Last Woman Standing?

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Whee! We are in the final stretch of one of the greatest seasons of Survivor of all time. Yet something doesn’t feel quite right. As eagerly as I’ve anticipated watching each episode, I sort of feel like the entire show was on hyperspeed or something weird.

After mulling it over, I think it comes down to the fact that I really felt like I knew the cast too well already, and the few characters that weren’t recent players / three-timers I didn’t really care to get to know again (Sandra, Candice, and Danielle). Comparing this to other all star editions, All Stars was cool because it was the first time they’d done something like that, and they did a couple of interesting change-ups – such as the four tribes to start things off. Fans vs. Favourites was the coolest though because it brought back a lot of new favourites (Ozzy, James, Yau Man, etc.) but not necessarily the most expected cast. Because there were just 8 or 10 or whatever favourites, I felt like they became new characters on their own right which was cool.

Many people have griped about the three-timers and I have to agree, it put a damper on this entire season and building new dynamics and relationships and characters, although some of our heroes and villains were deservedly so from the three-timer camp (Parvati!). I just think they could have either waited a bit longer to do another all star season, or brought in more characters that hadn’t done an all star edition yet. I know they wanted to bring back Shane Powers from godknowswhat season and uber bitch Corinne from Villains, but they both declined sadly. The cast just could have used some fresh blood I think, or perhaps some more blood from the earlier seasons so Colby et al weren’t quite so outmatched by the craftiness of the newer players.

Overall though, I still really liked this season. I need to see the final episode before ranking where it goes in the overall line-up, but I’d probably put it in the top ten, maybe the top five.

As for our FINAL FIVE! Let me break it down:

Colby – has a snowball’s chance in hell of making it to the final three. I don’t imagine anyone (other than maybe Russell, but even he probably isn’t hedging his bets to win against Colby) would use him to further themselves in the game at this point. Plus even if he made it to the final, he wouldn’t, or shouldn’t win. He’s been useless, to the point where his own tribe acknowledged it.

Jerri –Dalton Ross’ and Jeff Probst’s blogs have two differing opinions on the curly haired one. Probst reflected where my head was at – that Jerri stands a great chance at the end for having not pissed off a lot of people but still making it to the end. However Dalton makes the solid point that she hasn’t done anything significant on her own (other than swim in yay, win an immunity and a reward, and flip when required), and typically speaking the all star juries are a little more respectful of good gameplay. Or they’re a little more pissy, I don’t know.

Parvati – this girl won me over this season. I really didn’t like her in her first season, I was ambivalent about her on Fan vs. Faves (although fully agreed with her big win), and at first was dreading her return this season, but ultimately the fact she has kicked so much damn ass for the second time in a row makes me want to give her a big huge high five. People knew she was a massive threat (although maybe not, as a past winner), yet she’s still here. She’s played a really good social game once again, if not better than the previous time as she has actual fans and friends on the jury (Amanda, Danielle, Courtney, etc.), and she let Russell be the front man for their line-up of hits. She’s been an awesome physical player, often contributing to her team’s wins, and taking a few immunities home when it counted. She’s also been a smart strategic player, letting Russell be the villain while she spun the web. Plus the use of the double idols was brilliant and basically got her to where she is. Team Parvati, she deserves a second million at this point!

Russell – many people, myself included, have soured on the self-proclaimed King of Survivor. Although he played an incredible game last year and totally deserved to win, his bragging this season fell a little flat, as did his pandering to Parvati. I think playing with the All Stars was more of a wake-up call to him than he’d like to admit, plus he also had the massive advantage of no one knowing his season. That being said, he HAS made it to the final episode once again, a feat not easily accomplished, and he has made his trademark Russell mind-reading moves to get what he wants (to a point). That being said, he’s still an ugly little player and he has even less of a chance winning this season than he did last season, if he manages to make it to the finals.

Sandra – of the two past winners, Parvati has played the better game. However, Sandra deserves credit for still being here! Her alliance broke down pre-merge and yet she outlasted people that were part of the original Villains alliance, partially through some crafty spinning of her own (re: Coach’s ouster, and keeping this last idol out of anyone else’s hands). She is fearless, and she has tried to make some big moves that were derailed by other people (Candice!), yet she’s made the moves she needs to in order to get to the end. So kudos. Parvati and Sandra’s late-game allegiance was a smart one for both players as past winners, but it’s a bit of a toss-up as to who would win when they go head to head. While Parvati has more game-playing credits to her name, Sandra might win the heroes votes for the time(s) she tried to throw a lifeline out to them.

So here are my predictions, for each final 3 match-up.

Colby – Russell – Jerri: The most unlikely match-up. Jerri would probably win. She’s less evil than Russell but a better player than Colby.

Colby – Russell – Parvati: In this case, Colby might win because people are embittered with Parvati and Russell as a duo. I think Russell & Parvati in the end would be an ugly match-up that would only serve to highlight their villain sides, and Colby might just end up looking like the good guy.

Colby – Russell – Sandra – Sandra would take this, for similar reasons to Jerri.

Russell – Jerri – Parvati: I think Jerri might win this as well, with the rationale that the world hates Russell, Parvati and Russell as a duo would KO one another, and between Jerri and Parvati, the gal’s already got a million.

Russell – Jerri – Sandra: Tough call, and one of the two most compelling finals we could potentially see (if Parvati were surprisingly ousted via Russell). I think a lot of it would come down to: how did Jerri and Sandra handle the ousting of Parvati, and who comes off looking better? My money would be on Jerri, hiding behind Russell.

Russell – Sandra – Parvati: Another one of the top three most compelling final match-ups, I think it would be a tough call between Sandra and Parvati as past winners that are considered less evil than Russell. I’d put my money on Parvati though, as I think Russell might do his part to beat down Sandra in front of the council, but not be able to with Parvati quite so much.

Sandra – Parvati – Jerri: In my opinion, the most likely final three (aside from R-S-P), and the most interesting. You’ve got two past winners who have each made bold moves yet showed loyalty when it counted, and one chick that has come a LONG, favourable way from the day she started, and her past seasons. Jerri might win simply because she hasn’t, and Parvati would be cast as the top villain in this schema which could hurt or help her case. It’d be a nail biter if this is the end, and Parvati’s all gal alliance will once again have served her well.

Well kids, till Sunday’s finale…

- Britt’s On


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