Survivor: Micronesia - Fans Vs Favorites
I Promise
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
April 18, 2008

Uh,......what just happened?

Hello good people and welcome back to Survivor: Micronesia - Fans vs. Favorites. After a week to think about it, I've decided that I don't completely hate this season. While I'm thoroughly disappointed in the way this season has gone, I don't totally want a divorce. But Survivor and I are definitely gonna need some counseling. Previously on Survivor: tribes merged, Erik made up the new name, Ozzy got cozy with Alexis, Parvati created a new girl alliance, both of those made Amanda something-something, Jason shocked the world and beat Ozzy for immunity, he then shared his stick with Eliza, she played the "idol" and outed Ozzy right before she took the long walk down to Loser's Lodge. My lone beacon of hope is the promise that in tonight's episode, James will lose his record of "the stupidest move in Survivor history." Not sure what it'll be, but to outdo someone who managed to be voted out while holding 2 immunity idols...well let's just say this is going to have to be VERY short bus worthy. And with that, let's check in with the castaways as they cheat, lie and blunder their way toward $1 million.

Normally, I start the final segment before Tribal playing the "It's Anyone But..." game. Given the tribal dynamics, I think it's safe to just do it now. It's time to play, "It's Anyone But Jason!" We begin right after Tribal Council as everyone questions Jason about giving Eliza the "idol". He says that it was basically his only chance. He tells us that he's glad Eliza played it and not him because he felt stupid enough. Cirie tells us how Eliza was looking back at them so matter of fact and she thought it was funny. Quickie correction, though: Eliza knew full well it wasn't the real idol, so just knock it off. We get it, you don't like her. She's gone now, can we move on? Huh? Time for the credits? I guess we can move on then.

We come back from break the next morning and Jason is still talking about Ozzy pulling one over on him. While he feels dumb, he's very pleased to have beaten Ozzy in a challenge and that he feels like he has a chance now to fare pretty well in challenges now. He also says something about Ozzy not being the only God of challenges. Um won 1 frickin challenge. Get over yourself already!

Probst sighting!! Today's challenge will divide the tribe into 2 teams of 4. Now, I'm no genius, but my math tells me that there's 9 people left and 2 teams of 4 is only 8. Hmmm.... Anyway, one person will swim out to a multi-level netted structure. They will navigate that and then swim to a platform where a wooden board is set up with several painted tiles on it. The Survivors will have to remember the exact order of the tiles, swim back and fill in a duplicate board back on the beach. Then the next person will go. When they think they have it right, they can ask for Jeff to check it out. If they're wrong, they have to go back again. To make it harder, there are more tiles to choose from than will fit on the board, so there are several duplicates. Wanna know what they're playing for? The winning team will fly to a local island called Yap. They will have a feast, some dancing and they will spend the night in a place usually reserved for chiefs. Worth playing for?

Jeff explains that the one person not to participate will be sent to Exile Island and not take part in the challenge or the reward. The teams will be divided by a school yard pick 'em. They draw for captains and Jason and Natalie are captains. Jason gets to pick first and selects Ozzy. Natalie takes James and Jason then takes Erik. Parvati joins James and Natalie. Amanda finishes off the Jason/Ozzy/Erik team. This leaves Alexis and Cirie, and naturally Natalie takes her girl Alexis, so Cirie is off to Exile Island. Survivors ready? Jason and Parvati start out for their respective teams. Jason gets back first, but not by much. Parvati puts in 5 pieces while Jason puts in 3. Ozzy and Alexis take off on the course. Ozzy gets back and adds 6 more pieces and Erik takes off. Alexis adds 4 pieces and James takes off. James adds 2 pieces, while Erik adds a couple also. Natalie and Amanda head on out. Natalie gets back first and finishes up the puzzle for her team. She calls it and Jeff tells her she's wrong. Before Amanda gets down, Erik has her make one change and they call it. And with that change, Erik, Ozzy, Jason and Amanda win reward.

We come back from break as the winners head off to their private jet. As they land on Yap, there are greeted by some of the locals and are led to the village for their feast. They're all pretty much in awe. The food comes first. They walk up to a series of tables full to the brim with food. As they dig in, they are all given some local "beer" and some "betel nuts", whatever the hell they are. As they're dining, Erik can't help but notice that none of the women are wearing shirts. "It wasn't a big deal, but that's probably the most boobs I've seen in my life." No way, stop it, Erik. Like we needed him to tell us that he hasn't seen many boobs. But I digress. Next up is a cool tribal dance put on by the children of the tribe. Erik tells us how amazing it was and how cool it was to see how proud the parents were of their kids. Ozzy tells us how much he enjoys doing stuff like this with Erik because he's such a wide-eyed kid. He's never been anywhere or seen anything and he's amazed by everything and Ozzy really enjoys seeing him. As they start checking into more of the culture, Erik begins to partake of the betel nuts. He explains them as some sort of Micronesia chewing tobacco. After all his betel nuts and beer, Erik is kept up most of the night puking. As we all get a good chuckle at Erik's expense, the scene flips to Cirie.

