This week on Survivor it is finale time! Skipping over all of the introductory stuff and season recap… If you want to recap the entire season via my blogs before reading this, you can Click Here to start with Episode One.
Jon has been voted out and when the tribe returns to camp, Jaclyn is maintaining her calm well. She’s impressed with the acting skills of her fellow tribe mates and privately she lets us know that she had feeling Jon needed to play his idol. Hanging out in the shelter, Missy reiterates that she is “loyal to a fault” and Jaclyn adds that “so is he [Jon]”. Natalie disagrees and Jaclyn snaps! Natalie meant that Jon wasn’t loyal in the game, but Jaclyn meant the he was loyal in real life aaand it’s a pretty silly argument. Jaclyn’s just upset that Jon in gone and Natalie is glad that Jaclyn lost her cool; people probably won’t want to work with her moving forward. However, Natalie is also a bit apprehensive about moving forward with Missy and Baylor; she’s not 100% sure they will take her to the Final Three. The next day, Baylor and her mom are chatting; she thinks it is so cool that they are in the final five together and could go to the Final Three together. Missy doesn’t want her to lose sight of the end goal, winning the money, which of course, Baylor hasn’t forgotten about, but they aren’t at the Final Tribal Council yet. Baylor can see the end, she’s down for taking Natalie with them; however, Missy is worried about challenges due to her injury. Baylor and Natalie are going to have do all the work to get the three of them to the end. The last thing they want is for Keith or Jaclyn to win.
Reward Challenge! Up for grabs? An advantage in the next Immunity Challenge! Missy will not be competing in this one, though because there is no way she can maneuver through this one with her bum leg. Players will be tethered to a rope, must uncoil themselves from a bamboo structure allowing enough slack to build and cross a bridge to a bundle of sandbags, which will be used to knock blocks from a table. First person to knock all the blocks off wins the advantage. Keith and Natalie are first to the bridges and pretty much dominate the challenge, though everyone has their fair share of stumbles on the bridge. First to the sandbags: Keith, and he clears a lot of blocks very quickly. By the time Natalie starts tossing bags, Keith only has two blocks left. Keith wins Reward! He, of course, also gets to choose someone to go to Exile. Jeff points out that Missy is the only one who hasn’t been and it would take awhile for her to get there, but he CAN send her. He doesn’t. Jaclyn is his choice.
At Exile, Jaclyn doesn’t even bother looking for the Immunity Idol, but she does read the clue, just in case, but it’s the same clue everyone else read. Life is rough for Jaclyn at Exile this go around. She’s bummed about Jon being gone and she’s pretty sure it’s either her or Keith going next and blah blah blah. Back at camp, Keith trots off into the jungle to read his advantage: he has won the opportunity to practice the next Immunity challenge for as long as he wants and he plans to practice until dark. Once he leaves the area, practice time is over. As soon as he’s gone, the ladies discuss what’s going to happen “tomorrow”. If he Keith doesn’t win, he’s going home. Later, Natalie and Baylor talk about their final three deal, both are still down for it, but privately, Natalie let’s us know that she’s still weighing her options. It might be a better move for her to ditch the mother/daughter team in favor of Jaclyn and Keith, but she hasn’t made any solid decisions yet. She has her Immunity Idol so she’s safe at the next Tribal and she just hopes hopes hopes they can beat Keith in the next challenge, despite his advantage.
Come on in, guys! It’s time for Immunity. Jaclyn returns from Exile still alive and Missy has used “Big Jon’s” shoe to help her get around with her cast. Looking at the challenge, she is confident that she can compete. What’s the challenge? Each player must use two wooden paddles to maneuver three balls through a table-top course of metal obstacles. Dropped balls mean going back to the start, first person to get all three to the end wins Immunity. As Jeff says, there is a huge learning curve to this challenge; Keith’s advantage is definitely a big one. While the girls struggle, Keith works the paddles like a pro and the ladies’ hopes of sending him home are totally dashed. Keith wins Immunity!
Back at camp, the tribe talks about the challenge; the girls didn’t even get one ball to the end of the course! Not one! Keith can’t believe it. All that practice sure was a blessing. Natalie is quick to point out that he’s also good with balls, to which he agrees and everyone had a nice little chuckle. In a confessional, after collecting his thoughts, Keith lets us know that A) your mind kind of goes a little wonky at this point in the game and B) Tribal Council shouldn’t be too hard. Jaclyn knows she’s off to the Jury. Cue Natalie and Jaclyn walking away from camp. Jaclyn wants to know how open Natalie is to voting out either the mother or the daughter; she would vote Missy over Baylor because Baylor does whatever her mom says. Natalie says she’s tight with them both, but she doesn’t say no to Jaclyn. Later, Baylor suggests to Natalie that she play her idol for her mom because she doesn’t need to play it for herself; no one is going to vote for her. The Twinnie, again, doesn’t say no, but she doesn’t say yes either. She feels like she still has a big move to make, but it’ll be tricky. She has to be careful and play the game for herself.
