It’s time to talk Survivor Finale, ya’ll! BUT FIRST… And get used to hearing that phrase a lot from Chenbot – AND ME – because it’ll be Big Brother time before you know it and yours truly will be writing Big Brother blogs for Your Reality Recaps this summer! And maybe, just maybe, I might show up in some recap shows as well, (if I can schedule them around my shifts at the liquor store and the Café and/or acquire more time off work)… BUT FIRST… I MUST begin this blog by telling you all about my very first KATHY GRIFFIN live performance! I got my Kathy cherry popped at the beautiful, and very intimate, Stiefel Theater in Salina, KS the day before my 38th birthday and it was so great. I don’t know if it was the lighting or what, but I have never seen a performer glow the way Kathy did on stage. When I watch her specials I always feel like I’m just sitting in my living room with my friend Kathy telling me about all her crazy experiences and fun stories and it’s the same feeling when you see her perform live except SHE’S ACTUALLY IN THE ROOM WITH YOU!
(And if you don’t want to listen to me ramble on about Kathy for the next two paragraphs because you’re not a fan – A: suck it, and B: scroll down until you see Survivor pictures and know that I’m just kidding about sucking it because we’re all different and the same).
SO! My favorite funny lady, and the current Guinness Book of World Records holder for the most comedy specials EVER, (23 now), is in the middle of her #LikeABossTour – she’s visiting 80 cities this year! She’s not “like” a boss – Kathy IS the boss of comedy no matter what anyone says. If you love Kathy you MUST make it to a show during the second half of the #LikeABossTour. All your favorite Kathy targets and subjects are on the “chopping block”, (or “up for grabs” if you prefer), and she’s got awesome new stories about Anderson Cooper, Donald Trump, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Tomlin, Liza, Barbra… You gotta go to show! And be sure to remind Kathy to tell ya’ll about the news story about the donut shop owner in Salina. My friend and I don’t live there so we had no idea what she was talking about, but we were laughing just as hard as all the locals by the end of it. You can buy tickets now at Kathy’s website and if you missed her show in your area, or there aren’t dates listed near you, sign up to receive notifications when she schedules one you can attend then BUY TICKETS AND GO SEE KATHY! And follow her on Twitter @kathygriffin.
Having said all that… I gotta bone to pick with you, Kathy! Your mom, in the video you played before you came out on stage, said there would be T-shirts available to purchase in the lobby, but my friend and I walk out to the lobby after the show and – WTF? NO T-SHIRTS? Kansans like T-shirts too – we DO have them here. 😉 AND there were only 15 of us waiting for you behind the theater – my friend counted – You couldn’t have hung out for 20 minutes for pictures??? It wasn’t even 11pm! And you have no dates scheduled for at least a month – I checked because I want to take my mom to a show in KC. 😉 None of this really bothers me. You had just been to five cities in five days and I’m sure your tired, “old” drag queen self needed to catch a plane or get some sleep, but next time I come to one of your shows – we are having a “company” meeting because… I will happily be your personal assistant for the day next time you’re in Kansas whether it be in Salina, KC, or Wichita – my friend in the picture with me and I will sell your merch, bring you food, drive you around, etc. Whatever you need us to do, we are the Kansas chapter of #TeamKathy and we will work for you free of charge – your favorite way to get what you need and want in life – And we will still buy our tickets to attend the show.
OKAY! Let’s talk Survivor because seriously… I want this season to be over with because, well, let me not get ahead of myself. By the way, that guy up there in the picture with me is the friend that got me into Big Brother and loves, (and wants to be on), Survivor that I’m always talking about in my blogs and he’s only seen TWO episodes of this season!!! I really like having his input before I write these things and he gave soap operas priority over Survivor while he was taking online classes… He doesn’t even know that Caleb was air-lifted off the damn island! He’s gonna be so disappointed because we love Survivor Caleb. ANYWAY… Previously on Survivor, Joe was pulled from the game by Medical leaving Aubry without the third side of her Final Three triangle and leaving her holding only two metal rods in her hands to bang against her head because this girl cannot catch a break in this game without it falling apart in pieces at her feet. Every time Jeff walks into camp, he leaves with her closest ally, but she still has Tai because he knows that sticking with Aubry is his best option, BUT they need a third wheel to pull them into the final and they both think it should be Cyd because Michele hasn’t rustled any feathers with the Jury and is the biggest social threat left on the island. MEANWHILE… Michele knows she’s the odd woman out, but Cyd wants to team up with Michele and Aubry and have the girls go to the end together. Everything is up in the air, though, because with Joe gone the alliances are shifting and as Michele says – it’s anyone’s game to win.
