So now, the moment arrives. Is "Dreamz" going to keep the necklace, or is he going to give the necklace to Yau Man? "Dreamz" sits with his face in his hands. Everyone stares. The drums pound suspensefully. Finally, "Dreamz" raises his head and says, "I'm going to keep it." Yau Man looks at the ground. Earl's eyes bulge with the look of a guy who just won a lot of money. Over on the jury, Mookie smirks and nods, and for a minute, I thought...well, I don't know what I thought. It seemed like the bullies were going to revolt and give the money to "Dreamz" just so that the winner would be an asshole. Sometimes, people prefer losing to someone nobody is going to respect, so that nobody winds up both rich and smelling like a rose. ["My theory is that if Yau had made it to the jury, he'd have borne the brunt of all the bitterness that got directed at 'Dreamz,' at least by Mookie and Alex. Because they are jerks." -- Joe R]
At any rate, now, it's time to vote. Earl votes. He cannot keep the smile off his face. At the other end of the emotional spectrum, there are tears in "Dreamz"'s eyes. Smiling, Earl casts his vote. Yau Man votes. Cassandra votes. "Dreamz" votes. As he sits back down, watery-eyed, he says, "I'm sorry, Yau Man." Because of course, when Jeff reads the votes, there is one for Cassandra. Then Yau Man. Yau Man. Yau Man. "Dreamz" is watery-eyed the entire time. "Dreamz" looks grim. Earl shakes his head, unable to believe what just went down, not to mention how much money he's going to win. Yau Man is snuffed. Jeff tells the rest that after 38 days, the jury now has all the power. Grab your torches! Go away! Think about what you've done!
Here's the thing: "Dreamz" has two little kids and, from what I can see in his CBS bio, no visible way to support them. Of course he wants them to respect him and to learn to be honest. He also wants them to eat and have clothes, and if there's any chance that he could come into so much money that he could substantially change their lives? Asking him to walk away from that for something as abstract as his integrity is a pretty tall order. I don't really fault him for going back on the deal. What I fault him for is taking the deal in the first place, along with what I see as the hardest thing to understand, which is that he never offered to give the truck back. I would have understood, and I think the jury would have understood, if he had just said, "Yau Man, I have to undo this deal, I'm not going to take the truck [my understanding is that those prizes don't actually go to you until after the game] -- you keep the truck, and I'm going to keep playing the game." But he doesn't want to do that. He wants to keep both. He wants to get everything he deserves in the game, plus something that someone else won that he could easily give back and that he has no conceivable claim to anymore. But he wants both. He wants the money, he wants the shiny truck, and he doesn't want to give up anything, because he doesn't have to. He's keeping something he really isn't entitled to, just because he can, and this is the moment when he realizes that he really is just another guy, like all these other people, getting all he can and looking out for number one. He's not noble, he's not a truth-teller; he's just a guy who needs to take care of his family and will, in the end, pick the money over teaching the world a lesson. He's not bringing light to the world; he's just playing Survivor, same as everyone. The quotation marks around "Dreamz" belong there. He isn't different, and he isn't a folk hero; he's just a regular guy with a regular guy's set of priorities, and that knowledge is totally freaking him out.