Season 32: Episode 14 - Not Going Down Without a Fight
Posted on May 19, 2016 03:00am

Day 36 begins for the Dara tribe courtesy of Mark the chicken, who is crowing loudly as dawn breaks.   Cydney yells at Mark to shut up.  Tai quickly picks Mark up and takes him out of camp to the beach, so he will no longer disturb his tribe mates.  Tai comments, “I can’t afford to have anybody upset at chicken, because chicken is associated with me directly.”   He already feels vulnerable, since he lost his ally Joe last night when he was medically evacuated.   In addition, Tai can no longer use his hidden immunity idol this late in the game.   Tai is confident that Aubry is still with him, but is not sure of Cydney and Michele.  Aubry is also shaken by Joe leaving the game.   She admits, “Every time Jeff arrives on the beach, my closest ally goes home.”  Tai and Aubry agree that they should stay together and work with Cydney to get to the end.  Aubry feels Michele is too much of a threat, because she has a good relationship with many people on the jury.  Meanwhile, Michele is talking to Cydney about the two of them working together.   Cydney feels she is in a better position, since Joe has left the game.  She admits, “Now everybody wants to take me to the end.   So, I just need to make sure that I make it to the final three and I’ll fight my way out from there.”    Cydney recommends to Michele that they go to the end with Aubry.   Michele comments, “Everything’s up in the air right now.   It’s anyone’s game if you play your cards right.”
Jeff Probst, the host welcomes the four remaining members of the Dara tribe to the Reward Challenge.  He then explains the rules of the challenge.   They will race under a net crawl.  Then they will make their way to a table where they will slide tiles into a target.   Once all the tiles are in the target, they will use a machete to transport them through a series of obstacles to a finish table.   Next, they will sort the tiles into pairs.  Three of the tiles will not match up.  Those three tiles hold the combination to unlock a box.    The first person to unlock their box and raise their flag wins reward.   The reward is a meal designed to refuel the spirit and the body.   The meal includes steak, vegetables, refreshing drinks and a protein bar. 
The challenge begins and they all run to get through the first obstacle, which is a net crawl.   Tai and Aubry get through this first and start sliding their tiles towards the target on the table.   Every tile needs to get through the center target.   If it doesn’t they have to pick up the ones that didn’t make it and try again.   Cydney and Michele are now sliding their tiles towards their targets.   Cydney is the first one to get all her tiles through the center target.   Now she begins stacking the first four tiles on her machete to take through the obstacles to get to the finishing table.    She makes it under the hitching post, but drops her tiles as she goes over the seesaw.    Cydney now has to collect her fallen tiles and try to get through the obstacles again.  Aubry and Tai are next to get their tiles through the center target.   Now they stack them on their machetes and try to get through the obstacles.     Aubry proves to be very good at getting through the hitching post, seesaw and balance beam.   She is now in the lead as she gets more and more tiles to her finishing table.   Michele has now joined the other in their quest to get the tiles through the obstacles.   She gets her first set of tiles to her table, just before Aubry brings her last set to her table and starts pairing them up.   Cydney finally gets her first batch of tiles to her table.   Aubry now has matched all the tiles and use the numbers on the back of the remaining three to try and open her combo lock.  Aubry is getting frustrated as she tries all the combinations of the three numbers and nothing is opening her lock.   Tai now is finally getting his tiles to this table.    Cydney and Tai now have all their tiles and they are pairing them up.   Aubry looks back closely at her pairs of tiles and realizes that she has made a mistake.   One pair is not matched.    So, she swaps them with a matching pair and has two new numbers to try in her combination lock.    She tries these new numbers, just as Cydney and Tai are trying out their numbers.   It’s a race to the finish.   In the end, Aubry puts in the right combination first and wins her first individual Reward Challenge.    Jeff gives her the choice to share her reward with one other person or keep it for herself.   Aubry chooses to share it with Cydney.   As they head back to camp, Aubry reveals, “That reward had to go to Cydney in order to up my chances that we could beat Michelle at the next Immunity Challenge.”
