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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Survivor Fiji Finale, Dreamz takes our breath away

There were two main questions being asked before the Survivor Fiji finale tonight. The first was, would Dreamz win immunity in the final four? The second, would he make the decision to keep his word and hand over the necklace to Yau-Man? We received the answers to both of these questions this evening and there were definitely some surprises.

The first immunity challenge went almost as if it was scripted. Yau-Man pulled of the win in the blindfold maze where the contestants had to find their way to a key, unlock it, then open a bridge gate to move onto the next phase. Dreamz pulled in a close second, and Boo was third. In almost perfect orchestration, at tribal council – Boo was voted out. While he made case for Dreamz, Dreamz was still important to Yau-Man and that sealed Boo’s fate.

The second immunity challenge of the night was the most interesting. A test of endurance and strength, it was clearly something that Dreamz was well suited for at this point in the game. The challenge itself seemed to setup Dreamz perfectly to make a decision based on his promise. Dreamz did win the challenge with Yau-Man finishing second.

Let’s fast forward to the tribal council. The biggest question seemed to be whether or not Dreamz would keep his immunity necklace rather than handing it over to Yau-Man as good faith “payment” for the Ford F350 truck that Yau-Man had given to Dreamz. After what seemed like a minute of contemplating, Dreamz decided to keep the necklace and Yau-Man was voted out, perhaps the biggest surprise in Survivor history. There had been so much build-up and visible struggle in Dreamz face and he ended up going back on his word.

What was Dreamz thinking? With that action, he effectively choose the winner between Earl and Yau-Man and eliminated himself from any chance of winning the one million ($1M) dollar Survivor Fiji prize. Given his previous conniving, I would have expected more from Dreamz. Why did he no just go to Yau-Man and renegotiate (or negotiate better in the first place) that Yau-Man would give his word that he would vote with Dreamz during the final four. Dreamz may have still had an opportunity.

At the final tribal council I was surprised by the venom being spewed from the mouths of the other contestants. Many of them definitely felt that they were better players than they were and they took it personally. In fact, with some of their comments I would go as far as calling it bad sportsmanship. These guys were clearly outwitted in many cases, and they were visibly upset over that. The name of the game is Outplay, Outwit, Outlast.

In the end, it became clear that Cassandra and Dreamz really had no chance. It was no surprise during the live finale that Earl won. The only news was that for the first time ever, Survivor Fiji produced the first unanimous choice winner, Earl. The only bummer – most said that had Yau-Man made the last three, he would have been the clear winner.