Tribal Council time! Jeff addresses the fact that Jaclyn is without a loved one in the game; yeah that sucks, but it’s kind of a relief. Keith talks about the heated conversation after the last tribal, which didn’t involve him. Talk switches to the Idol that is still in play; Missy is confident about it because she knows who has it. Jaclyn didn’t even know there was another idol; she doesn’t know who has it so this might not be good for her. The mother/daughter team feels they could be in a little danger because they are the only pair of loved ones left in the game, but Missy feels good about where they sit. Natalie talks about how Keith winning Immunity definitely made an impact; everyone thinks she’s voting with Missy and Baylor, but yes, Jaclyn did come up to her. Time to vote! Interesting point: Jaclyn votes and explains that Natalie told her to vote “this way” and to trust her… Hmmm… So Jeff goes to tally and asks if anyone wants to play an idol. Natalie stands, walks over to Jeff then turns to Jaclyn: “Did you vote how I told you to vote?” Jaclyn nods, then Natalie plays the Idol for Jaclyn. Missy assumes she’s going home, but wait… The Jury is LOVING the vote read by the way… Baylor is the first woman to join the jury. (And she seriously has an album on iTunes… Search for Baylor Wilson).
After returning to camp, Natalie tells us that keeping Missy and Baylor together was too big a risk for her to take; Missy’s case sitting next to Baylor was far too strong. Also, if Keith wins Final Immunity, he’s more likely to get rid of Missy instead of her. As they settle into camp for the night, Natalie wants to know if Missy is mad at her; she’s not, it’s a game and it would have made Missy nervous if Natalie’s sister was still around so she gets it. At least she didn’t have to vote out her own kid, but her fate is totally in the hands of the others – she can’t compete because of her bum leg. Jaclyn is super happy she’s still in the game; both she and Natalie agree that one of them have to win Immunity the next day because Keith is scary. They just have to wake up tomorrow and not let Keith win.
Come on in, guys! It’s time for Final Immunity. Players will begin by racing down a four-story high tower, which includes sliding down a pole, climbing down a wall then sliding down a ramp to get to the ground. On the ground, they must gather five bags of puzzle pieces from five different obstacles; once they have three bags, they have to race them back up the tower before gathering the other two. Once all five bags are at the top of the structure, they can solve a puzzle to reveal three missing spaces; the shape of the spaces corresponds with numbers on a table on the ground; first person to unlock a flag using the numbers wins Final Immunity. As soon as the challenge starts, so does the crazy wind, (wind crazy enough to blow wooden puzzle pieces off of tables…). Keith and Natalie maintain a good lead and they are first to climb the 57 steps up to the puzzle stations at the top of the structure. Natalie is first to begin the puzzle, then Keith and after Jaclyn finally gets her bags open, she begins aaand from out of nowhere… Jaclyn wins Immunity!
So the tribe returns to camp; Jaclyn can’t wait for Jon to see that she’s won the most important Immunity of the season. Now, she just has to make the million dollar decision of who are the best players to take to the Final Three with her. Keith is first to plead his case; it’s better for Jaclyn to take him and Natalie because Missy has Baylor’s vote and with her bum leg, she will get sympathy votes. After Keith leaves, Jaclyn and Natalie talk about the fact that Missy would love to see Keith join the Jury and they kind of want that too because Keith is scary. Later, Jaclyn asks Missy if she would vote for Natalie; Missy thinks it’s a toss up, Jaclyn thinks Natalie’s game play is stronger, but Natalie is the only reason she’s still in the game because of the Immunity Idol play. BUT, Natalie made some big moves. Missy tells her to go with her gut, but Jaclyn’s gut says Keith because of the guys and Natalie because of game play. So what would Jon tell her? Jon would say Natalie. What’s a girl to do?!
Time for Tribal! And yes, Jon is all smiles seeing the necklace around Jaclyn’s neck and yes, knowing that she’s definitely going to be at the Final Tribal Council the next night feels so good, Jeff. It’s not easy, though. She’s gone over scenarios, she’s talked to people and it’s tough. Jeff asks about Natalie if she expects Jaclyn to return the favor of the Idol play – she doesn’t expect reciprocation, but it sure would be nice! Jaclyn says that she does and doesn’t feel like she owes Natalie; she DID orchestrate Jon’s exit from the game after all. Talk turns to reasons for voting people out; Natalie says that Keith is a fireman with charisma and everyone loves him – Keith likes that. Keith says Natalie has a lot of votes over there with the Jury based on how well she’s played the game. Natalie thinks she has a good shot at winning, she’s working hard for Nadiya and she’s happy with how she played and it’s time to vote! The Tally: Keith, Missy, Keith… aaand… Keith joins the Jury.