The Dara tribe arrives back at camp from the challenge.   Tai and Michele head to the shelter.  Aubry and Cydney head towards the feast they see beautifully set out on a dining table near the beach.   They are so excited to see a steak, mashed potatoes, asparagus, bread, wine, juice and a piece of chocolate cake waiting for each of them.    Aubry comments, “It was my time to win a challenge.”    She is happy to enjoy a feast with Cydney that will give them an advantage towards winning the next Immunity Challenge.  Cydney feels good that Aubry chose to share the reward with her.   She admits, “It just builds on our relationship and it just helps us trust each other more.”    Aubry and Cydney hope that this meal will fuel their brains for the final Immunity Challenge, which tends to be long and difficult.   Cydney hopes that she will go to the end with Aubry and Tai, but is also okay with taking Michele instead of Tai.   She admits, “There definitely is a trick to being in the middle.   I’m just hoping that everybody sticks true to their word.” 
While Aubry and Cydney are feasting at the other side of camp, Michele and Tai are making their own plans.   Seeing that Aubry chose Cydney to go on reward twice in a row, Michele realizes how close and dangerous they are.  Michele tells Tai that either she or him will get voted out next, because Aubry and Cydney will stay together.   She recommends that they work together and get out either Aubry or Cydney next instead.   Michele comments, “It took Aubry winning to kick me in the ass and make me start thinking a little bit outside of the box.”    She feels that Aubry is the bigger target, so she tells Tai to vote for Aubry.   Tai agrees to Michele’s plan.   He reveals, “I’m not giving up on Aubry, but I still might go with Michele’s plan.”  Tai likes having options and will do what he needs to in order to make it to the end.
The final four arrive at the Immunity Challenge.   Jeff explains the rules of the challenge.  They will race out into the ocean, climb up a stool and retrieve a key.   They will use that key to unlock a set of stairs back on the beach at the bottom of a tower.  At the top of the stairs, they will find a second key.   They will head back out into the water and use that key to unlock a ball attached to a rope.   Next, they will use the ball to drop a ladder back on the beach, which gets them to the second level of the tower.   At the top of the ladder, they will find a third key.  They will head out one last time into the water and use that key to release a pole.  They will use the pole to knock off a bag of puzzle pieces that is on a perch above their head.  Finally, they will go back to shore, climb the three levels of the tower and use the puzzle pieces to solve a three level puzzle.   The first to finish wins immunity and is guaranteed a one in three shot at winning the game.  One of the losers after 37 days will become the eighth member of the jury. 
The challenge begins.   They all run out into the water to retrieve their first key.   Aubry is the first one back to the beach to unlock her stairs and retrieve her second key.   The others are not far behind her though.  Aubry still has a slight lead as she uses her second key to unlock a ball attached to her rope.    They all race back to the beach with their balls and throw them at the mechanism to release their ladder, which gets them to the second level of the tower.   Aubry gets their first again and retrieves her third key.   All of the running back and forth and climbing stairs has made everyone pretty tired, but they are pushing through it to win the coveted immunity.   Aubry loses a little bit of her lead as she takes a while to use get her pole to knock down a bag of puzzle pieces.    Tai and Cydney are pretty close behind her.   Michele is now in last place.   Aubry makes it back to the shore first and up to the top level of the tower to start work on her puzzle.   She empties out all her puzzle pieces, which consist of round wooden blocks in a variety of lengths.    The goal now is to arrange all of the lightest color blocks on the bottom level, so they create six pedestals, which are all the same height.   Once they have done that, they can move to the next level, where they will arrange the medium color pieces into six pedestals of the same height.    Finally, they will use their darkest color blocks to build the top layer of pedestals with the same height.    Aubry has been in the lead from the beginning, but Tai takes that lead when he gets his bottom layer done first.    Cydney and Aubry are trying many different combinations of pieces, but the levels of their six pedestals are not even.   Michele gets the hang of it and gets her first layer done.   Tai and Michele are now the only ones in this challenge.   Tai gets his second level done and starts work on his final level.   Michele picks up her pace and quickly finishes her second level.   Now it is a race to the finish for Tai and Michele.   In the end, Michele gets it done first and wins immunity and a guaranteed spot in the final three.    Cydney reveals, “I got to cozy on up to Michele and figure out a way to make sure somebody else gets thrown under the bus before myself.” 
