I’ve literally been watching Survivor since the show started. Created in 2000, the reality show was the first of its kind to truly captivate American audiences. The game takes a group of complete strangers and maroons them on islands in “tribes”, where they’re forced to make alliances and win challenges to provide immunity. If you’re in the losing tribe, then you’re forced to vote one of your own off the island. This continues until the numbers dwindle and the tribes merge, at which point it becomes an individual game. From that point on, your goal is to win challenges for yourself and avoid getting voted out by your tribemates. When the game gets down to three people, those three stand in front of the last nine people they voted out (known as the Jury) and plead their cases as to why they should win the million dollar prize and be crowned that season’s Survivor champion. Those nine vote and a victor is decided.
There are two seasons a year (making this season the show’s 23rd). Tonight was the finale, the culmination of all this drama. As you know, because I’ve blogged about it here and here, I was closely following this season because of the brilliant Mr. Cochrane. I hadn’t been so excited by a season since Heroes vs. Villains when J.T. and Stephanie (my two previous favorites) duked it out.
Heck, this might have topped that! Mostly because J.T. was a huge jerk. /disgust
Anyway, all that aside, tonight was everything we wanted it to be. I told my grandma during a commercial break that the ideal outcome would be a twist where “Cochrane comes back and wins under any circumstances!”. That didn’t happen, but it was still a good finale. Ozzy definitely had things going for him, and to see his hopes crushed so violently (and his subsequent “we’re all winners” speech) was pretty disheartening, but Sophie played a good game. Yeah, she could be a brat at times, and yes, she did kind of slip under the radar. But who doesn’t get grumpy after over a month without a shower? And trust me, no one wins without having at least a bit of an influence in the game.
Albert realized she was a threat, but he was a bit too late to the cards. Coach was blind to the fact that he might not actually be in the sweet spot he thought he would (“It’s my game to lose at this point! I have everyone wrapped around my finger!”), and frankly I’m not sure if the jury would even know who Rick was. Ozzy played an amazing game and did his best, but in the end it seems that a Day-One alliance triumphed over his total redemption.
Ozzy did win the $100,000 fan favorite award, though, so I don’t think he’s too busy nursing his wounds. (To be noted: Cochrane came in second.)
It was just a good game. Yeah, people were jerks, and Cochrane didn’t win like I thought he would, and Brandon’s family is disgusted with how he played. But a lot of people (namely Ozzy, Cochrane, Dawn, and Edna) played with good intentions.
Next season’s twist is that the contestants live together, even while on separate tribes–I’ve never seen Big Brother, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same concept. Should be interesting. Who knows? Maybe NBC will bring us another Cochrane to inspire and enlighten nerds everywhere.
It was a good season and a good night. All that’s left to say is….
The tribe has spoken.