly nemesis. Surely his innate Asian abilities to conquer puzzles would serve him well, right? Eh, not so much. Yul didn’t figure out the puzzle instantly as I had expected. Turns out this really was a tricky little bastard, and soon, Adam, Becky, and Sundra were pouring out their pieces, getting to work on the puzzle too.
As everyone slaved away, a quiet Jeff monitored the progress, occasionally making dumb comments like “Most difficult puzzle we’ve ever done.” Yes, Jeff, WE KNOW. He then chimed in with words of encouragement, saying, “Keep working. Keep fighting.” Uh, I don’t think anyone was giving up. Just go find an umbrella and enjoy a mojito, Jeff.
Of course, Probst was not about to be silenced. He babbled on about how the puzzle was the sort of thing you could work on for hours and then suddenly get it in three seconds. Yes, it could take hours… or it could take five minutes, which was about as long as it took Ozzy to figure it out. That’s right. Ozzy once again pulled out the victory, completing the MOST DIFFICULT PUZZLE EVER first and raising his flag. This meant that Adam’s last hope for survival was essentially gone. He looked at his unfinished puzzle despondently, with an expression that seemed to say “I wish I could be smart.”
“I done lost again. Shewt.”
After the commercial break, Yul reflected on the future of the game, noting that after Adam leaves, it’ll be a whole new ballgame. “I’m hoping it’ll be relatively clean,” he said, adding, “I trust that the small number of people in our party will likely inspire varying levels of suspicion and treachery to the extent that individuals can not be trusted, and personal mandates may waiver depending on strategical scenarios and outcomes. However, I’m optimistic that behavioral patterns will mimic past case studies and that we’ll collectively as a group continue to execute a consensual plan that is both reasonable and expedient.”
Mark Burnett then tried to throw some mild misdirection at us as Adam hatched a plan to flush out Yul’s idol. He wanted Sundra and Ozzy to vote against Yul. The outcome would still be that Adam would go home (on account of the hidden immunity idol), but as a result, it would shake up the game and change things around. It was a novel idea and an interesting attempt to maybe cause rifts in the group, but since Adam’s way of scheming always seems mired in casual chumminess, no one really took it seriously.
“I’m hoping something’ll come out of it,” Adam told us. Yeah, something will come out of it: you’ll be going home no matter what. Brilliant strategy!
We then went to Tribal Council where Nate came hobbling in on a walking stick for some reason. Perhaps he was the victim of some overly enthusiastic “OH SNAP!”-ing.
Well, Jeff asked Ozzy, “Did anything happen today to change Adam’s fate?” To which Ozzy replied, “Ummmm… No?” Haha, you’re done, ADAM.
Jeff then asked the Aitu Four about Ozzy and his dominance. Becky replied that she, Yul, and Sundra would be working extra hard to win immunity in the next few challenges, and over in the peanut gallery, er, jury, Candice rolled her eyes. WTF? Why was that eye-rolling worthy? Stop acting like these people all wronged you, bitch.
Of course, the eye rolls didn’t end there. When asked about riding Ozzy’s coattails, Becky firmly denied the accusation, this time causing Nate and Jenny to giggle. Seriously, what do all these people have up their asses. Granted, Becky and Sundra most definitely have been riding coattails (although, in my book, that has never been a detraction for any player — it’s all part of the game). Jenny cannot act like she was not a coattail rider herself. I’m fairly sure she was the epitome of coattail rider.
As for Adam, he made a last ditch effort to spice things up by letting out his inner asshole. He gestured towards Sundra and Becky and said, “I’m not sure what these two do. They’re boring people, that’s for sure.” Hey, they’re not boring. Just because they’re quiet and don’t do anything too significant around camp and aren’t terribly memorable and kind of fade into the background doesn’t mean that they’re boring. They’re just… quaint.
Luckily, the girls defended this accusation brilliantly… by being silent. Yes, nothing proves that you’re not boring like saying NOTHING.
