A Spoiler-Filled look at the All Star Survivor Finale
Note: This article was entirely written before Snewser's picks went up today.
You know what? We have a situation here remarkably to Survivor: Thailand. The more I compare them, the more I see uncanny resemblances.
In that season, Chuay Gahn established themselves as the dominant tribe. Pagonged out the opposition big time. From Day 12 to Day 33 there was a core of five that stayed in the game, and had no real chance of leaving. But inevitably it came down to the five of them. And Brian called it ...and this infamous confessional in Survivor history is just uncannily applicable to the current situation...
Before we get into it, I should of course explain that Tom was the Ted in this situation...the person that Helen and Jan should have seized control of to give themselves, as Helen put it "Final three, or possibly you and me in one and two." And like that season, they didn't see the light. Tom said in his final chat that while Romber were away at the movies, the conversation at camp concerned "Popcorn, hot dogs, Pepsi. We did not basically discuss the game. Which might have been a big mistake on me and Jenna's part." Gee...ya THINK MAYBE TOM?!?!?!?!?!? You know, I love Big Tom, but he has a bit too much of a tendency to go with the flow and underthink things. People have been down on Lex and Kathy, but there ain't no WAY either of the two would have been chatting about Pepsi in that situation!
Anyway, onto Brian's speech...
"When you know where everyone's head's at? It gives you that much more control, it gives you that much more confidence, it gives you more useful ammunition."
And Boston Rob knows this...knows where people's minds are at. He has been with these people from Day One...or Day 13. He has mentally focused himself on it completely...as Brian did.
But then...so has Amber. And she's done it without raising the ire of people voted out...that takes mad, mad skill in this All Star game.
"I've got three pieces of ammunition I can use. One, I've got my trump card Jan...Grandma Jan, she's disposable."
This is Jenna...who, like Jan, has been completely useless in competitions. Actually helped in a major way to screw up challenges way back on Saboga. Has been the person most annoying within the tribe...in Jenna's case because of her incessant chatter, in Jan's case because of her utter battiness. I see her as the person to blow the tie opportunity at the final four...just as Jan did. Again, no one likes ties, but at the final four what have you got to lose? It would be UTTERLY INSANE for Jenna to not sell Rupert on this idea...but she probably won't. Amber and Rob will go to Jenna and do the same thing Brian and Clay did...essentially say "Ok, Rupert's gonna get fourth, and you're gonna get third. What a sweet deal, huh?" Jenna doesn't even have the benefit of being a lone female against two males going into an endurance competition, which (as history has shown) tends to favour women. Amber's been ten times the competitor Jenna has been.
"Number two I've got my loyal trustworthy soldier Helen. I know where her head's at, I know how she feels about me, I'm very confident and good feeling about her and her work ethic."
That would be Rupert...ever the guy who is loyal to his tribe, in spite of considering possibilities beyond it. He did it on Drake in the Pearl Islands game, and it was his downfall, and it's going to be here. He is like Helen a tireless worker, as pointed out by Jenna a couple weeks ago. Like Helen, went and got food...Helen didn't have a spear, but she led the charge to gather mussels and leaves and whatnot to keep the tribe fed. And was too trusting in the end...who knows, maybe Rob and Amber will double deal with him and promise him they are voting out Jenna. If so, the analogy with Helen will be just that much more apt.
"My good friend Uncle Clay. He knows what I want, I know what he wants."
Amber, obviously. And as much as Brian ruled the game, as much as Brian absolutely snaked everybody...the whole of Chuay Gahn voted for Brian.
But this time...will it be repeated?
HERE is where the analogy may very well break down. Whereas Clay lost because he didn't make friends on his own tribe...Amber has. She has let Rob be the person to do all the dirty work. Right now, according to exit interviews, you have Rob being torn to pieces by Lex and Kathy, Alicia making repeated statements that she would never vote for Rob no matter who he is against, Shii Ann giving major props to Amber, and Big Tom giving Rob a hard stare down as he walked out...that could be the game right there, though I think one or more of the above will vote Rob.
I have felt since February that a Rob-Amber final two was inevitable. It has been there in every episode. It's been in how each of them have been edited in with the "plotline" confessionals (where each of them describes where they are during various points in the game) and also evident in the fact that Burnett took until Episode 8 to truly divulge the extent of the Romber Romance. As for Jenna, there have been entire episodes where she got barely one confessional...her portrayal just doesn't seem like winner's editing to me, though either Rob or Amber's edit does.
However...there is ONE nagging doubt I have, and it makes me hesitate on completely betting the farm on a Romber finale. And that's the fact that in all the Early Show interviews, in all the Survivor roundtable discussions with past players...no one is talking about Jenna. At all. It's like she doesn't even exist. It really reminds me of what happened with Vecepia in the Marquesas season - no exiting player mentioned her at all. Now mind you, this could very well be because 90% of the questions asked are *adopting smarmy Harry Smith manner* "So...BOSTON ROB!!!" But still...it plants a little doubt in my mind.
But then...look at the evidence for a Romber final two...
