Give him credit where it’s due. If nothing else, the ludicrously entertaining Greg “Tarzan” Smith exited “Survivor: One World” exactly as you’d want him to: wearing an extra-tight bloodstained tank top and dirty panties on his head.
After almost 40 days and innumerable twist and turns along the way, Tarzan’s shot at the million-dollar prize ended Wednesday night just short of the elite final five. Since he was the last man standing, Tarzan’s exit marks the end of the season’s battle of the sexes — a battle the women won decisively, despite a very rocky start. Now, only five players remain going into Sunday night’s season finale:
loudmouth Alicia, timid Christina, measured Sabrina, cowgirl Chelsea and Kim, long considered the front-runner to win the game.
Ahead of the season’s grand finale, MTV News teamed up with two-time “Survivor” contestant Rob Cesternino to pour one out for Tarzan and to look ahead at a finale that promises a whole lot of Kimsanity.
MTV News: Sadly, the game is no longer afoot for Tarzan. I’m sorry to see him go, but you have to give credit to the guy for doing his part to stick around. He made a decent attempt at keeping himself in the game for the long haul, even if the crazy in him won out in the end.
Rob Cesternino: The funny thing about Tarzan is, OK, we know he’s the guy who says things like “the game is afoot,” “it’s not poop, it’s dirt” and “I’ve got underwear on my head.” But Tarzan may have been the second-best player still in the game, besides Kim. He was making a lot of sense these last couple of weeks in between doing all of the crazy stuff. I wonder just how much the antics were there just to throw people off the scent, that he actually did know what was going on. He definitely made every valid point that he possibly could have made to Alicia, why to keep him in the game. But somehow she ends up believing Kim of all people, the best manipulator in the game. “You should definitely do what I want you to do, not what Tarzan wants you to do.” And she goes for it!
MTV: Does that decision come down to the stupidity of Alicia or the brilliance of Kim?
Cesternino: It’s a little bit of both. Kim is head and shoulders the most dominant player of this season, and it seems like a coronation is waiting for her on Sunday. But for Alicia, for someone who constantly tells us that she’s in control of the game? She made a very bad decision this week to get rid of Tarzan, who she was controlling the vote of. She was telling him and Christina what to do.
She was the head of an alliance, and she basically turned that control over to Chelsea. I know it would have been a three-to-three tie, but she’s wearing the immunity necklace. She has nothing to lose in a purple-rock scenario.
MTV: Nothing to lose immediately, but if her numbers are on the losing end of that tie …
Cesternino: But the best Alicia is going to do is fourth place anyway. With Kim, Chelsea and Sabrina aligned as the final three, the best she can do is fourth. Her best strategic move would have been to force the purple rock, I think.
MTV: At the same point, Kim’s loyalties have been very flexible in this game. She’s played both sides the entire time. How sturdy do you think her final-three pact with Chelsea and Sabrina really is? Is there no room for Alicia to sneak in there?
Cesternino: The thing that feels so concrete about Sabrina, Chelsea and Kim in the final three is that all three of those people want that to be the final three. Unless Alicia goes on an immunity run, there’s no chance that any of those people will defect from their final three, unless Kim realizes that Christina and Alicia would make for the better final three pairing. I kind of feel like Kim has it in the bag no matter what. The one person who might give Kim a run for her money is Sabrina. I feel like she’s the one person who maybe some of the guys like, and there’s a chance she’d get some votes. But I think it’s Kim’s game to lose. I just don’t see who takes her out.
MTV: And that’s why I think she needs to take Alicia or Christina or both to the end — they’re so much easier to beat than Chelsea and Sabrina. Don’t you think that possibly might be too tempting for her to resist?
Cesternino: I think Kim will certainly be tempted, and I do think that’s a better finals matchup than versus Chelsea and Sabrina.
But for whatever reason, I don’t think Kim is going to totally screw over her alliance, even to have a better final matchup at the last tribal council. I think she’s loyal, though manipulative. I think she’s less likely to backstab Chelsea and Sabrina.
MTV: Meanwhile, everyone was thinking about voting Chelsea out this week instead of Tarzan. It was ultimately Kim’s call on who to side with: work Alicia over and get her support in voting out Tarzan, or join forces with the little guys and boot her pal Chelsea out. If you were in Kim’s shoes, who would you have aimed for in that situation?
Cesternino: For Kim, I think that she made a good move in getting rid of Tarzan. Had he made it to the end with all of those men on the jury, he’s someone who would have been an opposition candidate.
If Kim’s sitting there with another girl and Tarzan, then Tarzan could get the men’s vote, which is a vote against the women voting all of the men out of the game. It’s possible that Tarzan would have a shot at winning the game. I think Kim made the right move to get rid of Tarzan this week.
MTV: Looking ahead to the finale, Kat was so angry on the jury this week — she’s clearly very pissed off at her former allies, and I don’t think she’s the only one over there feeling raw. I’m getting the sense that we’re looking at Bitter Jury Syndrome come Sunday night.
Cesternino: I think the jury is very bitter. It should be a good show on Sunday to see where all of this animosity is targeted, because it’s not necessarily all directed at Kim. There could be a lot of petty stuff going on with the other players. With Boston Rob’s jury, there were a lot of angry jurors, but they were all yelling at Philip and at Natalie. You never really know where that animosity is going to be channeled. Yeah, it could go towards Kim. But at the end of the day, we’ve seen so much of Kim this season. I would be very surprised if she’s not the winner.
Get more of Rob’s thoughts on “Survivor” by following him on Twitter.
Previously on MTV’s “Survivor” coverage … » Troyzan surrenders his island » Leif gets blown away » Kimsanity starts heating up » Tarzan denies “poop pants” allegations » Colton’s appendix succumbs to evil
What did you think of this week’s “Survivor”? Let me know in the comments section or hit me up on Twitter at @roundhoward!