Notes here and there as the final four battle. ...
(Parvati wins, 5 votes to 3. Amanda and Parvati were final two. Natalie finished fourth, Cirie third. I was convinced Amanda would win it all -- should have won it all -- as you can see in my in-progress notes below. Good season, bad finale.)
Amanda has won the first immunity challenge, leaving Cirie, Natalie and Parvati in jeopardy. Lots of maneuvering with no certainty. "We've duped so many people with straight faces," says Cirie, who is feeling very much at risk. My guess is that it doesn't matter much to Amanda who goes, since she should be able to win a jury vote against any of the other three, but "Survivor" juries can be weird. At tribal council, Probst is noting that there have been four straight blindsides, but I'm not sure anything qualifies as a blindside at this point. Amanda says she is "fairly confident" about what will happen tonight, but no one is absolutely sure. Parvati calls it the craziest and messiest series in the history of "Survivor." Cirie is confrontational during tribal about being at the bottom of her alliance (with Amanda and Parvati).
Natalie is out on a 3-1 vote. Although Natalie would be a good one to be against in jury, she had to be seen as a threat in immunity challenges, keeping someone else out of the final two or three. And since there's more money in lasting longer, the others all have reason to get her out, Amanda included -- since I don't think Amanda goes to the jury unless she wins immunity again.
Back at camp, Cirie has a fit, again arguing about being at the bottom of her alliances. Lots of question whether there's a final two or all three will go jury. For someone who has been such a cool customer during the game, she's suddenly quite heated. Does she think she can intimidate her way into the final two? Yelling leads to tears and group hug. So maybe Cirie has played Amanda. If there's a final two.
Tree mail to group refers to "final immunity challenge." Much despair as they go on the Parade of Ousted Contestants. Cirie sees the final immunity challenge as "poetic," a blindside to people who have trafficked in blindsides. They parade. What this tells me is how iffy the show was in the early going, then it turned into a lot of fun. And how freakin' brutal physically the whole thing has been. Penner: "It was a once in a lifetime experience I got to do twice." Seems that Parvati is making Cirie and Amanda carry a lot more torches. Erik seems to have learned misogyny from the show.
The final immunity challenge. Endurance test involving holding a cylindrical block with a ball in an indentation, with handles to press into each side of the block; as the test goes on, more blocks are added between the handles. Drop the ball or the blocks, and you lose.
Parvati goes out first. Rounds are five minutes until a final one that goes until one of them drops. Cirie loses. Amanda is guaranteed final two. I think she can beat either Cirie or Parvati, but who's a safer bet?
Much maneuvering by Cirie to persuade Amanda that C will have a tough time before the jury, but Amanda says Cirie is a good speaker and could sway jurors. Amanda says she'll make a decision based on "my gut feeling." Amanda cries a lot during tribal council; jurors look skeptical, but it could just be the editing.
Amanda votes out Cirie, keeps Parvati for the final. Parvati looks very happy. Maybe she thinks her combo of backstabbing and alliances will outweigh her arrogance and snottiness.
Jury time. This will go on forever, so they can slide the vote announcement into the 10 p.m. hour and it's only about 9:35 now.
Eliza starts the jury thing and raises the meanness issue with Parvati, and superficiality and yakking where Amanda is concerned. Jason asks Amanda if she would have told Ozzy about his ouster had she known; she says yes. He asks Parvati what her redeeming qualities are. She says protectiveness and loyalty to Amanda and Cirie. But we're clearly in a pattern re Parvati.
Alexis asks Parvati what makes her a better role model for young girls than Amanda. Parvati says she's outspoken and Amanda went more with the flow. Alexis blitzes Amanda about whether she's genuine -- saying she didn't buy the tears about taking out Cirie; Amanda says she was always genuine and doesn't need sympathy votes. Kind of harsh sounding.
Natalie calls Parvati the most masterful flirt in the history of "Survivor." Natalie wants to know how that translates in the bedroom. Confusion. Natalie rephrases about how it works in Parv's intimate life; Parvati admits she will flirt with anyone, men or women. Natalie goes at Amanda about her "glazed-over look" and asks if she was playing the "zombie pretty girl ... pageant-queen cliche." Wow, the knives are out. Amanda says she made smart decisions and she came in to win.
Erik says 5 or 6 days ago he would have voted for Amanda. Now he feels "totally thrown under the bus" at his last two tribal councils. Amanda says everything she said was honest. Amanda is coming on very tough; Erik says "too late for 'I'm sorrys.' "
James says Amanda pretty much has it in the bag, then turns on Parv. Parv says there was no chance for her to win the game if she stuck with James. He's bitter.
Cirie asks Amanda why Parvati deserves a million dollars more than Cirie does. Amanda says Parvati played a great game and made bold decisions. Cirie clearly feels disrespected. Parv says C played a great game but more under the radar, and that she couldn't have beaten Cirie in front of the jury.
Ozzy says he might be the biggest idiot up here. Says he was very hurt by what Parvati did. "You put a price on a friendship." Intensely angry, and "I don't want to talk to you." And that "you took away 14 days that I could have spent with Amanda." Ozzy then tells Amanda he is "having feelings that I never really felt before. ... You're just an amazing girl and I want everyone here to know that."
Still thinking Amanda will win, but it feels as if it could be close now.
Jury votes. Erik went for Amanda! Wow, that's a surprise. Alexis goes for Parvati. Natalie votes for Parvati. Ozzy votes for Amanda. We see some voters, including Jason and Eliza, struggling with their ballots.
Transition to the present-day reunion telecast, with Probst carrying the votes. Probst says word on the street is that this is the best season since the first.
Votes: Parvati, Amanda, Parvati, Amanda, Parvati, Amanda, Parvati, Parvati. Well, that stinks. Oh, well.