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May 16, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Episode 14 (the Finale!) Recap/Live Blog

6:58: Damnit, the show's starting early and the whole gang isn't here and ready in the living room. So I'll be starting off a couple minutes behind already, though I'm sure to catch up at the first commercial break.

7:01: Let me start off with this: I know I've been (jokingly) saying for weeks now that the producers have been pimping us for a Colby victory, but the only way that that could/should possibly happen would be if he were to make it to the final three, and the remaining Villains would be idiots to take him there. That means that Colby - who's been awful at challenges all season - would have to win both Immunity Challenges in order to make the final Council. Has he really been hustling them (and us) with his awful play? Or will the producers figure out a way to rig the challenges in his favor (if that's possible)? I'll be pulling him for no other reason than that he's the underdog at this point, but I don't like his chances at all.

7:05: How exactly have the other players let TWO former winners (read: millionaires) stay in the game this long? Aren't they supposed to be the first people targeted?

7:06: Wow, this is a long intro. What, 10 minutes so far?

7:08: You know you're a memorable player when you won the previous season and I barely can recall who you are. Natalie? Who's that?

7:08: I think Russell just admitted being wrong at something. That's a first.

7:12: What a terrible time for a "break the other players' tiles" challenge for Colby. So much for the producers rigging the game for him. He's --

7:13: Nevermind - it's yet another stamina challenge, which I'm back to welcoming (this is the finale, after all). Not that this gives Colby any better odds - he'll probably be out within three minutes...

7:14: Of all the people left, who would you say is the safest in the game at this point. Improbably, I say Jeri. She's nearly a lock for the final four, and less likable players like Russ, Parv and Sandra would be somewhat follish to take her to the final three.

7:15: Sandra and Jeri out. Colby FTW?

7:16: I'm sure the players are just loving the wind that's picking up in this very delicate balancing game...

7:17: Parvati looks locked in.

7:19: Unsurprisingly, she won. That was pretty impressive.

7:19: And we're back live! (Well, still tape-delayed to the West Coast. As live as it's gonna get, anyway.)

7:23: Colby using the old "I'm not gonna try to turn you guys against each other" play. Sneaky. That's right up there with the "I'm thinking about quitting the game" play in the annals of Survivor strategies.

7:24: Of course, not a minute later does Colby admit that his speech was a last-gasp attempt at sympathy. Wisely, the first person he goes to is Russell, playing on the Oil Man's insecurities about Parvati and Sandra. It just might get interesting. I would certainly consider keeping Colby (despite what I said above), at least if I were Russell. Were three Villains to make the final Council, and Russell were one of them, I'd peg him as the least likely to win it all.

7:30: Yeah, I just don't see anything happening here. A lot of potential drama, but Colby's gone.

7:31: Indeed. Bad as you played, Colby, you made it to the top five and were the last Hero standing. Hold your head high, and do your best to turn this into another Curb Your Enthusiasm role.

7:33: I gotta admit, I'm ready and willing to see The Karate Kid remake, despite the presence of the awful-acting Smith kid. I won't go so far as to say that I have high hopes for it, but it certainly doesn't look terrible.

7:37: I have to idea which alliance is truly the strongest amongst the final four. Weeks ago, I would've said Parv and Russ, but not only does Russ seem tighter with Jeri these days, but Parv has taken to Sandra quite a bit since her BFF Danielle got voted out.

7:38: TRAIL OF DEAD!!! They moved this segment up in the episode - I'm pretty sure it doesn't normally occur until there are just three players left, right? Or am I taking crazy pills?

7:40: Okay, I think I am crazy. The whole trail of dead segue into the final Immunity Challenge does seem to ring a bell. This is what happens when you skip this segment season after season.

7:41: The best part about all-star seasons? I'm actually not left saying "I have no idea who that is" or "Who the hell is that chick?" during all of it. Nice to know who all of the dead players are! It actually makes this segment halfway tolerable.

7:43: James, you didn't just talk more. You were more of a dick. Next time, try ditching that strategy.

