The debate about the greatest Survivor player ever ended at 10:05 ET when Sandra Diaz-Twine was revealed to be the winner of Survivor H VS V by a 6-3 count over Parvati Shallow and Russell Hantz. Sandra goes down as the first two-time winner in Survivor history and stakes her claim as the ultimate player ever. Lots to talk about here. We do the recap first and the analysis later. Here goes:
Things start off with the tribe back at camp after tribal council and Russell immediately acts like a baby when he says Sandra wasted her idol and exposed herself as a liar. Sandra goes right back at him and accuses him of the same thing. He than accuses Parvati of lying that she knew Sandra had the idol and you can see a major rift between the two is about to erupt. Russell than goes to Colby and Jerri and tells them Parvati is next.
The next morning the tree mail arrives describing the day's challenge and Russell's states the obvious that Colby has to go if he doesnt get the idol. He than exclaims that Jerri and Sandra are the two he wants in the final and he believes he will get the win if thats the case. The challenge itself is one where each member has to balance dishes on the end of a balancing arm. The more dishes stacked the more unstable it gets. When the dishes fall you are out. Sandra is the first out followed by Jerri and than Russell, leaving Colby and Parvati. Finally after the 17thde plate Colby's stack falls to the ground and seemingly his chance to win the game.
Back at camp, Colby tells the tribe he knows he is going and wants everyone to enjoy the day. After choking up in a confessional, Colby takes one last stab to stay in the game by confronting Russell. Russell tells him he is going but Colby tells him to get rid of Sandra and that way they stand a better chance of denying Parvati immunity and to have a chance to get rid of her next time out. Russell seems to be buying the idea and that sets the stage for tribal council.
At council, Colby exposes his plan to get rid of Sandra of which she seems surprised. The votes are cast in a non-shocker Colby gets sent home by a 4-1 vote. All villains remain in the game at this point.
Back at camp the celebration of the final four begins and they note how ticked Rupert looked. Parvati feels vulnerable after hearing comments made by Colby at tribal council and she vows a top effort in the next day's challenge. This is confirmed the next morning when Russell and Jerri discuss getting her out if she loses. Tree mail brings in the info challenge which contains a map to the journey of fallen comrades. So the journey begins to each person votes out and on and on it goes until they arrive for the last competition and burn the nametags of everyone they encountered along the way.
Its now final challenge time where a huge maze awaits. Each member must navigate their way through blindfolded and use guideposts to find four necklaces and than get out first. Winner gets to the finals. but Russell jumps put to a quick lead and despite a close finish, he wins immunity. So for the second straight season the Evil One earns his way into the finals.
Back at camp the scrambling begins as Parvait tried to curry favor with Russell. Jerri is certain Parvati is going and Russell tells Sandra she is going to the finals because he tells her he will beat her. She doesn't argue the point since she is not in a power position but secretly she feels she has a shot to win. Russell asks Jerri if she is ready to go to the final three and she seems ecstatic. Russell however tells Parvati she wants Sandra in the finals which she disagrees with. The decision comes down to Parvati or Sandra. Once at TC Jerri seems overconfident she is here to stay and Sandra reports why she should stay around. Parvati says how she has protected Russell which he disagrees with in front of the jury. She looks him in the eye and says they have been protecting each other. Once the votes are cast, Jerri goes home in a surprise by a 3-1 count. The final three is set: two former winners in Sandra and Parvati and Russell. Nothing left to do but go to the final jury.
The next day with no scheming to do the three get the tree mail and find a huge breakfast feast with fruit, wine, and the works. Parvati and Russell begin debating their games while Sandra rests. In the best moment of the season Sandra decides to burn Russell's hat. They break down the camp and burn the shelter before they go and finally begin their march to the final verdict in front of their old tribemates.
