Earl Cole has, very deservingly, won Survivor Fiji.
In a controversy-laden finale, which found Dreamz reneging on the deal he made with Yao Man to give Yao his immunity necklace in exchange for the truck that Yao won at an earlier challenge, the most level headed, smartest player ended up taking home the big prize in a unanimous vote. I couldn't be happier.
No matter how many season finales of Survivor I have watched over the years (and there's a whole lot of them), I always get excited when the final Tribal Council rolls around. Invariably one or two contestants totally embarrass themselves by revealing how petty they are, while a couple other contestants generally prove themselves to be more mature than I may have originally given them credit for. Alex and Lisi definitely fall into the former category, as both made total asses out of themselves. Alex -- we get it, you're a lawyer. You're also lame.
Stacey, meanwhile, asked a very valid question that gave Earl an opportunity to remind the jury that the prize should not be awarded based on need, but based on merit. Apparently, the jury members all listened.
Yao, too, was a very good sport, considering he probably should have won the top prize. He was constantly surprising and entertaining, winning tons of challenges, and strategizing like a madman. To be honest, I can't say I blame Dreamz for his decision -- to pass up a chance at $1 million dollars just because he gave his word is totally contrary to the way the game should be played, and Yao has to have known that he took a big chance in making the deal in the first place.
I didn't like, however, that Dreamz refused to admit that he had originally taken the deal thinking he was going to honor it -- anyone who watched the show over the past few weeks could clearly see that was his original intent, and he later changed his mind when he realized what he had agreed to. It was, however, pretty dang amusing to watch Jeff Probst try to draw that out of him!
All in all, a pretty entertaining season, and a deserving winner. See ya next year in China, Survivor!