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Survivor – One world, one winner, no surprises

'Survivor: One World' comes to an end with little in the way of surprise. But did the best person win?

The "Survivor: One World" final three

Well, season twenty-four of Survivor is officially over. And, unfortunately, a season that started off pretty spectacularly ended with a kind of an inevitable whimper. The only real surprise would have been someone else winning, but in the end it is Kim who takes home the million dollars. Oh, was I supposed to say “spoiler alert” there? Nah, I didn’t think so.

And how did Kim become the season’s “sole survivor?” Considering she took a huge risk on keeping in one of her biggest threats (at least with the jury votes), Sabrina, and sacrificing Christina, the win almost wasn’t such a sure thing (we know Sabrina got at least two votes to Kim’s five of the votes revealed on air). Chelsea, whom Kim was worried about being on such good terms with the jury, garnered zero votes … and she assured Kim that she was in no way a threat to her come the final Tribal Council. She was right, and I’m glad that Kim did stick with someone who she had been aligned with since day one. But had she kept Christina, Kim most likely would have had a unanimous vote (unless Troyzan felt like punishing her for keeping such a sure thing to the end).

But Kim has had this game locked up pretty much since the women pulled themselves together after a rough first six days. Once the men imploded, Colton took control and started picking off his strongest competitors, it was all Kim’s game. She played strategically well, and above all she played a great social game (were you watching that, Russell?). Kim managed to make friends with everyone, and whenever someone seemed to be falling apart, she was the one there to help pick up the pieces and hold things together. But she also knew she was a huge target and, wisely, chose to fight for each and every immunity she won. Kat was upset the time Kim would not give her a win, but that could have been the nail in her coffin, sort of like when a tribe throws a challenge just to vote someone out. It’s something that’s very hard to recover from. Kim fought hard and won the last two immunity challenges, plus she had the hidden immunity idol and she was never forced to play it.

Kim’s strategy was one of the best as well, because she was friendly enough and sincere enough with everyone to make them think that she had their backs, and all she was really doing was gathering information so she could make the best decisions for her game. She’d tell Alicia that Sabrina had to go, she’d tell Sabrina that Chelsea was a threat, she’d tell Chelsea that Christina could be a problem … and she somehow managed to juggle all of these pieces without ever once letting even one of them hit the ground (although she did have to do some damage control when one of her “allies” would go and blab to someone else). She played a great game, I’m glad she won, but because it was such a sure thing, the last half of the season was a bit of a disappointment from a viewing experience. Not even the final Tribal Council had many sparks as the jury questioned the final three. But there were a few highlights during the finale and the reunion show:

  • Kim seriously considered taking out Chelsea, regretting that she had told her earlier in the game that she had found the hidden immunity idol.
  • Alicia felt total loyalty from Kim just before she was voted out.
  • Alicia said she regretted voting out her ally, Tarzan, and then claimed she carried Christina to the end. Umm, wasn’t she the one taunting Christina, along with Colton, to quit or jump in the fire?
  • The return of the remembrance journey ate up a lot of time … and meant that they really had nothing else worth showing in the episode.
  • Christina turned it on in the final immunity challenge and just barely lost to Kim.
  • Kim told Christina she was next to go and Christina accepted it without a fight, which almost made Kim change her mind (because who would vote for that?).
  • Jeff was stunned when he learned Christina basically rolled over and played dead.
  • At final Tribal, Chelsea admitted she and Kim were an alliance from day one, but she began making her own decisions at the merge.
  • Sabrina said she threw a lot of challenges so as not to appear too strong and didn’t want to be too overbearing at camp, but Jonas wasn’t buying it, saying she really did nothing at camp (Sabrina said she had just learned to swim so she wasn’t about to go deep sea fishing).
  • Kim was proud of her strategy, said it was hard to vote people out and hoped they all realized it was just a game.
  • Jonas tried to set some ground rules at Tribal and told the women to address him as Master Jonas, but he cracked up before he could even finish. He asked Chelsea what her boldest move was (taking out Kat), and why Kim let Christina go (feared so many hated her that they would vote for Christina out of spite).
  • Christina asked Kim who she would take out next if she had to (Chelsea), and asked Chelsea why she hated people. Bitter, party of one!
  • Jay questioned Sabrina’s “take it easy” strategy.
  • Mike asked Kim about his blindside (she said he was the only guy she knew Troyzan would vote out), and said that she actually blindsided everyone.
  • Tarzan simply thanked the final three for keeping him in the game long enough for his wife to come visit the island. Chelsea thanked him for showing her what real love was.
  • Leif wanted to know why he got voted out. Kim said she just didn’t know if she could trust him since his votes were pretty erratic, and Sabrina said it was all Kim’s decision.
  • Alicia compared herself to Kim, saying Christina and Tarzan were her pawns just like Sabrina and Chelsea were Kim’s. I wish Jeff had asked who would have voted for Alicia if she were against Kim.
  • Troyzan asked Kim to explain when she decided to destroy his game, and her answer would determine his vote. She said it was when she decided to take out Jonas. It obviously was not the answer he was looking for as he voted for Sabrina.
  • Kat said she was hurt deeply by all three women, then revealed that she had two open heart surgeries when she was twelve-years-old, and was due for another one this year, but she didn’t want anyone to know that and appear vulnerable during the game. She also said because of that, she let go of the anger, forgave them all and would vote for the best game player. She voted for Kim, and said that if she hadn’t it would have meant that she hadn’t learned a thing from the experience.
  • Jeff forgot that Matt was already gone when Colton took the men to Tribal Council.
  • Bill was dressed like Prince, circa 1984.
  • Colton’s mom apologized for him, and told him that he didn’t have to hurt people to get ahead. Colton also apologized and said he really did love everyone and was a bit ashamed of the things he said on the show.
  • Mayim Bialik is a Colton fan, and said she would watch another season with him (she just may get her wish).
  • Tarzan’s name is Greg Smith!
  • Alicia broke down when Jeff asked her about her comment comparing Christina to one of her special needs students, but she didn’t say if it’s affected her teaching position.
  • Kim also won the Sprint Player of the Season.
  • Christina decided to play dumb after Matt was voted out.
  • Season 25 will feature three contestants who had been airlifted out. Mike Skupkin has all but been confirmed — he was the sixth person out in his season. Guess what number Colton was. The setting is the Philippines, where the waters are infested with sharks and the jungle is infested with snakes. Fun.

So, do you think the best person won this season? Who do you think really deserved to go to the finals and win the prize? Sound off in the comments below! Thanks for reading this season and we’ll see you back here in the fall.


Photo Credit: CBS

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3 Responses to “Survivor – One world, one winner, no surprises”

May 14, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Thank goodness they’re bringing some people back next season. Mike Skupin was a legend in his day! I remember people (on the surviiivor message boards) believing that his tribe definitely would have been dominant if he hadn’t left, and he was the big favorite to win it all, being the heroic time in a more idyllic game. Looking forward to seeing what he can do in a game that’s evolved so much since he was on.

May 14, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Well, the rumor mill has Mike Skupin, Jonathan Penner and Russell Swan as the three returnees who were all airlifted out during their seasons. Thank goodness we don’t have to endure more of Colton … and who didn’t love the audience reaction when Jeff asked if Colton was the same as Russell?! LOL

May 15, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Out of those three guys only Jonathan better be a rumor. He was on for two seasons. In my mind he should not get another chance. I

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