Previously on Survivor... The alliance of Ian, Mike, Earl and Aras had been through so much together that doubts were growing, paranoia settling in.
Some wondered if working with Sandra, the fearless, outspoken outsider, wouldn't be a better option.
With his neck on the line, Aras won immunity by eliminating the last standing players in a Survivor version of paintball.
That win meant that other players came under discussion, namely Earl and Mike but, in the end, the tribe voted together and eliminated the ex-two time winner, Sandra.
Now 4 are left and they will face 2 immunity challenges and 3 Tribal Councils in a game that can still offer new twists. Who will be crowned Sole Survivor?
Mike? The provider who worked hard to keep the tribe happy?
Ian? The smart player who kept the ship on course?
Earl? The steady hand who communicated his ideas to the group?
Aras? The savvy player who made the moves to get him further?
All 4 are quite deserving of the title of Sole Survivor but only one will get the crown and the million...hoorays that come with it.
The Final 4 returned to camp after another long tribal Council. They didn’t have much to say to each other so production asked them for confessionals.
Aras: “I am in the position of having to win immunity or I'm a goner. Mike and Earl were planning on voting me out unless I got immunity. That is why Ian helped me win immunity. We ran into each other early on and he helped me find that hidding spot. He managed to save me several times now without revealing to Mike that we have such a tight alliance. He knows he has to go with me to the end if he wants the best odds of winning.”
Aras and Mike were asked to go get tree mail.
Aras asked: “If I don’t win immunity, are you voting me out?”
Mike flatly answered: “Yes.”
Aras insisted: “Can I ask why?”
Mike: “You betrayed our alliance when you went after Todd.”
Aras replied: “Todd was your alliance, not mine. It used to be you, me, Ian, Earl, Mick and Danni. Todd was the one that infiltrated the alliance. That caused all the headaches.”
Mike had nothing to say about that so Aras pursued the point: “Earl and Ian have been much better at the social game than me so I have to ask why you’d eliminate me.”
Maybe Mike had an answer, maybe it even was a good one but the editors didn’t let us hear it because we saw the pair entering the clearing where the Opas had built their shelter.
Aras read the tree mail message:
“Looking back, we’ve lived and learned
But now we’re wondering
Here we wait and only guess
What this next day will bring.”
Ian asked out loud: “I wonder if the “we” in that message refers to the jury. I bet they’ll be playing in this challenge.”
“Come on in, guys” said an enthusiastic Jeff.
The Survivor entered the challenge arena, glad to see that the jury members wouldn’t be a factor in this challenge. They found out the meaning of the message when Jeff said the challenge would be questions about their Fallen Comrades.
Name the Survivors in the order they were voted out of the game:
Earl was the only one to get it right by writing: “Susie, Natalie T, Chase, Sophie, Chris, Neleh, Kelly, Natalie W, Becky, Yul, Danni, Dreamz, Kathie, Mick, Jenna, Todd and Sandra.”
All the others had either added Greg even if he hadn’t been voted out or they mixed up the player order when two were voted out in the same TC.
For another point : In order, name all the individual immunity winners?
This time, Ian was the only one to get it right, maybe because he had won more than anyone else: “Ian, Todd, Dreamz, Mike, Greg, Ian, Todd, Ian, Earl, Aras” he wrote while the others forgot the individual immunities during the Tribal double councils.
Jeff then asked: “Which player received votes in more different Tribal Councils than anyone else?”
Aras was the only one that knew that Mick had received votes at 6 different councils.
“We are tied: Aras, Earl and Ian each have 1 point.’
Jeff asked more questions and it soon became evident that Ian and Earl were running away with this. Mike eventually got 1 question right, Aras added 1 but Earl and Ian entered the last question tied 6 to 6.
Jeff said: “We will proceed to a tie-breaking question:
What do the following people have in common:
Stacey Stillman, Ramona Grey, Jeff Varner, Sarah Jones, Shii Ann Huang (in Thailand), Daniel Lue, Ryan Shoulders, Colby (in All-Stars), Rory Freeman, Sylvia Kwan, Ashley Massaro, Jean-Robert Bellande, Chet Welch, Gillian Larson, Sandy Burgin, and Stacey Powell, Bill Posley. And who, in our season, would join that group?”
Earl was stumped. Ian, on the other hand, wrote: “They attended more than 1 Tribal Council but received votes in each of them. Chase did it this time around.”
