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Survivor Psyche, Final Episode: Class DismissedPage 4
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Matt and Jenna sit slumped on their seats, thoroughly chastened by their accuser’s interrogation. Matt takes the opportunity to indulge in a cathartic (and what a surprise – longwinded) soliloquy about how he doesn’t belong on a pedestal, he lied and betrayed others, blah blah blah. But he is sincere; he’s not just paying lip service. Now it’s Jenna’s turn for some emotional self-flagellation. “Thanks for poking and prodding and making me look back at thing’s I’ve wanted to put out of my mind or forgot,” says Jenna humbly. (This experience is nothing compared to what she must’ve gone through watching herself on the show.) And, of course, Jenna insists she did work in camp. And her protests are just as convincing as Clay’s were at the end of Survivor: Thailand.
Only two votes are shown. Butch’s vote is for Matt, saying he respected Matt for his honesty and he is the “true Survivor.” Heidi votes for Jenna, in a hideously melodramatic whisper, saying that “I trust, respect, love, and adore you…” hisssssss. Rob’s vote is shown from the back, as he tells the camera, “I give credit where credit is due. There are only two players in the entire game I didn’t vote off.”
It’s two hours into the show and the votes have not been revealed. And we all know something’s up. We’re off to New York City -- that’s what! On a jet ski, no less. In a golden moment straight out of Johnny Quest, we see Probst and ballot tub plow through the open sea. He streaks past ocean liners, past the Statue of Liberty and into New York harbor. Through the subway, and the city streets and into the studio where Late Show with David Letterman is held. Inside is the Amazon Tribal Council set, with all the players assembled.
Jenna and Matt, looking very buff and filled out, sit snuggled in close to each other. The passage of time has only heightened their anxiety, and both Matt and Jenna claim that the other will win. The first ballot is for Matt and the crowd goes wild. The next is for Jenna with noticeably less applause, but (cringe, shudder) the applause is sustained as ballot after ballot is read off with the Stinkerbell’s name on it! Oooohhhh what a painful moment this is. The cameramen do an excellent job of showing happy shots of Jenna’s family, instead of the vast swaths of audience who are staring open mouthed in horror at the stage.
”How. Did. This. Happen!” Probst shouts. To add insult to injury, It was a landslide vote for Jenna! Much has been printed on this website about how and why the jury made the decision they did. Contrary to most normal members of the human race, this season’s jurors voted purely on gamesmanship – and snarky, narcissistic Jenna wins over introspective, laid-back Matthew based on those values. (See Why Jenna Won for more on this.)
We’ve pondered this and pondered this, and finally come to a sense of peace about this decision. But not before going through Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ 5 Stages of Grief:
Denial: “NO FRIGGIN’ WAY!”
Please realize that it’s perfectly normal to go through these stages in different orders. For example, Suzanne keeps going back to anger and denial for a good wallow before wandering dejectedly back into the acceptance stage. At least we can support each other through this. Feel free to e-mail us and share our grief if need be.
And our parting words are ones of advice to Jenna. You showed signs of a moral epiphany at the end of your 40 days in the jungle, and have certainly had many, many opportunities to experience self-awareness by watching yourself on TV. Winning this money is either going to be the best or the worst thing that ever happened to you. You can either continue to be self-indulgent, with a huge bank account to support that tendency, or use it to support more altruistic endeavors. Millions of people have watched your behavior in the game, and many of them are not happy with what they saw. Some of them will have no problem with telling you so to your face (and maybe even in sign language!) You’ll need to get over that, just like the big girls in camp had to get over the fact that you were beautiful. You love your mom and dad – make them proud of who you can be.
Melinda Smith is a technical illustrator and writer with a background in graphic arts. She and her family live in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her sister, Suzanne Tromblay, is a licensed social worker with the State of Ohio. Melinda can be reached at email@example.com.
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