Tonight marks the final episode of "Survivor: Cagayan," the 28th season of the best reality TV competition show on the planet. Sit back and relax, as we get you primed on everything you need to know heading into tonight's final episode where we will see on of the four remaining contestants crowned Sole Survivor and handed a million dollar check.
So here is what we know: First, tonight's episode will be a two-hour finale, followed by the one hour Live Reunion Show hosted by Jeff Probst. Probst has also announced that he will begin the three-hour festivity on the air live, chiming in every so often during the two-hour episode making this year's finale more of a shared, interactive experience. Expect several hashtags to populate your TV screen tonight.
Then there is the sly twist just revealed to us this past week: That this season will feature a Final Two and not a Final Three. That means there are still two Immunity Challenges and three total Tribal Councils yet to come.
Incredibly in its 28th season, the events of tonight's finale will go a long way in shaping how this season will be remembered in the halls of Survivor history. Many agree that this has been one of the best seasons in quite a while and possibly one of the best seasons featuring all-new players since the show's very first. Who wins and how it plays out will surely have a lot to do with where this season ranks (my season rankings by the way, as well as my updated list of Best Survivor Winners, will be out by Friday).
We also know that we are down to four contestants, but to say that they all stand an equal chance of winning would not be entirely accurate. Here first, is the official synopsis of tonight's finale from CBS, before we break-down each player's chances in the game:
Finale Episode – “It’s Do or Die” - AFTER NEARLY 40 CHALLENGING DAYS, ONE CASTAWAY WILL BE CROWNED THE SOLE SURVIVOR AND AWARDED $1 MILLION ON A SPECIAL TWO-HOUR SEASON FINALE OF “SURVIVOR,” FOLLOWED BY A LIVE REUNION SHOW, WEDNESDAY, MAY 21. After nearly 40 challenging days, one castaway will be crowned the Sole Survivor and awarded $1 million on a special two-hour season finale of SURVIVOR, Wednesday, May 21 (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT), followed by a live reunion show hosted by Jeff Probst (10:00-11:00PM, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network. Eyeing a spot in the final three, one castaway pulls one of the greatest comebacks in Survivor history, and the final castaways face a bitter jury when pleading their case for the $1 million prize.
Analysis. So who will win "Survivor: Cagayan"? Will it be Tony, who dominated the game strategically from the get-go? Will it be Spencer, the against-all-odds perennial fan favorite who has somehow managed to stay alive in this game? Could it be Woo, the martial arts master who seems to be very well-liked by all? Or could the impossible...the unthinkable happen? Is there a scenario where Kass wins the million?
The short answer: No. If we know one other thing heading into tonight's episode, it's that Kass has an incredible chance of making it to the Final Two, and that's because the other three all would love to sit next to her in the end, because she has no chance of getting jury votes. Sure, Kass could muster a couple votes, theoretically and depending on who she is sitting next to, but she is simply not all that well-liked or respected by the current members of the jury. So for Kass, it's a very high probability that she makes it to the end. But the interesting part will be to see who she is sitting next to in the end, because that person is the one who will become Sole Survivor.
And that's too bad, by the way, because I personally like Kass and I really do feel she played a cunning game. But in the end, it comes down to the jury and unfortunately, their hurt feelings and bruised egos. Those being taken into account, a Kass win is the unlikeliest of scenarios.
The other unlikely outcome - but far from impossible - is that Spencer wins the game. At Final Four, he still faces a must-win in order to even make it to Final Three. I would think that Woo, Tony and Kass would all want him gone, knowing he's a shoe-in to win if he makes it to the end. That's why the Final Two twist might be the cruelest thing that could have happened to Spencer. It means he has to not only win the next Immunity, but the one after that, in order to secure his place in the end. That would end up being four straight Immunity wins, a feat that would tie a Survivor record set by Kelly Wigglesworth back in Season 1. But hey, Kelly was in the same situation back then, needing to win to stay in the game. It has been done. Just not in the past 27 seasons.
We all know that Woo could win the game if he sits next to Kass, or if he sits next to Tony with an overly bitter jury in front of them, but let's face it: This season will not feel like a success unless either Spencer or Tony wins the million dollars. So we know that Spencer wins if he can just pull off two more Immunity Challenge victories. But what is Tony's path and how does he get there?
Tony, who looked like an absolute sure-thing to win the game just a week or two ago, suddenly faces a very difficult road. His Immunity Idol lie - where he is telling people that he is safe at the next Tribal Council - may just be the lie that propels Tony forward in the game. If Spencer wins Immunity and Tony bluffs with his Idol, the votes will have to go towards Kass or Woo, and again, it behooves nobody to eliminate Kass. So my best prediction says that Spencer is out first, unless he wins Immunity in which I believe Woo will be sent home next.
If Woo is gone first, it will all come down to that last challenge. If Tony wins, he takes Kass to Final Two. If Spencer wins, he takes Kass to Final Two. And if Kass wins, I believe she takes Tony with her to Final Two. Breaking down those numbers, its a nearly foregone conclusion that Kass makes it to the end, and then a 66% chance that Tony is sitting next to her.
For the viewer? A Spencer-Tony Final Two would be the most rewarding conclusion. But the only way this happens is if Spencer wins and chooses to sit next to Tony over Kass. Why would he do such a thing? So don't look for this combination to happen.
Crunching all of these numbers and scenarios until my head is spinning, I still feel like Tony is the odds-on favorite to win it all. And it will be well-deserved.
So who do you think will be crowned Sole Survivor? Who are you rooting against? Would you be disappointed in this season depending on who ends up winning? Post your thoughts!
How Season-Ending Coverage Will Work: Later on tonight, expect an instant reaction analysis followed by my full Finale Episode recap and a separate Live Reunion Show recap article. On Thursday, you will not want to miss my exclusive one-on-one exit interviews with each of the four remaining contestants, Tony, Spencer, Kass and Woo. Then by Friday, see if you agree with my updated Season rankings as well as my all-time Survivor winner's list. Where will Cagayan and its winner rank? Find out Friday!
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