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Season 17: Episode 14 - Say Goodbye to Gabon
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

The final five return to camp after blindsiding Crystal at the last Tribal Council. Sugar boasts to her tribemates about how she intelligently used her immunity idol to protect Matty and oust Crystal. Ken, on the other hand, had no idea what was in store. "I was out of the loop tonight and I do feel a little bit betrayed,' he says. Ken made a pact with Bob dictating that if he felt that he was in danger of being voted out, Bob would hand over immunity to him. Feeling like Bob did not keep his word, Ken tries to guilt trip Bob by asking him to give him immunity at the next Tribal Council. "Why don"t you get your own idol,' Bob responds. "By announcing this little deal in front of everybody, I think he was sort of trying to embarrass me if I didn"t stand by my word. For me, it"s a little bit on the annoying side. That means all promises are off.'

The next morning, Sugar whispers to Bob about taking him to the final three with herself and Matty. The next two people that she would like to vote out are Susie and then Ken. Her new plan is to make Ken feel safe so that nothing gets in the way of her plans. She then takes Ken for a walk and assures him that if Bob loses immunity, Bob goes home. Ken concurs, and the two suggest that if Bob wins, they"ll vote Susie out. "Last night, I felt like I got blindsided and I felt a little betrayal from Sugar,' Ken reveals. "I feel comfortable now. I feel that Sugar has no alliance to Susie, so I feel that Sugar really wants to take me to the final three with her.' Ken then reads treemail to the tribe and reveals that everyone will paint their faces and dress themselves to look like traditional Gabonese warriors before heading to the next immunity challenge.

The Nobag Tribe arrives on their mat dressed as Gabonese warriors. Host Jeff Probst comments on Bob"s attire, which resembles something closer to "The Village People' than a Gabonese warrior. Jeff then explains the rules of the challenge. Each person will dig under a wall and make their way across a series of planks which will lead into a maze filled with Gabonese huts. Inside three of the huts are bags of puzzle pieces. Each time someone finds a bag, they must make their way through the maze to the finish platform, drop the bag, and then head out to find another one. Once they"ve collected all three bags of puzzle pieces they will use those pieces to build a replica of a Gabonese hut. The first person to build it correctly wins immunity.

The castaways begin the challenge, digging a hole underneath a wall. Susie is the first one to dig a hole large enough to wriggle through, and her tribemates are not far behind. They then carefully tip toe across the series of planks in an effort to make their way through a raised maze. Matty falls off and has to go all the way back to the start. Everyone else makes it through as Matty begins the maze again. Sugar, Bob, Ken and Susie navigate through the final maze as Matty finally completes the first maze. Everyone is now dead even as they find their bags of puzzle pieces one at a time. Sugar and Bob are the first two to find all of their puzzle pieces and start solving the puzzle first as Ken and Matty struggle to keep up. Susie cannot find her third and final bag of puzzle pieces. The race is on between Sugar and Bob as both build their puzzles at a furious pace. Bob solves his puzzle just moments ahead of Sugar, winning immunity and guaranteeing him a spot in the final four.

With Tribal Council looming, Ken admits that he feels secure in his new pact with Sugar, and that it is safe to say that Susie is going home. Matty confirms Ken"s suspicions that Susie is the next to go, but tells Ken not to tell her until the last minute that she is going to be voted out. Susie confronts Matty in a paranoid state, asking him to tell her if she is on the chopping block. Matty tries to ease her fears and tells her to go with her gut feeling. Matty meets Sugar in the hut and frantically drives home that it is him, Sugar and Bob until the end no matter what. Sugar, however, is still on the fence. "To get rid of Susie would be great because I have no allegiance with Susie and I don"t trust her. I would vote for Kenny because he is a liar and he could manipulate Bob or Matty, so I just have to think really hard about what should be done.'

At Tribal Council, Jeff points out that Bob"s fifth consecutive win ties him for most consecutive wins in the history of Survivor. Bob admits that he is a major target and must continue his winning streak in order to stay alive. Susie confesses that she is not strategically making moves to stay in the game which makes her an outsider. Ken whines about Bob backing out on his deal to hand over immunity to him, and Bob immediately counters his attacks by making everyone aware that it was Ken who backed out on their deal by organizing an assassination on him if Bob were to give up immunity. Ken still tries to persuade his tribe that Bob agreed to sacrifice his spot in the game in order to uphold their deal, to which everyone"s response, including the jury, is laughter. In the end, Bob decides to once again keep the immunity necklace for himself and, with three of the five votes cast against him, Ken is voted out of the game. Ken Hoang, the 22 year-old professional gamer from Westminster, California, became the fourteenth person voted out and sixth member of the jury of SURVIVOR: GABON: EARTH"S LAST EDEN.

The next morning, Sugar, Matty, Bob and Susie face their final immunity challenge as Matty reads treemail, which tells them that they will be paying their respects to the castaways that are no longer in the game. They head to Exile Island and grab the torches of their fallen tribemates. "To be able to pay my respects to the fourteen that went before me is huge for me,' says Matty. "They"re all quality human beings, quality competitors. They definitely deserve respect and I"m just honored to be a part of it.' They each pay tribute to each of their former tribesmen and women, then make their way to the top of the savannah. The final four burn a memorial bonfire as Gabonese warriors chant in a celebratory dance.

