“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” Finale Recap: The Rock and Rice Connection?

“Survivor: David vs. Goliath” (CBS)

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Last Week: God told Davie not to place a bet, Angelina pointed out that the tribe is in her debt, and Christian was voted out for being too much of a threat.

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor” Blog

Let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…

The Kalokalo Tribe (wearing blue)
Alison, 28 – Physician
Angelina, 28 – Financial Consultant
Davie, 30 – Social Media Manager
Kara, 30 – Realtor
Mike, 47 – Filmmaker
Nick, 27 – Public Defender

Post-Tribal Shenanigans

Oh goodness…there isn’t a single second of dialogue after that crazy Tribal. It’s just a mad idol hunt. So much for the ultimate social experiment.

All six of our finalists are digging around with Angelina eventually finding the lucky Easter egg. The idol is hidden on top of a rock wall, but she’ll need to find a ladder to retrieve it. As she’s unveiling the ladder, the clue falls out of her bra. So now, she doesn’t know specifically where to look. This leads to her becoming stranded on a rock wall.

Yes, really.

She eventually figures out her way down and hides the ladder. Well, that was different.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will race through obstacles, then use a ball to release puzzle steps. Once they complete their puzzle staircase, they’ll race to the top of a tower and take on a second puzzle. The first person to complete the final puzzle will win immunity and spaghetti.

Result: Nick came from behind to claim immunity…and spaghetti. He’s allowed to pick two people to eat with him, so he chooses Angelina and Mike.

Why would he take Angelina? When did she ever provide food for him? Oh wait…

Jeff points out that Alison is never chosen for reward. As you’d imagine, she’s not thrilled about this statistic.

The Return of Jabeni

At the reward feast, Angelina tells Nick and Mike that she’s happy to go to the end with them because they all have different stories and they all have a shot to win. Hmmm…well…I guess one in a million is still technically a shot.

They debate between voting off Davie or Alison, with Nick wanting to keep Davie because Davie wouldn’t get many votes at the end. Wait, what?!

Oh, Nick lets us know that he doesn’t want to be the last David standing.

In other news, to allay fears that Alison may have an idol, Angelina confesses that she has already found the idol clue. So, Angelina insists that they find the idol immediately. She sends a visibly inebriated Mike to find the clue, which he does. And then they retrieve the idol as a team.

Back at the beach, Mike continues to push his anti-Davie agenda with Alison and Kara. Of course, they’re on board.

His next course of action is to try to get Angelina to buy into the Davie vote. However, she is non-commital.

Tribal Time

Alison and Davie both appreciate that they’re in trouble. But other than that, nothing terribly interesting was said.

Voting Time: Alison votes for Davie, Nick votes for Alison, and the rest of the votes are sooper secret.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…nobody does. We’ve got one vote for Davie, two votes for Alison, two votes for Davie, and the fifteenth person eliminated from “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” and the eighth member of the jury is…Davie.

As Davie is leaving, he tells the players that the person who orchestrated his elimination now has his vote…unless someone makes a bigger move. Ooo…

Post-Tribal Shenanigans…Againigans

Nick has a straight-up meltdown because Mike and Angelina lied over spaghetti. Over spaghetti! Angelina tries to convince Nick that he’s not next, but he doesn’t buy it.

Hey, most big rock bands break up eventually.

Immunity Challenge Time: Players will stand on a pole in the ocean and use a bucket to retrieve water and raise a key. Once they have the key they’ll swim to shore and solve a block puzzle. The first person to solve the puzzle wins immunity.

Result: Alison jumped out to a huge lead, but Nick was able to come from behind and claim immunity.

The Angelina Show

It seems like it should be an easy vote for Alison, but Angelina is determined to make a big Tribal with her as “the star of the show.” Hey, she’s gotta do something or she’s playing for third.

She tells Nick and Mike that she wants to have people vote for her so she can play her idol and look like a badass. Yeah, but why would Nick and Mike want to help you look better in front of the jury?

And, she wants to convince Alison to play a fake idol. And there will be guest stars and pyro and dance numbers…

She also gives Mike the job of lying to Alison and Kara…which would just make him look bad in front of future jurors.

Sure enough, Mike tells Kara the truth about what’s going on. Which then opens the door for her and Alison to talk to Nick about getting Mike out. Dun…dun…dun…

Later on, Alison discovers Angelina’s fake idol…but doesn’t seem too psyched about it.

Tribal Time

Alison does her best to paint Mike as a threat, but he thinks she should try to leave with a shred of dignity. Oof…rough thing to say to a potential juror.

Voting Time: Alison votes for Mike, Mike votes for Alison (and gives her a B+…hey, that’s my gimmick!), and the rest are secret.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…Alison plays the fake idol, even though she knows it’s fake. Then, Angelina plays her real idol for herself.

Alright, we’ve got one vote for Mike, two votes for Alison, and the sixteenth person voted out of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” and the ninth member of the jury is…Alison.

Immunity Challenge Time: The players will place a ball in the top of a wire structure. The ball will roll down and they’ll have to catch it at the bottom and put it back in the top. As time goes on they’ll add more balls. The last person with all their balls rolling will win immunity and get to decide who they’ll take along to the final three.

Result: Angelina is out first, then we lose Mike. It comes down to Kara and Nick with Nick winning his third straight immunity challenge.