Jeff answered: “Actually, Chase, Sophie and Kelly all went to more than 1 Tribal Council this time and, like the other Survivors mentioned, receive votes each time. Still, Ian’s answer is good enough to WIN IMMUNITY!”
In turn, the Survivors gave confessionals about their thoughts on the upcoming vote and the next stage of the game.
Earl: I don’t know who has the best chance of winning the final immunity. It depends on what kind of challenge it is. We all have won but the challenges were different. Us 4 have been part of an alliance since the beginning and have no idea what the jury thinks about that... I won't know who to write down until I get to the voting booth...”
Mike: “This vote, to me, is a no-brainer. My vote tonight will be for Aras. Sorry Aras, but when you got Todd out, that sealed the deal for me....and I always thought you were a huge jury threat. After that, assuming I get that far, all three of them are pretty fierce competitors. And we've all won at least one challenge... It’s hard to say how the jury perceives us since I don't know what the jury members are thinking or feeling...but am hopeful that none of them are upset with me. I really don't think that I hurt anyone on the jury by any moves I made.”
Aras: “I am not sure who the jury likes best at this point so I am going to vote for the person who has been trying to get rid of me for at least 3 tribal councils. I just couldn't play this game the way I should have. It is hard to believe that this game could mimic the real thing, but it does in some ways, and that surprised me. It also validated for me that I am way too sensitive to play this game. I tried to be nice and I screwed myself up (rather like Lex!). I made mistakes with some of my friends. Ian told me that they are voting for me. I let him off the hook as far as our F2 pact. I really hope Ian wins. I think Mike is making a mistake taking him to the end over me. I don't think he realizes how many people I've pissed off on the jury!! I chose Ian as my main alliance in the beginning because I knew he would be loyal and trustworthy and he has kept me in the loop throughout all of Mike's shenanigans. We agreed that the best thing for his game would be for him to vote with Mike. A Mike-Ian finale would be interesting because I really don't know who the jury likes (except I bet Mick and Jenna won't vote for Mike!). Mike has been flinging the BS around trying to curry jury votes. We'll see who sees through it and who doesn't!”
Ian: “The challenges are really a toss-up among us. I don't think there's any one person who's stronger or weaker in the challenges. It's all a matter of whether or not the challenge caters to our individual strengths. That, and who the jury likes are the two biggest factors right now in deciding how to vote.
At the same time, I also think that everyone is a jury threat at this point. I believe that every person left in the game has at least one jury member willing to vote for them at the final tribal council, and that one vote is potentially the difference between winning or losing.
I'm really torn on the vote tonight, since I feel equally close to Earl, Aras, and Michael. That said, my vote tonight will reflect what I think is the best end-game move for myself.”
The final four entered the tribal council set and took their seat.
Jeff then said: “We welcome the members of the jury: Dreamz, Katie, Greg, Mick, Jenna, Todd and Sandra, voted out at the last Tribal council…”
And that’s when it happened: The camera was on Sandra as she said: “Dear God…” Then we heard three distinct sounds: A low rumple, followed by a metallic squink…followed but a mysterious “glonk”. Viewers were left to speculate on what exactly happened but the scene cut and returned to show people huddling by the side of the set. We saw that medical had been called in and Jeff was saying: “Give him air…Give him air.”
The next scene showed Mike, Aras and Earl sitting on their stools. Jeff’s face looked pained as he said: “Ian had to be taken out of the game. He is doing much better but he won’t be able to participate in the game anymore. Therefore, you are the final three. Head back to camp because you have a busy day ahead of you.”
The final 3 were waken up at the “butt-crack of dawn” to go get Tree Mail:
The message read:
“After they had journeyed
And their feet were sore
And they were tired…
They thought of themselves in balance.
Upon this they saw that when they were in anger
Or knew hurt or felt fear
It was because they were not understanding
And they learned; compassion
Then they were answered.”
The message told them to follow the map, guiding them for the Rites of Passage.
As they made their way to final immunity, Aras, Earl and Mike walked passed the torches of their fallen comrades:
First we had Suzie, a finalist in Gabon:
Susie : Gabon was a damned mess. And I was still next to first. I was first out of this piece of Greek Islands cake. Gone! Caput! Fini! At the first Tribal! What an embarrassment.
Then came Natalie from Redemption Island:
Natalie T : I just couldn’t find an alliance that would work for me.
