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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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Utahn makes it to final episode of 'Survivor' — but can he win?

Tyson Apostol made it to the Final Five on "Survivor: Blood vs. Water." Unless he has some kind of super brain cramp, he'll make it to the Final Four.

The Utahn has an immunity idol in his pocket, and the last time he can use it is at the next tribal council - the first of three in Sunday's season finale (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2). So there would be absolutely no reason he wouldn't use it.

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The big question is whether Tyson can, um, survive the tribal council that comes after that, make it to the Final Three and make his case for why he should win the million dollars.

If he can, you have to think he stands a decent chance of taking home the money because he has played the smartest game of anyone this season. Of course, that's not a given. There are plenty of people mad at him because he's outplayed them.

Is that childish? Yes.

It is true? Unfortunately, yes.

The insanity - aka fun - continued in Wednesday's episode of "Survivor" when Ciera and Hayden desperately tried to pull Monica out of her alliance with Tyson and Gervase. They exaggerated - OK, they lied - about things Tyson and Gervase had supposedly said about Monica behind her back.

Gervase fought back; Tyson did the smart thing - he didn't get into a shouting match.

Through the magic of some outstanding editing, viewers were left to wonder what Monica was going to do when she cast her vote. Monica talked about how hurt she was by things Tyson and Gervase supposedly said, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Ciera would say anything to win her vote. Ciera won the immunity challenge and was safe; Ciera and Hayden declared their intention to vote to oust Gervase; would Monica vote for Hayden or would she vote for Gervase?

She voted for Hayden. Of course.

Here's where we stand heading into Sunday's two-hour season finale, followed by a one-hour reunion show.

1. The three contestants on Redemption Island - Laura, Tina and Hayden - will face off in a challenge to determine who re-enters the game. The winner will join Tyson, Gervase, Monica and Ciera in the Final Five.

2. The next challenge will determine which of the five will have immunity for the tribal council that follows. (And won't it be interesting if Tyson wins - he'll be able to hand immunity to someone else because he already has that immunity idol.)

3. In the first of three tribal councils, one of the Final Five will be voted out.

4. The second immunity challenge will be crucial. You have to think that Tyson really, REALLY needs to win that one to make it to the Final Three. He's seen as such a huge threat, it would be no surprise if members of his own alliance turn on him.

5. In the second of three tribal councils, one contestant will be voted out.

6. The Final Three will then do that super boring thing where they remember all the contestants on this season of "Survivor." And viewers - including big fans of the show - will have completely forgotten about some of the contestants voted out in episodes tht aired months ago.

7. Then the Final Three will make their cast to members of the jury; the jury will ask bitter, jealous questions; the jury will vote; host Jeff Probst will read the votes; we'll find out who wins.

8. And then they'll all talk about it in the reunion show.

Personally, I'm rooting for Tyson. He's smart. He's funny. He's even shown vulnerability this season, his third go-round on "Survivor." I didn't know he had it in him.

We'll find out if he can pull this off on Sunday night.



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