Jury vote: Aras vs. Danielle
On to the most important question: Who wins the million dollars?
Answer: One of Aras or Danielle. But beyond that, we have no idea.
So... on to the guessing. CBS has claimed (in the ad for Thursday's penultimate show): "Don't miss the stunning, surprise finale." Honestly, would anybody be surprised if Aras won? We think not, although maybe they're hoping people will be surprised if Terry comes in third.
For most of the season, we thought Aras would win. And indeed, we do have one fairly solid tip that suggests he ought to be the favorite. And maybe he actually is. But along the way, we've been struck by how the editing has consistently seemed to undercut Aras's abilities as a leader, while highlighting Danielle's ability to turn votes around, and/or affect the outcome of votes (booting Bobby, turning down Terry's hidden idol overtures). So we'll play along. If the Survivor editing team wants us to think Danielle might have a chance, here's a a heap of hand-waving arguments as to why Danielle might win:
The boots from Courtney on have been tied to the following/preceding boots by fights: Courtney fought with Shane, his boot followed hers. Cirie wanted to mess up Shane's plans, and backstabbed him: Cirie followed Shane out. Cirie also wanted to interfere with Terry, and fought with him at the start of Ep13: Terry (F3) follows her (F4). And the late post-merge focus has been on fights between Aras and Terry. Logically, Aras should thus follow Terry, leaving Danielle to claim the million.
Then there's the Exile Island shot at right. Note the water has been false-colored green. That's because it's meant to represent the order of the final three finishers, by original tribe. At the bottom (3rd place) is La Mina orange (Terry). Next is Viveros green (Aras, 2nd place). And on top, emerging through the clouds: the clear skies shining Bayoneta blue (Danielle, 1st place).
We have no idea how the jury votes will come down, although we think it's fairly likely that Courtney will vote for Aras, and Bruce for Danielle. The rest could go either way.
Is there anything to all this drivel? Probably not. We'll be rooting for a Danielle win, because it would be more interesting. Do we know that happens? Nope.