Next, we had Chase's torch:
Chase : Being from the South I thought my easy going ways would charm the ladies and seem non-threatening to the guys--besides I hoped that not being a former winner would keep a target off my back. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.
Soon they reached Sophie's torch from South Pacific:
Sophie : I guess I saw the difference between being included in a solid alliance on day 1 and being in a position where no one approached me.
Then came Chris : It’s tough being a previous winner and known to have told a lie or two in the past.
The following Survivor was Neleh from Marquesas:
Neleh : They still didn’t want to share mints with me.
From there, the survivors walked to Kelly's torch:
Kelly : I had the first alliance ever when I talked to Richard on day one but I had none this time.
And then we had the winner from Samoa:
Natalie W : My word! I'm happy to have made it as far as I did in this game…I had won once before, so it's really not surprising that they voted me out. I wish I could've stayed longer, but it's a game, right? It's all good.
Soon we saw them approach Becky's torch:
Becky : I came into the game wanting to prove that I'm more than just the girl who can't make fire, and I think I did. I strategized, I tried to work hard at camp, but ultimately, we were just outmatched by the other tribe.
Then came her big brother who was eliminated in the same tribal council:
Yul : It’s harder to play without a hidden immunity idol.
The Survivors then proceeded to the players that had made the merge, starting with another winner:
Danni : I worked so hard to get far but I just didn't make enough of an alliance early on to carry me through. They probably thought I was a too big of a threat to keep. Oh well."
Finally, they got to our own players:
Dreamz (Georgiana): The game made me feel ... Wowed, weary and wiser.
Kathie (Suzzee): What an eye-opener! This was a terrific game and I am very glad I signed up. I was surprised that mistrust within the Greek Island Association came so soon after forming. I knew there would be sub alliances within eventually. I probably would play something like this again but I would try another type of strategy.
Greg (Tribephyl): “I couldn't step away from the personal feelings. If while on the show with strangers it would be fine. Conversely, here with peeps I've spent the last 10 years with, I was not able to separate the feelings from the game-play.”
Mick (Jbug): You really wanted me to say something?
& I thought I said too much before so I was cut off.
I made some early alliances, but I didn't know that everyone else was making alliances too.
silly little ole bug me.
The challenges were tough; especially the real survivor trivia stuff!
Jenna (Agman): I think you really brought a flavor of the real game to the boards! Tons of twists and turns and even some strong emotions....*whistles and looks in the other direction* I'm not sure I'll play next time because I'm not proud of some of my behaviors, but I will definitely be a fan and watch!
Todd (Corvis): I had a lot of fun playing the game and strategizing, making alliances and tricking other people. I think I could have made it to F3 with Spot and Kris, but with the twist in this game, I didn't stand a chance.
Sandra (Belle Book): Once I was alerted to possible danger by Greg, I knew I had to scramble! I played the "anyone as long as it wasn't me" game very well -- a little too well, as things turned out! But at least I gave it my all, and I can't ask for anything more.
Ian (Spot): What I learned from this game is that I can't play it using just my head. The nice guy who doesn't want anyone to be hurt will always show up, and while I know that I have to focus on the big prize at the end, I also want to play a game that I personally respect. I think that's what I did and regardless of what happens, I'd be satisfied with the outcome.
Finally, the Survivors reached Jeff and were told they’d have to keep their balance while holding coins in their hands. If they dropped their coins or if they fell off their perch, they would be eliminated.
As soon as the challenge started, Aras stepped off saying: “I think you two are going to take me to the end so I’ll let you battle it out.”
Earl gave it a try but the challenge was very hard on his bad knees. Still, he stayed a long time but, in the end, he dropped his coins and Jeff said:
“Mike wins immunity!”
After Mike won immunity, the three players had returned to camp where Mike had to decide which player he would take to the end. Maybe they were still stunned by what had happened to Ian because they didn’t say much. Therefore, they were asked to proceed immediately to Tribal Council.
Jeff greeted the 3 finalists and the members of the jury. He turned immediately to Mike, asking him if he had made up his mind.
Mike: “I asked Aras and Earl to play rock-paper-scissors to decide who would be in the Final 2.”
Jeff was shocked: “But, but… you earned the right to decide who you think you could beat so why leave it to chance?”
Mike: “I wanted to be fair.”
Jeff: “Fair? In Survivor? Well, that’s a first. So, Earl, Aras: Who won?”
Aras answered:: “I did.”
