Here's how great of a Survivor player bridal shop owner Kim Spradlin was: Not only was she the clear strategic frontrunner for most of the season, she swept the final four immunity challenges, breezed through the jury's cross-examinations, and won the million dollars by a landslide (7-2-0). AND THEN she won an additional $100,000 as America's favorite player. Though Kim's ultimate victory over Sabrina and Chelsea rendered a majority of Survivor: One World dull and suspense-free, there's no denying that the most deserving person won.
The most surprising part of the Survivor: One World finale was just how good-spirited everybody was. From the level-headed eliminations of Alicia and then Christina to the jury questioning in which very few people seemed to harbor serious ill will toward the final three women, the level of likeability on display did much to overwrite the extremely unpleasant, hate-laced beginnings of the season. Even Kat, who over the past few weeks had seemed poised to really cause a ruckus during jury questioning, instead used her time to announce that she was due for a preventative heart surgery next year and that everyone present should drop any petty grievances and just enjoy life. Add to that Chelsea appearing genuinely moved by Tarzan's declaration of love for his own wife and the traditionally fraught segment ended up as moving as I've ever seen it.
The Jeff Probst-led live reunion furthered the healing by bringing a measure of closure for many of the hotter-button issues of Survivor: One World. The truly loathsome (on the show, anyway) Colton received a bit of redemption from Probst when Colton's mother stood up and affirmed that she was not thrilled with Colton's behavior on the island but knew he hadn't meant it. She also poignantly contradicted Probst when he suggested that Colton came from a loving family who had supported him when he came out of the closet. Turns out that's not the case. If we're being honest, this was actually an excruciating and slightly exploitative moment, but it was still nice seeing Colton's psyche laid bare like this; he seemed a lot more human. For his part, he did seem pretty contrite about having said some vaguely racist things on the show and admitted that he'd been wrong to say them. Similarly, special-ed teacher (and similarly awful) Alicia was reduced to tears while apologizing for comparing Christina to her special-needs students. At the very least the players were reminded that playing up certain attitudes on camera really can have negative real-world consequences. It was nice that Probst addressed these specific issues head-on.
Let's see, what else of note occurred? Oh, Jay got a better haircut! And Bill was rocking a Purple Rain-era Prince 'do! And in case you're interested, the next season of Survivor will be called Survivor: Philippines and feature three returning players (who'd each been forced out of their respective seasons for medical reasons). While Survivor: One World wasn't exactly a classic season, it did reveal an unhappy fact about casting: Sometimes great players don't make for great television. Still though, Kim deserved every penny.
What did YOU think of Survivor: One World? Did the right person win?