Anyway, Yul then defended his tribe, saying that their success was not solely because of Ozzy’s supernatural abilities. “The reason we’ve gotten here,” he said, “is because we’ve all been really tight. There haven’t been any cracks in our alliance, and the four of us have been really loyal to the concept as moving forward together as a tribe.” Sounds about right, right? Apparently not. Candice, Parvati, and Adam all rolled their eyes, as if whatever Yul had said was total bullshit. Is there anything these idiots don’t roll their eyes at. I can just imagine Yul reading a dictionary entry to them. “Clam: A marine bivalve mollusk with shells of equal size.” WHATEVER YUL!!! (Eyes rolling left and right)
“Ew! He said a noun!”
“I am so not soaring like an eagle.”
The best I can approximate is that the whities all felt the Aitus were merely coasting on Ozzy’s success, but that wasn’t really true because pretty much in every competition, if Ozzy had lost, Yul would have won. Oh well. Candice, Adam, and Parvati are all dumb, and there’s nothing we can do to fix that.
Well, let’s not drag this out any longer. Everyone voted, and then Jeff read the results. Yul (or “Yule” — way to go, Adam) earned one vote while the rest went for Adam. And just like that, our resident, not-so-soaring eagle was finally sent packing. In the jury, Jenny shook her head in disbelief as if this were some major crime. Sorry, sweetcakes, but you could’ve stopped it long ago…
Afterwards, the Aitu Four all celebrated at camp, and Yul extolled the virtue of their triumph with a typically articulate reflection: “I am so glad that the winner of Survivor is gonna be from a minority community. I think it speaks volumes that often time the strongest teams are the ones that have a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds.” He then added, “Screw whitey.”
Anyway, after some general relaxation and self-congratulations, the Aitu tribe then learned they’d have to hop in their canoe, row to an island and climb to its highest peak, a task that caused Becky to let out a thrilled “OH!!!!!” She LOVES canoe trips!
Nevertheless, this was the famed trek of memories — the time when Survivors get to walk past the torches of “fallen” tribe members and reflect on them via small, meaningless phrases or by repeating their names over and over again (ie. “Brad, Brad, Brad…”). The first torch belonged to Sekou, the oafish jazz singer who famously slouched around camp and let the girls do all the work. “He had a lot of energy,” Sundra said. Um, actually, no, he had no energy at all. The second torch belonged to Billy, causing Ozzy to say, “Alright. Billy.” A heartfelt tribute if I’d ever heard one. Just in case we had forgotten how much Billy sucked, we heard him saying how much he appreciated “the new discovered fondness for being what I am: that heavy metal, head-banging, rock and roll rebel.” Yes, Billy. The quintessential rocker… from 1984.
We then passed Cecilia’s torch (who?) and JP’s, the latter of whom we heard saying, “You cannot rest at any time.” He then added, “Unless you have a throne like me. Then you can boss around whoever you want.” Anyway, one torch passed after another with barely any commentary from the cast members. Cristina got a “Tough cookie!” from Ozzy, but that was about it. I was really hoping Candice would get a few choice words — maybe a seething “BITCH” from Sundra, but again, the Aitus were silent. We did hear Candice talk about Adam, however. “What you see is what you get with him,” she said, perhaps implying that he was a man of little substance. Jonathan’s torch elicited a “Thank you, Jonathan. Thank you” from Ozzy, and at Parvati’s torch, we heard her say, “I thought I was running the show for a little while.” Yeah, um, no. Last but not least was Adam’s torch, which featured the toothiest Adam montage yet, and then finally, we were ready to tackle the final endurance challenge… after the break, that is.
Once we had sufficiently viewed enough commercials, it was time to learn what this season’s final immunity task would be. Basically, it wasn’t anything too crazy. The players had to stand on a perch that was custom built to their shoe size. Every fifteen minutes, part of the perch would fall away. Ultimately, after an hour, the Survivors would be left standing on something smaller than a postcard. Sounded pretty tricky, but compared to that archer’s stance a few seasons ago or that brutal pose in Thailand, this was a breeze.
Anyway, everyone climbed onto their platforms via some ladders (which mysteriously wandered off like possessed animals). Jeff took a comfy seat under an umbrella, and once he was suitably ready to commence his traditional mindfucking, the challenge began. Nothing too crazy happened at first. After fifteen minutes, one section of the platforms dropped away. After another fifteen minutes, another section dropped. At the forty-five minute mark, a third section fell away, and going with it was none other than Becky, who quickly lost her balance and plummeted into the ocean below. Aaaand there went her last chance to do anything in a challenge.
