We open "live" in Los Angeles with Jeff prior to the traditional recap of the entire season. Remember how this started out as Brains vs Brawn vs Beauty? Remember how bad the Brains were, and how bad at math the Brawn were? Remember all those wasted Immunity Idols? The blind sides? Watch for the bloodbath as Tony "the Manipulator," Woo "the Zen Master," Kass "the Chaos," and Spencer "the Underdog" battle for the win.
Recap out of the way, we return to camp after the last Tribal and everyone wonders why Tony voted out Trish, who admits it was just strategic and he feels horrible. I love the blue light special effect of the night cam, especially while Tony tries to bluff his way to final three with a useless idol. Interesting though that Tony knows his bluff could backfire in his face.
Day 37 and the sun rises on a fairly quiet camp until Kass reflects on Tony's paranoid decisions and confronts him about it. In comes the boat with Kass' husband, Spencer's sister, Tony's best friend, and Woo's cousin. This can make or break a player depending on their emotional response, especially Tony . . . who was expecting his wife. Everyone sits and chats until Woo goes for Treemail and reveals the upcoming challenge.
Kass defends her gameplay to her husband and hopes her kids and friends understand her reasoning. Spencer knows it's do or die as they head off with their loved ones to . . . A cut back to Los Angeles and the Green Room with all the contestants waiting for more screen time. That's where they sit while watching the finale play out before going on stage. Nice little "behind the scenes" shot before the Immunity Challenge, I like that.
As they arrive at the challenge Jeff welcomes the loved ones and asks the players how they feel. Spencer's sister says he gives full out on everything he does, and as Spencer gives back the Inmunity Necklace his sister says he'll get it back. Nice support.
Contestants need to perch on top of a pole in the ocean, retrieve a bucket full of water to raise a key that unlocks their puzzle pieces, grab the key, swim to shore, complete the puzzle and win the necklace. Tony seems to be in the lead but Spencer is right behind him. Tony gets his key but climbs down and paddles to shore. Then Spencer gets his key and heads in right behind Tony, meeting him at the beach. Woo gets his key and swims in. Kass is still on her pole.
Spencer is moving ahead of Tony and Woo on the puzzle, no surprise, while Kass jams her rope to slow her down even more. Spencer is flying through this as Tony tries to sneak a peak at the design and Kass finally gets her key and starts heading in. This could be a problem for Spencer as Kass is equally good at puzzles and starts catching up. Despite Spencer's lead, Kass beats him in the puzzle and wins the Immunity. Not good news for Spencer (or my hope that she wouldn't make final three). Time to say goodbye to the loved ones and head back to camp.
Kass intends to vote out Spencer and go to the end with two Brawns to prove Brains are better. However, Spencer takes Tony aside and mentions that, based on what Jeff said, it'll be a Final Two season and the other two won't take Tony. He needs Tony to vote out Woo and Tony may do it, but you never know. Meanwhile, Kass is asking Woo what he thinks is going on and he guesses it. Then he starts to overthink it. More Zen, less thinking. Time for Tribal.
Jeff is all quiet as they arrive, then in comes the jury. Trish looks like she finally got a meal or two. Jeff mentions the comeback in Kass' performance at the challenge. Tony says he was looking for his wife but was glad his friend was there for him. Then mentions the look of despair on Spencer's face when Kass won. Spencer pitches the Tony should keep me plan, and Jeff asks Woo why he should be kept, before pointing out that Kass is sitting pretty. For now. Tony has just realized that, if it goes to another Tribal he'll be the target just like Spencer said. Interesting. Time to vote.
Jeff goes for the votes as Tony explains the powers of the special idol and how he bluffed everyone. I'm surprised they all fell for it. Jeff reads the votes . . . Spencer, Woo, Spencer, and Spencer. Damn. Sorry about that Spencer, better luck next time.
We're back in Los Angeles and Jeff explains how there are a lot of unhappy people in the audience, because Spencer is extremely popular. Then they show where they go as they walk out of Tribal . . . They go to get weighed and see how much weight they've lost. Great diet plan. A quick interview with Spencer's Mom reveals that she thought he'd be the first to go, which is what Jeff thought. Shows how wrong they were. He was so close.
Back at camp after Tribal and the Final Three congratulate each other. Tony's a little worried there may be another immunity challenge, and that fear apparently spreads. Kass and Woo make their final two deal while Tony sleeps.
