It was in many ways the most frustrating season of Survivor in memory. Those capable of shrewd game play, from Jeremy to Josh, were unfortunately the sit first on the jury. John Rocker was gone way before that.
Jon and Jaclyn were treated like royalty for some reason through most of the season, even though their free agency coupling had them low on loyalty. It was especially annoying to witness since he seemed to not even think particularly in-depth about strategy. He was the guy who lost the flint on one of the first days of his camp, and didn’t take into account that sending Jeremy to exile island would only prove that the hidden immunity idol had already been found–by him.
Jon would have been voted out a few weeks back if Natalie hadn’t told him at the last minute to play his first hidden immunity idol in one crazy double-idol tribal council (Jon claims it was Jaclyn who had told him to play it, but that wasn’t shown).
It was all part of Natalie’s plan to string him along so she could better blindside him, which she finally did quite masterfully last week.
That means Natalie’s scheming makes her the odds on favourite to win Survivor San Juan del Sur Wednesday night.
It’s a call that wouldn’t have been predictable early in the season since, as one of the “twinnies” on two different seasons of The Amazing Race, she and her sister Nadiya were constantly bickering and seemed like the worst suited competitors.
Their losing streak seemed to stretch to this CBS franchise too, with Nadiya the very first to be voted off Survivor. But playing solo has been good for Natalie, even in a “Blood vs. Water” season minefield of couples who stuck together no matter what.
Natalie is undoubtedly the strongest one left of a handful that also includes an old guy who’s been sticking around at 53 on luck and occasional immunity wins (Keith), the other half of the power couple, whose union on the show is now permanently crippled (Jaclyn), a literally crippled 47-year-old mother (Missy, in a cast. Who can expect her to win any competitions let alone play them?), and her sort of clueless daughter (Baylor), a 20-year-old player whose alliances have been shifting through the season.
That the episode is called “This is My Time” doesn’t sound like Natalie, though. She’s the type who would keep her head down and forge ahead. “This is My Time” sounds more like Keith (or maybe the former Miss Michigan, Jaclyn).
But even with the best players long gone, let’s give a salute to a final five that’s four-fifths women in a game that routinely makes the females exit first. And an old guy that hung in with them.
But once it’s over, sheesh, let’s move quickly to a new season of players, unshackled by the blood and ready to play and strategize once more. And let’s make it great. After all, it will be the 30th season and all.
Who do you think has the best chance of winning Wednesday night? Vote and tell us why below and be sure to come back to TheTVJunkies.com on Thursday morning to read our take on how Season 30 will shake out.
The Survivor finale airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and Global.