A Slippery Little Sucker: Part One
By Jim Van Nest
December 17, 2007
Hello, good people, and welcome to the Survivor: China finale. The finale will be split into two articles, one written tonight, and the other to be done in the next couple days. To hold you over between articles, look for a How Well Do You Know: Survivor China quiz on Tuesday, YAY!!! As they do every single finale, we get a recap of the entire season. As I do every single finale, I'm not gonna recap that much. I'm gonna recap the last episode. Previously on Survivor: Denise won immunity again, Amanda and PG were left out, reward winners boiled meat, reward losers bonded, Amanda mastered the most challenges and won immunity, PG's bid to break the alliance failed and she became the 12th person tossed out of China. The promos promised a battle between the Lunch Lady, The Long Shot, The Schemer and The Chameleon. If I was a betting man, I'd put my money on The Chameleon, Amanda. If Jeff ever finishes the intro, we'll start the show!
We begin after PG's ouster. As they pat themselves on the back for executing their plan, Courtney tells us she expected to be the first to go home. She's hoping to keep slipping through the cracks. She's really hoping for an immunity challenge she can win.
As the sun rises on Day 37, they all decide to chill out and enjoy the day. Amanda comes back with Tree Mail and it suggests a reward challenge that will take them back to the Great Well for something to eat. Amanda is VERY much wanting to win this one. She hasn't eaten in a while and she really wants the energy for the Immunity Challenge.
Probst sighting!! Today's challenge, they will tackle the Survivor version of the Great Wall of China. It's a huge obstacle course made up of a puzzle bridge and finishes off with a set of Tetris looking puzzle blocks to complete their section of the "Great Wall." This time they're playing for pizza, beer, soda and brownies. The big advantage is that this is a meal for one. Worth playing for? I think so.
The challenge starts off and Todd and Amanda jump out to huge leads. They both get to the puzzle bridge at the same time and complete it at about the same time. As they get to the end of the course, they load up their cargo holders with puzzle blocks. Denise and Courtney are still on the bridge as Todd and Amanda head back for their second set of blocks. By this time, Courtney finishes her bridge and Todd has taken a decent sized lead and is working on his puzzle. Amanda makes it back with her blocks and the race is on. It's a 12 piece puzzle that only goes together one way. Courtney gets her first set of blocks as Denise finally finishes her bridge. Courtney and Denise get back at the same time, but Denise still has one more trip to make. Amanda and Todd don't seem to be getting very far on the puzzle. Denise comes back with her blocks and everyone is working on the puzzle. Todd seems to be making some headway now. Amanda too. And just like that, Amanda fits in the last piece and wins reward. Of the three, she is the one who most needs the meal. Jeff calls her over and tells her she now has a dilemma. She can either eat everything herself. Or she can invite either one or two people to join her. Amanda is thinking that if she keeps it to herself, she doesn't treat anyone differently. But, Denise took her on a reward and she loves Todd and Courtney too. When all's said and done, she chooses Todd to join her and only Todd. While that may seem bold on her part, it's really a brilliant strategic move. For Amanda, she doesn't necessarily have to be with Todd, but Todd has to THINK that she's with Todd. By feeding him and keeping him close like this, he's ripe for the picking at the next Tribal, if he's immunity free and Amanda decides he needs to go. I LOVE the game she's playing and if anyone else wins this game, it will be the wrong person.