Sunday, May 11, 2008

Survivor Micronesia finale: Sigh...

Quick "Survivor" finale spoilers coming right up...

Ah, well... Parvati wins, 5-3 over Amanda. (What they would have done in the event of a tie?) On the one hand, she's one of the more odious people to ever appear on this show (twice). On the other, she deserved it over Amanda. Parvati's move to take out Ozzy (who was at Lex levels of bitterness at the final Tribal Council) was the defining one of the season, and though I hated to watch a lot of it, she and Cirie (who also would and should have beaten Amanda) orchestrated a series of agressive blindsides. If nothing else, I resigned myself to wanting Parvati to win it after Amanda broke out the crocodile tears at the penultimate Tribal. I don't doubt they were genuine, but it's a friggin' game, lady! To win a million dollars! You laughed and smiled and whooped when you voted other people out, and all of a sudden it's this great burden to do so?

Beyond that, I don't know what word on the street Probst has been hearing that calls this the best season since the first. Off the top of my head, I'd put Cook Islands, Palau, Pearl Islands, Australia and the Amazon ahead of this one. Like I said a few days ago, there were a lot of blindsides, but more often than not they were the result of stupid play as much as they were cleverness on the part of Cirie or Parvati. Plus, the amount of injuries and/or quitting takes away from my enjoyment of the thing, because things could have gone very differently had Jonathan not been evacuated, or if Chet's foot was doing just well enough that he stuck around to blindside Ozzy, etc.

Plus there's the whole BS "fans" concept, where I buy maybe three or four of them (Erik, Jason, Mikey B, maybe Tracey) as people who were genuine fans of the show, and the only two who made it very far were either too slow-witted or too starstruck to play a good game. I would have loved a season where a bunch of genuine, Rob Cesternino-style fans got to mix it up with veterans of the game. Instead, we got stuck with the likes of Joel and Kathy and Chet and Alexis.

There were parts of the season I enjoyed a lot, but overall, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, so much so that I'm not going to bother with the reunion. Feel free to discuss/summarize anything interesting that comes up there -- like Eliza explaining her (deciding) vote for Parvati -- in the comments.

What did everybody else think?

30 comments:

Nicole said...

I don't know who Probst has been talking to either because this ended with a big meh. I think it would have been interesting to have a Cirie and Pavarti final two, and in that case Cirie probably would have won because she was more of the instigator of the blindsides... and the Erik move.

The Final Jury was weird though. I expected bitterness from Ozzy, but some of the others, like Natalie's attempt to pick Parvati or Alexis getting mad at Amanda was just bizarre.

I was disappointed with Cirie and Eliza's questions for the jury because they weren't questions as much as "tell me why you suck/ why I am the best" statements.

While not as horrible as Amber winning the first All Stars, Parvati wasn't exactly a favourite.

And Jeff seemed very concerned about James's finger yet Jonathan's injury seemed a lot worse

Mac said...

The EW guy said Friday that he thought this was the best season since the first, so that's probably who Probst was talking to.

I was rooting for Amanda, but she probably lost when she cried at tribal. Cerie gave her a chance to redeem herself, to say "I picked Parvati because I thought you'd win if I picked you," and she didn't take it.

Next season Gabon, in Africa. Good pick for the first hi-def season.

Anonymous said...

I liked it better than some of the ones you mentioned, Alan.

But I would have liked to have seen some true "fans" in there, too... or even a season of all fans.

Still, this set of "favorites" was much better than the All Stars season.

Adam said...

IMHO, any list of "best seasons" has to include Guatemala -- Danni Boatwright's great gameplay, Stephenie and Bobby Jon II, Gary "Hawkins" Hogeboom and Doorman Judd.

Myles said...

You didn't miss much with the reunion, Alan: Probst never asked Eliza to explain her vote, and he also never asked the jury how different a Cirie/Amanda final would have been. It was as if the hush in the room after Parvati won (A smattering of applause, but certainly no real excitement) scared Burnett away from any questions that would essentially boil down to "Parvati we hate you."