Jeff: “So, Mike, is that it? Are you eliminating Earl?”
Mike: “Yes, I am”
Jeff: “So, there’s no need to vote, Earl you will need to bring me your torch. I guess rock snuffs torch.”
Day 39 - Final Tribal Council
To everyone’s delight, we saw that Ian had been able to make it to the jury.
So now, Jeff faced the final 2 and said: “This is how we will proceed: Mike and Aras will each deliver opening statements then the jury members will be allowed to ask a question or make a comment and then we will have the final vote.
Mike, you’re up.”
Mike: “I joined this game to have fun and I have! I made an early alliance with a group of people and a small one-person alliance very early on. I've remained true to almost all of the statements I've made to the players in this game. I know there is at least one person who may feel like I stabbed them in the back or something along those lines, and if he still feels that way, I encourage that person to ask me what he wants. I also encourage all the members of the jury to ask what they want and assure you that I will answer honestly...even if you don't like my answer, it will be honest.
I played a hard game, coming in second on the first immunity challenge and winning two other immunities.”
Aras followed: “I am shocked to be sitting here. I feel like a cat with nine lives! However, unlike Mike I didn’t like this game. I have wanted out since Greg was med-evaced but the competitor in me wouldn’t let me quit. Since I was friends with so many of you, this game was very hard for me to play. I bungled the social game many times. However, my mind wasn’t in the game most of the time and I apologize, especially to the GIA.
Early on I was approached by both alliances to join with them. The Nachos alliance was first so I chose that as my main alliance. When the GIA approached me, I said yes, mostly so I wouldn’t hurt their feelings by saying no (not because I was trying to be some evil double agent). I made a mistake and let friendship cloud my judgment, a survivor no-no!! I formed a F2 pact with the same person Mike did on one of the very first days of the game and that was the one person I was loyal to throughout the game.
When push came to shove, I was able to scramble to save myself when Todd was voted out and I won immunity to save myself again. Mike has played a great social game but was so afraid of alienating anyone that he used rock, paper, scissors to chose who to take to the final 2 with him. This despite the fact that he had been trying to vote me out for at least 3-4 tribal councils prior to that.”
Jeff: “Thank you both. Now, Mick will get us started.”
Mick: “Congrats to both of you. Mike: When I was voted out, I said you were in over your head. I think you eeked by - by not being seen as a threat - therefore not becoming the target at the TCs - under the radar so to speak.
Question: When did you decide that I should go asap? Were you thinking I needed to go even before the GIA alliance was eliminated?”
Mike: “Well, I assume that GIA refers to the other alliance you had, as the one I had with you was the Nachos alliance. After we were down to one player, yes I wanted to get you out immediately. I viewed you as a huge threat and pushed to get you out. The person that saved you was Ian. He told me he had an F3 or something with you and Greg and Aras or maybe it was Jenna...anyway, he assured me that we needed your vote a couple more times. Since I put my trust in him and he is, of course, survivor rainman, I conceded that we should keep you around. But then I finally had the votes to get you out and so I did, and I believe if I hadn't gotten you out that week, I would've been gone instead. I hope this answers your question.”
Mick then turned to Aras: “Obviously I wasn't the person you made that the F2 pack with - the one Mike made the F2 with (will either of you be telling us who that was?). But I thought you & I had a pact from the very very beginning when we both ended up on both alliances and started the game with a secret that no one else knew. What happened to the alliance you made with me? Why did you chose that other person to stick by instead of me?
Aras: “My final 2 alliance was with Ian. I made it with him shortly after the Nachos alliance was created and before you and I discussed an alliance.
I had a F4 alliance with you, Jenna and Ian and a F4 alliance with Jenna, Mike and Ian. I naively thought that I could get to the final 5 with the four of you and then see where things lay. I didn't count on Mike being out to get you so soon. Ian did try to keep us all together for as long as he could.”
Suzzee was next: “Congratulations on making the finale and well done. Having been sent to the Jury so soon I feel like I missed much of the game play that will help me decide who will get my vote. Will you recount the path of your game play from the early formation of your alliance through the merge and the end game? Thanks!”
