Survivor: Magic Mike

Better late than never?

I was away for work when the season finale of Survivor aired, so I didn’t see it until Friday night. I wasn’t in best form, either – I got sick while I was away and had a pretty rough journey back from The Bahamas to Halifax. This weekend I was in no condition to be blogging!

Still, I couldn’t let a season of Survivor go by without at least briefly weighing in on the finale. By now, you all know that Mike won. Personally, I think it was well-deserved. He was on the bottom week after week, and won his way into the finals. I’ve got to respect the guy for that. Remember how hard he searched for the Hidden Immunity Idol? The guy didn’t always play well, but he played hard.

I was surprised by how few votes Carolyn got. I was pretty sure Mike would win no matter what, but I thought he was making the vote unnecessarily close by bringing her along. (She almost didn’t make the finale, though, since both Carolyn and Rodney botched their fire-making challenge. What the hell was that? Humiliating.)

All in all, though, this was a pretty terrible season of Survivor. Dan, Will and Rodney were three of the most truly unlikable players I’ve ever encountered. Not only were they all just downright bad people, but they sucked at the game. Give me a villain who backstabs and lies, not one who berates women.

The only really likable player from this season was Joe. I grew to like Shirin, but there’s no doubt that she’s a talkative, irritating presence in camp. It’ll be interesting to see them both play again.

I loved Dan getting taken to task by Probst at the Reunion Show (naturally, Probst angrier about Dan badmouthing the show than he was about Dan badmouthing his fellow tribemates all season long), but it was also a bit exhausting. Dan, Will and Rodney have not seen the error of their ways. They don’t understand that the remarks they made were unacceptable, regardless of context. They will never get it, so listening to them talk is infuriating.

After only forty minutes, Probst kicked this cast to the curb in favor of revealing our returning players for next season. They were eager to move on from one of the worst casts of all time. Will the next set be any better?

As I said, Joe and Shirin will get to play again. Mike won, so he’s not getting a “second chance”. Carolyn didn’t get enough votes, and she sure looked mad. I don’t think Carolyn seems very nice, but I wouldn’t have hated getting to see her play again.

There are some people I’m definitely excited to see play again. Kelly Wigglesworth from season one? Yes! I was thrilled she made it through. It will be fun to see “old school” players compete in a “new school” game. She was a monster in challenges 15 years ago, how will she do now?

I’m less thrilled to see Kimmi from season two return. She was so annoying that I have not forgotten her, and I’d forgotten a lot of the players from the early years. Another couple people I could do without are Kass and Abi-Maria.

I’m glad Stephen Fishbach is playing again because I thought he was robbed back in Tocantins, but he might fall victim to the same targeting that kept Rob Cesternino and Cirie Fields from winning when they returned. It’s hard to get very far when you’re considered a big strategic threat.

Vytas, Spencer, Tasha and Ciera are all players from more recent seasons that I remember well – either for being likable, exciting, strategic. I hope they go far in the game. I also remember that I had Kelly Wentworth in the Survivor pool and thought she seemed great, but was voted out too soon.

What did you guys think of the finale? Were you satisfied? What do you think of the new cast? Sound off in the comments!