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Dec 16, 2007

Survivor: China - Episode 14 Recap (The Finale)

If I were into emoticons or smileys or whatever you choose to call them, I might bust out some sort of crying one or say ":weep: - is it that time already?"

Yes, Survivor: China has come to a close, with a finale that seemed to be unpredictable at times, but really ended up right where many thought (and hoped) it would - with the "scheming strategist (fill in alliterative synonym for "scheming" or "strategist" here)" Todd pulling out the victory over Amanda and Courtney.

What's this? Giving away the ending prior to recapping the events? Yes, with such an unpredictably predictable finale, my desire for a cohesive review has gone out the window; instead, I give you a series of unrelated thoughts I had/have about the final episode of this season (and even some about next season). Where to start?

* After the jury had said their peace and prior to the votes being read, I had convinced myself that Courtney was going to win. Amanda blew any chance she had of winning at the two tribal councils - between the Denise/Todd "burn" at the first and her horrible answers/body language/you name it at the final council, she took lemonade and turned it into lemons. Meanwhile, Todd (a scheming strategist, by the way) might have gotten more propers from me for being a scheming strategist had he not pounded anyone in earshot (tribemates and audience alike) with that fact. Son, if you're that good, you don't need to be telling us about it at every chance. Courtney, on the other hand, played it cool, more or less agreeing with the criticism and turning it into a positive: "You don't think I belong(ed) here? Neither did (do) I - but I am - what does that say about you, me and the game?" Well played, Queen Bitch.

* Speaking of bitchiness, the line about Denise "sucking at life" was simultaneously one of the funniest and meanest in the show's history. It was also true. For Denise to play the "woe is me" card to Amanda was purely pathetic. Don't like your place in life? Do something about it - which I guess you did, by going on Survivor and subsequently losing your job.

* Before you think of me as cold and heartless as Courtney, I'll say that I truly feel bad that Denise lost her job. The excuse about her "being a distraction" smacks of utter bullsh*t (really, how long would the "fame" last? A week? Two?); that said, I'm all for Mark Burnett donating to her cause, but it was wrong to do it on national television, especially considering the other losing contestants. How fair is that to them (or other potential charity cases from seasons past)? I'd be pissed if I were in there shoes.

* One potential charity case from a past season is Lydia the fishmonger form Survivor: Guatemala. Earlier tonight, I was reading the rumors for next season, which was said to be an All-Star variety and she was amongst the names listed. So much for the rumor site I read, as it listed a cast of 20 former players to be featured next season. Looks like that ain't happening, as I can't see there being more than 20 total players, and half of them will be "Fans" (which seems a bit redundant - I know not every contestant is a fan of the show, but aren't most?). Anyhow, from the list of rumored names, the ones I'd hope to see next season are: James (China), Yau-Man (Fiji), Ozzy (Cook Islands) and Shane (Panama).

Ok, I'm joking about Shane - I'd only want him if Courtney from this season was also included (both were rumored), as seeing those two personalities on the same season would warrant watching the show on its own.

* The final Immunity Challenge was horrendous. Just plain awful, and made even worse by the fact that the location of the show and the things they were balancing share the same name. But really, who gives a rat's posterior if the survivors can hold a stick stacked with plates and bowls steady for 45 minutes?? I'd rather watch them try to start a fire. Then again, at least there weren't any cheesy special effects this time around.

* Speaking of things the show needs to cut, the "let's go on a tour of the losers and pretend we care that they're gone" segment of the finale needs to go badly. Not much more to add here - it's been the most boring part of the finale since the second season.

* It's really interesting and kind of funny to see which jurors go peaceful with their question/comment and which get nutty. I always expect the ones most recently stung (in this case Denise and PG) to be appropriately bitter, however the nuttiest of them all had to be Jaime, the longest-standing jury member. It seemed as though she was trying to prove a point, but just never really had one to begin with. What exactly were you mad about, Jaime? Your tribe didn't have the numbers, and thus you got ousted (due mostly to your mesmerizing spell over the virgin). What's the problem?

* Finally, on a happier note, I'm thrilled that James not only got featured in People magazine, but that he won an extra $100,000. Hopefully, that will make the pain of his knowing that he made one of the all-time blunders in the show's history go down a little better. Hope to see you next season, John Coffey.

Survivor: China homepage at CBS.com


12 people have chosen wisely: on "Survivor: China - Episode 14 Recap (The Finale)"

Nick said...

muahaha! Todd won! I was so happy. My parents were pissed, though. They can't STAND Todd. They wanted Denise to win (though I think my dad was only hating Todd and liking Denise because my mom felt that way, as he rarely-to-never watches the show).

