The Final Four ladies are delighted with their triumph over stupidity, but their happiness is short-lived when there's another immunity challenge the next day. Natalie gets an early lead, but Amanda wins it, which means Natalie's going to have to work pretty hard to convince Parvati to vote for Cirie instead of her. She plays it cool and strikes when she finds weaknesses in the alliance, and even though the three ladies squabble at tribal council when Cirie voices her concerns about being at the bottom of both the five-way Favorite alliance and the three-way female one and Amanda insists that it isn't true, Natalie still goes home. Also notable is Probst implying that there may not be a Final Three this time around, but a Final Two. With an eight person jury who could make it a tie? Parvati very much doubts this, but Amanda breaks down and when the Final Three return to camp, lashes out at Cirie and accuses her of trying to make her and Parvati look bad in front of the jury. They bicker while Parvati silently watches and thinks about how this can only help her chances. And then Amanda apologizes to Cirie and says she's just sick of playing this game, which she's now played longer than any other castaway and in back-to-back seasons. Don't you go all Kathy on us, Amanda! You can feel your family! The next morning, the girls are hoping to find their Final Three food celebration basket, but the treemail is yet another immunity challenge. Amanda breaks down in tears while Cirie and Parvati silently think strategy. Cirie has to admit that after all the blindsiding they've done to everyone else, it's kind of fitting that they'd be blindsided at the end. I wonder when the decision to make this a Final Two instead of Three was made. Was it because of the injuries? Did they plan it all along? And if they did, what were they planning to do in the case of a tie? Anyway, they do the traditional boring past player torch reflection walk and burn down the Exile Island lifeguard tower before setting off for the last immunity challenge, an endurance/concentration task. Parvati is out quickly, but that's fine with her since she's got to be both Cirie and Amanda's first pick to go to the jury with. And then … Cirie loses it. Amanda wins immunity. Both Cirie and Parvati try to talk her into taking them to the end, and at tribal council, Amanda is all tears about what a tough choice she has to make before voting out Cirie. Which is painful, but I don't see how she could have done it differently. Cirie was an awesome player and sure to win if she made it to the end; her only mistake was not reading the producer's minds and planning for a Final Two. Well, that and not being very good at challenges. She has a really sad good-bye speech and now we're down to two. They burn the camp down and go to tribal council, where they face the standard onslaught of angry, wronged jury members. And then there's Natalie, who I think used her jury question to ask Parvati out on a date. For the second season in a row, Amanda sucks at defending herself to the jury, while Parvati defends how she played by saying that if she screwed people over, it was all in the name of playing a strong, powerful game and she knew she couldn't beat Ozzy or James at the end so she had to get rid of them in order to win. Ozzy doesn't take things well at all, and uses his jury question to be a whiny little baby and accuse Parvati of placing a value on their friendship and then tell Amanda that he's in love with her and wants everyone to know how amazing she is. Aw, that was sweet. But why was he snuggling up to Alexis if that's how he felt about Amanda? And why is this tribal council All About Ozzy when he's NOT EVEN IN THE FINAL TWO??? They vote, and we see Erik and Ozzy vote for Amanda while Natalie and Alexis vote for Parvati. We don't see who Eliza votes for, but it takes her like an hour to do it. She finally makes a decision and Probst takes the urn all the way to New York, although he just walks it there with no awesome traveling montage. Why did they stop doing that? I loved it. He reads the votes to an overly made-up Amanda and Parvati and they're tied at three. I'm thinking there's no way Parvati can win and I'm surprised she managed to get three votes. But then she gets a fourth. And then, a fifth. And somehow, Parvati wins the sixteenth season of Survivor.
Welcome to the beginning of the end! I'm really excited about recapping three hours of show tonight, as it should prove to be my own personal version of Survivor. My first obstacle is that my DirectTV DVR had a technical glitch and decided to record The Price is Right instead of Survivor, and not even a full episode of the show. Just the stupid Showcase Showdown part. So now I have to recap using the CBS site to watch the show and be subjected to the same damn shampoo commercial every five minutes. Also I ran out of snacks, so I'm starving. The things I endure for you people! Probst recaps the season so far: a bunch of clown "Fans" with bad hair played against a bunch of so-called "Favorites," which somehow included Jon from Pearl Islands but not Twila from Vanuatu. Jonathan and James had to leave the game due to injuries, while Kathy was felled by rain. Parvati, Amanda, and Cirie made an early alliance and stuck to it, although Parvati went around making side deals with "Fans" Alexis and Natalie. Ozzy got the immunity idol, but didn't play it and was shocked to be voted out. Eliza was shocked too, and the editors let us see her priceless reaction once more and it was like this: 8-o. Then the women turned into spiders and blind-sided everyone, which isn't much of an accomplishment when you consider how stupid those people were. But still: props to the ladies! And then Erik won immunity and was guaranteed a spot in the Final Four, only to be persuaded to give up said immunity and be voted out. And Eliza was like this: 8-O.
Now there are four: first up, because she should ALWAYS be first, is Cirie, who says, over shots of her various game accomplishments (which include swimming with paint on her face, picking up a branch and smiling) that if she trusts you she'll stick with you until the end (unless it's rock-picking time -- sorry about that, Amanda!). But if she can't trust you, then you shouldn't trust her. Over shots of her walking, swimming and sitting down, Natalie tells us she's a cutthroat, stone-cold bitch. As we see her run and smile, Amanda tells us she's played this game loyally, made personal relationships, and fought her way to the end. Parvati at least gets some action shots as she claims that she's playing this game aggressively and with "no holds barred." Hmph. More like "no holes barred."
The ladies return to camp and celebrate their victory over Erik with shrieks of joy that make the crabs run away in terror. They hug and scream and then stir their fake cauldrons while cackling. Hmm. I was hoping it was only Parvati and Alexis who did that. I'm sort of disappointed in Natalie, Cirie and Amanda. Amanda does a cute little Final Four victory dance just for us, and then Parvati says that as soon as Erik said "this is a tough choice," she knew they had him. Parvati tells us that everyone fell into their trap -- and it was the same trap over and over again! Well, except for what happened to Alexis, which was like the opposite of that trap. But still, they did manage to pull off some amazing moves and produce some very enjoyable tribal councils, so they deserve this. Cirie tells us that they couldn't beat Erik in any of the challenges, but now he's been "taken care of," so their game may continue. Parvati says that after four back-to-back blindsides, she can't wait to see what happens next. With that, Amanda, Parvati and Natalie do "sexy" dances while Cirie keeps her dignity.