After dominating the immunity challenges throughout the season and beating out Matty in a tie vote fire-off, Bob wins the grand prize and becomes the show's oldest winner

By Dalton Ross
Updated February 28, 2015 at 03:26 AM EST
Monty Brinton/CBS


S17 E13
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One vote. That is how close we came to having a new worst Survivor winner in history. One vote! Susie was one vote away from winning the million dollars! Look, I actually like Susie. Spoke to her before the game, and we had a simply lovely chat sprinkled with many an expletive and discussion about her having sex on the beach with her husband. (I know—ewwwww.) But it would have been a complete and utter disaster had she won. And don’t give me any garbage about her being worthy for winning the last house of cards challenge. It was a freakin’ house of cards challenge! (More on that later.)

But thankfully, she didn’t. Frankly, I would have been fine with either Bob (for his challenge domination) or Sugar (for orchestrating Crystal’s ouster), but it was clear Sugar wasn’t going to get any votes, so it came down to Bob to save us from Susiegate. And he did — bow tie and all. Okay, it’s late — I mean, really late. Stupid football overrun — so let’s get to it. Gonna do something a bit different tonight and do quick-hit takes from the finale. It’s go time, people!

Liked… Bob doing a little smack-talking. When Kenny wondered aloud if Bob would give Kenny the next idol he won, his response was perfect: “Why don’t you just get your own idol?” Oh, snap! The physics teacher is dropping a little science on game boy!

Was frightened by… Bob’s outfit and paint job at the first immunity challenge. Dude, what’s up with the short shorts? This isn’t an early-1980s NBA game. Waaaaaay too much leg going on there. I did, however, love how the red paint on his beard wouldn’t fully come off for the rest of the game so he looked like a cannibal after a meal.

Laughed… After Bob just edged out Susie and Matty to win the first immunity, and then Sugar looked around and wondered “Where’s Suzy?” Um, where Suzy usually is — in last place, not even close. (Oh, just you wait. She’s great with cards!)

Angered me to no end… When Susie explained her strategy to Probst at the first tribal council as “I wait for people to tell me what to do. I’m not strategically making moves.” AND THEY ALMOST HANDED THIS WOMAN A MILLION DOLLARS!!!

Loved, loved, loved… Bob serving up Kenny at tribal council. Kenny tried to go after the teach again for going back on his word when it came to the immunity idol, so Bob called him out for planning to take his idol and then vote him off. Kenny tried to lamely defend himself. It was awkward and painful to watch. And kind of fun.

Impressed by… Kenny’s parting words after being voted out. Like Crystal, he showed a lot of class during his exit. I liked Kenny’s game a lot. He just needed to cut down on the awesome-is-me chatter. Which even he seemed to acknowledge at the reunion.

Almost feel asleep during… The Fallen Comrades. I’ve always hated this segment of the finale, when contestants pretend to give a crap about the people they voted out. At least we got to see Ace get hit in the face with a watermelon, and Sugar compare Randy to a farting noise.

NEXT: The contestants fall like a house of cards

Wondered whether… The contestants felt weird burning the masks in front of the group of native Gabonese. They obviously made them stand there for a while, as they got all their camera angles (including the all-important helicopter shot). I just imagine that after a while that must feel awkward — having a bunch of people sitting there staring at you and occasionally chanting when prompted. Then again, I feel awkward approximately 90 percent of the time anyway, so whatever.

Greatly disappointed by… The final immunity challenge. John Kirhoffer and the Survivor challenge department have put together some of the coolest things I have ever seen. This was not one of them. When I think last Survivor challenge of the season, I am thinking one thing and one thing only: endurance. This is it — the final test to separate the worthy from the pretenders. This is first final challenge I can remember that did not involve endurance in some form or another (either touching a pole, holding a painful pose, or standing on a floating device of some sort). I want a battle of wills. A test of mettle. Not freakin’ Jenga. This house of cards challenge was simply smothered in weak sauce. I guess producers figured watching stacks of tiles crashing to the ground would be dramatic. It wasn’t. Hands down the worst final challenge ever. (Sorry, John.)

Felt sorry for… Matty during that fire-making tiebreaker. I would say we knew he was smoked when the challenge began, but as we clearly saw, Matty and smoke do not exactly go together.

Have said it before and I’ll say it again… Hate the concept and practice of a final 3. Doesn’t matter if you occasionally get a great competitor (like Ozzy from Cook Island) into the finals by adding an extra member. You simply can’t match the drama of a head-to-head face off. It should be A Vs. B, not pick a contestant, any contestant. This has always really bugged me. And it always will.

Was slightly disturbed by… How much Matty looked like a mini Jean-Claude Van Damme at the final tribal council. What the hell was up with that pec-revealing shirt? Matty, I’m all about the Muscles from Brussels, but that was not a strong look, my friend.