She's out on Exile and it is storming something awful. It puts her fire out, so she's freezing and absolutely miserable. The next morning she tells us how there's nothing to be gained by being there because Ozzy has the idol. She tells us that as much of a competitor as Ozzy is, to have the idol on top of that makes him a huge target. She then tells us that she thinks she might just have to work on getting rid of Ozzy and his idol.

We finally check in with the folks who had to go back to camp. It's morning time and James is the only one awake. He seems a little irritated by this, so about 10 feet away from the sleeping girls, he starts to machete wood for the fire. They he splits the wood. They he bangs it on the rocks. Then he starts to sharpen the machete and the ax. Next, he bangs a large piece of wood into the ground. Finally Parvati looks up and tells him to stop because they're all trying to sleep. Naturally, James isn't too thrilled by that. He tells us he was up all night keeping the fire lit for them so they could sleep and then Parvati's gonna have the nerve to tell him to be quiet? That just isn't gonna work for him.

And with that, the rewardees return to camp. And here comes every reward loser's favorite part: where the winners (in this case, Ozzy) go on and on about all the food they had and how great it was and totally piss off the people that didn't get to go. Next we see Parvati and Alexis complaining about it. As they talk, we see James and Amanda talking about whether they can trust Parvati. James thinks she's starting to be all about the "girl power." Amanda tells us that Ozzy needs to be careful since everyone knows he has the idol. And the way the girls are getting along, he could be in trouble. We now join Jason and Erik as Jason talks about being the next to go and how his only chance is to win every single immunity challenge. Nice segue way as we have a...

Probst sighting! Cirie comes in from Exile, Jason hands in the necklace and Jeff starts to explain the challenge. This is one of the simplest of all. They'll step on a log and have their hand tethered to a rope tied to a bucket full of water. They drop their hand and the water dumps, they're out. Last person standing wins immunity. Survivors ready?

The challenge begins and 25 minutes in Jeff shows up with a bowl of candy for anyone that bails out. Cirie and Erik decide to go together to share in the bowl of candy. And we are down to 7. James and Ozzy are blown away that people would drop out of a challenge. 45 minutes in, Jeff comes out with another something. Alexis dumps the water right away. Since she didn't wait for Jeff to make an offer, she gets nothing. "No chance." As she stomps away, Jeff tells her that she can mope and be mad. When he pulls the plate out, it's a chocolate chip cookie and glass of milk. As he offers it, Natalie dumps her bucket…not for the snack, she says she felt like she was going to pass out. And we're down to 5. As she sits down, James is just amazed, "That would suck." As he says it, he drops his arm just enough to dump his own bucket. And we're down to 4. After an hour, Jeff comes out with 3 chocolate glazed donuts. Immediately, Ozzy bows out of the challenge for the donuts. That leaves Amanda, Parvati and Jason. At the 5 hour mark, Amanda tells Jeff that she has to use the bathroom and she bails out, leaving only Parvati and Jason. At the 6 hour mark, Jeff comes out with a full plate. Cookies, donuts, candy, beers, pizza and all the works. He tells them if either one of them step down, they will share all that food with the people already out. Parvati tells Jason that this is a time for him to make friends. Natalie suggests that if he steps down, maybe the group won't vote for him tonight. He says he wants a guarantee from everyone. Natalie gives him the guarantee and so does Erik. Parvati is next in line. With their fingers crossed, Cirie and Alexis guarantee as well. Amanda reluctantly gives in, then Ozzy and last, James. Jason thinks about it for a little bit and decides to take them up on their offer. He dumps his bucket giving Parvati immunity.

And there we have it, folks. There's the move that overtakes James getting dumped with 2 idols as the stupidest move in Survivor history. I mean seriously, does he really think they're going to keep their promise? Why should they? Sure, he gets voted out, he'll get sent to the jury and will have a hand in deciding who gets the money. But if they all vote against him, he has no choice but to vote for them. I've said all season long that the "Fans" they chose for this season are some of the biggest chucklenuts ever to grace the Tribal Council area. And then we have this move. Worst strategic move EVER. Especially considering I'm sure he would have won that challenge. I'm actually blown away by the stupidity on display tonight. It's been pretty bad all season, but this takes the frickin cake.

Back at camp, Parvati and Jason talk about the challenge and whether they could have gone on longer. Jason tells us that he took a huge chance (ya think???) and that it could turn out to backfire on him. And not surprisingly, no sooner do they hit the beach then Ozzy talks about voting him out. James and Ozzy are talking about how stupid he was to make that deal and about how he just got outwitted. Cirie tells us about the guarantee and how Ozzy wants to dump Jason anyway, which makes this the perfect time to dump Ozzy and his idol. She approaches Parvati, Alexis and Natalie about making the move. They all say their down to do this and they agree to not tell James, Amanda or Erik. With Jason's vote, they'll have the 5 they need to pull it off. Amanda comes over to the group and they all confirm that Jason is history tonight.