Aubry, Tai and Cydney congratulate Michele for winning immunity as they return to camp.   Michele loves being safe and in a power position for this crucial vote tonight.   She admits, “This vote will decide who I go to the end with and if I pick the wrong person, boom there goes the million dollars.”   Aubry and Tai take a walk to the well.  Aubry suggests they stick together and vote for Cydney tonight, since they can’t vote for Michelle.   She comments, “I’m going to Tribal Council very vulnerable and I need Tai more than ever right now.”  They realize that Michele and Cydney will likely vote for one of them, which will result in a 2 –2 tie vote.    A tie vote would result in a fire making challenge to determine who stays and who goes.   Aubry is worried that Tai might switch his allegiance and vote with Michele and Cydney to get her out tonight.   Meanwhile, Michele and Cydney are discussing the vote too.   Michele assures Cydney that she will not vote for her tonight.   Cydney tells Michele that she will vote however she wants her too.   Michele prefers that Aubry get voted out tonight, since she is a stronger player and better speaker than Tai.    Cydney wishes she did not have to vote for Aubry.   She comments, “At the end of the day, my loyalty is to my mother and I’m trying to change her life and change my life.”    So, Cydney will do whatever she needs to in order to get to the end of this game.    Michele feels confident that Tai will vote with them to get Aubry out and assures Cydney that she is safe and does not need to worry about having to make fire to break a tie tonight.    Next, Michele and Cydney talk to Tai.   Tai is very happy to hear that they are voting for Aubry and not him tonight.    He reveals, “I don’t want to betray her, but at some point alliance got to break.”    Later, when Tai brings flowers to Michele, Aubry gets worried that Tai is going to flip on her.   She comments, “I’m not going down without a fight.” 
Jeff welcomes the final four and the jury to Tribal Council.  He asks Michele what she was thinking when she was in last place in today’s crucial Immunity Challenge.    Michele admits she wasn’t going to give up and thankfully she figured out the solution to the puzzle before anyone else.   Tai feels with so few people left in the game, it’s not an individual game.  Aubry points out that whomever gets voted out tonight has a big influence with the jury, since they know everything that has been going on lately in the game.  Cydney feels it is also important to keep the people whom you have the best chance of beating in the end and therefore getting rid of the biggest threat.   With the immunity necklace on tonight, Michele hopes to use her power wisely.  Jeff calls for the vote.  Cydney, Michele, Tai and Aubry cast their votes.   Jeff reveals all 4 votes.  Both Aubry and Cydney receive 2 votes.   So, the vote is tied.   With a tied vote, neither Aubry nor Cydney can re-vote, so the decision is now up to Tai and Michele.   Neither Tai nor Michele plan on changing their votes, so a fire making challenge between Aubry and Cydney will be the tiebreaker.   Both Aubry and Cydney are provided with a fire making kit.   They need to build a fire from the base of their fire making station.   The first person to build a fire high enough to burn through the rope at the top of their station lives to see another day in this game.    The loser becomes the eighth member of the jury.  The challenge begins and both Cydney and Aubry start using a machete, flint and dried fiber to try and start their fires.    Both ignite the material, but the spark goes out before they can build on it.   Aubry is the first to get her spark into a frame.   She adds sticks of wood to build her flame higher.   Cydney is still trying to get her fire started, but she is not giving up.   In the end, Aubry wins the fire making challenge and lives to see another day in SURVIVOR.   So, Cydney Gillion, a 23-year old Body Builder from Douglasville, GA is the fifteenth person to leave SURVIVOR: KAOH RONG and the eighth member of the jury.  Cydney wishes she could have made it to the end, so she could have helped out her mom.  Aubry and Cydney both cry as they hug and go their separate ways.
Michele, Aubry and Tai return to camp feeling sad because Cydney had to go.   Aubry did not expect to be doing a fire making challenge on SURVIVOR.   She admits, “I’m so proud of myself that I could actually pull it out when it mattered most.”   Michele didn’t expect Tai to vote for Cydney tonight.   She worries because she sees Aubry as more of a threat in the final Tribal Council.    Michele comments, “I’m trying hard to think of a case against Aubry and she’s been in control a lot of this game and I think Tai just gave her a million dollars.”     Tai wonders if there are going to be any more challenges, since Jeff did not tell them that their fate is now in the hands of the jury like he normally does. 
