lundi 31 octobre 2011 | By: Patrick

Rewatch: Survivor: Borneo "Season Finale" (Episode 13)

Episode 13: "Season Finale"
Original Airdate: August 23rd, 2000
American Ratings: 51.7 million viewers

It feels odd to look back on the finale of the very first season of Survivor. Back in the summer of 2000, Survivor was a TV phenomenon which took America by storm. The last episode saw over fifty million viewers watching television in August, a veritable feat considering that summer is habitually a TV wasteland filled with reruns. And although several subsequent Survivor finales were disappointments, this one left no one indifferent.

Day 37

Now part of the final four, Richard feels comfortable. He thinks it may have something to do with how little time is left.

Sue has trouble coping with boredom. Rudy believes he has lost about 22 pounds since they were marooned. Richard feels that it could be as much as thirty pounds for him.

I don't think I thought this was going to be as mental as it ended up being.

Rudy reflects on the fact that their alliance allowed them to vote everyone else off the island. Now with only the four of them left, the alliance is no more. They're on their own.

Kelly feels vulnerable. She is acutely aware that the target is on her back. From now on, there is no doubt that the other three will vote for her.

The first immunity challenge takes place in the tribal council area as the jury looks on. The Fallen Comrades challenge consists of questions about former castaways with whom they played the game. It goes to a tie-breaker between Sue and Kelly, with a question regarding Sonja's last name. Kelly wins immunity.

As the votes are tallied, both Richard and Sue garner two votes each. As a result, both won't get to vote again, but they are allowed to make a plea so that Kelly and Rudy won't eliminate them.

As the second round of voting is brought to a close, Sue racks up both votes and becomes the latest member of the jury.

This was a lot easier for me than driving a truck through Chicago every day of the week. That's a lot worst than being out here in the bush.

Day 38

Jeff Probst wakes them up at 4:00am. He takes Kelly, Richard, and Rudy to the final rite of passage. They will pass before the torch of each of their fallen companions and will have to reflect upon them. Covered in mud, they must then make their way to the final immunity challenge. Standing, they must keep their hand on the immunity idol for as long as they can.

Jeff Probst teases them with fresh oranges. After over two hours, Richard tells the other two that he hopes they'll both recognize what he has done since the beginning and he let's go. It's a bold move on his part, no question. With a million dollars at stake, a lot of people claimed they would have held forever.

Rudy and Kelly are now forced to rotate positions. After 4 hours and 11 minutes, Rudy accidentally gives Kelly the win. It's her fifth challenge victory in a row.

At tribal council, since Richard and Rudy's votes cancel one another, only Kelly will cast a vote. In what was, back in the day, considered a wise move, Kelly votes out Rudy, bringing Richard with her to the final tribal council.

In this case, Kelly has spoken.

Day 39

As Richard is lying in a hammock, relaxing, Kelly goes through her last yoga session on the beach.

I regret being part of the alliance. That didn't make me feel so good.

Meanwhile, Richard is thinking about the questions the jury might ask him tonight.

At final tribal council, each jury member gets to ask one question. Afterward, both Richard and Kelly will get the opportunity to plead their case. Both are allowed to make opening statements before the questions are asked.

Kelly explains that she is not a politician, that she didn't come here to campaign. She hopes she'll be judged on the person that she truly is and not the way she played the game.

I don't know that the best person is sitting up here. But hopefully the better person will win.

For his part, Richard explains that his approach was one of strategy. He couldn't plan it as well as he thought. He claims that he was only playing the game. He asks them to vote for who played the game better. Richard says that he approached the game with that perspective from the very start.

When Gervase asks what they would change, Kelly replies that she wouldn't have become part of the alliance.

When Jenna asks which two people they'd put in their places, Richard replies Greg and Rudy, while Kelly says Sonja and Gretchen.

Sean has no question. He claims that there's a lot of things he'd like to forget about the time spent with both of them.

Colleen wants to know what character traits got each of them to the final two. For Kelly, it's faith, strong will, and likeability. For Richard, it's self-awareness, observation, and ethics.

Rudy has absolutely nothing to say other than to let everyone know how dumb he feels for the mistake which cost him the immunity challenge.

Greg asks them to choose a number between one and ten.

Sue has no question, but her rat and snake speech remains a Survivor highlight to this day.

You will not get my vote. My vote will go to Richard. And I hope that this is the one vote that makes you lose the money.

As closing remarks, Kelly claims that she doesn't think that anyone in this game is without faults, errors, or unproud moments. Richard explains that he wouldn't change anything that he did, and he hopes they'll respect that this is what he felt he needed to do in order to play and ultimately have a chance to win this game.

In a final tribal council that shocked viewers, Richard beat Kelly by a narrow 4-3 vote, thus becoming the first ultimate Survivor.

Wow! I've won! It's an amazing place to be.

When I first began this Survivor: Borneo rewatch, I was afraid that the season had not aged well. Given the fact that I hadn't seen the first Survivor season since the 2000 reruns, I was a bit concerned that it wouldn't "survive" the test of time.

Regardless of all the seasons and disparate castaways that came after, Survivor: Borneo remains what could well be the best Survivor season in the history of the show!

To purchase the Survivor: Borneo DVD boxset: Canada, USA, Europe.

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