Go figure, I plan all day, all week to watch, and I get started late on blogging three hours! Always my luck. I remembered I had to go water my plants that I just put into my flowerbed out front so they wouldn't burn up because it turned hot again.
I made the comment last week on Facebook when I shared my recap that I didn't remember anything about Sophie, Nick, Adam or their seasons. In the past week, I've had some past seasons playing while I worked, and I spend a lot of time in my office. I remember pieces of Nick's season, but if I weren't watching to see HOW he won, he still would have been largely forgettable and under the radar. I feel mostly the same about Sophie too. Her season was #23. That's a while back. That season, Coach and Ozzy played for the third time, and it was really more about them. I've moved on to Michele's season now. It's not far in.
Now, onto the show...
The five remaining contestants show up at a challenge to watch the 14 castaways from Extinction fight their way back in the game.
There have to connect themselves to a rope and do an obstacle course. Some of them have advantages. Natalie, Parvati, Yul, and Wendell bought the advantage to skip the fence obstacle. Natalie also bought the advantage to not have to dig. Natalie has three advantage. A third of her rope bridge is done.
Yul is the first of the four to get through their challenge. Natalie gets tangled up, and she burns a lot of time. Wendell gets to his bridge first. Rob is the first of his group to get to step two.
Wendell and Natalie have the lead once she finally gets loose.
The four with the advantages make it about even.
Wendell gets to the next phase first. At this point, there's a table maze with three balls that have to be landed. Wendell gets one ball set when Rob, Natalie and Yul join him.
Natalie and Wendell lead. Tyson lands a ball.
Natalie gets her second ball in place to take the win.
The first one voted off, that girl worked it to get back in.
As Jeff tells the thirteen that are done goodbye, we hear all warm fuzzy stories from Kim, from Tyson. Amber cries while talking about doing this for Rob. She says she remembers her name being read as the All-Star winner and the only reason she won was because the players voting hated Rob more than they hated her. She knew there was no way she was going to win this time around. Rob's voice hits the highest pitch talking about Amber making rice for everyone on Extinction. Rob has played 188 days of Survivor.
Parvati didn't have much gas in her tank. She had a itty bitty baby at home she left. Ethan talks about his journey and his cancer journey. Part of the money raised through his charity created the drug that saved his life.
All these people are uber skinny here at the end. Rob may have even dropped his gut he had at the beginning of the season.
Now, I guess I'm going for Natalie or Michele. I don't think Natalie's going to win it unless she gets all the immunities that remain.
I'm not a fan of Tony, Sarah, Ben or Denise.
I'm also disappointed not only is there not a live show at the end of the night, but there's not even a reunion via Zoom because there's so much game left. They showed a screenshot of all 20 on Zoom. Instead, they gave the cast audio recorders to talk about what Survivor has meant to them.
After the challenge, they had back to camp and there are hugs all around for Natalie. She knows she is on the outside. She can lie about what people said about the remaining players, but she has to keep her lies straight.
Tony knows that it can all be lies. He doesn't believe everyone is Team Tony on the other side. Sarah wonders how savvy she is. Tony thinks she may win because the Extinction people admire what she did on the other side. All those who spent so much time with her. How she worked her way to get all the advantages. It was actually a whole other game over there.
Sarah wants the jury to know that just because she was working with a man didn't mean the man was calling all the shots.
On Day 36, it's time for another immunity challenge.
Michele says, "Shoot!" just looking at the course.
It's race through a course, grab a bag, climb up a mega staircase, drop a bag, slide down a waterslide and do it all again for each of three bags. Then, do a puzzle.
There are three different obstacles they must each do once.
Ben and Tony make it to the stairs first. it takes the longest for Michele and Denise with the first obstacle they had to do. It's a two plank bridge and takes a while.
Ben, Tony and Natalie get their second bags before Michele has her first. Denise and Sarah have their second before Michele gets down the slide the first time.
Michele has done the puzzle before and won if she could ever just get her pieces.
Ben, Tony and Natalie have a start when Denise and Sarah join them. Everyone has had some time working on the puzzle when Michele joins them. The puzzle is to get six posts with three pieces each to all line up and be the same height. Michele gets her first of there tiers figured out first.
Michele had the lead even though she was way behind as Natalie starts gaining ground.
Michele gets her second tier. The men are trying to figure out what Michele is doing. Michele pulls it off.
After the challenge, it's time for rice. Tony says they should chill. Natalie say she needs to go look for an idol. Tony thinks she already does.
