Time to take a walk down memory lane! Stephen asks J.T. for his first impression of him. J.T. missed the mark completely, saying Stephen "looked strong" but "really religious." J.T. interviews that he's learned that you can't judge a book by its cover or go off first impressions (you mean like voting a tribe member out before you even get a chance to speak to anyone?), and he and Stephen are actually a lot alike despite their very different backgrounds. Stephen says he thought J.T. was "gregarious" and "charming." But not "charmin'," as we already had that product placement earlier this season. Stephen interviews pretty much the same thing J.T. just said -- that he didn't think he'd get along with J.T., only to find that underneath it all, they're a lot alike and thus make a great team.
With that, it's time to go. J.T. puts on his jeans and cowboy boots, while Stephen puts his dress pants on and we can all see that the butt has been ripped out of them. Of course. J.T. interviews that he's ready to put his friendship with Stephen aside tonight in order to win. J.T. and Stephen get some distance from the camp and stop and turn around, and I was expecting it to explode or something, but I guess they decided not to destroy camp this season. With that, J.T. sticks his hand out for Stephen to grab but Stephen is too awkward and just sticks his hand out, too. Hee. Stephen interviews that he's ready to fight for the win and state his case and not roll over and let J.T. take the million. Stop trying to make this sound suspenseful or exciting, Stephen.
The Final Two arrive at the Final Tribal Council. The jury enters, and I see that Douche has made sure to wear a suit jacket because he'll be voting tonight. He has not, apparently, managed to find any stupid feathers to stick in his hair. And Erinn looks great all cleaned up, as they almost always do except for Debbie because she wears too much makeup. Probst congratulates Stephen and J.T. for making it this far and Stephen gives his opening statement. He says it's hard to speak against J.T. after J.T. picked him to be in the Final Two and they've "been through so much together." He says he and J.T. "shared a brain when it came to strategy." What? Really? Because I saw Stephen making most of the moves behind the scenes and J.T. being his strong social front man. And that's kind of all Stephen has in his favor, that he was the brains of the team. Instead of talking about that, though, he says that he grew more in this game and was more out of his element in the beginning and had a lot more to overcome than J.T. He's become a better, stronger person, thanks in part to everyone on the jury. Suck up.
Well, that was terrible. Let's hear what J.T. has to say. He opens by saying he's not a Yale graduate like Stephen, but he is the first person in his family to graduate college and worked very hard to make it to the end of this game. While Stephen said "we" throughout his opening speech, J.T. says "I." He points out that he never received a vote against him (although Stephen only had one, and must be a little annoyed at Erinn for casting it right about now), was friends with everyone there, and had a hard time voting people out. Debbie looks all shocked when J.T. says he picked the people to vote out that he thought were going to try to get rid of him first. And he reminds everyone that he kept his word and picked Stephen to go to the end when he could have beaten Erinn for sure.
And now, the jury. First up is Brendan. He decides to open by putting Stephen down, saying that he's never seen a sporting event where the winner was decided by who grew the most. His question is can Stephen think of one. Well, Brendan, I can tell you who definitely doesn't win: the guy who throws an alliance away because he thinks he doesn't need them since his tribe has the majority, only to be voted out at the first possible opportunity. Stephen says Survivor could be that sporting event, and that he played to his strengths, focusing on outwitting his fellow contestants rather than outplaying them. "So you should be handicapped?" Brendan asks. Stephen says no, but J.T. is an outdoorsman and Stephen came into this with none of those skills but still did just as well. Brendan turns to J.T. and asks him if Stephen's point that he grew during the game is a relevant one. So basically, both of Brendan's questions are about how he didn't like Stephen's opening argument. Way to come to the Final Tribal with nothing prepared, Brendan. Kind of like how you came into the show itself. J.T., of course, says that Stephen will benefit from growing during this game, but it's irrelevant when it comes to who should win. He says he outplayed Stephen, and even had to push him to participate in some challenges when Stephen tried to "hide in the shadows." At this point, Stephen asks if he can have a "rebuttal" and says that "hiding in the shadows," is a legitimate strategy in this game. True, but then when it comes time to go in front of the jury, you have to own it in your opening statement and tell them what you were doing when they weren't looking. J.T. thinks that someone who puts himself out there "should get more respect" than someone who hides. Okay, but respect is not the same as a million dollars. Stephen looks stung, as if he didn't realize that this was going to get nasty.
Erinn goes next. She accuses Stephen of playing with three different alliances: the Jalapeño three, the Exile alliance, and the Warrior alliance, only to send most of his alliance members to the jury. Um ... duh, Erinn. It's a game where you vote people out until only two are left. Sending your alliance members to the jury, therefore, kind of has to happen. "So, should I just vote for J.T.?" she asks. I'm hoping they edited most of her question out, because what we just saw sucked and I expect more from Erinn. Stephen says this game involves "creating a lot of dynamic structures and then working within those structures to advance yourself as best you can." I'm sure that went over most members of the jury's heads. He says he played this game and his alliances really well, and if Erinn respects that "aggressive style of play" then she should vote for him. Except that he opened by saying that he and J.T. were in agreement on all of those moves, so therefore they both had the same aggressive style of play and why should Erinn vote for Stephen over J.T. for that? Oh, Stephen! You blew it! Why? You were so smart until like Day 36 and then you just fell apart. What happened? Erinn turns to J.T. and asks him why he thinks Stephen is the strongest opponent he could have gone against in the end. J.T. mumbles something about Stephen being the best and most honest person in Jalapeño, and when they merged and Douche asked him who was the strongest person in his tribe, J.T. said it was Stephen. Because, you know, it was between Stephen, Taj, and Julian, whose leg was about to fall off. It was a pretty obvious choice. He adds that he had a chance to abandon Stephen there, but he didn't. And he thinks that Stephen was the strongest member of the "power alliance," which is kind of a fuck you to everyone else in that alliance, not like they'll realize it.
Debbie is up next. She says she's still undecided on who she's voting for tonight, which I very much doubt, and honesty is very important to her (so much so that when she lies herself she conveniently forgets about it) and that's why she was so drawn to J.T.