There is absolutely nothing I do not love about what I just saw. The entire preview is focused on either Will or Rachel, and then rounding out their respective stories are Neil Patrick Harris and the return of Jesse's arm slung around Rachel's shoulder. NPH & Morrison are singing together, on a song I love. The summary is telling me something about Artie & Tina, too. MY HEAD JUST EXPLODED FROM ALL THE POTENTIAL AWESOME. Unless things go horribly, horribly wrong (Wheels), 1x19 is clearly prepared to challenge my heart for first place. And I am prepared to award it.
Plus I am listening to the full version of "Dream On" right now, and it is even greater than I thought - right on par with the magic of "Alone." Oh my word. I don't know how I'm going to make it another 48 hours...and I really don't know whether to watch Lost or Glee first this week, because they both just might break my brain.
Edit: I broke my rule and spoiled myself on the rest of the songs for the episode. Namely, this one. NOW I'M JUST HYPERVENTILATING. Flaaaaaaaail!
On a less interesting note: remember last spring, when the Survivor finale bonanza qualified as an Epic Post? Sigh. I will live in mourning forever. Whyyyyyy doesn't this series exist on DVD anymore? You can't buy special features on iTunes! You can watch them for free on the website, sure, but that's a limited time deal! ...anyway, um, things happened tonight. A winner was crowned. Discuss.
This might be most I've written about the season to date, but given that it covers 3 hours...
-Less than half an hour into the fun, the local CBS station failed and lost the signal for over 10 minutes. I was peeved, as it cut out right after Colby approached Russell, and didn't come back until the first vote of the night was over. Why couldn't you have failed during the March of Dead Survivors? Nobody cares about that.
-I hate blindfolded challenges so much. I hate them more when Jerri is within inches/seconds of winning, but she loses and gets voted out. I hate them most when Russell wins instead of Jerri eking out a third narrow victory on him.
-I love the fact that Sandra is one of the very few people to not only cross Russell, but spend a very large percentage of her time mocking, laughing at, and otherwise generally riling him up without suffering the "you're getting voted out next" consequences. I love that she is unapologetic about everything, but so logical and rational that people praised her for it.
Sure, I was spoiled about this fact nearly the whole season (although about 7 weeks back, my brain had fritzed out and blocked the memory of Russell being in the final 3 - literally, my brain apparently could not handle that knowledge and got rid of it for me, thank you), but that does not make it any less great. Especially not after someone gave her a little tiara to really rub in her queendom. Greatest player ever? I think so.
-By the way, that was one of the greatest final tribal councils I can remember. Grossell got torn to shreds, Coach spouted some typical warrior/Christian/honor BS full of pretentious, self-righteous self-importance while making no sense, and the only person to say something stupid was Candice, with her clumsy abused-wife analogy, when Parvati had already masterfully and much more accurately described Russell as her pet.
Meanwhile, JT smiled so much that Grossell didn't even notice he was chastising rather than praising him, Courtney gave a chipper homegirl spiel for her pal, and then Rupert made us all alternately sappy and delighted as he poured love on Sandra, grudging respect on Parvati, and gave Russell the most hilariously contemptuous public shaming I have ever witnessed. Oh! And I once again forgot about Jerri, but it was so great when she asked Russell to explain why she wasn't up there with him, and Parvati & Sandra shot their hands up in the air, practically wiggling with impatience to spill the beans about why she REALLY got voted out, and probably changed her vote in the process.
The lack of bitterness was refreshing, too. I think the most concentrated shot of it was Colby on the reunion show, in which I can't recall him smiling at all, because he was too busy pouting/glaring and then whining about how the stupid Survivor producers wouldn't let them play in the water or explore in the jungle this time.
-You know how Russell sat through his last reunion show with tears of rage glittering in his eyes, and you thought nothing would top that? The reunion show in which he sits with gritted teeth through a ceremony in which he not only gets shut out but loses to two women just might top it.
-And once Jeff stupidly allowed him to start talking, I was torn between wanting him to SHUT THE HELL UP before he embarrassed himself any further with this temper tantrum, and howling with laughter at how desperately crazed and furious he is. He really is like toddler. You can't even reason with him. He doesn't care about the jury! He played the game as hard as he could! It's not like the point of the game is make it to the end without alienating everyone along the way! OH WAIT.
