ALL CREDIT FOR IMAGES GO TO CBS
Survivor is one of the few reality TV shows that I will consistently tune into, week after week. The mental and physical strength required to succeed on the show is truly inspiring and I love analysing individual’s gameplay and strategy from the comfort of my lounge room. I even considered applying for the upcoming Australian Survivor (honestly, I probably would have if it weren’t for my lingering fatigue issues – perhaps next season!).
This 32nd season of Survivor was intense. The environment pushed the players this season, with heat being the defining factor in a number of individual games (like Caleb who was airlifted out due to severe heat stroke early in the season). On top of that, the number of medical emergencies surpassed any previous Survivor season, and a new medical evacuation record of three people pulled from the game is now held by season 32 of Survivor. Here’s hoping that this number is never beaten, because it is always devastating to watch someone removed from the game due to a medical emergency.
This season also hosted two of my favourite contestants ever on Survivor. Tai is easily the most genuine, kind, compassionate person to have competed on Survivor, and the relationship between him and Mark the chicken was truly amazing (I’m not going to lie – I sobbed when he let Mark free into the jungle). Then there was Joe, the oldest contestant in Survivor history (#gettingitdoneat71). Truly an incredible man who inspires me to get up and get things done, especially when it’s not easy.
Now, to the finale! The final four: Aubry, Tai, Michele and Cydney fought, backstabbed and manipulated their ways to the final. And, due to Tai flipping on a vote, the final three was decided by a fire challenge between Cydney and Aubry. I thought this was fair – as both players were (in my opinion) the two who deserved to win the $1M. In this case, Aubry was successful.
The final three were Aubry, Tai and Michele. For me, it was a no brainer. Aubry had played strategically, manipulating all of the conflicting personalities in the game. She was the pin which brought people who hated each other together to get people voted out and propelled herself through the game using her emotional intelligence. On top of that, she overcame her own mental barriers and beat the anxiety which held her back early in the game. She then went on to be a huge competitor in challenges, and even won reward.
Aubry’s answers in final tribal were succinct, straightforward and honest. She had ticked all of the boxes when it came to the shows motto: Outwit, Outplay, Outlast. But, as is so often the case in Survivor, you cannot predict what will happen at tribal.
In the end, Michele walked away with the $1M dollar prize. I’m not going to lie – I yelled at the television screen when the votes were read. Yes, Michele stepped up in the final challenges and fought her way into the top three, but before this latest episode I cannot think of a single strategic move that she made. I don’t even remember her getting much air time on the show. However, I will give her credit where credit is due; eliminating Neal from the jury using the surprise advantage was THE move which won her the money.
Congratulations to Michele! And also to Tai who was gifted with a surprise $100,000 from Sia (yes, Sia!), half of which he will donate to his choice of charity. Really, congratulations to all of the players of this season of Survivor – I was thoroughly entertained and I cannot wait until next season where the Millennials will compete against Gen X!