Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Survivor Exile Island - Episode 14 "Finale"

Just sit right back, this here was a 3 hour long mega episode.

It starts off however with a 10 minute recap of the season. I suppose its to remind everybody how we got to where we are now. I mean it goes all the way back t0 being spilt into four tribes, learning about Exile Island and the hidden immnity idol, to paper-rock-scissors, to Ciri sucessfully outing the tribes best member, to Shane wanting to quite in epsidoe 2, to Terry finding the idol, the schoolyard pick, and so on, through the merge, and Terrys challenge dominance, to the "Insult your tribemates challenge" which rubbede Courtney the wrong way, to Ciri stepping out of the shadows and masterminding the ousters of Courtnet and Shane, to the family visits, Terr's first immunioty challenge lost, and so forth until we end up right at tribal council before the tiebreaker between Ciri and Danielle. In other words just where we left it Thursday.

We are treated to the full version of the credits which introduces all 16 Survivors, I guess they want us to remember these other guys played, but at this point I don't really care about them.

So, finally around 8:15 the spisode really gets started. We start as Jeff reminds us the vote was tied 2-2 Ciri and Danielle. Ciri and Danielle are seated at their workstations for the fire building tie breaker challenge. We learn they have flint, a knife blade, wood, corn husks and other fire making supplies. Challenge is simple first person to build (and maintain) a fire capeable of burning through the rops several iinches above, will cause a signal flag to rasie, which will allow them to stay in the game. Loser gets the boot.

The challenge starts and it goes back and forth, Ciri is off to a quick lead, but her fire goes out before he rope burns, just as Danielle starts to get a fire going, and for a bit Ciri just siits back and watches Danielle. The lead keeps going back and forth as fires die down or go out and have to be restarted. Eventually we see Danielle building the 'teepee' like structure and soon thereafter we can visibly see her rope is on fire. Not long after we are congratulaing Danielle on making it to Final 3.

The tribemembers hug Ciri and wish her well, Ciri leaves, and Jeff tells them that they will have 2 challenges, 2 tribal councils. I think 2 challenges? Usually rewards end after the Final 4 week.

We return to camp, and we See Terry proudly hanging up the hidden immunity idol. He tells us the idol no longer has value in the game, and is now probably worth about 25 cents on eBay. (I don't know, I havent seen the Hidden Idol on eBay, but the regular immunity necklace was up over $7,000 last time I looked) Of coursee its not enough to hang it up, Terry has to make a great show of showing it to Aras and Danielle. Showing it off to the point where both Aras and Danielle made comments about how they perceived Terry as basically rubbing it in their faces, esspecialy Aras. Yep, here I think laying it out for people to see if they wanted to is fine, sticking it in their faces is going overboar. We cut to some clips about how Aras and Terry are ultra competetive and that is how they ven tnot liking each other. These two will compete at anything. Today Aras continues his winnning ways by bringing to the tribe a virtual seafood buffet.

Then we cut to a challenge. Jeff calls the 3 in and remarks "I bet you were expecting an immunity challenge today" Uhm, no Jeff, if they were Aras would have been wearing the immunity necklace to the challenge. Jeff introduces:

Reward Challenge #14
The Prize - billed as "A prize package designed to give you a big advantage at the final immunity challenge" We'll see about that later, Jeffy old pal. It consists of a catered nutritious meal and a cot with covers for the night. A big meal and a good nights sleep, says Jeff.

The challenge: Jeff shows them a climbing wall. Its not like at the amusement park or carnival, not even like at the outdoor sporting goods store or summer camp. This wall looks to be smooth polished wood set at a steep angle. There are no handholds, instead there are slots in which to insert handholds. To get the four tools they will need to climb the wall, Jeff explains the full challenge.

Stage 1: Navigate a handle through a table maze. The maze appears to have the patern clearly painted on it, but there are sudden dead ends. Succesfully getting the rod all they way through the maze will release a bag containig the first two hand tools for the wall. Untie the bag, ad take it with you.

