Survivor: Tocantins Finale Recap
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
May 18, 2009
The Immunity Challenge has the contestants climbing through a "spider maze" and picking up three sets of puzzle pieces. Naturally, once they have all the pieces, they will have to solve for something that looks like a web. J.T. dominates the physical part of the challenge. Seriously, he just blows the other three away. He's back with all of his pieces before the others have gotten through the maze to retrieve their final bag. He works the puzzle, and the other three return with their pieces almost at the same time, which means that they're all playing catch up. J.T. has his puzzle almost completed when he realizes that he has one piece placed incorrectly, and he must figure out which one in order to complete the challenge. This allows Erinn to catch up to him, and she gets very, very close before finding herself in the same situation he was. Once again, J.T. is our Immunity Challenge victor. It is looking very, very good for him to win.
And so it is that we come to the point in Survivor where we play It's Anyone But Erinn. She sure gives it a great shot, though. The group decides to go sit in the water for a cool-off, and Taj opts out because she doesn't want to get sunburned. This gives Erinn an opportunity to plead her case. She does this in the most strategic possible manner. Instead of slamming Taj, she talks her up, making the point that in a jury vote, Taj is extremely well-liked and was friends with almost everyone. She really gives J.T. and Stephen reason to reconsider taking Taj to the final three. In most circumstances like this, you'll see a contestant desperately scramble, but Erinn has done nothing but give an honest evaluation of the situation.
At Tribal Council, the two boys are once again talking about how they've positioned themselves to win. We're still extremely frustrated by the fact that Erinn and Taj haven't taken a single moment to think about banding together and possibly forcing a tie between one of them and Stephen, since we're pretty sure he's not particularly adept at fire-building. Probst directly asks Taj if she would feel betrayed if she were voted off. Her indication that she would be surprised and alienated by such a move leads to a nervous look exchanged between the boys. It appears that Erinn's decision to talk up Taj has paid dividends. Sure enough, three out of four votes go to Mrs. Eddie George, as the Day One alliance among the Jalapao trio falls apart. Taj smiles as her flame is extinguished, but her comments afterward indicate that this act of treachery will not soon be forgotten. Under any circumstance, we applaud her for telling people that she was rich and famous, yet she still came pretty darned close to winning the game.
Back at camp, we see Erinn having the equivalent of a giggle fit at a funeral home while the mourners look at her in horror. J.T. says that he almost immediately regretted his decision to send Taj to the jury, commenting that Erinn is the most annoying person on the planet. Erinn comments that she can't believe how "every vote since the merge has gone exactly the way we planned it." It's pretty clear that Stephen and J.T. don't appreciate her including herself in that royal "we".