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"Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I Can't Promise I Won't Kill Her If I See Her At Home""
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Colonel Zoidberg 3370 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Car Show Celebrity"

09-07-07, 02:02 PM (EST)
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"Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I Can't Promise I Won't Kill Her If I See Her At Home""

Reunion Transcript, 05/18/2008
Authored by: Luigi Cristobal,

As big a deal as this Reunion seems to be, it’s a wonder they didn’t end up packing everyone into the arena portion of the Garden. It might be a little more accommodating…then again, with a big, hanging scoreboard, it might be a little difficult to make a passable Survivor set. That plus the Rangers are in the conference finals and they need the ice tomorrow evening. At least Survivor knew they wouldn’t have to worry about having to share the arena with the Knicks this time of year, too, though I could have told you they’d be off playing golf before the season even began.

The stage isn’t an exact replica of the Tribal Council set we see on the show. The fake palm trees on the set are definitely the most obvious change; the real set didn’t have any trees inside it. The pagoda roof from Japan is preserved, sure, but the actual interior seems to have more of a Cook Islands feel. When I watched the actual show, I got more of a Palau feel from the set.

Of course, they couldn’t have made it more obvious that the stools the Survivors are sitting on are fake. The bench over on the jury side looks authentic, sure, but the seats for the final four are way too shiny to be real wood. Production must have soaked those things in varnish, or I suppose he could have gone the uber-cheap way and had them made out of plastic. After all, I’m sure he felt like he had to cut costs a lot this season before the show became a huge success again. It’s a wonder he managed to talk General Motors into that lifetime car lease.

They seem to be bringing out the Survivors to the crowd in groups of four. Sandra, Ami, Chris, and Yul are first, even if they won’t be out front for too long; the first few boots never are. Sure enough, they’re just around long enough to take a bow and get some cheers from the audience, which seems to have filled up early. It looks like Chris has cleaned up an awful lot from his whole ordeal; he’s cut his hair, and he’s actually wearing a nice shirt. I never thought I’d live to see the day when Chris Daugherty would wear a white button-down.

The next group comes out on stage; it seems they’re just getting the pre-jury boots out of the way as quickly as they can. Parvati, Danielle, Ian, and Rafe are all up, and it looks like the crowd is pretty forgiving. Then again, Parvati trying to do a striptease for Maria was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, so I think the crowd seems to think she’s good for entertainment value. I’m also not entirely sure how she’s getting away with showing her midriff for this show…thanks God she’s put on some of the weight she lost on the island, or someone might be tempted to play her ribs like a xylophone.

I’m not sure where they sent the first eight Survivors. All I know is that we have about 15 minutes before the show begins, and I know they want the jury and the final four out there for the show. Maria may come out as well, but she’ll be back with the others. And sure enough, Maria comes out on her own. She had to insist on coming out on her own. There’s no way production was letting her go out on stage without some help unless she insisted on it. It seems like she also insisted on crutches, too. I half-expected to see Laura wheeling her out.

Speaking of Laura, I have a bird’s-eye view of the front row, and it looks like she got a good seat. Someone’s there with her who looks an awful lot like her aged about thirty years; that must be her mother. From what Maria’s said in interviews, her mother had a very difficult time with Laura coming out, but it looks like she’s past it. She even seems to be matching her daughter and Maria’s outfits, albeit in a different color. Like the Japan reunion, Laura and Maria match; Laura, as usual, is in all-white, and Maria’s in all-black.

Both ladies look very nice; Maria’s even smiling, even if she’s also wincing in very obvious pain. She has to have built up her upper body to handle the weight her leg used to hold. The skirt she chose was obviously as much for comfort as for appearance; however, the fact that she chose one that doesn’t cover the knees proves that she cares an awful lot about her appearance. It also proves that she’s showing off her battle wound; it’s a little unclear why.

Maria receives a standing ovation. I think someone even threw a rose onto the stage. Naturally, she didn’t bend over and pick it up before heading back into the back room.

Now it’s time for the jurors. One at a time…

Jonathan’s out first. He’s kept off the weight he lost this time as well. He takes a spot on the back row of the jury box.

Next up is Harriet. For 56, she’s holding up nicely. She’s not hobbling at all, and she actually looks happy. She’s always seemed a little perturbed, as if she’s got something on her mind all the time. I guess she’s a victim of the game’s stress.

Tom’s next. Was he asked to wear that firefighter’s shirt? That just doesn’t seem like him to pimp his days in the NYPD any more than he absolutely has to. He’s gotten the loudest cheers so far.

Next up is Twila. OK, now I know the producers tell these people what to wear. Why else would she come out in overalls and a straw hat? Hey, at least she looks cleaned-up.

Come on out, Yau-Man. I think people are cheering him more than Tom. And, against all odds, he’s wearing a shirt with a collar. It’s a weird shade of yellow-orange, but at least he looks like he dressed up. He takes a bow before he takes a seat.

Terry’s out next. He doesn’t get near the cheers Yau-Man, or anyone else, did. Sure, he’s cleaned up, and we all know why he was so hard on the finalists, but no amount of polishing this guy can change his edit now.

The last juror they have is Charlie. His hair’s still cut very short, and I guess the rumors that he grew a moustache aren’t true. The cheers for Charlie are deafening. It’s also nice of him to wear a Michigan polo shirt. I guess he decided to match his son, who, from my peripheral vision, seems to have his trademark Michigan hockey jersey on.

Now it’s time for the finalists. I’m honestly not sure how they’ll be received.

I guess they’re breaking with traditional alphabetical order, and Paula’s out first. Wow, I’ve never seen such a mixed reaction. A few very loud boos from the “We Love Charlie” crowd, but it seems like there are enough cheers not to wipe that million-dollar smile from her face. Seriously, who did her teeth? Those things are impressive.

Next out is Cirie. Are they trying to tell us something? It seems like all we’re getting from the crowd is positive feedback. Cirie was very popular in Exile Island, and it looks like the crowd loves her here, too. And I dare say that she’s actually looking more dressed down than at the final Council. I didn’t even know that was possible, but considering she had on that formal gown at the final Council, she has nowhere to go but down. The business suit is a nice touch for her.

Oh boy. Danni just took the stage. Before I cover her reaction, I should say that she looks nice. The red blouse and black pants are a nice look for her. It’s too bad the crowd hates her. I hear nothing but boos. I think someone actually threw a shoe at her. Eventually, the boos seem to turn into a mixture of boos, catcalls, and “You suck!” jabs. All this hatred just because of one little lie. Amazing.

The last person out is Ozzy. I really have no idea what they’re trying to tell us, unless Paula and Cirie are the final two. Clearly Ozzy’s out if Danni wins immunity first, and Danni’s out if Ozzy wins immunity first. Paula and Cirie don’t have a chance if it’s like most challenges. That said, Ozzy is well-received, having been very popular in the Cook Islands. I think he actually dared to wear a Hawaiian shirt to the reunion. I love it.

Jeff hasn’t arrived yet; I wonder if they’re going to do some ridiculous farce of an entry for him this season. I guess we’ll find out in two hours.

Blog Entry, 05/18/2008,
Authored by: Jeff Probst

I’d like to open this finale blog by clearing a few things up. It seems that a lot of people are wondering who will host the Survivor: All-Stars II reunion now that I submitted my resignation.

The short answer? I am. That’s right; I’m still hosting it. It’s not because of my contract; I could have gotten out of that if I really wanted. I took back my resignation and am still the effective host of the show. I thought about stepping down after this season, sure, but it’s mainly to settle into another role with the company if I can. I’ve done Survivor now for eight years. I met a wonderful woman on the show, and I would love to settle down with her.

That doesn’t mean I won’t be hosting the Reunion. We have so many unresolved issues that I just have to be involved with it. What happened between Charlie and Paula? Is Danni still a pariah? Did Derek really have a crush on her? What about Yau-Man and his new Escalade? And it would look a little weird with someone else reading the votes that I collected back on Angakauitai Island in February.

I sacrifice a lot for my job, just as many people sacrifice a lot for theirs. I do it because I love it. And there’s no way in hell I’m giving up my chance to host a season-ending special like this one.

I’ll see you live on Sunday, May 18 at 10:00 pm EDT. We’ll be live from the theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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 Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I... Colonel Zoidberg 09-07-07 1
 Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I... Colonel Zoidberg 09-07-07 2
 Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I... Colonel Zoidberg 09-07-07 3
 Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I... Colonel Zoidberg 09-07-07 4
 Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I... Colonel Zoidberg 09-07-07 5
 Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I... Colonel Zoidberg 09-07-07 6
 Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I... Colonel Zoidberg 09-07-07 7
 Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I... Colonel Zoidberg 09-07-07 8
 Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I... Colonel Zoidberg 09-07-07 9
 Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I... Colonel Zoidberg 09-07-07 10
 Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I... Colonel Zoidberg 09-07-07 11
 Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I... Colonel Zoidberg 09-07-07 12

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Colonel Zoidberg 3370 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Car Show Celebrity"

09-07-07, 02:04 PM (EST)
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1. "Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I Can't Promise I Won't Kill Her If I See Her At Home""
Reunion Transcript, 05/18/2008
Authored by: Luigi Cristobal,

The show starts. Let me tell you, the season recaps are interminable for the finale. It’s the time of the show where all the loyal watchers, who already know what happened throughout the season, get up and go grab a beer. But, since I’m doing this for my site, I guess I actually have to sit here and watch the damn thing again.

So let’s recap. Sandra tries really hard but ends up being the first boot. Too bad; I was hoping to listen to her get into it with…oh, I don’t know, everyone. Then Maria hates Ami, and Ami gets booted when Paula really should have been. That’s OK; Paula’s going soon, right? Right? **crickets** Anywho, Ta’aroa loses their fourth challenge in a row and demands not to have to wear the same color of buff as Ulong and Rarotonga. Their request is denied, and they actually have to do something unthinkable in Survivor lore – they have to, **gasp**, turn a losing tribe around.

Ozzy fires the tribe up the way a collegiate football coach would fire up his team to play the hated in-state rival. And the hated in-state rival reacts the way a typical team playing its rival does – by throwing three interceptions, fumbling the ball, and failing to score from first and goal on the one. Ta’aroa finally gets on the board, and Fati, the only tribe in the history of the show to be issued silver buffs, is down one guy.

Chris gets booted, and Fati really starts to regret letting Ta’aroa back in it, because weird, super-mystic, ultra-cool Yau-Man single-handedly wins both the reward and the immunity challenges for his tribe. At Tribal Council, for the third time in four votes, a past winner is sent home. So long, Chris, and Yul; we hardly knew ye, except for those times we saw you win your seasons. We definitely knew ye then.

Next up, it’s time for people to smash each other with boulders, only without the benefit of their top players. Ta’aroa wins, and Charlie and Ozzy come back from the switch with new tribes. Now I’m confused. Ta’aroa won, but not all of them won reward and not all of them are Ta’aroa anymore…ah, the hell with it. Parvati’s on a new tribe, she tries to get the immunity idol off Maria, Maria won’t give it up, Parvati’s new tribe hates her, and she goes home. Meanwhile, at Fati, Danielle and Cirie have to build fires. Wait, where did we see that before? Oh yeah, the first time they were on the show. This time, the result is different, and Danielle loses.

Next up is people playing strategy games and then beating the hell out of each other. Ian loses twice. Paula goes home…wait a minute. She played the idol. She played the damn idol, and now we have a brain-exploding tiebreak. Long story short, Ian loses.

Old Fati’s up 4-3 on new Fati, and the old Ta’aroa are pooping themselves trying to figure out how to make the merge. Rafe can’t generate enough poop, and he loses, and we’re down to 12. Next to go to Tribal Council after the tribes build boats and light woks is Ta’ar—wait a minute. Yau-Man goes flying through the air and manages to kidnap Maria from Fati at the same time. Translation: Jonathan the weirdo goes home. At least he’s on the jury.

Maria burns her clothes. That’s all you need to know about that challenge. She’s now down to a bikini, and the tribe, with the exception of Terry, wishes she had burned that, too. Maria stays with her clothes-burning tribe, and Terry goes to the sticks-in-the-mud. The sticks win immunity, and the clothing-burners go to Council, where Harriet, who had previously attempted do-it-yourself knee surgery with a machete, was voted a pass to knee surgery school.

The tribes merge, and it’s auction time, apparently. Maria seems to have a new girlfriend, and although Charlie shouldn’t be happy about that, he is. Terry buys a cheeseburger and washes it down with some cow’s blood. Ozzy buys an immunity advantage, which is a little like Superman buying a jet pack. He could have used the immunity advantage at the challenge, which Charlie, who has never broken the honor of a handshake, wins. The Tominator leaves despite Fati’s best efforts at getting Ozzy out.

Maria can throw a spear really well, and she wins the right to get wasted. Paula demands that she take off her clothes…is dating Charlie some sort of elixir that attracts these women to Maria? What is he, her pimp? Anywho, it’s not all good after that, because the challenge set broke, and so did Maria’s leg. Charlie barely restrains himself from tearing Jeff’s head off.

Still mourning Maria, the tribe works hard while Terry stuffs his face and pretends to work. All that pretending to work got him breakfast along with Yau-Man, and all that breakfast got him humiliated in the challenge by Cirie. Ozzy wins immunity, and the vote is for Charlie…wait, I mean Danni…wait, Twila? What the hell is with all these damn idols? And the show isn’t even over. Now we have to go onto another reward challenge, where the Survivors chop each other’s coconuts down to win…an Escalade?

Yau-Man wins it and, like the savvy investor he is, tries to get rid of it. No one wants it, so he actually has to keep it. He has a lot more time to enjoy his new ride right after the tribe votes him off.

Next up…throwing water into buckets and onto your loved ones. Paula wanted to see her sister, but drama set in as she hadn’t spoken to her visitor, her step-dad Jim, in however long. She just goes with it, and life is good. Charlie wins reward, and Derek talks about how hot he thinks Danni is. Charlie gets a bunch of trips. Derek doesn’t beg to go with him. That whole thing with Charlie and Danni is an act – an act! Who would have guessed? Sign them up for an Oscar! Ozzy thinks he’s in danger, and he wins immunity. Terry goes home, as some joker plays an idol for Cirie.

Now’s the time for the car reward. Only this time, it’s the super-cool car lease for life. Oh yeah, and the taxes are covered. Danni wins. She has to keep up the whole “Charlie and I are a couple” charade, so they go on the boat, where Danni seems to try to hook Charlie up to an IV of Budweiser. She turns into some sort of dungeon mistress, torturing Charlie into pledging his loyalty to her. He doesn’t do it.

Danni does what every other self-respecting panicked Survivor would do – pretend that she had sex with Charlie in order to break him and Paula up. Normal, non-psychotic people do this sort of thing every day, right? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with destroying two of your best friends’ best chance at happiness just because your only prayer at winning the game got voted off in the last round. And pay no attention to how Danni changed her story. Nothing to see there. She’s telling the absolute truth.

Charlie gets voted off, and his entire fan base now has to call the Geek Squad and have them come out and repair the boot-shaped holes in their televisions. There is much weeping and gnashing of teeth. And I think I just saw someone burn a Danni voodoo doll in effigy. I do know I’m ducking beer bottles right now.

Blog Entry, 05/18/2008
Authored by: Derek Forrest, bigblueclassof2009

I’m feeling a little better after the crisis yesterday. I actually spent a long time on the phone with Mark Burnett’s people trying to figure out just what the hell happened and why my mother was so adamant about getting back with me.

Well, here’s what I found out. The real mastermind was that Red 14 guy, who used to be my dad’s tribemate. He got his sweet little revenge against Dad by sending my mother up to marry him again. I even found out that she left George because of Red 14. He was making all kinds of promises and even offered a cut of that lawsuit money that he was trying to extort out of Burnett.

Aside from that, my mother’s a bit unbalanced anyway. She really believed she had a chance with Dad. She saw the episode where Danni screwed him over and decided to make her move, having no idea Red 14’s promises were as empty as his head. And that’s where the hostage situation began.

Fast-forward here to the reunion set, where I’m typing this blog. The place is absolutely beautiful, the Reunion is said to be the best ever, and I’m a lucky man to even get in the door. I wonder if I’m getting even luckier tonight…and no, I don’t mean Danni. She can go choke on her new, shiny Escalade’s exhaust fumes for all I care. I mean this ticket I have here that seems to be paying 180-1 if Paula wins, or that’s what the website said anyway. That’s about $90,000 if she pulls it off.

I might actually be able to afford that Escalade that Dad turned down with that kind of money.

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Colonel Zoidberg 3370 desperate attention whore postings
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09-07-07, 02:05 PM (EST)
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2. "Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I Can't Promise I Won't Kill Her If I See Her At Home""
Reunion Transcript, 05/18/2008
Authored by: Luigi Cristobal,

Now onto the show. Finally, the show begins, and we’ll finally see if Danni makes the final two only to get blasted into next century by the jury. But the show opens just as we expected – Danni, whose story has just been revealed to be a steaming horse turd by Ozzy, is begging, “Please, Ozzy, don’t tell Paula and Cirie.” Ozzy, being sporting, decides to wait until the time is right.

Danni decides to press the issue like the Rhodes Scholar candidate she is, and Ozzy decides he’s going to spill to Paula and Cirie after the challenge, assuming Danni doesn’t win immunity. Danni winning immunity comes down to her ability to stuff down a bunch of dead bugs.

She can’t do it. Ozzy wins immunity, and he now has the right to sit back and make Danni sweat. In order to buy his silence, he makes Danni re-enact every scene verbatim from “The Butterfly Effect” in English and Mandarin Chinese. Since Danni doesn’t speak Mandarin Chinese, Ozzy spills to Paula, and against all odds, Paula, who previously wanted to run over Charlie with Yau-Man’s Esdcalade, has now changed course and decided she’s rather have Danni parts in Yau-Man’s grill. Yau-Man agrees despite the difficulty of removing tightly packed bullcrap from his grill, and Danni is sent packing.

All right, so next up is the scene where the Survivors pay their respects to the fallen. Yes, yes, we see it every season, and it’s the same thing every time. Paula spitting at Danni’s torch was a nice touch, but we had to suffer through a major bout of crying over Charlie’s torch just to get it. I give this scene a push.

Finally, it’s time for the final immunity challenge. I love these challenges; they’re so deliciously brutal. Well, they can be, anyway; it seems like they go from having a challenge that kills the body one season to having one that is easy as pie and lasts for four months because it really isn’t that difficult. This season’s final challenge, thankfully, is one of the former.

Survivors are given a choice – hang from chains or stand on coals barefoot. It’s just too bad they haven’t decided, “You know what? Let’s make these poor bastards earn that final immunity.” I’m waiting for the day when they have to stand on hot coals in their underwear, coat themselves in honey, and dump a bucket of bees on themselves. That or they have to strip to a pair of tighty-whities, eat the spiciest Buffalo wings known to man, drink a bottle of Ex-Lax, and the last one to soil themselves is the winner. Covering them in bees is optional.

Cirie craps out after 28 minutes, and we hear how Paula thinks that stepping on Matchbox cars is great preparation for a challenge like this. Personally, I can’t imagine being prepared for that unless she buys her kids enough Matchbox cars to cover an entire city block and traverses that entire block in her bare feet twelve times a day. Again, covering herself in bees is optional.

Ozzy, shown to be an expert at staying on a beam despite flailing his arms wildly and having no apparent center of gravity, is up to the same tricks again, and he actually manages to save himself once. Make that twice. Whoops, make that just once, and he’s in the water. Paula of all people wins the challenge. The woman who’s probably never won a coupon for ten cents off a small fry at Burger King won the final immunity.

OK, back to camp. Or rather, time to get up, head to the john, and then go back to camp. These commercials are interminable. I actually timed the commercial break after the torch walk – five and a half effing minutes. And I guarantee that the advertisers paid an insane amount of money for these spots.

OK, back from the john, and despite the long walk, the bit of a line, and the need to wash my hands an extra time because the soap in the bathroom seems to be made out of rubber cement, I don’t think I missed anything besides an overview of an egret or a couple of tree shots.

Paula isn’t sure if she’s taking Ozzy or Cirie to the final two, and she really isn’t sure if it will make a lick of difference. Ozzy won four immunities, caught tons of fish, and turned Ta’aroa from a bunch of losers into a tribe that’s actually worth a damn. Cirie has three friends on the jury, and two of them probably want to smack about a yard of poop out of Paula. Factor in Jonathan, who never really cared for Paula, and Terry, who’s just plain odd, and I don’t see Paula winning.

So right now, Paula’s biding her time and seeing who’s going to flush a million bucks down the toilet first. Ozzy’s playing it smart and tossing pennies in the john and flushing with each one, which should add up to about three hundred million wasted gallons of water if he keeps it up, not that anyone out in the Gambiers has ever heard of plumbing.

Cirie decides that Ozzy’s wasting too much water with his painfully slow flushing, takes a stack of $100 bills, lights them on fire, and throws the ashes into the toilet, and flushes about $300,000 in one flush, necessitating only twelve gallons of water to be wasted on this group of crazy people.

I believe she talked about how many friends her BFF Tom has on the jury. Sure, the guy who probably wrote the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” no matter what Dale Carnegie says couldn’t possibly have any impact on the final vote, could he? Way to go, Cirie. You’re practically guaranteed a million dollars, and you decide, “Nah. I’m happy finishing third.” Ozzy might actually pull this off, you clod.

Next up is the penultimate vote. Paula’s been racking her brain all afternoon going from Ozzy to Cirie and back to Ozzy…and probably back to Cirie…and then back to Ozzy…and so on and so forth until she wants to cut all her hair off and claim she’s Britney Spears. And what’s her reward for putting herself through all this mental anguish? A year’s supply of decorative soap? A beach house? A little American flag whirligig?

She wishes. And so do the whirligig companies. Her reward is to be told that it’s not her decision who goes with her to the final vote – it’s the jury’s. Yes, the governing body of Survivor, whose sole job it normally is to sit at Tribal Council with their thumbs firmly planted in their hind quarters until Day 39 actually has to do something before the final vote besides look pretty and silently root for players.

Cirie is voted out 5-3 and becomes the final member of the jury. She’s not at all bitter. It’s probably for the best; after the bitter-fest of the first All-Stars, I think we’ve all seen enough of bitterness for everyone on Earth in their next 250,000 lifetimes.

OK, and again, it’s commercial. Still no sign of Jeff.

Letter from Mark Burnett Productions
This letter was to be delivered at the Reunion to Laura Dean and Maria Savovic.

Dear Laura and Maria,

We at Mark Burnett Productions are deeply apologetic for the lawsuit we were forced to file against the two of you. Please understand that we did not want to sue two of our favorite Survivor characters, and that we wish you only the best. It was our circumstances that forced us to file a suit that we did not want to file and certainly had no desire to win.

Allow us to explain. Maria, I assume you remember Steve Shankman from your first season. How could you forget? Well, he was the infamous online blogger Red 14. We didn’t know who he was at first, so we were at his mercy, and he was forcing us to sue you over a loosely interpreted clause in the contract about contact with lawyers. He threatened to expose our production secrets and force us to cancel the show if we didn’t comply. We really didn’t have a choice but to allow the suit to go forward.

That’s why we tried to turn the trial into a circus. We had no desire to win; we knew that even the forgiving American public wouldn’t forgive us for a long time for ruining you guys, and we would be out of business. That’s why we hired those creeps from Westboro. We tried to lose, and we succeeded.

I realize that people who throw challenges on the show are universally chided as bad strategists. However, we simply did a higher-stakes version of the same thing. We felt that we could get ahead by losing the lawsuit. Besides, Shankman wanted us to hand over all of our profits to him anyway, so we really didn’t stand to make any money. And honestly, I have better things to do than make sure that jerk’s set for life at the expense of one of my favorite Survivors ever.

Please take a look at the settlement package we have arranged. We realize that it doesn’t add up to the amount you are suing for, but this is guaranteed money without the hassle of paying lawyers and court costs. It’s also yours right now if you agree to it. I know you don’t want an ugly court battle, and neither do we.

Thank you for your consideration, and we’ll see you at the reunion.


Mark Burnett

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Colonel Zoidberg 3370 desperate attention whore postings
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09-07-07, 02:06 PM (EST)
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3. "Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I Can't Promise I Won't Kill Her If I See Her At Home""
Reunion Transcript, 05/18/2008
Authored by: Luigi Cristobal,

We’re back. Now we’re down to the final two, and this is the part of the show where nothing happens. Well, Aras cut his hand a few seasons ago, but that’s about it. Hey, at least they don’t drag this part of the show out too terribly much, and at least they get to set something on fire before they go to the final vote.

The voice-overs are a nice way to fill space while we watch the doomed castaways being led to the final slaughter. From the looks of things, the only person on the jury capable of making a decision without a gun or a Burnett-sized contract aimed at their heads is Yau-Man. Paula would have to shoot out both his kneecaps to lose his vote, although, given all the other stuff that’s transpired on this show, I can’t put it past her to do that. They did say that they dirtiest trick in the history of the show would happen on this season, and it’s entirely possible they weren’t talking about Danni’s lie.

Finally, they get to the final Tribal Council. The jury files in, and it’s a wonder that Charlie didn’t just spring for a Hell’s Angels tattoo while he was out here. What the hell made him think that, at 44, shaving his head was a good idea? All he has to do is work on his fist-pound and he’s the spitting image of – that’s right –

Dr. Evil.

And he’s holding his vote ransom tonight for the sum of –

One million dollars.

No? OK. First are the opening statements. Blah blah blah, yakkity schmakkity. Ozzy’s here because he’s the fittest, and the fittest survive. Paula’s here because she adapted to her surroundings. Is this a Tribal Council or a symposium on Darwin’s theory of evolution? Not that the theory of evolution applies on the Gambiers during this time. The only survivors there are the ones Ozzy allows to live.

Sadly, he allowed the advertisers to live, and we have another commercial. I use it to try to sneak a quick two-minute nap, and the person in the seat next to me jabs me in the ribs because I was drooling on him. Oops, sorry.

I wake up in enough time to see a preview for this summer’s latest helping of jack-squat, otherwise known as CBS’s latest televised experiment. Eight teams of two have to travel from one end of the country to another with only $1,000 in cash that has to be used for gas. I hope they don’t give these people Hummers.

Anyhow, it’s back to the show and to the best part of the entire season – the ravenous destruction of two finalists by nine hungry predators that Burnett prefers to call “jurors.” Last time I checked, jurors were supposed to be impartial. This crowd is anything but.

Danni opens the jury questioning with a fairly innocuous question to Ozzy. Clearly, if she didn’t have to be up here, she wouldn’t be, and Paula’s chomping at the bit for this. I can’t imagine that Danni does anything other than that question, and if she does, it will be just a short statement, nothing that Paula can really respond to.

Well, that’s about what Danni did. She’s groveling to Paula. That’s not something I expect to see – normally, the finalists grovel to the jurors. Danni’s apologizing to Paula? That’s not something I expected to – Holy. Mother. Of. Crap.

Paula just dived right at Danni like a starving mountain lion at a wounded deer. She is having none of what Danni just said. Her first opportunity to address Danni since she was voted out, and Paula’s using it simply to eviscerate her.

Danni can barely get a word in edgewise. I think she tried to apologize, but I can’t tell because Paula is just shouting her down. She actually got out of her seat! I’ve never seen a finalist do that. They always remain seated. Not this time, folks; Paula has Danni on her hands and knees in what appears to be a cross between the Islamic prayer position and the “duck and cover” position from those old nuclear war videos. And apparently, the wrath of Allah and/or a slew of Soviet missiles has absolutely nothing on a vengeful Paula.

Wait, did Paula actually demand that Danni not vote for her? I’ve seen everything, but never a request not to get someone’s vote! Holy mother of all flying horse crap. And here comes Jeff, who actually has to step in and stop this fiasco. Jeff’s never rescued anyone at the final Tribal Council. Hell, I didn’t think he’d rescue a finalist if the entire jury got up and threw them into the ocean. But here comes Jeff laying the smackdown on Paula. I thought the rest of the jury was going to stand up and applaud her. I seriously think that, if they were to vote now, Paula would win 8-1, with Danni voting for “Go to hell.”

Next up is Yau-Man. Here’s someone Paula actually likes. If she drops an F-bomb on him, you know she’s lost it. Well, she actually gets through the questions without said F-bomb, right after Yau-Man feels the need to mention his age again. Yes, Yau-Man, we get it. You’re old enough to order off the seniors’ menu, and you drive an Escalade now. We all know you’re voting for Paula. It’s a foregone conclusion. Now go back to your ridiculously cool voodoo tricks.

After Yau-Man, we have Tom. Paula gives a generic answer, which must mean that she used up all her zing powers on Danni. Ozzy knocks Tom’s question right out of the park by basically saying, “I did the same thing that you did in Palau, Tom. I’m just like you. Don’t you think that you should award the million to someone who is essentially you?” OK, so he didn’t say it like that, but you know that’s exactly what he was thinking. Chalk up this vote to Ozzy.

Twila’s up. How many straw hats does that woman have? I just know she’s keeping the entire straw hat market afloat single-handedly. I’m not sure how much money eighth place gets, but you can bet it’s going toward straw hats.

