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Survivor season finale recap: Did the Jury Blow It... Again?

We have a winner! But did the jury once again overlook the person who played the best overall game?

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Sandra Diaz
Monty Brinton/CBS


TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Jeff Probst
Current Status:
In Season

”Russell’s keeping me around because I’ll never get a single vote. But I don’t know about that.” — Sandra

Ooops, he did it again. Once again, Russell brought along two people to the finals he figured he’d have no problem beating. And once again he was shocked — SHOCKED! — to learn that a jury wasn’t so hot on the idea of handing him a million bucks. I still think the jury in Samoa blew it. And I think the Heroes vs Villains jury got it wrong as well by awarding the title to Sandra. But Russell was not the deserving winner. Parvati was.

I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating.Everyone was after Parvati, even before the game started. And she still made it to the end with a deadly combination of challenge domination, super social skills (think about it: she got a player to give her two hidden immunity idols), and deft strategy (handing out two idols at the same Tribal Council to send J.T. home.) She was the best overall player out there. Even self-obsessed Russell admitted she deserved to win! That’s not to say I’m hating on Sandra. She tried to make a big move and engineer Russell’s ouster (only to be stymied by dumb Heroes) and also manipulated Russell into getting rid of Coach when she and Courtney were about to be sent home. Good for her. But she simply wasn’t as impressive as Parvati.

Okay, let’s start from the very beginning of the final episode. After Russell and Parvati argued like the dysfunctional married Survivor couple that they are, the final five went to their first challenge of the evening, a repeat of the final challenge form China in which the contestants had to balance a variety of dishes on a wobbly arm. I thought it was a lame final challenge there, but much better in the penultimate slot here. In the most shocking twist in Survivor history, Colby was not the first player eliminated. That would be Sandra. Colby actually put on a good showing here but just couldn’t topple the endurance queen as Parvati once again sported the ugly-ass immunity necklace.

Back at camp, Colby asked the other players to put him out of his misery, giving his ”surrender speech.” No doubt realizing that would achieve the impossible of making him appear even lamer than previously thought, Colby made a last half-hearted attempt to stay. His appeal to Russell was actually quite laughable and Colby insisted that if he stayed he could help beat Parvati in the final challenge. And he totally could beat the snot out of Parvati — in 2001! Dude, you can’t win anything. How are you going to help beat Parvati when you can’t even last 15 seconds in a challenge? Not happening. The only thing more confusing that Colby’s faulty logic was seeing Coach all prepped out at Tribal Council with a cardigan tied around his neck. It looked like my man has just stepped foot off Judge Smails’ yacht at Bushwood Country Club. (Caddyshack, anyone?) Colby was finally put down like an injured horse, and he spoke for all viewers when he commented that ”It’s disappointing, especially when the challenges used to be something I was good at.” I’ve given Colby a lot of flak this season for being such a lame-o, but I will say this: The guy owned up to his shortcomings. Let’s all say goodbye to Colby, who I can guarantee we will never see on this show again.

NEXT: Prepare to be shocked