Hello one last time, Survivors. Did you know?: at 95 days, this was the third-shortest game in history. Pretty sweet, huh? Take notes, Novak. And no more tribe swaps. And no 14-person merges. And no more Annettes and Mollys. Am I getting off track here? I’m getting off track here. Let’s see who won this game, out of a pair of very strong competitors.

Here are the votes, which are named. You’ll note that some of these people wrote more than others. That’s cool, I guess. None of the jurors are Novak, so that keeps the word count down. WOOOOO, STRIKE AFTER STRIKE TO NOVAK’S STUPID ELVISH FACE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Jerky Smuggler

Spacegirl-Gloom played a great game but Spacegirl worked harder and deserves the win IMO.

Groovy Loaf

Spacegirl, I wish I could give you my vote. If you had shown up at the final two with anybody else, I absolutely would have. The fact that you arrogantly assumed you could beat Gloom, means you’ve found a home at the House of Milk. Bunch of arrogant assholes, the lot of them (us). But you should have taken Gloom out instead of Trip. The fact that all three of you ignored the obvious and didn’t send one vote Gloom’s way, means that she played a brilliant game.

Gloom, just so you know, the newbie girl disguise lasted until the merge, but not much past it. But to your credit, I couldn’t seem to find a way to remedy my mistake. I cry foul at you trying to take any credit for the ouster of Claw (aside from the obvious), but it doesn’t really matter. Paranoia took care of him for you. Kelly will back me up, but it was always my goal to find you and become your ally because of our success in other games. So I got my wish and it was a great partnership for a really long time. Congrats on a great game.

My vote and my love goes to MILLICENT GLOOM.

Crusty Knuckles

I’ll vote for space girl. Well played

Unlimited Breadsticks

Millicent Gloom, you planned, executed, and evolved a great strategy and it took you to the end. The answers you gave coincided with your actions and proved that you had carefully planned each move, eventually leading you to orchestrate the final eliminations. I knew what you were capable of watching you discuss strategies during the pre-merge (and post-merge) game. You constantly weighed in on discussions, looking at the challenge from a different angle. This skill proved you to be a valuable asset to the team and is what made you successful in the post-merge challenges. Millicent Gloom, you have my vote.

Spacegirl Lucinda Wright, you would have had my vote if you could have proven to me that you had strategized as much as Gloom had from the beginning. I don’t believe you had as much control over the game as you stated you did. That being said, you still played a terrific game and clearly made the right decisions to be able to hang in until the end.

Cleansed Robotics

>>> bob.talk()
Spacegirl, I had a lot of issues with your game when I headed into the into the jury, but those have been largely cleared up. The comments in the jury room, along with your answers, have shown me that your game was excellent. You played actively and aggressively and your strategy was rock-solid. All nit-picking aside, you made only one serious mistake: choosing Gloom as your partner.

The thing is, Gloom’s game was jaw dropping. Spacegirl may have made it against terrible odds, but it’s a testament to Gloom’s expertise and the subtlety of his strategy that he appears to have coasted right on through. I thought I was getting decent at this game, but going up against Gloom showed me what top-level playing really looks like.

You are a great player, Spacegirl, and few people could have done better. Millicent Gloom is one of those people.

Thumbtack, Jr.

First off, congrats to both of you. As many on the jury rather abruptly discovered, this game was often not what it appeared to be. Both of you not only realized that and adapted to the game’s nuances, but you shaped the course of the game as you saw fit. In any normal season, either of your games could easily be a winner.

That said, one of you masterly manipulated nearly everyone you associated with into doing what you wanted while believing that it was their idea to be doing it. Hell of a game.

Both of you played ferocious games, but for my vote, Millicent Gloom comes out on top by a bit.

