‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ Finale Recap: And the Winner Is…

'Survivor: Kaôh Rōng' (CBS)

‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’ (CBS)










Quick Note: Check back Thursday for interviews with the final four.

Watch Full Episodes of ‘Survivor: Kaôh Rōng’

Last Week: Michele and Tai attempted to align, Cydney and Aubry ate a lot, but it was Joe who would meat his match.

39 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribe as it currently stands…

The Dara Tribe (wearing black)
Aubry – 29, Social Media Marketer
Cydney – 23, Body Builder
Michele – 24, Bartender
Tai – 51, Gardener

We start things off at Dara beach where the remaining four are sleeping underneath some kind of dreamcatcher. Where’d that come from?

However, Mark the chicken wants to wake everyone up. Tai, knowing that Mark is his closest ally, does whatever he can to keep the others from getting upset with him.

The next morning, Tai and Aubry plot to get Cydney on their side. They want Michele to go first because of how good her personal relationships are. Outside of Julia, who has she betrayed?

Cydney is weighing her options. But, she tells Michele that she likes the idea of a female final three. Final three? All female? Like Micronesia?

Reward Challenge Time: The players will race under a net. They’ll then slide tiles through a target. They’ll then balance the tiles on a machete and carry them through a series of obstacles. From there, they’ll match the tiles to figure out a combination and raise a flag. The winner will receive a meal that is designed to refuel your body.

Apparently this meal includes steak. Have we learned nothing from Joe?!

We start off and it’s even until we get to the tile throwing portion which Cyndey KILLS.

Unfortunately for Cydney, the balance portion is not her friend. Aubry blows by her.

Aubry is the first to start working with her tiles, but she makes a mistake in pairing them up. She can’t figure out why her combination doesn’t work.

Aubry eventually figures it out and wins reward. She gives Probst a big victory hug. Oh, she does it and it’s cool. I hug Probst and I get a restraining order.

Aubry is given the opportunity to share her meal…and she picks Cydney. Probably smart.

Back at camp, Cydney and Aubry enjoy their meal. Aubry lets us know that she wants Cydney to be strong so she can beat Michele.

Cydney lets us know that she’s fine with Michele or Tai going home next.

Meanwhile, Michele makes a move to get Tai on her side. He claims to be into voting out Aubry, but he wasn’t very convincing. He wouldn’t even look her in the eye.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will race out into the water to retrieve a key. They’ll race back and unlock stairs and get a new key. They’ll race back into the water to get another key. Long story short…racing back and forth till you get puzzle pieces. First person to complete their puzzle wins immunity.

Just looking at this challenge makes me tired.

The Survivor are ready, and they go. But, there’s not much to describe except for key retrievin’ and runnin’.

Also, at one point Probst says, “Full tilt boogie.” Doesn’t have quite the same ring as “The tribe has spoken,” but I’ll take it.

Aubry is the first back with her puzzle pieces. She’s followed by Cydney, Tai, and then Michele.

Tai completes the first level of the challenge, so does Michele.

Tai gets the second level…as does Michele. Aubry and Cydney are way behind.

Michele figures it out and wins immunity! And then she kicks over the puzzle for good measure. Love it!

Back at Dara Beach, Tai and Aubry toss around the idea of forcing a tie-vote, fire-making challenge. However, Aubry doesn’t have confidence in Tai’s loyalty. Yeah, because he’s stabbed like a hundred people in the back?

Later, Michele and Cydney are worried that Aubry will clean up the jury votes. Cydney is a little concerned though and asks if she should start working on her fire-making skills. Michele tells her not to. Well…it wouldn’t hurt.

Michele approaches Tai and tells him that she’s going to vote for Aubry. This blows Tai’s mind. Boy, whoever talks to Tai last is gonna get his vote.

That night at Tribal, Tai says that alliances are out the door.

Aubry thinks the person who goes to the jury will have a lot of information about what happened in the game. Hmm…almost blackmail there…

Cydney’s vote depends on who she has a better chance against.

Aubry thinks that threats and weaknesses are in the eye of the beholder.

Voting Time: No votes are shown. Dun dun dun…

Probst tallies and returns. We’ve got one vote for Aubry, one vote for Cydney, one vote for Aubry, and one vote for Cydney. A Tai…er…a tie!

Fire-Making Challenge: First person to build a fire large enough to burn through their rope gets to stay.

Aubry is the first to get a flame. She builds a large tower and looks close to winning it, but she adjusts it and it all falls down.

She rebuilds her fire and eventually wins it. Cydney never even came close.

So, the fifteenth person eliminated from “Survivor: Kaoh Rong” and the eighth member of the jury is…Cydney.

Before Cydney leaves, she breaks down a little and says how she was hoping to win to help her mother. Meanwhile in Downingtown, I got something in both of my eyes.

Back at camp, Aubry says she knew it was Cyd or her. Well, you were the two in the challenge.

Michele tells Tai that she thinks that he just handed her a million dollars.

Later, Michele is psyched about the final three breakfast. However, Tai points out that Probst didn’t do his usual end-of-game spiel.

Aubry assures Tai that there won’t be another challenge.

CUT TO: Tree mail describing the final challenge.

Immunity Challenge Time: Wait…Probst says it’s not an immunity challenge. He tells them that the final Tribal Council will be a final three. That’s just mean.

