Well, that’s it Survivor fans! The 30th season has come to a close.
It has been a long and exciting season full of survivor firsts. For the fourth time, the series was filmed in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua but for the first time there were three tribes that seemed to be “Worlds Apart”. The three tribes were grouped based on their life philosophies. We had a blue collar tribe, a white collar tribe and a no collar tribe. There were special powers, auction drama and a ton of controversy over a few cast members whose behaviors were questionable at best.
But enough of that, let’s get to the good stuff!
The finale and reunion show were jam packed with excitement. We were left off with Sierra, Will, Rodney, Mike and Carolyn. After Dan was voted out at tribal counsel, they went back to camp and Mike laughed at how the four remaining alliance members still went off to the beach to have their little post-tribal group meeting. Next they went to the reward challenge. “Want to know what (they’re) playing for”? Loved ones and an advantage at the next immunity challenge! All the pairs were completely adorable. Carolyn had her husband she was playing for. Sierra had her best friend, her dad. Rodney had an emotional reunion with his father. Mike was fighting for time with his mom. And Will was given new life upon seeing his wife.
The challenge started off, believe it or not, with Will in the lead! He did better in this challenge than we’d seen him do thus far…but, alas, Mike is unbeatable. He stayed cool, calm and focused and ended up winning. He brought his mom back to camp and I was so happy to see this guy get some love. He’d been on the outs with the tribe for so long, he told his mom there are some days that the tribe wouldn’t even talk to him! Now, for the advantage. He got to go to the challenge site early (a maze) and – blindfolded – practice with the help of his mom. While it didn’t seem like much of an advantage, he still won! Despite the fact that all the other cast mates were helping each other through.
Tribal comes and the three guys end up voting Sierra out. So then there were four. The next challenge is the final immunity challenge. The winner, guaranteed a spot in the final three and a chance to plead their case to the jury. The challenge starts off with Mike in the lead, of course, but the rest aren’t far behind. As the challenge progresses it looks like they are all about to collapse from exhaustion. The closest behind Mike when it came time to do the puzzle portion of the challenge was Rodney…and…well, you can guess how that ended up! Mike won the final immunity! Thank goodness, because he was “150, 000 percent” going to be heading to the jury had he not won. The remaining cast members show him respect and put the necklace on him as a group.
Time for tribal counsel. Mike keeps his promise to not write down Carolyn’s name, and of course Will and Rodney both do put her name down. With 2 votes Rodney and 2 votes Carolyn, they go to a fire making challenge. What an epic way to go into the finale, right? Wrong! It took them over an HOUR to get the fire going – both of them repeatedly needing new flint. It was a little embarrassing. In the end it was Carolyn who won. Then there were three!
The final tribal went just as expected. We had those pleading with the jury to vote based on game play, the bitter jury members who want to have the last word, and then the people who are obviously ill prepared and just throw together a question. Flash forward to the live tallying of the votes…by a vote of 6-1-1 – the winner is…..MIKE HOLLOWAY! And now we can all rest easy that the winner was the underdog. Someone we’d been routing for ever since he became Shirin’s “hero”.
Aside from Mike winning the show (and seeing Jeff Probst catch Dan with his foot in his mouth) the best part of the finale was seeing the cast for next season! TONS of favorite cast members are getting their second chance! I may be disappointed that Brad Culpepper won’t be returning – but seeing Spencer, Vytas, Ciera, Joe, Jeremy, Woo (and many more) made up for that disappointment ten fold!
Survivor is one of the best shows on television and I can’t WAIT to see how the next season, Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance, plays out!