7:44: I think Coach is juuuust about ready to write the screenplay of his life. Hitting theaters in 2012 (no coincidence that the Apocalypse has been foretold to occur that year as well).

Here you go, Coach - I made this right now just for you (well, I pasted your head on an already existing image, but you get the point). Feel free to use it:

7:46: Candice: I'm pretty sure that if you show up on a future season, I'll say the same thing I did at the start of this one: "Who's Candice?"

7:48: Colby, give it a rest with the "I'm older" card. Wiki says you're 36, for chrissakes, which I think would make you the second youngest of the remaining players. You're also (supposedly) in much better shape than the rest of 'em. Enough.

7:57: Had to pause for a couple minutes. Be behind until the next commercial break.

7:58: On a whim, I'm picking Jeri to win this challenge. A blindfolded maze? Is there a favorite for such a thing?

8:03: Okay, this is close - now I'm just rooting for Jeri so that I'll be right.

8:04: Holy shit, that was close. All three players - Russ, Jeri and Parvati withing inches of the final Immunity Necklace, yet Russ grabs it by the hair on his chinny chin chin. That was intense.

8:07: Sandra's hilarious. "I don't care - I'll take the $100,000." Pretty sure I'd be voting out Parvati as well were I in Russ's shoes. Though Jeri might be a bit of a threat considering how few people she pissed off during the game, along with her status as a non-winner.

8:10: I'm sure the fact that his seasons are back-to-back plays on our emotions a bit, but it's hard not to really consider Russ, for all his faults, one of the game's greatest players. Back-to-back final three! What more do you need to say?

8:13: Who's been protecting whom? The Russ-Parv power struggle never ceases to end. Who wears the pants in that relationship? I fear we might never know.

8:15: Someone needs to tell Amanda that she looks better sans makeup.

8:15: No need to read the votes, Jeff - we already know it's Parvati Jeri.

8:16: I admit, I was shocked there, especially considering what we heard Russ say as he cast his vote. I have to believe it was the wrong decision, though. As Mrs. Fletch is saying right now, if the jury were to consider giving their vote to a player that "really played the game yada yada yada," now there are two of those people left instead of just one, and frankly, Parv is a lot more likable than Russ, fake smile or no.

8:25: Yeah, not a whole lot going on, as you well know. Breakfast of champions, chat about how great we are, prepare answers for the Final Tribal.

8:26: This thing about "So-and-so has played the game of Survivor longer than anyone else ever!!" is retarded. Playing in three separate seasons certainly helps.

8:28: Revenge of the Socks! Russ burns peoples' socks, and now Sandra burns his hat. Hilarious.

8:29: Sandra's almost convincing me to vote for her, but in the end, I think this is Parv's to lose.

8:31: A poor play by Sandra in saying that "she tried to get Russell voted out three times." Uh, he's still there - how good could you be?

8:38: Somewhere along the way, I forgot that Parvati also won a season. Perhaps Russ has a distinct advantage after all. Though I don't know that people would vote for him solely because he's the lone non-winner standing.

8:39: Christ, Amanda looks like ass. Again, ditch the makeup, and while you're at it, put your hair in a ponytail - it suits you and your long face much better.

8:40: Coach just said "the penitent man shall pass." I think not of the Bible and yet of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I know I'm not the only one.

8:41: Coach is wearing an Affliction t-shirt, to the surprise of no one at all in the audience.

8:43: Sandra again making the case for Russell, telling the jury how he was the one taking them out and how much she wanted him out and couldn't do it.

8:44: These jury members are doling out some really weak questions/comments so far. I know I get them for having vitriol after sitting in the jury box for weeks, but the opposite (this) is much worse. I want some fireworks, damnit!

8:45: If ever there's a Total Recall remake (there is, in production right now, I believe), I'm begging the producers to cast Danielle and her uni-boob as its version of the three-titted stripper. No additional makeup necessary!

8:47: Speaking of Selleck - the mustache is angry!

8:50: Rupert's looked pissed for weeks now - this ought to be good.

8:50: Funny, I seem to recall Rupert shaking Russ's hand just recently when his neck was on the line. Strange how desperation makes Russ a much better person, no? Spare me the false indignation.

