Survivor: Fiji
You've Got A Puzzled Look, Part 1
By Jim Van Nest
May 16, 2007

And then my knee popped like *that*!

Hello, good people, and welcome to Part 1 of the mega-huge Survivor: Fiji Season Finale. Before the night ends, all of our questions will be answered and someone will be awarded $1 million. Previously on Survivor, Yau Man saved his butt by playing the hidden immunity idol and instead sent Stacy packing to Loser's Lodge. Amazingly enough, the playing of an idol was not even close to the most important event from the last show. At the Reward Challenge, Yau Man won a truck and immediately brokered a deal with Dreamz. Yau would give Dreamz the truck in exchange for immunity at the final four, meaning that if both of them are alive at the final four and Dreamz happens to win immunity, he will have to hand it over to Yau. Dreamz makes the promise and began enjoying his new truck. So, tonight's episode is almost as much about "Will Dreamz hand over immunity?" as it is about who will take home the million. As soon as Jeff is finished recapping the entire season, we'll find out the answer to both questions.

We begin at camp after Tribal Council. Yau is feeling pretty bad about almost being voted off. And he's feeling a sense of vulnerability for the first time in a long time. Earl and Yau are talking and Yau mentions that he might need Earl's immunity idol at the next Tribal. You could almost see the look of "Yeah, right" on Earl's face.

The next day, Yau is still talking about what a big target he is, due to his truck deal with Dreamz. He tells us that winning immunity is huge for him this time. We cut to Earl and Cassandra talking. Earl is feeling left out of the Yau vote the night before. He basically says he was fine with the decision to dump Yau, but he would have liked to know about it. Cassandra tells us that she doesn't see Yau or Earl voting against each other, so she needs to stick with Dreamz and Boo. She asks Earl about the second idol and Earl does his best to dance around the question, but he does tell her enough for her to figure that Yau doesn't have it. So, in her eyes, if Yau doesn't win immunity, they should be good.

Probst sighting! Today's immunity challenge is a huge five-part maze. Each person will be blindfolded and wearing a unique medallion. They need to navigate the maze searching for a key station. Once they find the station, they need to feel for their medallion shape and once they find it, they'll get a key. They need to get back into the maze and find a raised plank. The key will unlock the plank and they can walk across into the next part of the maze. Again, this is a five-part maze, the first person to navigate all five mazes, get all five keys and cross all five planks will win immunity and a one in four chance at a million dollars. Survivors ready?

This challenge is a lot of fun to watch, but pretty boring to recap. Right off the bat, Cassandra and Earl fall far enough behind to not be factors for the remainder of the challenge. Yau Man and Boo are leading the way with Dreamz right behind. Boo and Dreamz get their third keys as Yau unlocks his third plank. It's still anybody's game. (Well, except Earl and Cassandra.) In the fourth station, Dreamz starts to pull away from Boo and gain on Yau Man. Boo and Dreamz are in the final stage as Yau Man finds the key station. It's looking worse and worse for the Cassandra/Boo/Dreamz alliance. Finally, Yau finds his drawbridge, unlocks it and crosses over into the final four. With Yau and Earl immune at Tribal tonight, it looks like it's time to say goodbye to either Boo or Dreamz.

As we come back from break, I'm left with one question. Seriously, what's the difference between Survivor and this new Pirate Master show (other than the cool headbands)? And do I need to see the commercial during EVERY break? But I digress...

We get back to camp and Yau is feeling quite satisfied with his immunity necklace. He tells us that unless something weird happens, Boo will be going home tonight. Dreamz is worried about going home tonight even with his deal in place with Yau Man. But it's quite obvious that we're in the middle of a game of "It's Anyone But Boo." That being said, Boo isn't going down without a fight. His first move is to approach Earl. And he makes a compelling case. He tells Earl that he doesn't want to compete against Yau or Dreamz in the final two. Yau will get the underdog vote and Dreamz will get the sympathy vote. Boo plays the "dude, you would win over me in a walk" card. And Earl, being a smart man, knows that what Boo is saying is the truth. Earl knows that he has his best chance against Boo or Cassandra. He's concerned with who he can beat in the final two. Boo's next move is to go to Yau Man. He plays the same game with Yau...suggesting that Dreamz could win out in the challenges and that he could win at the final two. Yau also agrees that this is a possibility. But Yau doesn't think he has enough votes, so he goes to Earl. He asks Earl if he thinks Dreamz will honor his deal. If not, he says that maybe now is the time to get rid of Dreamz. I guess we'll find out real soon, because we're off to Tribal Council already.

