Anyone who has accused "Survivor" of getting rusty in its 14th season was surely stunned into silence during Sunday night's finale, when Dreamz betrayed Yau-Man by not giving him immunity despite promising to do so in exchange for Yau-Man's Ford truck.

That's right: The Survivor who managed to be both sweet and trusting as well as cunning and brilliant while weighing roughly the equivalent of one of Star Jones' legs (even after she'd lost all the extra weight) was betrayed by the former inner-city kid who spoke so convincingly of how he had be good to his word so that his son could be proud.

Viewers weren't the only ones thrown off by Dreamz's ultimate decision. I would venture to guess that the sheer shock of it all is what threw the jury so thoroughly into a state of collective insanity that, comparatively speaking, they made Paula Abdul look like the poster child for mental health.

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There was Mookie, who cornered Dreamz about having betrayed their alliance earlier in the game and then summed up his questions with a bizarre, blustery statement offering a final "word of advice" as though he somehow knew more than they did from his losing position.

But Mookie's one statement was merely a warm-up for Alex's unintentionally amusing cross-examination of the three. Oh, let this be a warning to other attorneys who love the sound of their own voices — whether it's saying anything logical or not — not to go on reality shows, or at least ones where they are allowed to speak at great length.

When Cassandra tried to answer Alex, he ordered her to stop talking and then began trying to build a case against her more full of holes than the underwear Earl burned. Then he started uttering weird statements that began with things like, "Riddle me this, Dreamz."

In short, if lawyers have made any headway in terms of getting people to stop making jokes about them, I believe Alex may have set them back months, if not years.

Lisi, Rocky and Boo got similarly pushy and strange with accusations that Dreamz couldn't tell the number of zeroes in a million, orders that they answer all their questions with the words "I am the biggest kicker" and roughly 14 uses of the word "Christian," rounding out the most aggressive bout of questioning from a jury in the history of the show.

Besides the winner, Earl, Yau-Man was essentially the only Survivor to leave with both his brain and dignity intact. And isn't that, in some circles anyway, more important than a Ford?

Anna David is a freelance writer. Her first novel, "Party Girl," is coming out in June 2007 from HarperCollins.

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