An hour into the challenge the survivors had to release their fourth and final piece of the platform. Now, they were all standing on their tiny poles, trying their hardest to keep their balance. Ozzy, of all people, looked like he was gonna fall over, but nope, he recovered. But then he almost fell again! But then he saved himself again! God, he’s such a Fake Faller!
When we weren’t watching Ozzy tempt the powers of gravity, the cameras zoomed in nice and close on everyone’s feet, affording us a lovely view of the hellish impact Survivor has on toe nails. It was quite tasty. Still, it wasn’t as cringe-inducing as those commercials where the toe fungus guy hops into the toe by lifting up the nail. I HATE THAT.
Anyway, Jeff began questioning the survivors on their status, and Ozzy revealed that the sweat was “making my nether regions itchy.” This caused Sundra to laugh and nearly fall over, but somehow she maintained her balance, the thought of Ozzy’s itchy ass failing to destroy her game. Meanwhile, Yul had taken the ill-advised tack of crouching on his pedestal. The good news was that his center of gravity was a bit more stable. The bad news was that it was destroying his knees. Jeff didn’t even ask if he was in pain. He merely assumed it with his seminal question, “Yul, where arae you feeling it?” Jeff LOVES asking that! Well, Yul said his knees and legs were hurting, and then he tried to stand up to relieve the pain. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a bad move. Yul wobbled for a few seconds and then plunged into the water, thus proving that Asians HATE balancing!
Now it was down to Ozzy and the unlikely Sundra, the latter of whom was randomly facing some other direction that was not camera friendly. However, the angle did show off her booty, and that’s gotta be worth something. The camera then lingered on her legs, which were quite nasty with pock marks and bug bites. I think it’s safe to say that Survivor is a dermatologist’s nightmare. Nevertheless, after about two and a half hours, the competition came to an end as Sundra randomly lost her balance and dropped into the ocean. That’s right, once again Ozzy won immunity for the last time. Another shocking development!
Afterwards, with the gang all back at camp, Ozzy announced, “I almost fell off. Twice.” Cut to Sundra with a look on her face like “GREAT. Thanks for sharing, asswipe.” Well, since it was a giant lovefest on Aitu, Yul and Ozzy felt the best way to determine which girl goes home was to force a tie-breaker, may the best biatch win. Personally, I thought they should have just voted Sundra off. After all, Ozzy didn’t care which girl went, and Yul and Becky had made a deal way back in the beginning. No use beating themselves up over it. Send Sundra home. She had a good run.
However, everyone just wanted to be fair and balanced. Or so they said. Later, in the privacy of the shelter, Yul offered the hidden immunity idol to Becky to protect her, but she was reticent. Such a sneak attack might look evil to the jury, she reasoned, and the last thing she wanted to do was give the jurors another reason to roll their eyes. Granted, as long as Becky said a word more than two syllables long, they’d probably roll their eyes anyway — on account of them being idiots.
Later, Sundra asked Yul, “Yul, there’s not going to be any surprises at Tribal, right?” Uh oh. Sounds like bitch might be going home! She even asked if Yul was gonna use the idol on Becky. He said no to both questions, but I had a sneakin’ suspicion that there might be some trickery tonight! Of course, then I remembered this was Aitu, and since they were all “nice” and “mature” people, they’d probably do the “fair” and “friendly” things, instead of the “obnoxious” and “crafty” scheming that I’d most likely engage in. And yes, I was totally air quoting as I typed.
Well, at Tribal Council, Jeff announced that there would be three people going to the final Tribal Council. This caused Jenny and Candice to, you guessed it, roll their eyes. Seriously. Now they’re rolling their eyes at exposition. JUST STOP ALREADY!
Anyway, nothing too crazy happened at this Tribal Council. Jeff Probst tried to introduce paranoia into the mix by suggesting that Yul might play the immunity idol, and based on Sundra’s queasy face, she looked like she kind of believed it, especially after Yul said, “You make a lot of compromises in this game.” Gulp! Ultimately, however, everyone stayed true to their word, and when Jeff asked Becky if she had the idol, she said no (although, this came after a few breathtaking moments of suspense). Well, it true form, it was time for a good ol’ tie breaker. You know what that means: time to build a fire! First one to snap the rope and cause her bell to ring (wasn’t it a flag raising in the past?) would save her hide.