I like Amanda enough that I wanted her to win, but Parvati is certainly not amongst the show's least deserving winners. I have perhaps a higher opinion of the season as a whole as you did, but the reunion show certainly pointed out (And oddly relished) that there was a lot of stupid flying around in this game, and spent far too much time on Erik's move. We get it, it was idiotic, we need to be done with it.

bgt said...

Amanda's answer to Cirie demonstrates why she will never win a jury vote. All she had to say was, "Cirie, you played a great game and you're an excellent speaker, so I thought I would have a more difficult time beating you than Parvati." Instead she stammers out some BS about respecting her game.

This was one of more enjoyable seasons, but I certainly wouldn't rank it 2nd. There were just too many idiotic moves made (Ozzy, Jason, Erik) along the way.

I would have loved to have seen Cirie in the final 2 or final 3, I think she would have destroyed either Parv or Amanda.

bgt said...

To me this was probably the strangest Final Tribal Council since Jenna won The Amazon to try and figure out why people voted for the person they did. Before Jeff read the votes that season, I could not imagine a scenario in which Matthew would not win. Tonight wasn't as much as a surprise because of Amanda's inept performance, but I would still love to hear people explain why they voted for Parvati.

Jaynee said...

I was crushed when Cirie lost that last immunity challenge. I REALLY wanted her to win. She was BRILLIANT this season and it's a shame that a little tiny ball cost her a $1M prize she absolutely deserved.

BGF said...

Not second compared to Palau and Cook Islands, but this season showed that I can still like Survivor even when I'm not rooting for anyone. I watch because I want to see people strategize, and I think they did. It doesn't matter that the victims were stupid; I give the girls props for trying some risky strategies.

I can't believe Cirie let Parvati get away with all the credit for the moves on Ozzy, Jason and Erik -- I dream that explaining how marginal Parvati was to those supposedly masterful moves would have changed Eliza's vote, at least. I guess I give Parvati credit and Amanda debit for fooling everyone as to the depth of their game. Amanda doesn't want people to dislike her, which caused that whole ridiculous scene, and makes her a bit FUTR. I seem to remember an identical total breakdown in China when she realized that someone had to lose. Very odd.

Alex said...

Amanda is really smart and probably should have won both seasons, but she's amazingly good at blowing the final council. Each time, by the time she's done crying I'm rooting for the other person.

If they'd stuck with a final three I think Cirie would have taken it, which makes it incredibly depressing that they changed the game at the last minute. As soon as it went to final two instead of three, Cirie's whole game got fucked up. That's a terrible shame, because she's the smartest person I've seen on the show.

George said...

I have seen every season and this is the most entertained I have ever been. So Probst could have been talking to me. I have perplexed by the hate for this season. The last half of this season has been a riot. I have loved it.

Anonymous said...

I'm with George; this was lots of fun (although I confess that I typically skip a season or two here and there).

What should have been acknowledged in a bit more detail was how much Parvati benefited from the players who were removed for medical reasons. Had Penner and/or James remained, it would have been much, much different.

dez said...

The Final Jury was weird though. I expected bitterness from Ozzy, but some of the others, like Natalie's attempt to pick Parvati or Alexis getting mad at Amanda was just bizarre.


I was baffled by all the hate directed at Amanda, too. I guess they kept her bad moments well hidden (the way they kept Natalie's utter bitchitude off the screen until they absolutely had to show it).

I would have preferred Cirie won, and then Amanda. I still can't stand Poverty and I think it sucks that she won, "good gameplay" or no. Blech.

Hyde said...

While it's true Cirie's game was dealt a fatal blow by the fact that it wasn't a final 3, one might also question again whether they should have seriously thought about actually going through with the fake deal they proposed to Erik (teaming up with him to vote out Parvati or Amanda). That Natalie and Cirie left the game right on Erik's heels indicates that their gloating about the women's alliance was a case of winning the battle but losing the war. After all, alliances don't win Survivor, individuals do.