He then says that the winner of the challenge will get to vote out a jury member.

Whaaaaat!?! Nobody saw that coming.

Jury Elimination Challenge Time: The players will balance on a wobbly beam and try to stack balls using a pole. First person to stack all their balls gets to bounce a juror.

We start off and everyone has trouble getting the balls and stands to stay balanced. Eventually Michele and Aubry get the hang of it…with Michele picking up the win.

Probst gives her a special parchment and a note to read. Oooo…

She’s got to go with Joe, right? He’s a definite Aubry vote.

Poor Joe, old people love to vote.

Sure enough, Tai and Michele debate this exact point. First he can’t pee, now he can’t vote.

Later, Aubry points out that Joe is the least likely to make a big scene at Tribal. Good point. This causes Michele to consider Scot. This concerns Tai because he thinks Scot could be voting for him.

That night at Tribal Council, the jurors are abuzz because there is no immunity necklace.

Michele reads her note about eliminating a juror and now the jurors are even more abuzz. Abuzzier. Totes Abuzzed.

Michele says that she took note of how Tai and Aubry were trying to steer her at camp.

Tai says that it’s important to take out someone who could be voting against you. Yes, good point, Tai.

Voting Time: No vote is shown.

Probst tallies and returns. The eliminated juror is Neal.

As Neal walks out, he tells Michele that he doesn’t think she stands a chance. Probst deadpans that it sounds like she made the right choice. Hilarious.

The trio returns to camp where Mark is waiting for them in the hammock. Aww…he thinks he’s people.

The next morning, the group is treated to a mirror and a scale. They then receive the traditional day-39 brunch.

That night at Tribal, Tai brings Mark the Chicken along. Adorable.

Nick leads off, he tells them that there will be animosity and that some of them might not get a question. He tells Michele to display intelligence. He tells Tai to display awareness and Aubry to display confidence. And make sure the tin man displays heart.

Debbie goes second, she wants to know if Tai has more than one personality because he was so indecisive. He says he turned on Scot and Jason because they targeted Aubry.

Debbie then calls Aubry a geek warrior and reminds her of when she tried to drop out. She asks if Aubry would have saved her if the roles had been reserved. Aubry says it was painful of her to betray Debbie after helping her when she had heat stroke. She then says they were headed in opposite directions and Debbie was too much of a threat.

Julia goes third and points out that Michele was the weak link in the beauty tribe. Oof. She even calls Michele just “a number.” Julia goes on to say that she was proud of Michele when she voted her out because she made a big move. Michele says that all of her moves were well thought out.

Julia then tells Tai that he was the opposite because he went from being a threat pre-merge to less so after. Tai claims that he didn’t have to make moves after a while because he was comfortable with his alliance.

Joe bats clean-up. He calls Tai selfless and hard-working. He then asks why Tai deserves it more than Aubry. Tai mentions the idol he found and the vote that he won.

Joe then asks why Aubry deserves his vote over Tai. She claims that Tai came to her with information, but she had to make the moves. She also points out that she was always on the right side of the vote after the merge.

We get Jason next. He tells them that he doesn’t know who he’s voting for. Jason points out that Michele wasn’t in the know when Scot was sent home. Michele says she didn’t know because they trusted her more than they trusted Tai.

Then, Jason wants to know why Tai left him and Scot. Tai says it was because he was scared of how close they were.

Cydney is sixth. She asks Aubry if it was always the plan to get rid of her at final four. Aubry says Michele was the target, but she won immunity. She then says she targeted Cydney because she’d do the same thing.

Then Aubry asks Michele if she knew that they were going to target Cydney. Michele says that she didn’t.

Scot’s up last. He tells Tai that he blew his extra vote and his immunity idol.  He then asks Aubry why he should vote for her. Aubry says it’s because he respects competition.

Scot then says that Michele would’ve been his last vote four Tribals ago, but Michele got stronger as the game went along and Tai and Aubry got weaker.

Probst lets them give closing arguments. Aubry says her game evolved and she used a lot of strategies and she beat Cydney in a fire challenge. Tai claims hat he believes in goodness and they shouldn’t have to stab each other in the back…then he starts to cry. Then he compares everyone to plants…

This speech is going in many directions. But I think he’s happy they all got to meet each other.

Finally, Michele says that Nick said she had to be intelligent, but she had to keep her cool and have faith in her game and she’s very proud of herself.

Hmm…Aubry and Michele were both really strong. Tai…not so much. At least he gets a chicken consolation prize.

Voting Time: Julia votes for Michele, Joe votes for Aubry, and the rest will have to wait till Probst gets to Los Angeles.

Wait…Probst tells Tai to let Mark go because he can’t bring him back to the States. Aww….

Alright, we’re magically taken to Studio City. We’ve got one vote for Michele, two votes for Aubry, two votes for Michele, and the winner of “Survivor: Kaoh Rong” is…Michele.

Verdict: Wow…Michele was invisible before the merge. But she really turned it on and played a great post-merge game. Well deserved win, but I was pulling for Aubry.

And…a great season overall. I loved it.

Power Rankings Results: Shirin had Cydney and Tai in the right spot for four points. I had nobody in the right spot. The current score is Team Shirin 112, Team Gordon 103. Congrats to Shirin for becoming this season’s Power Rankings champion!

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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