Anyway, back on the subject, and you just know she wants to see Paula squirm. She could give Paula the same treatment Paula gave Danni, but that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as her actual speech, which basically consisted of, “No, Paula. You’re lying. I don’t believe that. Give me a real answer. So you mean your game was dependent on everyone else? You suck.” Of course, she gave the same treatment to Ozzy, so it’s a push as to who gets this vote. I can’t tell if she’s really mad or if she’s just messing with them.

Next up, we have Jonathan, the guy who hates snack food and movies. Gee, where have we seen Jonathan addressing Ozzy in this manner before? And where have we seen this question? “Ozzy, you’re an arrogant jerk. Why are you so arrogant?” This goes against, “Paula, you got nowhere without your friends.” Count this as a possible vote for Paula, since she gave the best answer. We’re even at two with one push.

Harriet’s up next, and her knee looks absolutely terrible. As she admits, it’s a direct result of her sudden dream to be a knee surgeon, a dream that lasted right up to the pain from whacking her knee open set in. She asks the most inane, overdone jury question ever, which seems to consist of, “Tell me how much your opponent sucks.” On one hand, it’s nice to be able to trash your opponent. On the other hand, Ozzy and Paula rather like each other, and neither wants to look like a jerk.

Paula seems to think Ozzy didn’t play a good social game. Ozzy seems to think Paula wasn’t a leader, a provider, or a challenge hog. Point, Ozzy. Make that a three-two vote for the Ozz-man.

And here comes Terry, whose knee does not appear to be wounded in any manner; however, his bruised ego seems to be making itself apparent. What I want to know is how exactly did he find out about the second vote, the one where Ami left. He says Yau-Man told him, but why the hell would he do that during the game? Terry has no more business learning about that than the effing wildlife do. In summary, Paula should have gone home, and Ozzy saved her by accident using the dumbest move he’s committed since…oh right, throwing the challenge in the Cook Islands.

And just when you think Terry can’t strike any more low blows, he goes and brings up the whole Charlie-Danni lie. Terry tears Paula in half for not trusting Charlie and even suggests that Charlie should avoid her. I don’t really think that will be a problem, Terry, but if you want to pour salt into the wound, be my guest; you are, after all, on the jury, and it’s your God-given right to be a petty, bitter, jealous asshole.

That must be the explanation for why he roasted Ozzy for exposing Danni. Sure, he did it at a time when it was expedient for him to do so. Sure, he took his golden opportunity to ditch Charlie and ran with it. In his defense, at least he gave Danni the chance to come clean before smearing dirt all over her reputation. Not that coming clean would have saved Danni, but it might have made her a bit more respectable than if she had gone down in a blaze of glory with her lie long after everyone stopped believing her. I’ll chalk this one to Ozzy, who seems to be up four to two.

Come on down, Cirie, who tosses a Shii Ann jab at Terry right off. Frankly, after the diatribe he spouted at both the finalists, he deserved it. Unfortunately, that’s really her best line of the night. Her jury question is another of these touchy-feely self-improvement stacks of horse manure that really should have stayed within her own brain. It’s entirely impossible to see just where the hell she was coming from with her question, and from the answers, it’s impossible to tell who’s getting her vote.

Last, but not least, comes Charlie, who seems to have gone with the Dr. Evil look. I’ll put this one down as a sure vote for Ozzy before I even watch, and with that, there’s the match in his favor. I’m not entirely sure where he’s going with his jury question to Ozzy unless he’s looking for another way of smacking down Paula’s relationship with her step-dad Jim. Needless to say, if he tries that route, his popularity is taking a major hit, considering that this entire crowd knows about Jim’s death on the 8th.

OK, now it’s Paula turn, and…wait, what? This can’t be right. I don’t have any idea what he’s thinking with this, and…oh hell. Oh no, he didn’t. Tell me he didn’t just do that. Please, for the love of God, tell me he didn’t just whip out an engagement ring and propose in front of half the country. And, in the name of all that’s sacred, tell me she didn’t just say yes.

Not that she would make a whole lot of friends if she said no. Sure, stomp on poor Charlie’s heart some more, why don’t you? The cast, the crew, the nation, hell, everyone loves Charlie. If she rejects him here, she basically took every hope she had of winning and turned it into a 9-0 shutout in Ozzy’s favor.

Naturally, Paula’s not stupid. She was, indeed, born with a brain. In fact, she even has a heart to go with that brain, and it came through. Paula said yes, and half the nation is in tears while the other half is wondering why the hell he put bright-green stones in her engagement ring. And in between all that, Ozzy’s fan base is simultaneously gagging themselves and wondering how the hell he can get past the notion of, “Well, the million bucks makes a nice wedding present.”

That said, I think Twila was less than pleased about the proposal, and Cirie probably enjoyed it. With Charlie voting for Paula, I still have Ozzy taking this in a five-four decision. And after the jury votes, it looks like my suspicion is still entirely possible. We know Terry and Tom vote for Ozzy, and we know Yau-Man and Charlie vote for Paula. Lump in Danni, Twila, and Harriet’s votes, and it’s all over, and Ozzy wins.

All right, and now it’s time for the commercial. Whoever the hell is doing the Reunion should be here any minute to count the votes. Needless to say, they’ve had about three months to work on a fully functional robot version of Jeff, and if that malfunctions, Julie Chen can always fill the same role.

Hell, Phil Keoghan might actually get his shot to host Survivor after being relegated to TAR simply because he’s a Kiwi. I’d like to see him press some of these dopes a little bit.

Blog Entry, 05/18/2008
Authored by: Laura Dean, sensitivenakedgirl

Well, we’re actually here at the Survivor Reunion. After all we’ve been through, the truth of the matter is that we’re only here because Maria’s under contract to be here and we didn’t want the headache of another lawsuit. Sure, the theater at Madison Square Garden’s nice and everything, but the way we’ve been treated by Mark Burnett is unforgivable. We’ll just go there, take up space, get out as fast as we can, and never look back except to sue Mark Burnett into oblivion.

Maria and I came into this with a lot of bitterness, resentment, and hatred. She’s still in a soft cast and uses crutches or a wheelchair to get around. I feel bad for the poor girl. Seeing someone you love as much as I love Maria in as much pain as she is can’t be anything but heartbreaking. I try to do everything I can for her, but she’s still in constant pain. She pops ibuprofen like they’re candy; she’s up to twelve pills a day, and she’s still in a lot of pain.

Then we get this letter from Burnett. Really, it’s a nice letter; I’m just not sure if I believe it all. Yeah, I read all about Steve Shankman going coo-coo the other day and getting smashed to bits by that semi, but I really thing Burnett could have handled this a lot better than he did. Come on now. Who honestly tries to lose a lawsuit?

That said, I’m actively considering the settlement. There’s just one thing missing that I know I want more than anything else. OK, well, two things. One of them is a nice beach house on Maui. I’ve made no secret of wanting to head out to Hawaii. Now that my relationship with Maria is better than ever, I have no problem going 5,000 miles away from home with her.

As for the other thing…well, I’ll be taking that up with Maria here soon, and let’s just say that I’m glad we live in New Jersey now.

Back from commercial.

Skyline above New Your City, evening of May 18, 2008. The camera shows the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the beginnings of the new World Trade Center, and a helicopter above them all. Inside staring out the edge holding the voting urn, which is strapped shut, is Jeff Probst, who’s wearing a short-sleeved light blue button-down and a pair of khaki cargo pants. He’s cleaned up similarly to how he appears on the show.

The camera focuses in on the fact that he appears to be wearing a backpack as the helicopter positions itself in a lot near the Statue of Liberty.

Jeff grabs the urn tightly as the helicopter hovers above Madison Square Garden; he tosses the urn out the edge, and it glides to the ground with a parachute to ease the fall.

On the ground, some men dressed in SWAT uniforms scramble to grab the box as the helicopter heads back toward the coast.

As Jeff continues to look down, grabbing onto the edge of the helicopter, a large landing area appears to be set up.

Jeff does not wait, instead leaping out of the helicopter.

The landing area below is clear, with people near the edge waiting for him; about halfway down, Jeff pulls the ripcord, and a large parachute bearing the “Survivor: All-Stars II” logo opens.

Jeff lands on his feet, running toward a group of police officers, who escort him to a group of police cars, all of which have their lights on; Jeff removes his backpack, and an officer picks it up.

Jeff gets into the back of a car marked “143” bearing the NYPD logo. The car, along with several in front and several behind, begin to carry Jeff on a path toward Madison Square Garden.

Soon, he arrives, and an officer gets out of the car and lets Jeff out.

Jeff (to the officer): Thanks, guys.

Jeff runs over to the men in SWAT uniforms and picks up the urn; he heads inside and follows a maze of tunnels and signs that direct him toward the theater.

He soon arrives at the rear entrance carrying the urn; the crowd, numbering a few thousand, cheers him wildly.

The camera quickly flashes to a shot of Venice, California, Ozzy’s hometown. After a shot of Jeff, it goes to Chattanooga, Tennessee, Paula’s hometown.

The camera arrives at Jeff, who unhooks the straps from the urn and sets it down flat on the table.

Jeff: Thirty-nine days passed out on the Gambier Islands, and the final results are in. The Survivors have waited a long time to find out who won. Ozzy, any thoughts on how the final vote went?

Ozzy: I can’t really tell, Jeff; I thought about it a lot. One minute, I think I won, but the next minute, I can’t possibly win.

Jeff: Paula, is that about how it’s gone for you?

Paula: Not a bit, Jeff. I probably got the two votes they showed on TV and that’s it.

Jeff: Well, the results were sealed the night of the final vote, and I assume no one’s said anything about them since that night. I should remind everyone what’s at stake with tonight’s vote. The runner-up gets $250,000. For the winner, we have…

Jeff pauses momentarily.

Jeff: …a 2008 Cadillac Escalade just like the one Yau-Man already owns, and we have a vacation package that includes two week-long cruises courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line, a two-week tour of Hawaii courtesy of Travelocity, a week-long trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a ten-day trip to Central America, and a surprise trip to the site of the next season of Survivor. In addition to that, we have a check for a million dollars and the all-important title of Sole Survivor. Is everyone ready to see the results?

The crowd cheers, and the jury appears extremely anxious.

Jeff: There are nine votes in this urn. It takes five to win. I will now read the votes.

Jeff opens the urn slowly.

He reaches in for a vote.

He grabs it out but does not immediately unfold it.

Jeff: First vote…

He slowly unfolds it and turns it around.

Jeff: …Ozzy.

The vote is in Tom’s handwriting. A large section of the crowd cheers wildly, and fans hold up signs that say, “WE LOVE OZZY” and “OZZY 4-EVER.”

The cheering dies down after a few seconds.

Jeff takes out another vote.

He unfolds it slowly.

Jeff: …Paula.

A different cheer is heard as the handwriting is revealed to be Yau-Man’s. A sign is shown with a drawing of the state of Tennessee and the inscription “TN (heart) PAULA.”

Jeff: One vote Paula, one vote Ozzy.

The cheering dies down as the next vote is taken out.

Jeff unfolds it slowly.

Jeff: …Paula.

The same crowd cheers wildly again; this time, the vote is from Charlie.

Charlie is shown to smile and applaud as Jeff reads the vote.

As the cheering dies down again, Jeff reaches for another vote.

He pulls it out more quickly.

As he unfolds it, he gazes inside.

Jeff: …Ozzy.

The first group cheers again, as a crowd of curly-haired Ozzy fans is shown to deliver the loudest cheers.

Closer inspection reveals that this is, indeed, Terry’s vote.

Jeff: Two votes Ozzy, two votes Paula.

The cheering dies down a little more slowly as Jeff reaches in for another vote.

Jeff: It’s come down to these last five votes. We don’t know the results of any of these votes. Fifth vote…

Jeff slowly picks up the vote and peeks inside.

He gradually unfolds it.

Then, he quickly unfolds it.

As he turns it around, he speaks.

Jeff: …Ozzy.

The loud cheers from Ozzy’s fan base resume as Ozzy again takes the lead.

Soon, the cheers die down; it is unclear who cast that ballot.

Jeff reaches in for the next vote.

Again, he takes it out slowly, still folded.

He slips a finger between the folds of the ballot and turns it upright.

He looks at it and turns it around.

Jeff: …Ozzy.

The Ozzy fans begin to shout wildly again. The camera looks at a jubilant Ozzy, who’s seated to a resigned but proud Paula. She appears to whisper something in his ear, but it is not clear what. Ozzy shakes his head and puts up his hands as if to refute what Paula is saying.

The cheering dies down again, and the room becomes fairly silent.

Jeff takes up the seventh vote.

He looks inside, and the drum roll, quiet but noticeable, picks up.

He unfolds the vote enough to read but not to show everyone.

He slowly turns the vote around.

Ozzy sits with one hand in Paula’s hand and the other with crossed fingers.

Paula gives a very defeated expression but grabs Ozzy’s hand tightly.

Jeff begins to speak as he turns the vote around.

Jeff: …Paula.

Paula’s crowd resumes their cheering from earlier as Paula is shown to be flabbergasted by the vote.

Ozzy appears to mouth the words, “I told you,” to Paula, who’s still in a state of shock.

The cheering takes an unusual amount of time to die down.

Jeff reaches in for the next vote.

He doesn’t unfold it just yet.

He does turn it upright and look inside to read it.

He opens it and turns it around.

Jeff: …Paula.

Paula’s crowd picks up the loud, floor-shaking cheering where it left off before.

Jeff’s announcement of “Four votes Paula, four votes Ozzy” is barely audible over the crowd.

Finally, the cheering dies down, and the theater room turns deathly silent.

Jeff: It all comes down to one vote. A 2008 Cadillac Escalade, a vacation package like no other, and a difference of $750,000 are riding on what this ballot reads. I’ll read the vote.

Jeff slowly grabs the ballot without unfolding it.

He holds it in his hand momentarily.

The crowd is not making a sound.

Jeff slides his index finger down the middle of the ballot to open it.

It opens to finger width and no more.

He then opens the ballot slowly, barely leaving enough room to see what name is on it.

He peers inside to see the name on the ballot.

Jeff: The winner of Survivor: All-Stars II…

The screen appears to go into slow-motion, though it is not.

Jeff delays turning the ballot around for a moment.

Only the sound of a couple of audience members coughing can be heard in the background.

Jeff grabs the vote’s edges and turns it around for all to see.

As he speaks, the audience can read the name of the ballot.

The handwriting on the ballot, at first glance, appears to be that of Cirie.

The vote, as well as the victory associated with it…

…goes to the name inscribed on the ballot…

…as both finalists look on in shocked anticipation…

…the final ballot…

…belongs to…

Jeff: …Ozzy.

Ozzy immediately leaps into the air, pumping his fist wildly, as the jury mobs the stage. Paula congratulates Ozzy with a friendly, congratulatory embrace; after a few seconds, Ozzy breaks the embrace and runs to his family, seated in the front row.

His mother and stepfather wait for him up front as the jury and Paula gather in a huddle toward the center of the stage.

Soon, the non-jurors file out; Maria is in a wheelchair with her injured leg propped up above the ground.

Ozzy continues to celebrate with his family as the screen cuts to Jeff.

Jeff: He went from making a major strategic blunder to turning a losing tribe around, and he’s just been rewarded with a million dollars for it. How did it all happen? What’s going on with Charlie and Paula? What’s life like for Danni after pulling the dirtiest trick in Survivor history? And how’s Maria’s leg? The answers to these questions and more are coming up on our live 90-minute Survivor Reunion. We have a lot to cover, so don’t go away.

Images of the Survivors mobbing the stage and Ozzy as he returns to the crowd dominate the screen as it cuts to commercial.

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4. "Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I Can't Promise I Won't Kill Her If I See Her At Home""
Blog Entry, 05/18/2008
Authored by an anonymous source for

Let’s just say that this ticket to the Survivor reunion has probably been the best investment I’ve ever made. The best fans in America came to this event; I can tell because it was nearly impossible to get into this place. It was a bit easier when a bunch of frustrated Charlie fans handed over their passes to what probably ended up being a bunch of Ozzy fans, who, now that Ozzy was just declared the winner, are actually thanking Danni for stabbing Charlie in the back. Not only did their guy win, but they got to see him win in person.

I also found out a little insider information. It seems that Paula’s sister, who is doing fine, by the way, is a huge fan of the show, and she and Paula were doing a lot of talking about the prize money. We already know what Ozzy won – a million bucks. Paula got a quarter-million dollars for finishing second, and Cirie, it seems, got $175,000 for finishing third. Danni got $125,000, which should be enough to buy a warehouse full of paper towels to wipe the egg off her face.

Charlie got $100,000, and everyone below him got $5,000 less than the person who finished ahead of them, so Sandra got the glorious total of $25,000 for finishing in 20th. But hey, at least she got a 36-day vacation. Most people don’t get that many vacation days in five years.

Charlie’s taxes on his trips are paid, and it looks like he will need a lot of vacation time to take them. The retail value for his trips, combined, is $39,823, and from what I heard, the week in Australia and the five nights in Malaysia are the two most expensive trips. Of course, now that he’s marrying Paula, he has plenty of choices for a honeymoon, and maybe he and Derek can take a father-son trip as well.

I checked the retail value for Escalades. That thing must have a lot of special features to be cracking $71,000; a standard Escalade off the lot is no more than about $58,000. But at least Yau-Man’s getting the taxes paid on his ride, as is Ozzy.

The value of that lease Danni won is astronomical. We’re looking at a $54,000 value for the first four years alone. Sure, the value drops after that, but over 40 years or more and given inflation, that car lease could eclipse $500,000 in value. The best part is, of course, that CBS is on the hook for taxes.

As for Ozzy’s rewards…well, let’s just say that the cash value of what he won is way over a million dollars. The trips come to about $30,000, and with an Escalade at $71,000, he breaks $1.1 million, not to mention what would probably be in the range of $50,000 in taxes paid on the prizes.

Simply put, the sponsors and the producers were not even close to cheap this season when it came to prizes. Let’s hear it for some All-Star rewards, and let’s hope that the rewards only get bigger along with the ratings and the gameplay.

Back from commercial.

Survivor Reunion, Madison Square Garden Theater, May 18, 2008. Ozzy Lusth has just won the final vote 5-4 over Paula Stanley. The Survivors are arranged in three rows, with Maria on the screen’s left in a wheelchair. Ozzy is closest to Jeff; Sandra is at the top left, farthest away.

Jeff: We’re live at the Survivor Reunion, where Ozzy Lusth has just become America’s newest millionaire. We have a lot to cover, so let’s get started with our winner. Ozzy, coming into this game, did you think you had a chance at winning the game?

Ozzy: Coming in, I thought I was either gone before the merge because people saw me in the Cook Islands, or I was gone at the first opportunity after the merge. I really didn’t know what to expect, so my strategy was just to make myself useful and stay with the dominant alliance for as long as I could.

Jeff: A lot’s been said about how you were the leader of the Ta’aroa tribe. How did that come about?

Ozzy: I’ll be honest, Jeff, at the start of the game, I thought we were a bit overmatched. I know how good Tom and Terry were, and I thought that our only prayer was for Charlie not to be at full strength and Yul not to perform well in challenges. None of that happened, and when Danni and Parvati started performing for the other tribe, I thought we were in serious trouble.

Jeff: Do you think any of your tribemates thought, “Hey, we’re not winning with Ozzy, and he’ll kill us later, so we need to get rid of him now”?

Ozzy: I guarantee that thought crossed some people’s minds, but I’m glad no one acted on it in time.

Jeff: I look back on the season, and the biggest turning point for the game, and ultimately for you, Ozzy, was on day nine when you went into the Attack Zone challenge. I will remind the viewers of how Ozzy’s speech turned Ta’aroa around. Have a look.

The camera switches to a view of episode 3.

Ozzy: Today...we're no longer the loser tribe. We're no longer winless. We turn the tide and we make them choke on their arrogance. We're not going down this time! the day we end the losing and we go out and WIN! the day we wipe that smirk off Parvati's face and tell her to take her naked ass back to her own beach! We make Tom use that immunity necklace the way Maria had to use hers! We make them scramble for that immunity idol! We come back home after the challenge and we enjoy the evening while they get their asses grilled by Probst! Today we kill Fati!

Entire tribe (in perfect unison): KILL FATI!

Ozzy: Everyone take a knee.

The tribe, except for Ozzy, takes a knee and joins hands.

Ozzy: Pray not to win, but God willing, we will. We pray today...that you give one hundred percent of your body! We pray that no one on either tribe is injured. Good luck...God bless...and I love you guys...LET'S GO!

The tribe charges up, roars in unison, and jumps in their boat to head to the next challenge; everyone appears very focused as if they are ready to play an important football game.

The camera zooms back to Jeff and Ozzy, with the other Survivors somewhat in the background.

Jeff: What inspired that speech? What made you want to come out and fire up your tribe the way you did?

Ozzy: We weren’t winning, and I hated being on a losing tribe. I learned never to count on anything to change the game up for you, so I decided to take my tribe and turn them into winners. The only way I knew to do that was to give a speech like that. Lo and behold, it worked, we started winning, and I got farther in the game.

Jeff: Tom, I should also bring up the other side of that. Your tribe was undefeated going into that challenge. Ozzy and his tribe come into that challenge, and you guys put on one of the most undisciplined efforts I’ve ever seen. Did something change for you guys at that point?

Tom: Really, not a whole lot did, except we just got careless.

Jeff: That’s pretty careless, considering I threw out four Fati players in that challenge and none from Ta’aroa. You and Chris got thrown out for standing on the grid and arguing, for crying out loud. I almost made you guys forfeit! It looked like the wheels were just coming off for the Fati tribe. Was that pretty accurate?

Tom: I didn’t think so at the time. Honestly, I thought we just had a bad challenge. Remember, we might have been winning, but the other tribe was coming close almost every time. We didn’t win a bunch of blowouts. And once they got fire and got inside our heads, I think it gave us a lot of difficulty.

Jeff: Before Ozzy’s speech, you were winning every challenge. After that, Ta’aroa was winning every challenge.

Tom: The Ta’aroa tribe was a lot stronger than what the television showed, and once they got up to strength and Ozzy started catching fish, they were pretty tough to beat.

Jeff: I also have to ask, of the jurors here, how many voted for Ozzy to win the game?

Cirie, Jonathan, Terry, Tom, and Twila raise their hands.

Jeff: Danni, I notice you didn’t raise your hand.

Danni: I didn’t vote for Ozzy.

Jeff: So after Paula tore into you like a chainsaw, you still voted for her? I’m pretty sure she actually told you not to vote for her. Why the hell did you vote for her, then?

Danni: I was so upset and so miserable at the time that I felt like I had to do everything in my power to make Paula win. I’m still a little upset with myself because I didn’t do enough.

Jeff: What did you do to try to help her win?

Danni: There really wasn’t much I could do. The jury hated me just as much as Paula did, and I had pretty much no influence.

The camera focuses in on Jeff as some tribal music plays in the background.

Jeff: We’re going to take a break; when we come back, we’ll find out what happened with Danni after she was voted out, and we’ll learn what made her lie the way she did. Stay tuned; this is the Survivor Reunion.

The camera zooms over the audience, showing the Survivors in the distance, as the screen cuts to commercial.

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5. "Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I Can't Promise I Won't Kill Her If I See Her At Home""
Blog Entry, 05/19/2008
Authored by: Luigi Cristobal,

Title: “Survivor’s 20 Most Difficult Events to Watch”

There’s a lot to be said for some of the controversy in Survivor, but it doesn’t change how hard it can be to watch some of it shake down. People make decisions that cause the viewers to shout obscenities at their screens, or things happen that are beyond the control of most of the players. Some of the time, it’s rather amusing, and some of the time, the sheer justice of the situation is fulfilling enough.

However, in Survivor as it is in life, justice does not always prevail, and bad things happen for which there can be no redemption. Some semblance of justice can be served, sure, but it’s always after the fact, and it’s usually not enough. In sixteen seasons of Survivor, there have easily been more than twenty such events, in which things didn’t go the way they “should” have, but for purposes of the exercise and for updating the all-time list for those who haven’t tuned in since the first All-Stars, we at present the twenty hardest events to watch.

Every season is represented, and four are represented more than once. Ten are from the first All-Stars and before, and ten are since the first All-Stars.

So without further ado, let’s start the list, as voted on by the staff at with only some of my own personal opinions.

20. Stephenie uses juvenile slurs against Bobby Jon

Aside from her use of the word “retarded,” Stephenie made it clear how little she really thought of her most trusted ally in the game when she described Bobby Jon’s victory celebration as “so gay.” Repeatedly, she used the word “gay” as a slur toward her old tribemate from the Palau season.

Never mind that her number one ally in the game was Rafe, an openly gay Mormon who loved her to death. Never mind that she played opposite Coby, an openly gay hairdresser who seemed to respect her. Never mind her status as America ’s sweetheart after her first season. She showed just how spiteful and uncaring she really is at that moment, and she continued to show it.

Her only saving grace is that Rafe didn’t hear her. Everyone else figured out what she was really about by the end of the season. Had Rafe heard that comment, let’s just say she would have been lucky to be the first-ever shutout victim in Survivor history.

19. Stephannie is upset at Nate for voting her out simply because they're both black

The whole purpose of the Survivor: Cook Islands season, aside from the use of “diverse” casting designed to shut people up about the lack of diversity on Survivor, was that race ultimately doesn’t matter on Survivor. White, black, Asian, and Hispanic – does any of it matter? We were led to believe that the only colors that mattered in Survivor were the ones on the buffs and flags. Players were bound together by race at the start of the season, but their bond was stronger than that – they also shared a tribe name and color.

This point was addressed by Rebecca first at the reunion. Rebecca was upset at Nate for voting her out; she understood that she and Nate had a bond. That bond was, as I described above, the original Manihiki tribe. You never forget your teammates. Maybe it was in the best interests of the tribe that Rebecca was voted out, and maybe Nate was just going with the group, but Rebecca had a reason to be unhappy about the vote. She wasn’t betrayed by a friend; she was betrayed by a teammate.

Interrupting this exercise in team bonding was Stephannie, whom you may remember as having been voted out over a desire for mashed potatoes and gravy. Here was a lady who had mentally checked out of the game already, and by all accounts, even her teammates should have seen that they would be best-served cutting her loose if they had to cut anyone loose.

Stephannie cried foul at the reunion for Nate’s vote against her. In Stephannie logic, Nate’s not supposed to vote her out because both Stephannie and Nate are African-American. Never mind the best interests of the tribe. Never mind that Caucasian players have been voting each other out since the beginning of the game. Nate, and presumably Rebecca, had to go against the tribe, create divisions that didn’t need to be created, and vote to keep her just based on something she was born with.

I guess I could say I thought we were past that, but sadly, some people aren’t.

18. Shane stays while edited as a psycho, is voted out when edited well

Here comes Shane Powers, perhaps one of the most colorful people ever to play the game of Survivor, and quite possibly the most insane. Beating out the likes of Judd Sergeant, Matthew von Ertfelda, and Kathy Vavrick-O’Brien for that title is a tall order, but Shane, thanks to going from three packs of smokes a day to zero overnight, could possibly pull it off.

Throughout the season, he’s shown as being completely off his rocker. Right away, he craves his smokes. Next up, the coffee craving has hit, and Shane wants to go home. Then he doesn’t. Then we don’t know if he does. Then he makes an alliance only to cut it loose several days later. Then he’s doomed…until his tribe saves his psychotic butt, and his tribe goes into the merge ahead 6-4. Then Shane calls a tribe huddle right in front of the doomed La Minas. Then later, he strips naked and demands that Cirie check out some chafing on his groin. Then, when Bruce is being evacuated, he insists on carrying the stretcher naked. Then he finds a piece of wood and claims it’s a Blackberry. He’s funny but irritating. He needs to go soon.

Then comes the family visit, where Shane becomes the first person in the history of the show to be visited by a non-adult – his son and apparent polar opposite, Boston . Now, all of a sudden, Shane is a loving single father. He’s doing all this for his son, and it all seems worth it. They can’t be setting him up for a big fall, can they?

Of course they did. Shane goes home that episode. After all that, they make him into a good guy right before they send him packing. Just like Robb from Thailand – they make us like someone, and then they vote that person out. We change our minds about someone, and so does Mark Burnett. We’re never on the same page.

17. Kel is voted out over accusations of smuggling beef jerky

We know a lot of the reason Kel was voted out initially was simply because he didn’t fit in. That much was made painfully apparent early on. After all, why else would a seemingly strong guy be the first voted out of his tribe? Who else would even consider a move like that and not seriously pay the price? Drake notwithstanding, that is, although, in all fairness, Burton righteously deserved it.

Simply voting out Kel because he didn’t fit in or wasn’t helpful wasn’t enough for Ogakor. No, this group had to find a new and improved reason to vote the poor sap out of the tribe. So, with that in mind…

Enter Jerkygate.

Somehow it got back to Jerri and Tina that Kel had smuggled in beef jerky and was keeping it from the tribe. There are many reasons why this was suspected, but how it is that Tina and Jerri got from point A, which was whatever triggered their “beef jerky” instincts, to point B, which was making Kel even more of a pariah than he already was, is still a mystery.

Simply put, Kel was accused and found guilty of smuggling beef jerky, despite the fact that we’re not entirely sure where he would have smuggled it, and he was sentenced to death by a 7-1 vote. Not exactly the way a strong guy who could have been useful should have gone out.