I thought going in Amanda would win if she got to the end, but after the last immunity challenge it occurred to me that Parvati was better positioned from a social standpoint, since she had spent so much more time around Alexis, Natalie, and Jason than either Cirie or Amanda had, and was closer to James to boot. Cirie should have impressed that fact upon Amanda; of course, maybe she did.

Amanda's use of the individual immunity idol was brilliant, but Parvati was the much more active player. She cobbled together a second strong alliance when she got switched out of her original tribe, while Amanda was content to stick with Ozzy and would have been hung out to dry had Parvati not taken pains to pull her back to the fold. If you can win Survivor without ever having once had individual immunity, you've done something right other than merely get lucky. Parvati is a deserving winner.

Luis Palacios said...

I actaully enjoy this season because of all that has happen. Things people were welling to do instead of expecting there fate. I do believe amaanda's tears were from the heart but I do think she cry too much though it funny that here title was chance from last season from beauty contestent to aspireing something.

As for idiotic moves...I can understand Ozzy because he was blindsided by trust but apprently jason forgot what happen during the immunity challenge with the whole promiss angle...So shame on him for not learning and as for Erik, It 50/50 on my part...on hand he let his guard down but he didn't stick to his convictions because apprently he was hurting the girls feeling, even though they were doing the same thing.

Still it was fun to watch and didn't fail..at least to me. Also a big ups to Tracy & Ami, who I think were the main reason why things end the way they were...at least until the jury.

Nancy said...

Although I really wish Cerie had won because she was the true mastermind, I am so thankful that Parvati won. It was Amanda 2.0 in front of the jury - those freakish bloodhound eyes ready to drip tears - just like last season. Parvati did what she had to do to stay in the game. She had her relationship with James but she knew she couldn't win with him (or Ozzy) there. She pulled in Alexis, Natalie and James when she needed them. I wanted to throw my shoe at the tv when Ozzy have his stupid speech. If you're going to play Survivor, you have to play the game!

Dark Tyler said...

Yeah, Probst was talking to me as well. Up there with Amazon, only this time the 'Rob C.' won the damn thing while the 'Jenna' didn't. So much better.

The back half of the season had everything this game is supposed to have, the blindsides, the laughs, the drama, the high concept moves, everything. For the first time ever, the final 4 (and even 3) was made up by people who had ALL played the game. This has got to be a first, not tail-riders among this group.

Parvati (and I can't believe I was rooting for that damned and disgusting flirt from the Cooks) was, amazingly, a truly deserving winner, managing at all times to be at an advantage. Was her name ever really written down except for, like, one time with no consequence whatsoever? She did all the right moves at all the right times, and she was the one player who substantially changed up her game in regards to her previous season.

Great season, great winner.

KaveDweller said...

Yeah, like someone commented above, Dalton Ross at EW told Probst in an interview on Friday that this was the best season ever. So he really didn't just pull that out of nowhere. I actually would have agreed with that until the finale....it was a great season....until the lame F2 twist that screwed Cirie.

I don't mind Parvati winning because she did play well, though. And Amanda seems to have some weird condition where she completely breaks down at F3 and loses the ability to talk to a jury.

Bjooks said...

I bailed out on Survivor several years ago, just before the first all-stars, I think, although I've watched a few episodes from most seasons since. But I got drawn back in this time by friends telling me how good this season was. And they were right. If Survivor had remained this entertaining, I'd never have dropped out all those years ago.

Anonymous said...

Despite the lackluster finale, you can add me to the list of people who believe this season was the best since the first year. I'm a little shocked to find out there are people who don't agree, actually.

This season had it all, from backstabbing and blindsiding to mental breakdowns and incredible stupidity. The challenges weren't all that great, but the heart of Survivor has never been the challenges. Plus, you had 22 episodes of Amanda looking absolutely delicious in a bikini. YIKES!

