Survivor: Cook Islands

This Tribe Will Self-Destruct In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (Part 2)

By Jim Van Nest

December 21, 2006

Look, it's two wonderful contestants! Plus Becky.

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And Ozzy pulls out the "my father was never around" card. I have no doubts that everything he said is true and that his emotions are genuine, but it all seems a bit contrived for sympathy. He talks about how much work he has to put into the relationship with his father and how hard it is knowing that the person that created you doesn't want you. He pauses a moment to collect himself and then finishes by saying that this has been his hardest experience. As he's talking, the jury is obviously affected and Brad was damn near in tears himself. Ya know, I don't have a problem with Ozzy winning. He's very deserving. (Not as deserving as Yul, in my opinion.) I just hope it's not because of this speech and because he swayed someone with this story. That would be a bummer and go against what the whole jury segment is about.

Sundra: She asks about one thing they all discovered about themselves over the 39 days.

Ozzy says that he has learned about pure love. And learned to love unconditionally and cherish every single moment.

Becky learned that she doesn't necessarily have to have everything on a schedule. She has learned to take a moment for herself and to appreciate it.

Yul found a new confidence in himself. He had much self doubt when he got there and that he now has so much more confidence and he feels he can do whatever it is he feels passionate about.

Jonathan: He starts off by congratulating them and telling them all that they played a great game. He tells Yul that he's very polite, which is like the other side of politic. So, he wants Yul to tell his constituents how telling half truths (half lies) keeps in line with his integrity, good intentions and his ability to serve them in the future.

Yul admits that what he said is absolutely true. He's done a lot of deceiving and manipulating; however, Survivor is a game. And everyone came into it knowing what it was about. Outside of the game, he would never do that to unsuspecting people. He has the ability to manipulate people but if you look at the game, he stayed true to the original people he made alliances with.


Jonathan moves on to Ozzy and tells him that he is incredibly talented and almost super human during the challenges. He says on occasion he feels Ozzy has been arrogant, with an attitude of entitlement, as if he's a prince. He says he's uncomfortable giving a million dollars to a 25-year-old kid with issues of entitlement. When he finally gets to his question, he wants to know how a million dollars will make Ozzy a better person.

Ozzy says the first thing he'd do is go back to school because he hasn't been able to afford to pay for it himself. After schooling, he says he'd just like to try to change the world for the better. I could be wrong, but the Miss America answer right here may cost him a vote. C'mon dude, "I want to change the world for the better"? That was definitely not the best comment to leave the jury with prior to the vote. But, that's exactly what's happened, because it is time to vote.

We see Jonathan's vote and hear his comments. He says he admires them all and how they played, but Yul outplayed them all. We also see Parvati's vote. As she holds up Ozzy's name, she tells him he played his heart out, is the ultimate competitor and he had her totally captivated. I'm pretty sure that if they hadn't edited her, she was getting ready to give him her phone #.

As always, Jeff goes to tally the votes and the walks off the set. And I'll take a minute now to mention that I really miss the long drawn out WAY over the top ways Jeff used to get to the reunion. What's up with that?!?!? Anyway, he walks around the corner and out on stage. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

"Whoa!" Who replaced Ozzy with Joey Lawrence? Jeff congratulates them on a great season (which I'll expound on in a bit) and then gets to reading the votes. First vote, Yul (Jonathan's). Second vote, Ozzy (Parvati's). Then Yul, Yul, Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy, Yul. That's 4-4. And the winner of Survivor: Cook Islands is Yul Kwon.

The place erupts, all the Survivors gather around for hugs and yet another season of Survivor comes to a close. And before I end, I want to add some overall comments about this season. While I still hold the Borneo and Australia seasons in high regard, Cook Islands may have been the best season yet. And why is that? Because for the first time in the history of the show, the two most deserving people went head to head for the million. Also for the first time ever, the show was edited for the viewers. They set up "good guys" in the Aitu Four after the mutiny and stuck with them to the end. They could have made Candice, Adam and Parvati the "good guys" and left us all disappointed when they all got voted out. But they didn't do that...they set it up perfectly for the viewers so that no matter if Yul or Ozzy won, everyone watching could sit back and say, "Well, he definitely deserved it."

And while I consider Brian Heidik and Richard Hatch to be the greatest players in Survivor history, I have to add Yul to that list. In fact, I have to put him at the top of that list. To come into the game and strategically dominate from the first day until day 39, especially after 13 versions of the game - well, that's something special. Throw in his mastery of the hidden idol and Yul was so damn good at this game, he makes me almost hope for an All Stars 2. And as for Ozzy, I'm pretty sure that Fireman Tom and Fighter Pilot Terry would be taking second and third to Ozzy in ANY challenge.

As with anything else these days, we're not here to talk about the past. What's the future of Survivor? Well, after the reunion Jeff gave us a preview of Survivor: Fiji. In 2007, 19 people will be divided into two tribes. One tribe will live the life of luxury while the other is left with virtually nothing. It looks to be another diverse cast will be forced to battle more fiercely than ever before. Exile Island, crawling with deadly sea snakes, will be worse than ever. But two immunity idols and a twist will complicate the game. They also tease that "one the most controversial decisions ever made by a Survivor will have America talking."

So, it certainly looks like we have quite a bit to look forward to on the next season. I'll close by saying it was nice to get back in the saddle and do this one more time. I hope it was as fun for y'all to read as it was for me to write. Not sure if I'll be back next season or not, so in case I'm not, I'll sign off by wishing you the best of holiday seasons and as always, take care.

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