Monday, May 17, 2010
Sandra played a great game. When her main alliance was broken by a foolish decision made by Tyson Apostol, they were picked off one by one. Sandra stayed alive, making it once again to the final tribal council without the shield of ever having won immunity herself. As she said she came into Tribal Council with a lit torch and it was her job to leave with it still lit.
Sandra reads people very well. She knows when to keep her head down and when to speak out. She's known as the "lippiest person in Survivor history". When Russell menaces her by asking "are you with me or against me", she can answer "I'm against you Russell," with just the right sly smile so that it may seem like a joke response, but she is telling the truth. She knows his ego won't allow him to see that. She burned his hat and when he asked if she knew where it was, she lied to him and he believed it, because who lies to the great Russell Hantz?!
She played him like a cheap violin. Getting him to vote out Coach to save her and Courtney. Knowing that he would take her to the end, thinking that since she hadn't personally slit any throats, she couldn't get any votes. And she knew that his narcicissm is his fatal flaw. Natalie cashed a one million dollar check last season because she figured that out too.
He has no capacity to imagine how other people feel or think. He expects people to see his magnificence and believe rewarding him is more important and right than being true to their own feelings of betrayal. That is not how humans react.
While some question why she kept saying at the final tribal council that she tried over and over to get him out, it was obvious. She knew what the Heroes wanted to hear. They all love the game, and to have someone as horrible as Russell in the final three when the "good guys" could have, and should have, with Sandra's help, sent him packing weeks ago, was abhorrent to them. They already felt bad that they'd been duped by him. Here was someone that had offered to work with them that they had spurned, because they were naively dazzled by the evil that is Russell. Had they accepted her offer, the final three would have been three heroes.
Instead, it was King Russell and Queen Parvati, who had done all of them wrong. Russell the bully and Parvati his partner in everything. And Sandra, who despite having her alliance voted out and being turned down by the Heroes, still managed to make it to Day 39 on her own, without allies and without immunity.
I cheered when she won. Throughout the season, Sandra said the things about Russell that others did not. She saw him for who he was right from day 1. She stayed in the game until her moment came. A winning move only has to be made once in Survivor. Sandra made it when she told Russell yeah, I'll be satisfied with 2nd place. It's what he wanted to hear. She was accepting her fate and stroking his ego by saying he deserved to win. Lulling the egoist into overlooking the danger of having someone beside him at the final tribal council who hadn't sold out the majority of the jury. They could identify with her and she was the one and only option to give the title and money to someone who hadn't destroyed their tribe. Parvati saw the danger of Sandra, but she was not able to persuade Russell, and she knew that her only prayer of winning was having Russell there and maybe, maybe, defusing Sandra. Didn't work, did it?
Sandra knew the truth. He wouldn't get any votes. Not a one. The way was open for her and she took it.
Congratulations, Sandra. You are indeed the Queen of Survivor and the greatest player to ever play the game.