Since B-Side was kind enough to do the two hour Survivor finale, I thought I would clean things up and take the Survivor Reunion. Since I know there are some people out there that haven’t seen the episode or are waiting to read the recap, I won’t spoil the winner here in the front post. What I would like to say is that it was a great season. Unfortunately, we were unable to enjoy a Jeff Probst “back from the wilderness” video montage YET AGAIN. I am not sure what is going on at CBS, but they must start doing that again. Hell, make it a download if you must save some time, but whatever you do, we love seeing Jeff boat, fly, skydive, and motorcycle his way across the globe and into the finale. It was really a great final episode and the reunion show was a good way to wrap up a great season.So anyway, ARAS WINS! Yay! Danielle was one of those under the radar type players. Everybody was expecting it to come down to Terry and Aras, but Danielle held the final decision in her hands. In retrospect there is not much she could have done.
Nice hoodie, but you are no Jack Bauer
OK, I take that back, she could have found somebody out there to do her makeup. Seriously, Danielle was one of the few people that became less attractive when she returned to for the reunion, which I found difficult because she was really turning out to be one smoking honey, as long as you could get past her hirsute ways. But this observation is all relative, and really, nobody can turn from hottie to nottie (I may bring that back someday…) as dramatically as Stephanie, who went from zero to Jersey in about 30 seconds.
After the winner was announced and we had our first commercial break, we returned with a Terry and Aras montage. These two really had a great rivalry. I have been in the anti-Terry camp, but now that I have gloated over Aras’ win, I can talk about how tough it was for Terry to be out there. Give him credit for sticking it out against the odds when he had no allies. If only he had one ounce of strategy in his body, he may have actually won.
Jeff, who for some reason changed out of his rain forest trendy to more of a gap commercial from 1994 trendy, spent a little time on the rivalry. Jeff was quick to point out that Terry never had to use the immunity idol because he won all of those immunities and Danielle was picked for the only one he didn’t win. Just as Terry was feeling good about himself, Aras remarked that he was kind of happy Terry won all of those immunities because everybody would have voted for Terry and when Terry used the immunity idol, the vote would probably go towards Aras. So in fact, Terry was a big part of letting Aras back into the game. I’m not sure if Aras had been working on that line for a long time, but it did knock some more smug out of Terry’s attitude.
This was perhaps one of the most homoerotic Survivor finales when Terry talked about his relationship with Aras and how in the end it became about two mature guys, getting it on, strapping it on, and making it happen. No, I thought that was called Brokeback Mountain (if B-side already used that joke in the similarly homoerotic question and answer session with Shane, I apologize). I was half expecting him to add reaching around, lubing up, and getting manicures, but that never happened.
And if you thought I was the only one with such an immature mind, Sally was giggling along with me in the background. Later, Aras only added to the slightly ghey atmosphere by saying that he felt going up against Terry felt like a right of passage, like he had just been sent to prison and had just left the showers. Oh, and he said that he was “still learning about himself” so if you think Aras is a hunk guys, maybe you should give him a call..
Hang your head in SHAME
The next round of questioning focused on Danielle. I felt really bad for her. She had a tough go against Aras, and as somebody said, she was basically picking the winner when she made that choice at tribal council. Jeff talked like she hadn’t done anything in the game, as if lasting that long against two strong men and winning the final immunity was some walk in the park. What made it worst was that it looked like she was going to cry the whole time. Oblivious to her situation, Jeff pressed on, asking people for a show of hands if they would have picked Danielle against Terry. Everybody would have voted for Terry. On the one hand, that’s cool because she made the right decision. On the other hand, she realizes that she never had a prayer in the world to win.
You go girl
Winning the best makeover award was Cirie, and it really wasn’t a big makeover; she just looked nice and happy. Our girl is never going to win any beauty pageants but she is now looking a lot more like a brick house and less like a big pile of bricks lying on the couch. It seemed like half the episode was dedicated to talking about Cirie getting up off the couch. They went into the crowd where her husband, HB, talked about how proud he was to see her compete, and yes, the waterworks started. I just don’t have it in me to make fun of these two. They love each other so much and I just did some laundry so I think the smell of the fabric softener is making me happier than normal.
That would have been a great way to end the talk of Cirie, but instead, they decided to throw it to Shane. I loved Shane while he was on the show because he added a crazy element and I think he typified the manic nature of Kasaya to a “T”. He was talking about Cirie and yes, he was complimentary talking about how she came back from the brink and that she is an inspiration, but a lot of the compliments were backhanded because right before he would say things like she was dead in the water, she was scared, she never got up off the couch, etc. etc. I’m going to assume that he meant to be nice and finish with what Cirie said about her time on the island. We saw the best and the worst of what she had to offer, but she is glad that she took a chance because she’ll never be held back by a fear of failure. Now THAT is some inspiration.