16. Sandra spills Rupert's fish, lets Christa take the blame

It was bad enough that Rupert, the focal point and the biggest source of fun and excitement, was voted out of Survivor: Pearl Islands in eighth place. You don’t exactly have to write the guy a million-dollar check just for showing up, although CBS was more than happy to do so at the All-Stars reunion, but a guy like Rupert is one we would have loved to see stick around until the final four.

Rupert was the hardest worker and the biggest provider for the Drake and, later, the Balboa tribe. He was the heart and soul of the Drakes, and he was a lot of fun to watch. Unfortunately, he didn’t play his hand as well as we would have hoped, and he put his faith in Burton and Jon, who had no interest in keeping him around. So sadly, as the tenth episode of Survivor: Pearl Islands finished, we were forced to say goodbye to Rupert. Fair enough, I guess.

What happened after that was the hard part. Someone took the fish that Rupert had caught for the tribe and scattered them, ruining the tribe’s biggest food supply. In the game of Survivor, food is at a premium, and while it’s understandable that one of Rupert’s allies would want to make sure that the fruits of his labor were never shared with the people who stabbed him in the back, sabotaging a food supply, a dirty trick if there ever was one, is just a low-class way to get back at your tribe.

The worst part of it was this, though – Christa was innocent in the matter, and she took the fall and was soon voted out. The person who was closest to Rupert and went toe-to-toe with the Morgans alongside him was a suspect, sure, but let’s be honest for a moment. Christa was many things, but she was not someone who would force a tribe of starving Survivors to go even hungrier just because of a vendetta.

Meanwhile, Sandra, who was the guilty party, not only got off scot-free in the whole matter, but she ended up winning the game, and even the wronged Christa voted for her because her opponent finished 14th.

15. Survivor: Vanuatu ladies eat chicken wings, leave only bones for the men

If you had a Y chromosome, the middle portion of Survivor: Vanuatu was very difficult to watch. This was a battle of the sexes in which the women took the gender war very seriously. The game was designed for such a thing. Ami Cusack, the all-female Yasur leader, was frequently called a man-hater by fans. Whether or not these allegations are true is a tale for another day, but she and her fellow female Survivors didn’t exactly try to put out the flames of the “Ami hates men” fire.

The first episode after the merge went predictably; Rory, the strongest male left, was voted out in a 6-4 vote that went straight down gender lines. After that was the famous coconut-chop reward, one that no man would have a prayer of winning. And sure enough, the men were out first in a very orderly fashion. Leann won the reward, and predictably, she took Julie, another female.

Part of the reward was chicken wings, which the ladies rightfully enjoyed. There was enough to bring back two wings to everyone of the tribe – everyone on the tribe that was of the female persuasion, that is. Twelve wings, six ladies, and wait to serve them until the guys were out of sight. Fine, whatever.

That should have been the end of it, but the guys came back later, and Leann and Julie just had to get in another jab at them – by saving the bones for them. Not only are the men of Alinta about to be Pagonged out of the game, but the women can’t even be bothered to be nice to them because they know the guys will be forced to vote between two women in the final vote anyway. What’s the point of being nice to the guys again?

Only this. The women got fancy at the final seven, and Chris, the last remaining male, served them a big, heaping bowl of justice by reaching the final two – and winning. So the bones that the Alinta ladies left for the guys were symbolic of the million bones that Chris won in the end. So at least the perpetrators of this moment got what was coming to them.

14. Samburu youth overtake the tribe, vote out the workers

On paper, Samburu vs. Boran looked like an absolute mismatch. Here comes the strong, powerful Samburus, who don’t lose, against the weak and weary Borans, whose star players include a weakened postal worker, a sick cop, a bean thief, a grandmother in a thong, a goat farmer with a feather in his posterior, a tattooed psycho, a soccer player without much to say…and Kelly.

Game, set, match, Samburu…until Burnett decides to even the odds and give the Borans an immunity challenge they can’t lose…and don’t. Finally, the machine-like Red Army is off to Tribal, where we start to see how the tribe is splintered. The operative word in describing that is “severely.”

Brandon, Kim, Lindsey, and Silas are on one side. Carl, Frank, Linda, and Teresa are on the other. Look up the Africa bios for a moment and tell me what you see. Yes indeed, there were no Survivors between the ages of 30 and 39, and there’s a generation gap in Samburu. In layman’s terms, the first group I named was the Mallrats, who didn’t want to work and existed simply to leech off the older players. The second group was the antisocial hard workers who didn’t take too well to the youngsters.

Needless to say, unless something major happens, we’re looking at a tie vote. The older folks tossed four votes at Lindsey, the shrieking bimbo, and the Mallrats tossed four votes at “Doc,” or Carl the bossy dentist who drives a Mercedes. It all comes down to a tiebreak – survival questions. The first to miss while their opponent gets it right is out. Game, set, match, goodbye Mallrats, am I right? Hell, the old folks can get busy throwing the next challenge and ditching Silas right now because…Lindsey actually pulled it off. Holy hell, she pulled it off.

No amount of hard work saved the older folks at the next TC, where Linda, however batty she was, exited stage left in a predictable 4-3 vote. Their only saving grace was the first-ever Survivor game twist. It took Burnett to spare Frank and Teresa. Say what you will about the timing or the nature of the twist – it worked out for everyone.

13. Joel is voted out of Pagong over Gervase's cow joke

The story of the first season of Survivor seemed to be marked by the fact that the Pagong tribe thought “alliance” was a dirty word. They actually managed to vote five different ways at the merge, as if they wanted to lose. Needless to say, the strategy didn’t carry them too far in the game.

So, if alliances were verboten, how exactly did the Pagongs intend to win? Well, one member of Pagong felt like getting an alliance together in case the rival Tagi tribe did the same. That person was Joel Klug, who didn’t make the merge; he was voted out immediately before the start of Pagong’s self-destruction.

Joel was vocal about wanting to establish an alliance. It makes sense that the Pagong tribe, which considered this to be unfair and a form of cheating, would vote him out for it. Looking back, that would make the most sense. But it’s not what happened. Joel was voted out for something someone else did.

Gervase Peterson was quoted as having said, “Nothing is dumber than a woman, except for maybe a cow.” Naturally, this would be offensive to the Pagong ladies, who numbered three at the time, and even Greg would be unlikely to take kindly to such a statement. Under normal circumstances, if the Pagongs are voting on this sort of merit, the vote goes against Gervase, right? Right?

Wrong. Joel was voted out for this, supposedly because he laughed too hard at it. The Pagongs got the wrong guy, and they blindly went into the merge and allowed themselves to be picked off one by one. So once again, justice was served in the end, although the fact that this had to happen is still annoying enough.

12. Jenna and Heidi are upset by Christy's letter purchase

At the time of the Survivor: Amazon auction, the game was marked by a divide in the tribe – the “cool kids” were Alex, Heidi, and Jenna, and Rob was along for the ride. They all looked down their noses at the other three members of the tribe; they laid around and sunbathed while the rest of the tribe worked for their survival. The poor treatment of the hard-working members of the tribe was hard enough to swallow, but the sense of entitlement was, by far, the worst thing about it.

At the auction, Christy, who wasn’t a member of the cool clique, didn’t buy a single item up to when Jeff auctioned off letters from home. Jenna, who had made a big deal up to that point of how ill her mother was, was down to $120, and Christy had all $500 to spend.

Naturally, with the extra spending power, Christy won the letter. Fair and square. Never mind that the family visit was right around the corner, and Jenna could get an update on how everyone was then, the tribe jumped down Christy’s throat for even daring to bid on the letter!

The cool kids were so upset that they begged for another chance to buy a letter just so Jenna could hear about her mother, all but demanding that Christy allow it. Since Christy got her letter and probably didn’t care one way or another, she decided to allow it, and Jenna got her letter for $120 when the rest of the tribe, bullied into not bidding by Heidi and Jenna, let her have it.

Not one word of congratulations for Christy for getting a letter. Nothing that applauded her for saving her money. All that she got was a load of grief for daring to outbid Jenna.

11. Spoiled brat Jenna wins Survivor: Amazon 6-1

Speaking of Jenna’s attitude…well, it was apparent through all of the season. She washed her underwear in the drinking water, she spilled tribe secrets, she refused to work, and her highlight to that date was taking off her clothes for peanut butter and chocolate. Were these the marks of someone who was destined to win Survivor? Would the editors dare make someone who would win look this bad?

Take a look at Matthew von Ertfelda, her final two opponent. Matt was the comeback story of the game; in the beginning, he knew virtually nothing about the game. He had to learn it as he went along. He was also weird, creepy, and put on an act to make people think he was unbalanced. But at the same time, he was a tough competitor, having won two immunity challenges, the car, and the family visit, which he opted to share with the other members of the tribe.

So he goes into the final vote looking like both the comeback story and the nice guy. Jenna goes in looking like the spoiled brat whose biggest concern after the shelter burned down was that her zeta crown was destroyed. Her only redeeming quality was that she had a dying mother, and even that shouldn’t be enough to save her. We’re going in looking like it’s going to be a landslide for Matt. Jenna has Heidi’s vote and Alex’s, and that’s it.

Well, it didn’t quite work that way, and we were all duped by the editors. Jenna won 6-1, and not even Christy voted against Jenna. It’s like high school all over again – sure, the mean kids at the top look down their noses at everyone else, but when it comes time to vote on the homecoming king and queen, who stands a better chance? The nice guy who came into his own later in high school? Or the snotty, spoiled brat who treats everyone like dirt? Watch the Amazon finale if you still don’t know the answer.

10. Tom and Katie bully Ian into quitting Survivor: Palau

The entire Survivor: Palau season was about complete and utter domination. Koror completely dominated the hapless and incompetent Ulong tribe in a wonderfully hilarious manner, the Koror core alliance had five people in the final six and monopolized the final four, and the core of Tom, Ian, and Katie ended up as the final three. We just knew that we would actually get the final two showdown we wanted to see since the start of the season. Tom and Ian were in control, and one of them was going to win the game.

Well, Tom and Katie weren’t exactly happy with the decisions Ian was making. Ian did make a bit of a strategic blunder in taking Tom on the car reward, yes, but just because he had a handshake deal with Tom doesn’t mean he deserved the tongue-lashing Katie gave him upon his return.

She was so rough on him, he actually offered to step out of the game on her behalf. Clearly someone who has done so well up to this point doesn’t just suddenly turn into a victim of the stress of the game just because he broke a promise. The bashing Ian received was hardly in proportion to the offense he committed.

Fast-forward to two days later. Tom wins immunity again and is guaranteed a spot in the final three. Ian should be as well, and it should be a slam-dunk vote to get rid of fourth wheel Jenn. Well, factor in an idle comment by Ian over the “tough decision” he would have been forced to make had Tom lost immunity, and Tom starts to question his loyalty.

Ian never said he would betray Tom. Ian never even implied which direction he was leaning had Tom lost immunity. Sure, Katie might have tried to vote Tom out, but for all we know, Ian was seriously standing in Tom’s corner. Yet Tom took this as his cue to try to get Ian out of the game and bully him into thinking that his potential “tough decision” was some sort of crime against all honor codes everywhere.

Ian survived, and the final immunity challenge is a backbreaker. Tom and Ian hang on a buoy for almost twelve hours, with the winner guaranteed a spot in the final two. The two spend a lot of that time attempting to cut a deal, but no deal is made, and the two remain hanging.

Next up, a deal that never would have been made between any two other Survivors given the circumstances. Would Aras have told Terry, “I’ll jump down if you take Danielle to the final two? I’m sorry I accused you of trashing women”? How about Fairplay saying to Sandra, “I feel really bad about my mistreatment of everyone and my lie. I’ll jump down if you take Lillian to the final two”? Not a chance. Never mind that neither scenario played out that way.

However, Ian made that deal with Tom just over his supposedly dishonorable gameplay. There’s nothing dishonorable about acknowledging a tough decision between voting out the biggest threat or facing him. Such a thing shouldn’t fall under forbidden speech. We all knew what Ian meant, and the fact that Tom and Katie chose to bully Ian into giving up $900,000+ just for his honor is ludicrous.

9. Ted "grinds" Ghandia on Chuay Gahn

This scene is tough to swallow on two levels. The first problem with the scene is that it happened in the first place. The second problem with the scene is the way Ghandia, the victim, turned herself into a super-victim and single-handedly destroyed the tribe. She was trouble from the beginning.

The Chuay Gahn tribe was in dire straits in episode three. Losers of two immunity challenges and the only reward to date, it was clear that voting out John and Tanya wasn’t really helping their fortunes. Jan had picked an older, less athletic tribe, and it was being humbled by the younger Sook Jai tribe.

Then, in episode three, something happens that turns the tribe upside down. Ted and Ghandia had been sleeping together and seemed to have a lot in common – they were both older, both parents of young children, and both left behind spouses. Naturally, the two would gravitate toward one another.

Ghandia wakes up one morning and complains that Ted had been “grinding” her in his sleep. This hardly falls into the category of brutal sexual assault, but it does make for an uncomfortable situation. Ted’s defense in this situation was that he was half asleep and, in his tired state, mistook Ghandia for his wife. Fair enough, I suppose; we’ve all thought bizarre things in our tired states, or at least I have. Ted apologizes, the two make up, and the grinding seems to stop.

The fact that it went to this point is hard to swallow enough. It can be hard to watch and very polarizing, and the “half asleep” defense doesn’t satisfy all. A somewhat uneasy scene between Ted and Ghandia was to be expected. The scene that played out, however, was out of proportion even for someone in Ghandia’s position.

She became inconsolable. She shouted incoherently and divided the tribe sharply down gender lines. Unfortunately, in a situation like this, it’s going to come down to men against women; the men will defend their fellow man’s indiscretions as an accident, and the women will rally behind the victim.

Ghandia, however, made the situation so intolerable by antagonizing the men, especially Ted, that it became impossible to sympathize with her. And to top it off, when Chuay Gahn lost immunity (on a puzzle, Ghandia’s “specialty) the vote should have come down to a 3-3 tie between Ghandia and Ted. One of them had to go, right?

Wrong. Ghandia targeted Clay, who never grinded her. She and Jan voted Clay out.

This was the point in the game where the Chuay Gahns seemed to get their act together, though. Helen used strategy, avoided the tie, and cut bad apple Ghandia from the tribe. From that day forward, Chuay Gahn never lost another immunity challenge, and the remaining tribe members ended up as the final five. Cutting Ghandia was the best thing the Chuay Gahn tribe ever did.

8. Gary is taken from Survivor: Fiji with little respect

Five people have been taken from the game via medical evacuation. Four people have quit the game, and one lost a ridiculous tiebreaker. Everyone else either was voted out the usual way or reached the final vote. When a cycle deviates from the norm, usually there is a lot of noise made by the editors about it.

The first medical evacuation in the history of the game was of Michael Skupin in the Australian Outback. The evacuation was treated with respect, Michael was given proper medical care, his tribe was sad to see him go, and later on, there was a special Tribal Council held for the Kucha membership to clear the air and formally vote Michael out of the game. Tears were shed, and a comrade was lost. It was upsetting that he had to go, but it was handled in the best possible manner.

Fast-forward five years to the next evacuation. No one really understood what was wrong with Bruce on Exile Island, but clearly he had been in some measure of discomfort from about the merge forward. He may not have factored into anyone’s game plan, but he was respected for his leadership and survival skills. When he was taken from the game, his tribe made dedications to him and took care of him before and during his evacuation.

Naturally, when Gary was hurting in Fiji, we would have expected the same. Here’s a man who is respected among his tribe and even seems to hold his own in competitions; he wasn’t bad for an old, fat guy.

His story arc took a turn for the worse after he took a nasty spill in a reward challenge. He wasn’t feeling well for a few days after that, and he wasn’t up to his full potential. From this point, Moto comes in, tries to nurse him back to health, encourages him, and makes his recovery an easy one, and if he’s taken from the game, uses its copious amount of material to dedicate a message to him.

Wait, no they didn’t. All we heard about was how sick and tired of taking care of him Lisi was. Gary’s seeing double, can barely eat, and can’t compete? I don’t care; I’m inconvenienced by him. That seemed to be Lisi’s message to Gary, and there wasn’t anyone on the tribe to drown it out.

Well, he’ll be taken from the game in the likeliest event, and he should get some respect from his tribe then…wait, again, nothing. The most respect he got was someone simply saying, “Bye, Gary,” as he was carried out of camp on a stretcher. The prevailing thought wasn’t, “I hope we took good care of him,” or “I hope he’s OK.” It was more along the lines of, “Good riddance; I was sick of taking care of him.”

Well, we all know Burnett and Co. will be nicer than his tribe was about it, right? Again, a big load of jack-squat. All we get from Jeff is, “Gary is out of the game.” No word on what’s wrong with him. Nothing saying how he’s doing. He could be on life support and about ready to die a horrible death, and all we get is, “Gary is out of the game.” No final words. No word on his condition. He’s a human being, for Pete’s sake. My pet rock would get better treatment than that.

Clearly, Burnett learned his lesson in Japan about this sort of thing when Charlie was taken from the game. His evacuation was treated with a lot of respect, even if most of the footage was of people’s reactions. It’s too bad that the only thought on his mind in Fiji was, “Sweet; now we don’t have to do two Tribal Councils in one day.” Jerk.

Back from commercial.

Survivor Reunion, Madison Square Garden Theater, May 18, 2008. The camera shows the reunited players before focusing on the screen behind them, which plays a clip from earlier in the season.

Danni: Now listen here. You're not going anywhere until I get some answers.

Charlie: I need to go to the bathroom.

Danni: Uh-uh. I need to know if I'm in your final three or if Cirie is.

Charlie: What? What kind of stupid question is that?

Danni: Answer me.

Charlie: I don't...damn, my head hurts.

Danni (angrily): I said answer me, damn you!

Charlie: I need to lie down. I don't want to talk about this. I'll tell you about it in the morning.

(confessional) Danni: I didn't like Charlie's answer. It wasn't definitive for me. And frankly, I think Paula's on the beach now plotting to stab me in the back.

The camera zooms to Danni, who appears extremely embarrassed.

Jeff: We’re back with the Survivor Reunion, where we’ve just humiliated Danni once again.

Danni: Please don’t remind me.

Jeff: I don’t think anyone really needed a reminder. People don’t easily forget the dirtiest trick in Survivor history. I guess I have to ask, Danni – why even do something like that?

Danni: I was scared, to be honest. The way I saw it, Terry was my only chance at winning the game. I had to take him to the end, pray we were the only two standing, and cross my fingers that the jury gave the money to me. When he was voted out, I had to think of something incredibly brilliant to win me the game.

Jeff: Everyone said out there that you didn’t have a chance to win because you already won. Did you think you had a chance?

Danni: If I didn’t, then I didn’t, but I didn’t know. I thought there was some ray of hope for me to win the game again. I wanted to be the best, and I didn’t come into the game thinking I had no shot.

Jeff: So why lie like this?

Danni: Honestly, I got the idea after Charlie fell asleep. I had to think of something that would get Charlie and Paula against each other, and then I felt like I had to start winning challenges. I wanted to be the one who beat Ozzy and thought up the greatest lie in the history of the show.

Jeff: Do you still think it was the greatest lie in the history of the show?

Danni: It was probably the worst. Everyone hated me after that, and when I was voted out, I got on the boat with the jury, and I pleaded and begged for Charlie to just listen to me. I said everything I could think of, and he didn’t even look at me, and when the boat docked, he got up and walked away. I found my room, and I went straight upstairs and cried.

Jeff: Was your intention ever to split up Charlie and Paula?

Danni (emphatically): No. Never. They were my friends.

Jeff: So even after pretending to be dating Charlie for all that time, there was no attraction?

Danni: Of course there was attraction. I’ll be the first to say it – Charlie’s a nice-looking guy. There were sparks when I kissed him. At least for me, there were. I can’t speak for him.

Jeff: I’ll ask then. Charlie, were you really attracted to Danni?

Charlie: Well, come on, Jeff. That’s not a question I really want to answer when you just saw me propose to Paula and you see my son in the audience.

Danni: It’s OK, Charlie. Besides, I’m pretty sure he still hates me.

Charlie: I won’t say I wasn’t attracted to Danni, but I will say I held a lot back. I thought my son would kill me for getting too close, and Paula was always the woman I loved. The fact that Danni was there when Paula wasn’t helped, but she was always a friend to me and never really a girlfriend.

Jeff: Paula, it’s got to be hard to watch a guy you love as much as Charlie with another woman.

Paula: It took me a long time to get used to the idea, and when Danni suggested it before the show, I thought she was just trying to come between us. But she was Charlie’s friend, so I went for it, especially after I heard that Derek liked her. If there’s one thing Charlie absolutely won’t do, he won’t hurt his son.

Jeff: I’ll go to you, Cirie. You were right in the middle of this. Did it look to you like Charlie and Danni were really a couple?

Cirie: Absolutely. I had no idea about Charlie’s son, and they looked to me just like any other couple. I wouldn’t have believed anyone who said they were just faking.

Jeff: Paula was the one who broke the news about Charlie and Danni being a fake couple. Was it really believable?

Cirie: At first, I didn’t believe it. There was no way that the same two people I had seen for thirty-six days were just pretending. Charlie changed an awful lot out there, and I think Danni was a big part of that.

Jeff: Danni, was that on purpose?

Danni: Another part of the deal was that I help Charlie learn to communicate a lot better in a dating situation. Paula always told me that he seemed awkward and had a difficult time composing himself.

Jeff: Charlie, did Danni really help a lot?

Charlie: I went in thinking Danni was this unattainable woman. I guess I let Derek convince me of that, and so, when it came time for me to start the couple act, it was really hard for me. Danni coached me through a lot of it, and by the time we went to the movie, I wasn’t really even thinking a whole lot; I was just enjoying myself.

Paula: You were having so much fun, you made me jealous when I saw it on TV.

Jeff: So there was some jealousy.

Paula: Well, of course there was. I kept it under control for most of the season because I knew it was all an act, but when Charlie was at the movie with Danni, I don’t think that was just an act.

Jeff: Danni, was it an act?

Danni: At the time, no. That was the only time we really broke with the whole act and were actually a couple.

Jeff: Charlie, did it make you reconsider your future with Paula?

Charlie: No, not really. It was what it was – a wonderful evening with a really nice lady. Even after what she did, I still think she’s a great gal, and I still consider her a friend of mine.

Jeff: Hypothetically, let’s say she started dating Derek.

The camera switches to Derek in the audience, who appears unamused.

Jeff: Would that be all right with you, or would there be any problems?

Charlie: If Danni started dating my son, I would be a very happy man. I know he’s still upset about the whole yacht incident, but it’s different for him because he just saw it three days ago, and Paula and I went through it three months ago.

Jeff: Well, they say that time heals all wounds, but we’ll find out how true that really is. When we come back, we’ll check in with Charlie and Paula, and we’ll find out just how Derek feels about Danni. Stay tuned.

The camera focuses over the Survivors, who chat idly, and then it pans to the band as the screen cuts to commercial.

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6. "Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I Can't Promise I Won't Kill Her If I See Her At Home""
Blog Entry, 05/19/2008
Authored by: Luigi Cristobal,

Title: “Survivor’s 20 Most Difficult Events to Watch” Cont’d

7. Dreamz takes Yau-Man's truck and doesn't hand over immunity as promised

One of the most entertaining and off-the-wall characters in Survivor history played in Survivor: Fiji and was heavily involved in the car challenge. Yes, I’m talking about Yau-Man Chan, but I could also be talking about disgraced homeless person Andria Dre Andre “Dreamz” Herd.

It’s odd enough that someone would willingly use the name “Dreamz” except as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters, as a motivational speaker, a children’s superhero, or as a stage name in a pornographic film. And somehow, Dreamz doesn’t exactly fit the mold of any of those.

Dreamz grew up poor in North Carolina ; he spent a few years homeless and worked as a street performer to earn extra money. He became a cheerleading coach, and, truth be told, was likely the poorest member of the Fiji cast. He was so destitute that he never learned to drive; he never had any use for doing so, having never owned a car.

Fast-forward to the car challenge. Six people remain in the game, and Dreamz is one of them. However, despite the desire for a car, an expensive Ford F-350, Dreamz doesn’t win. Instead, Yau-Man, the unorthodox Malaysian who has MacGyvered his way from the Ravu beach to the final six, has won the reward. Along the way, he has established himself as the man to beat, as a tough competitor, and as the surprise of the season. He has also established himself as a very popular Survivor.

It’s in the car challenge where he attempts to establish himself as a savvy investor. He has a proposal for Dreamz – I’ll give you the car, but if we’re still around at the final four and you win immunity, I want the necklace. Dreamz, who’s so desperate for the car, decides to take the deal without even really thinking about it. OK, fine. This more establishes Dreamz as doomed and Yau-Man as a huge risk-taker; he also becomes the answer to a trivia question – which Survivor was the only one to send themselves to Exile Island? Paula in Japan doesn’t count.

The deal seems solid, and everyone’s sure that Dreamz, who talks a lot about setting a good example for his children, will honor the deal if it should come up. Well, sure enough, Dreamz and Yau-Man are still around at the final four – which, thanks to a game twist, is the last point where anyone will be voted off, and three people will face the expanded jury.

Long story short, Dreamz wins immunity, Yau-Man’s fan base cheers, and we’re pretty sure the clever old man has the game wrapped up. Dreamz essentially is competing without immunity, and since Yau-Man and Earl are tight, why shouldn’t they vote off Dreamz? Or Cassandra, either one, but Dreamz seemed like the obvious choice.

Well, here comes Tribal Council, and Dreamz is so sure that he wants to set a good example about honor and respect for his children that he…decides not to honor his end of the deal. Really honorable of you, Dreamz. Take a man’s truck in exchange for something you didn’t actually give him. That’s not how deals work in any walk of life – not reality game shows, not athletics, not business, and not in personal relations. And when the man who was wronged was the best player in the game as well as the most fun to watch, the whole thing just came off all wrong.

Needless to say, a defenseless Yau-Man was voted out. His entire fan base threw bricks at their TVs, and Dreamz actually made the final vote. Unbelievable. Jerk.

Earl won the final vote in a sweep, so at least there was some justice served.

6. Boston Rob promises safety to Lex for sparing Amber but instead betrays him

Again, this is difficult to watch for two reasons that are opposite and equal. The first reason it’s so hard to get through was the simple act of betrayal – this was the truck deal before there was a truck deal, and the “object” of the deal wasn’t a $60,000 truck, but someone’s girlfriend, main ally, and best friend in the game. The second reason was the juvenile way that the victim reacted to being betrayed.

There were ten people left in All-Stars, a game that had the makings of a fantastic finish – could the underdog Mogo Mogos pull out a victory against the dominant Chaperas? So the tribes go into a meeting of the teams, and of the players, thinking there’s going to be a merge. It makes all logical sense that they’re merging – ten people are left, and players from one tribe were meeting with players from the other. Let the games, and the bloodbath, begin.

Needless to say, Jeff Probst called a tribe swap, not a merge. Five to Chapera, and five to Mogo Mogo. Since the tribes were uneven, something had to give – and did. Only one person did not switch tribes – Rob’s girlfriend Amber. Rob went over to Mogo Mogo, while Amber stayed on Chapera with Lex and Kathy.

The new Mogo Mogo, predictably, won immunity, as they had done three times before as old Chapera. That put Rob in a bind – he needed Lex’s help to save Amber. So he pleaded for her safety before Jeff split the tribes up again. “You help her and I’ll help you.” Sounds like a deal.

It sounded like a deal to Lex and Kathy, who opted not to incur the wrath of Boston Rob. After all, Lex and Rob were friends outside the game. So Lex cut his own ally’s throat, and Jerri went packing 4-1. It was worth it, since Boston Rob had Lex’s back come the inevitable merge.

The tribes soon merged, and Lex was ready to see what Rob could do for him. Well, Rob had only one thing in mind to pay back Lex, and it involved the same throat-cutting maneuver Lex employed on Jerri. Lex failed to win immunity, and he was cut 7-2 from the new tribe.

A deal’s a deal, even with a dirty dealer. Lex placed himself in a vulnerable position for Rob and Amber’s benefit, believing that Rob would watch his back. It’s a perfectly reasonable assumption, even if Rob had no interest in holding up his end of the bargain. A move like that shouldn’t really end a friendship, but it may damage it a bit. It is, after all, within the context of a game.

Lex was furious, and he went on to accuse Rob of selling him out “for a stack of greenbacks.” Yeah, that’s pretty much what he did, and it’s pretty much what the game is about. Within the context of the game, what Rob did was brilliant. Within the context of anything else, it was an asshole move of the highest order. Surely, though, Lex sees it as a game move, right?

Well, he might have gotten a little more sympathy had he done so, but come his final Tribal Council speech, his statement included a diatribe about how many people believe that Survivor is a game, and his counter to them – “This…is life.” It’s life. It’s not a game. It’s not a contest. It’s not even a social situation that’s out of the ordinary.

