Thanks for all the information you gave us on the characters -- both human and animal alike. Here's my two cents on the characters, with the crew first, then the contestants in order of being voted out (or not getting enough votes to win), then a brief glimpse of a fine feathered friend before getting to our heroine:
Not much to say about Dietrich. He was nice to Alex and he probably went through the motions with Jake. As for Cameron, way to go, guy! Jake deserved to be hit like that! I could imagine him with Robin -- if he was strong enough physically.
Julia was interesting. Some of her comments hit the nail right on the head, like when she told Alex the real reason she got rid of Mary-Jane. And I loved seeing her enter with Phil as Alex's partner!
As far as Jake's concerned, good riddance to bad rubbish. At least he wasn't too bright in executing his plans. I don't know if he lived or died, but part of me doesn't really care.
Jeff -- I liked what you did with him. I think my favorite scene with him was the one with Phil. That was classic comedy! I laughed my head off -- especially when he took his revenge on the poor challenge staff for their part in the joke!
There's not much I can add to your comments on Michelle. Still, I find it interesting that you may have given Gary's wife the same first name if she too was a victim -- of rape, in her case. At least being bounced out of the game is easier to recover from.
I'm a devoted Christian, so I don't think I'll ever go to Trina or any other fortuneteller. But I like Trina. At least she was honest about her skills -- and she wisely downplayed her own beliefs, unlike Connie.
Elmore was certainly a classic comic relief character, especially in that crawl-through! I would've been dying of laughter if I'd been there! If Elmore's the warning about the dangers of being inflexible, he's a reflection on Alex then. At least Alex can be flexible in terms of the game.
I don't see Frank's departure as the result of letting one's sense of humor out in the open. I see his fall as the result of taking risks without thinking. And the particular form of his fall resonated with me -- I saw my brother-in-law nearly die because of physical damage caused by alcoholism! No overdose with my brother-in-law, thank heavens, but it was still bad. I just hope Frank learned his lesson like my sister and brother-in-law did theirs.
I don't have much to add about Denadi. I see her as a nice woman who didn't really realize what she was getting into, and one who's not as strong as Alex. At least she didn't lay down her torch like Osten did.
Desmond reminded me too much of Roger from the Amazon, which is interesting since you mentioned that Roger was an inspiration for Desmond. He's the first victim of what I call the Alex Rule: Underestimate Alex only at your own risk. And he really deserved his fall, since I think he threw the challenge.
If Trooper was single and a Christian, I'd probably date him. He's such a nice guy. He really handled Alex nicely and may have played some role in her healing process. I hope the cop job doesn't totally wear him down.
Angela seems to be the secondary villain in the story. She was wrong to use Tony the way she did. Yeah, Tony was dumb but to play with his heart like that was just cruel. At least Mary-Jane didn't use Frank that cruelly -- and he knew she was playing him but just enjoyed it too much to stop.
I also think Alex probably should've made a more all-out effort to get Tony to see how Angela was using him. Unfortunately, he had so much faith (and was so naive) that I'm not certain a full-out effort would've convinced him.
If Phillip was a real person and single, I'd definitely go out with him in a heartbeat. He's the type of guy any woman should be proud to have as her husband. Too bad he wasn't willing to stick around longer but it worked out according to his own moral code so I'm not going to hold it against him too much.
Mary-Jane's flirtation with Frank reminded me of Parvati's showmances with Nate and James -- in fact, Jeff's comments on James's knowledge of Parvati's intentions reminded me of Frank's knowledge of Mary-Jane's intentions. And Mary-Jane's a little like me in that we both care deeply about people, although I'm straight and I don't cry as easily as she does.
Robin's one of my favorite characters -- I love her directness. And I don't blame her for quitting that Reward Challenge with the chains -- I'd probably have quit myself, although I'm not a dancer and don't have a career-related reason to quit it. I wonder if she told Audrey that Gardner rejected her for Audrey.
Gary was certainly interesting, especially with his question at the end. I see him as the obverse of Mrs. Paglia in a way -- she's good at pretending to be a nice woman when she's really a monster, Gary's good at pretending to be a monster when he's really a nice guy. And I admire his steadfastness -- although it might have hurt him in the end.
I can't blame Gardner for wanting to get rid of Alex after she used the cross -- he recognized she was enough of a threat for his game that he wouldn't want her around long enough for her to hurt his game. Of course, he wound up needing her and she wound up sending him to the jury.
Your comments on Connie reminded me of M. Scott Peck's comments in the book People of the Lie. At one point, he writes about a guy he saw in therapy who was in thrall to his evil wife and then he generalizes about two evil people in couples. He thinks that in couples where there are two evil people, one of them is at least slightly in thrall to the other. If that's the case, then Connie's in thrall to her husband. But she's still evil, even if she's less evil than Edward is.
If Azure provides Alex with her first chance to be a parent, I'd say Alex did a pretty good job. Azure begins her journey in the story as a lonely parrot trying to find someone to imprint on and ends it by helping Alex to begin healing.
And finally Alex. I felt so sorry for her when I learned about her past but I also admire her for surviving terrible abuse in her life. She certainly needed healing and Survivor was the first step on her path to healing. From what I saw in the final sequence, I think she's closer to healing than she was before, and I wish her all the best.