Come on in, guys! It’s time for Reward! Up for grabs? A meal chuck full of protein designed to boost the winner’s energy for the last leg of the game. Good thing Joe isn’t around for this one… In this challenge, everyone must run under a net to a long table where they will slide tiles towards a target until all of the tiles have been collected at the other end in the designated place. Each player will then use a machete to carry the tiles to the puzzle solving station where they must pair up the designs on the tiles to reveal the three tiles that don’t have matches, which will provide them with numbers to use to solve a combination lock box and raise a flag. Survivors ready? GO! Tai is the first to start sliding tiles, but Cydney is the first to collect them all; however, even though she’s totally going about it all haphazard and crazy-like, Aubry is the first to transfer her tiles from the table slide to the puzzle station. And awaaay she goes, BUT the last pair of matches she puts down is incorrect and she doesn’t notice it until she’s tried the lock a few times… And after Tai and Cyd have caught up to her and her huge lead has been tossed to the wind. It’s not long before Tai and Cyd are pulling at rods to raise their flags, (I know, I know – I’m sorry), but they aren’t right either opening the window for Aubry who is frantically trying different combinations of number until… BOOM! Aubry wins reward and of course she can share it with one person – IF she wants to and she does – because you HAVE to bring someone because you don’t want three people grumbling in multiple ways back at camp… She chooses Cydney because she needs her trust and wants up her/their chances at beating Michele at the next Immunity challenge by making sure Cyd is well fed too.
Back at camp, Aubry and Cyd sit down for their meal and basically – they are cool with each other, they need Michele to lose Immunity so they will go to the Final with Tai. Aubry feels better than she’s felt in the game thus far and Cydney feels pretty good about her position too. If Michele loses Immunity she’s going to vote her out with Tai and Aubry, but if Michele wins, Cyd’s plan is to vote out Tai and have the girls bring it home to the Finals. It’s a good, solid plan for Cydney. Meanwhile, Michele is talking to Tai telling him that if one of them loses Immunity, one of them is going home. Why does everyone say “going home” at this point in the game? The person isn’t going home; they are going to the Jury. Why don’t more Survivors think of it this way this deep into the game? Jeff reminds people constantly that at a certain point, they are voting out Jury members who will decide the winner. Same thing happens in Big Brother. ANYWAY… It took Aubry winning a challenge, and picking Cydney to go on reward with her, again, for Michele to see what a threat she is and Aubry is now Michele’s target. And Tai is between a rock and a hard place again. He’s not giving up on Aubry, but he does want that million dollars and he will betray his true alliance if he must…
Come on in, guys! It’s time for Immunity… The final Immunity, which Jeff teases us about in the show through editing and Twitter was a buzz on Finale night with talk of a Final Two and I am SO DISAPPOINTED that it was NOT. The third person rarely receives votes so I don’t understand WHY, JEFF PROBST, they keep up with this Final Three nonsense. And before I get into what this challenge is all about – WTF happened to the Final Immunity being all about endurance and how badly the remaining contestants wanted that necklace? I like THOSE for the Final Immunity and I’m sure I’m not alone. So in this very intricate challenge, the players have to run into the ocean, climb up a platform to retrieve a key to unlock stairs back on the beach, grab another key and swim back out to release a bag containing a ball attached to a rope that they will use to drop a ladder, retrieve ANOTHER key, swim BACK OUT to use the key to release a pole to use to push a bag of puzzle pieces from a peg on a pole, swim back to the beach and use the puzzle pieces to solve a three dimensional puzzle. That’s a lot of steps! Literally in so many ways, that is a lot of steps… A “stand on this pole in the middle of the ocean” would have been a lot easier to explain and now I have to find a clever image to use with this paragraph and try to make it funny and relevant…
