Note: This is a backdated post put here on June 30, 2016, after finding it on my hard drive.
Well, that was disappointing.
Don't get me wrong, the first two hours of this finale were INTENSELY AWESOME. I had a feeling that Michelle would win the first immunity -- all 4 are prettty evenly matched in terms of physical exertion, and she's the best at puzzles -- but it was still a nailbiter to actually see it happen.
Cydney crying makes me cry (the weight of realizing she came so close to her chance at the million and her "I just wanted to take care of my mom, pay off the mortgage" causing her to break down at Tribal Council was SUPES SAD)
I'm so glad she didn't seem to harbor any resentment toward Aubry as she left. I'm also really glad it came down to a tie for those two, because that was really the only fair way to choose between those two awesome ladies, knowing they were both bigger threats than Tai so he couldn't be the one to go instead.
Speaking of, AUBRY MAKING FIRE TO PUT HERSELF IN THE FINAL THREE GIVES ME LIFE
Everything Aubry does give me life, even though I've been misspelling her name up until now by accident
Aubry is my singular favorite lady to play this game in a long time. Did she singlehandedly rescue the season from itself? I might have to say yes, at least once the initial luster wore off Backstabbity Tai.
I never believe this show when it's like "OMG SHOCKING TWIST," but then when the twist happens I'm always all "OMG SHOCKING." The power to vote someone off Tribal Council was way cool. I'm so glad it didn't happen in a season where there was some awful Manly Man vs. a woman in the final 3, because you know I would have been happy to raise all hell accusing the show of trying to make it easier for the "right" contestant i.e. A Man to win.
I cannot believe how cursingly close Aubry came to that power -- it literally came down to a few seconds' difference and then her shaky nerve got the best of her and she knocked the stack over while trying to with draw the tongs to complete the challenge, while Michelle had no such problems.
I 100% do not believe that Mark The Chicken is actually going to live happily ever after with "a nice Cambodian family," but I just looked it up and confirmed the U.S. currently has a ban on live poultry being imported from Cambodia due to bird flu prevalence. Damn. (also, wow. They ban birds from basically everywhere that doesn't speak a Romance language)
Nick was the only person I could bear to listen to on that jury. Everyone else was too awful to even begin.
So there I was, all revved up and ready to watch Aubry coast to her super obvious win, and WAIT WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED THERE.
I mean, I agree that Michelle was definitely not some dumb bimbo, and I'm very glad the tide didn't continue to go that way. She deserved respect for not making anyone angry, for knowing when to slide/bide her time and when to leap forward, and she fought like hell for well deserved immunities when they counted the most. She earned that spot at the end.
It's just that, with slightly less universal sociability, Aubry did all that and did everything BETTER. I'm pretty sure Aubry believes that too, judging by her fixedly polite reactions to the results. That was some real Miss America Runner-Up hugging as opposed to true "yay I'm so genuinely happy for my equally deserving friend!" excitement.
Like, if there was anyone I expected Scott and Jason to begrudgingly respect, even in a "best of the worst" way, it was freaking her. (speaking of which, I remain forever grateful that she was the ringleader in the first successful bid to drum their asses outta town for being distasteful.)
As far as I'm concerned, Aubry won. I'm going to remember her as the winner. In a year or two I won't remember Michelle's name even if I remember her face. Well, I might, because I'm raising a stink about it. But she is otherwise super forgettable.[
[Edit: I just want you to know that it's June 30th and I'm still mad. I especially cannot believe she only got ONE vote. CYDNEY, YOU HAD ONE JOB.]
[edit: apparently I did not take many notes on the reunion show and I am not watching it again, so this is all I got.]
The Sia thing was...weird? Or neat? I don't really know. I hope Tai has a good accountant in order to work out how tax on a $50,000 personal gift works, especially on top of his other prize money and any regular income for the year. But I think I like the sentiment behind it.
OK new goal for my FBI AU: Imma pretend Joe retired and now I need Aubry & Cochran to be office colleagues and like, pull nerd pranks and generally be awesome inseparable geek-dorks.
Next season: oh god I am rooting for gen X. I started disliking people my age when I was about 13 and this feels like it's gonna bring that phase right back.