Monday, December 12, 2005

Bloggin' the Finale: Facing the Jury and the Winner Is...

Continued from previous entry...

Aha! It's time to face the jury. Now, Danni thinks she's going to go for the All American Girl approach while Stephenie thinks there are good reasons as to why she should win -- the old Outwit, Outplay and Outlast bit and she's there and they're not. @@ - needs the ol' eyeroll, for sure!

Once at the final Tribal Council, Jeff reminds the jury that the vote they cast will be FOR the winner, not to vote out a person. Well, duh! He explains that the F2 will each have an opening statement, then the jury will each have questions or a comment for them followed by a closing statement from both of the F2.

The opening statements were both honored, great contestants, blah, blah, happy, blah... you get it.Judd just looked mad.

The following is paraphrased as I was taking notes while watching:

Bobby Jon -- Asked them why they deserved to be there or why they were in the F2. Stephenie told him it was because of him that she was there, she has no regrets, played the game the best she could play. Danni was happy and grateful.

Gary -- Said his vote would go to whoever was the most honest. He asked both why they shouldn't win. Stephenie said it would be because she changed alliances as the game went on. Danni said it's because she became selfish and allied with Rafe.

Jamie -- Asked who they thought should be Final 5. (Odd question - it's like he wanted them to say he should be in there.) Danni said something about getting close to people then having to vote them out. Stephenie talked about group decisions and good reasons.

Lydia -- Her questions of both seemed to be on trust issues. She mentioned she was loyal to Stephenie since Day 6 and wanted to know why she was voted out. Stephenie said she wanted to go against the best -- Danni and Rafe. Then Lydia told Danni that she trusted her and was loyal to her. Danni told her she had to think of the game and that they did indeed talk.

Cindy -- Asked both if they could remove a jury member from the vote, who would it be? Danni said Rafe because he'll probably vote for Stephenie. Stephenie seemed confused by the question and ended up saying Bobby Jon because he was the first jury member.

Rafe -- Told Danni that he thought he was deserving and that he felt sorry for Stephenie at the challenge when he told her that promises are released. Said Stephenie dominated strategy and determined who would be voted out. Steph and he agreed they were completely honest with each other.

Judd -- Opened with "Congratulations, youse." Then he asked if Danni ice skated or Rollerbladed. Confused, she said she has on occasion, not very well. He then told her she skated through the game. They fussed back and forth about lying, then he hit up Stephenie with how she always complained about starving when she ate more than anyone there, how she backstabbed him and lied to his wife. He brushed off her defense and sat down.

In the final statements:

Stephenie: Thank you, hardest game ever, yada yada, brings out worst qualities, yada, decided at the start to align with the right people, outwit, outplay, yada, outlast...

Danni: Merge, yada, my head on chopping block, yada yada, Rafe and Stephenie in control, yada, made friends with them, yada, outwit, outplay, money will go to good use, yada...

In the end, Rafe was the only vote for Stephenie to win, all the rest voted for Danni. Danni gets the million and one of those Pontiac Torrent SUVs while Stephenie gets the second place prize of $100,000.

Okay.... to my opinions --

In previous entries, I noted how good Danni's game was. This wasn't a case of flying under the radar or skating, in my opinion. She was playing, and very well.

I thought both Danni and Stephenie had way too fluffy hair for the finale. Oh, and Brandon looks a lot better with shorter hair.

So... what did you all think?

Bloggin' the Finale, Pt. 2: "I Release You From All Promises, But You Won't Get MY Vote to Win!"

Continued from previous entry....

All right, we're at Day 38 with the Final Three -- Stephenie, Rafe and Danni. The monkeys are howling, the corn rotted in the rain and Stephenie couldn't care less as it's down to a day.

The Tree [Jug] Mail gave them instructions for the ol' tribute to departed tribe members bit. Each tribe member voted out had a torch with a drawing of them perched atop it. The Three had to say a few words, then in Mayan tradition, throw the image on the fire. Now, that led to a few interesting bits, but not many. I giggled when they said what a great father figure Jim was and then nonchalantly tossed his image in the fire. @@ In voice-overs and video bits, the Departed had their moment. Judd said he was through being hotheaded. Yeah, right.

Then it was off to the second Immunity Challenge of the finale:Jeff told them that the challenge would demand good balance and intense cooperation. They had to stand on a board which was placed on a short pole. In the beginning they had two ropes they could hang onto to achieve balance. After an hour, they had to release a rope. Then after three minutes, the second rope had to go and it was hands off for the rest of the challenge. In the third stage, they found they could lean their backs on the support pole and keep their feet on the board. Rafe lost focus for a moment and used his hand. GONE!