Parvati then tells us that she feels like if she went to the final 5 with Ozzy, she'd lose. And she hasn't been here this long to not win. She then goes on to say that she also can't see herself voting against Ozzy, Amanda and James as they've been together since Day 1. Natalie and Alexis approach Jason and let him know that Ozzy's the vote and that he needs to play it cool as if he's going home. Ozzy and James have the next pow-wow and James expresses his concern about Parvati and her girl-power trip. Ozzy tells us that he's feeling strong with his alliance, but because of James' concerns, he might just grab the idol and put it in his bag, just to be safe.

We arrive at Tribal Council and Jeff leads off with Cirie and whether or not she looked for the hidden idol. She says that since Ozzy has it, she did not. Parvati confirms that everyone knows Ozzy has the idol. He then moves onto the challenge. He asks Jason about the move. Jason says the odds of winning all the challenges is slim, so he tried to make a move and hopes they stick to their word. He moves to James and asks about the deal that was made. James goes on some kind of speech about tempting people with donuts and making promises 'cause they want a donut. It really made very little sense, but broke down basically to "I don't care what deal we made, I'm voting Jason's ass out tonight." Jeff then asks Cirie about the group not keeping their word, and she says that that's what it sounded like James said. On to Parvati and her thoughts. She says it was a crazy deal, but she can sorta understand why he would do it. He asks Ozzy whether or not the idol gives him some comfort tonight. He says that it gives him a little comfort, but it'll depend on how he reads the rest of the tribe. Parvati says she'll keep the idol and it's time to vote.

The only votes we see are Jason voting for Ozzy and James voting for Jason, "I thought I was the dumbest Survivor ever." were. But after tonight, I think Jason's gonna take your title, my friend. With that the voting ends and Jeff heads out to tally the votes. He comes back and asks if anyone wants to play the hidden idol and after several seconds, no one does. First vote, Jason. Second vote, Jason. Third vote is Jason's vote for Ozzy. Fourth vote, Jason. Fifth vote, Jason. Sixth vote, Ozzy. Uh oh, Amanda didn't like that vote. Seventh vote, Ozzy. It just hit James. Also, I didn't think it was possible for Eliza's eyes to get any bigger, but sure enough. Eighth vote, Ozzy. And we're tied 4-4. Tenth person voted out of Survivor: Fans Vs. Favorites....Ozzy. BOOYAH!!!! They frickin pulled it off!! And with Eliza barely able to contain herself, Ozzy shoots back a look at the group that should have killed them and takes his long slow walk to Loser's Lodge.

Ok, couple things. First, last week I was complaining that there were very few players with any kind of strategy left in the game. Eliza was one of them and she went home. The other one I mentioned was Cirie. And I'll be damned if she didn't pull it off again!! I go back and forth on Cirie, mainly because she screwed over my boy, Penner. But she has played a near perfect game this time around and this move right here is the move that will earn her $1 million, if she can hang around to the finals. Every season, I get to right about here and start complaining about how the round of 9 and 7 are the best places to switch things up for the underdogs. And every season, they do nothing and get led like lambs to the slaughter. Well this time, they frickin did it. Wonderful plan and execution by Cirie and props to Parvati for realizing this was her best option if she wanted to have a chance to win this game. Second, I just spent several minutes blasting Jason for making the dumbest play a Survivor's ever made. Well, I stand by those comments. Just because it worked out for him does not mean it wasn't completely asinine. Especially when you throw in the fact that he had very little to do with the move that saved his ass. His job was to shut up and vote Ozzy. The beauty of this is that he now owes his life to Cirie and any good strategist knows that they have to exploit the crap out of that. I'm just so jacked up to finally see some good game play. Ami tried to get things going a couple times and failed, but Cirie got her ducks in a row and pulled it off. Bully for her.

Ok, with my fawning over Cirie's play done for the weekt, it's time to ask for your help again. If you like game play like you saw tonight and you like to see people analyze their situation and figure out the best move to make, then you have to send me on this show. Hopefully all season long you've been flooding the CBS Feedback inbox with messages telling them to put the fat guy with the big mouth from on their show. Of course, I would never tell you if they actually contacted me, but I can tell you that they definitely have not, so let's keep it going! I only wish I had Mark Burnett and Jeff Probst's email addresses to have you send comments to. But alas, this is what I have. So, head on over there and load the inbox up!!! Feedback. Thanks so much to those of you who've actually done this.

Next time on Survivor: Parvati tries to do some damage control with James and shockingly, he's not very receptive. As it appears that James is against any reconciliation with Parvati, the next clip we see is Parvati telling the rest of the girls, "We've got to get rid of him." Natalie tells us the girls could be unstoppable. Oh dear, just when I thought James was in a pretty good spot, it looks like he could be the target. Course, he could always just win immunity. But, I guess we'll have to wait until next week to see how that plays out. Until then, take care.