Tony says they should split votes -- two Natalie, two Denise. Ben doesn't like the idea. He's friends with Denise.
Natalie announces she is willing to talk to anyone. Without winning herself, Natalie wanted Michele to win. Michele is willing to go off and talk to her. She has allegiance to none of these people and has been trying to shake up this game. When Natalie tells Michele she has an idol, she is giddy. They are thinking about trying to pick off Tony, but he has an idol.
Tony thinks he needs to play his idol in case Natalie votes for him. Ben still doesn't want to split votes and he may have to pull his idol.
Sarah doesn't think Natalie has an idol. Sarah thinks she's built a good enough bond in one day with Natalie to know if she has one. She's spent 36 trying to keep Tony calm. She thinks she knows it all. Can't stand her. Just can't even.
It's tribal time!
The jury has all cleaned up now.
Jeff asks if the elephant in the room is the player coming back from Extinction and figuring out what has gone on over there. Sarah says it was advantageous for Natalie to come back and give her information she never would have had otherwise. Sarah then goes into a discussion of gender bias about how a man can lie and be a stud, but a woman be a *itch. She feels like a weight has been lifted.
Jeff says he has become more aware of this, down to how he calls guys by their last name, etc. He turns things back around to the game play of Natalie returning.
Tony thinks that everyone on Extinction knows everyone who has idols still in the game. Natalie is trying her best to get him out.
(BTW... Adam and Sophie are impressed with Sarah right now.)
Jeff grabs the votes, and calls for idols. Natalie pulls one out of her shoe. Tony isn't surprised. He tells everyone, "I told you so."
Tony decides he will play his too.
Ben pulls his out of boot.
No votes count. Time for a re-vote. The only votes can be made for Denise or Sarah. Those two cannot vote because they would cast votes for each other. The four with the idols vote. If there is a tie, normally it would mean those two were then immune and rocks would be drawn. With no one able to draw rocks, it goes into a fire making challenge.
Natalie pulls Michele in to whisper out a plan.
Denise and Sarah exchange hugs as Natalie goes off to vote.
Time to tally the votes...
That's enough. The last vote isn't read.
Denise accomplished more this time than she expected and will be known for getting Sandra out.
And then there were five.
When they get back to camp and everyone else goes to sleep, Tony goes out digging for idols since there idols were played. He looks around, but doesn't find anything. As the sun rises, everyone else joins him to look.
Natalie finds one first.
Day 37 and another immunity challenge...
It's all about obstacle courses. No how long can you hold something over your head or anything like that. It's obstacles in the water. Over the water. Get your key on the beam. Crawl under a net through the sand.
Michele takes forever on the beam in the water as everyone else speeds ahead.
After unlocking sandbags, they have to land two on a table.
Ben lands one first. Tony gets one. Both have one fall off after almost having it.
Tony ends up winning immunity.
Natalie still wants to break of the threesome, and they need to do it now. Natalie thinks their only hope is to flip Sarah.
Tony doesn't think Natalie and Michele have an idol, but goes up in his spy nest.
Sarah asks Natalie what she's thinking. Natalie would rather write Ben. Sarah asks if she has another option. Like an idiot, Natalie shows Sarah the idol. Natalie tells Sarah that she and Michele want to work with her.
Tony says they were talking for almost an hour and he almost died up in the tree.
Tony and Sarah plan to vote for Michele knowing that Natalie has the idol. Michele does not believe Sarah is on their side.
Sarah starts to wonder if there's any chance Natalie might play her idol for Michele. Ben says if she has to, Sarah can write his name down for her resume. After all, she gave a good speech last time and could get some votes. Ben gives her permission, but she doesn't have to. They cry together.
Sarah does think she has to make a move without Tony though.
Jeff starts tribal by talking about how he's been thinking about them. About how they wanted to bring all these winners back. How the winners have had breakthroughs.
Sarah talks about it bringing out the best and worst in her. She downplayed the best and inflated the worst. Ben wanted to be a more positive person and walk away with friends this time.
Conversation turns to the vote. Alliances. Friendships. Is everyone on their own now?
Time to vote.
Natalie has a bad feeling, or so she whispers to Michele. She plays it for herself.
Sarah did it.
Ben tells the jury they better be ready to party tonight.
Day 38... the old drop the ball in the frame and keep all your balls spinning challenge. You know the one, with one hand tied behind their back.
Of the four who have played, only one won their final immunity challenge -- Michele. Of the three times this was played before as the final immunity challenge, the person that one it was the one who won the game.
With three balls in play, Tony is the first one to drop a ball.
