HOLLYWOOD─I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a reality-competition series since “Big Brother: All-Stars” back in 2006. I mean the best of the best competing, and after nearly 20 years, “Survivor” finally delivered the season fans have desired: 20 winners all competing for the top prize of sole survivor. However, it was not $1 million at stake it was $2 million. Yes, “Winners at War” brought favorites back into the foray like Boston Rob, Sandra (the only two-time winner up to this point), Tony Vlachos, Parvati, Ethan, Yul, Kim, Denise and a host of others.
However, “Winners at War” has been fun, but there has yet to be that epic moment in my personal opinion that has defined the game. You can always pinpoint that one move that really blew your mind in most seasons of “Survivor” I have yet to see it here. I mean going into the finale my money was placed solely on Tony. The guy has been playing freakin’ fantastic post merge, delivered blindsides and navigated himself out of some dicey situations that he should have been exposed for. Next to Tony, I was rooting for Michele simply because she is an underdog.
Sarah is Tony’s puppet, so is Ben, who has a personality that is just not worth rooting for and Denise, I have no clue what the hell she is doing. I mean she pulled off an epic move when she played two idols sending The Queen aka Sandra Twine-Diaz out the game. However, she seems to be a dead horse right now because I don’t see her argument to the jury, she hasn’t made any moves or I don’t even think considered ‘how’ she would get to the end and ‘who’ she could beat if she got there.
Getting to the end is one thing, having an argument as to why you should win against those sitting next to you is another story. The three-hour finale, yes, it was a long one people, which was amply titled ‘It All Boils Down To This” with a competition from the ‘Edge of Extinction’ turning our final five into a final six people. So wait this finale is so packed we won’t even have a reunion show? That is indeed a first people. SPOILER ALERT: If you have not watched the episode stop reading now!
A complicated challenge, but I still think it’s still crazy to have 14 people competing in a single challenge. Natalie had the largest advantage, which made it apparent she was a clear favorite to win. However, Wendell, Yul and Parvati edged closer to catching up with Natalie.
Wendell was giving Natalie a run for her money being the first person to get to the maze. This was some serious tension people. Natalie, Tyson and Wendell, who would be victorious? Wendell should have won, but it was Natalie who edge out the win to return to the game. It looks like Nat has members of the ‘Edge’ rooting for her. She didn’t forget that Ben and Denise betrayed her in that first vote. Amber admitted she did not have a chance in hell of winning, she did it for her husband, and this was a very emotional moment in the game people.
So the game is back on, with Natalie rejoining the game, and looking to create waves to change the dynamics of the game, by telling a ton of lies. She started to totally pointing the finger at Tony as driving the wheel, and it shocked the others, and Tony was scared. Oh, I love you Natalie, thank you for getting the others to open their eyes. Sarah you are such an idiot if you cannot see what is standing right in front of you; Tony is the ringleader, you are a puppet.
Wow, this first immunity challenge looked like a wild one people. Damn Michelle, was dead last, and came back and had her first tier built over everyone else. I cannot believe I’m rooting this hard for Michele, and Natalie was on her coattails, as well as Sarah. Don’t underestimate Michele people because she blew everyone away winning her second consecutive immunity. Tony started to unravel worried about Natalie have an advantage in the game.
Natalie and Michele created a partnership to breakup Tony, Sarah, Ben and Denise. I totally forgot Natalie had an idol, so they’re both safe! Finally, the game is about to shake in a huge way, so Michele went to work letting Tony know he’s in trouble and Ben started to panic also. Sarah and Ben open your eyes, Natalie has something people, and Tony was right by targeting Denise, but Sarah is too dumb to see it, this girl is idiotic. I could not wait for this Tribal Council because I wanted to see some fireworks, and the jury clean shaven, dressed to impress took in all the information, and explained that Tony was playing the best game and the biggest target. Sarah didn’t like hearing that. She was speaking some truth about the dynamics between men and women and how they are perceived in the game.
Sarah you’re speaking so much truth right now, people see the game different when a male and woman play the same game, but viewed differently. Back to the game, Jeff pointed out a potential advantage in the game, just as Natalie made it clear she wanted to break the foursome up. Cue the fireworks as Natalie played her idol, making Ben and Sarah look stupid. Tony played his idol, then Ben played his idol also. It was apparent Michele and Natalie targeted Ben.
