|Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am|
After 39 days, twenty Survivors, tribes divided between Fans and Favorites, harsh conditions that forced three people from the game, a powerful female alliance, and an unprecedented number of blindsides, there emerged a Sole Survivor. The woman's alliance devoured the men one-by-one in the merged Dabu tribe and eventually each other, whittling down to four strong women: Parvati, Amanda, Cirie, and Natalie. But it was Parvati Shallow, the 25-year-old Charity Organizer from Los Angeles, California who outwitted the competition, orchestrated a blindside against the biggest threat in the game, Ozzy, and made the right social connections that ultimately won her the million dollar prize and title of Sole Survivor on SURVIVOR: MICRONESIA: FANS VS. FAVORITES.
THE FINAL FOUR
The four remaining Dabu members, Amanda, Parvati, Cirie, and Natalie, return to camp after a triumphant Tribal Council. They had successfully fooled Erik into giving his Immunity Necklace to Natalie and subsequently voted him out. Squealing and hugging each other, Parvati cries out, "Let's stir the pot, ladies," and they pantomime stirring a cauldron like a gaggle of witches, cackling with glee. Amanda celebrates, dancing around and singing, "Final Four, Final Four!" Despite the woman's alliance successful outing of all the men, they now eagerly look at their new competition--each other. Parvati playfully taunts, "Let's see what happens next."
WHO DO YOU TRUST?
As the sun rises at the Dabu camp, the girls continue their celebration. Parvati jokes with Cirie and Amanda, "The guys just walk right into the Venus flytrap and they just get eaten alive." Cirie, though, feels on shaky ground amidst so many schemers. She tells the two girls, "I'm gonna check and see if my money's still in my pocket around ya'll. I'm nervous around ya'll."
Aware of how well they've play the game, and set to turn on each other, Natalie looks to firm up her connection with Parvati, saying of her, "Does it benefit me at all if [Parvati and I] are closer than not? Of course!" As Parvati and Natalie have a heart to heart, Cirie and Amanda spy on them from the beach. Cirie has her mind set on who she wants out, threatening, "We're thinking that winning this challenge is pretty much guaranteed Final Three. So we have to beat Natalie." The four girls set off, ready to face each other in the challenge.
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: CRYSTAL METHOD
The Dabu women arrive at the Immunity Challenge where Jeff Probst explains the rules. The Survivors will start out on a very small perch atop a twenty-foot pole in the water. Each of them will lower a bucket from their perch to collect water, pull it up, and try to pour the water into a small chute attached to their pole. As the chute fills, it will steadily raise a set of keys high enough for them to reach. The Survivors will collect the keys, swim back to shore, and unlock a chest containing sixteen individually shaped ladder rungs. The first person to correctly assemble their ladder puzzle, climb to the top, and raise their flag wins Immunity and a guaranteed spot in the Final Three.
The girls delicately balance on the small perch atop their tall towers. Jeff calls, "Go," and they all reach down and start pulling up their buckets, wobbling precariously on their perches as they do so. Natalie takes an early lead, her life on the line, as she hauls up bucket after bucket of water and carefully pours it into the chute attached to her tower. Her keys rise quickly, with Parvati close behind her. Amanda and Cirie struggle, having trouble aiming the water into their chutes. Natalie pours one last bucketful of water into her chute and her keys raise up high enough for her to reach. She grabs them and leaps from the tower swimming back to shore. Parvati's chute rises too and she snags her keys and swims after Natalie. Natalie unlocks her chest and grabs the sixteen ladder rungs, trying to fit them into the ladder. Each one is individually shaped, making the puzzle harder. Amanda and Cirie finally fill their bamboo chutes, grab their keys, and jump into the water. They swim back to shore, unlock their chests, and join Natalie and Parvati in fitting their ladder rungs into the ladder. Natalie has the early lead, but surprisingly, Amanda quickly gains ground. She fits them in solidly, one at a time, finding the right ladder rungs at each juncture. Natalie scrambles to regain her lost ground, trying to catch up to Amanda. But it's too late--Amanda passes Natalie, Parvati and Cirie. She snaps in her last rung, her ladder complete, and mounts the final platform raising her flag, and leaping with joy as she wins Individual Immunity and a one in three chance at a million dollars.