Survivors ready? GO! In the beginning phase of the challenge, everyone is, as Jeff puts it, “in it”, but in the second phase, Aubry pulls ahead and takes a big lead when she quickly releases the second ladder and bolts back into the water for her bag of puzzle pieces. The others aren’t far behind her really, but the lead is, as Jeff puts it, massive – Aubry is the first to start working on the puzzle, but this puzzle is not easy; it’s three layers of cylinders of different sizes separated by wooden rings and she is stumped. The Great Equalizer destroys Aubry’s lead and once again, everyone is “in it” while Jeff yammers on about thinking outside the box and blah blah blah. Aubry is in last place while Tai is in the lead, Cyd is struggling, but Michele has hit a sweet spot and it’s Tai and Michele racing to win that necklace. As Michele struggles with the second level, Tai struggles with the third then all of the sudden Michele is working on the third and final level and she is only getting faster and faster and OMG… Michele wins Immunity – FINAL Immunity, even though Jeff didn’t say it was the Final Immunity challenge – And everyone else looks crest-fallen and demoralized, but none more so than Tai…
Back at camp, Michele is pretty happy that she has some power in the game and she realizes that she has a sad and tough decision ahead of her because she’s built relationships with the people still in the game. Tai soon offers to go fetch some water with Aubry and they have a little chat in private. The worst thing happened for Tai and Aubry does what she can to convince him that sticking with her is the best decision for his game. Her plan is for the two of them to vote for Cydney, let Michele and Cydney vote for either one of them, and let it go to fire-making, which is scary because Tai is all flip-floppity and they are like a zipper that won’t close and it’s just, as Michele would put it: nerve-wracking. Aubry doesn’t know how to make fire very well… OMG! Aubry! I love ya, girl, but seriously… Rule #2 of Survivor is: LEARN how to make FIRE before you’re on SURVIVOR! Anyway… Michele and Cyd are talking elsewhere and while Michele would love to keep Aubry around, she’s too good at talkin’ and stuff, but Tai is not. Cydney doesn’t want to vote for Aubry, but she’s playing this game for her mom and she needs to do what she needs to do and Michele makes valid points. It’s… Nerve-wracking for Michele too, making this decision. When Cyd asks if she should work on fire-making skills, Michele says she can, but, she’ll be around tomorrow – Michele is sure of it. Later, Tai talks to Cyd and Michele and the ladies reveal that they are voting for Aubry – Tai says he’s fine with that. Better her than him! Tai doesn’t want to do it, but at some point the alliance has to break. When Tai brings flowers to the girls, Aubry tells us that she finds him to be super shady and hopes she won’t be on the wrong side of the vote, but she’s not going down without a fight!
And awaaay we go to Tribal Council! I’m gonna try to speed things up because I know how late I am in posting this, but I work full-time hours and I was too giddy Sunday in anticipation of Kathy to take advantage of my ONLY day off work in which I can fully focus on writing these… I have to work on Fridays and Saturdays, folks – I make the most money at my jobs those days, but I’m going to try to work something out for Big Brother. I can afford to take a few more hours off my work schedule – just not Friday and Saturday. I’m filling half of the paragraph with this babble because the best thing about Tribal Council at this point in the game is the expressions on the faces of the people in the Jury. Everything that’s said is typical from contestants… at this point in the game. The only thing about this Tribal that matters is the vote because it’s a Tai – I mean tie – Between Aubry and Cydney, which means that Tai did NOT betray his true alliance. When Jeff asks Michele and Tai if they are solid on their votes, they say they are both firm on the matter and it is Fire-Making Challenge Time… Which is why ANYONE that plans on being on Survivor in the future should LEARN how to MAKE FIRE; if you don’t do it before, do it on the island, but DO IT BEFORE! Seriously… Knowing how to make fire, especially without flint, but with it too, is pretty useful when you’re playing Survivor… In case you weren’t aware… FAST FORWARD: Aubry is successful in making fire first. It’s a little dicey there for awhile and it takes a little longer than it should, but she walks away with the win and stays in the game sending Cydney do the Jury. If you want to watch it all play out, by all means, go to cbs.com and do what you gotta do to watch it because it’s a good episode, but for the sake of a quick blog post – Aubry wins, Cyd is fired out of the game.
