Survivor Amazon: Robert Voets/CBS
May 12, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

The best season ever is now over

And the million dollar winner of ”Survivor; The Amazon” is? I’m not sure. I mean, the vote said Jenna, but that sure didn’t look like her hanging out at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City. Looks like she had no problem putting back on all that weight she lost — and then some. (It seems someone’s been busy getting naked for peanut butter and chocolate again, although she should watch that if she keeps wanting to brag about how hot she is.)

But seriously, once it was Jenna against Matthew in the finals you knew she had it won, if only because last column I picked Matt as the winner, and every time I have dared to make a prediction in this show I’ve been dead wrong. Sorry about the jinx, buddy. I guess I just don’t have an astronomical I.Q. like my girl Heidi.

So how was the finale? Well, we had to sit through another one of those boring-ass reflection segments where the final three take time out to sit back and appreciate the landscape that they’ve just trashed and burned down in the course of a month. (I actually was somewhat pleasantly surprised that they seemed at first to skip the part where they fondly remember all their fallen tribemates, but that was just wishful thinking on my part, as they did it later with Matt writing all the names down on a box.) At least their plane/canoe ride ended with them putting on ridiculous warrior costumes, making Rob, Jenna, and Matthew look like rejects from a Village People audition.

Once Rob was out of the picture, I actually thought Matthew had a slight chance against Jenna? until they got to the final tribal council. Man, did he screw that up. He started by talking about how honest and moral he was and finished by talking about how he wasn’t very honest and moral. (Mixed message, anyone?) And then, two words: Colin Powell. I don’t know what the hell that was about. Other than the fact that they both spend a lot of time in Washington, D.C., I can’t see what they have in common.

The only people who came out of that final tribal council looking any worse were Alex (who was shaking his head so vigorously every time Matt opened his mouth that I thought he had Tourettes) and Heidi, who seemed to be begging the final two to list her as being more deserving of the million dollars. Even my man Probst had to cut it with a ”I think they covered it” to get the extremely confused looking gym teacher to retake her seat. (But remember, she’s brilliant!)

Although the final episode and somewhat predictable outcome in the voting made this ending somewhat of a letdown to such a brilliant season, it was well worth it, not only to see who won, but just to bear witness to one of the most frightening images in the history of primetime television. I’m speaking, of course, about Jeff Probst on a jet ski. So, what, he jet skied from the Amazon to New York City? HOW GENIUS WAS THAT?!? I especially loved the part where he stopped to take in the Statue of Liberty. USA! USA! USA! Apparently high on his extreme adventure, he proceeded in the live reunion special to dub the new million-dollar winner a ”selfish, spoiled, only child.” USA! USA USA! (Sorry, once you start it’s hard to stop.)

So the most insane, hilarious, naked, unpredictable season of ”Survivor” ever is now in the books. And what can we expect from ”Survivor: Pearl Islands”? Tough to say, and I’m not just saying that because we have yet to see one second of footage. But if past seasons have showed us anything, it’s that it’s ALL about the casts.

Just look at the last four editions: Africa? Boring. Marquesas? Great. Thailand? Zzzzzzzz. The Amazon? Brilliant. There’s no real way to know how the contestants will react to the elements and to each other until you get them out there in it, so here’s hoping for another entertainingly dysfunctional bunch, and one, if at all possible, that shares a love for Skippy.

What do you think of this season’s outcome?

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