As they start cooking breakfast with great excitement, Courtney tells us that she's glad China was as tough as it was. They toast with mimosas, and Amanda seems to have slept off some of her unhappy feelings from last night. Courtney says she's proud, because making final three was her goal, and she did it. She tells us also that she thinks her relationships with the jury are pretty good (!), and she points out that she's never tried to be anything other than herself with her "winsome personality." Heh.
Courtney introduces the ceremonial fire by throwing on "Jean-Robert's five-hundred-dollar Louis Vuittons." Poor Jean-Robert! Yeah, those shoes are looking pretty dirty, there. As they burn a big pile of stuff, Todd says that in China, on Survivor, he's "felt more emotions" and "thought more about [his] life" than he has at any other time. And that is...extraordinarily sad. He says China has made him "grow up." Fire, fire! Stereotypical music! Todd explains that he likes his position with the jury, because he "backstabbed and lied," but he "was playing a game." And yes, that is the most interesting thing Todd has to say, after thinking more about his life than he ever has. Amanda interviews that she really thinks it's up in the air, and she has a 33 percent chance of winning. She says she's just going to go in and "tell them the honest truth about my game and how I've played." She says -- and listen up, here -- that she thinks the game may have helped her get over her "fear of failure." Ohhhh, I don't think so. She says she's nervous, because it's all "coming to an end," which she knows will be "emotional." The fire burns, burns, burns!
Oh, final tribal council. How I have not missed you. The F3 sit down, and the jury files in. Jeff goes into his usual speech about how this is the last chance that the F3 will have to demonstrate that they are "deserving" of the victory. Each of the F3 will make an opening statement, and then...jury questions. Oh, jury questions. How I have specifically not missed you.
Amanda's opening statement is first. She tells the jury that today has offered many opportunities for reflection, and that she feels "very blessed" to be where she is. Her first comment is that she followed a specific strategy from the beginning of making an alliance with Todd immediately. She says that in the late part of the game, her strategy was to try to keep it to people she could compete with physically, and she points out that as a result, she won the last two immunity challenges. She says that she has, however, done some things she's not particularly proud of, including voting for people who didn't think she was voting for them, including James, Jean-Robert, and Frosti. "I am sorry if I hurt your feelings," she says. "And I really respect playing with all of you." So here, Amanda tried to cover both sides -- she took credit for her strategy and she says that she regretted situations in which anyone might have taken anything personally. What doesn't make a lot of sense about it is that she picked the three people who I think are least likely to say that she "hurt their feelings" by voting them out. Like, on the whole jury. She doesn't say she's sorry if she hurt Denise's feelings, or Jaime or Erik or Peih-Gee. She apologizes to Frosti, Jean-Robert, and James. I'm sure it makes sense to her if she thinks those are the people to whom she actually lied about her vote, but they're not the people most likely to care, or at least to admit that they care, particularly about "hurt feelings." I think what Amanda does often has an internal logic to it, but she doesn't do a good job of calibrating it to what specific people are looking to hear.
Todd opens with, "Thank you for being where you are and helping me to get in this spot." Gross. He says that he played a game with lying and backstabbing and "hurt[ing] people that [he] cared about." So...kind of what Amanda said. I mean, if you're going to say, "Hey, it's a game," then you don't really do the "I hurt people that I cared about" mambo. Todd says that he just wants them to differentiate between his "strategic game" and the "relations" (ick) that he had with other people on the tribe. Hmm. But he swears that on a personal level, he was for real. He insists that he was "the most strategic." Interestingly, Todd does not, unlike Amanda, explain exactly what he did that he thinks was so strategic; as always, Todd talks a lot about the philosophy of being strategic and awesome and scheming and how it has nothing to do with how he feels about people, but there's not all that much actual concrete strategy for him to discuss -- only the idea of it. He talks about how it's his "dream come true." My favorite part is Peih-Gee examining her nails in a bored fashion as Todd prattles on. She couldn't be more over him if she jumped into a hot-air balloon.