Okay I'm going to start by congratulating each of you for making it to where you did. Whilst I would have loved to see Dusk or Sean up there, I'm excited for you guys, but at the same time am genuinely perplexed as to who I should be voting for because all of you have positives and negatives that I can't quite elaborate on through my own internal monologuing and will require solid arguments from you to debate the legitimacy of your prowess or lack thereof in this game.
I'm going to break down each of you into three distinct areas; what I think you did wrong, what I think you did well, and why I will/will not be voting for you. My opinions are going to be easily changed if you can provide solid evidence against my claims so feel free to respond. I will also take into account your answers on other questions. My aim will not be to change the opinions of other jurors, as I feel that's a shit way to play the game (i.e. Spencer/David Murphy) and as such I will simply be stating my interpretations of the game and would like your responses.
Now, coming into this game I honestly was dealt an easy hand. I was on a good tribe (albeit from me doing a lot of work in the premerge challenges, single-handedly winning on multiple occasions), and I had people in the game I knew priorly and would be able to work with, or choose to go against. Tyler, you presented yourself straight away as someone I was going to need to choose to either work with, or get out easily, and I ended up going with you. This is something I am weary about with your game because I don't think you did anything in order to coax me into this, I feel that you genuinely were just there and a convenient addition to an already forming core of myself, Sean and Justin. Now, I'll give credit where it is due and you did end up outlasting me, but I don't feel you played a good game along the way in doing so. You are someone that has been in power every step of the way in this game, but someone I feel has done nothing with it. At any given time you had the position to make a crucial move to further yourself in the game, and you did not take it. This is something I find inherently different between the likes of my game or say, Dusk's game, and yours. I went out of this game swinging, trying to do everything I could to keep myself, Sean and Linus in the game. I always felt like you didn't care enough to really try anything and didn't ever want to make a move that could really paint yourself as a clear choice to vote to win. As such I would like to know, what did you actually do to enhance your chances at winning? From my perspective, I didn't see you ever really play the strategic side of the game, you won final immunity by literally doing nothing but submitting and were just saved by the fact that no one else did anything and Dusk misunderstood that 0% was a score that was actually allowed to be submitted, and your claims of 'trying hard in every challenge pre-merge' don't quite hold up in my perspective, clearly diminishing the 'physical' side of the game. I can't speak for everyone on the social side of the game, and quite frankly would be biased anyway to bring up anything social as I had the pleasure of knowing you and being quite close with you before the game, something I hope continues after this is all over :), so we never had that instant need to connect. That's really my view on your game, that it was just so... meh. You didn't have any super strong selling points in any areas despite many, many, many opportunities to really sell yourself to the jury by being a standout in any areas.
Your game did feature positives, you did find an idol and whilst it never ended up mattering because Sean went 3-2, it did still emphasise the wish to go out and solve the puzzle to find it. You really didn't have negatives in your game, just nothing terrific either. I don't think you played badly at all, and I do think if you were sitting with the right group of people, you'd win, but I think those two people went out in tenth and ninth place. Needless to say, whatever you did worked because you are sitting in the final three and I am not, whether that's from your own doing or simply tagging along for the ride is not for me to criticise, and I will give credit where it is due, you did outlast me and you did make the end. Let's see if you actually did enough along the way in order for it to mean anything.
So overall, I find it very hard to vote you for the simple matter that I can't pinpoint anything you did. Even in your opening speech you were just so bland with everything and had no specific things that you truly could exclaim as 'this was what I did'. It was all so generic to me and I don't think generic wins Survivor. I could be wrong, and still very easily could be persuaded to vote for you, so don't count yourself out just yet.
