On ''Survivor,'' Chris wins it all after a silly jury deliberation over whether he or Twila was the bigger fibber

By Dalton Ross
Updated December 11, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
Chris Daugherty: Monty Brinton/CBS

”Survivor”: How Chris won it all

Congratulations, Chris! You just won a million dollars. I think the real turning point of the game occurred when the women made a last-minute decision to vote off . . . Wait, hold on. What the hell is that up in the sky? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s Jeff Probst skydiving down toward my house! What the . . . ? Who knows, maybe I’m just seeing things. But can you blame me? Sure, we could talk about Chris winning the million bucks, Ami’s incessant Tribal Council eye rolling, or Twila’s incredible reunion mullet (and I do mean incredible), but why do that when we can relive Probst bushwhacking his way through the jungle on his way to the reunion special? My friend Shawna was so confused she thought she was watching an Indiana Jones movie or something. Truth be told, I’ve lived for these transitional montages ever since our host with the most hopped a cab to New York City for the Marquesas finale, and this one was gold. Pure gold.

Speaking of gold, I guess we should talk about how Chris took home the loot. Once again, he acted at times as if he were doing everything in his power to not win the game. Just as with Julie, he lied for no reason to Eliza about keeping her around. Not only that, but then when she gave him a well-deserved stare-down at Tribal Council, he shrugged and waved her off. I guess he just figured there was no way Eliza and Julie could hate him more than Twila, but still, dude, why take a chance?

And we all knew what it meant once Eliza was gone. It meant there were only three people left. And that meant the traditional lame-ass let’s honor our fallen tribemates ritual. I was extra disappointed they didn’t at least show Chad getting wasted on kava, but you know what? I do have to hand it to the editors for one crafty move — playing audio comments from Julie about how ”it’s kind of a mental battle to know when to expose and when to not expose” while showing footage of her sunbathing naked. That’s just nice work.

Once we got past that nonsense, it was on to the final challenge, which, as we all know, is always an endurance test. I liked the whole bow-and-arrow twist, but was shocked — shocked! — when Scout was the first one to fail. Actually, not so much. Equally predictable was Chris’ choice to take Twila to the finals with him, which proved to be a great move for him, because it pretty much guaranteed a victory, and for us, because we got to watch them wipe out in a hammock (maybe Probst had cut the string with his bushwhacking machete).

Now, we all recognize that Vanuatu was pretty lame until the last few weeks, but it came on strong at the end, and we did have one feisty final Tribal Council. Eliza started calling everyone ”deceptive, lying bitches,” Scout started cursing at Chris, and Sarge? Well, Sarge just may have been wearing the ugliest shirt I have ever seen in my life. Of course, everyone kept bringing up Twila swearing (and lying) on her son’s name. To this day it amazes me how personally people take this game. And what hypocrites they are as well. Why do they all go there? To win a million dollars. Anyone who has seen a single episode knows bluffing is a part of that. Yet people still come on this show (or in Lex’s case, come on the show twice) and immediately forget that. For instance, what was up with Sarge making like Sue Hawk and telling Twila, ”I wouldn’t want to see you on a street”? Presumably that’s because she lied to him about their alliance and lied involving her son, but he’s telling her this while he is simultaneously lying to Chris and Twila about who he was going to vote for. Come again?

Next thing we know, Jeff Probst is assuming every means of transportation known to man to get to Los Angeles with the final vote. Chris wins, curses on live television (good thing they had that tape delay working), and then immediately commences with the worst televised hoedown since Ashlee Simpson (why couldn’t they censor that out?). Truth be told, the reunion was a little humdrum, but maybe I’m just bitter because Probst took way too long to get to my girl Dolly. Hook a brother up next time, Jeff! Anyway, there were a few choice moments, like Chris’ fiancée Lorie saying how he told her he got voted out (proving he really is a lying bastard), and crazy Rory confiding that ”my one regret in the whole game is that I didn’t burn down that camp.” I miss crazy Rory. I wonder if he does birthday parties. I also wonder if he burns down the houses after the party is over. (Hey, they didn’t call it Islands of Fire for nothing, people.)

So next season, we’re on to Palau. Twenty contestants!!! What is that all about? Beats me, but seeing as we’re promised that the game starts like it’s never started before, I’m guessing at least two people are getting the ax right off the bat. But you know me — I’m always wrong about that kind of crap. Anyway, until Survivor‘s back in February, we’ll all have to amuse ourselves by harassing Lynette Rice on the Amazing Race message boards. All I can do now is hope my end-of-season sign-off gets selected as the EW Online Game Changing Moment of the week. Unfortunately, I don’t think that comes with a free Pontiac.

What did you think of the finale? Did Chris deserve to win? Was too much made of Twila’s lie? And settle the score once and for all: Who’s hotter — Dolly or Brady? You know my vote.