Come on. How sanctimonious can you be? It’s one thing to be bitter, upset, or annoyed, but to end a friendship over a move like that? I guess it wasn’t much of a friendship to begin with. Could we really have blamed Lex for voting out Amber? Honestly, no. Rob probably would have gotten over it. Lex, not so much. Voting out your buddy’s girlfriend is far different from sleeping with her. It is a game, Lex. It’s not life. Learn the difference.

5. Producers cast troubled Steve Shankman

There was always something a little off about Steve. At first, he seemed like any normal, everyday Survivor who might stick around and be voted off after the merge as an immunity threat. Either that or he was the potential Ian to Charlie’s Tom, a good right-hand man who would go to the end. After all, he was a financial advisor; he negotiated for a living. Survivor was his game.

Unfortunately, there was a lot more to Steve than met the eye. Normally, that would be a good thing – see Westman, Tom. But not in this case. Steve Shankman was a very disturbed man who needed a lot of help that the game of Survivor couldn’t give. His mind thought only of revenge and thought control. If you didn’t fall in line with Steve, you didn’t fall in line with anyone.

I should add that, when I refer to Steve as a “male feminist,” I don’t mean the normal type of feminist who believes in equal rights, equal pay, and non-discrimination laws. I use the term because he described himself with it. Steve was over-the-top in his beliefs, and he made it his mission to antagonize Maria Savovic, his tribemate, at every opportunity.

The sad thing about it is that he had such a fantastic opportunity in the game. Many people have, but they’ve wasted it on personal holy wars. See Ward, Joanna. And it was his crusade against Maria that cost him his position in the game. People didn’t want to vote Steve out. For the most part, he was a decent guy. But he wouldn’t give up on the issue of Maria’s nudity, something she stated was her own decision and something that the rest of the tribe said didn’t bother them.

Ordinarily, that alone doesn’t make a list like this, let alone finish at #5. However, his actions during the All-Stars season were what cemented his position as the most troubled Survivor ever. Maria not only won his season; she was invited back for another. Steve’s highly popular tribemate, the venerable Charlie Forrest, took another turn as well. And when Steve saw them on TV, he exacted his revenge.

First came the farcical lawsuit forced by Steve as the blogger “Red 14” against Maria and her girlfriend. Part of the reason for this was that Maria flaunted her sexuality, and Steve wanted her to suffer greatly for it. According to Steve’s ex, Shannon Foster, who befriended both Maria and her girlfriend, he was extremely disturbed by the notion of sex, calling it “outdated” and “degrading.” Maria represented sex for him, and he had to stop her.

He brought the hammer down on her by trying to extort a combined $10 million out of them through a vague clause in Mark Burnett’s contract. All the while, Maria’s leg is in a cast because of an injury. Meanwhile, his old friend Charlie was the victim of the most dangerous situation in all of reality show history – Steve’s engineering of Charlie’s equally troubled ex-wife’s demands of reconciliation at gunpoint. It was bad enough that Danni broke up Charlie and Paula by accident. Steve tried to do it on purpose just to make the most popular player from his own season suffer.

Steve Shankman went down as the first Survivor in the history of the show to pass away. May his soul find peace.

4. Gabriel Cade is voted out by paranoid Rotu 4

Gabriel Cade’s boot was a case of a vote that definitely could have waited. I’m not saying that Rotu’s power players should have let him waltz to victory because he was a Buddhist kid who did all kinds of charity missions. I am, however, saying that Gabe didn’t do anything to hurt the Rotu 4’s position in the game, and it was completely unnecessary to ditch him when they did.

As a worker within the Rotu tribe and in challenges, Gabe was a master. He helped keep the tribe happy and together, and they won their first five challenges. Clearly, Rotu was dominating the game, and the heart of the tribe was the young man who brought his teddy bear as a luxury item.

However, on Day 10, the hammer came down, and the game aspect of Survivor took to action. Three members of the love Tribe were shipped off to the rival tribe, and three new players entered Rotu. For Gabe, this isn’t a problem; just because someone was on a different tribe didn’t mean they were targets for him.

For a few days, all was well, and Rotu didn’t have to go to Tribal Council. But sooner or later, they would, and that could potentially pose a problem for the tribe. Gabe was the most beloved member of the tribe; however, he had a difficult time voting people out of the tribe. It wasn’t in his nature.

On Day 15, Maraamu wins its first immunity challenge, and Rotu finally has to go to Tribal Council. For six people, there was a scramble not to be the one voted off; for Gabe, he would vote with his heart.

That wasn’t good enough for John, however, and since he didn’t understand Gabe’s position, he made it his mission to get Gabe out. The Rotu 4 followed, and the old Maraamu membership seized the opportunity to stay in the game. Gabe knew he would be voted out, and so did everyone else on Rotu.

Gabe seemed to be satisfied with the chance to play, and he took his dismissal with dignity, although he didn’t do anything to prevent it. Being there for the experience, he took it in stride.

Justice was served for this moment in that it began the downfall of the Rotu 4 by planting seeds of doubt in those who had been exiled to Maraamu. Because of this, the old Maraamu were able to convince Paschal, Neleh, and Kathy that the Rotu 4 were trouble, and as a result, they were voted out one after the other after the merge. And it all started with Gabriel Cade.

3. Maria is injured during Survivor: All-Stars II due to a faulty beam

In fifteen seasons, Survivor made it through without any major faux pas on the part of the production staff. Well, maybe not, but they didn’t do anything “really” stupid. Mike Skupin was taken from the game because of an accident; no one threw him into that fire. No one could have predicted that Bruce would suffer from intestinal blockage. No one knew Gary was allergic to Fijian ants. And not even Charlie had any idea that heart problems were a major problem in his genealogy. So there wasn’t a whole lot the producers could have done about them being taken from the game.

There was plenty the producers could have done to prevent Maria Savovic from ending up in a leg cast, however. Maria wasn’t the victim of her own clumsiness, nor did any other player try to injure her. Maria Savovic was the victim of good old-fashioned corner-cutting.

Maria drew the spot in the Cannonball Run challenge that had a rotted piece of wood on the top beam. I’m sure there have been other beams that were less than stellar for other challenges in Survivor history. And I’m sure that, if any of them had broken, we would be saying the same thing about their demise as well.

Maria fell through the beam and broke her leg in two places. At the Reunion , she was still in a cast. She was robbed of her second chance at a million dollars; say what you will about her chances as a past winner, but it should have been her gameplay that decided that, not the random draw of “Avoid the rotted beam.”

The second-worst thing about this is that it could have happened to anyone. All-Stars II winner Ozzy Lusth could just as easily have drawn that beam, and his winning season would be finished. Charlie could have been forced into a second medivac in two seasons. Someone would have lost their job over that.

The worst part was that Burnett actually sued Maria over the incident. He broke her leg, and he tried to extort money out of her. Yes, we know he was being blackmailed, but it was still hard to swallow. It’s an asshole move of the highest order. Maria’s still in a cast over it, and she hasn’t seen a dime of compensation. Fortunately, she won’t have to pay any.

2. Naked Richard rubs against Sue

This moment was so easily preventable. It almost wasn’t a big deal, really. But it goes down as the only major moment in Survivor history that Jeff refused to bring up at the Reunion . If Jeff won’t talk about it at the Reunion – and he talked about Ted and Ghandia at the Thailand reunion – then it must have been really bad.

Chapera and Mogo Mogo are going into their first two-tribe immunity challenge. The challenge has the potential for a lot of physical confrontation. It’s not exactly the type of challenge where it would be advantageous for a Survivor to remove his pants, especially in the middle of the challenge.

But, for whatever reason, Richard Hatch felt compelled to do just that. Ordinarily, he’s just a dimwitted nudist who feels the need to drop his drawers at every opportunity. And it’s not as if he doesn’t have plenty of non-contact situations in which to do that. After all, half the storyline at Mogo Mogo before this was his nudity.

Unfortunately, Little Richard was introduced by force to Sue Hawk’s genital region, which, thankfully, remained covered. On the surface, it’s not a big deal, Richard and Sue both move on, and Jeff even shouts at the time, “Nobody cares about that!” Certainly in the middle of the challenge, no one cares about it.

Chapera wins, and Mogo Mogo takes the opportunity to send the dastardly Richard Hatch home. It had nothing to do with the incident at the challenge; they were probably going to do that anyway – who wouldn’t want to be able to say they beat Richard Hatch? He only made it to 14th because his tribe had immunity to that point, anyway.

However, all is not well on Chapera. Sue is in a depressive, resistive state. Her tribe knows exactly what’s going on. Boston Rob says one of the smartest things anyone’s ever said about the game. I forget his exact words, but it’s something to the effect of this – the stress of playing Survivor can make a small incident, such as Richard’s accidental grind of Sue, seem far worse, and with little else to keep people occupied, things like that tend to fester.

And fester it did. It took only the time from the incident up to the next day’s reward challenge for Sue to blow up. All Jeff had to do was bring up the incident, and Sue got in his face. Clearly Jeff didn’t think it was that big a deal, but he was seeing it from the perspective of someone who had eaten well and had kept busy for the past 24 hours.

The tirade that Sue unleashed, which was aimed, unfortunately, at Jeff, finished with her angry departure from the game. She received no final words, and the ending shot that is usually taken up by final words featured instead pictures of birds flying. Even Jenna received final words, albeit ones delivered by Kathy.

At the Reunion , the only face time Sue received was to discuss a makeover she received. She didn’t sit next to Richard, as people would if they were next to each other in the boot order; Rob Cesternino, who probably feared that he was going to be trampled to death, sat between them. The grinding incident was treated as if it never happened. And, when it all comes down to it, it shouldn’t have.

1. Charlie is voted out because of Danni's sex lie

The other moments on this list were a result of doubt, a bad deal, people not thinking of the consequences, or a miscarriage of justice. This moment was far worse than that – a deliberate assault on someone and their future outside the game with a lie that people just know not to tell.

Danni Boatwright’s entire game was based on a great deception; really, the pretend relationship with Charlie and the hidden alliance with Paula was a fantastic game move, the likes of which the game had never seen before. Come the final five, Charlie, Danni, and Paula could easily have recovered the last immunity idol and ensured that they stayed in the game, perhaps even waltzing to the final three together. That’s not a bad performance for someone whose position in the game was supposed to be doomed from the beginning.

Well, needless to say, the fake relationship worked like a charm; no one saw it coming, not even anyone producing the game. According to some behind-the-scenes reports, people filming Charlie’s confessional fell out of their chairs when he let loose with the revelation that he and Danni were not a real couple. No one saw it coming. Everyone thought Danni was really interested in Charlie. However, even if she was, his heart belonged to Paula.

Part of the deal Danni had with Charlie and Paula was that, although she knew she couldn’t win the million, she could win the car, and at the car challenge, they would step aside to let her win it. That’s exactly what they did, and Danni won the car as well as the night on a luxury yacht, during which Charlie joined her.

She and Charlie seemed to enjoy themselves; that is, until Danni decided to pressure Charlie into drinking more beer than he was comfortable with. She wanted to make sure he was really including her in his final three plans and that he wasn’t going to ditch her the way Terry was just ditched. Her plan was to get him drunk and squeeze answers out of him.

Charlie didn’t want to talk when he was drunk. All he wanted to do was go to the bathroom and sleep. Danni wasn’t OK with this, so she got an idea. This kind of idea might have been amusing if it were simply a practical joke that she revealed before they went back to camp.

But it wasn’t. She stripped a passed-out Charlie to his boxers, filled a condom with liquid soap, and told Charlie that they had sex on the yacht. Charlie reacted in the only way one could reasonably react in that situation – complete and utter confusion. He would think he might actually remember sex with Danni, especially considering that his son has professed to have a crush on her.

There’s a good reason, of course, that Charlie didn’t remember having sex with Danni – it never happened. But he didn’t realize that until it was too late, and Danni had convinced everyone else that they had sex. Including Charlie’s real love interest, who wanted nothing to do with him after that.

Thanks to Danni’s sex lie, Charlie was left heartbroken and out of the game. He didn’t do anything wrong, and he could never have foreseen a move like what Danni did. His relationship with Paula was on the rocks, and the hidden alliance was destroyed – all because Danni didn’t trust Charlie and Paula, who were really looking out for her.

To make it worse, this affected people outside the game. When Boston Rob betrayed Lex, no one outside the game suffered. When Dreamz ran off with Yau-Man’s truck, no one outside the game was worse off for it. When Danni broke up Charlie and Paula, Charlie’s son Derek was left heartbroken, and Paula’s children were left with no one. Paula’s children were without a father, and Derek was without a mother; both of them abandoned their children, and all they wanted was someone to take their places. You can mess with a lot of things, but you can’t mess with kids getting parental figures.

Aside from that, Derek, as stated earlier, had a crush on Danni. His very next blog was a vitriolic piece of hatred against her. She turned his love for her into pure hatred with one simple act. She got her due for it, but it took a heroic act to make it up to Charlie and Paula. They accepted her contrition and were willing to continue their friendship with her. But it’s a long road ahead for her.

Back from commercial.

Survivor Reunion, Madison Square Garden Theater, May 18, 2008. The camera zooms in on the screen behind the Survivors as a clip from earlier in the season plays.

Charlie: Paula, I’ll go to you, and I know your situation very well. I love you, and I can’t imagine that I will ever stop. I love your kids, and I want to be the guy that they look up to. I know my son feels the same way about having you in his life. I wasn’t going to do this until the reunion, but after all that’s gone on here, I decided, what the hell.

Charlie drops to his left knee and take out a small box from his pocket; he opens it to face Paula.

Charlie: Paula, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I ask you in front of everyone here – will you marry me?

Paula, who’s already shaken up, begins sobbing and wiping her tears from her eyes.

The camera shows the ring, a one-carat princess-cut diamond on white gold with triangular-cut peridot stones on each side of it.

With his right hand, Charlie takes the ring out of the box, and with his left, and grabs Paula’s left hand, which has no rings on it.

Paula seems unable to respond due to shock and her face being covered in tears.

Paula (unclearly and subtitled): Yes. Yes, Charlie, I will marry you.

Charlie slides the rind on Paula’s left hand and embraces her, letting the ring box drop to the floor. The jury stands and applauds, including Terry; Ozzy and Jeff join in the ovation.

The screen shows Charlie and Paula, who kiss for about fifteen seconds before breaking the kiss. Charlie squeezes Paula’s hands and walks back to the jury side under instruction from Jeff.

The Survivors calm themselves as Charlie returns to the jury box to a slew of congratulations; immediately, upon returning, Terry shakes his hand and congratulates him, as do Yau-Man, Twila, and Tom.

The camera focuses back in on the front row of Survivors, and a very excited Paula appears to be wearing her engagement ring.

Jeff: We’re back at the Survivor Reunion, where we’re checking in with Survivor’s newest couple. Charlie, after all that happened during the last few days of Survivor, what prompted you to use your jury question to propose to Paula?

Charlie: Honestly, I bought the engagement ring before we left, and I brought the thing with me by complete accident. I intended to propose right here at the Reunion, but I had the ring with me, and on the last day, I thought, what the hell. I love this woman, and I know she’ll say yes, and I know it’s how everything should end.

Jeff: So right now, I take it that your status is you’re engaged.

Paula: No, Jeff, unfortunately, we’re no longer engaged.

Jeff appears to gasp in horror.

Jeff: Well, what happened, if I may ask?

Paula: Yesterday, after the hostage situation, we decided it wasn’t a good idea for us to stay engaged any longer. It was just too much to handle.

Jeff: So you’re not dating or anything? Why is this? I’m completely confused here.

Paula: Don’t be. Charlie and I got married yesterday.

The entire audience erupts in a deafening cheer, the Survivors all applaud, and Jeff’s face can’t hide his surprise.

Jeff recovers from his shock and attempts to quiet the audience.

It takes him almost a minute to do so.

During this time, Paula flashes her rings, including the bright peridot engagement ring and the wedding ring, which contains a row of small diamonds and an inscription that is not readable from the camera’s distance.

Jeff: I’m absolutely floored by this. I knew about the hostage situation, and I knew Charlie almost had to marry someone, but I would have guessed that the last thing Charlie wanted to do yesterday was get married.

Charlie: I had the wedding planned since right after we got back from the Gambiers. I didn’t have the hostage situation planned, but I knew I wanted to marry Paula right here in New York City. Even with me almost being killed or forced to marry my ex-wife, it was still the happiest day of my life.

Jeff: I wasn’t aware that this was going on. Was anyone here aware?

Only one hand goes up; the rest sit perfectly still.

The one hand to go up is Danni’s.

Jeff: Danni, after all that you did to Paula and Charlie, you’re telling me that you’re the only one who knew they were getting married. I have to ask, did you try to stop the wedding?

The audience laughs at this, as does Danni; most of the Survivors do as well, though a quick flash to the audience shows Derek completely unmoved by this.

Danni: No, I didn’t try to stop the wedding. Honestly, I wouldn’t do that to anyone, even if I were attracted to Charlie.

Jeff: Well, are you?

Danni: Is there a correct answer to this?

Jeff: I’ll ask my next question. How did you know about it? Were you there?

Danni: I was one of Paula’s bridesmaids.

The screen behind the Survivors shows some pictures taken of the couple, their wedding party, and those in attendance; the chapel appears to be small, and the priest is older, white-haired, and in glasses. Paula’s maid of honor appears to be Lynn, her sister, and Danni appears in some photos; Charlie’s best man is his son Derek, and George Goodman, the man who ended the hostage situation, is another groomsman.

The audience resumes cheering; even Derek appears to crack a smile.

Jeff: We have another surprise for Charlie and Paula. As a wedding present, we’ve decided to send both of you on an all-expenses-paid trip back to where you guys met. You will be taking a complete tour of Japan, and you leave this Friday for Tokyo. Travelocity was generous enough to provide this as a gift for you guys, even thought none of us had any idea you would be using it as a honeymoon.

The screen behind the Survivors shows the Travelocity logo superimposed over several short views of Japan.

Danni: I also have a wedding present for you guys. I know we had a deal out on the islands, and you guys gave me the car if I helped you get farther in the game. I didn’t exactly hold up my end of the deal, so I don’t think I really need the car. I want you guys to have it.

The camera shows Paula reduced to tears almost instantly while Charlie joyously wraps his arms around Danni. He says something to her, but it’s difficult to make out because the audience is thunderously cheering.

Jeff: Charlie, you’re almost doing better than Ozzy, and he won the game.

Charlie: I really don’t think it’s necessary to give up the car lease, Danni. You did plenty yesterday when you saved our lives.

Danni: It’s a wedding present, Charlie. I want you to have it. You never won a car on this show, and I did.

Charlie: Well, I know you won’t take it back, so I guess I have no choice but to enjoy it.

Jeff: Danni, what exactly happened where you saved Charlie’s life?

Danni: Well, you had to put me on the spot. I felt horrible for the entire time after the show, and I needed a way to redeem myself with Charlie and Paula. When I found out that his ex-wife escaped from prison, I did a little research on her, and I found out that her second husband was a trained sniper. I got him on a plane and sent him up to New York because I knew we would need him.

Jeff: Charlie, is that true?

Charlie: I talked to George after the whole thing happened, and he told me everything. Danni was a liar in the game, but here, she’s a hero.

The camera zooms to an audience member identified as “George Goodman, Yesterday’s Hero.”

The camera then zooms over to Derek, who appears to be fuming.

Jeff: I look up here, and it’s all happy faces. On the other hand, I see Derek in the audience, and I think he still wants to come up and kill someone.

Jeff walks down to the front row to talk to Derek.

Jeff: Derek, what’s going on?

Derek: I don’t know who the hell that lying bitch paid to make her look good, but there’s no way in hell she did all that. She’s just trying to make herself look good.

Jeff: Why the difference of opinion from your dad? He seems to have absolved Danni, and so has Paula. Is it just because you saw this for the first time on Thursday?

Derek: I don’t trust her. Honestly, I can’t promise I won’t kill her if I see her around at home. She’s nothing but a—

Paula (rising and shouting at Derek): Damnit, Derek, that’s enough.

Derek: What the hell is it to you?

Paula: That’s no way to treat someone who just saved your father’s life yesterday.

Derek: George saved her life. Danni did jack to help.

Paula (forcefully): I’ve heard about enough out of you, Derek. All I read in your blog all season was about how you wanted a mom. Well, by damn, here I am, and I’m about to do something that someone should have done a long time ago.

Derek: Well, you married my dad yesterday, so I can’t imagine what else you have for me.

Paula: I don’t know who the hell taught you that it was OK to hold a grudge against someone that did one bad thing and completely ignore everything good they did. I believed Danni at first, and I trashed your father. Do you want to ignore everything else I’ve done?

Derek (confused): No, that’s different—

Paula (abruptly): It’s no different. Do you want your entire hockey career to be judged by you missing that goal in the championship game?

Derek: Wait, what the hell are you saying?

Paula: I’m saying that it’s about damn time you come off your high horse and let the whole thing go. I was there, and I let it go. Your father was there, and he let it go. You had damn well better learn to do the same.

Derek: I can’t just forget about it—

Paula: You don’t have to forget, but Danni’s sorry. You just need to learn to forgive.

Derek: This is all too damn much; I can’t take it—

Danni (interjecting): Derek, I don’t know what it is that I have to do to redeem myself. I did the only thing I could think of, and I know it’s not enough.

Derek: I don’t know if it will ever be enough.

Danni (tearing up): All I want is to see the Derek Forrest that I fell in love with.

Derek: I’m too damn bitter, and—wait, what?

Danni (crying): It’s been a long road for me since I came back from the show, but I spent enough time with Charlie to know you’re a hell of a guy. He always talked about you, and I always read your blog when I got back. You’re so charming and so real that I can’t help myself.

Danni drops to her knees on stage; Derek seems to be approaching the stage with Jeff.

Danni (more clearly): I wanted to say something right there on the island, Derek. I wanted to get to know the guy Charlie talked all the time about. Playing the game with your father was my way of getting to know you.

Derek: OK, you don’t have to go that over-the-top; all you had to tell me was—

Danni looks up at Derek from the floor; she’s still on her knees.

Danni: I’m in love with you, Derek.

Jeff: Derek, I’m about to offer you a choice. I think I know what Danni wants. You made it very clear on the show and in your blog, which I also enjoyed, that you have always had a crush on Danni.

Derek: Yeah, in the same way I had a crush on Shannon Elizabeth in high school.

The Survivors on stage chuckle at his comment.

Jeff: Derek, you can give Danni another chance right here in front of the entire United States and a portion of the world…

Danni, still on her knees, looks up in a worried manner at Derek.

Jeff: …or you can turn her down, and what you do after that is in your hands.

Derek towers over the kneeling Danni; in the background, Paula approvingly signals toward Derek, and Charlie waits nervously with his hands folded.

Derek: I’ve made my decision, Jeff.

Jeff: Go on.

Derek: I will…

Dramatic pause.


And yet another.

Derek: …tell everyone after the break.

Jeff: Damn you, that’s my line.

The camera zooms back; Danni hasn’t left the floor.

The screen cuts to commercial.

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7. "Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I Can't Promise I Won't Kill Her If I See Her At Home""
Blog Entry, 05/20/2008
Authored by: Luigi Cristobal,

Title: “The Top 10 Survivor Upsets”

Because of the nature of Survivor as a social game, the usual pattern of events is that the dominant party takes control, eliminates the weakened opponents, and goes on to win. There are surprises, sure, but coming out of a doomed position to win is one of the most difficult things you can do in Survivor.

That said, crazy things happen in the game of Survivor, and needless to say, it’s not as if coming from behind can’t be done. Just ask Danni Boatwright of the doomed Yaxha tribe, or maybe Matthew von Ertfelda, who went from a Survivor idiot to a finalist within the Amazon season. Upsets don’t always have to end with one person taking home the million dollars, but some of the best do. We’ve compiled a list of ten cases where the result should have turned out differently, but an underdog proved just why you play the game.

10. Rafe defeats Terry for immunity in Survivor: All-Stars II

I would put this one above Coby beating James in Palau for one simple reason – Coby actually outweighed James and was on the dominant tribe. Coby dominated James, and the only reason anyone would consider it an upset is that James was a redneck steel mill worker and Coby was a flamboyant hairdresser. It didn’t mean Coby didn’t have a strength advantage.

In the case of Rafe vs. Terry, a timid gay guy faced a stronger, more blue-collar opponent – and, at least initially, lost. Terry owned Rafe in their first match, pushing him around the platform and imposing his will. When the rubber match was between the overmatched Rafe and the tough Terry, Fati surely began preparing their Tribal Council ballots.

Terry overpowered Rafe in the first match and looked to do the same in the second. But Rafe clocked Terry with his blocker, took back the advantage, and pushed his rival into the water. Terry lost immunity for his tribe, Rafe was spared, and the new Ta’aroa tribe was forced to vote someone out.

9. Vecepia wins Survivor: Marquesas

Early on in the season, could anyone have imagined an ending like this one, where the loser tribe actually produced the winner? For the first three seasons, the tribes went into the merge pretty even, and the tribe that played the better post-merge game always produced the winner. Each time, the winning tribe had an advantage – Tagi had an alliance whereas Pagong scattered their votes. Ogakor knew about a Kucha player’s past votes. Boran took advantage of a divided Samburu tribe.

All these advantages were small but important. So when Rotu went into the merge up 7-3 in membership, and when most of the remaining Maraamu had spent the game making few friends, you could pretty much turn out the lights on the hapless, troublemaking Maraamu tribe. I know that most of us did.

At first, that seemed like a pretty sound idea; Rob Mariano, the most troublesome of the old Maraamu, was the first to go after the merge in a resounding vote. Rotu was up 7-2 and, by all accounts, was in charge. A grand total of three Rotu would have to side with Maraamu to get them to the final five, and even then Rotu still has the upper hand. Not that three Rotu are ever going to flip…

Well, that’s exactly what happened. The dominant Rotu alliance committed what was, at the time, the biggest strategic blunder in the history of the game, three Rotu jumped ship, and the alliance was gone one after the other. Factor in Vecepia’s well-timed immunity win at the final four and the fact that no one wanted to face a resurgent Kathy in the final two, and a Maraamu actually reaches the end. A bitter jury awarded her the million dollars. It was, at the time, the most unlikely Survivor run ever.

8. Earl goes from Ravu beach to winning Survivor: Fiji

Only one tribe in the history of the show was engineered to fail consistently. Sure, some tribes were appalling failures in one form or another – see Ulong – but only Fiji’s Ravu tribe lost consistently by design. See, the rival Moto tribe won the first immunity and was entitled to a luxury camp, whereas Ravu was exiled to a beach with a single pot and a single machete.

Weakened, the tribe lost every single immunity challenge. Consider, though, that the losses were often close, and evening the odds a bit might have helped. However, with very limited (read: get up early and lick the leaves) water supplies, Ravu had no strength and lost one member after another.

Only four original Ravu made the merge, and only one had never been a member of Moto. The total is only this high because Moto lost a member to a medivac, lost another because they were forced to give up immunity to keep their camp, and lost a third because Lisi almost quit. Barring that, Moto would have merged with a 9-1 advantage.

The first boot after the merge was an old Ravu, and the only person never to be on the Moto tribe was gone third after the merge. The only two Ravu left standing were Yau-Man and Earl. They did have one thing to their credit – a strong, powerful alliance of six.

Even so, the alliance was doomed but for the play of an idol – Stacy made it a little too obvious that the final six vote was for Yau-Man and was intended to be a blindside. Yau-Man, being the strategic player he was, whipped out an immunity idol, and Stacy went home. The doomed Ravu made it to the final four as a pair.

With the final three twist, a Ravu was guaranteed to reach the end – and Earl did. Factoring in the jury’s disdain for Cassandra and their anger with Dreamz, Earl waltzed to the first-even Survivor shutout, taking all nine jury votes. I’d say that Earl went from the outhouse to the penthouse, but Ravu was too destitute for even an outhouse.

7. Tina wins Survivor: The Australian Outback over Colby

This was the first real upset in Survivor history, although, to be honest, it never should have happened. Colby Donaldson was the most dominant player the game had ever seen, having gone a five-immunity winning streak and carried his tribe on his back. He was well-liked and well-respected, and he was in the final three with someone who was universally disliked. The math says that Colby votes out Tina, the mother, and the hated Keith becomes the first-ever shutout victim.

I should add that it didn’t exactly work like that. See, not only did the jury have a distaste for Keith, but so did Colby. This distaste was so great that Colby decided he’d rather give up a guaranteed million bucks than face Keith in the final two. And that’s exactly what he did – he pulled the shocker of the season and voted to keep Tina.

Beating Tina was a lot harder than beating Keith. She actually had friends on the jury, and she had earned a lot of respect. On top of that, Colby had just pulled the most insane move in the short history of the show. The Richard Hatch rule, which states that the immunity winner is obligated to take the most beatable person to the end, should have been in effect. It wasn’t.

Tina won the jury vote 4-3, and Colby actually seemed happier about that result than if he himself had won.

6. Kim wins the last immunity in Survivor: Africa

Africa was a season dominated by the Boran boys. Ethan, Lex, and Tom had formed a strong alliance and controlled their portion of the game from start to finish. Combined, they were unbeatable, at least to the competition with which they were presented.

Kim Johnson was the fourth wheel of the alliance. She wasn’t particularly good in challenges, having won none of the first six individual immunities whereas Ethan and Tom each won one and Lex won three. Come the final four, the plan was simple – vote off Kim, and the boys would duke it out in the final immunity challenges, where it was anybody’s game.