That night, everyone agrees it was the worst Tribal of the game. Michele knew Cyd was doomed when it went to fire because Cyd had never made fire with flint… ::SIGH:: Michele is even more worried about Aubry at this point because she made fire to stay in the game and she thinks Tai just gave Aubs a million dollars. And it is at THIS point that Tai points out that Jeff never said anything about the decision being left up to the Jury now and he thinks there will be another challenge, but Aubry is positive there is NO challenge in their future. The next morning – TREEMAIL! They have a challenge. They start thinking it’s a Final Two, but it’s NOT so I’m not going to get into any of this sequence in the show because it’s not Immunity – The winner of the challenge will be able to VOTE OUT A JURY MEMBER! BOLLOCKS! Don’t like it. In the reunion show Jeff says they waited seven years to install this twist into a season of Survivor and I think they should have waited longer. Voting out a Jury member is about as good as that stupid Idol Twist that Tyler Perry was blessed with being able to make a reality. Why don’t I like it? Because if you make the Merge and subsequently the Jury you are given the honor of being able to decide who wins the whole sha-bang. It’s a perk of making it so far into the game and to have that RIPPED from you by one of the people still left in the game? What a double whammy… Let me just get right to it: Michele wins – Not even gonna bother explaining what the challenge is – and she votes out Neal because obviously Neal is going to vote for Aubry and he’s smart and clever so he could sway more people in the Jury to vote for Aubry. Michele plays it up real nice after the challenge, asking Tai and Aubry who they would pick if they were her and, like, really? As if they are going to actually be honest with her! BLAH! Not a clever twist, Survivor… Not a clever twist. It’s a slap in the face to the Jury member that gets voted out and I don’t like it, especially in Neal’s case because he didn’t even get voted out – he had to leave for medical reasons for Neal, this is a Triple Whammy, but he manages to take a jab at Michele before he leaves…
So the Final Three go back to camp and they all know the Final Tribal will be brutal if Neal’s exit is any indication of foreshadowing. The next morning they are given access to a mirror and scale, they have breakfast and blah blah blah. As each person is talking about their strengths, weaknesses, and what they know they have to do with the Jury that night, I am being consistently distracted by the music. I’m watching Survivor, but I’m hearing the opening credits of Game of Thrones and I’m thinking this is intentional… And awaaay we go to the Final Tribal Council! Of course, Tai is carrying Mark the Chicken with him and everyone seems pretty happy and amused to see him. When things settle down, Tai is holding Mark between his legs and then I remember the first picture, (that isn’t a cast photo), in the first blog that I wrote for this season… The link will open it in a new tab. (I don’t think it’s the same chicken…) 😉 SO! After the usual Final Tribal Council spiel from Jeff, he allows the Final Three a few moments to compose themselves then he begins tossing the metaphorical ball to the Jury and I’m going to bounce it along quickly.
Nick is first and he doesn’t have questions; Nick has advice. He warns that there will be animosity, some of them might not even get questions – they might just receive statements so he advises that they answer every question to the best of their abilities and use the time wisely. He tells Michele to display intelligence, Tai to show awareness, and Aubry needs to exude confidence. His vote is totally up for grabs, most of them are, and he’ll be listening when they answer questions. Debbie is next and gives Tai an opportunity to explain that he wasn’t a flip-flopper, he was consistent with his alliance and when the boys wanted to vote out Aubry, he voted out Scot because it was a move he had to make. Aubry is able to explain her Debbie vote – their games were headed in different directions, but she definitely would have supported Debbie as Debbie supported her throughout the game. Michele gets nothing. Julia steps up and she only talks to Michele and Tai and she’s proud of Michelle for voting her out of the game, and she admires Tai’s performance in the beginning, but she doesn’t know if their small bouts of good moves and strategy deserve a million dollars. Michele’s explanation is good, but Tai’s – Not so much.