Nick’s Choice

Back at camp, everyone is telling Nick why they shouldn’t have to make fire. He decides to spill the beans immediately and tells everyone that it’ll be Mike vs. Kara because they’ll be tough to beat at final Tribal.

Angelina takes this as proof of her persuasive nature. She doesn’t take this as proof that she can’t win? If I were in a mega underdog position, I’d insist on making fire.

But, she doesn’t see it that way. She insists that she can win.

In other news, Mike and Kara practice making fire. Kara seems to be good at it, whereas this seems to be Mike’s worst nightmare.

Tribal Time

We get right to it, with Nick telling Probst that he’s taking Angelina to the final three.

The Fire-Making Challenge That I Hate: You know the drill, the two players will have to make a fire that is tall enough to burn through a rope. The first person to achieve this feat will become the third member of the final three.

Result: Mike wins! Poor Kara couldn’t start a consistent flame. So, the seventeenth person eliminated from “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” and the tenth member of the jury is…Kara.

Brunch and Stuff

The trio is greeted by the traditional day-39 breakfast. For some reason, they tell each other that they love each other like a dozen times.

They then each tell us why they think they deserve to win with Angelina believing that she had the toughest road, Nick claiming to be the epitome of a David, and Mike saying that he was in the ear of people making big moves.

See…he is Jiminy Cricket.

My Thoughts: There’s no way Angelina can win this. Kudos for existing in the wilderness for that long, but I just don’t think highly of players who stick around because nobody is afraid to face them in front of a jury. It’s the same reason I think it’s sad when Phillip Sheppard says he was second place in “Survivor: Redemption Island.” It’s accurate, but it isn’t something to be proud of.

Mike did play a hell of a game. He was never going to beat anyone physically, but he was saying the right things to the right people at the right time. He deserves a lot of credit.

However, it’s gotta be Nick, right? He was almost out on day three, he weaved his way in and out of alliances, he was a part of some major moves, and he took home the last three immunities.

The Outwit Round – The Social Game

Elizabeth bats lead off, she claims that almost all of the jurors are undecided and that she won’t accept political answers.

Christian asks everyone to talk about a social move they’ve made. Nick admits to having one-on-one alliances with a bunch of people to get information and it helped them make big moves like voting out John.

John points out that the most important part of a wrestling match is the finish, however, he thinks Nick’s game peaked when he voted the Mayor out. Nick claims that he was upset when Carl and Davie were blindsided, so he reconnected with his Jabeni tribemates.

John asks Mike about his moves and before he can speak, Angelina decides it should be her turn to go. Oof…

She claims that the Goliaths and the Davids didn’t trust her after the Elizabeth vote. She said she finished strong by making moves with Carl and Christian. She then points out that she got rice for the whole tribe.


Anywho, Davie gets the line of the night by mentioning that the point of a selfless act is to be selfless about it.

Mike is finally given a chance to speak. He claims that he made final two deals with a variety of people and that he wanted to get rid of people who didn’t want to make those deals with him. He gives Gabby as an example.

Alison asks Mike if he has any regrets, and he says he regrets what he said at Tribal about her losing her dignity.

Mike then discusses how rough it was to be on the Goliath tribe, so he had to play up the fact that he was just happy to be there. Nick says he had the same “Aww shucks” personality, but he had to play harder and faster.

Probst asks if they’re done with the social portion and Christian says, “(Expletive deleted), no.”

Gabby gives Angelina props for being that last woman standing, saying that women are frequently viewed as bossy when they’re being aggressive.

Finally, Kara compliments all three of the players on their social game.

The Outplay Round – Living in the Wilderness, Twists, etc.

Dan points out that the first time they saw Mike make fire was the previous night. Mike claims that he wasn’t lazy, but he couldn’t build a shelter like Dan.

Davie then asks Angelina how she’s a David and how Nick is a Goliath. Angelina confesses that the challenges and outdoor living were very overwhelming for her. She then talks about how she got stuck looking for an idol.

Alison then asks if the point of the fake idol was to embarrass her. Angelina says it wasn’t, but Nick quickly says that was the point.

Nick then says that a Goliath can just do something. He claims that he’s just good at puzzles. He’s also a natural people person.

The Outlast Round – Final Pitches

Angelina thinks she’s a Goliath because she can do anything she sets her mind to. And as a military wife, she has to deal with a lot of adversity. She was able to find her way through the game and end up in a position of strength.

Nick has had tons of ups and downs, being swapped to a tribe where he was down in numbers, being the last David standing. His life is helping people with drug addiction because that’s how he lost his mother. So, helping others overcome the odds is his life.

Finally, Mike never really felt nervous. He wanted to play a good game and his personal struggle was “What do I stand for?” He wanted to find something worthy in his battle. And for him, it wasn’t about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it was about the rainbow.

Oh hey, Carl is there.

Voting Time: John votes for Nick, Dan slipped on his way to the booth, Gabby cried, Davie said a little prayer, and Christian voted for Mike. The rest of the votes were lost to the magic of editing.

JPro tallies, then makes his way back to Los Angeles. We’ve got one vote for Nick, three votes for Mike, four votes for Nick, and the winner of “Survivor: David vs. Goliath” is…Nick!

Verdict: Great season, just across the board. Wonderful players, twists that were mostly entertaining. Five stars.

Power Rankings Results: Bradley Kleihege got three players in the right spot for thirty points, I got all six players in the right spot for sixty points. So, the final score is Team Bradley 139, Team Gordon 184.

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