Unlike previous survivors in this situation, the girls didn’t try to start their fire off the getgo. Instead, they were both strategical, creating their structures first and then tending to their kindling. It seemed like a smart idea. And then the competition began. Oh man. Watching the women striking their flint with machetes, it became clear that they sort of had bad form. Becky seemed barely able to even hold onto her flint in the first place.
Thirty minutes later — that’s right, thirty — they were still going at it, trying to get their first semblance of a flame. I felt bad for everyone who had to sit and watch this live. That being said, this was hilarious.
“I knew I should have yelled ‘LET’S GO!!!’”
The jury catches a special screening of ‘Til Death.
Even better was when the clock fast forwarded another thirty minutes, and still there was no progress. Poor Jeff looked so bored. We just knew this would cause some grade A snipping from him. Finally, after an hour of these shenanigans, an exasperated Probst announced, “We’re gonna go to matches.” THANK GOD. Although, personally, I would have rather them toil away for another hour, just to piss off the jurors.
Anyway, the girls each got a box of matches, and I half expected them to spend the next forty-five minutes striking the matches and trying to get a flame. Luckily, they turned out to have some basic skills and managed to indeed light their kindling on fire. However, that didn’t mean that they could actually start a real fire. Oh no. Not at all. Within seconds, both women’s fires flamed out, causing Ozzy to cradle his head in his hands and everyone to laugh with frustration.
“Make it stop…”
Thirty minutes later — that’s right, it had been an hour and a half since this tie-breaker began — Jeff finally caved to his passive-aggressive instincts: “After thirty-eight days out here, you should both know how to make fire!” he scolded. He was literally ten minutes away from beating them with his snuffer.
“I’m so disappointed with humanity right now.”
Finally, we did have some developments. Sundra ran out of matches, which meant she had nothing to do but sit and hope her rival would similarly fail. Unfortunately for Sunny, Becky somehow honed her inner Hestia (or Hephaestus, perhaps) and managed to summon a mighty blaze. After what seemed like eons, the bell finally rung, and Becky won the challenge. The two women embraced happily, and I think Sundra was less bummed about losing and more psyched that she didn’t have to sit there any longer and look like a dumbass who couldn’t start a fire. Disclaimer: I once spent two hours trying to start a BBQ. Turns out the vents were closed the entire time. I too know the sting of being a fire idiot.
Well, Sundra left the tribe, and in her parting comments, she amusingly told her fellow Aitu-ites, “One of you’s gonna win a million, and you’re taking me out to dinner!” Sundra, get ready for the best Olive Garden experience OF YOUR LIFE!
“Sundra, you’re an embarrassment to fire, and all those who create it.”
By the way, with Adam and now Sundra gone, we can officially declare that whites are the least effective race, followed by blacks. Congratulations, Latinos and Asians! One of you could be the best race ever!
The next day, the final Aitu Three hugged on the beach and rejoiced at their wonderful luck. This is what I like to call the “awkward filler time” of the finale. It’s too strange to go from one tribal council to the next; so Mark Burnett has to throw in about five minutes of useless reflection on the entire experience and how wonderful it is to not be “playing the game” anymore. Ahhhhh. In the case of Becky, this meant talking about how proud she was that she didn’t take Yul’s idol. She made the final three fair and square. Or as I like to call it, fair and ninety-minutes worth of pitiful firemaking attempts. She then explained why she thought she might have an advantage with the jury. “I think I have played a very social game,” she said, adding, “And by ‘social,’ I mean ‘totally silent.’”
