What a season, gang. Sort of. The pre-merge stands as one of the best ever, and the post-merge stands as…one of the most predictable ever, from the outside. Players suddenly had an aversion to improving their lots, it seemed, by doing anything at all besides writing. However, there were still a few players who played some strong post-merge games. Let’s see which of these folks was considered to be one of them.

Brian David

“The responses to the questions were pretty thorough, so I’ll be succinct as I can:

Christina, you played a game that was surgical in its precision. Great writing combined with excellent decisions, and a deep passion to make it to the end. It’ll be a game a lot of us will be dissecting for a while.

Erik, you played well and your writing was excellent (your Bantam Bulwyr is one of my favorite entries of the season). However, you drew up a little short in the end; there wasn’t enough fighting spirit in your answers, no real desire to win.

Congrats, Christina, and to everyone for playing a great game.”

Annette Barron

I once told you that you are the only person I wouldn’t absolutely hate to lose to in this game. Surprisingly, that was a true statement. You played a great game and I enjoyed reading everything you wrote. I miss our daily emails; you were a fantastic ally. (I’m looking into getting us a two-for-one deal on Drake’s Survivor PTSD couch.)

I vote for: CHRISTINA PEPPER

Jack Haas

“Maybe it’s vanity, but it seemed like the biggest vote that determined who was going to have a chance to win the game was the one that I was eliminated in (5 players remaining). That scuttled not only my chances but also probably Annette’s as well. Which brings me to the question of who gets credit for making that move happen and is that alone enough to determine where my vote should go?

Christina didn’t have an option in that vote, while Erik did, so Erik certainly had more to do with who went out. Erik, and Bret, but he’s not at issue here, had put himself in a position where he didn’t have to put all his eggs in one basket. That counts for something.

I think Christina being the larger immunity threat for the remainder of the game (especially compared to myself) and still managing to convince the others to vote to keep her around counts quite a bit in her favor. Then you factor in what she did with that opportunity, winning every immunity from there to the end, and I have my decision.

Both played good games from what I can tell, but I vote for Christina to win.”

That’s it, folks. We have our winner.

The Winner of Spookymilk Survivor XV: Christina “Assault And” Pepper

Before I move on, let’s finish out the votes.

Bret Highum

“Although both players were definitely deserving of their trip to the finals, from my viewpoint Christina did a bit more to get both of them there. Close race, but the Pepper rises to the top.”

Margaret Martin

“Are we supposed to say more? Or just vote? Anyway, if we’re supposed to say more:

Christina played a good game. She produced excellent writing on critical challenges, she was able to bring a lot of people into her fold by being genuine and fun, and when the time came, she schemed and obfuscated like a champ. She earned this win.

xoxo, Margaret”

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As the viewers predicted, Pepper gets aaaaaallllll the chips and pulls down the rare unanimous victory. She was in trouble a lot in this game – Erik voted for her early, which she didn’t know before now (and Erik weirdly didn’t point out in his jury plea) but she survived using both the scheming and the writing methods, essentially becoming the player that every fan can love!

Erik, for his part, never did show on my end that he controlled enough of the shenanigans. Either he did and didn’t forward them, or he really was as quiet as I thought. It’s a shame, because he was putting together a pretty nice Survivor XIII before he was blindsided (although I suppose that might be why he was gunshy).

Can you believe Pepper finished in the top two spots in her first two games? Impossible! Well, okay, this is actually the second time that’s happened, but it sounds impossible, right? Anyway, now you all get to look for her in Survivor XVI and make sure she goes early (kidding, kidding!).

How can I wrap this game up without talking about Annette and Jack? God, Annette, this game was masterful. The plan to take Pepper to the finals was a little bit of an eyebrow-raiser, but other than that, after you got over your initial shock of Melissa’s elimination (which, by the way, was the right play for all three guys who made it) you eventually played a game so good that I’m not sure I could have cheered for even DK or Brooks against you. Okay, I could, but they’re the only ones.

Jack, meanwhile, was the perfect complement to that. The two of them came from different sides of FRH, but stuck together trading off times saving each other’s asses, while also enjoying Leif’s nonsub. Jack quietly put together more alliances than I can possibly count and played a game where it was near impossible for him to finish outside the top five. Then Bret messed up and eliminated him, stopping his game dead. Ahem.

Rusty and the 3 Rs. The Beau/Colin/Brian connection that nobody’s quite sure ever existed. Will’s tomfoolery reaching an apex. Three write-offs in the span of four challenges. Penis monsters. Mouth doors. Earring trophies. Katie Walter, for some reason. It was a pretty sweet season, guys, even if all three of us who picked a winner at the merge picked Pepper (seriously, we did) and it played out pretty much as we imagined.

Also, look at the women and their return to Survivor. They won two of the first four games, and were shut out until XIII. Now they’ve got two writing seasons in a row. Well done, ladies…well done.

Jury Room

Game Notes

Voting

Scoring

Cheers, Survivor.

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