Stephenie and Danni were out there a good long while. Stephenie was sliding down further and further and breaking down. Finally her butt touched the ground and she was GONE. Danni won final Immunity! Rafe immediately went to her and told her that he wouldn't hold her to previous promises -- take whomever she wants to the F2. I think he was very touched by Stephenie's efforts and her breakdown.

Back at camp once again, Danni was in shock that she would be in the Final Two -- she had to fight the odds for most of the game and the numbers were against her. Stephenie now thinks everyone loves Rafe (as opposed to when she was thinking Rafe was the only one she stood a chance to beat with the jury). Danni seems to seriously be considering everything... including jury votes she may or may not get. She says she won't know for sure until she writes down a name.

Off to the second Tribal Council of the finale! In my opinion, Stephenie tried to sway the jury and Danni by bringing up the Rafe "pissed off the same people" and she even said it was all his planning. Rafe told Danni to vote with her heart. He defended himself a bit, but not really emphatically. When Stephenie made the comments about Rafe and her getting the same folks mad, Jamie and Bobby Jon broke into grins and low-high-fived each other. Judd just looked mad through the whole TC.

In the end, Danni said she felt Stephenie was the most deserving to be in the F2 with her (remember, Rafe told her the promise was "released"). He did fine as he went, but in the confessional, he said he was disappointed in Danni and would be voting for Stephenie to win.

To be continued...

Bloggin' the Finale, Pt.1: "You ATE the Chicken? The Gods Will Be Mad!"

It seemed like the Recap To End All Recaps in the beginning of the show. We're talking almost 20 minutes and a recap since the season started. Oy.

Then, once that was out of the way, we found the Final Four at camp -- Lydia was happy and cooking; Danni was feeling the pressure and Rafe was proud of his decisions and happy with the folks in the F4.

Lydia headed off to get the Tree [JUG] Mail and came back skipping and frolicking... or something to that effect. The mail told of a Mayan ceremony, not a celebration! Lydia, you silly! ;-) They were expecting some Mayans to appear at camp to perform a ritual which ended up including a sacrifice. Yikes. When the Mayans arrived, there was incense, candles, chanting in native tongue and then... YIKES... a chicken lost its head. (And, certainly not of the chicken's doing.) It was a ceremony to honor the Mayan ancestors and the chicken was then burned in a fire.

The first Immunity Challenge of the finale was the most complex Survivor Maze ever -- it was in the shape of an Incan bird. The Survivors had to find puzzle pieces at seven separate stations, run them to a holder thingee and then, once all pieces were found, assemble the puzzle. Rafe won Immunity.

After the challenge, it was back to camp. Rafe thinks he just might make it to win while Stephenie thinks Rafe is the only one she might win against because they "screwed over the same people." But, when talking to Rafe about the F3, he said he gave Danni his promise that he wouldn't vote for her yet Stephenie thinks that Lydia should go to the F3 as she could be easily beaten in any challenge.

The always hungry Stephenie had asked Lydia to ask the Mayans if they could eat the chicken. The Mayans said no, it's a sacrifice and sacred. An hour after they left, Stephenie and Lydia checked out the chicken and then ate it with Danni. Rafe, who was very enthralled with the whole ceremony and touched by the cultural experience, refused to eat the chicken. But when the skies let loose less than an hour later, Rafe got rained on as well as the women. Were the Mayan gods angry? Rafe mentioned that he heard the Mayans say something about the Thunder God when they were there. Now, I don't know if I would have eaten the chicken or not. I think I'd be too creeped out by the thought of it unless I was absolutely starving. Would you have eaten the chicken? (I also would be wary that it was sitting out for an hour or more and had bugs all over it.)

Off to the first Tribal Council of the finale:
Danni tried to be convincing as she said Lydia is indeed a threat because she's so well liked by all. Did that work? We'll see. Jeff questioned them about the chicken -- he didn't seem too thrilled that they ate it. (Except for Rafe, mind you.) Stephenie mentioned that Danni is likely to get jury votes because she didn't have to backstab like Rafe and herself -- something I mentioned in last week's blog, I believe. ;-)

The votes were tallied -- Lydia voted for Danni, the others all voted for Lydia. Lydia goes off into the sunset and the Final Three are Stephenie, Rafe and Danni. Lydia took it well. She seemed thrilled to have lasted as long as she did.
To be continued...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

East Coast Update - Winner of 'Survivor: Guatemala' is...


East Coast Update - Final Two are...

Danni and Stephenie...

East Coast Update - Final Immunity Winner

Danni won the Final Immunity. Rafe told her he will release her from all promises -- take whoever she wants to the Final 2.

East Coast Update - Final Three Are...

The Final Three are Rafe, Stephenie and Danni. Lydia was voted off 3-1 (she voted Danni).

East Coast Update - Immunity

Rafe wins the Immunity which will guarantee him Final Three.