Things began with the speeches by Sandra, Russell, and Parvati. Sandra goes first and gives a great speech about she got to the end of the game on her own and scrambled on her own after her alliance was voted out. Russell than goes and in a surprise move apologizes if he offended anyone in the game but says he tried to play as best he could. Parvati was last and talked about how she put up a wall of defense and used the dragon Russell to get to the end of the game.
The jury than had their turn and they sparks began to fly. Colby goes first and tells Russell he is delusional and focuses in on Parvati and asks her about her game. He ignores Sandra which is interesting. Amanda chooses to ignore Russell and Parvati and questions Sandra with nothing enlightening coming about it. JT exclaims to Russell that he should sleep in the bed he made and not to look for excuses and applauds Sandra and Parvati for their play. Coach talks about how he has not made a decision and will be listening intently on what transpires. Danielle goes off on Russell and tells him no one respects his game and asks if he would change anything. Russell fight back and says he wont say what she wants him to say. Candice goes and tells Russell he told lies that hurt people. Jerri asks a good Q when she asks Russell to confess why he voted her out. Russell told her a lie which was exposed by Parvati. Rupert was last to go and he destroys Russell and praises Parvati and Sandra. Good stuff but not as intense as I thought it would be.
So the votes are cast and we see three votes for Sandra and three votes for Parvati. As always Jeff takes the votes with him and we are taken to a Live shot of NYC where the votes are revealed. And in the ultimate moment in Survivor history, Sandra Diaz-Twine becomes the first two time winner in Survivor history by getting 6 of 9 votes and the idiot getting zero in the ultimate form of justice.
Now for the analysis:
-I will say it again. Sandra is the best ever. No doubt about it. If you play twice and win twice the top spot is yours. I dont want to hear coattail rider or sucks at challenges etc. The fact of the matter is that she won against amateurs and than against pros. Enough said.
-Russell once again failed miserably at the jury portion of the game and will forever have that asterisk to his name. Very good player but not great.
-I can definitely hear arguments that Parvati deserved to win. She was pick and she played an awesome game. I totally buy in to her reasoning of picking Russell to align with right off the bat as a means of protecting herself against a good number of people targeting her. She was once again great at challenges in winning three immunities and she never backed down from Russell. The fact is though she didn't get the votes so the point is now moot. Number 3 all time behind Sandra and Hatch.
-Once thing that has to stop with the final episode is the nauseating match through the tags of the fallen Survivors. Its a royal waste of time and drags on and on. No one cares.
-Russell is clutch with wining the final challenge before the final jury. Thats two for two in his two seasons.
-Cant blame him for not taking Jerri to the finals. He made the right call in voting her out as I think she seriously could have stolen the game is she made it. She played a very underrated game.
-Was very disapointed to not see more vitriol thrown Russell's way. Only Danielle and Rupert really took it to him when I thought at least Courtney and Candice would have destroyed him more. All in all I think he got off easy considering all the carnage he caused.
-Russell pulled a Clay (Africa) by going back at Danielle at the final tribal council which is just dumb. But when the person doing it is a moron it makes sense.
-Colby did well in his final immunity challenge and salvaged some dignity with that performance. But he threw that out the window when he seemingly laid down for the second time in the game when he went back to camp and told everyone he knew he was going home. Never give the impression you are giving up which is what he did. He still tried a last ditch move to save himself but it was too little too late at that point. All in all it was a terrible season for him but the crazy thing is that if he did somehow make it to the final, he would have won in spite of all that.
-Sandra burning Russell's hat as I wrote before was the best moment of the season for me from a comedy standpoint. I loved it and that was totally a Sandra thing to do. Serves him right for burning Jaison's socks in S 19.
-The maze challenge was a stupid one for the last one. The last challenge should always be an endurance battle where whoever wants it takes it.
-Wow Sandra is a two-time winner. Crazy stuff without a doubt.
That's it for now. Will post a reunion show article either later tonight or tomorrow morning.
I would also love to hear from you all about what you thought about the episode and my opinions. Is Sandra the best ever? Why or why not?