Survivor season finale recap: A Finale You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

After a shocking Tribal Council request, the most deserving player emerges victorious
Ep. 14 | Aired May 12, 2013

'IT IS TIME TO VOTE' And the most important one went Cochran's way.


“Yeah, I’m not going to do that,” responds Dawn, but Brenda won’t let it go. “If you’re asking me to take them out and humiliate myself, I am happy to do that,” says Dawn. Truthfully, I will do it. I really will. But all I wanted to do in this game is play hard.” Brenda makes her do it, so Dawn does it, flashing a huge gap right in the middle of her bottom row of teeth. This is where you would figure I would be howling about this week’s Incredible Dawn Meehan GIF of the week. But I won’t, because I thought this was a pretty gross move by Brenda.

You can hate what Dawn did by voting out Brenda. And I went on and on the other day about how much I hated it on a strategic level. But it was a game move pure and simple. Dawn thought you could separate friendship and gameplay. She may be wrong in the eyes of the jury and a lot of viewers, but what she did to Brenda was strictly because she thought that gave her the best chance of winning. (She was wrong, of course. Blindsiding Brenda killed Dawn’s chances of beating anyone, with the possible exception of Sherri.) Keep in mind every single person there — including Brenda, who was planning to blindside Cochran — is trying to win the game. Dawn may have hurt Brenda’s feelings in the process, but the point of the move was not to hurt Brenda’s feelings. If you sign up to play Survivor, you sign up to play a game in which your supposed friends are going to backstab you if they feel that will help them win. Period.

What Brenda did was completely different. She set out to humiliate Dawn on a personal level for no other goal or purpose other than humiliation. It was petty and ugly. In fact, I would call it the ugliest moment in the history of Tribal Council. As bad as Dawn feels she may have looked with her teeth out, Brenda came off looking 10 times worse. And let me say this: I’ve talked to Brenda several times over the years and I really like her a lot. And I still like her. Super sweet woman. It’s just a shame she let herself go to this dark, dark place because someone voted her out of a game that is all about voting people out.

My sincere hope out of all of this is that these two women can put this nonsense behind them and move on past the bitterness to a place of mutual respect and forgiveness. But that’s for later. It looks like the jury has finished voting so now it’s time for Jeff Probst to deliver the votes all the way to America. This is my favorite part of the season! Will it be via jet ski/subway? Or skydiving/motorcycle? How about a submarine? Riding 8,000 miles on the back of a dolphin? Parasailing? What will Probst come up with next?!?

Ugh….he’s just walking them in again. LAME! It’s been years since we had a hilarious vote delivery system. Yo, Probst, you keep saying you want to reward longtime fans for sticking with the show for so long through thick and thin. WELL THEN STRAP ON A FREAKIN’ JETPACK OR SOMETHING AND GET TO IT!!!

NEXT: And we have our winner!

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