I The past few episodes of Survivor have been so entertaining, I think this season has become my favorite. I am not sure what it is surpassing, at this point even the good ones run together. I am thinking either Amazon or Cook Islands was somewhere near the top. But now? Fans versus Favorites is so far above either, I can't imaging what would have to happen for a season to be any better.
Early on, the season was just okay. I could barely keep track of who the fans were, and all the favorites I actually cared about kept getting voted out, or losing any likability. By the time the merge happened, the only person I cared about was Eliza. Who of course, was being targeted. But, this is when things got.....good.
A few episodes back, Jason had found the fake immunity idol that Ozzy had hid earlier in the season. He tries to give it to Eliza to save her, which led to a brilliant exchange where she told him the stick could not be the idol because...it was just a stick. It was a great scene, and at the time, seemed like the highlight of the season. Unfortunately, it led to Eliza's departure. I assumed I wouldn't care about anything that happened after that. But, this is when things got....even better.
When Eliza saw Jason's "stick idol" she also outed the fact that Ozzy had the real idol to the rest of the tribe. At this point, Cirie started (and others) started wondering about when they could get rid of him. Meanwhile, the rest of the tribe is targeting Jason, and even convince him to quit an endurance immunity challenge, by saying they won't vote for him. When he TOTALLY needed immunity. It was almost painful to watch him make such a mistake. But, Ozzy had gotten pretty arrogant at this point and was convinced everyone was still going to vote for him. Which, Cirie decided was a perfect time to blindside him. She got together everyone who didn't seem to be in love with him (including Parvati, Ozzy's friend) and voted him out....despite him having the hidden immunity idol and not playing it. Ozzy was completely shocked, and it was a great tribal council.
After a really good blindside, you expect a boring episode. But in this case....things kept getting better.
This time Jason was sent to exile island and found a new real hidden immunity idol. This was bad, because everyone wanted to vote him out. So, this time Natalie worked some magic and convinced him that she sent him to Exile to help him and that they are working together. Then, she voted with everyone else to get rid of him....despite him having the hidden immunity idol and not playing it. Jason was completely shocked.
So, of course, I thought there couldn't be three blindsides relating to the hidden idol in a row, right? But then, next week James was medivaced off and Erik won immunity. This meant, the 5 remaining women had to turn on their own alliance. Everyone but Parvati and Amanda planned to vote for Amanda. Afterall, Amanda had come back from Exile and emptied her bag, showing them she didn't have the hidden immunity idol. So, she couldn't play it. But what they didn't know, was that the idol was hidden at camp. So after Amanda proved to them she didn't have it, she dug it up, and then spent the rest of the day putting on an Oscar-worthy performance. The woman was practically in tears. At tribal council she went on and on about how awful it went to be going home. Then once the votes were cast, she whipped out the idol. Alexis and Natalie both knew it was one of them, and both looked sick. It ended up being Alexis, and it was a great tribal council.
Then....unbelievably....it got even better this past week. Erik won much needed immunity and guaranteed his spot in the final four. The remaining women, who had been in a final four alliance were bummed that they had to start eating each other. That is when Cirie casually throws out, the idea of Erik giving up his necklace. Natalie thought it was the stupidest idea she ever heard, because who the hell gives up immunity? But, since she was out if that didn't happen, she gave it a shot. I was sitting at home, wondering why they were spending so much time showing Cirie and Natalie try to convince him when it obviously wasn't going to work. And then....it did. Erik hands over the necklace. Then they immediately vote him out. I don't think anyone at the tribal council had a straight face. I almost felt bad for Erik, because I hate seeing people embarrassed. But it was highly entertaining.
At this point we are going into the last episode with four women I don't necessarily like, but who have all played a good game. I don't think I have ever said at final four I would be happy with any winner. The fact that they are all women makes it even better - I have been a little disappointed by the string of male winners lately.
I hope the finale lives up to the last few episodes. I am not sure how, but, hey. I have been saying that for weeks.