The next morning on day 38, Michele brings tree mail into camp.   It tells them that there is one more challenge and the winner will determine who stays and who goes.    They are surprised and anxious about the fact that there is one more challenge.   Michele, “Once again, here I am having to fight for my life.”   Tai and Aubry talk about the fact that they are on their own now.   Aubry reveals, “Today’s do or die for me.   I need to win the immunity necklace.”
Tai, Michele and Aubry arrive at the Reward Challenge.   Jeff takes back the immunity necklace and then breaks the news to them that challenge is for reward not immunity.   He confirms that they are the final three, which thrills them.   Jeff reveals to them that the winner of this challenge earns the right to vote out a jury member.   They all realize how big of a reward this is, because they can get rid of someone on the jury that they don’t think will vote for them to win SURVIVOR.    Jeff explains the rules of the challenge.  They will each balance on a wobbly beam, while using a long pole to stacks balls on stands.   If at anytime their stack falls, they have to start over.  The first person to finish earns the right to vote out a jury member. 
The challenge begins.  Aubry, Michele and Tai start stacking balls and stands on their post while standing on a wobbly board.    They all stay pretty equal until Michele places her fourth ball, which causes her stack to drop.   Aubry and Tai drop their stacks in their next turns.   So, all three of them are staring over again.  Michele moves quickly and gets ahead of Aubry and Tai.     When Michele has four balls and five stands in place, Aubry has three balls and four stands, while Tai has two balls and two stands.   Aubry picks up the pace, so by the time they each have only one ball left to place they are even.    Michele places her final ball, while Aubry’s stack falls.   So, Michele wins the challenge and the right to vote someone out of the jury.  Jeff gives Michele a piece of parchment to use for voting tonight and a note to read to the jury to tell them the twist that will impact them.   Aubry comments, “It’s a game changer and how she decides to play it could mess up my whole game.” 
Michele, Tai and Aubry get back to camp and congratulate one another for being the final three and making it to the end.   Michele needs some time to think about whom to vote out of the jury.   This is the first time anyone has been able to do this on SURVIVOR.   She admits, “It’s new territory and I want to make sure I have thought of every possible outcome because it could be a million dollar decision.”     While Aubry is away from camp, Michele asks Tai whom he would vote out of the jury.   She feels Joe is a good choice, since there is no doubt that he will vote for Aubry to win the game.  Tai recommends that she vote out Neal instead, because he is more persuasive than Joe and maybe able to talk the other jury members into voting for Aubry.  Tai comments, “Aubry’s a threat to both of us and I want out Neal, because I don’t think Neal would vote for me.”    Next, Michele takes a walk with Aubry and admits that she is considering voting out Joe or Neal tonight.   Aubry is discouraged to hear that Michele is targeting the two people that she knows will vote for her.   She points out to Michele that Tai will likely get a lot of votes from the jury.  Aubry also makes a good argument that Joe will not try to destroy anyone with his questions, unlike Scot.    She recommends to Michele that she vote Scot off the jury to protect herself from Scot mauling her with his questions and potentially voting for Tai.    Michele agrees that Tai is a threat to win the game.   Aubry hopes Michele does not take out Joe or Neal.  She comments, “She has a loaded gun.  I just hope she doesn’t have very good aim.”   Later when all three of them are back at camp, Tai learns that Aubry is encouraging Michele to vote out Scot.   He admits, “Aubry’s very clever.   Scot potentially would be my vote.”     Tai once again suggests that Michele vote out Neal instead.   Michele realizes that this is a huge decision.   She comments, “This decision that I make that will be the last thing that the jury’s going to remember before the final vote.” 