Stage 2: It looks like a roulette wheel, but don't spin it. Sitting atop the wheel is a scroll with clues. using the clue rotate the wheel the designated number of spaces, like a combination lock dial. When you have dialed all the clues into the wheel, the pointed should be pointed at the only bag on the wheel to actually have your hand tools.

Stage 3: Use the 4 hand tools you have acquires to climb the climbing wall. You need all 4 to climb rhe wall, and must take all 4 with you when you reach the top.

Stage 4: Insert the 4 tools into their correct clots in the toolrack on top of the wall, inserting all 4 tools will cause your tribe flag to raise.

First person to raise their flag wins reward.

Jeff starts the challenge. They all seem to have some trouble wth the table maze, but Aras solves it with a healthy lead. At the puzzle wheel Aras and Terry have no troubles, but Danielle dials the wrong combo and gets a bag of immitation hand tools. She proceeds to race to the wall anway before Jeff informes her they are not the correct tools (the correct tools will be color coded). Really they should make it more obvious that he person chose the wrong bag.

On the wall the players slip some, and it appears that Aras has the challenge won when we starts sliding down just as he reaches the top, he is saved by the collar of his shirt snagging on oneof the tools still stuck ino the wall. At the end it still looks like Aras beat Terry to the top and was already inserting his tools into the rack, when Terry takes on superhuman powers to get his tools inserted and flag raised first.

Jeff informs them that since the hidden idol is no longer in play, no one is going to Exile Island, and no one gets to share the reward. Terry goes for lunch, the others go back to camp.

We only get to see a couple short shots of Terry eating lunch alone, but really, eating lunch alone, what is there really to show or tell. Back at camp Aras and Danielle are having a seafood feast, so everybody is eating. Aras uses the time to try to broker a deal with Danielle. It would not surprise me to see Danielle play both sides, after all she has openly admitted she is just using Terry.

We see the boat deliver Terry back to camp with his Ikea build it yourself cot. They ask Terr about the meal, and although he tries to downplay it by saving it wasn't much at all, it sounds like it would be good to me after 37 days of limited food intake. 2 chicken breasts, a lot of vegetables, some fruit, a power drink and some pure water. Not much happens and they switch to nighttime and Terry preparing to sleep on his cot and the others commenting on hos its not fair (What part of "reward" and "personal advantage"did they not understand). As Terry prepares to go to sleep, they asks if he gets the cot for the remainder of the game, and Terry responds that he would like to be around to use it for the rest of the game. Aras states that if Terry is voted off, Aras will sleep on the cot in Terry's honor, and Terry responds that perhaps Aras will have to fight Danielle for it, in a way hinting that Aras should not assume so fast he is second in line for the cot.

LAstly we hear Aras explain that Terry may have gotten a physcial advantage with the meal and the cot, but he also has the psychological baggage now that he is expected to win and now has even more pressure on him to win the challenge.

We go to Day 38, Terry goes to check tree mail, and reads the tree mail to himself beofre showing the others. It is basically just directions telling them that a boat will pick them up to take them to Exile Island, once there they will collect the torches of the other survivors that went before them, they will place the torches they collect on top of the giant skull and raise the Exile Island flag (for the last time ever, I can assure you). Then they will set the Giant Skull on Exile Island on fire, skull, torches, flag all going up in a big blaze of glory.

As tthey ride to Exile Island. (Is this a first, the tribe is on a waterfront and does no have a boat), it is refreshing to see them finally admit they shuttle the survivors from scene to scene. On the boat ride, they comment that between them they spent the most time on Exile Island, so its fitting that they get to set it ablaze. They fail to see the "remember your fallen comrads" part and are all "We don't ever have to go to this lousy island again".