I will now move on to Jenna. I am so torn on whether you are the most amazing player to grace this game, or whether you were really not good at all. I don't think there was ever a single time in the game when you were brought up as a target to go home. SImilarly to Tyler, I really don't know if this is something that you can hold your hat on, or again something that just occured as you sat back and watched it happen. One of two options is what has happened in you being in final three, one great for you, one that will diminish any chance of you getting my vote and I need your answer of which it is. The first of these is that you are just through and through a goat that was dragged along. From where I stand the lines are incredibly blurry as to whether or not you actually ever did anything, and actually ever had the drive to do anything, because it seems equally as likely to me that you did or that you didn't. Now, in this regard I really do think there is substantial backing behind it. I seemed to be the only person that ever seemed to see you as the mastermind or the big strategic threat, and no one ever seemed to want to target you or want to get you out. This really makes me think that your game was all a figment of my imagination and I am just some deranged lunatic that couldn't tell which way was up in this game. I hope this one isn't the case but it does seem like it very well could be. I also think you suffer from the same fatal problem that Tyler does. Did you actually ever make the most of your opportunities you were presented with and play the game hard? I can't put my finger on it, but I just get a really odd feeling about the two of you, and I think it dates back to my elimination. I feel like, and I probably have a lot of bitter bias involved in this, that it was just a stupid move from those in power to have voted me out. Like, I just don't get it. You had the perfect opportunity to take someone who had no game left at that point, and use them for your benefit, and you just didn't. I don't see the logic in it, and your failure to really impress me with a standout play, as with Tyler, just leaves me observing your game as just so bland and dull. As such, I again go back to the thought process that you just maybe never had the control I thought you did and the reason you didn't seem to ever do anything flashy was because you simply couldn't, so this is very important for me to know because it very likely will be the deciding factor in whether you get my vote or not. Did you actually ever do anything or did you just float through being irrelevant? I'm so torn on this so an answer would be great.
There does indeed come a flipside in which I feel like you could have played a terrific game that no one managed to catch onto until it was too late. You (as far as I know) were never ever a target to be going home, and you managed to evade everyone's detection the whole time. If I was correct, and you really did have a masterful control over everyone, then I applaud you. If you are this tremendous mastermind then you have played such an incredible and dominating game that I will definitely vote you because you pulled some Kim Spradlin, Derrick Levasseur shit and had the wool pulled so far over everyone's eyes that we may as well start calling you Mary because you certainly found your little lambs to drag along with you for the ride. I can count numerous times I had people come to me saying 'oh my gosh we should get rid of Tyler, we can't trust him' or times people were like 'yo fam Cecil is going to wipe the floor with us at the end, I think it's time to take out Cecil'. I can't remember a single time someone ever came to me with the plan to vote you, and the only time I ever mentioned it when I was about to go home as a possible vote, Alex just instantly went like 'no I don't want to, I'm not comfortable voting Jenna' and I assume just ran straight to you. Now if this was actually a tactic on your part then you did so well and I applaud you for it.
So to summarise this, you either played an awful game as a Natalie Tenerelli type goat, or you played a freaking beautiful game as a Boston Rob that was in power the whole time and yet everyone was too blind to ever do anything about it. I really want clarity on this, as well as you emphasising if you actually did anything big, because it seemed any time I came to you with a proposal to make a move against any faction, it was just 'oh you could, but maybe not'. That stubbornness was present in so many places, it was there when I wanted to keep Ben over Bernardus, it was there when I tried to coax everyone into voting Sean so I could idol him (had I caught on just a second earlier and idoled Linus I don't think you'd even be sitting up there in the finals), and it was there when I time and time again was telling the truth in that I wasn't going after you to go home. You simply didn't hear me out, and as such wasted a perfect opportunity to really prove yourself. This is why I also don't think I will be voting you unless you can provide solid reasons as to why I should. You can sway me, but you can't just sit back and half-ass it. If you want my vote, prove it.