Morning does indeed bring another Immunity challenge. Make your way through a maze of turnstiles to collect medallions, then arrange the medallions to open your chest, solve the cog puzzle and raise your flag. Tony and Woo get to a station with Kass right behind them and they all return with their first medallions. Woo is just following Tony through the maze. Not sure if he's trying to throw him off his game or just so used to being a follower. Either way, Kass is off for her third before the buys return with their second. Kass maintains her lead. Now everyone is looking for their last medallion and Tony and Woo have finally separated. Woo gets to his medallion first and heads back, having taken the lead. Woo opens the chest and gets started. Kass shows up last at the puzzle but she's pulled through before. Tony has never won Individual Immunity and really needs it now, but . . . too late. Woo wins Individual Immunity with Kass a half second behind him. Woo is guaranteed a spot in the final two and gets to decide who sits next to him.
Back in Los Angeles, Jeff asks a group of kids who Woo should take and they all say he should take Kass. All these kids love Survivor, and Jeff reminds the audience that many of the latest winners were just kids when Survivor started and if Survivor continues these kids could be upcoming competitors. He can't wait to snuff their torch.
Day 38 and the Final Two plus one return to camp. Woo is happy he won, but then he starts to panic. Time to politic as he goes off to hear Tony's pitch. Tony pushes on Woo's loyalty and explains that taking Kass is a bad move because she's made moves. Bad moves, but moves nevertheless. Woo says he'll consider it. When he returns to camp Kass explains that everyone hates her and Tony has played a better game. I love how she compares Woo to Fabio. Woo tells her he'll make his final decision at Tribal, then worries about being a hipacrit.
Time for the Tribal council. Everyone's in and Jeff addresses Woo about how he feels. Woo feels amazing, but he seems a little lost. Jeff asks if Woo thinks Tony's vote was loyalty or strategic, and Woo feels it was strategic. Jeff then points out the half second loss to Kass, who's pissed that her fate is in Woo's hands. Jeff asks if Woo was approached by the other two and he says he just wants to get to the vote, . . . So he's off to cast the only vote.
Woo has decided to go to the end with . . . Tony. Yay! Woo has voted out Kass. It's not that I don't like Kass, I'm just glad she didn't win after how she treated Spencer. Now it's up to the jury as the power shifts and Kass goes where she belongs. She's pissed at Woo and thinks he made a terrible decision, but in the end he has a better chance against Tony, especially when it comes to answering jury questions. Kass would have trounced both of them in a defence contest, that's what she does.
The final blue light night as Tony shows his appreciation to Woo. Woo felt the jury would respect his decision, now all he has to do is out talk him. He feels the victory will be more honorable against Tony. Treemail arrives with breakfast for two; eggs, bacon, chicken, croissants, champagne, orange juice. Nice, until Tony finds a clue and goes off on his own to find a surprise behind the camp. It's a mirror and a scale, with their starting weights listed. They've both lost around 40 pounds. Like I said, great diet plan.
Both of them have plans for the money as they head off to confront the jury at their Final Tribal Council. In comes the jury and Kass looks so bitter to be there. Guess she should have kept Spencer.
Tony starts off the opening statements by saying he'll answer all question truthfully and that there was nothing personal. Woo follows with how hard it was to maintain his honor and integrity in this game of lies and deceit. Now it's over to the jury, . . . right after a quick cut to Los Angeles and guest winner Parvati Shallow from Season 16. He asks her advice going into the jury and she says they need to be vulnerable. When asked who she'd vote for . . . She loves Woo, but she'd vote for Tony.
Time for the jury and it starts with Sarah who's still upset with Tony breaking his promise. Jefra says she's not bitter but, yeah she is, she wants Tony to admit he back stabbed everybody and own his game. Morgan also starts with Tony and goes on about how she can control men but wonders how Tony did it without breasts, she also respects Woo's decision not to take Kass. Jeremiah tells Tony his biggest move was always swearing on his wife and kids but doesn't believe he has them and can't believe he would break those promises. Tasha also attacks Tony and wants to know how he continued to control everyone, then she asks Woo why he aligned with Tony and Woo revealed it was an adaptation mid-game.
