following to say moments before Sally's torch was snuffed out. "You're a great player in this game, and too much of a threat. I'm so sorry."
With the elimination of Sally, my record of successfully selecting the sole-Survivor at the beginning of the show falls to a much less-impressive 4-7. But at least I can take solace in my 6-5 record when it comes to picking a member of the final two. To be honest, I really thought that I nailed it again with this girl. She was extremely athletic and fairly smart, something that can't be said of the other sevem females in this game. And coming from Minnesota, there is a decent chance that she's a fellow Timberwolves fan. Actually, now that I think about it, with our team's luck, that last one was probably a reason NOT to go with her. Anyway...
Ultimately, it was Austin and Nick's decision to go with Terry and Dan over Sally and Misty that cost her the game. That allowed the Astronaut to hang around and paralyze La Mina with his extreme ineptitude in challenges, leading to Casaya's insurmountable 6-4 numbers advantage after the merge. I find it quite ironic that it was Dan, who just might be the smartest person in Survivor history, that will be ultimately responsible if the Axis of Idiots triumphs.
So why did Austin and Nick decide to align the way they did? Was Austin's man-crush on Terry truly so great as to blind him to the benefits of spending the next 25 days on a beach with two fairly attractive women? Or was it the fact that anyone who would lose the fishing spear like Sally did, just couldn't be trusted to perform down the stretch? Perhaps we'll never know.
But what I do know is that rooting for Sally, who was always the underdog, yet probably the second best player this season, was a ton of fun. I can't say that there was anything so special about her which will make people remember her or earn her a spot on All-Stars 2. Her draw was simply the fact that she was a solid player who was put in one impossible situation after another, like Dan's complete challenge melt-downs, Courtney, Danielle, and Bruce moronically turning down guaranteed final four alliances, or Terry snatching immunity from her the past two episodes. It just seemed like every week she somehow managed to stay in the game by the skin of her teeth. I honestly didn't have a clue how she'd ever overcome all the obstacles and win the game, but after eight weeks of her coming up clutch, it was almost a little shocking to see her torch get snuffed.
The only player that I've wanted to see win more, was the legendary Stephenie La Grossa. And in Survivor history, only Boston Rob, Big Tom, Johnny Fairplay, Rob from the Amazon, and Judd from Guatamala (and of course Steph) rank ahead of her. And let's face it, those guys where hilarious. That's pretty elite company for a girl who dropped fishing spear into the ocean...
Sorry Sally, I'm never letting that one go.
Now onto my winner predictions. Like I said in last week's installment, my odds had gotten completely out of control. I'd base this week's odds on last week's adjusting up and down based on how things went for that particular person. Part of my problem was my initial overconfidence in the La Mina tribe. I started Sally off at 2.5:1 odds thinking she's a smart girl who'll be a great competitor. As things began to go south, I'd double it to 5:1, then up it to 8:1, etc. The problem is, when you're outnumbered 6 to 4, and then 6 to 3, and then 6 to 2, your odds should probably be about 800:1. On the other hand, Casaya's overwhelming stupidity left me to believe that somebody like Shane had about a one in a million shot of pulling this thing off. Well in reality, he's got a one in seven shot. So while whittling him down from 50:1 odds to 40:1 odds might reflect that his chances of winning are 20% better now, it still isn't correct.
Anyway, all of that was a wordy was of saying that I'm starting from scratch in hopes of being a little more realistic. Here they are from most likely to least!
Bruce: He's got no alliance, and immunity isn't coming his way anytime soon. Also, the preview shot of him puking up his pancreas isn't very reassuring either. I'm not liking his chances.
Cirie: Still a lock for the final four in my book. But like I've been saying for weeks, who's going to take her to the final two with them? You know she's not going to last for hours standing on a peg in the final immunity challenge.
Dumb Aras: Everybody seems to be gunning for him. He's almost in a lose-lose situation with Terry. If Casaya manages to steal immunity from him, he becomes the #1 threat. If they don't, he could be going anyway as the #2 guy. If he had any brains at all he would have formed a powerhouse alliance with Terry, knowing that Casaya was ready to slit his throat, and then turned on him at the last second to really seal the deal. But that's why we call him Dumb Aras.
Danielle: She's on the outs with her tribe. And she doesn't seem to know a good thing when she sees it, hence the turning down of Terry's hidden immunity idol. So what are the chances that she's intelligent enough to pull off a power-play move and enter a three-way alliance with Courtney and Cirie down the stretch?
Terry: Seeing as he gets one mulligan with the hidden immunity idol, what are Terry's chances that he actually wins enough challenges and gets to the final? Pretty good. And you have to remember that as the game goes on, it's gets progressively easier to win since you only have to beat 4 other people instead of nine. Amazingly, it almost seems more likely than not that Terry will pull it off. However, if they do one of those lame "everybody gets three targets" challenges where people could gang up on him, that would spell imminent doom. And you also have to remember that the idol is only good for three more rounds. And whose to say that with five Casaya members guaranteed in the jury, he'd get the votes he deserved? Suddenly, things aren't so simple for Superman after all.
Shane: Everyone wants to have him sitting next to them at the end. And seeing as nobody in Casaya really has a two person alliance at the moment, he just might go all the way. Would anyone actually vote for him? That's a tough question. But you have to give the guy credit for actually keeping this band of morons together.
The Fire Dancer: I can't believe I'm saying this, but I honestly think the friggin' Fire Dancer is going to win this thing. She's been annoying enough that people will keep her around since she's not a huge threat at the final tribal council. And at the same time, I could totally see her pulling a Jenna Morasca and running the table in the immunity challenges after the final four.
Final Prediction: Courtney over Shane 5-2, followed by me using one of her dancing props to light myself on fire.