Later on, two women arrived at the beach bearing gifts in the form of food and champagne. Ozzy spotted this wonderful bounty first, yelling, “YUL! Get out here!!!” What? No love for Beckers? Luckily, Yul had her back, but when he yelled for her to come hither, she was nowhere to be found. Alas, Becky had wandered off to some remote sandbar — her fortress of sandy solitude, if you will. We don’t know why she headed out there. Maybe she wanted to take a dump. Nevertheless, Ozzy told us that it was quite symbolic that Becky was absent, saying it probably foreshadowed what would surely be a lack of votes from the jury. Yul, on the other hand, was kinder. He babbled on about how wonderful his friendship with Becky was. “Finding a really good friend is worth more than a million dollars,” he told us, causing all of America to let out a collective “Awwwww.” This was then followed by a woman singing “Every kiss begins with Kaye” in my head.
At last, it was time to head up to Tribal Council. Before leaving camp, Yul fretted, “Hopefully, people won’t hold it against me that I beat them.” Uh, yeah, they will. Have you not seen the rolling eye parade? By the way, I’d like to thank the survivors for not engaging in that most ridiculous of rituals: the traditional burning of the camp. I know it’s supposed to be some sort of symbolic exorcism of something, but honestly, I just think it’s a fire hazard and it’s a miracle no one’s been singed to death so far.
Anyhoo, the gang headed back up to Jeff Probst’s domain where we got to see a cleaned up Sundra. She looked lovely and radiant, and if I’m not mistaken, someone had cruelly poured a vat of vegetable oil on her chest because sista was shiny. The three remaining survivors then gave their opening statements, which were all on the boring side. Yul was dependably articulate as he emphasized that he’s done more than anyone else to affect the flow and outcome of the game. Becky was also fairly well-stated, albeit slightly brief, as she touted her social game (seriously Becky, I really like you, but you have no chance). Ozzy had the strongest opener, however. He wisely played to the sentimental types, offering up an emotional plea and championing his underdog status. So far, advantage Ozzy.
After the commercial break, it was time for the jury interrogation. Jeff announced that Nate was first, causing the shoe salesman to let out a small, joyous “Snaaap!” Seriously, Nate. Just stop.
Anyway, Nate complimented the trio and then launched into a long monologue that was clearly meant to go on his acting reel. First he called Yul a “Godfather” because he was smart. Then he told Ozzy he was a “Warrior” because he was an athletic powerhouse. Nate then asked Ozzy why strategically he was better than Yul. Ozzy replied that he was just as scheming, citing the way he threw a challenge early on to get rid of Billy. Personally, I don’t know how someone can boast about being an underdog and then trumpet their success in throwing challenges. Kind of seems hypocritical.
Of course, this flew right over Nate’s head, and after Ozzy was done with his answer, Nate nodded quickly and responded with a curt, “Respect.” Snap! He then asked Becky why she should get the money, and she replied that she and Yul worked together a lot and was much more influential with strategy than people gave her credit for. When Jeff then asked Nate if he was satisfied, he replied that no, he wasn’t. Double snap!!! Becky then asserted that there was no “Godfather” on the team. She was just as crafty as Yul, and while her game looked conservative, she did actually take risks — like when she refused to take the idol from Yul. Cut Sundra looking all sorts of uncomfortable. Sundra Snap!!
At this point, Nate probably realized that he couldn’t milk his Survivor screen time much longer; so he mercifully sat down and let Jenny take the stage. I just assumed she’d be bitter and awful, but instead, her question was rather straightforward and devoid of anger. “What do you think is more important in winning this game? The physical element or the strategic element?” she asked. Yul obviously said strategy was most important and then reiterated that everyone from the original Aitu Four made the final four. And with that, Jenny replied, “I respect that. Good luck to all three of you.” She then added, “Snap!”
Parvati was next, and again, I was hoping she might bring the bitterness, but all she did was ask Becky why she should win. And again, Becky babbled about how she didn’t want to be sneaky in her gameplay. Boring. Anti-Snap!
Rebecca then served up a softball for the group, asking each person to tell her something she doesn’t know about them that would help clarify why they deserve the money. Yul honed his inner politician and said he thought minorities were underrepresented on TV, and as a result, he wanted America to see Asian American men as they truly are — you know, brainy, friendly, unassuming. Totally shatters the stereotypes…
Yul then said he wanted to be a spokesman for how to get more minorities on TV. And by “TV,” he meant “management consulting firms focusing on global companies operating in the high-capacity, consolidated building-materials industry, which might be at risk for losing market share and becoming the target of a takeover if a new strategic direction was not implemented.”