The first question is for Dreamz. Jeff wants to know if Dreamz is worried more about a physical threat or someone you can't trust. He's worried more about people who won't keep their word. Jeff asks Earl how the final should be determined, by who deserves it, or who you can beat. As always, Earl dances around the question and gives not much of an answer. Jeff then asks Boo if everyone was scrambling when they got back and he says that no, it was pretty much just him. And then he makes another case for why he'd be better to keep then Dreamz. He mentions that no one should want to take Dreamz or Yau to the finals. Dreamz interrupts that he isn't out there trying to get sympathy votes, although Boo does say that just because he's not looking for it, doesn't mean he won't get it. The talk comes to the truck thing again and Dreamz says that it would be a smart thing for Yau to keep Dreamz in the game because of that deal. Boo continues to make his case that he won't get any votes from the jury and that he'll make a final two pact with Earl or Yau if they want to. No one jumps up to say anything and it's time to vote. We see Dreamz vote for Boo and Boo vote for Dreamz. Before Jeff tallies the votes, Earl steps up to play the last hidden idol, not that he needs it. And it's unanimous, Boo is history. Looks like the Yau/Dreamz deal is still in play...and it'll be quite interesting to see how that all plays out. They've made such a big deal about it, I'm guessing that Dreamz won't win immunity and it won't matter.

The next day, Day 38 for those who are counting, Earl and Yau are hanging on the beach and reflecting a bit on their time on the island. Yau tells us AGAIN how amazing it is that he's made it this far. While I agree with him, I'm really sick of hearing about how great he is. He is definitely his favorite subject of conversation. We join everyone around the fire and Dreamz is talking about how he sealed his fate when he made the truck deal. Yau starts talking about how he didn't know it was a $60,000 truck. Dreamz tells us that his game plan is to give Yau Man the immunity necklace and then whatever happens, happens. And of course, the deal being done at this point, Yau will dump Dreamz in a heartbeat. All four of them head to get Tree Mail where they are given instructions for the traditional rite of passage. They'll collect the torches of all the fallen Survivors, say a few nice things about them and then put them in a canoe, light it on fire and continue on to their final immunity challenge.

And here, Jeff joins again. He brings them all in and explains the challenge. Each one will lie on an inclined plank holding onto a wooden handle. Every five minutes, Jeff will increase the angle of the plank to make it more difficult to hold on to. To make it tougher, there will be water pouring down the plank to make it slippery. Last person hanging on will win immunity and is guaranteed a spot at the final Tribal Council as three people will face the jury in the battle for the million dollars. As they all look a bit puzzled, you have to wonder if this could possibly have any bearing on the truck deal. The challenge is on and everyone is looking pretty solid for the first five minutes. Jeff increases the angle and Earl makes a really nice strategic move. He adjusts how he's holding the handle, so that the water is running to the side of him and he's sitting on a dry plank on the very edge. At the ten minute mark, Cassandra starts to show signs of fatigue while Dreamz, Yau and Earl are all looking solid. As we get to the 15 minute mark, Cassandra is really struggling, while Earl and Dreamz are looking quite comfortable. As Jeff increases the angle again, Cassandra's strength finally gives way. As Jeff finishes the readjustment, the planks are at a 50 degree angle and everyone is showing signs of fatigue. At the 20 minute mark, Earl has moved back into the middle again and Jeff increases the angle to 55 degrees. Surprisingly, Earl is really starting to show signs that he's losing it. Hs wrists are apparently hurting pretty bad and shortly thereafter, he loses his battle, leaving Yau and Dreamz as the sole competitors. And all I can think is that Dreamz should just let go, let Yau have immunity and his debt to Yau is paid off. Of course, knowing Dreamz, he'd rather have the spotlight of Tribal Council to hand over immunity. A few seconds later, Yau loses his grip and Dreamz has fulfilled part of the deal by winning immunity. Now the question is, "Will he give up the immunity necklace at Tribal, or will he refuse and earn himself a place in the Survivor Hall of Villains?"

Unfortunately for you readers who didn't watch the show, you're going to have to wait for Part 2 of the Finale recap as that's my time for today. Come back in a couple days for the final negotiations at camp, the conclusion of the truck for immunity deal, the final Tribal Council and the announcement of the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Fiji. Until then, take care!