1. The editing of the show.
2. The Chill One list (and he's so far exceeded his own spoiling standards)
3. Rupert obviously gone at the final four...thumbs down on Snewser's scorecard, next up on Chill One's list, his infamous "Third time's the charm" slip up at the Pearl Islands finale, AND that fact that he'd kill 'em all in a jury vote.
4. The fact that Jenna would have to win the last Immunity...and she has shown absolutely no indication of being able to do that.
5. The editing hammering home the fact that no one who's won the car has won the show.
6. True Dork Times has a picture of Rob and Amber on their old ASS spoiler page, if you run the mouse over the picture of their chart - that just went up on Friday.
7. Snewser's typically cryptic finale spoiler page, which if you type in "I won't be able to see the finale. Doggonit." produces a picture of Wayne Knight from the movie Jurassic Park. Whatever does this mean? Well, remember that the dinosaur DNA was extracted from mosquitoes in that movie? The insects were preserved because they were trapped in hardened liquid....*drum roll please*
AMBER!!! The winner of All Star Survivor.
I have two main reasons for thinking this...
1. Since the first episode, I have had my eye on this one quote from Ms. Brkich after Chapera won the first Immunity. In a jam-packed episode, with 18 people to edit in, Burnett found time to include her saying "We came in FIRST PLACE on the FIRST Survivor All Star challenge!" Well...change "we" to "I," and consider the whole show in a sense as being "the first Survivor All Star challenge"...and there it is, right there! All along, we have been staring at the ASS equivalent of Rich saying in Episode 1 of Pulau Tiga "I'm the winner." How preposterous is this??? Burnett puts in clues to the winner in every first episode...and in a sense this is the most obvious one SINCE that hallowed first season!
2. Obviously because I think she would be considered by the jury as the better player, or the lesser of two evils, by the majority of them.
However...I think it's going to be a closer vote than logic might lead one to believe. Prognostication of jury votes has been in the past a notoriously difficult task, but let's see how close I get...
As much as it pains him, I somehow can't see him voting for someone he would consider as a FUTR player. It's just not a strategy Lex really respects...look at his derisive comments about Shii Ann's similar approach. The question is whether with 12 days and seven tribal councils to think about it he will come to see that Amber has been an equal partner in the ascension of Romber to the top? Still, I'll say Rob.
Every juror puts a fine point on the fact that they are not allowed to discuss the game after they are out of it. This is complete crap to me...what, do they have minders that follow them around Loser's Lodge 24/7? So I think Shii Ann will impress upon her biggest ally in the game just what she said as she voted for Amber on Day 33 - that the beautiful Ms. Brkich has played the best game. Combine that with Rob's backstabbing, and I think she'll vote Amber.
Easy call. Alicia has flat-out said she wouldn't vote for Rob in the final two. And her and Amber do have some bond still from the Outback season.
Shii Ann: AMBER
Another pretty sure bet. Shii Ann correctly called Amber as the best player as she left on Day 33, and I very much doubt she will change her tune in six days.
While I do love the guy's joviality, Kim Johnson in Africa put it best when she called Tom a "guy's guy." I somehow can't see him voting for a woman...if he does, well I've done him a disservice, but I still think he will take stock, realize that Rob had every reason to be suspicious of him, and credit Rob in the end for forming a 36 day long pact with him.
Other than Jenna, Rupert's going to feel the least stabbed in the back by Rob of anyone. He'll likely respect the fact that Rob did form a final four alliance with him, and stuck to his word on that. After that...Rob (so far, at least!) made no promises to Rupert. And Rob probably did more work around camp than Amber, and that's big with Rupe. It could go either way though.
She's seemed very close to both Rob and Amber since well before the game started (rumour has it Jenna and Rob once actually had a thing going) but nevertheless will probably vote for Amber as the closer of two friends. That is, unless Amber does some last minute lying to Jenna...which could swing it back to Rob. Still, I'd be fairly surprised if she doesn't vote Amber.
So there you have it...a 4-3 vote for Amber, oddly enough split along gender lines. Or...it will be a blowout for Amber. OR...Rob somehow sneaks a victory, though it would have to be pretty close considering Amber's got at least two rock solid votes in her corner.
OR...the most bizarro possibility of all: they are both disqualified for conspiring to share the money, a big Survivor no-no. Man, wouldn't THAT be something!
In any case, after going back and forth on which of the two deserve it, I think I have to go with Amber. Sure, Rob's played one HELL of a competitive, strong game, but his diplomacy skills with the jury have been horrid, to say the least. And while Amber on the face of it has been tucked under Rob's wing, I think she's more than proven she's an equal partner in the Romber team - she's made much nicer with the jury, held her own in challenges, and has done as much work to hold alliances together as Rob has. Besides, is getting six votes in four different tribal councils under the radar?!?!
So congrats Amber...you came in as someone widely viewed as unworthy to be there, and you showed 'em ALL!!!
And moreover...congrats to Romber, for doing what Rodger and Elisabeth, Neleh and Paschal, and Heidi and Jenna failed to do - strike up a highly visible and unbreakable final two alliance, and actually make it all the way through. Though the fact that they did, without anyone breaking them up, is perhaps more of a comment on the competence of the other players than it is on their brilliance.