Ah the moment I've been waiting for... Cecil. I've waited to be able to write this for so long. You and I go back a fair way. I hosted you in what I think was your first ORG ever, I hosted you again in another ORG, and it was finally time to play with you. Day one when tribe designation came out and I saw we were separated I was crushed. However I'm not going to make this vote personal, I'm going to make this fair, so I'm not going to go easy on you and will give the same treatment as Tyler or Jenna. Now, Cecil, I think you did play a fairly well rounded game, but I really can't quite decide if you truly are the person I want to vote for. Deep down inside I can't picture myself not voting for you, but then I look at your game and I just think, damn, was there ever a time you truly really cared? You abstained from so many challenges, had self votes, had strikes against you, there was just a lot that seemed like you didn't ever have the motivation to care. It was so unlike what I had seen of you previously, as I always saw you as someone that was such a strong player, and you dominated in Ural Mountains. If you were that Cecil sitting in front of me now, then you would have my vote ten thousand times over. I just worry that you really weren't. Where was the challenge beast Cecil, the strategy prowess Cecil, the super threat Cecil that had to be taken down at any cost? (Edit: After reading your speech and understanding the reason behind this I apologise for my bluntness.) I once again am torn as to whether you really did play this game well or if you also just coasted along to the end. The difference between you, Jenna and Tyler is, that I can't think of a single negative to fault you on despite this. Sure you were a tad inactive at times, but so were the others at places. For someone that went to so many tribals and had so many opportunities to have messed something up, you did so well to keep your composure.
You really played the game perfectly with the hand you were dealt and that's what I can't stress enough. You really did play a game that was incredible to watch from my perspective because unlike the other two you were never in a power spot but worked day in and day out to fight to stay. Sure, you don't have flashy moves to your name, but neither does Tyler or Jenna as far as I can see, and they actually had the numbers to do so. You were just one hella rad player that was given a shit deck of cards to play with. You had a 2 and a 5 whilst Tyler had a pair of Aces and Jenna had a pair of Kings, however I do think when the cookie crumbled and those middle cards were turned over and a 3, 4 and 6 were revealed, your bad hand turned into the winning deal and you convinced the guy with the Aces and the chick with the Kings to go all in with you, earning you the massive pot at the end. Now, poker analogies aside, I genuinely think it's an apt comparison to make. You were never on top of the game just by principle, and yet you always fought to try make something from the position you did find yourself in. You always worked your way so flawlessly and so elegantly through the game and always had a will to push the envelope and really make a big play when no one else had the balls to. You were there when we planned the Alex blindside by idoling Sean, and you were the key reason that the plan had any chance of working. You really did so much to play the game well and even though you could never quite get your footing in a power spot, you showed the most important thing that there is to show in a Survivor game. Sure you can win challenges, or be besties with everyone, but you had the one quality that is inherently necessary to win; adaptability. You always had a backup, always had a way out, always had something to do when everyone else would have just layed down and died. You played from the bottom so damn well, and as someone who plays from the bottom a lot both in Survivor ORGs and on drunken friday nights, you earnt my respect in leaps and bounds.
I will be voting for you unless otherwise convinced, and I hope that you get two more to get the win. You really played so well from the spot you were in and I congratulate you so much for having played such a good game. I think I speak on behalf of myself, Aren, John Petrucci, Danny Gluck and anyone else you crossed paths with in this crazy ORG career you have, when I say that you are a tremendous person, a tremendous Survivor player, and hopefully after this is done, a tremendous winner. I wish you the best.
So to wrap up this behemoth of a jury speech, I'd like to thank the hosts, all the prejury and my fellow jurors, as well as you finalists for making this such a fun experience for me to play in, and if I return to an All-Stars season alongside you or cross paths with you in other ORGs, then I really do look forward to what new and exciting opportunities that will bring to us.
Tyler, you're a great friend and I'm glad to have played along side you, but I just don't know if you did enough for me to vote you as you always were in a spot to do more.
Jenna, you were someone I thought was a freaking mastermind of this game, but upon further inspection I think I might have just been delusional.
Cecil, you were a hella player and you did so well to even be here when you were nearly voted out so many times, but your inactivity at stages is slightly compromising.
Can't wait to hear your responses, as even though I'm fairly sure I know who is getting my vote, you can change that. . Peace out bitches, and I hope anyone that did read this whole thing doesn't need to buy eyedrops from having to stare at a screen for that long.