Radical Cabbage

RadCabb Vote Okay, so here’s the deal. Or whatever I’m making up right now; or not. If I were to base my vote on the Tree question, I probably would have to vote for SG after reading Gloom’s answer. Yuck, that pun comment made me feel gross. But then I read on. I freaking love Willow trees. They are my favorite. IRL. But SG lost me with references to: http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130827034000/harrypotter/images/b/b2/Willow.png Which is barely a real willow. I mean answers I would have accepted include: http://www.thatfilmguy.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/WILLOW.jpg or even: http://images1.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/willow-buffy-the-vampire-slayer-1156997_312_452.jpg?1418661689428 So I guess the question really doesn’t really matter. Well it matters, but wasn’t a deciding factor for me. (But I really did enjoy both answers.) So I have to look to the rest of the game and such. Actually I’ll boil it down to one comment: If Cabbage had given me the medal he promised, I probably would have went with the alliance of Thumbtacks, Breadsticks, and Cabbage. To me this makes no sense. At least its not the choice I would have made. No matter what, I would have gone for the “strong alliance.” I can’t decide if I believe you here, you are pandering, or something else entirely. The whole of the strong alliance was protected in some way or another, and perhaps you didn’t know that, or thought that I didn’t. That challenge had absolutely nothing to do with the EV folks for me. Seriously, I really didn’t care; it was all about who I wanted to eventually win from our unnamed weekend group. I wasn’t going to win, so I was deciding between Gloom and Groovy. Enter the Medal/Metal Zone. And we all kind of know what happened. I was causing a ruckus within *ML*. I was only tied into Groovy & Gloom, and helped/ensured that Groovy obtained his idol. But my communications waned with Groovy, I trusted Gloom and was happy to be is silly sidekick. So when the opportunity struck to target Groovy’s idol, I went along with Thumbtack. But I told Gloom about it, so its not like I was being disloyal to that group. I got the bounceback play I so desired. This is getting long and off track. In short, Spacegirl played an excellent game and had long odds to make it to the end. She meandered her way through the merge and came out in the top two. But, I don’t see her game as the dominate one. In my view, the consistently dominate game was played by Gloom. I never had reason to question Gloom, and really his/her cover was what really enabled me to do a lot of the things I like to do. Really the only way I don’t vote for Gloom is if SG trusts another ML and votes out Gloom, but that didn’t happen. So in shorter: Radical Cabbage from a West Virginia plot votes for M. Gloom as the winner.

Farthington von Landingham III

Before I get into the explanation for my vote, I want to say you both played good games and are deserving of the final two. You both can’t win, though.

Gloom, I expected you to blow away Spacegirl with your answers to the jury questions, because I felt your game was definitely next level. You were a good ally despite having your fingers in pretty much all of the pools, and I perhaps naively thought we were closer than we were. That’s my bad, but I wasn’t too hurt because I was angling on a way to eventually get you out. I don’t think I could compare to you in the eyes of the jury, so it seemed like the best path forward. Best laid plans and all that is why I’m here and you’re there, but you were a formidable player, even though we all know you’re not a first timer.

Spacegirl, your jury answers made things closer than I expected. You played a good game, but Gloom played an outstanding game. You needed to wow me with the jury answers and you did a good job in moving the needle. However, I do not feel that it was moved enough. You said in your plea that you didn’t think you would get my vote, that’s the second time you misjudged me. I was fully on board, 100%, with voting out Gloom after Food Chain. Even if you’d completely ensured I didn’t make final two after that, I would have had full respect for making that move. Given Gloom’s answers, she really did not expect you to break with her. I understand why you didn’t, but that missed opportunity was the biggest flaw in your game, and it’s the difference between winning this all and just taking second. If you’re truly a first timer, you were a very good player, and I look forward to facing off against you next time we both play.

My vote is for Millicent Gloom.

Brian Bumbershaft, Theoretical Mack

[Brian Bumbershaft peers at the two ladies impatiently awaiting his vote. He hyperventilates a little in an attempt to fight back his nerves. Give the poor guy a minute, will ya?]

Whew. Well, hey there, Spacegirl. I expected you to drop by the jury eventually, and, honestly, I hoped you would for a couple challenges after my arrival. But then I climbed my way back onto the Spacegirl bandwagon and was pleased to see you make it here. You played a great game and I loved the passion you had for the whole thing. I bought into it, and into you. My trust in you was growing (I certainly didn’t have reason not to trust you) just as you were becoming wary of me, and you wisely took advantage and made the most of it. Damn. I recommended your play and loyalty on a couple occasions to Gloom. I really, really, wish you had voted off Gloom…sort of.