Not to be out-minority’d, Ozzy then said that he wanted to win the money so he could challenge the question, “Hey, what’s a Mexican?” Surprisingly, his earlier foray into the world of soft-core porn proved ineffective in achieving this lofty goal. Whatever happened to the days when Playboy TV actually made a difference????
Adam then stood up and tried to spice things up (Snap!), but he looked about as nervous as a fourth grader addressing a school assembly in his underwear. He accused the final three of being painfully boring; they needed to get to the point. Everyone began to laugh — oh that Adam and his aquiline ways! — but he insisted that he was serious. “Ozzy, I want you to talk trash about these two,” he said. Well done, Adam. At long last, you’ve finally soared like the eagle we always knew you were!
Of course, Candice and Parvati smiled eagerly, on account of them being shallow and stupid (I had no idea until the reunion show that Parvati’s last name was literally “SHALLOW”). Ozzy then replied that Yul sometimes didn’t work as hard as he could have and that Becky rode their coattails. Snooze.
The Queen Eye-Roller herself then stood up to deliver her big question. That’s right, it was time for Candy-Corn to put the finalists on the spot, and what did she do? She congratulated them sweetly for defying the odds and making it to the end. Oh… okay. She then accused Yul of being very careful with his words, beating around the bush with many answers. As such, she wanted a yes or no answer from him, and if he didn’t honor these conditions, she would vote for Ozzy. She then asked, “My impression is that you have been shamelessly working this jury. Is that true?” After some thought, Yul replied, “Yes.” Candice then laughed and said, “That was tough for you, I know.” Yul then started, “Well, ‘shamelessly…’” at which point Candice stopped him short, saying he had broken the rules of her question. Listen, you idiot. You already asked your question. The conditions had expired! Besides, your comment after his answer wasn’t even a question in the first place. I say SILENCE.
Next up was Brad who got all touchy-feely towards Ozzy, saying how he didn’t really know him and as a result, he wanted Ozzy to tell him about the most challenging experience in his life and how he overcame that. Well, this gave Ozzy free reign to absolutely pull at the heartstrings. He began talking about his dad and how he was never there for him and how he had abandoned him when he was little and, well, you get the picture. In no time, Ozzy was crying, and basically, victory was essentially his.
Papa, can you hear me?
“I have made you cry. My work here is done.”
After the Oprah moment had passed, we moved onto another as it was time for Sundra to ask a dumb question. She wanted to know what they all had discovered about themselves or life in general. Awww. Anyone want some camomile tea? Should I put some Josh Groban on? Let’s hug! Yes, it was another softball. Ozzy said he’d found “Pure love” (did he fall in love with Candice also?), and Becky realized she didn’t have to adhere to a strict schedule. What’s that? An Asian living a rigid lifestyle? Another stereotype destroyed! Yul, meanwhile, said that he had gained confidence from the experience. He really believed in himself now whereas before, he thought he was kind of a loser. Aww. Poor Yul. Definitely a sentimental story (respect), but not as good as Ozzy’s fatherly woes (snap!).
Last but not least was Jonathan, who stood up wearing a fairly horrendous t-shirt. He babbled on and on and on about whatever. I think he was trying to have a memorable Sue Hawk style speech, but it was kind of just blah. He told Yul that he seemed like a future politician, and therefore, how would Yul’s future constituents feel about all the half-truths (or “half-lies” — good one, Jonathan!) he’s told throughout the game. Without missing a beat, Yul replied that lying is just part of the Survivor game, everyone knows that coming in, and that it wasn’t a reflection of his character on a day to day basis in the real world. Snaaap!
Sadly, Jonathan realizes too late that there will be no Arctic hunting on Survivor.
Satisfied with that answer, Jonathan then focused on Ozzy. He complimented the ragamuffin for being an extraordinary athlete and provider, causing Jeff to giggle a little. But then Jonathan claimed that he felt a sense of arrogance and entitlement with Ozzy. As a result, he had a hard time handing a million dollars over to a twenty-five year old with entitlement issues. Therefore, he wanted to know how a million dollars was gonna make Ozzy a better person and the world around him. Eh. Such a good build up for such a lame question. Anti-RESPECT.