Jeff welcomes the final three and the jury to Tribal Council.   Neal immediately notices that Tai, Michele nor Aubry are wearing an immunity necklace.    Jeff invites Michele to read the advantage that she won today in the Reward Challenge.   The jury is shocked to hear that she is going to be voting one of them out.  Michele realizes that one jury vote could determine who wins and who loses.   So, she has been running numbers and talking to Tai and Aubry about her decision tonight.  Aubry admits that being able to vote out a jury member has never been done before, so there are different strategies that can be used, such as take out an obvious choice or make a big move.    Tai agrees and adds that a smart person to get out would be somebody that can be very persuasive and ask difficult questions at the final Tribal Council.  Michele points out that she has put a lot of thought into her decision and plans on voting out a jury member that was not going to vote for her and in fact could weaken her game.   Jeff calls for the vote.   Michele casts her vote.   Jeff reveals the vote to everyone.  Neal Gottlieb, a 38-year old Ice Cream Entrepreneur from Sausalito, CA is the jury member that Michele chose to eliminate from the jury and the final Tribal Council.   On his way out, Neal says to Michele, “You can to this game thinking that you were a bad ass bitch, but you’re more like a cute little puppy still suckling at the tit.   I don’t stand a chance.”    After hearing that, Jeff tells Michele that it looks like she made the right choice.   He then tells Aubry, Tai and Michele that the jury now has the power to determine their fate. 
The final three return to camp after Tribal Council.  Aubry is amazed at how Neal treated Michele at Tribal Council.    Michele feels she made the right choice on voting Neal out.   She comments, “If tonight was any taste of what tomorrow’s going to be like, I think we’re all in for a world of hurt.”    Aubry is upset that Michele voted Neal out of the jury, because she was sure that Neal would have voted for her to win.   She admits, “I need to fight really hard for however many votes I can get.”
DAY 39
The next morning the sun rises on day 39.   Michele brings in tree mail.   It tells all three of them to follow the path for a surprise.   Tai, Michele and Aubry walk arm in arm down the path to see what awaits them.   They find a full-length mirror and a scale.   All of them are amazed at the toll these past 39 days have taken on them.   Michele is so excited to have made it to the end and have a good chance to win the million-dollar prize.  She wants the jury to know how hard she worked to get to the end by being flexible, winning challenges and playing hard.    Michele comments, “I’m putting it all on the line and I hope that people can see that I’m not some timid girl who has glided along, but rather somebody who strategically made moves this whole game.”    Next, the three of them go to tree mail and find baskets of food and drink waiting for them.   They anxiously carry it back to camp to cook the eggs, bacon, fruit and vegetables.    Tai knows that he has to do a good job at presenting his case to the jury tonight; otherwise all his hard work and suffering will be for naught.     Aubry, Michele and Tai fill their glasses with champagne and toast to making it to the end.    Tai is proud of the big move he made when he changed the game and voted Scot out.   He comments, “I betrayed Scot and if I want to win the million dollars, I have to win Scot over.”    Tai hopes Scot will not be bitter and instead reward Tai for his big move with his vote tonight.    Aubry packs her bag and gets ready to go to the final Tribal Council.   She is proud of the growth she has experienced in the game from a person scared to make a decision to person who took control and risked being seen as a threat in the game.    Aubry comments, “While I might not have been the flashiest person, I was the woman behind the curtain making things happen.”   She hopes to plead her case and win the jury over tonight.    Michele, Aubry, Tai and Mark, the chicken head down the beach towards Tribal Council. 
At the final Tribal Council, Tai, Michele and Aubry sit before the jury of Nick, Debbie, Scot, Julia, Jason, Joe and Cydney.   Jeff congratulates Tai, Michele and Aubry for making it to the final three.   The jury addresses the final three, asking them vital questions to help make their decisions of who is the most worthy of the million-dollar prize and the title of Sole Survivor.   Nick warns the final three that the jury may display some animosity towards them.   He encourages them to take advantage of answering all the questions they get and be honest with their answers.   Nick recommends to Michele that she prove her intelligence tonight.   He tells Tai to convince the jury that he was aware of his game play.   Finally, Nick suggests to Aubry that she display confidence tonight.   Debbie asks Tai why he flipped so much and was so indecisive.    Tai doesn’t feel that he did flip a lot.  He explained that he was always true to Aubry and broke his alliance with Scot, when he tried to take control of the game with Jason and vote Aubry out.   Tai feels his big move of voting out Scot was the only time he flipped.