Mike: “I made an alliance with Ian on Day 1 or thereabouts. I sent out "feelers" to many other people but he was the only one who responded. Then Mick set up the FB Greek Island group, which you were not a part of. Once we got to the merge Mick kept suggesting Sandra but then Ian suggested Dreamz and then Katie and that is how you and Dreamz got voted out. I suggested Greg to get him out, as he is a big competition threat (at least in my view) but then he left. At that point, Aras, Ian and I were working together and I was also working with Ian and Todd. I was trying to push to keep Todd instead of Aras with Ian...but he was torn between the two. I viewed Aras as a bigger jury threat (no offense Todd) and so we assured Mick that Sandra was next, but that was when we were able to get Mick out instead. This threw Jenna for a loop and she went next. But then Aras threw me a curve ball and got Todd out, and rightly so, leaving Sandra in another round. Then Jeff basically told us if we didn't get rid of Sandra next, we were screwed, so I talked to Earl, who really wanted out at the merge, to stick around until we go rid of Aras. We were gonna get him out, but darn her, she got immunity, so we had to move on Sandra. Then Earl said he'd stick around long enough to help get rid of Aras because he felt betrayed by him getting Todd out. Then Ian left the game and I won the final immunity (not to mention at least one other and coming in second on a different one). Knowing that Earl had wanted out long ago, I wanted to make sure he still felt that way, even though he had said he also wanted to get Aras out. So I asked if they wanted to go to F2 with me. Both told me not really (gee, do i smell or somethin?) I honestly thought only Aras would say yes. I did think about just choosing him to go and telling Earl sorry, but I'm voting you out, but I've always wanted to see someone do a pick for F2 or F3 on Survivor with RPS and this was my chance! So call it a chickensh!t move, but that's how I wanted to play that.”
Aras then said: “Gee that's a tough question for an absent-minded yoga instructor like me. I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday never mind the path this game took! But I'll try.
At the beginning of the game I got an offer from Ian, asking me to join an alliance of Mick, Mike, Danni, Earl and himself. I thought to myself, who would I like to go to the end with? I made it a bigger offer by asking Ian for a F2. He agreed also telling me that he had a final 2 with Mike but he'd rather go with me because, at that time, he felt Mike was too sympathetic a guy compared to us.
You talked to me a few days later asking me to join your cross-tribal alliance. I thought carp, do I tell these people that there is already a majority alliance and take all of the fun out of it for them? For better or worse, I agreed.
Ian had figured out who were the Survivor members of the GIA and who weren't when we came to the merge. By this point Jenna had joined in a final 4 pact with me, Mick and Ian and another with me, Mike and Ian so we were choosing between Dreamz, Katie, Greg and Sandra. Collectively, our entire Nachos alliance chose to vote out Dreamz because he had already won immunity once and we thought he might be an immunity threat.
That left Katie and Greg as the outsiders. Unfortunately we had to pagong you. I briefly flirted with working with Greg but he went running to Jenna to tell her what I said (and probably to you too) so I felt I had to vote him out.
Next the sh!t hit the fan in my alliance. I was worried about Todd and suggested voting him out to Mick, Ian and Mike but that didn't fly. Mick was collateral damage as I was outnumbered and Jenna followed next while I kept getting votes at tribal council. I was really annoyed that Mike didn't trust me and that Todd had replaced me in my final three. I knew I was going next and I thought I had to do something to change things up. I wanted to go out with a bang. I approached Belle and got her vote and also asked Ian. Ian originally said yes but then that stinker, Todd, got to him and convinced him to vote for Sandra instead. I got incredibly lucky that there was the twist where the jury had the right to vote and I knew that Jenna was going to vote against Todd. I hoped the jury would all vote as a block and they did! I won immunity the next time mostly just to throw a monkey wrench in Mike's plans knowing full well I would be voted out as soon as I didn't have immunity! I didn't anticipate Ian having to leave. Then I won rock, paper, scissors to make it to the final two.
Hope this wasn't too long-winded!”
Jenna then stepped up to ask her question: “First off, congrats to both of you for making the Final. From what I can tell, you each took a different path to get there. One of you seemed more like a planner while the other seemed more like an opportunist. I think both are valid ways to get to the final. I'm happy with either of you winning but the problem is, I only have one vote. Because I can't seem to decide who to vote for, I'll ask you both the same question and make my choice based on your answer. Here's the question. Think about your game and how you got to the final. What do you think was the biggest move YOU made, which got you on the path to the final? You may not, however, tell me about how someone leaving the game was your big move. Remember, this has to be a move YOU made. Thanks, I'll look forward to your responses.”