Almost spit my Milwaukee’s Best all over the room when… Susie told the jury that she deserved to win because she “tried.” That was it. She tried! That’s all it takes now. Just try, and you’re worthy. Why don’t we just give the money to Gillian or Michelle. They tried! Everyone tried! (Well, maybe not G.C., but everyone else.)

Was confused by… Sugar actively trying not to win the million dollars. Her performance was not as awful as Amanda’s in both China and Micronesia, because Sugar simply wasn’t even trying. I get that she didn’t think she had a shot, so why bother, but there have been other contestants (like Todd and Richard Hatch) who were able to win over votes no one ever thought they would get. At least give it a shot, woman!

NEXT: Kenny milks his final few minutes.

Chuckled to myself in a creepy way…When Charlie asked if Bob enjoyed their snuggling and spooning. Let’s hope Marcus didn’t later fly off in a jealous rage!

Winner of the Dude, Get Over It Award…Was really surprised and disappointed by how bitter Kenny was at the final tribal council. The guy is a professional gamer and lied to people at several times himself. Yet he couldn’t let Bob’s completely justified decision to keep the idol (when Kenny was going to vote him out!) go. Kenny, I expected you to rise above the fray there, my man.

Okay, that was funny… Corinne to Susie: “Susie, I have one question for you, and if you can answer this one question, I will give you my million dollar vote. If you get the money, will you agree to have your vocal chords removed?” Mean, sure, but in a relatively harmless way.

Okay, that was not funny… Corinne to Sugar: “You are an unemployed, uneducated leech on society. And the only thing I would vote to give you is a handful of anti-depressants so that no one else has to be subjected to your constant crying anymore. And maybe if you get some, then it would seem a little more sincere when you are crying about your dead father.” Hey, I get it. The woman shed tears on a minutely basis, but really? That’s how you want to go out? Mocking the dead daddy? Pretty low.

Almost spit my Milwaukee’s Best all over the room, part II Did Marcus actually just say “in the biggest game of all — and that’s life” in his holier-than-thou speech to Susie? Man, that is soooooooooodeep.

Winner of the Eliza Orlins I’m Going to Take as Much Time Casting My Vote as Possible to Look Super Dramatic and Get a Few Extra Seconds of Screen Time Award is… Kenny! Nice touch with the pacing, King of Smash.

My mouth still hasn’t risen off the floor because… Three people voted for Susie to win the million dollars. And I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence. She was one vote away, for crying out loud! I’m fine with Bob winning. Not super excited, but fine. Kind of the way I feel about this entire season. Fine. Not awful. Not amazing. Just…fine.

Hubba Hubba! Damn, Sugar looked good at the reunion. I mean, like, glamorous old-school movie star good. The woman cleans up nice.

The second coming of Jerri Manthey It’s not just their looks that they have in common, but now both Jerri and Corinne share the distinction of being booed mercilessly at their reunion shows. The difference: Jerri walked off stage and left the All Stars reunion due to the crowd’s reaction, while Corinne seemed to relish every second of it.

NEXT: Randy saves the day

Thank God for Randy That may seem like an odd statement but the dude was the only contestant with a pulse at the reunion show. He was like a stand-up comedian answering Probst’s questions. And as for the double standard as to why Corinne was booed and Randy was cheered, it’s pretty simple: Randy did not make the heinous comment about Sugar’s dead father, and, even more importantly, Randy may give other people a lot of crap, but he dishes out an equal portion to himself. The fact that he’s so self-deprecating takes the edge off many of his comments and is why it’s easier to accept him as a crotchety (yet oddly lovable at times) Don Rickles-type.

My favorite montage EVER! The collection of clips showing Crystal screwing up in every challenge imaginable was gold. Pure gold. Props to her for having a good sense of humor about it.

How do you pronounce that again? Survivor: Tocantins? I need to work on that one.

Okay, it’s late, folks, but before we put a ribbon and a bow on Survivor: Gabon, let me just say a few things. First off, if you are tempted to buy something called “The One Minute Christmas Tree Stand,” be warned — it takes longer than a minute. Maybe a minute of cursing, but definitely more than that to get the tree up. Secondly, big props to Jeff Probst supplying us with his weekly blogs. He’ll be a little late getting his in this week due to all the finale madness, but when he does you’ll see some fancy blue text here letting you link straight over to it. We’ve also got my original pre-game interviews with the final 5 available for your viewing below. Give them one last shot of love, won’t you? Finally, thanks to you, dear reader, for playing along. I’ve been writing these things for…well, for far too long. But it’s nice to know there are still some people out there who can put up with my inane ramblings. Have a happy holiday and I’ll see you in February for…how do you pronounce that again?

Okay, your turn: Did the right person win? Did Corinne go too far? And who looked best at the reunion show? Post away!

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