-Did I mention how great it was when Coach called Russell a "little man" in every way? Or when Rupert popped his tiny little ego balloon by saying it was easy to lie and manipulate in this game? Or that time Sandra smiled sweetly and let Russell keep talking about how he knew she would never get any votes? Because I keep replaying them in my head.
-How about the fact that Parvati and Russell, absolutely the two most awful people in the game this time around, both got to the end and yet NEITHER WON? Because that was super-duper wonderful. It did not make the season of suck worthwhile, but it made it suck slightly less than Samoa, Round 1.
-Also, I love Tom so much for saying that whoever wins the game deserves it. He takes the most basic fact in the game and distills it into one calm sentence. This is why you're a beloved winner, dude! Especially when compared to Grossell the Troll's 17 or so minutes of ranting and raving about how the game is flawed and everyone but him is stupid and wrong.
-Now if you'll excuse me, I need to purge another memory out of my brain - the won where RussTroll won the fan favorite prize for the SECOND FUCKING TIME. Fucking America. I don't understand why you were voting for Rupert, either, with at least 11 more likeable options to choose from, but my God, he deserves it so much more. [For the record, in my fantasy world, the prize would have gone to Sugar, Cirie, Courtney, Tom, Sandra, or JT (yes, even after he spent the season being a brat; tonight's curls and dimple-filled smile brought it all back), with permissible options of Amanda, James, Jerri, Colby or Candice. Put a gun to my head and I'll pick Cirie. Stupid America.
-Back to Queen Sandra, I am just quoting all of Sienna Gold's TWoP post (brackets are part of the original text):
She actually pegged it right - she was the last of her alliance. And she would have gone home; had she not did her thing. Knowing when to talk and more importantly, knowing when to shut. up. [Something that hurt Danielle, and will continually cost Russell when he plays this game].
She was the reason why Russell got the bee in his bonnet to vote Coach. She tried to protect Courtney, but knew she had to vote her out to continue on. [She did this previously with Christa as well]. She desperately tried to get the Heroes to use her as the swing [as in to start targeting the Villains one by one], and Amanda (mainly) bungled it up. She tried again and Candice ran straight to Russell. I think she honestly would have tried to do something with Rupert and Colby, but once again, Rupert ran straight to Russell. She had ideas [to be against Russell], and because she was only one it could only go so far.
This whole "but she didn't win any immunities", I think it speaks volumes about how scrappy she is. In my mind that shouldn't be the end all and be all. It's outwit, outlast and outplay. If someone can do all three, amazing, but it shouldn't be "everything".
-I love that JT can simultaneously be the first winner never to have a vote cast against him, and then turn around and come back to win the 'Dumbest Move Ever' award. Speaking of dumb moves, I couldn't pick one because I either like all the guys too much, or I think that Tyson's right when he says that if his flip had worked, he'd have been hailed a genius. Oh, who am I kidding, I do think Tyson had the dumbest move. Meanwhile, Colby looks more pissed off than ever that he is included in this category, but for this he's justified, because he made a deliberate choice to take the better person to the finale. He didn't miscalculate anything, he knew exactly what he was doing and seemed pretty satisfied with his decision.
-OH MY GOD WHAT DID ERIK DO TO HIS HAIR. I suggested you cut it, not shave most of it off and leave the rest as a nasty spiky quasi-mohawk...thing. Still, even with 30 seconds of camera time he continues to be an adorably cheerful & likable person. How come you didn't ask him back?
-And I continue to be sad that even though they have 19 legitimately interesting people to chat with (Randy is not one of them), only the select few who got to the end are rewarded with the chance to speak for more than 30 seconds. That's the kind of shafting that encourages Stephenie to clumsily grab at a free advertising spot.
-SANDRA WON!! We can all sleep well.
-Also, more from TWoP:
"When Russell said the game was flawed, I think Probst actively wanted to kick him off the stage."
--"Bwah! I think I saw the love drain right from Probst's eyes when Russell said that."
In conclusion: finally! The long, long year of RussTroll hell is over. Maybe the show will actually be fun again come fall.