Shane didn’t look that strange. Maybe he’s a normal guy
OK, never mind what I just said
There was no way that we were going to get out of a reunion show without talking about Bruce, and Jeff talked about his toughness. I spoke this weekend with a friend of mine who lived in Simi Valley and actually had Bruce as a teacher when he was growing up. He mentioned that Bruce had always been a bad ass and thought for sure that he would win. My friend, of course, never counted on Bruce not being able to poop.
Bruce gave us a few more details on his injury, saying that he had been having pain for at least 12 days before the doctors came. Jeff then mentioned that the Survivors are allowed to call for medical at any time, but if the doctors says that they have to leave then they have to leave and can be removed from the game.
We also learned that Bruce had to make a big choice when he was leaving for Survivor. The school he worked for said that if he didn’t show up, he wouldn’t have a job. Bruce didn’t show up and was wondering the entire time on the island whether he would have a job when he got back. He did get his job back, although he was suspended without pay for a while. Not that I want to be cynical, but if Bruce was forced to retire his pension from 34 years on the job would probably get him by. And if he ever needed more money, there is always the Mr. Miyagi impersonations and workout videos to bring in the extra coin.
Terry presented Cirie a special Survivor Fishing Tournament trophy because she had been so proud when she caught a fish. It was a nice Cirie moment, but let’s be honest, we really had to move on to Shane. Shane didn’t try to pretend like he was acting like an idiot while he was in Panama; he just admitted that he was batshit crazy. Quitting a three pack a day smoke habit cold turkey basically fried him. He did apologize to Danielle for getting out of hand that one time after the merge. And then we got to talk about Boston.
If there was one thing that you could trust Shane to always be dead serious about, it was his son. I really feel sorry for Boston. It’s not that I think Shane is a really bad father or anything, because I am sure he loves his son, but growing up with Shane has got to be interesting. Then your dad leaves you for 39 days to go to Central America and you are left with your mom, appropriately named Bird(?!) and when he comes back you are horrified that he has spent his time talking to himself, making death threats, and showing his chaffed balls to millions of viewers every week. I think Boston is finally fighting back, because he finally cut his hair.
Next year, Survivor: Graceland?
All of this talk of children made it easier to transition into levels of television exploitation previously unheard of. Yes, I’m talking about Tina. Now, I am sure there was a certain therapeutic element for her being able to go on the show and talk about her son Charlie, but I got the feeling that Probst was asking the question because she got booted early in the game and CBS was trying to milk it for all it’s worth. Tina was obviously devastated when it happened, obviously wasn’t yet over the pain when she finally went on the show, and so now on MOTHER’S DAY, CBS pulls that shit? Poor taste in my book. If there was anything good that came of this publicity was that Tina was finally able to contact other people from the accident that killed her son, which is something that had been bothering her for a while.
After Tina, it was apparent that we had to hear from a lot of people in a short amount of time, so Jeff started whipping through, getting one or two sentence answers from the likes of Austin, Bob, Ruth Marie (also looking pretty good, I might add), Misty, and Melinda. He spent a little more time with Sally talking about the troubles she had with her family after her divorce and if being on the show helped her at all. She obviously didn’t want to go into detail, but since we only had a few minutes left, nobody really cared.
“The dumpster in the Ed Sullivan theater kicks ass!”
Marg Helgenberger enjoyed the finale
Since I don’t remember anything she did, I take it Natalie Maines didn’t do that well this season.
I was waiting patiently so see if Courtney could follow up her crazy question with something equally as stupid in the reunion, but of the unimportant people, the one who was the silliest was Dan, who talked about waking up every morning on this island, there was nobody around, you had nothing but yourself and a few other people, and you could pet the Iguanas. Did anybody else scream “YOU WERE IN SPACE YOU MORON, COME DOWN AT ANY TIME” at your televisions when you heard him speak? And what the hell was with that pet the iguanas thing? And what else did he pet on the island that he was too embarrassed to tell us about, I mean besides Terry’s ego every five seconds.
Jeff finished things off by telling us the winner of the voting. Ummm, what? There was voting? For a free Yukon? Online? I guess you miss some things when you are fast-forwarding on the Tivo. Although I missed the vote and the chance to stuff the ballot box for Cirie, she won anyway. It wasn’t as great as that million dollars that Rupert won, but it was still pretty nice.
“Seriously, can you help me strap Aras to my Yukon?”
And that wrapped up the show. There were no marriage proposals or anything like that, but we did get a preview at the next Survivor. Survivor: Cook Islands will be airing this fall and Exile Island will be making a return.
What did you think of the reunion?