8:56: That said, Russ can't be feeling all that good after that Council. He got his ass kicked up and down the street. Looks like another Sandra win, after all???

8:58: Christ, is Russ gonna get ANY votes?

8:58: I can't believe how many votes they're showing us. I guess that means it'll be coming down to the last vote. 5-4 in favor of....?

8:59: Hahahahahaha - they played an eagle sound effect at the end of Coach's speech! Effing awesome!

9:01: Johnny Fairplay in the house!?!? Say what??? I thought that guy was banned from all future Survivor events.

9:02: Russell...really not good at looking happy for others.

9:03: Sandra wins it 6-3 over Parvati. Impressive. Coming into tonight, I don't think I would have guessed that. The big question for Russell is, were you to play for a third time, after making the final vote twice and seeing that strategy not work, do ya think you would try something different? I sure hope so, but knowing how stubborn the guy is, I wouldn't bet on it.

9:19: I'm back from a short break, but only to say goodbye. To this episode (two hours is enough - you're on your own for the reunion show), to the season, and - unless there's a change of heart - to my days as a Survivor live blogger. It's been a fun run, but I think I've said that I have to say about the show. Thanks to those that have kept up with my snarky takes for the past god-knows-how-many seasons.

Survivor news at Survivor.com
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14 people have chosen wisely: on "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Episode 14 (the Finale!) Recap/Live Blog"

Nick said...

With Sandra's win, I think this went from one of the best seasons of Survivor to one of my most disliked.

Though the reunion show was mighty entertaining.

kid vegas said...

Agree with my boy Nick 100%, wasn't there a time in Survivor when good play was actually rewarded?? I mean Hatch won. With this new retarded 3 person final, and jury members being retards, it seems the way to win is to be the suckiest player to make the Final 3.

I was disappointed in Probst for not ridiculing the jury members for not honoring the integrity of the game, as he did last season when that other batch of tards voted Natalie, who could have been Russell's dog and played a better game (though at least she did have a nice rack).

Fletch said...

Methinks even old Probst had had enough of Russ after two seasons in a row with the guy. Great schemer or no, I think Boston Rob summed it up best: Russ plays a great game to get to the finals, but not a great game to win it all.

I don't have nearly as much a problem with Sandra winning it as you guys, though. She was all but left for dead after Rob got the boot, yet managed to just keep hanging around and around. True, I don't like how it kept being brough up that she tried and failed to vote out Russ, but clearly she did something right, and I've never thought of her as the type of person that just snuck into the finals. She's a deserving winner.

kid vegas said...

bad form Irwin, your beloved girl's Sandra's strategy was "be so awful noone votes her off until the end, and then hope the jury is a bunch of petty losers that votes for the worst player because they are jealous and don't want someone who blatantly outplayed them to win..."

If you think that is a sound strategy, I would have to disagree with Mrs Fletch that you would be good at Survivor.

While I agree Rusty making it to the end had nothing to do with luck, Sandra making it had 100% to do with luck, the only reason they voted Courtney, Colby, or Jerri off instead of her was because she was such a horrible player...

JacksSmirkingRevenge said...

I have to agree with Nick and KV, Sandra winning almost ruins this season.
As much as I like Russell, clearly he is too big of jerk to win over the jury. But if that is the case, how does Parvarrtis NOT win. She dominated in challenges, and played a Great strategic game. If not Russell it should have been her.
I'm seriously thinking about not watching the show anymore.

Buffett35 said...

As Probst said in the reunion... you guys are talking about a completely different game. The whole "jury decides who gets the money" thing is a VERY important part of the game, maybe the most important part, and, as good as Russell is at getting to the end, he completely ignores that part. I kinda sorta called Sandra's win in the comments on last week's episode for that exact reason (not to mention that Russell wouldn't get a single vote). Even though Parvati's strategy of hiding behind Russell this season was genious, she still let a little bit too much of his negative energy rub off on her and it cost her. As for Sandra's terrible performance in the challenges, she said herself that it was part of her strategy, and I may be the only one who believes it. Performing well in challenges is the easiest way to get a target on your back. I don't think that I would like her in real life, but I can't argue with the fact that she's the best contestant ever to play this game. Now, if she were ever to come back a third time (which I doubt she would), she'll be out within the first week. Winning twice kind of destroys her under the radar strategy. Anyway, this was a great season, regardless of whether you like the results.

