"Survivor: Cook Islands" spoilers coming up just as soon as I figure out whether Sundra's use of "ignited" was the poorest word choice in "Survivor" history...
Hot-diggity! Yul wins, albeit in a very weird way, in that Adam's vote -- courtesy of the "get rid of Jonathan first" deal -- was the tie-breaker, and the Insider videos implied strongly that Yul didn't want to dump Jonathan at that point, but let the other Aitus talk him into it. Even if he was fully on board with that in the end, it shows how stupid Adam was to offer that deal when Yul alone didn't have complete decision-making power. But then, Adam -- and Parvati, and Candace, and Nate -- was so stupid in so many ways that I don't feel too bad about the outcome.
This was about the purest final two choice possible. (Becky had no shot, and I'm glad she didn't take a Katie from Palau-esque beating from the jury.) On the one hand, you have Yul the master strategist and leader (who, admittedly was quite the challenge player himself, albeit not on Ozzy's level), versus Ozzy the Jungle Boy, who was, if not the best challenge player ever, in the top three or four with Tom Westman, Terry Deitz and Boston Rob. Either was a valid choice, but Yul was a nicer guy, and he gave one of the best jury performances of all time, talking up his accomplishments without seeming arrogant or belittling of the other two, discussing his integrity while admitting that the game only allowed it to go so far, etc.
I expected the jury to be a bunch of whiny, petty rhymes-with-witches, and Nate and Adam thankfully didn't disappoint. (Jonathan and Candice came pretty close, too.) Thankfully, I have a DVR with a fast-forward button, so I was able to skip past the ugliest stuff.
Though the finale lacked the drama of, say, Palau, it was just so amazing to see the final four acting like rational, supportive adults about everything, even though it led to the most pathetic challenge of all time between Sundra and Becky. Seriously, instead of calling for the matches after an hour, Probst should have just said, "You know what? Even if either of you had a sliver of a chance against Yul and Ozzy 60 minutes ago, nobody's going to vote for you now, so why don't you both just move over to the jury?"
Nothing all that illuminating in the reunion, especially since Probst had to zip past the whole Ozzy/Yul/Adam/Jonathan vote-bargaining issue because he had to make time to talk to 19 different contestants. As I've said in the past, I appreciate Jeff's desire to give everyone at least a sound byte (as opposed to the dreaded Rosie O'Donnell, who talked to, like, five people during the entire Marquesas reunion), but I'd rather spend more time on the people and events that shaped the game instead of letting J.P. give us an update on his latest projects.
What did everybody else think? Happy with the winner? Think Ozzy got hosed?