LAST EDITED ON 03-12-10 AT 01:49 PM (EST)
"You could argue that Sandra did a brilliant job of maneuvering things so that she literally had a dream final four in place - she only had to worry about getting past Fairplay, Big Lill and Mute Darrah, while all of the other potential vote-grabbers were gone on the jury."
Her only maneuver, really, was ousting Burton. I'd say she moreso fell into the final four. If you'll recall, her gameplan went kaput when Rupert left. Johnny and Burton controlled the vote for two tribals (or at least got their way with Tijuana and Christa), before Sandra corralled the ladies. Which was a smart move, I guess. Only Burton wasn't the challenge monster at that point, Darrah was.
When you think about, it was more of a nightmare F4 for Sandra. Every single one of them could easily beat her at challenges (to be fair, basically everyone else that season could, too), and Lill and Johnny were the first and second greatest goats--Lill for having been voted out and Johnny for being a horrible human being--of all time. Sandra might've beaten Darrah, I don't remember well enough. But what does it matter? Do you think Darrah ever would've taken her?
The only thing Sandra had going for her is that Lill is crazy. If she doesn't decided deliberately not to win, Sandra's toast. And relying on people to be crazy isn't a great place to maneuver yourself into.