Joe is next and he has nothing to say to Michele except that he knows what her game is all about so he directs his attention to Tai – he wants to know why Tai thinks he deserves it over Aubry. Tai thinks his game was about the same as Aubry’s, they run on the same level, but Joe points out that Tai runs a little haywire. Aubry is now allowed to talk about why she deserves to win over Tai and she points out that she was on the right side of the votes every vote after the Merge – Tai was on the wrong side three times; he didn’t have his finger on the pulse like she did. Jason is next and he doesn’t know what name he’s going to write down, but he only opens the window for Michele and Tai to speak. Both defend their moves to vote out alliance members well, but I just don’t think Jason is having any of it from Tai. Cydney is next and she addresses Aubry first and she wants to know if the plan was always to vote Cyd out, even before Michele won Immunity – No, it wasn’t, but Cyd was right along with her the whole way and it was the most logical choice for Aubry and she thinks Cyd would have done the same to her. To Michele, Cyd says thanks because at least she gave her the chance to build fire instead of voting for her to slide an easy blindside under her belt – Aubry interrupts to ask: Did Michele know Tai and Aubry were voting for Cyd? No, BUT! She could have easily flipped and sent Cyd packing, but she didn’t because she wanted Cyd in the Final with her and she would have tried to save her if she could have. Awww… Isn’t that sweet?
Scot is last and he’s heard enough from Tai – none of his advantages mean anything because they weren’t used effectively or at all. From Aubry, Scot wants to know why he should vote for her. She thinks he appreciates competitors and will respect that she played to her strengths. All Scot has for Michele is praise and some applause for getting stronger, while the other two got weaker. Jeff now let’s each person make a final statement: Aubry does an okay job, but I don’t see a lot of convinced faces in the Jury. Tai does his best, but he stumbles around a beautiful metaphor that I’m not sure everyone on the Jury could appreciate, but basically – he’s just happy for the memories and experience. Michele trips up in a few places as well, but she sounds confident, genuine, and very “underdog set up to win it all”… For the last time, it’s time to vote. The votes we see? Julia for Michele and Joe for Aubry. After Jeff retrieves the votes, Jeff gives Tai the opportunity to say good-bye to and release Mark the Chicken, which he does because who wants to go through all that BS at customs? Speaking of customs… ONWARD, back to America for the reading of the votes: Michele, Aubry, Aubry, Michele, Michele, aaand… Michele is the winner of Suvivor Koah Rong. I was upset at first because I just adore Aubry, but Michele did manage to keep her head in the game pretty well and I won’t say she didn’t deserve to win.
Okay! Let’s just quickly recap the Reunion Show. Sia shows up all impromptu-like and donates $50,000 TO Tai for showing America how to be kind to animals. She also says she will donate $50,000 in his name to the animal charity of his choice. Very cool. I LOVE Sia. Drew Carey pops in to promote the Survivor, Big Brother, and Amazing Race Price Is Right Primetime Specials – The Survivor and Big Brother editions were really fun, but I missed TAR. Caleb is just fine and Jeff tells us a little more about the Survivor Medical team and how seriously they take their jobs. Then we talk about the next season, number 33, which has been filmed in Fiji, one of Jeff’s favorite locations ever, and the theme of next seasons show? Millennials vs. Gen X. There will be 20 players and I dunno… I guess it’s a cool theme, but I think my friend up there – the one in the picture with me – has a really cool idea for a theme as well. Maybe I’ll let ya’ll in on the secret next season. 😉 As always… If you like my blogs, check out other stuff around the site! We’ve got Amazing Race recaps,Big Brother Canada Coverage Galore, Hell’s Kitchen, Bravo Shows, video recaps… We do a lot. You should really surf around. 😉 And if you’re shopping on Amazon, use this link – it doesn’t cost you more and it helps us out a bit! And if you really love us, join our Patreon program.