The plan didn’t work out anything like that, since Kim won the Fallen Comrades challenge. Since it was all questions and answers, and the questions were about previous castaways, it was pretty much a toss-up who would win. For the Boran boys, it was the worst possible outcome, and for Tom, the game was over. Still, Lex and Ethan should be able to hold their own against a 50-something teacher, right?

Not these two, anyway. To be fair, Ethan was suffering from a serious lack of fuel, and Lex’s stomach was upset. Ethan was a soccer player and was therefore used to a high-calorie diet; the lack of food on Survivor put him at a serious disadvantage, and that explains why the only immunity he won was in a mental challenge. It also explains why he couldn’t last in an endurance challenge.

Factor in Lex’s stomach, and Kim pulls off another victory. This was the point where people were actually starting to wonder if she could pull off the victory. She spent all afternoon deliberating who was going with her to the end, and finally, she chose to take Ethan.

This, of course, is where the upsets end. Ethan won the final vote 5-2, and it may have been 6-1 if his jury performance were any better.

5. Paula wins final immunity challenge in Survivor: All-Stars II

The second All-Stars season was full of some of the most physical players ever to play Survivor. By “physical,” I mean that they won a lot of challenges. The Fati tribe had won a combined 18 individual immunities, including five each from Tom and Terry. Ta’aroa had a combined 15 individual immunity wins, including five from Ozzy. Factor in Charlie’s two immunity wins in Japan before his heart attack, and we knew who the tough guys were.

It played out as predicted. Tom was out first after the merge, and Charlie and Ozzy combined for six immunity wins. With Ozzy in the final three in an endurance challenge, which appeared to be one of his many specialties, he looked unbeatable, especially against two women with a combined total of zero immunity wins over their entire Survivor careers.

The challenge was brutal; it involved balancing on a platform filled with coal. Cirie dropped out in under 30 minutes to hold her immunity total steady at zero. Ozzy appeared to flail around a bit, but he hung on and set himself on the fast track to eclipse his own immunity record.

His only remaining opponent was Paula Stanley, a 35-year-old mother of four who survived as long as she did on the grace of a good social game. But when it came to this challenge, Paula wasn’t going down without a fight. Having been in the center of the biggest lie in Survivor history, she had a lot to prove. And, on the strength of her own determination, she not only hung with Ozzy; she seemed to be outdoing him.

And outdo him she did. After over two hours, Ozzy was in the water, and Paula won her first-ever immunity challenge over a young man who was going for his tenth.

4. Lillian goes from the Outcast tribe to the final two

This entry is on this list because of one of the most controversial twists in Survivor history. Many Survivor fans still believe this twist never should have happened, and many more were upset with the way it played out. It may have led to the legend of Jonny Fairplay, it may have killed Rupert’s game earlier than expected, and it left the final four as the oddest bunch of characters ever seen on the show.

Included in this bunch is Lillian Morris, who has the distinction of being voted out third. In any other season, we never would have heard from her again after the third episode. Stacey Stillman didn’t get $100,000 for her finish (though she tried to get more than that another way.) But, through the grace of Mark Burnett, Lillian did.

How, you ask? Well, in episode seven, we bring in a third tribe known to you and me as the Outcasts. These were the six players who were voted out, and they had revenge on their minds. Well, the challenge was a three-way competition, and the regular tribes had one goal: Beat the Outcasts.

Drake came close but failed. The penalty for failure was that each tribe had to vote someone out, and the Outcasts got to vote two people back in. The now-shorthanded Drakes were joined by Burton, the guy whose boldest move to date was to throw the fourth immunity challenge. The Morgans got Lillian, who, according to some Survivors, wasn’t so much voted back into the game as she was voted out of the Outcasts.

Burton and Lillian received a free pass to the final nine, where they began to work their magic. Since they were Outcasts, it was clear that their only hope of winning was each other. And, through most of the rest of the season, the others knew it. Two Morgans dropped. Rupert was sent packing. Tijuana was history soon enough. Christa was too close to Sandra. And here we are at five.

Finally, an Outcast makes a dumb move and isolates three potentially hostile players – who gang up on him. Burton leaves, but at least he won a car first. Then immunity threat Darrah goes home. For the first time in Survivor history, the final three have a combined total of zero immunity wins.

Fairplay is the obvious favorite to win the challenge, since he’s going against useless Sandra and crybaby Lill. Sure enough, Sandra’s out of the challenge before long. Jon should be able to waltz his way to victory, take Lill, and carry the final vote. Am I right or am I…

Way off. Not only is Lill hanging in there, but she refuses to cut a final two deal with Fairplay. Like Paula above, Lillian is doing far better against a seemingly superior opponent. Jon is desperate to get some sort of assurance that he’s going to the final two, but alas, squat.

Lill wins the final immunity and, knowing she has no chance to win, cuts Fairplay loose. Naturally, her story arc ends here, and she’s thrashed 6-1 in the jury vote.

3. Aitutaki gets eight Rarotonga voted out in a row

The Cook Islands was a case of tribal warfare from the minute the new Aitutaki and Rarotonga tribes were formed. The initial tribes were divided by race, but the only warfare involved not wanting to be last (or in Aitu’s case, wanting to be last so Billy goes home.)

The beginning stages of the Aitu-Raro battle were back-and-forth. At first, Raro looked unbeatable, thrashing Aitu in the tag challenge. However, in the ensuing challenge, Aitu took back the tie and then went on to take the lead again as Raro appeared to fall apart at the seams. Factor in an Aitu reward victory and the kidnapping of Nate, and the game was potentially falling into Aitu’s hands – but then two things happened. The first was that Raro won immunity and evened the score.

The second was far more devastating. Jeff gave the players a chance to “mutiny,” or join the other tribe. Two people took him up on the offer – Candice and Jonathan. Both happened to be members of Aitutaki, or at least until the mutiny. Jeff handed them blue Raro buffs, and Raro now had an 8-4 advantage. Aitutaki was looking to be Polynesian for “totally screwed.”

Aitu did the only thing they could do, given the situation – they banded together and started winning. They won the next two rewards, and, thanks in part to Raro incompetence, whipped off two immunities in a row. Thanks to a game twist, Raro’s insurmountable 8-4 advantage was down to a slim 5-4 edge.

There was just one little problem – the tribes merged at nine. Raro still had the upper hand, and Aitu could be picked off one after another. Ozzy couldn’t possibly win ever immunity, and Yul’s immunity idol would go to use one time only. Aitu’s back was to the wall.

Yul whipped out his immunity idol and proved to Jonathan that he had it, securing Jonathan’s vote. Nate was the first post-merge casualty in a 5-4 decision, and Candice was the second in a 5-3 decision. Everyone teamed up to toss aside Jonathan, and then the reverse Pagonging continued the next two weeks as Parvati and Adam were sent packing by the dangerous Aitu 4.

Brad, Rebecca, Jenny, Nate, Candice, Jonathan, Parvati, Adam. Did I just describe a. the Rarotonga membership at the final 12, b. the boot list from Flicka onward, c. the first eight members of the jury, or d. all of the above.

For those who guessed d. all of the above, pat yourselves on the back. The last four Aitu were the last four standing.

2. Jaburu wins the first immunity challenge in Survivor: The Amazon

Survivor has done a battle of the sexes three times – well, two times and once briefly. The first-ever Survivor battle of the sexes was in the Amazon season, taking place in a region of the world named for a tribe of female warriors. One could say that the female tribe was on its own home turf.

One could also be laughed out of the county for making such an assumption. At Tambaqui, the all-male tribe, the guys were making a few assumptions about the ladies’ survival abilities. They wouldn’t build a shelter, they wouldn’t catch food, and they would be calling their boyfriends for help, as Rob Cesternino put it. As far as survival goes, the guys were far more in their element than the girls, and they should waltz to victory.

Well, so it seemed at first. The guys’ assumptions were, on some level, accurate, especially among the younger ladies of the Jaburu tribe. Jenna used perfectly good drinking water to wash her underwear, and the ladies didn’t seem to have much going in the way of shelter. Had the guys seen this, they would actually have a reason to be arrogant.

Fast-forward to the first immunity challenges. The guys were expecting an easy victory, and, at least in the beginning, they were going to get it. I could have lined up the entire Hell’s Angels side by side and driven them through the gap between the men and the women, and I’m sure I would have had room to spare. That is, anyway, when the guys had their biggest lead.

The balance beam seemed to be the downfall of the guys. An insurmountable lead turned into a dead heat thanks to the guys’ inability to traverse a balance beam without falling off. More accurately, it was because of two guys’ inability to do so; the other six did reasonably well. That said, the guys had two young guns who should have been able to figure out the puzzle at the very end. After all, one guy was a rocket scientist, and the other was a computer programmer.

They failed miserably, and the girls took the lead. The biggest choke in Survivor history was unfolding, and Jaburu actually pulled it off. The guys described it as another Bobby Riggs vs. Billie Jean King moment, and for the Survivor community, it was. The guys pulled even when they got their act together, and when it came time to switch tribes, they were at six apiece, but that challenge was one of the biggest wake-up calls in the history of the show.

1. Chris wins Survivor: Vanuatu as the last man standing

Vanuatu was the second experiment with the battle of the sexes, and for most of the season, it was looking far less like something that the male half of the audience could enjoy. The Vanuatu females were far less interested in making alliances with the guys and far more interested in making mincemeat out of them.

The season opened in a similar fashion to the Amazon season, only the opening ceremony was blatantly sexist and riled up the female tribe. The men started the challenge with a big lead, but Chris Daugherty blew it on the balance beam and the ladies won. Naturally, Chris was earmarked as the first to go home.

He was spared because the older men banded together to declare war on the younger ones. The younger men continued to drop on the all-male Lopevi tribe, and once new tribes were created, the older men began to drop, putting the men down 7-5 in numbers at one point. However, the women voted off one of their own, giving the Lopevi men, the last to go to Tribal Council before the merge, a chance to get back in it. The leader of Lopevi was a man they called Sarge, and he had the option to eliminate one of the females or to cut the last younger man and count on the two females on his tribe to help him after the merge.

Sarge chose the latter, and the women immediately made him regret it. As one force, they cut Rory, the strongest man, from the tribe 6-4. Next to go was Sarge and then Chad, leaving only Chris to compete with six women who were thoroughly enjoying manhandling the men.

The final seven reward was the family visit, and Chris was visited by Lorie, his fiancée. He made it very clear to her that, if he didn’t win the immunity challenge, he was going home. Lorie tried to reassure him, but he knew he was dead. He was one man in a sea of women.

Ami and her girlfriend won immunity, and Chris fitted himself for the noose. However, for whatever reason, the dominant females started to feel a little sorry for him and decided to spare him this time. Instead, the chatterbox Eliza was to be cut adrift. After that, then Chris was gone.

This change of plans set off a light bulb in Twila’s head. If Eliza goes, and then Chris, that means she and Scout were defenseless against Ami, Julie, and Leann. So she set out to make the three powerful females pay using simple deduction – there are three of them and four of not-them. If not-them votes together, not-them can get them out.

Leann dropped first. Then Ami. Then Julie. After Eliza was voted off, Chris had an easy path to the end, no strong competition, and he had turned his fate from a dismal seventh-place finish into victory over an insurmountable alliance of six. Since Tambaqui used a tennis analogy to describe Jaburu’s victory over them in the Amazon, I tried to think of one, but all I could do would be if Bobby Riggs had won that match against Billie Jean King, only he had done it with two broken legs and an eye patch and had grilled a hundred perfect steaks at the same time.

Back from commercial.

Survivor Reunion, Madison Square Garden Theater, May 18, 2008. Derek is still on stage and Danni on the floor; the others are in their positions.

Jeff: We’re back at the Survivor reunion, where we have one Survivor couple on stage and we might have another. Derek Forrest called us to commercial, so here we stand, or in Danni’s case, kneel as Derek makes his decision. Derek, did you ever think you would be in a position like this, where Danni actually says she loves you?

Derek: Never in a million years.

Jeff: So, do you love her back?

Derek looks down at Danni with a strange look.

Danni looks back up and lifts up her hands to Derek.

Derek grabs them and pulls her from the floor into his arms.

Derek: Come on, would I ever say no to you, Danni?

Derek kisses Danni as the audience cheers and applauds; the camera shows a happy, approving look on Charlie’s face as he applauds his son. Derek stands about four inches taller than Danni.

Derek (into Jeff’s mic): The only thing that could make this day better is if my ticket was a winner.

Jeff: What ticket?

Derek: Before the show, I put $1,000 on this season. I put $500 on my dad to won and $500 on Paula to win. If Paula won, I’d have $90,000.

Jeff: Show me where you got this ticket.

Derek takes out a piece of 8.5x11 paper with his wager information; the number 500 is visible at the top.

Jeff looks at the ticket closely.

Jeff: Derek, did you study this paper at all?

Derek: I stuffed it in the pocket of my lucky jeans the minute I got it, and I guess my jeans weren’t as lucky as I thought.

Jeff: Well, I guess they were, because this ticket isn’t for Paula to win.

Derek: Wait, what? I bet on Ozzy?

Jeff: Nope. You bet on Paula to reach the final two. Do you know what the odds were on that?

Paula: I know what they were. I was going at 60-1 to make the final two.

Jeff takes out a pocket calculator and figures up Derek’s winnings.

Jeff: This ticket is worth $30,000, Derek.

Derek pumps his fist and shouts as he reacts to the news; Danni leaps onto Derek and wraps her arms around him. He appears to be about twice her size.

Jeff: It looks like we’ve made a few people here very happy this evening.

Charlie: I’m about to make him a lot happier, Jeff. I seem to have an abundance of vacations, so I’m using one to send my son to Rio with Danni.

Derek and Danni clearly can’t keep their hands off each other as the giddily continue to celebrate.

Jeff: Derek, could anything make this day any better?

Derek: Yeah, is anyone here licensed to perform weddings?

Jeff: Come on now, Derek. We only have 90 minutes.

Derek: I didn’t say now.

The audience finishes cheering as Derek and Danni break off a kiss before Derek returns to his seat with an ear-to-ear smile.

Jeff: I don’t think I’ve waited this long to get to anyone outside the top five ever before, but I’ll pick up with you, Terry. A lot of people thought you were weird, arrogant, and a pain to live with out on the show. Was that real or just editing?

Terry: Both, honestly. I didn’t really fit in with a lot of the fun-loving stuff that was going on out there, but I came to play the game, and that’s exactly what I did.

Jeff: Do you think you could make it to the end?

Terry: I thought I had a shot, yes, but the purpose I served in the game was an important one, I think.

Jeff: What was that?

Charlie: I’ll field this one, Jeff. I talked to Terry and Cirie on the last day out there, and they really talked a lot of sense into me. Terry talked a lot to Paula, and he ended up being the one who convinced me that I should give Paula another shot.

Jeff: This was despite everything you said on the jury, Terry?

Terry: I didn’t mean a word of that. I just wanted to make both Ozzy and Paula nervous. I figured it was my job to make them sweat as much as I could. I wanted to see them earn the million dollars. This was All-Stars, not some practice for the game. I didn’t have any hard feelings, but I sure didn’t mind making them think I did.

Charlie: Terry was the one who found the ring that I brought by accident, and he gave me the idea to propose to Paula at Tribal Council. It’s because of him that Paula and I are married today.

Terry: You swore you wouldn’t do this, Charlie.

Charlie: Well, if Danni can redeem herself, so can you.

Jeff: Cirie, what did you and Terry tell Charlie?

Cirie: All we said to him together was that Paula loves him and that she’s sorry she didn’t believe in him. Paula’s a bit hotheaded and tends to shoot first and ask questions later. That doesn’t mean she’s always right.

Jeff: Did you know Charlie was proposing at Tribal Council?

Cirie: I had no idea. That was between Charlie and Terry.

Jeff: Paula, what kind of stones are those in your ring?

Paula: The green ones? These are peridot, my birthstone. I was born in August.

Terry: I had nothing to do with that selection, by the way.

Some of the Survivors enjoy a laugh at that statement.

Jeff: We still have a lot to talk about here at the Survivor reunion; coming up after the break, we check in with Maria and find out how her leg’s doing three months later. Stay with us.

Derek rushes the stage and heads for Danni; he immediately wraps her up and kisses her.

The screen cuts to commercial.

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8. "Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I Can't Promise I Won't Kill Her If I See Her At Home""
Blog Entry, 05/21/2008
Authored by: Luigi Cristobal,

Title: “Survivor’s 20 Most Boneheaded Game Moves”

A lot of what defines a season of Survivor is the great moves made – Twila turns the tables on the Yasur alliance, Yul flips Joanthan over, or even Caryn’s Oscar-winning portrayal of the sixth-place finisher in Palau . Game moves like that are memorable, and they change the course of a season.

This list is about the exact opposite – moves that effectively destroyed the game for someone or even killed an entire tribe. For every game-changing move by a brilliant strategist, the odds are that there was someone who left themselves wide open to be shafted. Often, these game-killing moves are what defines a season and what future players learn from in their own experiences. Or, in some cases, they fail to learn from them. That’s also part of the list. So here we go.

20. Terry Antagonizes Entire Casaya Tribe

No matter how united an alliance pretends to be, there’s always some way in if you play your cards right. Situations abound in Survivor where one person or one small group can splinter a larger faction and enhance their position in the game. Chris Daugherty winning Survivor: Vanuatu or Danni Boatwright winning Survivor: Guatemala are great examples of an alliance splintering.

Terry Deitz wasn’t anywhere near as good as Chris and Danni. Truth be told, he probably could have been, since he had Bruce on the other tribe, who was the odd man out anyway. He also has an immunity idol to his credit. So, if I’m Terry, I consider the following – I’m the best at challenges, but it’s nice to have my alliance to help me out in case I don’t win one. So that’s why I’m going to pass the idol to the one who needs it, cut Casaya down to five, and flip Bruce over with a secret final three deal.

Or you could do what Terry actually did and try to flip over members of the alliance who are already on the inside with promises of an immunity idol you don’t intend to give up while you’re counting on two people who have no incentive to switch sides. That’s why Terry was the last La Mina standing. That’s why he had to win every immunity challenge. That’s also why Danielle didn’t take him to the final two.

19. Silas Splits the Samburu Tribe

The more powerful Samburu tribe was at a crossroads after its first immunity loss. Sure, production may have evened the odds for Boran, which had been cursed with a weakened castaway and a sick one. Samburu was cursed with something more serious – a split right down the middle.

On one half was the worker bees, a group of 40-somethings whose ranks included a dentist, an ex-military man, and two hard-working females. On the other side are Brandon, Kim Powers, and Lindsey, who antagonize the hard workers and do nothing to help the camp.

Caught in the middle is the arrogant Silas Gaither, who had a choice. If he goes with the workers, he’s the fifth one in the alliance. If he goes with the young ones, he’s got final four wrapped up if he plays his cards right. On the other hand, he might be on the losing end, and he’s having to put his money on Lindsey to win the tiebreak. Instead, he could ditch Lindsey, and he’s to the merge easily.

Well, he went with the younger ones, and the workers were decimated. This is a problem for one reason – Silas was in direct violation of the “be prepared for anything” rule. Keep in mind that the Samburu tribe stopped winning once it was divided, and there was no indication that the tide was turning. If there’s no switch, Silas is gone in 10th, most likely.

He didn’t even get that far. Boran became the first tribe ever to lose immunity on purpose, and Silas was tossed aside. Samburu didn’t have a chance if Boran stuck with the game plan.

18. Amber Never Considers Changing Her Allegiance

It’s a little hard to believe that Amber Brkich, who is technically the best of the first seven seasons, was a strategic clod in her first season. Case in point, the betrayal of her number-one ally Jerri by her own tribe.

Ogakor was up 5-3 after the merge, having picked off two members of Kucha. The table was set for every member of Kucha to be picked off one after the next until only five remained. Of course, that still would have guaranteed Colby, Keith, and Tina the final three, but it’s hard to say that Amber saw it that way.

The dismissal of Jerri, especially coming from everyone, had to be a wake-up call for Amber – Ogakor isn’t with me; they’re against me. Using simple math, I deduce that my vote, coupled with the votes of the Kucha members, equals four, which is greater than the total of the other three Ogakor members in my old alliance. Therefore, if I wan to reach the final four and beyond, I should take a chance and switch sides.

Naturally, Amber walked right into the Nick vote, leaving it virtually impossible to get back into the game. Of course, in today’s game, the Jerri boot never would have happened, because Jerri and Amber would have turned against the other three for even considering it. But in those days, tribal loyalty was far more important than it is now, and Amber never went for the flip. And she finished sixth.

17. Steve's Crusade Against Maria

Sometimes, people can put themselves in bad situations just by being annoying. Lazy people are often targets of plots to throw challenges. Annoying people splinter the tribe and go early. People who cram their unpopular beliefs down other people’s throats soon find themselves on the outside looking in. See Ward, Joanna or Sexton, Roger as examples.

It’s not always big issues like religion, politics, or lifestyle choices that cause divisions. In the case of the Steve Shankman vs. Maria Savovic feud, all it took was a little bare skin, and the Minamoto tribe was divided in half.

On one half, you have everyone except Steve. On the other half, you have Steve. The split gets worse after the new tribes are drawn up, and Maria’s on a tribe with four men – including Steve. Steve repeatedly asks Maria to stay clothed. Actually, “asks” isn’t the right word. “Demands” is the right word.

His position is understandable – he’s engaged and he’s not keen on the idea of his fiancée seeing him with a naked girl on the beach. What he fails to realize is that the beach is big enough that, when she’s sunbathing nude, he could be off working on the site or even playing poker with the other members of the tribe.

Instead, he lets Maria’s nudity bother him so much that it interferes with his ability to get along at camp. Simply put, the other three men at camp couldn’t care less if Maria gets naked. She’s not doing lap dances or demanding that people look at her, and she even offered to stop if anyone other than Steve took offense. (No one did.)

Still, the holy war continued, and when Steve lost a challenge for Minamoto, his head was on the chopping block. However, Steve was a valuable asset to the tribe, and no one really wanted to get rid of him – except Maria. Her hatred of Steve combined with Steve’s insane decision to target the mild-mannered Kevin at Tribal Council led to his dismissal. And thus began his downward spiral.

16. Dreamz Accepts Deal for Yau-Man's Truck

The one they call “Dreamz” wasn’t known necessarily for his intellect, his eloquence, or anything other than being a loose cannon. That and he was once homeless, so people tended to feel a little sorry for him. This is why the deal Yau-Man offered Dreamz was so enticing – Dreamz had never owned a car and didn’t even have a license.

Yau-Man won the car, a Ford F-350 worth $60,000, and immediately decided to make a deal with Dreamz. The terms were simple – Yau-Man gives Dreamz the truck. In exchange, when four people are left, if Dreamz wins immunity and Yau-Man’s still in the game, Dreamz gives the necklace to Yau-Man. This wasn’t an act of charity on Yau-Man’s part. This was as crooked as a payday advance – actually, given the value of the truck and the value of the grand prize, it was astronomically worse, given that Dreamz would be signing the million bucks away. Picture it as a loan with interest in the neighborhood of 121,000 percent.

But Dreamz wanted a car, and so he accepted. The F-350 was his. However, it put Dreamz in a very difficult situation – how do you get out of a tight spot like this? Especially considering Yau-Man is a legitimate challenge threat and possesses an immunity idol.

The plan was launched to blindside Yau-Man at the final six. Everyone but Yau-Man and Earl was in on it. And the plan seemed to work to perfection – that is, until the Teflon Yau whips out an immunity idol and bounces Stacy out of the game. Hello, final five, and goodbye final vote foil.

OK, no problem. He just has to go at the final five – uh-oh. Yau-Man wins immunity here, and Earl plays an idol. Time to vote out Boo, I guess. So we have our final four, and predictably, Dreamz and Yau-Man are both in it. This is where Dreamz’ situation becomes difficult.

This challenge, they are told, is the last challenge, and three people go to face the jury. Dreamz was counting on taking Cassandra to the end, since Yau-Man and Earl would both kill him in the final vote. No matter what he does, he’s in hot water.

If he loses immunity, the likely candidate to win is Yau-Man. If he wins and gives up immunity, Yau-Man kills him in the final vote, assuming he gets that far. If someone else wins immunity, Yau-Man can go, but Earl still wins the final vote. What if Dreamz wins immunity and hangs onto it?

The same thing that happens when you don’t pay your loan shark happened to Dreamz – well, metaphorically. He got his kneecaps busted, and he ended up wit ha grand total of zero votes. That’s not to say he had a prayer anyway. The minute Yau-Man made the offer and he accepted, his game was done.

15. Nakum Alliance Hands Danni Immunity at Final Six Auction

The powerful lot in Nakum had all the advantages in the world by the time the merge hit – a couple of genuine immunity threats, an experienced Survivor mastermind, and a numbers advantage. Simply put, despite the strength of the Yaxha minority, it was pretty certain that a Nakum was going to win.

That’s how it shaped up to start out. The first two post-merge boots were Yaxha members, and Bobby Jon had to plead just to make the jury. Yaxha was powerless, defeated, and divided by Gary’s apparent personal vendetta against Cindy. The vote against Jamie, a Nakum, was an aberration, as the following week’s vote against Gary proved.

Only one Yaxha still stood in the final six, and she appeared to be no threat to anyone. The plan would be simple – the Nakum alliance would vote out Danni, then Lydia, and then it was in the final four together. The fact that an advantage to the upcoming immunity challenge was auctioned off should have been a clue that the Nakums should have pounced on it and played keep-away with it. After all, there were five Nakums and only one Danni.

Well, let’s just put it this way – those bumbling dimwits allowed Danni, who really wasn’t doing very well in the immunity challenge anyway, to buy the advantage, take advantage of someone else’s strategic genius, and tap-dance her way to the final five. And then, with that, the entire Nakum alliance blew up. That immunity win by Danni was all it took, and the rest is history.

14. Ulong Votes Out Jolanda First

This one may fall in the realm of “hindsight is 20/20” and “it looked like a good idea at the time.” It came down to one thing – Ulong didn’t want a leader. Therefore, the person who stepped up and became the leader was dogmeat right out of the gate. It probably shouldn’t have been that way.

Admittedly, Jolanda made some bad decisions in the first immunity challenge. However, they didn’t lose because Jolanda made bad decisions. They lost because they were completely incapable of working as a team, a trait that seemed to be fitting of the entire Ulong tribe from start to finish. They couldn’t paddle. They didn’t want to take direction. And the other tribe worked in unison and secured an easy win in the first challenge.

Naturally, someone at Ulong had to take the fall for this travesty. One person was an obvious choice for this – Angie, the one person who didn’t fit in. On paper, she should have been gone first. Naturally, that’s not how it happened, and it worked out reasonably well for her.

Jolanda was faulted for taking containers that the tribe felt that they didn’t need, never mind that they wouldn’t have had a prayer in that challenge paddling the way they did. Also, no one else seemed to have much to say about the containers that they chose; Jolanda was voted out for speaking up, right or wrong.

Without a leader, the Ulongs ran around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off. They managed to lose every immunity challenge, and at a reward challenge, they were asked for a leader – and couldn’t pick one. That moment highlighted the insane disorganization of Ulong more than any other.

13. Christy Doesn't Commit to Either Alliance at Final Six

All it took was a simple, “Yes, Rob, I’m on your side,” or a simple, “Sure, Heidi and Jenna, I’ll vote with you guys.” If not for her failure to deliver on either of those possible alliances, Christy Smith’s adventure in the Amazon wouldn’t have ended in sixth place…or possibly even with the audience wondering why exactly she ended up voting her evil stepsister a million bucks.

The game had just been turned on its ear, and the game was set with Butch, Matt, and Rob on one side and a scared Heidi and Jenna on the other. On paper, it looks like the misfit alliance just sucked in Rob and is going to the final four together. In practice, though, the decision is a little more complicated than that. Christy has offers from both alliances that need her vote.

She could take the guys’ offer. The benefit is that it’s a guaranteed 4-2 vote against either Heidi or Jenna, and if the other one doesn’t win immunity next, she’s gone. The misfits take over the game, and the cool kids are out on their ears. The drawback, of course, is that the Amazon season was themed as a battle of the sexes, and Christy would be the odd woman out at the final four.

That’s where the girls’ offer starts to look good. It’s a trip to the final three, and if she can pull off the final immunity, she has a few friends on the jury. The only downside is that it’s a 3-3 vote, a tiebreak is risky, Matt’s a serious immunity threat, and she’d have to betray Butch, her biggest ally. Also, she hates Heidi and Jenna.

Both choices have their benefits and drawbacks, but then again, such is life in the game of Survivor. Also, she has a virtual guarantee that, by committing to one or the other, since both sides need her vote, she’s safe. It’s a bit of a tough decision, and Christy takes her time in making it.

She chooses Option C, of course, or None of the Above. She doesn’t commit to either alliance, and both sides see her as a loose cannon. The two sides unite to do something previously thought unthinkable – vote together. Unfortunately for Christy, she’s the victim, and a guaranteed trip to the final four ended in a sixth-place crash and burn.