Well, Ozzy again shrewdly played the woe-is-me card, saying that he’d go back to school with the money because he never could afford to finish up on his own. Then afterwards, he would go about, changing the world for the better. Awww. Everyone hold hands — Sundra will commence the hosanna shortly.
After the commercial break, it was time for the vote. Oddly enough, there were no closing statements (or at least, they weren’t included in the show). I honestly had no idea who would vote for who. I tried to run the scenario, but I couldn’t. All we saw was that Jonathan voted for Yul and Parvati voted for Ozzie (she said she was captivated by his competitive fire, or something like that).
Once all the votes were cast, Jeff grabbed the ballot box and headed off into the night. Sadly, we were again deprived of an elaborate Jeff-Probst-Traveling-Montage, which is really a shame because honestly, I live and die for those. Instead, Jeff just popped up in Television City (a.k.a. Hollywood) where he was met with rousing applause, as usual. The camera quickly panned by the jury, allowing us to make some quick observations (along with the assist of the Tivo remote). Basically, everyone except Jonathan, Yul, Nate, and Brad looked different. Parvati was sporting garish, red lipstick. Rebecca had a daffy new hairdo that perhaps overestimated the public’s threshold for bangs. Sundra looked jacked and Diana Ross-ish. Ozzy seemed surprisingly chunky. Becky looked shockingly like the Chenbot, and no, I’m not saying that because they’re both Asian, but while I am citing Asian dopplegangers, big ups to Jenny for coming to the party dressed like Carrie Ann INABA. Last but not least, there was Candice, who apparently got a makeover by the stylistic geniuses of MY HIGH SCHOOL TEN YEARS AGO.
But enough dilly-dallying. Time for the results!
The final three: Yul, Becky, and the lead singer of Tears For Fears.
First vote: Yul.
Second vote: Ozzy.
Third vote: Yul.
Fourth vote: Yul. (omg)
Fifth vote: Ozzy.
Time to pause and reflect. Yul had a 3-2 lead. Honestly, I would have been happy if either guy won. I’d even be happy if Becky won (I do feel like she was under appreciated, but yes, yes Yul and Ozzy deserved to win over her). I was kind of pulling for Yul though. Anyhoo, on with the voting.
Sixth vote: Ozzy! Tie! The best part of all this, by the way, was that Ozzy and Yul were both clutching Becky’s hands — as if she was even in contention. She might as well be in the audience.
Anyway, the seventh vote went to Ozzy, which meant that now, Ozzy had taken the lead. 4-3! Wow. He had certainly been the better communicator during the jury interrogation. Even though Yul was more articulate, Ozzie seemed to play the emotional cards more adeptly, and it was obvious that he would easily ride to victory.
Or would he?? The eighth vote went to Yul, which meant we had a tie! Cut to me clutching a pillow intensely. What would happen? What would happen?
Probst then announced that if this last vote were for Becky, they’d have a tie. Yeah, Jeff, nice try. Sure enough, Jeff peeked at the final vote and revealed that it was not for Becky at all and therefore, she was now out of the game — as if she were intensely part of it before. It should be noted that even though she was out of the running, Becky still had to sit there patiently and hold the boys’ hands. Awwwkward…
Suddenly, Jeff Probst turned into Tyra Banks as he began to extol the virtues of both men. I was shocked he didn’t say, “I have two beauuuutiful men standing in front of me. Each one has what the other needs…”
Anyway, I honestly couldn’t guess who would win. It could go either way. This was probably the best showdown of all time. We’ve had nailbiters like this before, but never have the two finalists been so equally matched.
And so at long last… the winner of Survivor: Cook Islands and therefore representing the strongest race in all of America is…
Yul!!! Yay! Yul Kwon won the million dollars, and the Asians officially became the bestest race ever!!! Sorry, Ozzy. No college for you. But hey, Latinos came in second place. Not bad!
With that, the triumphant season came to a close. I was very happy with the outcome, but truthfully, as I’ve said before, I would have been happy either way. Of course, a reunion show followed, but we’ll save that for another recap.
What did you think about the finale? Did Yul deserve to win? What were your thoughts on the season?