Survivor Gabon: Earth's Last Eden

Say Goodbye to Gabon, Part 1

By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst

January 8, 2009

Pour some Sugar on me.

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The first vote we see is Susie's for Ken, saying that she's not sure if it'll be a blindside or if she'll be going home. Next up, we see Ken's vote for Susie telling her that she should feel proud that she got this far. And with that, I'll go tally the votes. First vote, Susie. Second vote Kenny. Third vote Kenny. And the 14th person voted out of Survivor: Gabon? The mastermind himself, Kenny. I love it. I love that he's taking his sour grapes on the walk of shame. I love that just five days ago, he and Crystal thought they were sitting on top of the world and now they're both sitting in the jury box. And once again, Sugar is the architect. I sure hope the jury is paying attention, because Sugar is winning the game. If she can make it one more vote and get a place in the finals, she will clearly deserve to win this game. But, with all the hate on the jury in Corinne, Randy, Marcus and Crystal, I think she may be fighting an uphill battle.

We come back from break to the next morning. Bob and Sugar are out fishing and Matty and Susie are both talking about how the last challenge is their last chance to control their own fate. They've pretty much chalked the challenge up to Bob. But Susie confirms with Matty that if Bob doesn't win, she'll vote for him. She also feels that if she doesn't win, she'll be the one to go. Matty goes and gets the Tree Mail, which sets up the Fallen Comrades walk that will lead to the final immunity challenge. As they go through the torches, we get to see a couple shots of each person and hear some of their comments about their time on the show. For the most part, it's a same ol', same ol' kinda thing. There's nothing major said by the first several people voted out. Actually, as we go through Randy, Corinne, Crystal and Ken, none of them really have too terribly much to say. And with the reminiscing behind us, it's time to light the tribal masks that the walkers picked up on their journey. This is done with a small group of natives drumming and singing alongside the fire. Their inclusion actually made this part of the show pretty cool. Generally, it bores me, but this year was pretty cool.

We come back from break to prepare for the final immunity challenge. Today's challenge will give each player a stack of 200 wooden tiles that represent playing cards. The challenge is to use these tiles to build a house of cards. First person to build a house of cards ten feet tall wins immunity. If after 30 minutes, no one has reached the ten foot mark, Probst will check the houses and whoever has the tallest house will win. You have to think this challenge is tailor made for Bob, right? Well, while Bob and Matty are going for a strong base, Sugar is going for speed and is already at about six feet. As Jeff points this out, her tower falls to the ground and after nine minutes, all four are even again. Sugar takes off like a bat out of hell one more time and as she reaches the six and a half foot mark, the tower tumbles again, leaving Susie in the lead. As soon as she has the lead, HER tower falls.


At this point, Matty's solid foundation is in the lead, but Sugar's back on the fast track and working to pass him by. Bob, is having a horrible time getting anything built and with only five minutes remaining, he's starting at square one. This seems to be a two horse race between Sugar and Susie as Sugar is closing in on seven feet and Susie is nearing six feet. Both ladies' towers are terribly thin and wobbly, but they're both around the eight foot mark. At this point, Susie just stops building at all and seems content to ride it out with the tower she has. Sugar and Matty are catching up to her, but she seems fine to let it go. With only five seconds left, Sugar's tower tumbles to the ground and out of frickin nowhere, Susie wins immunity and a guaranteed spot at the final Tribal Council. All I can say is that every season has to have someone who did next to nothing all season in the finals. Susie is simply this year's version of it. The real questions will now be, "Who will be sitting next to her? And will Susie get even one vote in the final tribal?"

You know, those seem like awesome questions with which to end this column. The finale is always broken into two parts and I think this is as good a time as any to sign off for Part 1. I promise you, you won't have to wait for Part 2 as long as you did for Part 1. We should have it up in the next day or so. Until then, take care.

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