Throughout the Survivor finale, the women kept saying to each other “may the best woman win." Thankfully, she did.
Kim put a bow on the neat little package that was her game this season. She dominated from start to finish and even if you do not believe she has earned her place among the Survivor greats, the way she played this season certainly does. Her win ranks alongside Boston Rob (Survivor: Redemption Island), Brian Heidik (Survivor: Thailand) and Tom Westman (Survivor: Palau).
Consider that throughout the entire game, she was never seriously targeted to be voted out. None of the other people playing with her recognized how much of a threat she was to not only keep advancing, but win the game. She played both sides of two different alliances at two different points in the game and came out of both not only on the winning side, but without a scratch on her.
During the jury questions Troyzan challenged Kim to correctly answer (which meant in his delusional opinion, apparently) when his game in Survivor was doomed. Kim accurately stated that when Jonas went home, her plan to run with the women was set in motion and the men were in trouble.
While that may have been the turning point in the season, Kim later mentioned on the reunion show that the next biggest moment was when the men agreed to vote Mike out. This was her best work on the season and it came in a specific moment: preventing Jay from talking to Mike.
Kim’s plan to get rid of Mike involved telling Jay at the last minute. Chelsea ruined this by suggesting to Mike too early and, worse, in front of Christina and Alicia. A skeptical Jay went to look for Mike and when Kim found out she saved the game. She literally cut off Jay when he was about to mention what he had been told and threw Christina to the wolves to keep everyone happy.
Whether Kim would have won or not if Jay had told Mike is irrelevant. What matters is how impressive Kim was in managing that situation. Both Jay and Mike walked away feeling good about who was allegedly going home and Jay did not bring up why he went to talk to Mike in the first place.
That moment alone was enough to win Kim the one million dollars. If nothing else, she could have creamed Chelsea with the story in the final tribal council if she needed to and also would have shocked Jay and Mike about how close they were to potentially avoiding seeing Kim in the finals.
The rest of the season after that point was a number of other, smaller damage control moments that Kim handled expertly. Keeping Kat reeled in until she no longer needed her. Praying on Tarzan for the votes she needed to advance her all-female agenda. Letting Alicia run with her delusional self-perception until it was too late.
In today’s Survivor pantheon it is hard to prove your mettle until you’ve done it twice. Continuing to flourish when the other contestants know your game already has become the new test of Survivor greatness. Parvati may not have made the list above for greatest seasons ever, but she’s definitely one of the best (if not the best) player ever because of how she won Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Micronesia.
Kim criticizers will correctly point out that she did not have a ton of competition. The best other player in the game was likely Troyzan and he plays like LeBron James. Great when he’s out in front and in the lead, but when it is time to rally from behind and the pressure’s on, he collapsed.
The obvious next step for Kim to prove how good she is at Survivor is to do it again. Unfortunately, her only shot at playing again is another all-stars type season, something the Survivor producers have said they want to avoid.
Heroes vs. Villains worked because it was a neat twist on the all-stars idea. Perhaps something where eight survivor winners are pitted against eight survivor “losers” could work. Regardless of what the idea is, the only way Kim is going to be able to prove herself is in some all-stars twist. I hope we get to see it.
Instead, Colton’s coming back. Okay, yeah, it’s not official but if you were listening to the description of next season – three players who were airlifted out of the game are coming back to lead tribes – you know he’s coming back. There are only eight people to choose from (and all are men). He was too dynamic not to bring back.
The other candidates are Michael from Survivor: Australia, Jonathan from Survivor: Micronesia and Russell Swan from Survivor: Samoa. My money is on Jonathan, a Jeff Probst favorite and Russell, a fan favorite and probably the “best” removed from the game visuals when he passed out. The tribe that gets stuck with Colton is going to be furious!
Amid all the hub bub over Kim’s place in Survivor history and what will become Colton in life and in Survivor is how the Survivor: One World experiment worked out. Unfortunately, it was likely a dud. Interaction between the tribes sharing a beach was minimal and very testy. Having an original alliance rule the game is never interesting and certainly not what was hoped for the idea.
We bid Survivor adieu for the summer and thank the show for another interesting season. Obviously not the best season or worst season ever, but somewhere comfortably in the middle. We were introduced to two interesting characters, Kim and Colton, and hope we can see more of one of them, if not both in the future.
Before we take a three month break, there’s more to cover:
- Christina very well may be the most pathetic survivor in the history of the game. She’s certainly the most pathetic player to make it to the final four. That’s saying something because there have been so pathetic winners, too!
- Speaking of Christina, were we forced to watch the Fallen Heroes segment because Christina did so little before getting ousted there was nothing else to air? The Survivor producers must have been shocked with her performance.
- Alicia, on the other hand, was as delusional as Christina was dumb. She felt she was in Kim’s class and she wasn’t even close. Even if she got a tough edit from the producers (hey, no one make her make the special needs comment) there’s no way she was in Kim’s class. I only wish Jeff had asked the “who would have voted for Alicia if she was in the finals with Kim” question.
- I wish they could somehow exclude the actual winner from getting the fan favorite $100K as well. Kim definitely deserved it (I’m glad Troyzan didn’t win – he’s so overrated), but it’s more interesting to award it to someone who thought they were coming away from Survivor with just the experience.
- This season’s jury was one of the least vindictive we’ve ever seen. Man, was it refreshing! Hopefully future juries can learn a lesson from the humility of Alicia, Kat and Troyzan (no, I never thought I’d write those people’s names in association with humility).