EATING THEIR OWN
With Tribal Council on the horizon, the Dabu girls have to scramble to figure out their votes. Amanda is the only one safe, and celebrates, "I'm in the Final Three! I can't believe it! I'm ecstatic! This is like twice in a row!" Natalie, on the other hand, feels like the "low woman on the totem pole." She looks for a way to stay in the game and sees her chance when Cirie asks about Natalie's jury vote. "Have you promised anybody your vote?" Natalie says she hasn't and Cirie answers, "Oh, good. Good." Natalie, witnessing Cirie maneuvering for her jury vote, decides to sell her out to Parvati. She muses, "I believe Cirie's quite nervous as far as jury votes are concerned. I could use this to address Parvati to help me out." Meanwhile, Parvati and Amanda walk along the beach and worry about Cirie. Amanda says to Parvati, "Cirie is probably going to pull out all the stops. She's probably working [Natalie] over right now for a jury vote." Amanda declares, "I don't want Natalie to go. I think she definitely deserves to be here."
SELLING OUT CIRIE
As Amanda and Cirie talk a few feet way, Natalie pulls Parvati aside and informs her that Cirie asked for her jury vote. Parvati whispers to her, "It's been the game that [Cirie's] been playing. Shady." As the girls pack up for Tribal Council, Parvati entertains the thought of switching up the game once more, "I love Natalie to death and I think she's a lesser threat as far as jury votes than Cirie." The Dabu women head to Tribal Council and after watching Natalie sidling up to Parvati, and the women's track record of blindsiding, Cirie has a moment of panic, "I could be going home tonight. [Parvati and Amanda] could have made a deal with Natalie."
At Tribal Council, the four remaining Survivors discuss their four back-to-back blindsides in a row and how the same could happen tonight. Amanda announces, "At this point, Jeff, I have no idea what's going. I mean how many times does a blindside have to happen before you figure out that you know nothing about what's going on at all?" The question arises of whether or not the game will come down to a Final Two or a Final Three and Cirie declares, "It is nerve-racking to think it could be Final Two because that makes me feel like once again I'm on the bottom of the alliance, which is not a good place to be." Amanda, confused by Cirie's statement, demands an explanation. Natalie smiles at this proclamation of Cirie's vulnerability and Amanda's defensive strike, and she crosses her fingers that the sudden riff could better her chances to stay in the game. But in the end, the three Favorites decide to stick together and Amanda, Parvati and Cirie take out the last remaining Fan and one of their fellow femme fatales, Natalie, who becomes 17th person to leave the game, and takes her spot as the seventh member of the jury.
Natalie Bolton, the 32-year-old Personal Trainer from West Hollywood, California leaves behind her final words. "I have to say that I am pretty happy with the way that I played the game. I was the last Fan standing and I feel proud of the group of girls that I finished with. I respect the way you guys played the game with me, so thank you."
The long-time allies, Amanda, Parvati, and Cirie, arrive back at camp and Amanda attacks Cirie, "You were trying to make us look so awful at Tribal!" Cirie denies this, saying she was just being honest about how she always feels at the bottom of their alliances. Amanda calls Cirie a liar, setting off Cirie. She yells at Amanda, "[Parvati] told me she couldn't vote you, so that makes me at the bottom of this alliance! Have any one of you ever said, I can't vote Cirie out?" Cirie's counter attack is too much for Amanda and she begins to cry, apologizing for accusing Cirie of making them look bad in front of the jury. Cirie forgives her and the three girls hug as Amanda bawls, "I feel like I've been doing this forever, you know, straight from China, I come here and I just, I just couldn't take it." The girls discuss what would happen to them if it became a Final Two instead of a Final Three. Cirie worries, "It's been the plan from day one for Parvati, myself, and Amanda to be Final Three, and it would just break my heart to find out it's gonna be a Final Two." The girls head off to bed, unsettled that the game may not be over.
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM
In the morning, the girls bask in their victory over their competition. Parvati declares, "I'm ecstatic to be here in the Final Three with these two girls. At least we assume it's a Final Three." They decide to celebrate their victory by setting free Gloria, their last remaining chicken. But Gloria won't leave camp and makes a nest by their shelter. The girls laugh and Cirie declares of the chicken, "I guess she doesn't realize this is over, it's a done deal."
WHAT GOES AROUND...