They get to the island, and this is the traditional rite of passage where they are supposed to stop a moment at the torches of each player who went before them. Reflect on that person, maybe say a few words, then move on. The show will then helpfully provide a montage of that person's highlights and a voice over from that person on their Survivor experience. It's meant to be all reverent and emotional. The tribe members do this, then Danielle raises the flag and the other two help pass the torches up to Danielle to arrange on top of the skull. The skull is then set afire and our three newest pyromaniacs take fiendish delight in destroying Exile Island. (Well, at least thats one set they won't have to knock down). They edit out the part where the tribe asks for a box of graham crackers, some chocolate bars, and some marshmellows. :)

They transition to:
Immunity Challenge #14
Okay, I took one look at this challenge and said Danielle is golden. Actually she would have been no matter what the challenge. I don't see sworn enemies Aras and Terry possibly taking each other, especially as we have seen each brokering deals with Danielle.

But this challenge seems to be especially set for Danielle, which really is the only outcome that would provide some degree of suspense at tribal council.

The challenge is to stand on a small floating platform. The slightest movement in any direction will cause the platform to flip over dumping you into the water. Hmm, they must be connected to the frame in the same manner as the rope bridges in the "Jacob's Ladder" games seen at carnivals. They have to survive 15 minutes on each platform, if they survive they will move to an even smaller platform. On the tiniest platform there is no time limit, and they will compete till last man stands. Between each platform they will only have 1 minute to get setup and ready to start the challenge.

They step onto the largest platform, the guys platformsseem to take on a little water, but they all stand still as statues. At first Jeff can't even coax them into talking, and then tries to distract them to no avail. We do see Danielle ask about fishing. They pass the first round, and move to
round 2. A little harder to get balanced, but not mcuch happens and they advance to round 3. Jeff remarks about this is really where it gets hard.

Aras and Terry are having trouble even getting up ont he platform. Terry is particular is having trouble nad must have gotten flipped off the platform 4 times in his 1 minute setup time. He does just barely find his balance and avoids the embarassing disqualification. He doesn't last much longer though and is first out. I say right then and there "Terry's Done For!"

We see what may or may not have been some head signalling going on between Aras and Danielle. We then see Aras pretty much jump off his platform, handing the win to Danielle. To be fair Danielle would have probably won anyway as she looked steadier than Aras, but now Aras does not have to admit defeat.

Danielle gets the last and most powerful individual immunity. Jeff sends them back to camp via boat.

As soon as they arrive back at camp, Danielle says that winning the final immunity is both a blessing and a curse. She says she has no idea who to take with her. Time to cue the politking scnes. First Terry corners Danielle on a water run Terry is shocked that he isn't golden, Terry tells Danielle that is he had won, Danielle would be golden. (Easy to say now, buddy) Danielle responds that had Terry given her the hidden immuity idol last tribal council, Terry would have been golden (again, easy to say now). Terry does his sales pitch. Aras is rightfully paranoid.

They have chowm then Aras pulls Danielle aside for his own sales pitch. According to Aras Danielle and he exchanged signals at the challene indicating that Daielle agreed to take Aras. Danielle claims she never made said signals, much less a deal. Aras gives his sales pitch, which is a high pressure sales pitch actually, and Danielle claims she wasn't comfortable with it.

They prepare to leave for Tribal Council and Danielle claims she still hasn't chosen. Terry all "do what tou want to do" and Aras shoots her a look like "What do you mean, undecided'

They go to Tribal Council.

Jeff talks a bit about the immunity challenge. He tehn asks Terry specifically if he respects the powerful role and improtant decision Danielle must make. Terry totally ignores that question, and instead responds with the "Take Me" sales pitch. During said sales pitch, he of course has to make sure it is known to all he had the hidden immunity idol. Jeff does his best to act surprised. Aras on the other hand handles the question a lot better than Terry did.

Jeff asks Danielle how she feels (more nervous every minute), and how she is basing her vote. She still claims not to know, Aras looks stunned.

Danielle votes, which of course we don't see, Jeff goes to tally the single vote, Jeff returned to read the vote, and I don't think anybody was shcoked to see Terry voted out, well except maybe Terry. The one time the hidden idol could not save him, and he is gone. Jeff gives the usual comments about how all power is out of Aras and Danielles hands (you have gone as far as you can go o your own volition), how the jury will decide who wins, then he dismisses them back to camp to relax for a day befoe facing the jury at the final tribal council.