Sarah drops hers as she tries to drop her fourth ball into play.
Natalie almost loses out. She just does make it. It's time to drop #5. The most balls ever done in the challenge. Natalie makes some nice saves. Michele was paced better, but she loses one.
Natalie has immunity. She will pick one person to go to the final person to go to the last tribal with her and which two will build fire.
Sarah and Michele practice starting a fire. Tony coaches Sarah.
Natalie goes off to think about what she wants to do. Ideally, it would be getting Tony out. If Sarah is in the final three, votes could go to her.
Sophie is not with the rest of the jury because she is not feeling well. Everyone will fill her in (unbiased, of course).
Jeff asks if everyone talks to Natalie. Michele says that Natalie actually wanted to be alone and allow the others to talk. Sarah says she wants to make fire against Tony. Michele wants to make fire against Tony because she thinks beating him in making fire gives her the best chance.
Natalie has to decide if she is confident in beating Tony.
It's time for her to choose who she is bringing with her. She is bringing Michele. Tony isn't surprised. Natalie wants to bring an end to Tony and Sarah's alliance.
It's time for Tony and Sarah to make fire. Tony has a flame first. Sarah isn't panicking and gets a flame.
Sarah's flame takes off as Tony's starts to die. Just when you think she's going to burn through her rope, she adds to much husk and hers dies. Tony goes ahead. Then Sarah's picks up.
Tony ends up winning it. Tony won't let go of Sarah when he hugs her.
They get tree mail that morning telling them where to head for their final breakfast feast.
Michele feels like she has proven herself this time, fighting out of the bottom most of the time. Some didn't think she deserved it the first time.
Natalie fought! She was the first one voted out and has lots of admiration of the people out at Extinction.
Tony thinks he's been good at everything.
The time has come y'all! The final vote.
It's a rainy night and there's some shivering.
Yul decides to go first. He talks about how they each had their own path, and it's time to fill in the blanks.
Natalie said she didn't do a great job of talking to people from day one. Michele said she had pre-existing relationships that put a target on her back and hurt her. Tony doesn't think he had any mistakes.
Those were fighting words for Nick. Jeremy didn't take kindly to that either. Natalie interrupts Tony's speech. Ben attests to Tony's loyalty, but Jeremy said he was the only one.
Adam asks about Natalie's play after getting back in. Rob questions why she isolated herself for the week before going back in when she needed jury votes. Parvati appreciates Natalie always keeping it real. Parvati and Rob wanted to know how Tony make it without being targeted. Tony talking about his spy nest gets them laughing.
Wendell talks about Tony's game of getting no votes, Natalie played Extinction well, but what did Michele do?
Ben compliments Michele's game.
Wendell asks Natalie to share everything she found and sent back into the game. She tells about the five things sent back into the game and the other fire tokens she won. Who she gave what played into how others played the game.
Ben talks about winning immunity and the game play of Michele and Tony.
Rob asks Natalie about her strategy at final four and trying to get Tony out. She said she wanted to destroy their alliance once and for all.
Ethan asks about how The Edge came into Tony and Michele's game. Michele said she always thought it was an advantage whether it be getting actual advantages or possible alliances coming back in.
The final chance to plead their case.
Natalie talks about adapting her game and making it back to the end after breaking up the alliance.
Michele said she only went to six tribal councils her first game. This time she was at 15/19 - vulnerable through a lot of them. She played the best she could.
Tony said he came as a human being this time. He said he played one game during the day and one at night. Every night he was out looking for idols. He was spying on people! She overcame Natalie coming after him and still not getting any votes.
Danni and Amber compliment them and say they made them proud. Rob says it is making their decisions hard. There is a standing ovation before voting. Sophie looks like she may die though.
It's time for the sixteen jury members to vote. Some seem uncertain as they vote.
We see Rob's vote. Natalie didn't play perfect like he told her she had to. She didn't take Tony out. So, Rob voted for Tony.
Parvati voted for Natalie.
Tyson voted for Natalie.
Ben voted for Tony.
If truly, no one knows who won since the vote... It has been ONE YEAR since this game was played. An entire year of waiting.
I don't know if I believe that.
So, back to Jeff Probst's garage. The final three are at their homes on the couch. They can invite their family to be a part of it.
That's enough. Three votes unread.
It's revealed who voted for who:
Everyone else voted for Tony. Twelve votes.
URG! That urks me.
They only talk to Tony for like 10 seconds. He's using the money to secure his family, especially with what is going on right now.
I miss that they don't get to talk more with everyone. COVID-19 stinks in every way!