Back at camp after Malcolm's ousting, Denise is almost sad that Malcolm is gone, but knows that this is the game, and she outwitted him in the end. Malcolm certainly thinks shell win it; apparently he congratulated her on her million dollars as he left Tribal Council.
Mike thinks he'll have to something to say about that, but he obviously hasn't realized what a talented and convincing talker she is. When Jonathan talked to you, you realized you were being worked over, but you didn't mind because he was so charming, With Denise, you don't even realize that she's changed your mind with subtle suggestions.
Thankfully, we go straight into Tribal Council. Everyone on the jury is so much cleaner than Mike, Lisa, and Denise. And I think that Abi looks better without makeup.
Opening statements start, and Denise is good. She is unapologetic, and points out that she's survived being on three different tribes, and survived every single tribal council. Lisa is next, and is almost defending herself against how much better Denise played. She does get better in the end when she talks about how she changed her game after her brother reminded her that it is, after all, just a game. Mike immediately talks about being a returning player. He says he "played his guts out" so I don't think he knows how inept he looked at the beginning (although he certainly pulled it out in the end.)
Now it's time for the jury to speak, and we start out with Artis. He is bitter, bitter, bitter, and refuses to congratulate them because they weren't loyal? Is he only talking to Mike and Lisa? Or just Lisa? No one answers him, I guess because he didn't really ask a question.
Carter is up next, and is an all-around nice guy like he usually is. He asks Mike about how he felt when he (Mike) knew that Carter was going to go home. Mike tells him that they had to get rid of him essentially because he was a threat and Abi wasn't.
Pete is also bitter, and wants to know why she betrayed him and Artis. Lisa gets a chance to clear the air, and states that she did not vote for Artis, and had no idea he was going home. I love how they made sure that Lisa knew she was at the bottom of the alliance, and they would get rid of her at the first opportunity, but they (Pete, Artis, and Abi) are bitter that she "betrayed" them. Pete then asks Denise why she's a better player than the rest, and Denise awesomely points out that they never should have gotten rid of RC, because it gave non-Tangdang players a chance to pick them off one by one.
Now it's RC's turn; she starts by over-complimenting Lisa, and asks Mike if he should have told her something the day she went home. Mike emphatically states that he did not vote for RC, which is important to her because she was pretty loyal to him. I think she'll vote for him.
Malcolm is up, and he liked Lisa's speech, but he calls out Denise at her appeasing, placating, therapist thing she has going on. She admits to it, and puts value on listening to people and appeasing and reacting to them, and tell Malcolm that she's better because he's sitting there and he's not. He doesn't seem to like the answer. Oh Malcolm, you were going to do the exact same thing to her, and you would have expected her to take it better.
Jeff really could have done better in this game, and he knows it too. But he's agreeable about his sour grapes, probably because he's already made millions and just wanted to win for the sake of winning. Mike thinks that he made things happen, but it didn't really look that way to the rest of us.
Lisa thinks she made a major move, and talks about betraying her knowledge of Malcolm's idol, which is probably not the best answer. Jeff also argues with Lisa's answer, which tells me that he'll be voting for Denise.
Ah. Now it's Abi's turn. She immediately starts talking about herself, and how her heart is broken that they didn't like her. I believe her that she doesn't know who she's voting for, because she hates all of them. Denise does the best at answering her, perhaps because she's used to dealing with the crazy.
Jonathan is next, and pontificates for a while about how it sucks for him not to be sitting on the other time, but congratulates them nonetheless. And then he calls Denise a b----. No, really, he does. Then he brings up that Mike, who claims to have had a target on his back the whole time, but he never had his name written down.
For Lisa, his friend, he outs her past on the "Facts of Life," in case that affects someone else's decision. Wow, he's much more bitter than he seemed to be when he left. Maybe he's just trying to be memorable.
Finally, it's voting time! Although we won't see it until everyone is all clean and non-emaciated (it always amuses me to see how different they look at the beginning of the reunion juxtaposed against their grody 39-day selves.) We see RC vote for Lisa, Jonathan vote for Denise, and Carter vote for Mike.
Jeff starts out the live portion of the show taking a moment of silence for the victims of the Sandy Hook School Shooting, which makes the results of this show seem even more trivial than they usually do.
Once he starts counting votes, things start going Denise's way very quickly. We only see six votes, but four of them were for Denise, which is enough, and she wins the million dollars.
Well, I can't say she doesn't deserve it. She did it so quietly that most people didn't realize how seamlessly she blended into three different tribes and flew under the radar until it was too late.
See you next season!
TV LUST BLOGGERS
Wesley Case is a south Jersey native and a Delaware grad. Since October 2008, I've worked at b, reporting music stories that focus on Baltimore's burgeoning scene and the music outside the city that matters to you. More ...