Debbie congratulates Aubry for her growth in the game from being neurotic to being a warrior.     She feels she helped keep Aubry in the game and wonders whether Aubry would have done the same for her.  Aubry admits that voting out Debbie is her one regret in her game.  She assures Debbie in real life, she would have been loyal to her, but in the game she was headed in a different direction and too much of a threat to keep around.    Julia tells Michele that she had a weak start on the Beauty tribe and feels Michele’s first big move was when she voted her out of the game, since she was her strongest ally.   Julia is not bitter, but in fact proud of her for doing this.   Julia asks Michele whether doing well in the last portion of the game is enough to give her the million dollars.   Michele admits that it took her a while to find her game and prove to everyone that she did have a brain.   She assures Julia that her decisions were planned and well thought out.    Julia tells Tai that he had a game opposite to Michele, since he started out strong by winning challenges and finding an idol and then he got weaker.    Tai doesn’t feel that he has been weak in the second half of his game.  He was just smart to find an alliance that he could work with to the end.  He feels that he deserves Julia’s vote, since all of his accomplishments are greater than Michele’s. 

Joe compliments Tai for his hard work and honesty.   He then asks Tai why he deserves to win more than Aubry.   Tai feels he has accomplished more by finding the hidden immunity idol, winning the extra vote, winning an Immunity challenge and making the big move to vote out Scot.   Joe then gives Aubry the chance to plead her case.   She feels Tai fed her valuable information, but that she was the one to come up with the plans to get the moves made.    Aubry also points out that after the merge, she was always on the winning side of the vote, while Tai was on the losing side three times.    She may not have had the idols and advantages, but she was able to rally the people to vote the way she needed.    Jason asks Michele how she worked her way into the alliance of four that voted Scot out.    He sees that as the move that changed her game.  She points out that she proved her loyalty to the alliance of four by voting out her closest ally Julia.    Next, she was able to get them to vote out Jason instead of herself, because they now trusted her more than Tai.    She assures Jason that it was strategy and not luck that got her to the end.    Jason asks Tai why he betrayed their alliance and voted out Scot.   Tai admits that he was scared because Scot and Jason had such a tight alliance and he feared they would vote him out.   Also, he did not feel comfortable with the “men talk” between Scot and Jason that too brash.   Cydney asks Aubry whether she had always planned to vote her out.   Aubry admits that she wanted to vote Michele out that night instead, but couldn’t because Michele had won immunity.   

At that point, she decided to vote out Cydney because she was a bigger threat than Tai.  Cydney thanks Michele for giving her the chance to stay in the game with the fire making challenge.    Michele assures Cydney that she did what she could to keep her in the game, because she wanted to be with her in the end.    Scot criticizes Tai for never using his hidden immunity idol and using his advantage on the wrong side of the vote.    Scot asks Aubry why he should vote for her.   Aubry hopes that Scot will appreciate and respect how competitive she was in the game, even though she has a different style of play than him.   Scot complements Michele for getting stronger as the game progressed.    This brings a smile to Michele’s face and tears to her eyes.    Jeff gives the final three a chance to make a closing statement.   Aubry reminds everyone that she had a rough start, but she overcame that and made a lot of tough decisions to get her to the end.   In doing so, she had to work with a lot of different personalities.   She may not have won any Immunity challenges, but she tried hard and did win the fire making challenge.   Tai tells everyone that he believes in goodness and kindness and not backstabbing.   He quotes a Vietnamese saying, which equates humans to water hyacinth plants that float amongst each other and sometimes drift apart.    Tai hopes that they can each have a great memory of being together.   Michele gets emotional as she admits that she was the only one that had faith in her, when everyone else felt she was at the bottom.    She is proud of how she played the game.   Jeff then calls for the vote.  The seven jury members then cast their votes for the winner.  Tai sets Mark free and wishes him well.  Host Jeff Probst reads the votes live from Los Angeles. 

With five out of the seven votes cast for her, Michele Fitzgerald wins the title of Sole Survivor and the million dollar prize for Survivor: Kaoh Rong.