No votes cast, so it was a revote, meaning only Sarah and Denise are at stake. No one can draw rocks, if it’s a tie, a fire making would transpire between Denise and Sarah, oh, this is wonderful people. However, instead of forcing Denise and Sarah to make fire all the votes were placed on Denise. Don’t feel sorry for her because she wasn’t playing to win people. Looks like Sarah is going to owe Michele and Natalie for saving her. Still don’t understand why a vote wasn’t placed on Sarah or to force a tie.
Tony was certain another idol is probably going back into the game and went hunting in the middle of the night for that idol. The sun rose and the search for an idol kicked off for everyone in full force people and it was NATALIE who found her second idol! She immediately alerted Michele that she found the idol.
The second immunity challenge for the final five saw Tony, Sarah, Ben and Natalie all aiming to get two sand bags on a platform. Ben was in the lead, but Tony ultimately edged out the victory. Lucky for him cause had he not, he would have gone home. Tony thought his spy nest was best case scenario to get information, and he thought by using Sarah that Natalie and Michele would fall for her lure. Throwing out Ben was important, and Natalie revealed her idol to Sarah (not a smart move people).
Hmm, was Sarah really doing this all for Ben or will she actually make a move. The plan was to vote for Michele, and Natalie did not sense that. Michele is smarter than others, and she pushed the notion that SHE was in trouble. Ben why are you giving up, this is just terrible gameplay. What type of winner just gives up? For the final five Tribal Council, Jeff wanted to point out life stories once again?! I want to see strategy talk and gameplay, not how the game makes people feel in the end. Michele pointed out a clear alliance and her fight to survive against all odds.
Natalie played her idol for herself, as the votes revealed that Ben was on the chopping block, and the votes were for Michele, but Sarah voted Ben out against Tony’s wishes. Tony got blindsided and so did the jury! The final immunity challenge was all about placing balls into a contraption and keeping a careful eye on those balls, Tony was the first to lose focus, and soon followed by Sarah. Looks like the duo is about to be broken up people, and this was intense it went to a total of 5 balls in motion. My mind would be boggled trying to stay focused people.
Natalie won immunity and the game flips people, as everyone started to practice making fire and it was clear that Michele knows what she’s doing people. Tony and Sarah struggled with making fire, whereas Natalie knew decreasing Tony’s threat level was important. He was worried sick about Michele ability to make fire in such a quick fashion. Final Tribal Council people, Natalie’s accolades were praised, and Michel made it clear she practiced fire nonstop. Sarah tried to pour on the waterworks, while Michele made it clear she wanted to go after Tony to prove the biggest target needs to be sent packing people. Natalie brought Michele with her to the final three, and Sarah tried to create a scene with water, as the duo was about to be broken apart. Both started fires relatively quick, it was all about whose fire would reach the rope first, but her flames died and Tony’s flames rose, it was literally neck and neck for both, but Tony won and the jury clapped in his favor, I don’t see how Tony loses this season people!
The Final Tribal Council kicked off with a torrential rainfall, as Michele, Natalie and Tony pleaded their cases as to why they should win. Tony had some strong arguments people, as did Natalie, Michele, seemed a bit quiet. I hadn’t realized that Tony did NOT have a single vote cast against him the entire season. That’s amazing people. Damn Natalie controlled every advantage/twist in this game and her explaining it was epic. Arguments strong for all three finalists, but none of them cracked under the pressure. Michele hit on the countless fire tokens that were willed to her from players throughout the game, which was impressive people. Oh, the love fest here people. Get to the vote Jeff Probst, who is the $2 million victor!
The jury of 16 (wow that is hard to even say), and like I said Tony played phenomenal people, but the ‘Edge’ can be dicey people. After almost 3 hours, the votes were read at last from Jeff’s garage. Looking like a race between Tony and Natalie, but as more votes were read it was Tony who pulled off the ultimate victory, 12-4. We got a tease that the 41st season might be unlike anything we’ve seen before as the season aims to be airing in the fall. Fun, exciting season, not one of the greatest of all-time but we know have a King of “Survivor” to go with Sandra’s title as Queen.