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Monday May 12, 2008 3:46 am

Survivor Micronesia Finale: Stir the Pot!

Survivor Micronesia

This past season of saw a host of firsts.  In addition to the endless number of blindsides, the Fans vs. Favorites saga saw three people go home for reasons unrelated to Tribal Council.  The 39 days of competition also gave us our only female-empowered finale ever.

There were so many questions lingering around the last set of Tribal Councils.  Would Natalie be applauded for sticking around so long?  Would Cirie be recognized for all the strategic moves she actually headlined?  Would Parvati have to pay for what she did to Ozzy?  Would Amanda really end up being the threat everyone believed her to be?  Would everyone still be all kissy and huggy now that they had to take each other down?  Read on!

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After labeling Erik the “dumbest Survivor ever”, the ladies had a bit of time to celebrate and appreciate each other.  Unfortunately, the next elimination was always in the back of their minds.  Thanks to the some one-on-one time with Parvati (the charity organizer complimented Natalie on her powers of persuasion), the personal trainer was felt hopeful about her possible new bond.  Meanwhile, Cirie - who was committing to stick with her original alliance - had it planned that she would send Natalie home next.

Survivor Micronesia

At their next Immunity Challenge, the ladies were perched on top a 20’ pole in the water.  The women first had to lower buckets and gather as much water as they could.  The goal was to pour as much as possible down a small chute.  The rising level in this chute would eventually raise a key.  They then had to swim ashore with the key and unlock a chest full of ladder rungs.  Once they were placed in their proper slots, the rungs would then lead the survivors to a platform.  The first person to release their flag would win.

Natalie, with her steady aim, was the first person to retrieve her key and make it ashore.  Parvati, Amanda and Cirie then followed in that order.  Unfortunately, poor strategy and placement held the newbie up.  Amanda smartly chose to carry all her rungs up the ladder with her; this saved her valuable time.  Even though she did have to go back and redo some of her work, the aspiring fashion desiger was able to come from behind and take the finale’s first idol.

Although it seemed fairly certain that Natalie would go home next, she was determined not to leave without at least a subtle effort.  Interestingly enough, Cirie was just as nervous as the trainer.  The nurse had seen Parvati and Nat’s earlier bonding moment.  She was also certain Amanda and Parv would have voted her off had Natalie won the challenge.

Survivor Micronesia

Meanwhile, Amanda and Parv were giving Natalie more credit than she might have been due.  They said Cirie “got lucky” to be with them at the end.  (Uhh – didn’t you know that Cirie pretty much instigated that whole Ozzy thing?  Also, she was the one who gave Nat the idea to talk to Erik to begin with.)  Before they headed to Tribal Council, the personal trainer made her final plea and told Parvati she would like to stay in the game.

At that night’s Tribal Council, things got a bit uncomfortable between Cirie and Amanda.  When Jeff asked the nurse how things would change if the finale came down to a Final Two instead of a Final Three, she said it would really affect her since she basically felt like the third wheel.  This remark made Amanda very defensive.  She didn’t understand why Cirie never felt like she was completely ‘in’.  The somewhat heated exchange made Natalie feel momentarily giddy; she was hoping the fallout would mean a longer stay for her.  Unfortunately, when it came time for the first round of votes, the fan just couldn’t bust apart that strong alliance.  LOSER #1: Natalie.

Back at camp, Amanda and Cirie continued to argue about the events at Tribal Council.  Amanda accused her friend of trying to make them look bad; Cirie said she was simply being honest.  Seriously – how could she not like feel like an outsider in their original alliance of five?  Parvati was cuddling with James and Amanda was cuddling with Ozzy!  Eventually, Amanda became emotional and apologized.  She said she simply became upset once she realized there might be another elimination.  She was hoping all three girls would face the jury together.  (SIDE NOTE:  Am I the only one who was so used to the Final TWO system? I never liked the three people thing.)

Survivor Micronesia

After the ritual “Remember-the-people-who-have-left-the-game-by-looking-at-their-snuffed-torch-bit”, the girls returned home to find an upsetting piece of tree mail.  The ladies hoped they’d be getting a celebratory feast soon.  Unfortunately, it was indeed time for another challenge.  This news had Amanda crying again.  “Someone has to leave right now….after everything?”  (After everything, what?  This is a game, girl!)

