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(I was dumbo who decided to post this draft instead of saving a Notepad doc, then edit it later to write up long thoughts about the 2-hour finale, only to accidentally close the broswer window and lose all the additions)

So, the winner: as amazing as it was to see the 5-way immunity that resulted in default elimination for the one person no one wanted to eliminate, the fact that said eliminated person was Cirie was also upsetting. Once she and Aubrey were both gone, all of my enthusiasm for the season died too. I had zero cares about who won. The answer was Sarah, and while it was kind of neat that she won using the same tactics as the man she originally lost to -- and of the 3 options she's the one who deserved it, because not even I could defend Troyzan's non-game, nor could I stomach giving a million dollars to a dude as rich as Brad Culpepper instead of someone who makes less than 6 figures -- there was no joy in Mudville seeing it. One of the least awesome season enders ever.

Also, the reunion show was such a cringe-fest that as soon as Culpepper leapt up to make it all about him again give Tai a hug, I just gave up and read a recap to see how much I could skip. I only ended up tuning in to see:

a) Jeff's commentary on Aubry's theoretical Cochran crush (and the latter's reaction), which is pretty much "yeah, a TV crush."  Her having an actual boyfriend complicates my ability to ship it even in jest, so I preemptively apologize to the people this embarrasses, and offer my slightly less embarassing alternative "FBI Office Colleagues Who Goof Off And Pull Nerd Pranks" AU friendship scenario instead.

b) Michaela being A DELIGHT. How does anyone not see that she's a pretty cool person? Like honestly.

c) Jeff asking Malcolm how he copes with being blindsided so early, to which the response is "well, you cry for a few days..." He has mentioned the crying at every opportunity. I think it is partly a ploy to make women swoon, and it's working.

d) How people look! Obviously. The answer is:

  • Malcolm is still looking fine as hell.

  • JT has improved on his island look and now also looks pretty fine.

  • Ozzy probably does too but I'm still in my post-traumatic shock that comes with adjusting to his locks being chopped short and cannot say for sure.

  • Caleb's got all his tattoos covered up and I asked myself like six times who that handsome young stranger was because I literally didn't recognize him.

  • Meanwhile, Brad Culpepper, in a short-sleeved button-down and tie and the world's most hideous mustache, is dressed like he's playing the inept and/or villainous manager of a struggling office in a workplace comedy film.

  • Troyzan continues to rock an oddly okay "aging hippie" vibe and I am uncomfortable with how okay I am with it.

  • Varner is one of the few men who...really does not look better with overgrown wavy hair. You are Too Old, sir, I'm sorry. Though it does successfully make you look like a Wealthy Older Gay Man who either has a beach house or cruises retirement communities on the beach, if that's the look you were wanting.

  • Tai has a sharp sweater-dressing game; I'm impressed.

  • Zeke is how Zeke is.

  • Hailey is rocking the best outfit there; love the high-neckline green sleeveless dress with wide black waistband and what looks to be a flared knee-length hemline, and her hair, good lord, endless mermaid waves.

  • Michaela's braid or whatever her hair is doing is also amazing, and I love the lace cut out sleeves.

  • Sandra is wearing a queenly tiara and it's the best damn thing that my eyes have ever seen.

  • Sierra is...not wowing me with a plain olive colored long sleeved dress that hides everything except the one asset she does not have, cleavage. But at least her hair is blown silky smooth.

  • Andrea looks like she dressed for the 1940s Hollywood red carpet and it's amazing.

  • Aubry's hair looks lovely, though dress-wise, bold tropical floral patterns are few people's forte -- and while not terrible on her, they are not hers.

  • Cirie is following the latest fashion trends with cut-out shoulders on her shirt, and honestly that bold red-orange color looks good on her.

  • Ciera's dress looks appropriate for an evening beach cookout and that's really the best thing I can say. It's not terrible but still makes me feel awkward for her, too low cut in front and too short on the leg.

  • And I can't see Debbie's outfit in my current shot, but damned if I can be arsed to try. I choose to remember her in that cool kaleidescope pattern hoodie she had at tribal council instead.

Still haven't watched the preview for the upcoming season. Guess I'll just be surprised.

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