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Monday, December 18, 2006

News Break: Yella Fella Wins Survivor

I previously wrote about my initial then eventual disenchantment with the latest installment of the Survivor TV series. After they merged all the race-segregated tribes after a mere 3 episodes and the hotties turned out to be not-so-hot (Parvati's sexy clown mouth notwithstanding), I promptly tuned out. I did, however, check back in a few times in the past month to discover some pleasant developments.

The most pleasant of all was seeing how well Yul Kwon was playing the game. With the hidden immunity idol in hand, the Korean-American management consultant from San Mateo, CA was carefully leveraging the power of immunity to shape the entire game to his advantage. The other contestants (mistakenly) treated Yul as untouchable once he announced to everyone he had found the idol, and the scheming and power held by the white power bloc (Adam and his bitches, and Jonathan) was all for naught.

I totally forgot to catch the finale last night, so by the time my friend told me the news over Messenger, they were already having their stupid, happy reunion show in front of a studio audience. I scrounged around the 'net this morning and found a couple humourous recaps of the big show:

http://www.tvsquad.com/2006/12/18/survivor-cook-islands-this-tribe-will-self-destruct-in-5-4/
and
http://tvcocktail.ivillage.com/entertainment/2006/12/survivor_recap_yul_rules_1.html

I sort of regret missing out, as there were some interesting parts that I might have wanted to see. It blew me away to read that Yul actually offered up his immunity idol to save Becky's neck. To think he was playing the game so well up to that point... and to just piss away his center of power on some chick who's been riding his coat tails since Day 1. Wow. Fortunately, Becky had enough game in her (and self-respect) to turn down the generous offer and battle it out with Sundra for a spot among the Final Three.

Man, I really wish I saw that make-a-fire tiebreaker challenge between Becky and Sundra, if only to see the bored and stunned looks on everyone's faces. Ninety minutes with neither girl able to start a frickin' fire. It got so bad Probster actually had to chuck each of them a book of matches and even then they struggled. Pathetic.

And Becky. Back in September I was touting her as the potential resident Asian hottie on the show but she's turned out to be one of the most, if not THE most nothing player the show has ever seen. I don't believe how bland she was. The post-finale articles have all been giving her shit for being useless and a "non-entity" and it's pretty damn hard to argue with their assessment. It really is hilarious to think she was standing up there with two of the finest contestants I'd seen for a long time, pleading her case to the jury to award her the $1 million. "I think I deserve the prize because I made friends with Yul" sums it up pretty well to me. When I read that she had claimed to have played a "social game" versus Yul's game of tactics and Ozzy's physical domination, I had to stifle a giggle. Girl, you are too much!

Ozzy apparently had a lot of support behind him, judging from comments made in Internet world and the final tally of votes cast by the jury. I never really expected he would win, although I admit he was pretty damn impressive. You get that almost every season. There's always that one person who starts dominating immunity challenges so completely, the challenges themselves become foregone conclusions. But that's all he did, impressive as it was. I also still remember early in the game when he was becoming the pack leader on Team Hispanic and he was clearly getting a very big head. Then the tribes merged and, to his credit, he drifted off into the background for the next 25-30 days.

Anyway, I'm getting away from my main point and that is I am ecstatic that Yul took top prize, narrowly beating out Ozzy in a 5-4 vote. What's makes the win even sweeter is that Yul has not been shy about harping on the racial aspects of this season's show. First, he was openly pleased about ousting Adam and ensuring Survivor would be won by someone representing a minority group. Then when he made his case to the jury, he stressed how he wanted to be a positive Asian role model in the mainstream media. Shit, it's almost as if I was out there playing Survivor, but without the good looks and insane six pack.

And for that reason alone, I crown this season of Survivor: Cook Islands - Best Season Ever. (And they definitely need to bring Ozzy or Yul back if they do another Survivor All-Stars.)

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