Survivor: Cook Islands
This Tribe Will Self-Destruct In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (Part 2)
By Jim Van Nest
December 21, 2006
Hello, good people, and welcome to what will be the last Survivor recap of the season. When last we spoke, ya know...a couple of days ago, the Aitu Four had successfully mowed down the eight Raro members and become the most improbable Final Four in Survivor history. And now comes the time when the tribe will be forced to eat its own. Several questions jump right to mind. Will Ozzy EVER lose a challenge? Does Yul have another strategic trick up his sleeve to pull him into the Final Two? And will Becky and/or Sundra stand even a snowball's chance against either of these guys? Well, I've got a lot of show to recap, so let's get right to it.
We come back from break with the Aitus returning to camp after the Adam boot hooting and hollering like they just won the World Series. (Oh and by the way, the St. Louis Cardinals? Still champs!) Anyway, there's just an amazing sense of accomplishment for them. They bucked the odds and managed to survive eight votes and make it to the end. Normally, I'd have some sort of snark here, but having watched every minute of every season of this show, this is one of the most amazing feats I've seen and I just can't make fun of it. Of course, as Survivor often does, the very next thing makes me feel like snarking again. We hear Yul in a confessional talk about how proud he is of his team and of how happy he is that someone from a minority community is going to win the game. With all due respect, Yul, 15 of the 20 players this season were from a minority community. What did you expect to happen? I understand what he meant, but it came across sounding weird to me, especially given the makeup of this season's cast.
Anyway, the next morning finds Ozzy up at the crack of dawn enjoying the sunrise. He's just kind of reveling in the fact that he's made it this far, that he's been so strong in the challenges and you can tell he really likes it there. I'd say Ozzy should be voted, "Most Likely to Come Back and Live on a Deserted Island Forever". He also talks about how he has to continue his challenge streak because he expects to be targeted next, if he loses. Tree mail! Tree mail is brought back and tells the tribe to get in their boat, row to the biggest island and climb to the highest point. There they will find the torches of their fallen comrades and they will take the rite of passage. From there, they will continue on to their final immunity challenge. Um, what was that? FINAL immunity challenge? How's that gonna work? An interesting note here, while they're reading, the tribe is getting increasingly excited. The rite of passage, the fallen comrades and all that. Of the four, only Yul catches the significance of the word "final". He even does that head tilting thing and repeats it, "Final immunity challenge?" And still no one else seems to notice. This is just one more little detail that shows why Yul is the smartest player to ever play this game. And if he actually pulls off the win, he'll be the best player to ever play the game.
As they pull off toward their Survivor destinies, Becky talks about how cool it is that all four of them get to take part in the rite of passage, after all they've been through. What follows is always a very nice touchy feely moment on the show where the non-jury members get their one last appearance on the show and the jury members get to reflect on their longer stay in the game. While it's always a nice moment, it's rather dull to write about.
Probst sighting!! This challenge is a typical final challenge - a test of balance and endurance. Each person will stand on a perch that is proportioned to each person's foot size, so the whole "she has littler feet" argument goes out the window. Every 15 minutes, the Survivors will remove a piece of the perch until after an hour, when the perch will be about half the size of a post card. The last person left standing wins immunity and a guaranteed spot in the final three. This is so important because this season, the final tribal council will involve three people rather than two. And there it is, the super duper twist. With Yul having the hidden idol, if Ozzy can manage to outlast everyone, we'll finally have a match up worthy of a final tribal council. If Ozzy doesn't win, they may as well write the check in Yul's name now.
The Survivors take their positions. Yul is crouching while everyone else stands upright. At the 45 minute mark as they release the third of four sections of the perch, Becky loses her balance and tumbles down to the water below. As Jeff speaks to fill the time, Ozzy is having trouble. He has to keep throwing his arms out to regain his balance. At the hour mark, the final section of perch is removed and Ozzy almost nosedives to his doom, but manages to hold on. And like that, Ozzy loses it again and one leg flies off the perch. He manages to reel it in and then provides some nice commentary on the challenge, "The sweat is the biggest factor for me. It's making my nether regions itchy." (Hey, if I had to hear it...you have to read it. It's only fair.) As Yul tries to stand up, he loses his balance and falls off the perch. And it's a two person race now. And this is where these people never cease to amaze me. Jeff gives us an update that it's been two hours that they've been standing. That means they've been on this itty bitty perch for an hour now. Ozzy's still wobbly but manages to hold on. Honestly, I don't know how he's doing it. Shortly after the two and a half hour mark, Sundra, out of nowhere, loses her balance and jumps off the perch, giving Ozzy the final immunity challenge. And further, it gives fans of the show a final they deserve to see - the greatest physical player in the history of the game against the greatest strategic player in the history of the game. Sure, there will be a third person, but who cares? It's Yul vs. Ozzy now.