I loved the Denise/Todd to Amanda 'burn'. That was awesome. I just couldn't stand Amanda and was glad she didn't come anywhere close to winning. As they (and she) pointed out numerous times, all she did was sneak in under the radar, backstab EVERYBODY, and get James out of there. To me, again, for the bajillionth time, Todd was the greatest schemer/mastermind of Survivor... even if he came off a bit cocky sometimes. He was honest, and that's how he won. (Well, that... and sucking up to Jean-Robert, which was hilarious).

As for the next season, I think the return player from this season will be James. Yau-Man should come back, too, because he rocked my socks. He was the coolest old man ever, and proved that brains beats brawn any day. Oh, and Ozzy... just because it's really fun to watch him do just about anything. He's a freakin animal. I wonder, though, if Rupert will come back. He's already been on twice (and won the fan-favorite million dollars). But he was a huge fan favorite of the show.

Oh yeah, what did you think about them not having a car challenge? That was the first time without one, so they couldn't do the car-curse thing. Having a pizza and beer is kinda lame for a final reward challenge in comparison to a car.

Nick said...

Oh, I forgot... what did you think of Jeff's comment to Erik basically asking if he had screwed Jaime yet. That was a bit too far, I think.

Also, it was bizarre seeing Courtney all filled out with cleaned-up hair and such. She looked so different (and dare I say hot). But she's still a bitch.

Fletch said...

Lots to respond to - excellent.

* Yeah, I'm pretty sure we haven't seen the last of James. I can't imagine him saying no if they asked him, and they love to bring back the popular ones (duh). Yau-Man and Ozzy seem to be the remaining fan favorites from the last few seasons as well. I'm hoping we see both of them, too. The only problem? No idea who I'll root for.

* I don't think Rupert is eligible - I'm pretty sure the pool of "favorites" will be taken from the seasons after the last All-Stars only.

* The car challenge is a nice bonus for the winner, but I'm fine with having less product placement. They have e-n-u-f-f of that as it it (This comment brought to you by Sprint!).

* That was out of line by Jeff. I know he was trying to make light of it, but he just made it more uncomfortable for everyone. The only thing worse was him rehashing the Courtney/Denise "sucks at life" comment, which had apparently already been dealt with beforehand. That was awkward, too.

* The filled out part helped Courtney, but her hair looked awful and overall, I think she looked better on the island. But that might be just me. Amanda looked 10x better on the island. So many times, the weight loss and/or lack of makeup makes it a shock for us viewers, leaving us wondering how these people look worse all cleaned up!

Must Love Dogs said...

I'm surprise that Amanda didn't plead her case (more). She basically rolled over and played dead for the jury. This after telling Denise not to quit?! Bwuuuh?
And she definitely looked better on the island. Her reunion hairstyle/outfit made her look like the Wonder Years girlfriend.
Courtney and Sherea cleaned up best, I think. Jean-Robert unfortunately looked like his same ol' self. On the plus side, so did James. Reunion!Todd had a bigger mullet than Denise. XD

DCMovieGirl said...

OKAY, I admit...I lol'ed at John Coffey this time. :-)

Robb said...

After seeing the girls sans makeup for weeks on end, I always think they end up looking like hookers with all their TV makeup on. Both Amanda and Courtney looked bad. And do we all hope that Todd takes his million bucks and gets a haircut? I sure do.

There was plenty of fun to be had, because the formula just works. But this was my overall least favorite season of Survivor ever. Whatever their similarities, Todd is hardly a Rich Hatch. It was just sad watching Amanda snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. And don't even get me started on Denise, Lunch Lady/Professional Victim.

But I've loved reading you Fletch. Looking forward to February.

Tyler said...

amanda really did a horrible job of puffing herself up. no one has ever won trying to apologize. todd proved again that the jerk can always win because at least they made decisions. amanda probably deserved it most because she is the one who dominated the end of the game, but she never even brought that up when pleading her case. really really stupid.

Robb said...

Holy crap, have you seen this??

http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2007/12/school-superint.html

I hate her, I hate her, I hate her...

Nick said...

Robb: Wow... that's crazy. Looks like Denise was the big liar of the series. Didn't see that one coming. She pulled a Johnny Fairplay (though not on the family death level) and it worked.

Fletch said...

Excellent find, Robb! I also got sent this from Mrs. Fletch:

Denise Martin, the former lunch lady who claimed she had been demoted to janitor after appearing on “Survivor: China,” acknowledged today that the hard-luck story she told in the reality show finale was not true.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2007/12/janitor_was_pro.html?p1=Well_MostPop_Emailed4

NFL Adam said...

Another year, and another chick (Mandy) who looked better in the jungle than she did on the reunion show.

Robb said...

You may have already seen this, but here is another Denise update.

"Today, Denise cleared the air and apologized for her deception and declined the $50,000, instead urging Burnett and CBS to donate the money to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. CBS will honor this request."

How sad is it that I can't even bring myself to believe this was her idea, but that Burnett forced her to concede. Now I'm just embarrassed that I thought her karate was cool. ;)