After announcing Denise as the winner, Probst starts out with one of his beloved informal votes to discover that Denise would have even beat Malcolm if he'd gone to the final three.
Everyone is pretty genial and kind while answering questions. Penner and Jeff Kent joke about their rivalry. Probst misses an opportunity to ask people if they were surprised to learn Jeff Kent was a baseball player. He asks Skupin, "Why do you get hurt all the time?" because that's useful information to have.
Probst asks Lisa about how her religion was portrayed and she tries to explain how she doesn't think God has a favorite team, country, or religion (she had me) and he's happy that Denise won and she lost (she lost me). Lisa talks for a long time and I tune out after a while. Russell talks about how much it rained (a lot) and Dana talks about how much it sucked to get medically evacuated (a lot).
Probst compares Malcolm to Ozzy (of course, but please don't let him get Ozzy's ego) and Malcolm says he knew he could never win that challenge. Malcolm sounds really nervous and his voice is shaking, and he uses the word "swagger" which bugs me. But Probst looooooooooves him. Gross.
Abi comes off as really likable and nice, and says that she knows she was a jerk. RC, on the other hand, is really in love with herself and clearly preplanned some sound bites that fall flat. And Pete got hot?
Jeez, I totally forgot about Fan Favorite. Probst says it was the closest they've ever had, and it came down to Malcolm and Lisa. And the winner is Lisa! Probst gives a few seconds to all of the early bootees. Dawson gets the moment of the night when she runs down and kisses Probst full on the lips. That was kind of hilarious.
Next season is another Fans vs. Favorites with ten fans and ten returnees. And I guess Denise isn't going to be on the CBS morning show because Probst hands over the check and then we're out until February!
After Denise was announced as the winner -- and after a commercial break -- we return to a video montage of her greatest hits, especially how often people at Tribal Council said that either Denise or Malcolm was going to win and how awesome she looked during challenges.
Probst looks weird now that he's changed out of his regular blue shirt and into a T-shirt. Is this Casual Probst? Are there Probst action figures? I want one! Anyway, Probst has heard from "people on the street" that fans saw Denise as an underdog. I still want a full account of what people on which street, because I know "people on the forums" and they almost never agree with the people that Probst meets on the street. Also, every time he says it, I get "Under Pressure" stuck in my head. Anyway, Denise believed that she was an underdog too, because she had to fight the whole way.
When she got to the final four, she really thought it was over and she had to cut Malcolm at that point. She agrees that it was her biggest move. Probst asks Malcolm why he didn't lie to Denise about making a final three alliance and Malcolm jokes that he took a page from Penner's How To Be Voted Out playbook. Here's the thing about reunions: I really hate it when people who have spent the last however months coming up with snarky comebacks and asides to spout at the reunion, because it always sounds fake and rehearsed. I mean, sure you're going to think about what you will say or what you might be asked. But pre-planned quips just fall flat for me. Anyway, Malcolm explains that he thought he had a solid alliance with Skupin and Lisa and it wasn't until Lisa said at the final Tribal that she didn't want to take him that he realized he was toast.
If you've ever seen a Survivor reunion, you know that Probst loves to do an informal poll of the jury to see how things could have been different, so he asks who on the jury would have voted for Malcolm. Lisa and Jeff Kent are the only ones who put their hands up. According to Malcolm, Pete, Penner and Carter were just fucking with Probst and would have voted for him too. I don't understand the "joke." OH NOES they're messing with Probst's stupid informal poll! Pretty much everyone says that they would have voted for Denise over Malcolm and Probst doesn't even have anything to say because why would anyone vote for a woman over an alpha male like Malcolm? That does not compute for Probst.
Probst's next question is even weirder: he wants to know what Denise's sex therapy clients thought about her wearing a bikini and appearing vulnerable. Whuh? Why is that even a question about the game? Denise says her clients have all been supportive. Good for them.