Nick said...

Sandra the greatest player ever? Abso-fuckin-lutely NOT. Sure, she's won twice, but that doesn't make her a good player. That just makes her insanely lucky to be involved in two separate years where she went to the finals with other people even more hated than her and who thought she was more hated than them.

For once, I agree totally and completely with everything KV has said.

JacksSmirkingRevenge said...

buffet, i couldnt disagree more. Doing bad in challenges is NOT part of sandras strategy, she was lying. She just isnt able to do better in the challenges.

Fletch said...

Come on, KV, Nick, and JSR. I've long berated those jury members that are bitter for bitterness' sake and don't reward the best player in the game, but Russ's complete lack of regard for what anyone in the game thinks, much less the jury's, just couldn't go unpunished. The guy's asking for everyone to bow down at the greatness that is HE - I'm not shocked at all that no one was up to the task.

Sandra isn't exactly the kind of player that I like to see win it, but I don't think she'd terrible, I think she definitely knows what sh's doing, and I think she battled against some pretty tough odds to evn get to final three, so I'm more than willing to call her a deserving winner.

Parv was guilty by association. We've seen it in the past, I'm sure we'll see it in the future.

On the flipside, you'll never hear me call Sandra the best player ever. All the "most days played!!" and "most challenges won!!" crap is bunk - when all 300-something people have played the same number of seasons, then you can start calling out those silly "achievements." No one celebrates the baseball player with the most career games played...

Sandra's 2-for-2 is impressive, but whaddaya know, whn you throw a bunch of former winners (and others, yes) together, there's a chance for a repeat winner. She can yell "scoreboard!" all she wants, and she won't convince me she's the best, but she's certainly good.

As my various Colby comments through the season illustrate, I certainly think someone could/might take the opportunity to tank challenges as a strategy, but no, I don't think Sandy was doing that, either. All she did was take a negative and found the silver lining in it.

Buffett35 said...

OK then, if winning 2 out of 2 doesn't make her a good player, what DOES make someone a good player?? There are so many different ways to play this game that winning is the ONLY way to judge who's good. Just because she doesn't fit your mold of a Survivor champion doesn't mean she cheated or lucked her way into 2 million bucks.

I'm not saying that she was tanking any challenges (although Russell would disagree), but she definitely used her lack of physical ability to her advantage over the course of both seasons. That, combined with just enough attitude (but not too much), made her exactly the kind of person that everyone else wanted to go to the end with. Shit Russell was only worried about Parv vs. Jeri. It didn't even occur to him that Sandra might win. Sounds like her plan worked to perfection... again.

Fletch said...

That can't be addressed to me - I called her a good player. I'm just not willing to call her the best.

I think people's biggest problem with her (and likewise, to an even bigger extent, with some past winners) is that she's not, or at last doesn't appear to be, all that 'active' of a player. We respect the schemers more than the reactors. I don't see that as being all that big of an issue with Sandra, but I can see where others might. She's smart and crafty, and ain't just some dumd Boy Scout leader along for the ride. But at the same time, her inability to get Russell out of the game proves she didn't hav all that much control, either. Her skill is...surviving, and managing enough of those relationships to make herself a winner. Kudos.

Buffett35 said...

It wasn't addressed to you.

Nick said...

Random, but you know what challenge I would have liked to see again? I don't remember the season, but I'm pretty sure it was one Ozzy was on. They were locked in a cage (or something like that) and underwater, and they only had about an inch to breath... and it was a mind-over-matter challenge. That was a great one.

Fletch said...

Nick - you mean the one where they would drown if they stayed in it too long? It was interesting, but I don't recall loving it all that much. Probably because I'd be terrible at it. :P