I have to say, though, that Amanda Kimmell might just be the worst player in the history of forever at the final tribal council. She's now given the two worst tribal council performances of all times. Her inability to recognize and obvious bid by Cirie for some ego-stroking and instead choosing to do a commercial for why Parv should win Survivor might just be dumber than Erik's choosing to give away immunity. Well, not really, but STILL.

Joe said...

I enjoy Survivor and look forward to the next season. But I do think it has trended to become more of a social game than a survival game.

The day to day struggle for survival that marked some seasons with the need to find food, water, shelter on a regular basis has become less of a factor.

I like how the physical demands of the game impact the outcomes with hunger, lack of focus and frayed nerves becoming additional hurdles.

Once I see what the contestants look like cleaned up and in street clothes, I turn off the reunion shows.

Anonymous said...

Hyde, Poverty won the one individual immunity when the buckets dumped on people's heads and Jason gave up so everyone could have food. So she was kind of handed it but she still won.

Amanda's droopy eyes drove me crazy. I really couldn't stand Poverty but the crying and the "how much more can people take" was ridiculous. Oh two more days of it; it's not like it was never-ending. It's so funny that her sad eyes came back to bite her again in the end. I was surprised she didn't win though; i thought more people disliked Poverty.

Undercover Asian Man said...

From a strategic standpoint, this was an outstanding Season, maybe better than the First Season. The first season was interesting simply because there were NO strategies coming in (remember the wide voting, where 5-6 names would come up?) until Hatch started to figure out the obvious. This season was exceptional because the Survivor Playbook finally got to the Second Level of strategic thinking. Not just blindsiding, but those on the outs recognizing that stirring the pot much, much earlier than is usually done is the right way to get out of your bottom position.

I think those who didn't enjoy this season are those who want to root for someone 'worthy' and get disgusted if someone they 'hate' wins. Those who enjoyed this season a lot I imagine to be like me - seeing 'Survivor' more as a passive anthropological study and more interested in human dynamics and how they play out than wanting "our team" to win. I do like certain contestants and want them to win over others, but I don't care about that nearly as much as I like seeing people make 'reads' on one another and forming strategies around those reads.

This season had a lot of good reads and bad reads, which is interesting to me. The mistakes (bad reads) didn't ruin this season, but enhanced it greatly. You can't make spectacular plays in any sport unless someone else makes a mistake.

Also, the reason why Survivor has so many "undeserving" or "hated" winners is because people who we find honorable or likable are at a disadvantage in this game. That is why Alexis' whole "role model" question was misguided - Amanda should have just told her Survivor is not a place to find or try to become a role model. It is specifically designed to allow the darker emotions to come out. That aspect is what makes the anthropological study aspect work.

Speaking of which, not only was Ozzy's bitterness interesting, his unnecessary shot at the Lunch Lady from last season (his 'losing his job and cleaning toilets' joke) shows he hasn't lost his arrogance. Second - during the "honor past contestants" walk through, Natalie's Voice Over bragged how Women will ALWAYS out-think a Man. Absurd. Tell me Natalie, did you get those ridiculously huge fake boobs because women's superficial demands of each other, or men's on you? Do you count on your sharp mind or those huge boobs to find favor with men and advancement in society? Just such a stunning hypocrite. Third, I really felt sad during Cerie's exit speech, where she apologized to her family for failing. She played great and was right there to the end. Nothing to be ashamed about.

andythesaint said...

I'm also of the opinion that this was one of the worst seasons of Survivor ever. You'd think that a blindside-heavy season would be more entertaining, but the necessary elements weren't there. It's hard to get into gameplay like that when the victims are so hapless and the victors are so hateful.

