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Surviving Guatemala, the Finale: Million-Dollar Mistakeby David Bloomberg -- 12/12/2005
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We’re down to the final four, and all of them are sharks of one sort or another. Wait a minute. While Mark Burnett frequently shows shots of animals to be suggestive of the actions of some players – such as a snake or a spider luring flies – this segment on sharks is going far longer than usual. Hey, it’s 60 Minutes! A football game must have gone long, because when we’re supposed to see the beginning of the Survivor finale, we’re instead subjected to a segment on sharks – real ones, not players. I can’t believe CBS chose to push of the Survivor finale 22 minutes so they could air that – and Andy Rooney, of course, rambling about car names. Gosh, good thing we didn’t miss that. I feel bad for anybody who was going to miss this episode and recorded it – they’re gonna miss about 22 minutes of the end of the reunion. I guess they’ll just have to read about it here on RealityNewsOnline.
Anyway, where were we? Ah, yes, down to the final four: Rafe, Danni, Stephenie, and Lydia. I’m rooting for Rafe, with a backup of Danni (who was recognized with a Reality TV Hall of Fame for turning the game around). I don’t think either Stephenie or Lydia has a real chance. In two hours (well, two hours and 22 minutes, give or take), we’ll find out!
We begin with a recap of everything that’s happened to date – in case somebody hasn’t watched all season and decided to start tonight, I guess. You know, I wouldn’t really have minded if they cut this part to shorten things up.
When that’s finally over, it’s day 37. The final four are lounging around, with Lydia working on the fire and breakfast. She tells us she always felt like the odd man out and doesn’t know why she’s still there. Is it her destiny? Is somebody watching over her? Actually, millions of people are watching her, but I don’t think that’s what she means.
Danni is worried because she’s a big Kansas Jayhawk fan – they had gone to the final four several years in a row but hadn’t won, so she thinks the pressure is on her. Rafe is proud of every decision he’s made and happy with his final four cohorts.
Lydia gets treemail and runs to tell the others – it says they’ve been living among the Mayan ruins and history, and should embrace it. She thinks this means there will be a celebration; the other three don’t agree and laugh at her in a good-natured way. She tells us perhaps the Mayan people will come to their camp and do some sort of ritual. Oooh, maybe a human sacrifice! Damn, and Judd’s already gone.
Guess what? Lydia was right! Ha, who’s laughing now? It’s a family carrying burning incense and baskets of stuff. None speak any English, but they make a circle of sugar and incense and stuff in front of the largest temple. When the spill out a bottle of honey on the fire, Stephenie tells us she wanted that! The locals chant prayers throughout and then pull out a chicken. I’m thinking it’s for a sacrifice (without Judd, they had to settle on poultry, I guess), but Stephenie is wondering if she’s going to get to eat it. Do you see a pattern here? I wouldn’t be surprised to see her licking up the sugar circle if the family doesn’t take it with them later.
Rafe understands that the chicken is going to be sacrificed and explains it to Stephenie. One of the locals pulls the head off the chicken and throws it into the fire. Rafe relates to us that Stephenie then asks him if they killed it. Hello!
At the end of the ritual, the family offers the contestants some food and drink, but that’s not enough for Stephenie – she has Lydia ask in Spanish if they can eat the chicken. That’s a big no. As they leave, Rafe tells us how happy he is to finally have a cultural experience of this sort in Guatemala, noting that he doesn’t feel you really understand a place until you’ve met and experience the people. Recall that in Rafe’s pre-show write-up, he was also the one who said you haven’t really experienced a place until you’ve slept on the ground there – so he’s being truly sincere in his appreciation.
With that, it’s time for the first of two immunity challenges this episode. Frankly, there isn’t much suspense here for people who paid attention to the preview clips at the end of last episode, where they showed who was wearing the immunity necklace at the final four Tribal Council. But we’ll pretend we don’t know for now.
This challenge is, in the words of host Jeff Probst (who, by the way, will be continuing as host for years to come, it was announced a few days ago), “the most complex Survivor maze ever constructed.” It’s based on a monstrous bird that, in Mayan mythology, ruled the land at one time. Each of them will race into the maze to collect one of eight puzzle pieces at six stations (some come in pairs). When they grab the piece, they come back to the center of the maze, where there is a rectangle of water. They run across pontoons, up a ladder, and to their station. To get out, they have to cross a rope bridge and go down another ladder. Holy cow – Lydia might as well pack it in now.
When they get all the puzzle pieces, they have to put them together to form one of three images – jaguar, crocodile, or monkey. It looks like each puzzle piece is triangular, so they have to figure out which side goes with all the other pieces. First to get it done wins immunity!
And they’re off! Stephenie is the first to find a piece, with Lydia right behind her. Then Probst says, “Danni has a pair.” Oh yeah she does! Er. That’s not what he meant, is it? Never mind. Forget I said that.1 2 3 4 5 6 Next-->
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