And this is the end of a great season. I’m really glad that the show seems to be going back on tracks (although we’ll need to see a few more seasons to see if it’s really back on tracks). I said it before during the season, but it’s all about the casting. Cast a bunch of people who are here to play and win the game (not just one or two) and you get a great season. As simple as that.
It’s always difficult to write that last post of the season. There is nothing to speculate about (except what-ifs) and not that much to analyse. I’ll still try to see what I can say that is at least a little interesting.
Let’s start with some self-congratulation though. I had picked Denise as the winner of this season since episode one!
Just saying… OK, if you follow the blog, you also know that I started to have serious doubts after the merge seeing how she became almost invisible. This is one thing that has been bothering me in recent seasons also, that “characters” sometimes get more airtime than players. I understand that Denise game play was sometimes not “great TV” as it was all about finesse, building strong relationships and other subtle things, but still, we had no idea of her thoughts abut many events and votes.
– Denise Stapley: Once again congrats Denise. She really played a flawless game. She went to every single tribal council, she was part of three tribes, and yet she made it to the end and won thanks to her social skills as well as her strategic ones. Kim Spradlin from last season is considered as one of the most dominant female winner (if not simply winner) of her season, but I wonder if Denise’s victory isn’t even more impressive seeing that Kim had pretty much no competition, and Denise had a lot.
– Lisa Whelchel: One thing that annoys me with Lisa – and that’s not her fault – is that we just saw too much of her. I understand the producers in a sense, they have a celebrity who makes it to the end, they want to milk it as much as possible. But because of that, we didn’t see enough of more interesting things like Denise’s thought process in many occasions. Even during the reunion it was all about Lisa. Seriously at some point I stopped paying attention when she spoke, a thing that never happens usually. Apart from that, I’m glad that she didn’t win. Sure she played well, but that not that well really. As she said herself during the final tribal council (and shooting herself in the foot at the same time), she only really started playing after her brother came. And it’s true that before that, beyond all the crying and whining, she failed at pretty much every attempt to do anything. Not that great. All in all, I still like her, but not to the point to think she deserved to win, neither the game, nor the fan favorite.
– Malcolm Freberg: Am I bummed that he didn’t make it to the end? Of course I am, I haven’t been such a fan of a player since Stephen Fishbach in the Tocantins I think. However, I always suspected he never made it the end (for a reason that will be revealed in my next post in a couple of weeks). However, I can’t feel too bad for him. After playing a pretty amazing game too, he made some huge mistakes at the end, trusting Lisa and Skupin too much while letting his own alliance with Denise crumble. I understand his position though. He knew that staying with Denise in the end would most likely cost him the game, so he had no other option to go with Lisa and Skupin – he would have beat them and he knew it. The problem is that they knew it too. Denise game’s being more subtle, they thought they had a bigger chance to win than against Malcolm, while they never stood a chance actually. In any case, see you (soon?) Malcolm, you were an amazing player.
– Michael Skupin: All season long I’ve been trying to figure out Michael Skupin’s strategy, and it’s still pretty unclear to me. Sure he didn’t get to the end by chance, but how he got there remains a bit unclear. I partly blame editing again, but also I’m not sure if anyone knows how Skupin made it to the end. Don’t get me wrong, I think he played a very good game, although weak on the social side, but a lot of it remains unclear to me. In any case, it was good to see him again, and I hope we get to see very old school players again (like many fans, I hope for a season Old School Vs New School Survivor).
The Jury: I was very surprised by the jury. It seemed pretty bitter (like pretty much every jury in recent seasons) and yet, they all voted with their mind. Well, expect Carter who still hasn’t really understood the strategy part of the game, and R.C. who voted about herself and not about who deserved to win. I was pretty surprised by Penner revealing Lisa’s secret like that. It seemed a bit unnecessary. I was also surprised that Malcolm seemed a bit pissed at Denise, although editing could play a part.
OK, I guess that’s a wrap for this season. Stay tuned for my next post in a couple of weeks that also will be my first post about the new season, Survivor Caramoan.
In a meantime I wish you a great end of the year and see you soon.
As usual, if you like what you’ve just read, do not hesitate to share this post (the buttons are here for that) and to follow me on Google+, Twitter and Facebook, as well as subscribe by RSS or e-mail.
If you want to read more about Survivor Philippines season finale, here are a few links:
- Dalton Ross at EW.
- Jeff Pitman at True Dork Times.
- Stephen Fishbach at People.
- Rob Cesternino has a website, a podcast and a bunch of bloggers.
- Andy Denhart at Reality Blurred.
See you soon.