Immediately after the selection of the winner, we go to the reunion episode. Just like last season, Li'l Russell dominates the reunion, to the point where even his #1 fan Probst is telling him to shut up and sit down. Good thing these aren't last season's contestants, but media-savvy famewhores who do not appreciate having their spotlight stolen by a man they universally despise. So he gets told off and shut down by just about everyone, from Rob to Sandra. And then he wins the $100,000 fan-favorite prize because the American people like the edited, one hour a week version they got of him and also probably couldn't remember who any of the other contestants were, so little camera time did everyone else get. J.T. wins the prize of dumbest move in the game's history and gets a tiny wooden tiki statue. And Jenn Lyons from Survivor: Palau wins the prize of Worst Tribute Montage, getting all of three seconds worth of clips and barely a mention despite being the first contestant in this show's history to die. I'm sure we can thank Li'l Russell's camera-hoggery for that, too. In other news, Rob and Amber's baby daughter is cute but doesn't seem as interested in being on camera as her parents, Stephenie used her appearance to promote her restaurant and royally piss off Probst, thus making her a little bit awesome, and Jerri wore way too much makeup but didn't get booed off the stage like she did her last time around on the show. See you next season in Nicaragua!
We begin the reunion portion of the evening with a montage of Sandra's greatest moments, like when she removed Sugar's top, fell on her face when trying to jump over a small stream, endlessly hated Li'l Russell, and, of course "but I don't know about that!" Oh, and also when she didn't suck at that one challenge, much to her surprise, and played the hidden immunity idol, much to everyone else's. And there she is with a little tiara on, which I would normally hate her for, but since it's Sandra, it's awesome. Probst acknowledges that Sandra is the first two-time winner of this game and asks if this means that she is, truly, the best player ever. "It makes me the queen," she says; "the best ever, yes." I think you could make a strong argument for that, but I think Richard Hatch was the best ever, and I probably always will. Parvati's a pretty strong contender for the title, too. Sandra is definitely up there. "I make it to the end AND I win," she says. Unlike, you know, some people sitting to the right of her in third place who have never won despite making it to the end twice. Parvati gives Sandra an appreciative clap while Sandra just looks at Probst like, "I fucking DARE you to say otherwise, bitch." He does not. Instead, he asks Parvati if Sandra is the best ever. Parvati says Sandra's argument is "logical" and "makes perfect sense," but, of course, Parvati is going to say that she's the best player ever because she's played this game for more days than anyone else. Except that she's played three times and Sandra's only played twice. Parvati says she's also a "challenge dominator" now. And let's not forget that she is best friends with one of this show's casting associates. That always helps. Sandra says she's played twice and won twice, while Parvati has played three times but only won "twice." Actually once, but whatever.
Of course, Probst has to ask Li'l Russell if he thinks Sandra is the best player ever. "Do you really want me to explain this to you?" he says. No, I don't! Let's move on to someone else, please. But no, Probst asks him to keep his explanation to 30 seconds or less. Li'l Russell says that Sandra is a poor social player because "she's lippy and she knows it." She wasn't lippy when she found that idol, though. And however "lippy" she might have been, the jury didn't seem to mind it too much when they sang her praises in the Final Tribal Council and then gave her another million dollars. So I'm not sure how that point means she has a bad social game. Li'l Russell says Sandra might be "the worst physical player to ever play the game." Um, yeah, Li'l Russell? It's called Scout Cloud Lee. Also, now, Colby. Parvati just looks horrified, while Sandra says losing in challenges was a good strategy for her. Li'l Russell says Sandra's strategic game consisted of trying to get rid of him, which she was never able to accomplish. "So let's reward her for her failures," he says. Yes, because all she had to do to win that million dollars at the end was say she wanted and tried to get rid of him. She didn't have to actually do it -- in fact, if she hadn't been up against him in the end, she probably wouldn't have won, something I think she's keenly aware of and tailored her jury performance to. Li'l Russell says the fact that Sandra won the game twice only shows that the game itself is flawed. Sandra smiles throughout all of this because she knows that no matter what Li'l Russell says, she just won a million dollars. And he didn't.