Mike: “I'd say my biggest move was getting Mick out, which ultimately caused your fall. I told you I wanted him out when Aras brought you in to discuss F4 with me and Ian. You had to think about it because, after all, you had an alliance with him, right? I knew Mick was running things on at least two fronts, if not more. I knew he had an alliance with me, Todd, Earl, Ian and Aras. I assumed he had an alliance with the others (you, Greg, Katie, Dreamz, Sandra) I also assumed he had other smaller deals going on. I watched and listened on our alliance and he wanted certain people gone and made her voice known but for my game, it was a problem. He was getting his way, and I was NOT getting mine (what can I say? I'm a bit of a control freak). As the numbers dwindled, I knew I had to get rid of him or everyone from our alliance would flock to him and I would stand zero chance of getting very far. So I pushed and pushed to get rid of Mick and finally, I got my way.”
Aras: “Clearly eliminating Todd was my biggest move. If I hadn't, I would have been gone several rounds ago. I knew Mike was gunning for me next after Mick's elimination and even though I doubted making it to the end, I wanted to shake things up.
You made it easy for me to execute his elimination by stating that you were going to vote for Todd every time until he was gone. I knew Sandra would vote for anyone as long as it wasn't her and I thought Ian would be on board too. When Ian changed his vote to Sandra, I thought I was cooked, but, much to my surprise, the jury voted as a block. Todd was eliminated, I won immunity, Ian left and I won rock, paper, scissors, so here I sit!”
Greg was next: “I could recite a long commentary about the disadvantages of making "strategic" moves over "personal" moves in games, with this group. But I won't. I could also pointedly ask each of the finalist, with a fair amount of distanced bitterness, about why they chose to eliminate ME.
But really, the commentary and the self-aggrandizing are attributes that neither one of you should be bothered with explaining at this moment.
Plain and simple, you both made it farther than me. (Farther than anyone else playing.) And what's worse is... I quit. TskTsk.
However, regardless of your longevity (or mine), I still have to choose between the two of you as to who deserves the win MORE than the other.
Because of this, I still have a question to ask and your response WILL have an effect on how I will vote.
I am thinking of a number between 1 and 50. The one closest to my chosen number will receive my vote.”
Mick said 25, Aras picked 24.
Dreamz had his turn: “When Survivor's winners are discussed, the conversation usually quickly becomes centered on who among them deserved to win the Game. And who did not. And in that conversation, the observation that every Season of the Game is a different - unique - environment and that it is therefore impossible to fashion a common, utilitarian yardstick by which the Game's winners could be measured is usually quickly made. So, I haven't any idea how I will vote. I do not, though, have any questions to ask. I simply don't think that I know enough truth about what happened around - and to - me to trust that I could frame an intelligent one.”
Aras observed: “It has been a wild and crazy ride, hasn’t it?!”
Mike said: “You were a tough competitor so we had to get you out.”
Then it was Sandra’s turn: “Congratulations to you both for getting this far. But after hearing your opening statements, I've pretty much made up my mind as to whom I'm going to vote for, so I won't ask either of you any questions.
I want to say that in retrospect, I really wish I'd tried to form some alliances -- and that I really wish I'd let someone who didn't have their head in the game go instead of agreeing to vote out Todd. At least Todd had his head in the game.
Still, I'm not going to bash the person who didn't have his head in the game, since that person didn't quit, I'll just wish both players luck.”
Mike said: “I totally admired your gameplay, Sandra. You are a great competitor and I enjoy talking to you as well!
Aras corrected something Sandra was forgetting: “By agreeing to vote out Todd, you gave yourself an opportunity to last longer. If you hadn't voted with me for Todd, then you would have been the one to go. There was always the chance that Ian would vote with Aras and Sandra to vote out Earl and Mike and you would have made final three. That vote gave you the opportunity to try to save yourself at the next tribal council.”
Up stepped Todd: “So I was going to say congrats to both of you, but apparently Aras didn't even really want to be here so it's seems strange to congratulate him. Congrats, Mike, you played very hard from day 1 to the last day and there's no doubt you deserve to win.
And I have to say that hearing from Mike that both Earl and Aras said they didn't want to go to the final 2 makes me ... well, mad is too strong of a word - it's just a game and all - but let's go with extremely disappointed. Why work so hard to get someone out, Aras, and then basically give up? I don't know how any one in good conscience could vote for you when you had to be dragged to the final 2. Some people got offended by the way I played the game, but at least I played it as hard as I could. I was all set to seriously consider voting for you after you got me out because I respect good game play. But hearing how you basically gave up...ugh. So my question for you is do you even want to win and why in the world would I ever vote for you?
