Who's going to win the ''Survivor'' showdown? - It's the Bikini Babe vs. the Boston Wrangler in the all-star finale

By Dalton Ross
Updated May 14, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

Who’s going to win the ”Survivor” showdown?

We’re pretty sure that when people envisioned the Survivor: All-Stars final five, names like Jenna, Tom, and Amber (!!!) weren’t at the top of anyone’s list. One thing that’s easy to forecast, however, is a tense Tribal Council full of bruised egos on the finale (Sunday, May 9, 8 p.m.). If you think that the jury of previous players (which will include one of the folks to the right by the time you read this) will be able to put aside their personal preferences and appreciate the fact that they were outplayed, you’re wrong. ”The personal burn is still pretty fresh,” says host Jeff Probst. ”Those wounds are coming out, and you can see it.” (Paging Lex van den Berghe.) But what about objectivity, you ask? ”This is the first Survivor where objectivity was gone before they even started,” hints executive producer Mark Burnett. ”These are all gonna be emotional votes.” Of course, the cagey Burnett could just be trying to throw us off the trail, which makes predicting a winner even more maddening.

Amber ODDS 2-1

STRONGEST MOVE Bringing a bikini. Then sitting back and letting her boyfriend, Rob, piss everyone off. And then there’s also the cunning way she…um, well, we’re sure she must’ve done something cunning. At some point. In her life.

WEAKEST MOVE Well, I guess the former Stuff cover girl could have also brought a thong — just for insurance.

WHY SHE WILL WIN Her passive don’t-look-at-me-unless-you’re-looking-at-my-hot-bod approach would never win votes from hardcore competitors like Richard, Colby, and Ethan. But then again, they’re not on the jury, so tough noogies for them.

WHY SHE WON’T WIN Not exactly a challenge-winning powerhouse. Would anyone besides Boston Rob want to bring such a pleasant, attractive lady to the finals?

WHAT THE ISLAND GODS SAY ”She certainly grew and evolved as a player since Australia,” says Burnett. ”She’s fit, dynamic, and very smart. But she’s definitely tarred by the brush of Rob.” Probst agrees: ”From where I sit, she is playing the smartest game in that she found the strongest guy, she’s tucked neatly under his arm, and she is making him do all the dirty work.”

Rob ODDS 4-1

STRONGEST MOVE Convincing sucker of the century Lex to dump Jerri (right) instead of Amber, thereby ensuring his alliance had the numbers advantage post-merge.

WEAKEST MOVE Has alienated much of the jury with his double-dealing and wicked brusque personality. A little tact could have gone a long way.

WHY HE WILL WIN More than anyone, he deserves it: He schemed, scammed, and ruled the challenges. If he makes it to the final two, a jury would almost be compelled to give it to him in acknowledgment of his dominance. But…

WHY HE WON’T WIN …Will the jury members be able to put the facts before their feelings? Does Lex, with a freshly cut Mohawk (right), look like he’s ready to forgive and forget?

WHAT THE ISLAND GODS SAY ”His genuine love of Amber makes it very hard for him to think clearly,” says Burnett. ”But if he keeps winning immunities, he’ll be fine, won’t he?” Probst sums it up thus: ”The question for Rob is, if he makes it to the final two, will he finally give the jury the apology they want or does he say, ‘Stick it up your ass’?” We’re hoping for the latter.

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