They return to camp, congratulate themselves, comment on how they are the two youngest players this season, Then the usual bonfire occures, it happens every season so I think it must be protocol, however this season they don't throw near as much stuff into the bonfire, so there are a lot of traces of camp left. In the morning they go to get tree mail, and get milk, orange juice, champagne, eggs, pancake batter and so go to prepare breakfast. First though they decide to make cocktails out of the champagne and orange juice. We see them eat breakfast, and appreciating every scrap of food they have been given, like the pan clean of the pancake batter.

They go off for some quiet reflection time, then it happens, they are enjoying each others company, and taking a jaunt down the beach when Aras trips over some rocks, whats worse, he is carrying the champagne glass. So now he has a split finger, open wounds on his back and such, and there are glass shards to be dealt with. He keels over from the pain. They do take the time to pull the glass shards out. Danielle helps Aras to the cot in the shelter.

They decide the situation is seriou and signal (however they signal) for the medical team. The meidical team arrives, and Aras is not evacuated, which is good becuase I had a moment of thinking Danielle would be declared winner by forfeit. The medics take care of Aras stitches and bandaging up. Hey that cot Terry won is coming in handy now.

Both tribe members are still in good spirits as Aras asks for them to go light on the drugs so that he can think and speak clearly at tribal council, and Danielle responds that they should just go ahead and drug him up.

Aras takes a huge ego dive, and Danielle does try her best to comfort him. Aww how nice, we then see the montage of the remnants of Camp Gitanos as Aras and Danielle abandon camp for the last tribal council.

They go to tribal council. Jeff first makes specific mention of Aras's injury and Aras gives the jury an accuracte descrtipion of what happened. Jeff remarks that they dont have to worry about going back to that beach.

Same format as always: opening statement, each jury member gets to ask a question, closing statement, voting.

Opening statements weren't too memorable, though I think Danielle did a better sales job and ended with a confident vote for me, and Aras just let his peter out. Danielle did explain her last vote, as voting in solidarity with Casaya (There are 4 Casaya on the jury afterall).

The questions were the usual variety: "Who was the greatest member of Casaya", they both go with Ciri, who just happens to be sitting on the jury, and both for much the same reason. "NAme your best highlight and name on time you did something you aren't proud of" Highlight moments differ, but lowlight they both went with voting out (backstabbing) Shane, Very tightyl played tribal council.

Bruce brings in samauri warrior imagery, and a new take on the old "What will you do with the money?", into ""Now that you have had this experience what will you do as part of your responsiblity to grow from it". Aras states he needs more self examination, Danielle states she wants to become aspeaker and share the stories of her expeirnce with others.

For the most part, its the usual tribal council fare, though with tribal starting at 9:40, its much shorter than the older 1 hour final tribal councils. Terry preceeds his question by telling off Danielle, even ending with, "You'll wish you took the Navy pilot", his question is for the two to rate themselves on challenge ability. See Terry still thinks its a real survivial game, not an interpersonal dynamics game, maybe thats why his socail game skills were so weak, he put too much emphasis on challenges. They both give themsevles a 9 and say they put forth maximum effort. Courtney shows why she may be the most annoying at camp, her question is something like "What ldid you learn from this experience?" and instead of letting the two anser she has to keep interupting them with interjections like she is their counselor, instead of letting them speak their mind and finsih their thought. If she kept interrrupting people while they were trying to talk back at campk its no wonder why she got voted "Most annoying?

They saved Shane for last, and you know they save the most incidiary speech/question for last. Shane boldly states that the true winner of the game should be Terry, that he wishes he could abstain from voting. He tehn goes and gives each finalist a laundry list of all their faults. He ends with something like since I can't abstasin, and I don't really care which one of you wins, give me a number between 1 and 1,000,000. Danniele choses 4, and Aras chooses 10. Both very low numbers which means they don't really care what Aras thinks anyway.