Mike, I have no questions for you. I know how you basically controlled the whole post merge game, working with Ian and others to get to the end. Good job and it will take an amazing answer from Aras to keep me from voting from you.”
Aras answered; “It wasn’t so much that I gave up that I realized I didn’t have much of a chance to win the game. Going into this game I was worried about two players - you and Mick. Mick because of his social game and you because you are strategic. I thought to myself early on, "I should befriend Todd in case we want to talk down the road." Obviously I never got around to it but I had my eye on you. After the merge it seemed like everyone had an alliance with you but me. We had never talked so I got worried. I knew that Mike was out to get me and even though I knew that I would go eventually, I couldn't just lie down and die. I am very competitive and something in me said, you know, getting rid of Todd would really change up the game. At least I could be known for that! In survivor, you just have to last 3 more days and then three more days... You know the rest!
No hard feelings no matter who you decide to vote for. Kris was surprised but not bitter towards me after you were voted out and that was a pleasant surprise. She has been a good rival to play against.”
Next, it was time to hear from Ian: “First of all, congratulations to both of you for making it this far into the game. Considering that I had a Final Two deal with both of you since Day Two or so, I couldn't be happier with the outcome of this game.
Aras: I think you are the most underrated player in the game. The pre-merge success of the Nachos alliance can solely be attributed to the fact that you shared with me information that proved to be vital in deciding a pre-merge boot list, and in creating alternative boots in case anyone disagreed with my suggestions. You took the fall in the process, and while some people would see it as a betrayal of trust, I personally see it as brilliant gameplay.
The failure of the Nachos alliance, on the other hand, I attribute solely to myself. I will not go into any more detail, but yes, I really think this is true. You mentioned to me in the past that I was the glue that held the alliance together, but the truth is, you were the glue that held me together. I would have quit after Mick was voted out, if not for the trust that you had shown me throughout the game. For that, I sincerely thank you.
Mike: You told me before that you wanted to win because you felt like you had something to prove, and I think you have just proved yourself to be quite the formidable opponent. I have talked more strategy with you than Aras, and I have to say that you executed brilliantly. You have mastered the one thing that I couldn't--separating your emotions from your strategy. Congratulations. You played a superb game.
Mike: “Ian, I missed you so very much when you left. I really wanted us to be F2. Thank you for the kind words. I hope I have proved myself to everyone here.”
Aras: “Thanks for your kind words Ian. I leaned on you a lot during the game and you were always there for me. Thank you! It was a real pleasure playing the game with you.”
Finally, it was Earl’s turn: :Congrats for making the finals you two. My question to both of you.
If you had not been one to make the final two which survivor do you think should be sitting there and why?”
Mike: “I think if I hadn't gotten Mick out, he'd be sitting here because he's a very savvy player and had great alliances on both sides. I also think Ian would be here because he is also a very savvy player and won a lot of challenges. Nuts...now I just realized what you actually asked and you said "should be"...so hmmm....well, I think everyone should have had the chance to get this far and quite honestly, I'm shocked to have made it this far. I really didn't think I stood a chance against all of you. I guess to answer your question as to who "should be" I guess I'll go with my original answer and include in that Aras as well because, except for this move of his, he also played a great game and Sandra for having gone the whole game without an alliance.”
Aras: “Without question Ian should be sitting here. He formed the first alliance of the game - which comprised the final 4. He was strategic early on, won several immunities after the merge and knows his survivor trivia!! He stayed on almost everyone's good side and was a loyal alliance-mate.”
It was now all up to Jeff who thanked the jury and the Final 2 and said: “It is time to vote. I remind you that you are voting for a Winner of Survivor - The Greek Islands.”
The viewers saw the following votes:
Ian, voting for Aras: “I couldn't be happier for either of you, but I only have one vote to give away."
Todd’s vote was also shown: “My vote is for Mike. He was my main ally and he played a great game.”
Katie voted for Mike, saying: “I gave the vote some real thought. Did Mike play a better game then Aras? From what I see they both played well enough to be at the end. I think Mike stayed with the game better and was more consistent in his goals.”
We saw Mick step up to the voting booth and write “Aras”: “This vote is for the million dollars.”