Saturday, May 14, 2011

Survivor Finale Preview: Handicapping The Final 8 Players

Survivor Redemption Island comes to a close this weekend with Sunday Night's Season Finale, so let's take a look at the eight remaining players that have a shot at the million (I still can't believe there are 8! Please let Redemption Island be a one-season occurance).

Below you will find my thoughts on each of the remaining players, and their odds of winning. (in no particular order)
Mike Chiesl

Mike has been a pretty solid competitor this season, especially after his arrival at Redemption Island. I have to wonder what he could have done in this game had he not been one of the Zapatera tribe members who orchestrated the thrown challenge to get rid of Russell. While I agree with the logic of getting rid of Russell, that could have been done at any time, and this season proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that throwing a challenge in Survivor is never a good idea.

Mike has been very strong in the Redemption Island Duels, and I can see him coming out of Redemption Island to re-enter the game. Making it to the Final Tribal Council, however, is another story. If he can be sitting in front of the Jury at the Final Tribal Council, then regardless of who he's sitting beside, he will win hands down.

Odds of winning: 4 to 1
Andrea Boehlke

After Matt was voted out early to break up the Matt/Andrea alliance, I didn't see her lasting much further in the game, but here we are at the Finale with her still in the running at Redemption Island. I thought the blindside of Matt would affect her loyalty to Rob and her Ometepe alliance, but they all stayed strong until the Final 6, when she was the first to go. If she's on the jury, will she vote for Rob, or will she vote for anyone BUT Rob because of that? Even though I jokingly compared her to a Na'vi from Avatar earlier this season, I liked Andrea...but I don't think there's any way she can win.

Odds of winning: 25 to 1
Grant Mattos

All season long I've been comparing Grant to Ozzy Lusth from Survivor Cook Islands (and Fans vs. Favorites), in terms of his physical ability, demeanor, and overall social game. If he can win his way back from Redemption Island, you can surely bet he won't be aligning with Rob again after being voted out last week. Even though I've had trouble getting past the pink slippers, if he's sitting in the Final Tribal Council with anyone other than Rob, he can win. If he's there with Rob, it's still possible, but his biggest hurdle is winning his way back in. Also, can someone please explain the pink slippers to me? All season long, and I've never understood why he has been wearing them?

Odds of winning: 4 to 1
Phillip Sheppard

The Former Special Agent. A charter member of 'Stealth R Us'. 'Shep.' Whatever you want to call him, you need to call him the saviour of this season. Without Phillip on your TV for the past 13 weeks, this may have been the worst season in Survivor history (and I say that as a HUGE fan of Boston Rob). The king of the tighty-pinkies has hinted to us that his crazy act is all a ruse. Personally, I don't buy it...but I also can't rule it out either. If he can be sitting on the Final Tribal Council and reveal to everyone that he's a businessman or something, and the crazy act was all for show, and that he is a well-spoken individual who had a plan to get to the end all along, then he will singlehandedly vault this season into one of the BEST ones of all time. That...and you can give him the million. Otherwise, I don't think he has a shot.

Odds of winning:  (Phillip is Phillip)     100 to 1
                                   (Phillip was acting)  Even Money
Natalie Tenerelli

Natalie was, without a doubt, the Purple Kelly of this season...barely saying anything of significance (or anything at all) until the last few episodes. With the edit that she's been given on this season, I can't see her sitting on the Final Tribal Council at all, much less having a shot to win. Remember last season when nobody could believe we were watching Mafia Dan in the Finale...this is pretty much the same thing. A likable girl who I don't really have anything bad to say about, but she has no shot of winning.

Odds of winning: 5,000 to 1
Ashley Underwood

Ashley wasn't strong, and wasn't weak. She was smart to align herself with Rob because she knew it could get her to the end. She's not there yet, but she could be. I don't see a jury giving her the million dollars unless she's sitting there beside Natalie and Phillip, at which point she could be seen as the most deserving. For the record, if that ends up being the Final Three, God help us all.

Odds of winning: 8 to 1
Matt Elrod

Isn't it crazy that a guy that was eliminated on Day 5 is still in the running? Actually, make that "a guy who was eliminated on Day 5, returned to the game, and was eliminated AGAIN" is still in the running? Don't get me wrong, I really like Matt, and I think the run he went on at Redemption Island was damn impressive, but I still maintain that it was a ridiculous element of the game that allowed him to survive so long. I don't think it was divine inspiration, I think Matt is just one hell of a competitor.

Part of me wants Matt to win, if only for the reason that the first time they tried Redemption Island, if someone runs the table wire-to-wire, then you can never really trump that, and there would be no reason for it to ever make a return. Also, if Matt makes it to the end and can be sitting at the Final Tribal Council, how can you not give him the money? Even if he's sitting beside Rob, who had arguably the best season any Survivor Contestant has ever had? The question is whether Matt can actually return from Redemption Island...he's been taking a back seat to Mike since he got there, and now with Grant in the mix, it won't be easy.

Odds of Winning:         7 to 2
(if God is on the Jury) 1 to 3
"Boston Rob" Mariano

Yes, I'm a Rob fan, and yes, I think he deserves to win this season. No one has come close to him in terms of strategy and performance. If it's Outwit, Outlast, Outplay...he's done that in every way possible. Plus, he still has an Immunity Idol that he can presumably use for at least one more Tribal Council, and he's pretty much always the favourite going into any Immunity challenge, so how can you not pencil him in for the Final Three?

The only question is whether we will see a bitter jury that votes on their anger over being eliminated over truly assessing who played the best game. Rob was screwed in All-Stars by a bitter jury, just as Russell was in both of his seasons. Will this jury be as bitter?

I don't think so.

The beauty of Rob's game this time was that he got everyone out without being a total douchebag, which is what he and Russell both failed to accomplish in the past. I think he'll be able to convince the jury he (rightfully) deserves the million dollars and the title that he's been working a decade to try and win.

Odds of winning: 2 to 1

One note about this Sunday’s Season Finale. What I’m planning to do is to watch the 2-hour Finale as it happens, and then once the winner is announced, work on my recap so that it is up within an hour of the show ending, as it usually is. So, if it all works out, it will be up right around the time the Reunion Show is ending.

Make sure you bookmark and come back then, because I’m hoping it will be up…and if it’s not, it will be posted shortly after. Then, after it’s posted, I’m going to go back and watch the Reunion Show, and write an addendum on the end of the recap afterwards.

Survivor Fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook or on Twitter, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.


Anonymous said...

Another great commentary Sean! I've enjoyed reading your blog all season. Thanks for the hard work!


R.P. McMurphy said...

Looking forward to tonight. I'm hoping that if Grant makes it back, Rob can claim ignorance as Jeff didn't have to read the last vote. I'm sure Rob will say he was just as surprised as Grant was for that vote.

Kiwi Al said...

Great Blog Sean!

The game is all Robs for the taking and even if Mike (or Matt) gets back and wins all the challenges, surely he's not going to get given the money after being voted out.

A pretty bitter Zapatera tribe though!

Maybe a good strategy for Rob would be to attack Ralph on jury. Ralph might still think he's voting someone off and write his name down at the final.

Shari said...

Well said Sean! I agree with your assessment. I would really love to see the Phillip scenario play out. How fun that would be! I am not a Rob fan, but he has played well.

Also I would like to add that I have really enjoyed your Random Thoughts immensely. In fact I have looked forward to reading what you have had to say (and will say tonight) as much as I enjoy watching Survivor itself, since you are astute and quite humorous! A good combo, thank you! PS, I hope they dump Redemption Island in the future!