Going into Sunday’s Survivor finale, the game might be afoot, but won’t be a penis

Survivor One World now belongs to women, but really it belongs to an original tribe’s alliance of four that was formed–with one subsequent substitution–in the first few minutes of the game. That’s an incredible achievement, and we head into the finale ready to see how that group will splinter, now that it will be forced to.

That strategy and social game play is kind of interesting, but I’m not passionate about it, which sums up about how I’ve felt about the season during its final third. I honestly did not care who won reward or immunity last night, nor did I care that I was unable to watch until 24 hours after it aired.

Tarzan exited the game on an episode that showed both sides of his game personality, which alternated between charmingly eccentric and just an asshole. “Bitch. How dare you beat me,” he told Alicia after she won immunity, and he didn’t appear to be playing. Tarzan washed his hair in the cooler and wanted to use his buff to cook with, and wearing Kat’s shirt, put her panties on his head, and when she learned about that caused her to cry at Tribal Council, perhaps because he was talking about microbes and said “I’m not afraid of those panties at all.”

His attempts to work everyone didn’t, ultimately, work at all, and he seemed to know it, telling us, “I helped them get rid of five boys, and now, if I haven’t screwed it up by being irascible in the last few days, we hope to god that all the girls don’t jump on me tonight, but actually knock out Chelsea.”

Chelsea won the amusingly dizzying reward challenge and took Sabrina and Kim with her to a yacht for food, showers, and sleep, despite telling Christina she could go. In other words, Christina doesn’t matter; no surprise there.

But while Chelsea remains a threat–will she go first during Sunday’s finale?–they all voted against the man who worked with them to get rid of the men. (That confession at Tribal that prompted Mike to give Tarzan the finger.) Alicia and Kim compared notes, and Alicia realized, “We were gonna get Tarzaned and look like friggin’ morons.”

One remarkable part of Kim’s game is that no one has compared notes about her, and it’s not quite clear why–especially since she knows that’s the big vulnerability in her game. The biggest clue we have is Sabrina telling us, “It’s really hard to not believe Kim.” Perhaps Kim just has a gift for lying to people’s faces while appearing to be innocent.

Kim knows that’s a potential liability, saying “one conversation” means “you’re the first person gone because nobody trusts you any more,” since, she confessed to the camera, “I have been playing both sides.” But maybe just that she’s playing is all that matters.

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.