12. Shii Ann Betrays Her Tribe Despite No Merge

On each of the first four seasons, when there were ten people left in the game, the tribes got together, painted a new tribe banner, picked a new tribe name, and began competing as individuals. Tribe loyalty was still a big deal, sure, but it was clearly an individual game. Making the merge was an achievement. People enjoyed themselves and changed their focus in the game.

In Thailand, the scene played out differently. Sure, everything was shaking down in a similar fashion, the tribes shared the Chuay Gahn beach, there was lots of painting and scheming going on, and the tribe named itself Chuay Jai, which is Thai for “we’re too lazy to think of a more inventive name.”

But something was a little off. Everyone was still wearing their old tribes’ buffs. There was no tribe flag. Jeff was dancing around the word “merge.” This had clearly never happened this way in Survivor before, and the tribes had to be a bit suspicious. Or so you might think.

Shii Ann took to the “two tribes living on one beach” as if she’d been let out of a cage, plotting and scheming to destroy her old tribe. She wasn’t discreet about it, either; she made it very clear that she was done with her old tribe and she was off to the top six with Chuay Gahn. So long, jerks. Don’t let the door hit you on your way into 7th-10th places.

So it all appears normal, except…hey, wait, that’s an unusual challenge set. What the hell’s going on here? Oh, nothing. Pay no attention. After all, the tribes really enjoyed the merge.

Oh, really? That “merge” you enjoyed was just the latest in Survivor game twists. Oh, sorry; I thought you guys knew. What’s that, Shii Ann? You’ve been plotting to stab your tribe in the back? Well, I hope for your sake they win immunity so you’re not totally screwed. Oh wait, Chuay Gahn wins immunity. So Shii Ann, so you want to go to Tribal Council tonight, or shall we make it quick and just hail the Quit Boat for you now?

11. Stephenie Betrays Her Core Alliance

Refer to #14 for the dawn of this stupid decision, but realize that the genesis of this insanity was two episodes before this. Survivor “mastermind” Stephenie LaGrossa, a.k.a. the only player ever to gain weight while playing Survivor, and that’s counting the Moto tribe, seemed to think that cutting her alliance’s collective throat was the best possible game move.

Factor in that she was in almost total control of the Nakum alliance, which was in almost total control of the game. Therefore, any bad decision goes back to her, and every good decision gets credited to her. That’s the breaks of being in charge. If you want to sit around, mock the little people, and demand worship, then you pay the price.

Figure this much up – by the time the final six comes along, there are two people on the jury who are very unfriendly to Steph, and there’s one who resents her popularity. If she wants to win, she needs to play her cards right. That means Danni’s the next to go, followed by Lydia, and she had better make people respect her gameplay.

Her alliance commits the strategic blunder described above, and Danni wins immunity. Oops. Lights out, Lydia, I suppose, and the rest of the core alliance stays loyal when Danni goes next time, right? Because this is definitely not the time to go changing up the game, especially when you’ve just made a bunch of promises in front of Judd’s wife.

Yet, for whatever reason, Steph decides to make herself the best possible final two opponent at this point, orders the execution of Judd, and officially becomes a scumbag. But the betrayals don’t end there. Danni should go at the final five…or not, since Cindy got tossed. Now with four people left and Rafe immune, Danni’s got to go…or maybe Lydia does. Factor in that none of these people voted for Steph to win.

10. Candice and Jonathan Mutiny Against Aitutaki

A funny thing happens when you betray your tribe after being loyal for so long. Your old tribe decides it hates you, it finds ways to punish you if it wins, and it takes great joy in doing so. Oh yeah, and it’s hard to imagine how you’re ever going to win. See Huang, Shii Ann. Also See Sampson, Bubba and LaGrossa, Stephenie.

In this case, see Woodcock, Candice and Penner, Jonathan. Both were loyal Aitutaki soldiers, and both had an alliance with Yul and Becky on Aitu. So when it came time for the next game twist to take place, the one in which players could join the other tribe, it would probably fall on deaf ears the way it did in Thailand.

There’s just one little problem – well, two, actually. The first is that Candice has a showmance with someone on the Raro tribe. Jeez, after the first guy fell in love with someone on Raro, you’d think Candice would have learned her lesson (especially considering she was the Raro member who was loved.) But, I guess she really wanted to be with Adam, so she stepped off the mat, and Aitu was down 7-5.

The other problem? Jonathan is convinced that the immunity idol belongs to someone on the other tribe, so he thinks that, by joining that tribe, he can find whoever has the idol, likely either Adam or Candice, and buddy up to them. There are just two flaws in that line of thinking – Yul actually has the idol, and neither Adam nor Candice really wants to work with Jonathan.

There’s another problem – Aitu goes on a winning streak. The Little Tribe That Could started punishing the many Raro, and they took great pleasure at sending Candice, the initial betrayer, to Exile Island on three separate occasions. So now, Candice is weakened, miserable, and without her showmance, and to make matters worse, someone already found the idol.

Using that idol, Aitu controlled the game after the merge, and everyone on Raro, including Candice and Jonathan, was voted off in succession. If only Candice could have been happy where she was.

9. Ami, Leann, Julie Change Game Plan, Betray Eliza

One day, Ami Cusack will write a book on how to take a perfectly good advantage and flush it down the toilet by getting fancy. We might associate that with Ogakor, Boran, or Drake, but they redeemed themselves. Yasur, on the other hand, did not, and what was supposed to be a clean sweep of the hated all-male tribe turned into the biggest Survivor disaster any group of females ever created.

Four men in a row had been voted off, and only one remained. That man didn’t win immunity, and in fact, the alliance leader did. The vote should have been obvious – let’s get that last man out of here and then begin the end game.

Ami had a clear path to the end once Chris was gone – Eliza goes first, and then Scout and Twila in no particular order. Then at the final three, she can probably take down Leann or Julie, she takes the more offensive one to the end, the women vote for her, and she wins. It couldn’t have been simpler.

There’s just one problem. Accused man-hater Ami seems to have a soft spot for Chris and has decided to spare him at the next vote. She changes things up, and Eliza goes next. With this change, the hamster running in Twila’s brain wakes up, the wheel starts turning, and she figures out that Eliza and Chris will soon be gone. That puts her and Scout on the outside.

Twila pulls the boldest move to date in Vanuatu and overthrows the alliance, cutting Leann, Ami, and Julie in succession, and when Chris wins the final vote, Ami’s decision to spare Chris earned him a million bucks when all she had to do was stick to the plan and not get fancy.

8. Samburu Wastes Golden Opportunity to Get Back Into the Game

I’d include the Boran alliance’s targeting of one of its own in this piece, but it only doesn’t belong because the rival Samburus made an even more insane move three days later. Factor in the fact that Lex had a strong bond with Brandon from Samburu, and Boran’s mistake was a redeemable one.

What was Boran’s mistake, you ask? It was the simple act of letting Lex get paranoid and target a member of his own tribe – over one lousy vote! Someone tossed a vote at Lex during Clarence’s dismissal, so the vote went 8-2 against Clarence instead of 9-1. The vote was Teresa’s, of course; she promised Clarence she wouldn’t vote him out.

Lex didn’t exactly take the second vote against him gracefully. He believed that Kelly was to blame for it, and he made it his mission to get her out. In the process, he turned people against him, and more votes came his way. Four Samburu votes plus Kelly should have been a majority to oust Lex – but there was another snake.

Brandon was Lex’s little buddy, and he voted Kelly out like a good little soldier. So the Boran alliance stayed intact, and it was now four against four. Since previous votes were still important, Samburu could have piled its votes on either Lex or Tom and gotten the Boran alliance down in numbers.

Of course, the rest of the tribe still held it against Brandon that he was in an alliance of sorts with Lex, so they piled their votes on him. All of Boran except Lex followed suit, and Samburu’s last chance to get back in the game was wasted. Antisocial Frank, doomed Kim, and snake Teresa were the next three victims as the Boran alliance blazed its way to the final four with ease.

Back from commercial.

Survivor Reunion, Madison Square Garden Theater, May 18, 2008. The Survivors are now joined on stage by Derek, who has returned to the stage and wedged himself between Danni and Cirie.

Jeff: We’re live at the Survivor Reunion, where, just twenty minutes ago, Charlie Forrest’s son Derek was bitter and upset at Danni for telling the dirtiest lie in show history, and now, he can’t keep his hands off her.

Derek and Danni have their arms around each other, are giggling, and appear to have forgotten that they were ever upset.

Jeff: I’ll head over to Yau-Man next. Yau-Man, you were the oldest member of the cast this season and one of the most interesting. It seems to me you played a very similar game to your time in Fiji. Would that be accurate?

Yau-Man: I don’t know about that. I made it a lot farther in Fiji.

Jeff: Well, there were a few similarities. You ended up on the underdog tribe, you had to resort to extreme measures to make fire, you used a bunch of off-the-wall tricks to win challenges, and then there was this.

The camera focuses on the screen behind the Survivors.

Jeff: And with that, Yau-Man wins reward.

Yau-Man: Charlie.

Charlie: Yeah?

Yau-Man: I want to make a deal with you.

Charlie: I'm listening.

Yau-Man: I will give you this car, but in exchange, if we are both still around at the final four and you win immunity, I want you to give me the necklace.

Jeff: So wait - you're making a pretty big deal here. You understand what happened the last time you tried something like that, right, Yau-Man?

Yau-Man: Charlie is an honorable man, and he's the only one here besides me who never won a car on this show.

Charlie: You're right about that, Yau-Man.

Yau-Man: So do we have a deal?

Jeff: Charlie, you understand the stakes of this. At the final four, you can no longer use an idol to save yourself. You're relying on everyone else to keep you safe. And Yau-Man, you're relying on the good word of Charlie Forrest to give you the necklace.

Yau-Man: That's a sacrifice I am willing to make.

The camera zooms in on Yau-Man, at the far end of the middle row, and back to Jeff.

Jeff: That was the exact same offer you made in Fiji, and it came back to bite you. Why do the exact same thing in All-Stars, especially when people knew what you were up to?

Yau-Man: I made it for the same reason. I didn’t want to win the car, to be honest, but there was no way I wasn’t winning it. So I tried the same thing with Charlie, who never won a car on the show. I thought he was an immunity threat, and I wanted to make sure I had a shot to beat him.

Jeff: Charlie, let’s just say you took the car, that you and Yau-Man were both still around at the final four, and you won immunity. Would you give it up?

Charlie: That’s a lot of ‘ifs,’ Jeff. None of that happened. Neither I nor Yau-Man made the final four, I don’t think I would have won that challenge, and I wasn’t about to sell my game down the river for a shiny new Escalade, even if it was gift-wrapped from another player.

Jeff: Hypothetically, though. Let’s say Danni never plays that lie, Yau-Man survives, and you’re in the final four with him.

Charlie: Well, of course I’d give up immunity. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t fight like hell to make sure I was still safe in the next round. But to be honest, Jeff, I knew that deal was dangerous, and that’s why I didn’t take it.

Jeff: Yau-Man, you were close to Paula throughout the season. Was there any indication that she and Charlie were really a couple?

Yau-Man: She completely fooled me. I was closest to her, so I am sure I would have figured it out.

Jeff: Are you and Paula still in touch?

Yau-Man: Absolutely. I would say I’ve made a friend for life.

Jeff: The first time we ran through an All-Stars season, it seemed like a few established friendships were ruined. It doesn’t look like that’s happened here, and in fact, I’d say that some new bonds were created. Tom, you and Cirie were pretty close out on the islands.

Tom: We still are to this day. Every Saturday during the season, we talked on the phone for a good hour or two. We sent gifts for each other’s children’s birthdays, and I’ve invited her and her family up to New York for July 4th this year.

Jeff: Harriet, I’ve got to ask, how’s your knee?

Harriet: It’s doing just fine. I’m running on it and everything.

Jeff: Our medical staff had to stitch that knee up pretty well just to make sure you could stay in the game.

Harriet: Well, I stayed, just not for as long as I thought I would.

Jeff: In Japan, you played the most devious game I’ve seen played in a while. Some people make promises and break them; some people stab other people in the back. You just told bald-faced lies, covered your tracks, and diverted enough votes to keep you in the game. Did you think about doing the same thing this season?

Harriet: Well, of course I did, but I knew my days would be numbered if I did that. This time, my goal was just to stick with enough important people and cause enough chaos that I could slip by unnoticed.

Jeff: Is there any reason you think that failed?

Harriet: Yeah, you make yourself really conspicuous when you cut your knee open and get in the way of your ability to perform.

The Survivors chuckle at her comment.

Jeff: Jonathan, you played an interesting game out there. What was your strategy?

Jonathan: I was kind of in the same line of thinking as Harriet; I tried to create some chaos and turn people against each other so the attention stayed off me. While I was on my first tribe, that seemed to work, especially with Ami and Maria at each other’s throats.

Jeff: What was with some of your odd behavior out there?

Jonathan: I don’t really understand what was so odd about it except that, on my new tribe, I didn’t really fit in. I wasn’t in the core alliance, and I knew that. I just tried to hang on and make the merge, and I couldn’t do that.

Jeff: Well, I’ll have to remind you, and I’ll remind America.

The camera focuses on the screen behind the Survivors.

The screen shows the Survivors relaxing while the film plays an early sequence; Tom, Maria, and Cirie are on the couch, with Maria in the middle using a footstool. Jonathan is seated alone on the ground, back near the projector, keeping an eye on it almost as much as the movie or his tribemates.

(confessional) Cirie: Jonathan seemed more concerned that the projector was about to explode or something than about enjoying himself. I barely saw him eat anything, drink anything, and later on, I don't even think he knew what happened in the movie.

(confessional) Danni: If you want to count Tom and Cirie as a couple, tonight counted, I guess, as a double date, with Maria in it just for the experience and Jonathan seeming to think there was a nest of bees inside the projector that was more entertaining than the movie.

(confessional) Tom: I really don't know what's gotten into Jonathan. It's like he blew a fuse, and all he can think about is work that doesn't need to be done.

Tom (shouting to Jonathan): Hey, come have some of the snacks with us! We saved some for you!

Jonathan doesn't give an obvious response and continues to knock down coconuts with limited success.

(confessional) Cirie: Jonathan's showing some of the strangest behavior I've ever seen. It's like there's five of us here enjoying ourselves, winning as a tribe, and making the most of it out here, and then there's Jonathan, who can't seem to have fun at all.

Maria: He's like Debbie Downer or something.

Danni: More like Jonny Joke-Killer.

Charlie: What's with him and the coconuts? It's like he needs all the coconuts on this island to conjure up some sort of voodoo curse against all of us.

(confessional) Jonathan: I don't really fit in with this tribe, especially since Maria seems to enjoy hanging out with the other alliance, so what's really the point in trying to fit in? I'll just wait for Jeff to call a chance to mutiny and head back over.

The camera zooms back to Jonathan, who’s second from the close end of the stage in the middle row.

Jeff: You said you didn’t fit in with your new tribe, and from the clips there, it was pretty obvious. Why not try to interact more?

Jonathan: At the time, I wasn’t feeling well. I held up OK before that, but I think I caught some kind of bug out there, and it messed up my stomach and made me not feel like eating.

Jeff: Wouldn’t it also make you not feel like working?

Jonathan: I would have thought so, but I just wanted to take my mind off my stomach hurting. That’s why I stayed productive and didn’t talk a lot.

Jeff: Why not tell people that?

Jonathan: If I tell people I’m sick, all of a sudden, people get it into their heads, “Jonathan’s not doing so good. We have to vote him off now.” It was a calculated risk, and I had nothing to lose except a few popularity points.

Jeff: Well, there’s nothing wrong with a risk. But we’ve spoken to one person who suffered an injury on the islands, and when we return, we’ll speak to another. When we come back, we’ll get to Maria and find out how her leg’s holding up. Stay tuned.

The camera zooms in on Maria, who is in a wheelchair at the far end of the stage; her leg is still in a cast.

The screen cuts to commercial.

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9. "Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I Can't Promise I Won't Kill Her If I See Her At Home""
Blog Entry, 05/21/2008
Authored by: Luigi Cristobal,

Title: “Survivor’s 20 Most Boneheaded Game Moves” Cont'd

7. Rotu Alliance Falls Into Strategic Trap at Immunity Challenge

For the first three seasons, it seemed as if the formula for winning Survivor was to forge an alliance, usually of four people, reach the final four by parlaying a strong tribal bond into total obliteration of the other tribe, picking off the other members of the tribe, and the best player in the alliance wins. Honestly, it was time to jazz it up.

The same thing was about to happen in the Marquesas. The Rotu alliance was up 4-3 in their tribe, and the tribe was up 7-2 in the game. The upcoming immunity challenge appeared to be geared toward the dominant tribe to win, since there was no conceivable way that someone could be saved from certain doom. Or at least that’s what the producers wanted the Rotu 4 to think.

Here’s how it worked – everyone had three bundles of coconuts. If you get a question correct, you get to chop down one bundle of coconuts belonging to another player. If your three bundles have dropped, you’re out of the challenge, and the last one with hanging coconuts wins. Since Rotu’s targeting Sean next, all they have to do is chop down his coconuts first, and there isn’t a damn thing he can do about it.

Or hell, why not just keep up the charade with everyone else, too? Vee’s next, so why not just tell her now? They’re just two players; what can they do? And since we’re a hot-shot alliance of four, and once the low-life Maraamus are gone, there’s nothing the other three can do about their fate anyway, is there?

Needless to say, the Rotu 4 flaunted their position as the last four standing in the challenge for long enough that Neleh and Kathy decided that something was amiss. It also gave them enough time to figure out why they were taking this crap from the Rotus. After all, they do outnumber us, don’t they? Four is greater than three, and once those two are gone, we don’t have a chance…hey, wait a minute. What if, and hear me out here; I might be onto something…what if we took those two, added them to our three, and we’d have five? Five is bigger than four, so we start turning the tables on the Rotu alliance.

Kathy puts on her best Eric Cartman impression in describing this scenario, and, instead of Neleh and Paschal shouting, “Damnit, Kathy, that’s the dumbest bleeping idea I’ve ever heard!”, we’re treated to the execution of this plan. We’re also treated to John’s dismissal, his sob story final words, and the knowledge that, hey, at least he made the jury.

6. Lex, Kathy Spare Amber, Vote Out Loyal Jerri

A good rule of thumb is this – never trust anyone who started a revolution within the last 50 years. Granted, Rob Mariano didn’t get to see the fruits of his revolution in the Marquesas, but he was living very well in All-Stars. On top of that, he had a girlfriend. Oooooooooooooh.

Fast-forward to the final ten, and Amber is exiled to…her own beach. Which, I should add, has been invaded by foreigners who used to wear green buffs. The old Chapera alliance has a problem – they can win immunity, and Amber’s in deep doo-doo, or they can throw the challenge, and Alicia probably goes. No, no, all wrong, it doesn’t work, this is the stupidest idea I’ve ever seen, we have to do something else.

Rob’s bunch wins immunity, and the old Mogo Mogo goes to Tribal Council – along with Amber. She’s history, and Rob’s not happy, so he offers a deal to Lex before heading back to camp. If Lex spares Amber, Rob will help him after the merge. Sure he will.

Well, needless to say, Lex fell for it, and the tribe voted out Jerri instead. The Mogo Mogo alliance put itself in a 6-3 hole, which, in a game where tribal revolutions are hard to come by, can be damn near insurmountable. Sure, you can flip over Tom and Alicia, but be realistic. Lex’s entire game is swinging in the balance, hanging by the thread of Rob’s goodwill.

Rob decided to take that thread, hang it over a 4,000-foot chasm, and cut the string, and Lex’s game came crashing to Earth a few minutes later in a 7-2 decision. As my mother always told me, never trust anyone who started a revolution within the last 50 years.

5. Billy's Laziness and Lack of Social Skills

Some people are proof that it’s entirely possible to be a lazy bum and still win Survivor. Jenna Morasca wasn’t known for her work ethic. Neither was Amber Brkich. And in case you think I’m picking on the men, Brian Heidik wasn’t much of a worker, either.

However, these three Survivors had something in common that they all had masterful social skills, they were able to get along with people, they didn’t constantly play both sides, and they didn’t snore too loudly. They also didn’t appear to cut down trees with bamboo. However, one Survivor reached the lofty position of 19th place by doing all of that.

Billy Garcia never really fit in on the old Aitutaki tribe. While the others were catching food and building shelter, Billy was sleeping and lying around. While others were making themselves at home in their tribe, Billy was wishing he was on a tribe full of heavy metal enthusiasts. He didn’t fit in, and he didn’t even try to.

A lot of people talk about how Aitu was insane to throw the challenge to get rid of Billy. The other side of this is that Billy must have been really lazy and shiftless to trigger his tribe to even think about throwing the challenge to get rid of him. There were four tribes, and all Aitu had to do to avoid Tribal Council was to beat just one.

Ozzy got the bright idea to throw the challenge and send Billy packing. Needless to say, they made it plainly obvious they were throwing the challenge, and even Billy knew they threw the challenge. Billy could have turned the tide against, say, Ozzy, and he could have saved his position in the game.

It looked like he might actually pull it off, even when he called out his tribe for throwing the challenge…that is, until he said the most hilariously insane thing possible at Tribal Council.

I believe his exact words were as follows: “…my prize isn’t even the million dollars. My prize is that I fell in love in this game.” Cue a surprised look by Jeff. “It was love at first sight, and her name is Candice.” Cue Jeff barely able to contain his laughter, and cue any chance Billy had of staying in the game being completely obliterated. And to think, none of this would have happened if Billy had done a little more work.

4. Pagong Votes Five Different Ways at the Merge

This type of vote would never happen in today’s Survivor, and really, it never should have happened to begin with. In a winner-take-all democracy, voting factions should evolve over the course of about two hours, and people should figure out that five votes against one person are more powerful than one vote each against five people.

Apparently, Pagong never got the memo. We heard a lot of discussion out of the tribe about how alliances, voting blocs, and factions were wrong or a form of cheating. Never mind the fact that there’s no rule against voting as a bloc, so the “cheating” argument should be dead in the water right there.

Factor this in – Pagong’s biggest fear at the merge was that the tribes would try to pick each other off. In this situation, most groups of people would band together, find a person to vote off, and be happy with the decision. Tagi, or at least most of it, was plotting something very similar.

Four Tagi voted against Gretchen. Sean incorporated the ridiculous alphabet strategy. For argument’s sake, if Pagong decided to target Rich, they would have had five votes to work with, and Rich would have been out in a 5-4-1 decision. Pagong is safe, and now Tagi is scrambling.

Pagong decided, though, that casting one vote for each of five different people, not all of whom were Tagi members, and in a vote between ten people, a one-person voting bloc is hardly ever a plurality. In this case, the four Tagi votes went against Gretchen, and the hapless Pagongs decided to sit by and watch her get voted off. Factoring in Sean’s inane alphabet strategy, and Pagong was doomed.

Sheesh, remind these people never to run for office.

3. Alex's Supreme Arrogance and Betrayal of Rob

In Rotu’s case, they lost their majority because of a never-before-seen challenge. What the hell were they supposed to do? They honestly thought that their tribemates were such dimwits that they would gladly fall over and capitulate to the Rotu 4’s will. It happened on every other edition of Survivor, so why not the Marquesas? They at least had the defense of “they didn’t know.”

I’m honestly not sure what was going through the mind of Alex Bell when he said to Rob at the final seven, “When we’re down to four, I’m going to vote you out and go with the girls.” Well, sure it makes sense, if you don’t mind having to win immunity at the final three. It doesn’t make any sense to tell someone he’s playing for fourth place.

It makes even less sense when there are seven people left in the game, and, unless they’ve change the laws of mathematics recently, four is greater than three. Rob could very easily defect to the misfits and overthrow the cool kids. Sure, he wants to be with the cool kids, but he wants to be a millionaire more.

It ventures into the realm of “I know guys on crack who make more sense than you” when you figure up that he said this to Rob Cesternino. This isn’t exactly telling Dr. Alphabet…err, Sean Kenniff, who was happy to be led to his doom. What did he expect Rob to say, anyway? “Thanks for that bit of info, Alex; I’m very happy to make the final four and I wish you and the girls the best in the final three.”

If Alex thought Rob would react that way, he was an idiot. Rob won immunity, and he flipped to the misfit alliance, and Alex was sent packing. Maybe next time, he’ll keep his big yap shut.

2. Burton Convinces Drake to Throw an Immunity Challenge

Drake is the only tribe in the history of the show that we’ve ever seen that got sick of winning. And that’s why they threw the fourth immunity challenge. It wasn’t to get rid of a lazy troublemaker or a member of a rival tribe. It was just a desire to go to Tribal Council and an apparent desire to “get rid of some people,” as Burton said.

Therefore, Burton, whose lust for blood was turning to his own tribe, started convincing people to throw the challenge. His ultimate goal was to get rid of Christa, and in a complete and total act of insanity, people actually started taking the bait! People wanted to throw the challenge!

The only opposition Burton got, at least before the challenge, was from Rupert, who wanted to keep on winning. Well, the tribe sat Rupert out of the challenge, and Drake was forced to go to Tribal Council for the first time. For the tribe, it proved to be disastrous; Rupert was kidnapped and sent to Morgan, and he taught them how to catch food, build shelter, and not be a bunch of incompetent morons. Morgan won two more immunity challenges, and what was a blowout for Drake turned into a tie game.

The biggest boom fell on Burton himself, though; his insane idea backfired immediately. It turns out that the tribe took Burton’s idea to throw the challenge and get rid of someone to the next level by throwing the challenge and getting rid of Burton himself. There are very few instances of immediate poetic justice in Survivor. This is among the most hilarious.

If not for the damn Outcasts, it would have been a lot funnier.

1. Danni Lies About Having Sex with Charlie

Very rarely does a bad game move affect someone that much outside of the game. Yes, it was insane for Burton to want to throw that challenge, but did he lose friends over it? It’s doubtful. Boston Rob lost a friend in Lex over his betrayal, but it’s hard to see where there was much of a friendship to begin with. Dreamz lost a lot of goodwill for keeping immunity from Yau-Man, but Yau-Man forgave him. The amount of goodwill Danni lost for her lie was immense, and the worst part of it was that it was her own bumbling that cost her the game!

Danni’s path to the final three was set in stone as long as she or Charlie could beat Ozzy one time in immunity. She was in the greatest secret alliance the game had ever known, and everyone believed her story that she and Charlie were the next Rob and Amber. What they didn’t know was that Charlie was really in cahoots with Paula, the woman he really loved, and the scheme was set to get Danni a car and the real couple a million bucks.

Through the car challenge, the scheme was going off without a hitch. But Danni was near the end, and she didn’t want to come all the way to the end to know she wasn’t going to win. So, with her money ticket already out of the game, she had to think of something to convince people that she deserved the money.

So she decides to get Charlie drunk and fabricate a story about how he had sex with her. How exactly this gets her a million dollars I’m not sure, although she said she wanted it to be seen as a great game move when she reached the end. What people saw, however, was a dirty trick, and they hated her for being a homewrecker before they hated her for being a liar.

The fallout from this was intense. Paula blasted Charlie and even raked his son over the coals. Danni became the perfect final two opponent, and with Ozzy as a potential immunity threat and Paula a wreck, the money may have fallen into Cirie’s hands if this kept up. Also, Charlie’s son Derek, in just thirty short minutes, went from being in love with Danni to wanting to cut her tongue out and throw her to a pile of rabid badgers. From what Charlie stated, if you showed him a video of Michigan’s football team losing to Appalachian State, spliced in some shots of his last-second whiff in the Frozen Four, threw in a few naked pictures of his creepy mother, and cut off his legs and kicked him in the groin thirty-five times, he might be about one tenth as upset as he was when he saw Danni backstab his old man.

The worst part of her lie, though, was that she changed her story twice. All that had to happen was that someone noticed – and someone did. Ozzy figured out that Danni’s story was changing, and he came to the (correct) conclusion that her story wasn’t true. Upon hearing this, Paula took back everything nasty she said about Charlie and eviscerated Danni. Twice.

In order to get back into her fellow castmates’ good graces, she literally had to save Charlie’s life. And even that didn’t appear to be enough for most.

Back from commercial.

Survivor Reunion, Madison Square Garden Theater, May 18, 2008. The camera zooms to Maria, who, despite being in a wheelchair and having her leg in a cast, appears to be smiling and chatting with other Survivors. It switches to Jeff soon.

Jeff: We’re live at the Survivor reunion, and if you’re tuning in for your late local news, it’ll be on in 30 minutes, so stay with us in the meantime. We still have a few things left to cover, and we’ll start off with the victim of one of the most unfortunate accidents in Survivor history. Maria, before we get started, I have to ask for everyone’s benefit, how’s your leg?

Maria: It’s holding up, and I think it’s getting better, but not being able to get around is terrible. I can’t go upstairs in my own house, and I was going to go to class this summer to make up for time I missed in the fall, but I can’t do that anymore. I have to wait until August to get going again.

Jeff: The clip from where you fell is pretty gruesome, so I won’t play it again here. Suffice it to say, the injury was pretty severe.

Maria: My tibia broke, and I tore some tendons in my knee. The bone is mostly healed, but the tendons in my knee are the biggest problem right now.

Jeff: And then, when you got home, it seems like you had a harder problem getting along than when you first got hurt.

Maria: No thanks to the show, anyway.

