So tomorrow night we get to the finale of Survivor Redemption Island and I will say all in all that this has been one of the better seasons in recent memory. Of course coming off Survivor Nicaragua which was one of the worst seasons ever, it didnt have a lot to live up to in a comparison there. However even Probst acknowledged that this was one of his favorite seasons ever and I have to agree. Of course being a Rob Mariano groupie, I guess you can see why I liked it so much. You have to admit though that Rob's utter domination of this game was not one where it made it boring and predictable to watch. Rob put on a clinic out there and it was a thing of beauty. Unlike Russell Hantz, who got destroyed in all facets of this game from Ralph getting the hidden idol of all people, to the rest of the Zapatera tribe showing no fear of him and booting him right out, Rob played the good guy and not the in your face asshole he was in Marquesas and All Stars. Also unlike Russell, Rob learned how to re-engineer his game and learn from past mistakes and here he is with a chance to finally win the title he has deserved for so long. Whether he gets it or not will be determined by a few things which we will get to but right now lets get down to the nitty gritty and take a look at the prime contenders and non-factors in tomorrow's finale.
The Favorite: Rob Mariano
-The Boston Red Sox finally winning the World Series. The New York Rangers finally winning a Stanley Cup in 1994 after not winning one going back to 1940. Rob Marioano finally winning a Survivor title after ten long years and four seasons? If for nothing else, Rob has won Player Of The Year honors hands down. Expect to hear his name called out on the Reunion Show in that regard. Besides that, Rob has dominated this game unlike any contestant has EVER dominated a season of Survivor. Everyone knew who Rob was but yet he still was able to do his thing which is a testament to his charm and his game play. Getting to the final 3 will be tough as he figures to be targeted right away. He still has the hidden idol which he can use up until the final four so obviously he gets that far. The key is that final immunity challenge. If he wins it, he likely wins the game. If he loses, than you can be sure he gets voted out as the other will correctly realize its now or never as far as being able to get him out before the final TC. Should be fun to watch to see if he can finally win that elusive title.
Natalie: I can see Natalie winning on the basis of her youth and charm. She is a kid and the young girl always plays well in front of a jury. She has not backstabbed one person to date and has stayed loyal to Rob the whole way. If she does in fact betray him in the end, than it could be trouble. Still I always thought she could pull a Natalie White here and steal it at the end so I am sticking with my hunch.
Matt: Matt is a HUGE threat to win it all if he gets back into the game. At this point, do you really think he WONT win that last Redemption duel? The guy has been on a roll like nothing I have ever seen before. Think about the odds he has had to overcome in winning all of those duels along the way against all those people? Its absurd to think about. He will be full of fury if he comes back into the game and cant you just see the ultimate revenge of Matt taking out Rob in that last endurance duel and than orchestrating his elimination? What a juicy plot that would be. It could happen and honestly despite the fact he was voted out twice already which is a big no-no in my book as far as being worthy of winning, the path that Matt took to get there has to be considered and justly rewarded.
Mike: The good guy of the cast, Mike earns some big kudos for allowing the Ometepe to get their family visit. He is genuinely one of the nicest guys ever to be on the show and he will be a major factor to win if he gets to the final TC. Would love to see him do it if Rob doesnt get there.
Grant: Grant is the lowest of the three contenders here as I dont see him taking it but I cant discount it entirely either. He was a warrior in challenges and was a loyal guy all the way without finding trouble. If he does get back in, things could work out for him here but I dont see it.
Ashley: Early on the rumors were that Ashley had won but that was before all the so-called spoilers were torn apart. I just cant see any scenario where she would win unless she gets to a final of her, Phillip, and say Andrea. She has done nothing up until winning that last immunity challenge and I will be very angry is she wins.
Andrea: She was annoying to me the whole time with her stupid opinions and subsequent argument with Matt when she got to Redemption Island. She is tough for sure but she is not winning this for sure.
You Never Know
Phillip: I know you are all going to think I am crazy like Phillip but I get this nagging feeling that we might be getting setup for a shock here. Phillip was seen as the biggest longshot ever in Survivor but here he is with a chance to get to the end and once there, you never know. It would be something to see for sure but this is a You Never Know scenario in my opinion.
There you have it. It should be fun as always with this. Check back tomorrow for all the wrapup and commentary like always.