The next morning, the ladies wake up and enjoy their Final Three breakfast; they are tickled that the Jury is all guys except for Baylor. The season started out with more men than women so an all woman Final Three is very awesome. Missy isn’t at all worried about addressing the dudes; she’s been married three times. She’s not intimidated. Natalie is very proud that she’s gotten this far without her sister and her parents will be so surprised since she and Nadiya are usually attached at the hip. Jaclyn can’t wait to rub it in Jon’s face that she made the finals instead of him and she really wants to win the money so she can start a family with him. Since she can’t have kids of her own, a million bucks will really help them out in the acquiring children department. The title, though, means more to her because it would inspire other women with the condition she has that prevents her from having children.
Final Tribal Council; we all know the drill here so let’s just get to the opening statements. Missy is first and she talks about her loyalty, how difficult it was to vote Jon out and how hard she fought after she hurt her leg. Jaclyn focuses on her ups and downs in the game and how she never gave up, not even when Jon left the game and how the game is a lot like her real life struggles with her condition. Natalie points out how she has outwit, outplayed and out lasted everyone, she pulled her weight around camp, always thought for herself and she did it all without the comfort of her sister. She also points out that the smarter decision would have been to vote her out instead of Keith at the previous Tribal Council.
Jury Questions! Jon goes first and his obvious goal is to allow Jaclyn a chance to tell the Jury about her big moves, but in my opinion, both fail big time at convincing anyone that her game play was on point. Keith is next and his issue is all the lying that Natalie did, but, um, hello!? This is Survivor. No where in the rules does it say you can’t lie and I’m very, very sick of Jury members being bitter about lies – most players lie in the game. Get over it. Natalie does a good job of explaining herself, though. NEXT! Alec wants to know Natalie’s biggest move and how it impacted the game; it was voting Alec out, which changed everything. From Missy Alec wants to know how she was so motherly; she says it was how she maintained control over people and Alec is satisfied. Baylor is next and she’s so happy that three ladies are sitting in the Final Three and she only wants to talk to her mom; she’s basically pleading her mom’s case for her as she talks about all the obstacles they’ve overcome in their everyday life. So far, these Jury “questions” have been pretty lame…
But now it’s Josh’s turn! Josh wants Jaclyn to tell him if she’s sitting there by her own merit or if stronger player’s choices landed her that sweet seat. She gives a lame answer about how she and Jon discussed every decision they made; Josh isn’t satisfied – what move did she make that was hers and hers alone? Voting Josh out is her answer and Josh is done! Wes is next and he wants to know what they all thought of playing with a loved one. LAME question, answers don’t really matter so onto Jeremy, who basically pleads a case for Natalie: she balled out, Natalie is the best player up there and “ya’ll” gotta give it to her. She balled out. He urges the Jury not to be mad; he has nothing bad to say about anyone. He feels great and he’s happy for everyone. Love this. Jeremy totally Spencered the Jury. Love it. Reed is last. He has nice words for Natalie, he loved watching her play. He has nice words for Jaclyn too; he likes her, he looks forward to hanging out with her after. For Missy, though, Reed has nothing, but shade. He calls her the wicked step-mother, she felt entitled around camp, only took care of her own kid and abused the minority alliances; she always made sure they weren’t going to the ball that is the Final Tribal Council. And now, all of those people will decide her fate. Nothing, but shade for Missy and it reduces Baylor to tears; and she doesn’t want anyone comforting her either! He wishes Natalie and Jaclyn good luck and it’s time to vote.
Of course we get to see Jon and Baylor votes, and if I have to explain who they are voted for… Wow. We also get to see Jeremy’s vote (Natalie) and Reed’s vote (Jaclyn?!). When the voting is over, Jeff goes to get the votes and runs away with the urn and then, as usual, we’re magically live in the studio with all of our Survivors all cleaned up and looking spiffy. Without further ado, let’s get to the reading of the vote and find out who wins this game! The Tally: Jaclyn, Natalie, Jaclyn, Missy, Natalie, Natalie… And the winner is – NATALIE! So happy about this! I waited half the season for this Twinnie to start making the right moves and she totally delivered. So happy for you, Natalie! You played a great game. You kept your head down when you needed to and started making moves when it was important to do so. Excellent game. Excellent.
Next season on Survivor! It’s White Collar vs. Blue Collar vs. No Collar, which I think will be interesting; it’s a good twist. (Go No Collars!) I’m happy we’re meeting all new players and I’m sure we’re in for another great season of Survivor. Amazing Race fans should check out our Amazing Race blogs before that finale and fans of Bravo shows – we’ve got you covered too. There’s loads of awesome content here at Your Reality Recaps so surf around a bit. And… If you’re doing last minute holiday shopping via Amazon, click here! It doesn’t cost you more and it really helps us out! Happy Holidays everyone! I’ll see you back here in January for the third season of King of the Nerds! Happy Holidays and have a great New Year! Much love!