Jeff: I understand that going through a lawsuit like that is the last thing anyone wants to have happen, and you know that we never wanted to file that suit. We would just as soon have let the whole thing go and probably just offered a settlement for your injuries, pain, suffering, and lost time in school if not for the whole mess with Red 14.

Maria (tearing up): I know. I know all that’s true, but it’s very hard to accept.

Jeff: I’m probably going way backstage with this, but to be frank, when I said that I almost resigned from the show over the stress of traveling, I lied. I didn’t want to be a part of the lawsuit, and I know that a lot of people here on the show backed me up. We made sure that the lawsuit was dismissed as quickly as possible. Honestly, Maria, you’re one of my favorite castaways, and your story is one of the best that we’ve had on the show. On your first season, you were one of our go-to people, and we brought you back for a reason.

Maria (sobbing): I know you’re telling the truth, Jeff. I never doubted you for a minute. But it takes a lot to get past being sued by the same people that were responsible for your broken leg.

Jeff: Charlie, I’ve discussed this with you as well as with Maria, but since you were the most upset of all the remaining castaways, we decided to involve you in our peace offering toward Maria and her girlfriend.

Charlie: At first, I would have advised her to tell you guys to go to hell. But, by that logic, I wouldn’t be married to Paula, and my son wouldn’t be sitting here with the biggest grin on his face that I’ve ever seen. So Maria, I’ve read the terms of the settlement the show wants to offer, and I would advise you to take it and enjoy being at peace with them.

Jeff: There is one other person we need to ask about this.

Jeff gets out of his seat and heads toward Laura, Maria’s girlfriend, who’s sitting in the front row with her family.

Jeff: Laura, I assume you’ve seen the terms.

Laura: Yes, I’ve seen them. To be honest, Jeff, I don’t really want to talk about it. For those of you who read my blog—

Jeff: I would be among them.

Laura: Yes, well, you know that I’m not about to encourage my girlfriend, who was wronged several times over, to stop fighting just because you guys want to throw some peanuts at us.

Maria (shouting): Come on, Laura, be reasonable.

Laura: Damnit, sweetheart, I am being reasonable. You know we’ll win big if we keep up the suit.

Maria: And it will take forever. And lawyers will end up with too damn much of it. Do you really want that?

Laura: I thought you turned into a fighter, someone who wouldn’t give up. I’ve seen just about enough of this, damn you. (sharply) I’ve heard enough out of you, you damn crybaby. I hope you have another way home, because you won’t have me when you get there.

Laura storms out of the studio, and the audience peppers her with boos. Meanwhile, on stage, Maria is covering her face and in tears; Paula and Terry get up to comfort her.

Jeff returns to the stage, and Laura’s mother dashes out after her.

Jeff: Maria, I’m incredibly sorry that all this had to happen.

Maria (through her tears): It’s not your fault.

Jeff: Well, I feel a little responsible, and so does the company. Is there anything we can do?

Maria (hard to understand): No.

Jeff: I think we should remind the audience how we came to know Maria Savovic.

The camera plays her audition tape, or part of it; she’s depicted with Laura, and they’re laying on the grass on the Syracuse University campus talking.

Jeff: Maria, I understand that you applied for the Amazing Race, not Survivor, but you ended up here, and you turned into one of the most insanely compelling Survivors we’ve ever had on the show. You catch our attention when you decided to sunbathe naked, and you got our applause when you ignored everyone who said not to get naked. You played a completely haphazard game, seemed to think only one move ahead, kissed your best friend on national TV, and fell in love. We thought you were so much fun that we decided to invite you back.

Ami: And the first thing you did was to start trying to tear my head off. And you actually succeeded.

Ozzy: Maria, you actually challenged me for the role of provider.

Harriet: I’d say you played a better game in All-Stars than when you won our season.

Yau-Man: I’ll never forget you burning your clothes. And I’m guessing that Princeton won’t, either.

Maria (still sobbing): Thanks, you guys. You’re all too nice.

Ami: And if the Sabres come to Denver, I’ll make sure to invite you.

Maria: I’ll have to do the same if the Avalanche comes to Buffalo. I’ll warn you, though; it’s a long flight home after your team loses.

Ami: Hey, keep dreaming.

Ami and Maria start laughing, and Maria stops crying.

Maria: Thanks, guys, for making me feel better. It will take me a while to get over Laura, but I’ve gotten over worse. And before you ask, Ami, you’re just not my type, and I don’t think you’d do too well in Jersey.

The Survivors crack up over that, including Ami.

Jeff: Damn, we were this close to three Survivor couples this season.

Maria: Hey, nice try, Jeff.

Jeff: Also, we are sorry you didn’t get a chance to serve on the jury. If you had been voted out that week, Cirie would have gone to the last Tribal Council but not voted. Cirie voted for Ozzy. Who would you have voted for?

Maria: That’s a tough decision. Both of them taught me a lot. I probably would have asked a tough question and voted for whoever gave me the best answer. I was that undecided.

Jeff: So there’s a decent chance that a piece of rotted wood gave Ozzy a million dollars, or maybe it wouldn’t have mattered. When we return, we check in with the first eight voted out, and later on, we’ll learn where Survivor’s going next.

Paula and Terry return to their seats after Maria gives her assurance that she’s OK; the two seats vacated by Laura and her mother are still empty, though a camera shows Laura’s mother trying to counsel her.

The screen cuts to commercial.

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10. "Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I Can't Promise I Won't Kill Her If I See Her At Home""
Blog Entry, 05/22/2008
Authored by: Luigi Cristobal,

Title: “Survivor’s Top 10 Players of All Time”

Well, we’ve gone over the hard-to-watch, the downright idiotic, and the how-the-hell-did-that-happen insane, so it figured that we wrap this thing up with an overview of the greatest players of all time. We narrowed it down to ten, and if we weren’t so hung up on this notion that it really helps to win your season if you want to be the best ever, we might have expanded it. That and we’ve exhausted two top-20 lists and another top-10 and we’re just tired.

When we made this list, we primarily factored in the first performance for most of the Survivors, not the second. Eight of the ten represented here got a second chance to play, and of the two who didn’t, one would have probably done it for free. This list also comes with an urging for a certain Survivor demographic – ladies, come on now; since All-Stars, you folks haven’t been doing so well, Danni and Maria excluded. So if you’re a female and think you can play Survivor with the best, come out and prove it instead of letting the amateurs we’ve had lately do it for you.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 Survivor players of all time.

10. Chris Daugherty

It was him or Rob Mariano, and the decision came down to this – Chris won. Some people aren’t entirely sure how he did it, considering that he really should have been gone first, but he was continually marked for death, continually escaped, and ended up being crowned the king. It can be argued that it was this moment that turned the Survivor tide for the male half of the population. Before Chris, female winners outnumbered male winners 5-3; since Chris, the numbers are 9-7 for the guys.

Chris is, in some ways, an accidental winner. He worked with his alliance in the beginning to avoid taking the fall for losing the first immunity challenge. He hung in the game as best he could, even if the seemingly ultimate result was that his tribe went into the merge down 6-4 to the bloodthirsty women and had to pray for two of the women to jump ship.

That didn’t happen, and thanks to being the man deemed least likely to win an immunity challenge, he was allowed to be the last man standing. At seven, his opportunity was staring him in the face to turn the game around. At this point, he turned the women of Alinta, who were his enemies, into his friends. As a result, he stayed.

At this point, the women had to be regretting their decision, since the man deemed least likely to win an immunity challenge racked up three wins in the last four challenges, skated to the final two, carried the most unappealing female to the final, and stuck it in the mostly-female jury’s faces by collecting three of their votes, in addition to the two male jurors’ votes, en route to an easy 5-2 thrashing of Twila.

Chris was the biggest underdog ever to play Survivor. Sure, he had a lot of help, but he had a lot of help from different people, and those people handed him a million bucks at the end. The women’s alliance would never have voted a man the million at the merge, but they did it, and only Chris could pull it off.

9. Brian Heidik

Brian started the game off in a bit of a pickle. He was on a much older tribe, the younger Sook Jai tribe was winning the majority of challenges, and he was tribemates with an annoying little pest named Ghandia. On top of that, it seems like most of the Chuay Gahn membership hated each other. How does a tribe like this waltz to the final five the way Brian and the Chuay Gahns did?

Step one was to vote off the annoying pest. It wasn’t a great loss or anything; it wasn’t like Ted was attracted to her. The turning point for Chuay Gahn was voting off Ghandia. Before ditching her, the tribe was 2-5 in challenge; after ditching her, they were 4-1, and all four of those wins were for immunity.

Step two was to pick apart Sook Jai from within. The weak point come the final ten for Sook Jai was outsider Shii Ann. She turned the tables on her tribe and openly betrayed her, and the downward spiral continued for Sook Jai as they lost immunity and voted her out. Throw in another immunity loss in a challenge in which the remaining Sook Jai were overmatched, and Chuay Gahn’s gone from being down 7-5 to being up 5-3.

Finally, the tribes merge, and step three was to make sure that immunity stayed in Chuay Gahn’s hands. Out goes Ken, the biggest threat, and then out goes Penny. Jake is screwed, and he’s saved for last. The final five are all Chuay Gahn, and after the self-destruction, there was nothing Sook Jai could do to stop them.

Step four was executed to perfection, as Brian threw the car challenge and skated to an easy three-challenge win streak, guaranteeing himself a spot in the final two. Factor in that he brought along the repulsive Clay as his final two opponent, and there’s no possible way Brian can lose.

8. Jenna Morasca

This may be one of my more controversial choices, considering she quit in All-Stars and opened the Amazon season by bathing frequently and washing her skivvies in the drinking water, but for someone who appeared to have no idea what was going on, she held her own pretty well.

Her pre-merge game was pretty useless, and she really started thinking once the numbers dwindled. It was as if she became a better player as the numbers got smaller. She also became one of the boldest players ever to play Survivor, taking risks to get ahead and seeing them pay off.

One thing Jenna was very good at was making friends. Throw in Heidi, Deena, and Alex, and she had three potential jurors as friends. All she needed was a respect vote, and she won the game right there. This is why no one wanted to go to the final two with her and why the only person who could really beat her was Rob.

Her first calculated move was to assign her second immunity necklace to Heidi. On the surface, it appeared to be a forfeit, the equivalent of offering a draw in chess. However, she pulled a move reminiscent of the movie “Searching for Bobby Fischer” when the tribe didn’t vote her out, opting to ditch non-committal Christy instead. She seemed to do the same thing again in the next round, offering a draw and making herself appear weak so that the boys would want to face her instead of Heidi in the final four – and the boys fell for it.

Jenna took the draw that the boys wouldn’t give her and stuck it where the sun don’t shine, winning the next two immunity challenges and forcing out Butch and Rob. She reached the end of the road virtually assured of victory, having sewn up Alex, Heidi, and Deena’s votes and having first crack at Rob and Dave’s. Christy voting for her was merely icing on the cake.

7. Earl Cole

Like Chris, Earl was an underdog from the start and someone that you never really envisioned as the winner. He was the behind-the-scenes string-puller who cultivated relationships and reaped the harvest at the end. The fact that he suffered through two weeks of Ravu beach only makes the story even more interesting.

Earl spent so much time on Exile Island, he actually tried to rename it Earl Island. He successfully pieced together a six-person alliance with himself as the centerpiece. He kept Yau-Man, his number-one ally, in the game long enough to reap the benefits of being aligned with the smartest guy on the island, and then opted to face two clods in the final vote.

His first move was to align with the likes of Cassandra, Dreamz, Erica, and Anthony at the start of the game. On the surface, that seems completely insane, but when you factor in the fact that he thought he would be on a tribe with all of them, it makes a little bit of sense. Throw in an alliance with Yau-Man for good measure, and the foundation of Earl’s Survivor odyssey begins.

Yau-Man and Earl managed to stick around long enough not to be eaten alive by their Ravu experience, and their reward was to be sent to Moto in a tribe switch. Moto never lost an immunity challenge, so Earl skated to the merge, where he earned himself safety until the final nine.

This is where buddying up to Dreamz came in handy. Dreamz, being the loose cannon that he is, blabbed on his old alliance, revealed that Mookie found an immunity idol, and, in Earl’s classic one-upsmanship, learned that Mookie passed the idol to Alex and opted to vote out Edgardo instead. The Four Horsemen, as they called themselves, were down to two with Edgardo’s dismissal and Dreamz’ betrayal, and they were without an idol. Hello, final six.

Earl was never in danger once the final five arrived; he and Yau-Man were immune, and he could waltz to the final three, where he crushed Dreamz and Cassandra, who started the game on Moto, in the only Survivor shutout ever.

6. Richard Hatch

As far as playing Survivor goes, Richard Hatch was the first to play it well and the one to invent a way to win. As far as most other things in life go…well, ask him again when he’s out of prison.

Richard’s victory march came with a few items – catch fish, form an alliance, make sure the other tribe doesn’t get too uppity, take advantage of a tribemate’s insane stupidity, and be less repulsive than the resident challenge champion. Check, check, check, check, and, against all odds, check.

Sean’s invention was called Superpole 2000, and it was designed to catch fish. Tagi’s biggest reward was fishing gear, which prompted Rich to take up fishing. Sean thinks his job is safe as the tribe fisherman. Needless to say, Rich caught a whole lot of fish, and Sean caught a whole lot of grief. Advantage, Hatch.

Factor in that, at the time of the merge, there were ten people playing the game. Four of them were secretly in an alliance, and six of them thought alliances were yucky. Sean was even so bold as to state that he was voting based on alphabetical order so as not to cause hard feelings. There’s just one little problem with that line of thinking.

The tribes were more or less drawn up by alphabetical order, so Pagong came first in the alphabet and Tagi second. (Ramona and Dirk, the only exceptions, were pre-merge casualties.) Therefore, Sean became the de facto fifth member of the Tagi alliance, as Greg and Jenna became casualties of the ludicrous alphabet strategy.

By the time Sean figured out that the alphabet strategy was insane, it was too late, the Tagi alliance controlled the game, and all Rich needed was a way to get the beloved Rudy out of the game without any blood on his hands. Well…

Enter Kelly.

Kelly was the challenge champion, taking the last four immunities. Needless to say, she won the last immunity, took her chances facing Rich, and Rudy voted for Rich to win the game. So did a bitter Sue, a bewildered Sean, and an insane Greg. I believe that comes to four votes, the exact amount Richard Hatch needed to win the game. Now, if only he had enough jury votes to be acquitted of tax evasion.

5. Danni Boatwright

Sure, sure, boo my choice here, but let’s be honest – other than one solitary boneheaded move, she was a pretty solid player. She even placed fourth in All-Stars as a past winner, which should be unheard of. I would almost say that the sex lie and Ozzy’s win in All-Stars are the only things keeping her out of the top spot, considering the rest of her All-Stars performance.

With regards to Danni’s performance in Guatemala, it didn’t leave much to be desired. She was useful, she was well-liked, and she was unassuming. Who would want to vote out poor innocent Danni? Certainly no one who sees how threatening all the other big, bad boys are.

Danni was in the Chris position at the merge – down 6-4 in numbers but easily the weakest member of the tribe. Who would you vote out after the merge, the big, burly farmer guy, the crazy Alabaman strong man, the former pro quarterback masquerading as a landscaper, or the radio host who probably weighed about 96 pounds soaking wet come the merge? Those of you who voted D, you’ve just been punk’d by Mr. Gary Hawkins.

Speaking of being punk’d by Gary, Danni was the only one who wasn’t. Sure, Amy had her suspicions, but she didn’t come to that conclusion on her own. Who filled her head with the notion of, “Hey, wait a minute, didn’t you play pro football?” I’ll give you a hint – she’s tall, thin, and presently dating a collegiate hockey player.

So, at six players left, Danni’s all alone, and it’s time for the always-fun Survivor auction. Other people burn their money on family visits and the like. Danni, on the other hand, is a savvy investor and buys a clue – or rather, an upper hand in the upcoming immunity challenge. The Nakum alliance sits with their thumbs planted in their collective hineys while Danni pounces on the clue. Needless to say, she wins, Judd goes home, and the Nakum alliance falls apart at the seams. Factor in the move to get Lydia out and Rafe’s insane loyalty to Steph, and Danni’s America’s newest millionaire.

Ordinarily, I’d stop her story here, but in All-Stars, she helped to engineer one of the greatest game moves in the history of the show – the hidden three-person alliance. It’s a delicate procedure, but it involves getting herself, along with Charlie, her showmance, to the final five, and making sure that the unassuming Paula from the other tribe survives. Everyone thinks that Charlie and Danni are doomed, but they turn the tables and vote out the other two remaining Survivors and skip to the final three.

Sure, that part didn’t work out because demons possessed Danni’s soul for about 72 hours, but the moves that Danni and Charlie made up to that point were brilliant. Had she reached the final vote, she would be number one.

4. Charlie Forrest

Charlie is the only person never to win Survivor who made the list. Normally, I wouldn’t include someone whose highest finish was fifth in a list of the ten greatest players of all time, let alone make him number four, but let’s not kid ourselves here – the fact that Charlie was stopped short twice was a complete and total fluke.

I’ll put it in plain terms – Charlie dominated the Japan season. His tribe lost immunity only once, and that was in a challenge Charlie sat out. Later, we found out that Charlie’s shoulder was hurting him. Besides, he helped turn a negative into a positive by getting rid of a bad apple, and there wasn’t even any blood on his hands.

Charlie only saw the inside of Tribal Council three times, yet he finished eighth. Two of those times, he was immune because of game twists or good-old immunity winning. He won the tribe’s first two immunity challenges and didn’t even seem to break a sweat.

Let’s not forget his social game. Charlie actually had what appeared to be two separate alliances, neither of which considered even voting him off. Had he made it farther, he would likely have been a swing vote and taken home a few more immunities; either way, he was pretty much guaranteed a spot in the final four.

He also has the distinction of being the only Survivor to come back after being evacuated for medical reasons – he suffered a heart attack during the Japan season. But that didn’t keep him down; he was every bit as active in All-Stars II, helping to execute one of the greatest hoodwinks the game has ever known. The fake relationship with Danni and the hidden relationship with Paula was done with complete cloak-and-dagger secrecy; not even production knew what was going on until after the family visit.

Sadly, though, the plan fell apart when Danni stabbed him in the back in a manner that was completely unforeseen. They say to be ready for anything in the game of Survivor, but how does one prepare for a close friend to lie about sexual relations? The same exact way one prepares for a heart attack – you don’t. And because of the ridiculously unfair manner in which Charlie lost both times, he’s still one of the greatest players ever and is easily the best never to have won.

3. Yul Kwon

OK, back to the winners. We’re getting into the best of the best, and it’s hard to argue that Yul doesn’t belong up here. The story of Yul Kwon really begins right at the end of the second episode, when the defeated Aitutaki tribe got the bright idea to send him to Exile Island.

Sadly, that wasn’t Aitu’s first bright idea of the day. We’re talking about a tribe that could have helped to bury the overmatched Manihiki tribe, but instead it decided that getting rid of slow, useless Billy was a better idea, so they threw the challenge. I guess they took Ricky Bobby’s advice a little too far, thinking that, if they weren’t first, they were last.

And, to be honest, they weren’t going to be first, because Puka Puka was tearing the place up. It appears that Yul was the best player on the best tribe, so he got himself noticed – and exiled. For Yul, it was a fine idea. For Aitu, not so much…unless you’re counting post-swap Aitu.

Given only two clues and a fairly small island to work with, Yul found the idol fairly quickly. The best part for him was that no one believed for a minute that, in one trip to Exile Island, he found it. So all he had to do was make himself useful and have plenty of people he could trust around him, and he was set for the merge, where the real magic began.

By “the real magic,” I don’t mean his speech on why elephants can’t climb trees, although that was pretty amusing in and of itself. I mean his speech to Jonathan to flip him back over just so he could ditch him at the final seven and secure a promised vote from Adam. That promised vote was enough to secure a 5-4 victory over the best challenge competitor in the show’s history. Yul beat the best, and therefore he became the best.

2. Tom Westman

Well, maybe Yul wasn’t quite the best. It’s hard to top the original dominator, the mighty Tom Westman. Tom controlled the Palau season wire-to-wire, forming an alliance on the first day that was carried through to the 38th.

Actually, the complete alliance wasn’t intact throughout the game, but enough of it was that Tom was able to go to the end while being fairly insulated. His first step was to make friends with the guy who won the first immunity necklace and with a couple of the female players just to cover all his bases. After all, you never know how the tribes will be picked.

Needless to say, Ian, Katie, and Tom ended up on the same tribe, even if Stephenie was exiled to Ulong. Tom’s tribe, the Koror, were an older, more mature tribe, for the most part, and it looked like they might have trouble winning challenges. Tom’s prerogative was to hang back, stay under the radar, and help as much as he could. There wasn’t any point in painting a target on his back.

Well, Tom did it anyway, and the older Korors stormed to victory in the first challenge. Then, when it came time for immunity, they won again. And again. And Tom was always at the forefront, drawing the fear and respect of the continually defeated Ulongs.

Meanwhile, while the numbers on Ulong dropped, Tom made himself busy protecting his position in the game. His inner alliance was with Katie and Ian, and his outer alliance was Gregg, Jenn, and, if he needed her, Stephenie. Everyone with whom Tom was aligned made the merge. Even Janu, Tom’s pick to join the Koror tribe, was still around, even if she wasn’t in the best of shape.

Tom was only vulnerable three times during the game. One time, he was forced to go to Tribal Council because of a game twist, but he was in no danger. The other two times, Ian won immunity, but against all odds, he was not a target, and he cut loose unnecessary alliance members. For the entire rest of the game, he was protected, and he reached the final two without breaking much of a sweat.

The only person who didn’t vote for Tom to win was Coby, and it’s doubtful that he would have voted for Tom in any case. Tom went through the game without receiving a single vote against him; in fact, the first time he received a vote against him was in All-Stars II right after the merge, where he was voted out 6-4.

1. Ozzy Lusth

Faster than a speeding Charlie Forrest. More powerful than Tom Westman. Able to leap Yul Kwon in a single bound…at least on his second try, he was. It was his first season in the Cook Islands in which Ozzy cemented himself as a great Survivor player. It was in All-Stars II that he cemented his status as the best ever.

He was up against a reputation as a very tough player. He was also up against a spot on the underdog Ta’aroa tribe. Factor in the fact that no one had ever made the final vote in their first try and even sniffed the jury on their second, and the odds were stacked against Ozzy from the beginning.

The unique thing about Ozzy is that he doesn’t seem to find his game until after committing a major strategic blunder. Keep in mind that it was his idea to throw the challenge to get rid of Billy in the Cook Islands. That decision partially led to Yul getting the idol, it disabled Billy, or another old Aitu member, from reaching the jury, thereby stacking it with jurors who were friendly to Yul, and it was a very uncalculated risk in a time when taking dangerous risks is unadvisable.

Having learned from that mistake, Ozzy goes into the Gambiers – and does something else inexplicable. He decides to vote against his most trusted ally, thinking that a stray vote will cause trouble. What he didn’t realize was that Yau-Man was ready to stab him in the back, and Ami, his trusted ally, was gone without Paula having to use her idol.

However, just as strong as his ability to create adversity is his ability to overcome it. Ozzy was without allies after Cecilia was voted out in the Cook Islands; he responded by finding new allies, catching fish, and carrying his team on his back. He ended up in the final three and almost won the game.

The fact that he seemed to do the same thing in the Gambiers almost makes us wonder if Ozzy was just showing off. Down 10-8 in members, Ozzy gave a resounding speech reminiscent of Vince Lombardi, and his team went into a very physical immunity challenge and won easily. The winning streak continued, and Ta’aroa pulled even and stayed even with Fati for the rest of the pre-merge game.

Ozzy became the leader of his tribe strategically as well as physically. After the merge, he was both Ozzy and Yul to the Ta’aroa membership, and the tribe stayed one step ahead of the minority Fati membership. Ozzy won five immunity challenges in the Cook Islands and four in All-Stars, and he won the final vote over Paula Stanley, All-Stars II’s biggest surprise, cementing his position as the best player in the game.

Back from commercial.

Survivor Reunion, Madison Square Garden Theater, May 18, 2008. The camera pans over the back row, from Sandra on the far end all the way to Rafe at the close end of the second row next to Jonathan.

Jeff: We’re live at the Survivor reunion, where, so far, we’ve gotten the chance to catch up with most of our Survivors, but since we’re getting toward the end, I want to make sure we spend some time with everyone. Rafe, what was your strategy going into the game?

Rafe: My plan was essentially the same as it was in Guatemala; I just wanted to lay low, be a necessary vote, help my tribe, and turn it on after the merge.

Jeff: A lot’s been made of the competitive nature and the strength of some of these players. Was that a threat at all?

Rafe: Well, of course it was, but I’ve gone against some good players before. I played Gary, Judd, Steph, and Danni on my first season, and this time, Danni was here again and on the other side. Nothing changed except my situation on my new tribe.

Jeff: If we hadn’t called a tribe switch, or if things had gone differently, do you think you would have gone farther?

Rafe: Maybe, but on the tribe I was on, most of my tribemates were doomed when Danielle lost the tiebreaker. That was a big part of my downfall; I was on the wrong end of the numbers.

Jeff: Ian, do you still think that jumping off the buoy in Palau was a good decision?

Ian: Personally, I think I made the right decision. Maybe I would have beaten Tom, but I doubt it; he kicked my butt out here, too.

Jeff: How has it been being unable to beat Tom?

Ian: I never came in with a goal of beating Tom or with avenging my loss in Palau; all I came out to do was to go as far as I could. I lost the most insane game I’ve seen on Survivor, and I guess I’ll be learning to get really good at it.

Jeff: Danielle, you were pretty close to staying in the game. Have you thought a lot about that tiebreaker since it happened?

Danielle: Well, of course I have, but I try not to let it get me down. All I did was knock over my fire with a machete; it was a careless move, and it cost me. I had my time in Exile Island; I’m happy with my experience.

Jeff: Was your new tribe really as divided as it looked?

Danielle: Absolutely. If I won that tiebreak, we were probably going after Tom next, and if we lost again, Danni. The game would have been a lot different.

Jeff: Parvati, your tribe was very critical of you when they voted you out. Honestly, until the end of the season, it was one of hardest things to watch for me. Have you forgiven your tribemates?

Parvati: Mostly, yes. Ozzy and I talked about it a little, and I’m cool with him.

Jeff: You know, from the looks of things, Maria’s available.

Parvati: That’s OK; I was just flirting with her for fun. She’s awesome, and I would have loved to be on her tribe just to talk with her endlessly.

Jeff: So there really wasn’t any attraction between the two of you.

Parvati: Of course not. I was just having fun, and when I tried to get that immunity idol out of her, I was just doing every desperate thing I could think of to get it. I didn’t care what I had to do in order to get it.

Jeff: Yul, you went from controlling your season to being voted out in one of the most insane votes I’ve seen in a long time. Do you think you’re still a great player?

Yul: That’s really not for me to decide, but I do think that I played a great game one time. Whether I came into this game with a target on my back or whether I just didn’t do very well, I think I had a lot more to do to compete with this group of players.

Jeff: If you hadn’t won your last time out, do you think you would have gone farther?

Yul: Playing the game the way I did, I almost doubt it. I didn’t secure my position, and I didn’t find an idol, so I really doubt I would have gone very far.

Jeff: Chris, you killed your tribe in an important immunity challenge. Last time you did that in Vanuatu, you ended up winning the game. What changed?

Chris: I had a major target on my back this time, and I really screwed up. I made myself too obvious as far as voting went.

Jeff: Any plans for after the show?

Chris: I’m already married, and I still have a big chunk of my million, so I might take it a little easier, but I like to stay active.

Jeff: Ami, I assume there are no more hard feelings toward Maria.

Ami: When I saw Maria’s injury, I tried to do everything I could to make her life a little easier. Mostly, I just kept her company; she was incredibly bored. But after talking with her, we worked out our differences, and I know we’re both very different outside the game than we are inside it.

Jeff: Were there any other points of contention besides hockey?

Ami: I thought Maria flaunted the fact that she was going to Princeton, and she thought I was way too uptight. Within minutes of seeing her in the hospital, there was no issue, though, and we were friends like that.

Jeff: Sandra, you were the first one out. Was there anything you did differently this time?

Sandra: In the Pearl Islands, I just stuck with my strategy of latching onto whoever needed an extra vote and keeping the attention off of me. I even worked on my challenge skills.

Jeff: If you knew you were going to be first, would you have been more outspoken?

Sandra: I pretty much had no idea I was going first, and maybe something would have come out if I had spoken up more. Maybe I should have been more in-your-face.

Jeff: Is there anything else, guys?

Parvati: You know, now that I think about it, I think there is. Maria, I know we never got the chance to be on the same tribe. That said, I’ve wanted to give you a kiss for a while now, and I hope that’s OK.

Maria: I’m in no position to say no, so come over here.

Parvati climbs down from the seats and approaches Maria.

Before she reaches her, someone in the back speaks up.

Female voice: Hold it right there.

Parvati: What the hell?

The camera zooms to the person doing the interrupting; dashing down the aisle of the Theater is Laura Dean, who just broke up with Maria.

Maria: What the hell do you want now?