The girls all go together to fetch Treemail. They're expecting a feast for the Final Three and as they draw nearer to Treemail, Parvati moans, "What is it? It doesn't look like food. It looks like a challenge." She holds up the paddle with a note attached and says ruefully, "Freaking paddle." She reads Treemail aloud. They are to pay their respects to their fallen comrades and head to their final Immunity Challenge. The girls look at each other, stunned. Cirie looks pained and Amanda begins to sob, "Someone has to leave now? Like after everything. I am so tight with these girls. This just sucks completely." They pow-wow at the shelter and Parvati tells the girls, "I feel sick." Cirie surmises that karma may be at work here, "The fact that it's a Final Two and not a Final Three was almost poetic. I mean, we've been blindsiding people left and right and essentially, we got blindsided." The girls hang their heads after this serious blow, but regroup and paddle out to say good-bye to their fellow Survivors.
RITE OF PASSAGE
The Final Three, Cirie, Amanda, and Parvati, paddle into Exile Island where they find the torches of their former tribemates. Parvati says of their emotional journey, "It's a chance for us to honor everyone that we fought so hard to beat and I think we might want to give those people credit for being strong competitors." The three girls reflect on their 38 days in Micronesia, place the charred torches on Exile's tower, and set it ablaze. They say their last goodbyes to their fallen friends and push off from Exile Island, paddling towards their final showdown: an Immunity Challenge that will determine which among them moves on to the Final Tribal Council.
IMMUNITY CHALLENGE: THE BALL DROP
The girls paddle into the challenge and Jeff Probst explains the rules. Each of them will have a long wooden cylinder that has been cut into several pieces. In the center is a groove on which rests a small metal ball. The Survivors will raise and hold steady the first wooden cylinder by squeezing their handles on both ends of the cylinder like bookends, all the while balancing the ball on the center cylinder. If they lose their concentration or squeeze too hard, the wooden pieces and ball will fall and they will be out of the challenge. Every five minutes, the castaways will add two more pieces, making their cylinder longer and therefore harder to hold steady and keep the metal ball balanced atop. Last person standing wins Immunity, and is guaranteed a spot in the Final Two. Also, as the deciding vote in tonight's Tribal Council, the winner will, in effect, be choosing who they want to sit beside them at the Final Tribal Council.
The Survivors steady their metal balls in the slot on the center cylinder, picking it up with their cylindrical handles, and hold absolutely still. Jeff counts down, "5, 4, 3, 2, 1â€¦ This challenge is officially on." Concentrating on the balls balanced precariously atop the cylinder in their hands, the girls do not look up at all, focused. After five minutes, Jeff calls the round over, and the girls place the cylinder back on the table, adding two more pieces to their cylinder. Again, they pick up their handles, longer and more cumbersome. They focus in on the ball, their handles steady. Jeff calls an end to round two and the girls now add two more pieces, totaling five. Jeff warns them, "Now, it's gonna get interesting." The girls hold their cylinders out before them, their arms stretched out wider than shoulder-length. Their balls slightly rolling along the short groove on their cylinders as their hands shake with the effort. Parvati's hands cramp up and the pieces of her cylinder break apart, her ball dropping. She's out of the challenge. Amanda and Cirie concentrate harder, ignoring Parvati as she walks off the mat. Jeff calls an end to the round and the girls shake out their very tired arms and hands. They add yet another two pieces to their cylinder and hold it out before them. They survive this round and move on to the next as Jeff tells them to add their final two pieces to their cylinder handles. Amanda's grip stays strong while Cirie's hands wobble and shake with tension. Her ball moves about unsteadily on the cylinder and sweat drips from her brow. The two girls exercise extreme focus, but Amanda's ball remains absolutely still until finally, Cirie loses her concentration and her cylinder falls apart. Amanda wins Immunity and will move on to face the Jury. The girls congratulate each other on a game well played, but soon Amanda will have to choose between her two closest allies.
ONE OR THE OTHER
With Tribal Council looming, Parvati and Cirie's fates rest in Amanda's hands. She will be the only castaway voting at Tribal Council, sending one to the jury and bringing the other with her to battle for the million-dollar prize. Amanda feels the burden of power, "This is the hardest decision I've had to make this whole game because we're each close. So who do you send home?" Cirie, a nurse who relies on arm strength in her normal life by holding steady medical utensils on a regular basis, bemoans her m