The next Immunity Challenge really tested their minds and arms.  The women were each presented with a long cylindrical tube that was divided up into several sections.  The middle section had a groove where a metal ball would sit.  The goal was to hold up – and together – all of the sections without dropping the ball.  After every 5 minutes, they would have to add more sections to the challenge.  Although she seemed quite zen during the first few rounds, Parvati was the first person out of the race.  This left Cirie – a nurse who typically has steady hands – to duke it out with Amanda.  And while I was convinced Amanda was going to falter (her limbs were quite shaky), Cirie mentally slipped and dropped her ball.  Amanda lucked out and won her second immunity in a row.

Back at Dabu, Amanda had to seriously weigh her options.  The next elimination rested on her vote alone.  Should she bring Cirie – the woman who could talk anybody into doing anything – with her…or Parvati, the girl who has played a very social game and has made a lot of friends on the jury?

Survivor Micronesia

Right before she submitted her vote that night, Amanda told the disbelieving audience over and over again “how hard” this decision was.  It’s a no-win situation for me….I love both these girls…blah, blah, blah.  She even threw in some crocodile tears to boot.  (Cue the eye-rolling from Eliza.)  She then made her final choice and potentially sealed her fate in the game.  LOSER #2: Cirie.

The next day, Parvati and Amanda finally got the feast they had been waiting for.  Although they were full of smiles, the two women were fully prepared to take each other down during the next Tribal Council.  Amanda knew her gal pal had played a very cutthroat game up until that point; she didn’t want to be thrown under the bus.

That evening, the two women started off the last gathering by making their opening statements.  Amanda simply told the jurors she was a very loyal player (she supposedly honored every alliance she had been in) and thanked them all for helping to get her to the finale.  Parvati made a point of clearing the air right away.  She admitted that she had a reputation of being a flirt and that she wanted to play the game aggressively and beat the competition before they had a chance to beat her.  She acknowledged all the strong women who she had aligned with and claimed she would give an honest answer to every question thrown at her.

Survivor Micronesia

The anger dished out by some of the the jury members nearly matched the statements heard on Season One:

  • Eliza told Parvati she didn’t appreciate all the comments said about her behind her back. She believed the charity organizer might simply be a “mean person.”  Eliza later accused Amanda of being “superficial” and said listening to her talk often made her want to kill herself.
  • Alexis said Amanda failed to appear genuine and that she loved her “Oscar-worthy”performances at Council.  Alexis felt she had cried wolf too many times.
  • Natalie asked a very strange question of Parvati that many found difficult to understand.  She wanted to know how Parvati’s flirting resonated in the bedroom?  (Seriously – the question was that strange.)  Parv did her best with the answer and acknowledged that she would flirt with guys and girls to get what she wanted.  She even admitted to flirting with Natalie on occasions because she thought she was “sexy.”
  • Erik told Amanda that he would have no doubt voted for her several days ago, but after the last two tribal councils (where she ripped him in front of the jury), he wasn’t so sure anymore.  He didn’t appreciate being thrown under the bus.
Survivor Micronesia

But of all the comments, Ozzy’s was by far the most emotional.  The guy – who should have known he was playing a game - unleashed on Parvati and said she threw their friendship away because she didn’t feel like he was “quite worth” the money.  (Uhh – I think it was really because she wanted to win the money.)  He said he was angry about the fact she had taken “away 14 days” he could have spent with Amanda.  (So Parvati was supposed to let him win so that he could hang with his girlfriend??  And by the way – what about all that time you were flirting with Alexis??  Have you ever explained that one?) 

Ozzy then ended it all by telling Amanda that he was starting to “fall in love” with her.  (I normally would have thought that was romantic, but I actually felt a wee bit uncomfortable.)

When it came time for the votes to be read live in New York City (thankfully, Probst did not arrive by helo this time), the season ended on yet another cliffhanger.  The decision – which narrowly came close to being a tie – was split 5 to 3 in favor of…..


(You can review last week’s episode here.)



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