Laura: I’m about to do something I should have done right after I stormed out.

Maria: Let me guess. You’re going to drop an anvil on my bad knee and kick my teeth out.

Laura: Close. I’m stopping Parvati from kissing my girl.

Maria: You just broke up with me, Laura. I’m sorry, but it’s over between us.

By now, Laura’s reached the stage. Parvati’s backed off.

Laura: Look, I’m sorry I said that.

Maria: Ask me if I care.

Laura: Well, I wish you would. Look, I’ve been your friend for a lot longer than I’ve been your girlfriend. I haven’t always been nice to you, but I’ve always wanted to take care of you, and I will continue to take care of you until we’re old. I love you, Maria. Nothing anyone can say will undo that. I’m asking you nicely, please just give me another chance. Seeing her come over to kiss you just sent me into a rage.

Maria: You just tried to embarrass me on national television. But, I suppose I haven’t exactly been nice to you, either. I just want you to understand that I’m done fighting with the show’s producers, and no amount of name-calling will stop me from ending our war with them.

Laura: As long as we finally get our dream house in Maui, I’m happy.

Maria: You can even stay home and take care of the dog.

Laura: I’d love that.

Laura leans down to kiss Maria; she accepts the kiss, and the crowd cheers wildly.

The kiss lasts only a few seconds and is kept tasteful, however, and Laura squeezes Maria’s hand and takes her place in the front row.

Jeff: Well, Parvati, Maria was available.

Parvati: It figures she’d go back to her ex.

The theater erupts in laughter as Parvati playfully sits back down.

Jeff: It looks like we have a happy ending here at the Survivor reunion. Stay tuned to find out where Survivor’s going next, and we have another surprise for fans of another CBS show. Stay with us.

The camera zooms past a joyful Laura, who’s chatting up her mother, and then cuts to commercial.

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11. "Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I Can't Promise I Won't Kill Her If I See Her At Home""
Blog Entry, 05/23/2008
Authored by: Luigi Cristobal,

Title: “The Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion Transcript”

All right. Here we actually go. This time for real, no more stalling. It's 10 pm. Do you know where your season's final results are? Well, if you're the show's producers, you can take a small amount of comfort in knowing that someone has them in a helicopter and just threw them onto the ground where a bunch of men could just run off with them if they felt like it.

Fortunately, these men are professionals, so the worst that happens is that we have to watch Jeff Probst skydive. Skydiving? From a height of a few hundred feet? Come on. Just have him walk in carrying the urn and be done with it; the formula worked before.

No such luck, of course, as Probst lands and takes a police escort to Madison Square Garden, where we are, and when he arrives, he picks up the urn and enters the studio through some back door somewhere as he always does every flipping season. The audience reaction seems to be split between happy, impatient, and oh-my-God-he's-still-hosting.

Ozzy doesn't know if he won or not. Paula thinks she lost big. Yeah, Paula, those things tend to happen when you tell jurors not to vote for you. It's the one time where they actually might listen to you. But no matter; Paula seems thrilled with the $250,000 she thinks she's about to get. Nothing compared to the 2008 Escalade, the numerous trips, and the title of Sole Survivor...and that million bucks that goes to the winner. Let's get to the votes.

Ozzy gets the first vote. Paula gets the next two, and Ozzy evens it at two apiece. OK, that covers the first four votes and the only ones they bothered to show us on TV. So if the next three votes have Ozzy's name on them, Paula can at least take comfort in knowing she predicted the outcome of the show.

A third vote for Ozzy comes out. Then a fourth. I think Ozzy's actually going to win it 7-2 as Paula predicted. There's a long pause. It's a little over-the-top; just whip out the winning vote and get on with it already.

Or don't; I don't care. And neither does Paula, who's thrilled to see that her name was on another ballot. And another. Against all odds, we're tied at four votes apiece, and this one comes down to the last ballot. I wasn't really analyzing the handwriting, but if I had to guess, this next vote is a complete mystery.

Jeff feels obligated to remind us just what's at stake here, as if we don't already know that the winner will own an Escalade and is going to Rio. Just tell us who won already. Don't just stand there with the ballot barely open trying to build suspense; we just want to know who won already!

Ozzy wins.

Paula's still pretty happy, though. Being $250,000 richer will do that to most people. Being $250,000 richer when you were one ballot away from being $1 million richer and having an Escalade and spending your next holiday in Hawaii? That takes a special person.

Ozzy went from being a total screw-up to being the tribe leader, and now he has a million bucks. How did it happen? Get up, take a leak, and come back to find out. Will do, Probst.

We're back. Ozzy seems to like to talk about how he turned the 0-4 Ta'aroa tribe from a bunch of losers into an actually viable tribe. Combine that with Fati crapping the bed at the same time, and Ta'aroa's back in it. Ozzy's a hero, and Tom's sitting there wondering where it all went wrong.

How many people voted for Ozzy, you ask? We know Terry and Tom did. So did Jonathan and Twila, and apparently, so did Cirie. That's five people, and I don't see Danni in there anywhere. I thought for sure that Paula's tirade was what killed her game; I guess not, since Danni's even more of a sap than we already suspected.

Danni was the most hated player out there at the time, and she had no influence. Paula ripped her apart. Yet Danni still voted for her to win. Unless Paula was using some sort of reverse-psychology Jedi magic, Danni's just a punching bag. We'll find out just Danni sucks when we return.

Commercial, commercial, commercial, stupid commercial, old commercial, stupid commercial, and we're back. Let's show the world just what a psycho bitch Danni really is once more, shall we? Apparently she's not really psycho; she was just scared. Terry was her ticket to the end, and the other big meanies voted him out, so she decided that Charlie wasn't loyal, and she stabbed him in the back. She thought it was a great lie.

Oh yes, and Danni thinks Charlie's hot. Charlie thinks Danni's all right but doesn't want to say anything that will cause Paula to flip out. No one knew about the whole scheme Charlie, Danni, and Paula cooked up until the end. Well, that's the mark of a good scheme, isn't it?

Charlie seems a lot looser than he did on the show, and he seems to owe a special thanks to Danni for helping him learn how to impress Paula. So she did him a favor for most of the game right before she destroyed him. Right. Commercial time.

We're back. We have to remind everyone that Charlie did, in fact, propose to Paula. She did, in fact, say yes, and they are, in fact, engaged. Or not according to Paula, who says they're no longer engaged. No wonder Derek looks so unhappy in the audience.
Or maybe not, since his dad and Paula are officially newlyweds. Don't tell me they're going on that Newlywed Game. They spend enough time on TV.

Charlie almost had to marry a psycho, but an old friend saved the day. Danni apparently helped, and as a bonus, she gives up her car lease to the happy couple. Awwwww, how schweet. Nothing say "I'm sorry for nearly ruining your chance at true happiness" like giving up your car and saving a person's life. No, really; I think it's great.

So it looks like Danni's back to being friends with Charlie and Paula, and it looks like the rest of the cast can call off that lynch mob they organized before the reunion. Of course, we have a lynch mob of one out in the audience, and he just isn't happy with this whole thing. Danni saved my dad's life? Impossible. She's a wretched spawn of Satan, and we must exorcise her from existence.

Oh, wait. Paula just smacked me down and Danni said she's in love with me? Well, that's different. Now she's not a lying sack of crap anymore; now she's the same gorgeous reality star and former pageant queen I idolized for years before this season.

Derek calls for a commercial, Jeff isn't happy...commercial, crappy commercial, dumb commercial, ineffective commercial, annoying commercial, and total waste of air time. Seriously. I want my thirty seconds back. I sat and watched Danni kneeling at Derek's feet. Like she really has a chance.

Take it back. Derek's tired of being grumpy and miserable when everyone else is happy, so rather than make everyone else grumpy and miserable, he's decided to make himself happy. If I were placing spells, I would want him to lust after Danni while she's unattainable, and then when Danni wants to be with him, I would make him hate her. Wait, someone already did that, but at least they were kind-hearted enough to lift the spell.

Oh yes, and in the spirit of people winning lots of money and prizes, Derek proves that it's perfectly OK for athletes to gamble by pocketing $30,000 for his start-of-season wager on his new mommy. Something tells me the odds were going about 2,000,000-1 against Danni winning, so Derek's $500 would have made him an instant billionaire and the entire rest of the audience violently ill.

Oh yeah, and Charlie's kind enough to send his son and new daughter-in-law to Rio on his own dime. I'm guessing that, judging by the way the two of them are acting, they won't see much outside their hotel room for the duration of the trip, and if Derek has anything to say about it, he'll be on his honeymoon in Rio at the same time his dad's on his honeymoon in Tokyo.

By the way, Terry's a hero again for counseling Charlie into proposing to Paula. See, he's not completely weird and antisocial; he just is most of the time.

More commercials, I need a beer, we're back. Derek's on stage, and I don't think he and Danni have gone longer than 30 seconds without giving each other a kiss since they became Survivor's newest couple. I guess since Danni can't have Charlie, she goes for the next best thing. Well, Miss Boatwright, put on your cougar hat.

And now we get to the part where we make fun of Yau-Man's negotiating skills. Hey, it worked on Dreamz; why not try Charlie? Hmm, maybe because Charlie has a car at home and, even if it's not a 2008 SUV, he's marrying a woman who owns one. Charlie turns it down, but he says that, if he had taken the deal, he would have given up immunity. Take that, Dreamz.

Paula is Yau-Man's new BFF. Take that, Earl. Cirie is Tom's new BFF. Take that, Ian. Harriet's new BFF is her knee surgeon. Hey, at least she can walk on it and it doesn't look horrible. And Jonathan's decided that the movie projector is not his new BFF. He was just sick. That's OK; his tribe was sick, too...sick of his weird antics.

More commercials. Too many damn commercials, and since I'm here, I can't exactly DVR through them. And we're back, finally. Those of you who thought you were getting the news? Ha. Wait 30 minutes.

Maria's still in a cast. She fouled up her knee big time, but at least she didn't get her financial situation fouled up. Burnett and Co. want to settle out of court. That's their solution to everything...although Maria's receptive. Too bad her girlfriend wants to make Burnett suffer. Now, making Burnett suffer for what he did to Maria is generally OK with me, but the spectacle that Laura put on falls into the realm of "not cool." Sure, break up with Maria because she wants to do the common sense thing and settle. Bee-yotch.

Oh yes, and here comes the Maria-Laura audition tape. For the Amazing Race, that is, and it's only the part we can really show on TV. From what I hear, the last half of that tape involves the two of them getting into a hot tub naked and chatting like schoolgirls. From what I hear, Laura was the shy one about doing that, which is a bit of a change from how she acted on the visit in Japan. Actually, it’s a huge change.

And going back to BFFs, Ami, of all people, is Maria's. I know that Buffalo didn't play Colorado in hockey this past year, so they should next year. The two girls should be meeting up in either Buffalo or Denver, ribbing each other, and one should walk out victorious while the other goes crying to her mama. And then the make-out begins...or not; Maria just shot down Ami. That's harsh being shot down by a lady who can't even walk. You suck, Ami.

The background shows Laura's mother trying to talk some sense into her right before we go to commercial. I walk up to get a beer, and I overhear Laura's mother speaking. Apparently, she's completely past her issue with her daughter's sexual orientation, and she just wants Laura to be happy. I don't think she's getting through, though.

Now we're back. We talk to the pre-jurors. Rafe's strategy failed, Ian's not bitter about losing to Tom again, Danielle thought that she cost her tribe the game, Yul doesn't think he's all that and a bag of chips, Chris is still sitting on most of his last million, Ami just hated Maria for being an Ivy Leaguer but didn't mind befriending her as a crippled Ivy Leaguer, and Sandra should have stuck with being a loudmouth.

You may notice I skipped Parvati. Jeff reminded her that Maria was available, and Parvati jumped at the chance. And then she jumped straight into the air as Laura stopped her. Awwwwww, they made up, how schweet. I guess that's our third Survivor couple, if you don't factor in that they also broke up ten minutes ago. Parvati's frustrated that Maria went back to her ex.

Commercial, commercial, Derek and Danni enjoy a nice kiss, commercial, did he just unhook her bra, commercial, no he didn't but he probably tried to. And we're back. This last part is just the recap of where they're going next and whatever some special guest has to say, so I'll end it here. Peace and chicken grease.

Back from commercial.

Survivor Reunion, Madison Square Garden Theater, May 18, 2008. The camera pans over the Survivors, and Derek is still seated with the Survivors next to Danni; they haven’t lost their goofy grins. The camera goes back to Jeff.

Jeff: We’re live at the Survivor reunion, where we’ve covered an awful lot and only have a little more to discuss. The first thing I want to mention is that every piece of this set, every piece remaining from our set in the Gambiers, the tribe flags, and even the pots and machetes used on the show are on eBay as of tomorrow, and all proceeds will go to help the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. In addition, send in those application videos for upcoming seasons; remember that everyone who made the Japan season sent in a video. We have two more things left, and for one of them, I’ve called upon a special guest host.

The camera switches to the audience, where someone stands up, and people cheer wildly as if they are on The Price Is Right.

Upon closer identification, the man emerging from the audience is Phil Keoghan, host of The Amazing Race.

Phil speed-walks toward the stage and grabs a microphone; he takes a seat next to Jeff.

Jeff: Tell us a little about your upcoming project, Phil.

Phil: With gusto, Jeff.

The camera switches once again to the screen behind the Survivors. The opening shot is above a layer of clouds, with an ocean clearly visible beneath the clouds.

Phil: It’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that takes you to the four corners of the Earth and beyond. This is the Amazing Race.

The crowd cheers raucously once again as some shots of past contestants in various locales appears.

Phil: The upcoming season will pack even more adventure and more competition into one season than ever before. This fall, twelve teams of two will take off from one of the Americas’ natural wonders, traveling by plane, car, boat, bullet train, bus, taxi, and bicycle as well as under their own power to locations that have never been seen before on the show. New twists will keep the Racers on their toes for the entire season, and a group of strongly competitive teams from all walks of life will give a constant sense of urgency. Racers will face their deepest fears, and the Race will either bring teams together or tear them apart. Also, some familiar faces will embark on the journey; this will be the test of how a crowd favorite will do under the intense competition of the Race. How the teams react to the pressure to avoid being last will shape their experiences. This season, the Race will end in a never-before-seen fashion, and one team will be crowned the winners and share a grand prize of one million dollars. Join us Thursdays this fall for what looks to be the greatest Amazing Race ever.

The closing shot is of the Amazing Race logo; the crowd applauds the announcement as Phil waves to the audience but stays in his seat.

Phil: Thursdays this fall will be the greatest night in television; the Amazing Race will be on Thursdays at 9/8 Central after Survivor. Speaking of Survivor, Jeff, care to tell us where you’re going next season?

Jeff: That’s the only thing left to do. Let’s get started.

The screen behind the Survivors shows a mountainous area near a river, and it shows some distinctly Asian artifacts and colorful decorations and dress.

Jeff: One of the most unique places on Earth, this is China, a land where over 5,000 years of tradition and history meet the modern world. This is a land that has experienced dynasties, disaster, and revolution. This is where sixteen brand-new Survivors will compete for one million dollars. At the base of a mountain, Survivors will build camp, make fire, boil water, catch food, and attempt to survive the elements as well as each other. In a land famous for tradition, the Survivors will face a lot of game tradition combined with current game twists. Survivors will compete to find immunity idols hidden within their own camps in addition to competing with a rival tribe and many rival players for food, comfort, luxuries, and immunity, the biggest necessity of all. In the end, one will outwit, outplay, and outlast all the others to become Sole Survivor. Join us in the fall for Survivor: China.

The closing shot is of the Survivor: China logo; like the Survivor: Japan logo, the words “Outwit,” “Outplay,” and “Outlast” are written in the nation’s native text. Again, the crowd applauds loudly.

Jeff: Remember to go online to to shop for Survivor memorabilia, and don’t forget to join us in the fall for Survivor: China. From everyone here at Mark Burnett Productions and from everyone here at CBS, I’d like to thank everyone for watching this season; it’s been a lot of fun.

Phil: And I’d like to thank everyone for supporting the Emmy-winning Amazing Race, and I look forward to seeing you all in the fall.

Jeff: For Phil Keoghan, I’m Jeff Probst. Goodnight, and we’ll see you in the fall.

The crowd stands and applauds thunderously as the credits begin to roll; the Survivor theme plays in the background, and soon, the screen fades to black.

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12. "Survivor: All-Stars II Reunion - "I Can't Promise I Won't Kill Her If I See Her At Home""
After-Party Transcript, 05/26/2008
Authored by: Shawna Thompson,

I should start out by explaining one thing – the reunion was a blast. It was possibly the most insane event I’ve ever attended, but it was worth it. Sure, when people found out I had a ticket to it, they offered me insane amounts of money for it, and if I were just a fan, I would have taken it. Someone even offered me a car for my ticket. Unfortunately for them, I’m a journalist, and I had access to the after-party, so I decided to stick around and find out what’s really going on.

Every cast member was allowed to bring one loved one back, and some of the choices were pretty obvious. Charlie was there with his son, Paula was there with her sister, but judging by the way things played out, it looked like Charlie’s son was Danni’s loved one, not Charlie’s. I don’t think they took their hands off each other the entire evening. And this party started at about midnight and continued until about 5 AM. I needed about six espressos just to keep going.

Ozzy told his mother that he was just going to go all night and sleep during the day after going on the Early Show. I’m not sure what the rest of the final four did about that, but I do know that they seemed pretty chipper the next morning, even if Danni did look a little sullen that someone took a crowbar and pried her apart from her new boy toy.

I stuck around for the entire party, and it took about that long to figure out something printable about everyone. I suppose it’s worth printing that the dumbest reporter question asked all night was to Ozzy, and it went something like, “Is it true that you can really speak Braille?” I wasn’t sure whether to laugh, cry, or assume I had fallen asleep in the punch bowl and was dreaming.

Sandra seemed to float from person to person, and her husband stayed by her side all night. I’d say that he stuck by his wife more than any man I’ve ever seen stick by anyone, but…oh yeah, and it was pretty amusing to see her get up in Danielle’s face a couple of times. I’m pretty sure she dropped a couple of MFs right in Danielle’s face. The thing of it was, though, she was really tired, and she seemed to be sticking it out just because other people were, too. That and she was just joking. Sandra’s actually pretty funny, in my experience, and not always accidentally.

Ami must have broken up with her girlfriend again, since she came to the party alone. She and Chris hung out for most of the evening until Chris’ wife dragged him back to the hotel. I guess he gets a little crazy when he’s tired and has some alcohol in his system. Neither of them lasted too long at the party, if by “not too long,” you mean “went to their hotel at the reasonable hour of 2:30 AM.”

I thought Yul would be the sanest on there; he always seemed like the type who never went to parties, studied for insanely long hours, and never had any fun. But after having what appeared to be a really deep intellectual conversation with Jonathan, he outlasted everyone else, and he was the last to leave. I actually talked to him for a while; he’s very knowledgeable, it turns out, about money and stocks. He went on forever about how he invested his first million and what he intended to do with the $40,000 he got from his All-Stars finish. I nodded and went along with it, but most of the time, I didn’t have a clue what the hell he was talking about.

Parvati did something we all expected after her All-Stars experience – she spent a lot of time flirting. Against my expectation, though, she only flirted with one guy, and that was Twila’s son James. James was fairly receptive, although it didn’t appear to turn into anything. She also explained that her antics with Maria on the show were just a way to stay loose and have fun, and the reason she tried to kiss her during the reunion was to make Laura jealous so she’d figure out she screwed up. Parvati said that she thought Maria and Laura made a cute couple, and if her kissing ploy didn’t work, she would have enlisted Laura’s mother.

Ian and Tom spent a lot of time talking. I was surprised that Tom and Cirie stayed away from each other so much, but they didn’t seem to be doing it on purpose, and they obviously had plenty of time to talk after the show. Aside from that, Tom’s wife and Cirie’s husband seemed to be making friends, too. Ian also seemed to spend a lot of time with Ami; after all, they were the only two people who came alone. I heard that Ian was seeing someone before the show, but I guess either she couldn’t make it or they didn’t make it.

Rafe was unusually quiet, staying and chatting with his mother and occasionally having a short conversation with someone. He didn’t stay to the end; in his defense, he looked awfully tired. I think he’s a lot shyer than he lets on during the game, and I honestly think that going on the show petrified him. He’s a pretty nice guy, from what I could tell, but he didn’t seem to hold a conversation for longer than five minutes.

Jonathan was one of the loudest ones there. He’s awfully smart, but I think he thinks he’s smarter than he really is. He’s able to keep up with the likes of Yul, but he’s very in-your-face about it. He spent a lot of time talking to Terry; I guess it’s natural that the two most abrasive-seeming castaways spend the most time together.

Harriet’s knee definitely looks a lot better, and she was showing it off. The Survivor medical team did an awesome job of stitching her up. She seemed a lot younger than 56 during the party; even if she and her husband didn’t last to the end, she seems like the type that probably could have in her younger days. I envision her as something of an aging party animal still looking to hang onto her youth, and I can’t say I blame her for it.

Maria and Laura actually seemed to be getting along for the entire evening, and despite having a few drinks, both girls kept their clothes on. I think Paula was giving her the evil eye every time she got something with alcohol in it, so soon enough, she switched to Mountain Dew if only for the caffeine and sugar. They decided to go over the terms of the settlement Mark Burnett was offering them, and they genuinely seemed interested. The suit was for $52 million, which, after legal fees and time spent to get it, is nowhere near $52 million, and that’s if they even got that amount. According to the chat Maria had over her cell phone with Burnett’s office, and according to what she showed me, Burnett was offering a guaranteed $8.5 million. Maria wanted that for herself, plus an additional $3.5 million for Laura’s pain and suffering. I think the amount they agreed on was in the neighborhood of $9.5 million, considering that Maria could have suffered far worse than a broken leg. And, in what might be a first for legal settlements, Burnett actually threw in a beach house on Maui. Maria would have peed her pants if she were wearing any…just kidding; she was very tastefully dressed.

Twila seemed very nervous about all the flirting Parvati was doing with her son, and she stayed near her son for most of the evening. She and Tom seemed to hit it off, and Tom thought Parvati’s flirting was the funniest thing he’d ever seen. That said, Tom was laughing an awful lot at this party; I think he had too much to drink, and his wife was too busy hanging out with Cirie’s husband to rein in his drinking.

Yau-Man was chatting an awful lot with Paula. I think he was serious when he said that he’d be friends with Paula for life. He always seems to pick people who are otherwise his polar opposite in Survivor – Earl was the “big, strong black man” who never won a challenge, and Paula was the single mother from Tennessee who was…well, no longer single.

Charlie was all over Paula, and he seemed to enjoy Yau-Man’s company. I’m not sure who bought his wedding band, but whoever bought it has exceptional taste. It’s one of the most unique designs I’ve ever seen, and it seems to have both his name and Paula’s inscribed on it. Incidentally, for those who are pedantic enough to ask, “Well, what finger did he put it on?” The ring went on his middle finger, so people who ask him that over and over can study the ring as he describes just what he thinks of that question. He looked fantastic, almost as if he was a new man. Marrying Paula appears to be the best decision he ever made. At the time of this article’s publication, of course, he’s in Tokyo with his bride, who looked pretty good, especially for four kids.

Danni spent the entire party attached to Derek; I never saw the two of them apart. They had lots of people come up and talk to them, but it wasn’t as if anyone was pulling one or the other aside to talk privately. I don’t even think Charlie could have gotten away with pulling his son aside and away from Danni; he was all over her, and he wasn’t going anywhere. Sure, they’d only been dating for a few hours, but I’ve never seen a couple that just can’t get enough of each other. I thought for a minute about what Derek would be doing if he had said no to Danni or if he had chosen to stay mad. He probably would have walked out of the Reunion and headed back to the hotel to watch TV while everyone else had a good time. Well, everyone except Danni; she’d probably be pretty upset, especially if she poured her heart out to Derek only to have it squished into a fine paste in front of 50+ million people.

Just like his dad, Derek’s out of town at the time of this publication; he’s in Rio with Danni. I hear Travelocity put them up in a very nice hotel, and I hear that, in the time since they became a couple, Danni and Derek can’t stand to be apart. Derek sat in the green room of the Early Show’s set while Danni was being interviewed, behaving “like a heroin addict in need of a fix,” as our producer put it. The minute Danni joined him after the Survivor segment, however, the two didn’t leave each other’s sides for the rest of…well, the week.

Ozzy got a million congratulations to go with his million dollars, but he seemed to be very humble about accepting the money. He’s still not sure what he’s going to do with it, but he did promise his mother $250,000 right off the top. He also invited Paula’s entire family, which seems to include Charlie, Derek, and Danni now, out to California, but Paula only accepted on the condition that she gets to buy him dinner.

I also notice that most of the guests are abstaining from alcohol; I don’t know if it’s out of respect for Paula or because they think they’ll get too tired and fall asleep if they don’t. This isn’t a college party; these are grown adults who are up way past their bedtimes. The Pepsi people seem to be very happy with how many people are drinking their products, and I’m pretty sure Charlie up to about his ninth cream soda. He joked with Terry, saying, “At least it looks like beer.”

Ozzy seems to be unattached, sticking mostly with his mom and occasionally with Paula and Charlie. Danielle spent some time hitting on him earlier, and it’s pretty common knowledge that Ozzy is single and available. I think Danielle asked him to come back with her to her hotel room, but Ozzy politely declined, which seemed to make his mother happy.

Ozzy, Paula, Cirie, and Danni were due on the Early Show. Ozzy washed down about six espressos to stay awake for the segment, and Danni seemed to do the same, although I think it took far less to keep her from falling asleep. Paula sneaked back to the hotel room for a couple hours of sleep, and so did Cirie, and judging by their performance on the Early Show, they needed it. Ozzy and Danni were the lively ones, Paula looked like she needed her morning coffee, and Cirie wasn’t very chatty at all.

I’ve only heard anything from Paula since the Reunion to keep me up on what’s going on; she filled me in on how Derek and Danni are, and it seems that married life is treating her and Charlie very well. Of course, she didn’t have long to talk, so she pretty much cut me short and caught her plane to Tokyo.

Blog Entry, 06/09/2008
Authored by: Derek Forrest, bigblueclassof2009

For those of you who actually read my blog, I guess I should clarify why I haven’t updated it since the Reunion. Simply put, it’s always been easier to blog when I’m upset, frustrated, or just plain miserable than it has been when I’m happy. Now that we have that established, I’ll fill everyone in on my life since my dad finished up Survivor.

For one thing, I couldn’t exactly find any place with an internet café when I was in Rio, not that I really cared to spend perfectly good vacation time in front of a computer screen. There was an entire city to enjoy, locals to laugh with, beaches to enjoy, volleyball to be played, and, yes, my traveling companion. And before you ask, Danni and I saw plenty of things outside our hotel room, although some of my best memories do involve the room, as well as all the other places we decided to sneak off into when the room wasn’t handy.

I actually got a tan, and I put on a Speedo without feeling self-conscious. Danni got it for me as a gift, and I’m actually sorry there are no beaches in her hometown or mine, although that’s mainly because of the red bikini I got her. Trust me, as happy as I was to see her looking me over, I was about a million times happier to be eyeing her. I’ll say it – I’m writing this blog because I’m walking on pure sunshine. I’m the happiest guy on Earth right now, and the only man even thinking of challenging me for the title is my old man.

I’m typing this from Tonganoxie, where Danni’s back on at her radio show. I’m a very devoted listener, and I’m actively trying to put her in touch with the Big Ten Network for one of their open positions as a football analyst. She has a fantastic radio voice, and I’ll be the first to say that I’d tune in if she were on TV.

I’m still training for the upcoming season, and I spend my days at a local hockey rink working on my one-timer and my wrist shot. Other than that, I’m very devoted to Danni, and since she brings home the bucks, I’ve taken on all the cooking and other domestic stuff. Needless to say, the grill gets a lot more use than the oven does, and I haven’t heard Danni complain about that even once.

I have some more ridiculously good news as well – Paula’s pregnant. I’m going to have a half-brother by my cool parent now. Dad’s adopting all of Paula’s kids, and now it looks like, in the span of a year, he’s gone from being a father of one to being a father of six. I asked him how he feels about it, and he said, “I just hope they don’t kill me.” Everyone in Dad’s side of the family lives for a long time, so he’ll live long enough to see my new sibling grow up, get married, and maybe even start a family, assuming they don’t wait until they turn 44.

Also, come August, I’ll be heading back home for training camp in my never-ending quest to prove that last season’s season-ending gaffe was a fluke. This season, I’m a senior, and impressing those NHL talent scouts is the only thing that matters…well, besides winning the national championship.

Before that, though, my summer vacation is over almost as soon as it began. I’m out of here in two weeks on yet another wild and crazy adventure. If I don’t check in with you before then, just know that I’m doing very well, and I’m probably just too busy spending time at the rink and with my knockout girlfriend.

Danni’s show just wrapped up a few minutes ago, so I better get the steaks going. Until next time, follow your most insane dreams; they just might come true. Peace.

Hello, you’ve reached the blog of Derek Forrest, Happiest Man on Earth. I’m not here to respond to your rant, so please leave me a message, and I’ll get back to you later. Peace.

The End.

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