The final four arrive on their mat at their final immunity challenge. Host Jeff Probst explains the rules. They will each have 200 wooden tiles. When Jeff yells, "Go!' they will use those tiles to build a house of cards. The first person to build a house of cards ten feet tall or the person to build the highest tower in the thirty minute time limit will win immunity.

Each castaway takes their own unique approach to building their house of cards. Bob spends most of his time forming a large base, while Sugar proceeds precariously stacking the cards one on top of the other. After nine minutes, everyone"s house of cards collapses, forcing everyone to start over from scratch. Sugar and Susie make it past the five foot mark, but Sugar loses everything. Susie"s cards collapse shortly after. Sugar regains her lead once again, surpassing six feet with Susie right behind. With only five minutes left, Susie and Sugar are neck and neck. Bob and Matty are not even close, still toiling with the bases of their towers. At slightly over eight feet and in the lead, Susie decides to stop building and ride out the clock. Sugar gains on Susie but, with only seconds left, her house of cards collapses. Susie wins final immunity, guaranteeing her a spot in the final Tribal Council.

With Tribal Council looming, Bob accepts the fact that he will be the final person voted out. Sugar, Matty and Susie hug him and congratulate him on a game well-played. Sugar becomes emotional as she tearfully admits that Bob is going home because no one can win against him in the final Tribal Council. Susie becomes overly excited that she is in the final three and drives it home with Bob to the point of agony. Susie then asks Bob if he would like to go up against her in the final three. "We don"t need to talk about this, you know the score, we don"t have to keep repeating it,' Bob snaps. Sugar tries to explain to Susie that Bob knows he is going home and doesn"t need to be reminded constantly of Susie"s victory and his own failure at the immunity challenge. "I really really pictured Bob up there in the final three,' Sugar cries. In order to give Bob and Matty a fair chance, Sugar contemplates causing a tie at Tribal Council. She hints to Bob that she might do this, which would cause him and Matty to compete in a tiebreaker challenge that could include fire-making. Bob sneaks off into the jungle and practices making fire in a final attempt to keep himself in the game.

At Tribal Council, Susie gleams with the knowledge that she is guaranteed a spot in the final three to plead her case for one million dollars. Bob admits that he has never been more vulnerable and scared at any Tribal Council thus far. He does not have immunity for once and has a pretty big target on his back for being a jury threat since he is well-liked. Sugar sobs as she confesses being in a predicament since Matty is like a brother to her and Bob is like a father. Bob chokes up when he says that he is flattered that Sugar views him in this light because he is a father already, and had a great example from his own father. With this, the final four cast their votes, which ends in a tie: two votes Matty, two votes Bob. The two then face off in a fire-making challenge. Bob and Matty must build a fire high enough to burn through a rope using a flint and husk. Bob is the first to get fire, but it is short-lived. As Matty rapidly hits his flint, Bob attempts to revive his fire. He successfully brings it back and nurtures it until it reaches the rope. Bob"s fire burns through the rope, guaranteeing him a spot at the final Tribal Council and sending Matty to the jury. Matty Whitmore, the 29 year-old personal trainer from Los Angeles, California became the fifteenth person voted out and seventh member of the jury of SURVIVOR: GABON: EARTH"S LAST EDEN.

Bob marks off a notch in the tree branch for Day 39, and the final three Nobag members count off the days almost in disbelief. "I"m here on Day 39! Is that crazy? It"s insane!' Susie exclaims. The trio finds a surprise at treemail: a feast consisting of pancake batter, eggs, and mimosas. After devouring their brunch, Bob sets off to make his final invention: a fiery goodbye to the Garden of Eden. The 57 year-old self-proclaimed pyromaniac prepares to set the hut ablaze, signifying the end of the game. "I still got one more major thing to do in Gabon and that is convince the jury that my behavior, my work, my participation in this game is worth winning a million dollars over Susie and over Sugar,' says Bob. The final three watch the hut burn as they walk out to their final Tribal Council.

The final three make their opening statements to convince the jury they are worthy of the million dollar prize. Susie"s defense is that she was not confident on Day 1, but went against incredible odds and became very confident on Day 39. Bob tells the jury that he did not outwit or outplay anybody, he simply outlasted them. He cordially thanks everyone for making the game one of the most exciting adventures of his lifetime. Sugar admits to having to lie and sacrifice some innocents, but points out that she was a free agent, having been on Exile five times in a row and on different tribes throughout the game. Jeff then directs the jury to ask their questions to the final three. They unleash harsh criticism and name-calling to the final three, which comes to a head when Corinne expresses her hatred for Sugar"s mentions of her recently deceased father. Randy attacks Sugar for laughing at him when he played the fake immunity idol. Bob apologizes for his actions, but Sugar refuses to budge on the matter. With that, the jury casts their votes, and with four out of the seven votes, Bob Crowley, the 58 year-old physics teacher from Portland, Maine becomes the Sole Survivor, winning the million dollar prize of SURVIVOR: GABON: EARTH"S LAST EDEN.