God, let's just get it over with. The winner is Rupert, and he gets a million dollars, so there's lots and lots of roaring and screaming and "Woooo!"-ing. So the producers got the outcome that they wanted. What's remarkable is that Mark Burnett went out in the media this week and actually explained why this essentially ruined his show. Here's his quote about the allure of reality shows, taken from this recent interview: "It's the unpredictable nature of these shows that's important to the audience...people really wanted Rupert to win." See? He knows. So he's either a complete idiot, or he's basically calling out the fact that this was a horrible fuck-up, and not his idea.
Anyway, Rupert and his family cry, and then they come up on stage, and then Jeff fills out the check and gives it to him. Jeff leans over and says "Happy birthday" to Rupert's daughter, which...yeah. Some shout-outs aren't really shout-outs so much as they are eye-stabbing ironies.
It's a shame. I mean, I don't really care who gets a million dollars and who doesn't, but it's always a shame when a show you kind of dug does something you hate that makes you feel...whatever is beyond "insulting my intelligence," that's what this was. You don't want to get all fist-shaking about justice and Survivor, but on the other hand...well, I've done the whole argument, and I'm not doing it again, but if they continue doing this, the show's basically over, as far as I'm concerned. Because you won't know whether the interviews are calculated for your benefit as an audience member, and you won't know whether people have decided to throw the first million and go for the audience million. So let's just hope that this was a failed experiment, rather than anything they're planning on making standard.
So Rupert got his wish and his million dollars, and he didn't have to do anything like win, or play well, or anything like that. The End. Wow, what a great story.