Dearest Millicent, we’ll always have schnitzel and Dittlebrunn. You kept me at a distance, but like Spacegirl also took advantage of my magnanimous play. You’re welcome, not that you needed it. I have no sense that you were at risk at any point after my departure. There was a consensus that you should be the threat they were voting off, but it didn’t happen. Somehow, not one of your ML teammates who hit the jury spoke as though they had been betrayed by you. I’m not sure how that’s even possible, and I think it speaks to the game you played. I may be one of the few players who is willing to utter what otherwise seems to be CdL blasphemy: Man, I hope you’re Novak.

I vote for Millicent Gloom.

———————————————————————————

By a score of 7 votes to two, the winner is Millicent Gloom.

First, some outing needs to be done.

Second place in Spookymilk Survivor XVI: Michelle “Attitude” Pratt

Yep, a first-time player. For real. Michelle is a superfan of the show and a supergirlfriend of Jake Elliott (okay, I don’t know if she qualifies as a “supergirlfriend,” but given her vehement defense of him as Smuggler when he was about to nonsub, she probably does). Michelle played a really weird first half of this game, constantly lecturing people and explaining the game to them – in particular to people who already get it, and in many cases were playing a better game than she was. Socially she lagged behind while her tactical approach was totally on point. She became a favorite of the viewers to watch, largely because she seemed to be coming apart at the seams, but we lamented that she wouldn’t be around much longer.

Then the “one world” bit happened and Michelle had new life with a new bunch of people, and she made the most of it. She sided with the right people and kept doors open with everyone. I feel some major disappointment with some of the jurors who credited all of her great play to Gloom, lazily saying “well, I just didn’t believe what she said in front of the jury” rather than allow her game to challenge what they had believed for so long. This was a very, very good postmerge game by Spacegirl, and just to lay it on a little more thickly, I want to point out to the ones bitching about her the hardest: she outplayed you, dudes. She’s not there by luck or by being a pawn or by being dragged. She was a major part of every conversation in the last eight eliminations of the game or so, and if you don’t see that, well…you’ll probably never be good at this.

So, who didn’t play who usually does?

Bret Highum. Colin Woolston. Erik Sundberg. Dan Kautz was cited by many as a possible player, but he basically retired after his win (and said so).

Well, you know who that leaves.

The winner of Spookymilk Survivor XVI:
MATT “THE FIRST-TIME PLAYER” NOVAK

As good as Michelle was, and as much as I wanted to side with her near the end given her seemingly hopeless position, this was probably the correct vote. I mean, we can have a good debate about it, which is so rare that I kind of can’t wait to get to the podcast, but Novak successfully hid himself for a very long time and by the time people started putting it together, he was in place to win. Michelle really should have ditched him at three, but for whatever reason I don’t think she knew just how likely she was to win against Trip and Robotics and she went with loyalty. Damn, that stuff will kill you every time. Novak went with loyalty, too, taking the larger winning threat (no disrespect to Brian, but he really had no jury ammo against Gloom in particular) to the final, then somewhat regretted it – especially after he saw how well she handled the answers. Cripes, I’m just glad we didn’t have another season of a player giving up and asking the jury to vote for the other guy.

We’ll have plenty of time to talk about Novak the “first-timer” on the podcast, so I’ll save that. I do have to talk about the scope of this victory a little, though. Novak is the second person to win multiple games. That’s something. But he’s also played four anonymous games and has won all four of them. That’s Survivor XI, Diplomacy, Gods & Mortals, and now Survivor XVI. He has never been eliminated in an anonymous game, and knew coming in that he’d have to do something different in order to get there. Well, here we are; Gloom and Lean Mutton Morgan (from season XI) were polar opposites, but both made it to the end.

So…honestly, people. How the hell do we get rid of this little wiener?

Cheers, Survivor.

Voting History
The Jury Room
Moderator Notes There’s some tough love here, but in many cases the players in question redeem themselves and I do recognize it.

“I’m gonna absolutely kill my game if I try to get us to win this challenge. Maybe we can get lucky and win it anyway. No need to sacrifice the long game for the short one.

Holy crap is it hard to say that.”

-Novak, September 15

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