Danielle does use her closing arguments time to refutre Shane;s diatribe, as does Aras.

Jeff tells them to vote FOR a winner. The voting begins, we see Terry vote for Aras. "I was so used to writing his name" I think he voted Aras both because he is still feeling the sting from Danielles last backstab, and becuase Aras also played the physical competitor, whch as we have seen, is what Terry values. We do see a vote for Danielle, and this is not good, only two votes shown. must gonna be a landslide,

Well, now its time to see how we transition back to the United States. They seem to either flow right into reading the votes while acting like they are still on location (which incolves some directed neglect of personal hygene/groomng), or Jeff leaves them on location to read the votes later. This time he took the latter course, but the audince was spared the absurd, though sometimes humerours montage of Jeff going from location to the United States. He merely walk off the tribal council set in Panma, and walks ontothe set in New York City (Ed Sullivan Theater, home of David Letterman's Late Show)

We waste not time getting right to the vote. I note the winner gets bragging rights, the title of Sole Survivor, and a million dollars, but no car, usually the game winner also gets a car. Jeff also offers the winner some advice ""Pay your taxes", in obvious reference to Richard Hatch who just got 4 plus years in the federal slam for not paying taxes on his Survivor winnings. Hey tax evasion was Al Capone's downfall too with the legal system.

The votes are read,and we start with the two votes that were shown being cast, which allows each group of fans to cheer wildly, but soon it becomes clear that Aras is our winner. Got that Internet Betting Spoiler?. You though wrong this season.

We take a break, but then its back for the reunion show,

The reunion showis ment to provide insight on things that happened during the game, and what is going on in the players real lives.

Of couse we interview Aras and he talks about how great it is to win, then we interview Danielle. Jeff calls her out on her saying her decision to boot out Terry was strictly tribal politics. Danielle admits the real reason is that since Terry was either nn La Mina, or was always voting for Aras, he had a cleaner record, he was not involved in the backstabbings, and thus could have played the "honor and integrity" card, whereas Aras had participated in all the sae backstabbings and dirty deeds she did. Jeff asks her now that she has lost if she made a mistake. Here is where you should just humour Jeff and say "Yes, I messed up" Instead she says she had no better odds against Terry. Jeff then decided to repoll the Jury based on how a Terry-Danielle vote would have gone. It goes overwhelmingly in Terry's favor, Jeff rubs it in Terry's face "Oh, so close", and Danielle is about to cry as she realizes she had no chance of winning.

Of course its not a fair polling of the jury, I mean we now have a jury months removed from the game, emotions have had time to heal, they have seen more about the other characters as the TV show unfolded, they got to see things they would not have known as jury members, or being in different tribes, or being exiled, or being on reward or whatever, they have hade access to pther people opinions via internet and water cooler converations. Hardly a fair unbiased jury.

We check in with Ciri and celebrate her going from couch potato and scared of leaves, to being a firebuilder/fish catcher all around outdoorsey type person who has proven to herself what she is capeable of. They also check in with her husband, and Jeff practially feeds him the line to priase Ciri on national TV, but he instead babbles on about how they used him as forced labor around camp.

We check in with Shane who looks a lot different now, Shane talks about the tobacco addiction, how it was even harder as he had no fesh water during his detox. He claims he went crazy during detox, then decided that instead of cooling out and becoming norma, he deicded instead to "Fairplay" it and at the rolleof the insane psychotic player. Of course Boston is mentioned and how Boston was shocked at some of Shanes actions on TV. "You made death threats on national TV?" Shane does give a mothers day props to Bird, who is Boston's mother.

Speaking of Mothers Day, Jeff decided to USE Tina at this point for a poignant and sad Mothers day story about Tina (voted off first), how she lost her only son in an automobile accident, how she was supposed to be on Survivor Guatemala. It seemed totally gratuitous and unneccesary, and a downe to the whole party atmosphere as well.

