December 28, 2018

Survivor David vs. Goliath: Nick is the Sole Survivor

12/28/2018 Posted by Mel Got Served , No comments
Week 13 - Finale

Everyone goes idol hunting after the double play last week. Angelina finds then loses a clue to the Hidden Immunity idol, but she at least successfully found the ladder to climb up and get the idol. To avoid being caught meandering around the well, Angelina lies and fake cries that she fell nearby. Good news for Angelina: Nick invites her and Mike on his Immunity/Reward combo meal which happens to be setup right by the well. What a convenient location! Angelina proposes a final 3 deal between then and then confides about her idol dilemma and drunk Mike with a wine glass in hand re-finds the clue on the beach. The trio secures the idol from its wall hiding spot and she's gleeful to help up the percentage of women finding immunity idols.

As usual, everyone wants to get Alison out and Alison mopes about being hungry and targeted. The group consensus, however, is that Angelina is obsessed with getting out Alison and that Davie is the bigger threat to go after (because he's delightful and pals with Nick). Mike begins persuading Angelina to vote with him and Kara to break up the David-bonded-bros. Tribal Council time! Alison says not everyone is being discussed and it's her and Davie on the chopping block. Angelina and Alison discuss their complicated relationship in the game. Davie explains that as the numbers dwindle, the bonds get stronger and betrayal is what can lose you the game. And so it hurts even more when Davie is eliminated from the game and Nick denies his involvement (true fact). Longtime superfan Davie, who wasn't initially meant to be a part of this cast, is a great sport though and promises whoever led his ouster will receive his vote in the finale unless someone else makes a bigger move. "I orchestrated it," Mike laughs. I mean, he did!

Nick is furious that Angelina and Mike broke their word and voted off Davie, leaving Nick as the last David in the game for easy pick-off. Good news for Nick is he wins immunity again so even if he was the target, he can't go home at this vote. It's time for Alison's inevitable vote off that has basically been spoken about for five Tribals now, but Angelina has a grand plan of playing an idol correctly at a "pivotal" point in the game to impress the jury but also rub salt in Alison's wounds. Alison discovers the fake idol, Angelina fakes sadness that she's going home due to Alison and Kara's votes against her, then plans to surprise everyone at Tribal Council with the real idol. This is wonderful TV but horrendous gameplay. Mike doesn't really like Angelina's master plan and tells Kara what's going down, then Kara and Alison wonder if they should blindside Mike because he's their only option. Tribal Council is theatric but less so because of Angelina. Alison acknowledges her spot as pretty much the only target, but throws out Mike's "clever game" and he calls her out and says there's a way to leave the game with a "shred of dignity." Oof. Alison plays her fake idol cause why not and it's declined, then Angelina plays her Hidden Immunity Idol with the level of hubris you'd expect (none). But it's unsuccessful because Kara and Alison don't give her any votes to allow her the satisfaction of successful idol play. Alison finally gets sent to the jury.

Nick wins immunity yet again, but this is the final Immunity Challenge of the season which guarantees him a spot at Final Tribal Council and lets him choose who joins him and who will be sent to a fire battle. Angelina, Mike, and Kara plead their cases to be taken to the end, but Nick announces the least surprising announcement ever: he's bringing Angelina to the end because she's clearly the easiest one to beat. Kara begins practicing her fire-making skills to show she deserves a spot at the end and could win, while Mike is full of nerves as he attempts to practice (eventually he succeeds). At Tribal Council, Nick talks about the weighty responsibility he holds from winning that final immunity challenge and explains he has the least probability to win against Kara and Mike, so he's taking a grateful Angelina. Mike and Kara take their seats at their fire-making stations and get to work. Mike gets a spark that takes off and he builds on it with a gleeful look as it burns the rope and sets his victory flag high. Kara has some successful fire attempts but ultimately can't get it to last and becomes the last member of the jury.

The final three bask in their final day glory: take in the sunset, making day 39 breakfast, and telling their tale of personal triumph and why they deserve to win. Well, it's time to convince the jury of that and as the final three take a seat on their stumps, the freshly cleaned jury is here to question them on their outwit, outplay, outlast on their different gameplay. Nick's explains his strong social game with named alliances, sharing idols/advantages, and winning challenges with his puzzle acumen. He also brings up his backstory of family with drug addiction and compares that to being the lowkey David that had to fight his way to the end. Mike's social game included working with anyone who had a final two deal with him and eliminating those who didn't want to work with him. He played hard and as one of the oldest and physically weakest Goliaths, he found his niche and made his way ahead in the game. He didn't play for the pot of gold at the end, but the rainbow and the fun and adventure of the game. Angelina bounced back after her Elizabeth-jury-pandering move and made connections with newer people. She brings up the rice yet again, and Davie points out by constantly talking about the rice it wasn't in fact the selfless act she claims to have done. Gabby gives Angelina props from Gabby for being last woman standing and women get treated differently in this game, which Angelina is thankful to hear and explains she had to dig deep to succeed at challenges/camp and eventually found an idol (which is a rare occurence for women in the game). Her theatrics are praised but also challenged, as it felt her fake idol was meant to humiliate Alison - which Angelina denies, but Nick nods yes. The jury gets a moment to think of their choice and then heads to vote.

Mike receives 3 votes to win, Angelina receives none, and with 7 votes Nick is crowned the Sole Survivor. At the reunion, Nick says now that he's won this show and money isn't his sole purpose in life, he intends to use his law degree to follow his passion to help those in need rather than chase a paycheck. Mike is similar in that he turned down a job to be on Survivor and have the adventure of a lifetime (besides 2 times on The Amazing Race). Angelina is proud of her game and being a strong woman, though admits maybe she didn't see in the moment how it came off to others (the rice, the "50 foot" ladder climb, Natalie's jacket). Speaking of Natalie, Probst pretty much shames her for her saying she got a bad edit. Probst is smitten with fan-favorite Christian whose analogy for playing Survivor is "first day of school" and you don't know what's going on, you might make new friends, and you can spread your wings. Also he and Gabby are still besties despite betrayal. Oh and Lyrsa has a tattoo of her famous teal jacket like a baller. All in all, this was one fantastic season and I enjoyed it all.

The evening ends with a preview of Survivor: Edge of Extinction where 14 newbies will take on 4 veterans. See you all in February for another season!

Now guys, not to get all Angelina on you here, but this is a BIG moment for me. I've been doing winner predictions since Survivor: Nicaragua and I've been wrong every season. 16 times I've chosen and while very close at times (Aubry, Woo, Sabrina, Chase, to name a few), I've never gotten it right... UNTIL NOW. Yes, 17th time is the charm and I finally got a Pre-Show Winner Prediction correct! And congratulations also to the 3 others who correctly predicted Nick would win this season: @jessicanfrey, @joshua_, and @sunnyjac0b (who BTW is one of the top winner predictors of all-time here).

[All images credited to CBS]