Survivor Fiji ends Sunday; Yau-Man’s deal with Dreamz will result in “controversy”

Survivor Fiji, the 14th season of CBS’ marquee reality show, concludes Sunday with its usual three-hour finale starting at 8 p.m. ET. The final hour will be a live reunion.

While the AP reports today that “[t]his is the least popular season ever for CBS’s ‘Survivor,'” but the show is solidly in the top 20, and was number 12 last week, easily beating both ABC’s Lost and NBC’s Deal or No Deal.

The past few weeks have featured intense strategizing. Last night’s episode was no exception: Yau-Man won the car reward challenge and immediately made a deal with Dreamz, who was desperate for a car. Dreamz agreed to give Yau-Man individual immunity should he win it when there are four people left–and when the hidden immunity idols are no longer valid. Jeff Probst was stunned, and asked Yau-Man if he wanted to do that, “knowing you can’t enforce it; it’s his word.” Yau-Man said yes, and later admitted to us that his strategy is to get rid of Dreamz at that point.

Dreamz realized that, which is why he worked with Cassandra, Boo, and Stacy to vote out Yau-Man last night. But it didn’t work because Yau-Man suspected something was up and played his hidden immunity idol, sending Stacy home even though she’d received just two votes. Going into the finale, Earl and Yau-Man now know that their alliance betrayed them, which should result in some drama.
Will the car curse continue to haunt its true winner, Yau-Man? Or is the curse transferable to Dreamz?

Writing in TV Guide, Jeff Probst all but says (possible spoiler alert) Dreamz will have the opportunity to give up immunity to Yau-Man but will go back on his word. “The ramifications of this negotiation will be felt until the final votes are cast and revealed on Sunday. More debate and controversy will come from the effects of this single challenge than anything else all season, and it will go down as one of the most-talked-about events in the history of our game. In the end it will amount to a decision that could be worth $1 million. At the center of the decision is a simple question: In the game of Survivor, how important is your word?”

TV Notes: TV advertising at risk as viewership declines [AP]
Season-finale Preview: Survivor Host Spills Fiji’s Secrets [TV Guide]
Survivor Fiji [CBS]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.