I will say that when the returning Survivors were announced, I pegged Parvati as a potential winner. Not because I had any respect for her potential as a player, but because the rule of All-Star seasons of reality shows seems to be that the person (or persons in the case of The Amazing Race) least deserving to be cast will be the one to win it all (we now have Amber, Mike Boogie, the non-team of Erik & Danielle, and Parvati as our all-star champions).

alex s. said...

I think Amanda suffered a lot from not having watched her first season, or at least having some time to think about it. It seems like she would have gotten further by owning her actions instead of acting sorry for everything, a mistake she made both times. Though maybe it was a lost cause with this jury.

I wonder what would have happened if Cirie had gotten to the final (in either a final two or final three). I was disappointed they didn't touch that at all. (Final three would have been better, as others have mentioned.)

I enjoyed this season, but I hated the way they insisted on describing every move which turned out to be wrong after the fact as "stupid". Sometimes you have to take chances. But at least there were a lot of moves rather than just a nasty coalition grinding things out, or someone coasting to a win with nothing to say at the finals except "I didn't piss anybody off". Parvati did a good job of putting herself in position to win without becoming a target.

And when they celebrated this as being a "rough" season instead of maybe mentioning they ought to safety check their challenges a little more...

dez said...

Tell me Natalie, did you get those ridiculously huge fake boobs because women's superficial demands of each other, or men's on you? Do you count on your sharp mind or those huge boobs to find favor with men and advancement in society? Just such a stunning hypocrite.

After the way she was hitting on Poverty during the Final TC, I don't know that she cares what men think about anything. But I do agree that she's a hypocrite.

Nicole said...

I forgot to comment on the Natalie hypocrisy too. All I could think of while she was spouting her "women will always out think a man" garbage was - shut up fake boobs!

I'm sure the editors were aware of the hypocrisy, but she was still irritating to watch. Thank goodness she was only shown at the end.

I don't have a problem applying the labels liberal and feminist to myself but that man-hating stuff made her look like an idiot.

lunatic96 said...

My biggest complaint about this season and the main reason I don't think it was a "great season" is that none of the players made any intelligent moves. Fiji and Cook Islands both had smart intelligent players who knew how to play the game. This season had people TWICE sending the one person they didn't want get the hidden immunity idol to Exile Island which is the exact place the hidden immunity idol is located.

Anonymous said...

I have posted (anonymously) before, but how can be it be a great season when everyone is stupid? Don't great seasons require clever play instead of one exceedingly dumb move after another? I admit the dumb moves were somewhat entertaining at times, but after 17 seasons the shock value of stupidity is gone.

At least I called Parvati the winner about eight weeks ago---what does that get me? Ha. Anyway, at least the ladies looked good (and my wife says Ozzy and James looked good too).

Anonymous said...

I think Amanda is generally well-liked but has a combination at the end of the SURVIVOR road that's fatal: she can't make those quick friendships that aren't worth much outside of a jury vote but aren't needed for more than that (something Todd and Parvati, other flaws notwithstanging, are both great at), and she isn't able to tell the final jurors that she didn't enjoy voting them out but had no problem doing so because, duh, that's how the game is played. If she'd said something along those lines to Cirie, she'd have had a shot at forcing a 4-4 tie. Miss Alli over TWOP said Amanda was a great person to have at the finals because she was great at challenges and bad at politics, and, ABSOLUTELY.
I was rooting for Cirie to win it all. There shouldn't be a "Queen for a Day" component to this show, and thank goodness otherwise a tool like Andre (from Fiji, I won't write his stupid nickname) would have won over Earl, but it does hurt when someone doesn't win who combines a great game and a winning personality with the real needs of having a large family. She still has a lot of fans and I'm proud to be one of them.
As for Ozzy's slam on Denise the Lunch Lady/Janitor/Not Sure Which Lie To Use, I didn't get it at first and then loved it. Denise deserves all the negative attention she ever gets. She's a lying scumbag who paraded out a sob story to try and overcome how bad she was at the game and what a pathetic figure she was. I only hope she got the joke and realized she was it.