LJ needs to know who Tony is (poor Tony must be feeling under attack by now) and Tony says he was terrified of LJ and needed him out. Kass actually attacks Woo instead and wonders why Woo didn't cut the head off the dragon, but Woo says it was about bringing someone who deserved to be there and it was about honor. Trish wants to know whose idea it was to blindside her, and Woo admits to it, then she goes after Tony and how she defended him all along because the others trusted her. Trish was probably the angriest and the most hurt and she's done listening to his stories and asks if it was worth it to swear on his father and yet break that promise. Tony says it was. Time for Spencer, who compares Woo's gameplay to that of an obedient dog, then Spencer throws his support behind Tony as the only person up there who played the game. Weird but interesting.
The jury now gets to mull over their decision before they vote and decide who will win the title of Sole Survivor. Despite how everyone seems to hate Tony it looks like this could be his big individual win. Jeff gathers the votes and off he walks to Los Angeles, . . . and there he is now walking through the audience. Jeff is surprised that so many of this season's players actually came to really play.
Time to count the votes. Tony, Woo, Tony, Tony, Tony, and the winner of Survivor Cagayan is . . . Tony. Everybody cheers, except for Woo. Not sure if he made the right decision or not, but I don't think he would have won against Kass, or even Spencer. Sometimes you're just too far under the radar.
It's on to the reunion and my review of that should be less verbose . . . I hope.
Jeff explains that Tony really does have a wife who was supposed to be there but who was ordered to be on bed rest for her second pregnancy and couldn't make it. Tony goes on about how he's not proud of the things he did to win, but it was just a game. He's also a little hurt that everyone seems to be talking trash about and to him on social media. On the upside, he and Trish have become friends again. Apparently so has Kass.
We learn that Sarah is pregnant, congratulations to her, and that she knew Tony was a cop right from the start. We get the recap of Tony swearing on his badge only to turn on Sarah in the end. Tony still defends himself and his decisions as it being just a game. Apparently not when Sarah reveals Tony's tweets against her and that she no longer talks to him.
Jeff blames Tyler Perry for the "Special Idol" before saying he intends to apologize to Spencer and find out if Woo made a million dollar mistake. Really? I don't think Woo had any choice at that point and again I'm just glad he didn't give Kass the chance to win.
Jeff polls the jury to see if they would have voted for him instead of Kass and it's revealed that he would have won, but this is after a long period of retrospection. Woo is still happy with his decision. Tasha actually applied three times to get on the show, only to be on the worst team in Survivor history. Her rule, if she returns, is to take every move.
Despite everything always going against him, Spencer was one of the most liked players. Lots of tweeted questions for Spencer, who still supports Tony's gameplay and win. Time for the apology . . . During casting, Jeff told Spencer he had no chance of winning but Spencer said that if he won would Jeff right a letter of apology. Even though he didn't win, after two weeks Spencer had proven his point and Jeff wrote the letter and mailed it back to himself. Now he's able to present the letter, still unopened, to Spencer and say that "you were right and I was wrong."
Who knew that Tyler Perry was a huge Survivor fan. How the heck does he find the time? Jeff admits to always getting texts from Tyler with different ideas and he liked this one about a special idol. Unfortunately Tyler didn't want Tony to find it, he wanted Spencer to find it. Jeff was surprised that Tony decided to make up that he could still use the idol at four players, as Jeff never had anyone try that before, and Tony reveals it came to him while talking to the moon. See, the game still has surprises even after all these years.
Jeff talks to the cast members who were voted out early and everyone admits that the game was tougher than they thought. Jeff always tries to give everyone a little airtime at the reunion and some get a better reception from the audience than others. J'Tia got booed, but Jeff liked J'Tia and she still brought the crazy.
Jeff presents Tony with the cheque and then, after 14 years and 28 seasons, it's time for the Season 29 teaser, which has a lot of quotes about Blood vs Water, only to reveal Survivor: San Juan Del Sur; Blood vs Water II. The real question though is, are they bringing back previous players or an all new cast? I'm hoping for an all new cast, just like this season, and I'll be right here to review it.
Thanks for following along with my reviews and feel free to leave comments. We love feedback and look forward to it. We know you're out there, we see our stats, but why are so many of our readers so quiet? We'll be taking a short break before summer, but watch for us again starting July 8th for our weekly reviews of Amazing Race Canada, Season Two. Look forward to seeing you all right back here.