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BY ROB CESTERNINO (Survivor Amazon & All-Stars)
Survivor finale week kicked off with last night's episode which means we are mere hours away from knowing who will win "Survivor: One World". This week Kim took a number of steps to ensure that she is the one that Jeff Probst is handing that million dollar check to. Let's take a look at the 5 Things from This Week's Show:
5. My 'Afoot' Fetish - I first began my quantum entanglement with Tarzan this season when he was just a lovable goofball forgetting people's names, tossing dirty underwear around and constantly assuring us that the game was indeed afoot. As the game progressed, my entanglement with Tarzan developed to be about much more than shenanigans. What I'm about to tell you now may surprise you... I think Tarzan may have been playing the best post merge game this side of Kim. Yes, you read that correctly. To say that Tarzan was playing the second best game of these six players is a bit of "damning with faint praise", but Tarzan did everything he possibly could have to improve his position in the game once the women took control. From one of the weakest positions in the game, he was working with Kim to get Sabrina out of the game last week. This week, had it not been for Kim's complete manipulation of Alicia, Tarzan was poised to strike a deal to get to the final three. Plus, if you think that Tarzan wearing Kat's underwear on his head has a sign of early senility you're being naïve. Tarzan realized that playing the crazy old guy was helping him get closer to the end and so he played along. With so many men on that jury, Kim was right to cut him loose. Tarzan, while your nominal aphasia may cause you to forget everybody's name, we will never forget YOU, sir!
4. Kim for the Win - At this point in the game, it's almost not fair how good Kim is compared to the other players. She is in an alliance with everybody in the game, her name never comes up to be voted out and she STILL has a hidden immunity idol. If Kim pulls this off on Sunday night, this may go down as one of the most dominant Survivor performances of all-time. On the contrary, if Kim DOESN'T pull this off on Sunday night, it should be the biggest upset in the history of the show. It's hard to imagine where things could possibly go wrong between now and picking up a Million dollar check on Monday morning. It seems unlikely that any combination of Chelsea, Sabrina, Alicia or Christina would begin conspiring against her at this point in the game. Kim is a Survivor playing machine, programmed to win the game at all costs, you would have to think she'll have the perfect arguments prepared for final tribal council. The only way that I see her not coming away with the victory would be if jury is unusually bitter towards her. Will Troyzan and company turn around and give Kim their votes after she got them out of the game? For me, that is the biggest question heading into Sunday's show.
3. How Alicia Lost Survivor - Oh, Alicia! After becoming the latest player to fall under Kim's spell, I fear Alicia just tossed away her best chance to win the game. Alicia told us how she would look so stupid if she got outplayed by Tarzan... good thing she dodged THAT bullet. So instead of the possibility that she could be getting played by Tarzan she opts to vote out one of the only players in the game whose vote she controlled. For Alicia, Kim took advantage of her fear or looking bad, which caused her to not see the game clearly. The decision for Alicia this week should have been an easy one once she won immunity. Since her biggest fear was that Tarzan was going to try to take Christina and Sabrina to the end, Alicia could have targeted Sabrina instead of Chelsea. If Alicia, Christina and Tarzan all voted for Sabrina, Kim would've likely followed suit (since she said she would've even voted against Chelsea if Alicia wanted to do that). Even if Kim decided she didn't want to go ahead with that plan and the vote became a 3-3 tie, Alicia was safe from the purple rock because of her immunity necklace. Instead, Alicia went from controlling her own destiny in the game to likely coming in fourth place on Sunday night. At least she can say that she didn't get beat by Tarzan.
2. You Got DeServed - I don't really understand Chelsea at all as a player this season. It seems like every week Chelsea brings up who deserves to still be in the game vs. whether another player deserves to be in the game. It's unclear exactly what determines these criteria for Chelsea, but all we do know is that Christina does not rate highly on the scale. There is no such thing as who deserves to get further in the game of Survivor. Chelsea shows her cards too much to the other players. Chelsea really jeopardized her own game with her picks for who should go on the reward. By leaving Christina, Alicia and Tarzan alone together, those three plotted to get Chelsea out of the game. But for the saving grace of Kim, Chelsea would've gone home last night. Rather than pointing who deserves to still be in the game, Chelsea ought to just thank her lucky stars for the one truly great strategic decision she made in this game... making an alliance with a stone, cold killer named Kim.
1. The Sleeper - All signs are pointing to a Kim win on Sunday night... but if I had to say there was one player left who could pull off the upset, I think it could be Sabrina. I think an immunity win or two at the end could really help her case but if she could somehow knock Kim out before the finals, I think the game would be hers. Kim's idol won't be useful at the final four so she will be vulnerable for at least one vote. If Sabrina can win immunity at the final four, she can pair with either Alicia or Christina and force a 2-2 tie against Kim and Chelsea. If she can force Kim into a tie-breaker, she has a 50/50 chance of getting Kim out before the final three. Somehow, if Sabrina can get to the end with Alicia/Christina and Chelsea, I think she wins. For Sabrina, you're trying to win a million dollars here... what do you have to lose? Who do you think is going to win on Sunday night? Let me know who you've got on twitter, I'm @RobCesternino