Jeff congratualtes Terry on his challenge prowess, and talks about how the immunity idol didn't get played but it defintely had an effect on the game. Jeff goes on to theorize that since Terry was set on surprise ousting Aras if Terry had to use the idol, that in fact Terry's challenge run really benefited Aras, in a twist of irony. Its a reach. Terry also decided to take the peace pipe offered by Jeff and to go with the story that he yelled at Ciri purely out of frustration for Shane being voted off.

Jeff aks Courntey a question out of courtesy and Courtney's out there free spirit answers it in a way that doesn't really say anything, Jeff moves on.

Jeff asks Bruce about the medical emergency. Bruce tells us he let it go on for 12 days, getting worse and worse each day, but now hes totally healed and everything is alright, he also had the tooth that got chipped in the machete to the face incident repaired. We also learn that Bruce was threatened with termination if he want on the show. IT seems they reconsidered and went with an unpaid suspension. I wonder if the reconsideration had anyting to do with tthe potential for threatened media blackmail by Bruce mentionng it during the show.

Jeff then feels compelled to explain the Survivir rules pertaining to medical emergency. It would really be nice if these big reality game shows would make their complet unabrdiged rule books available. for one it would give the show accountability, and two it would let the true plans better understand the mechanics of the game. But maybe the shows don't want accountability, or they conside the rules to be proprietary and could be used by a rival show, or maybe they don't want to give a player too much time to understand the rules and figue out how to abuse them.

Anyway the rules releated to medical emergeny state that medical assistance will be provided to any Survivor that asks for it, after all the show is concerned for their safety. The risk is that you may call for medical help at any time, but once you call for them, your game eligibility rests solely in the hands of the medical team. If the team declares you unfit to continue, thats it, game over, no appeal.

Jeff goes around to those that did not have a chance to speak and gets a short soundbite from them on what they will take away from the experience. Thats it for the live interaction.

They do waste time on a non Survivor promotional tie in for Click, a movie coming out this summer. A summer comedy about a guy who goes to buy a universal remote control, and gets just that a remote control for the universe. The extended preview tells us the movie then takes a "Dont play with magic you don't understand" tone, as the remote control starts conrolling him.. I'm not exactly eager to go watch the move,.

The more importabt video clip was of Survivor 13, coming this fall, which will take place on the Cook Islands (near Australia, but loosely alligned with New Zealand, though they claim to be independant, but they outsource their military needs to New Zealand, and have the UK flag in the canton of their own flag. Political babbling asside, it figures into the first explorations of Polynessia, and into Mutiny on the Bounty. Why do I see another pirates, nautical theme coming? Oh, and Exile Island will be back in play next season, and of course he promises new twists.

Oh, and props are for auction on eBay - use

Oh, and applications are being accepted for future Survivor seasons.

GMS and CBS ran an America's Choice internet poll o determine which Survivor ismost worth y of a GMC Yukon. Ciri won this car. I was sure Bruce would get in as a sympathy vote. Jeff reminds us that this season Terry won the car on the island, and lost the game, so the infamous Survivor Car Curse is still intact.

Thats it, take care!


Blogger RC said...

i agree once it was danielle, terry, aras there was no choice but for danielle to make it...

she basicly had the job of choosing who would win the million dollars at that point.

cirie is the real winner though...she could totally be on "the view"

--RC of

1:20 AM  
Blogger Coasterville Dave said...

RC - I agree with you

Lets pretend Ciri won the fire building challenge, I think Cirie would not have been good at the climbing wall (upper body strength), so tery would still have won reward. At the immunity however, Cirie would be golden for the final for exactly the same reasons as Danielle was. Her alliance with Aras, and Terry not wanting to take Aras.

Regardless of how Cirie would have fared, we know Aras lasted longer than Terry, so that would have been an Aras/Cirie final (their alliance)

I think Cirie could have better jury pull, she could use her personal development during the game, and I don't think the other players realized till they watched on TV how in control Cirie was. She would certainly be more likeable than aras, and therefore probably would have won. And I will add that that would have been a more satisfying win. He played the under the rader yet politically strong game to the hilt.

1:40 AM  

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