DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Allen Yamazaki, second-place winner in the Star-Bulletin's "Lost" contest, is surrounded by his prizes: a set of "Lost" action figures, including a model of the mysterious hatch. Entrants were challenged to predict what would happen regarding five key plot points by the end of Season 3.
Creative predictions score for the Top 2 to enter the Star-Bulletin's "Lost" contest
Having struggled to reduce her essay answers to fit the word limit, avid "Lost" fan Ann Ruby couldn't believe she'd won the Star-Bulletin's enigmatic "Get Lost" contest.
Wearing a series T-shirt and carrying a similar tote bag she had collected while watching the season finale at Jackie's Kitchen -- site of Wednesday night "Lost" parties throughout the season -- Ruby gratefully retrieved her prize haul at the Star-Bulletin office: five "Lost" action figures and a model of the hatch, all signed by Todd McFarlane, creator of the collectibles.
"Locke is my favorite," said the 67-year-old Honolulu resident, explaining that a cheer rose at Jackie's when the character emerged from his state of near death (didn't Ben shoot him?). "If they had killed him, I don't think I would have watched anymore. Locke is the show, in that the island has some kind of magical healing powers."
The Star-Bulletin's "Get Lost" contest attracted a few dozen entries from those willing to predict the answers to five questions about the plot. As is typical of the show, the season finale left many loose ends, making judging a challenge.
In the end, the people who answered the most questions with the greatest accuracy -- with a flair for creativity and detail -- set themselves apart.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Ann Ruby was the grand-prize winner. She also claimed a set of "Lost" figures, but hers were signed by creator Todd McFarlane.
Allen Yamazaki, a 31-year-old marketing executive for the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club, was the second-place winner. He, too, received a full set of (unsigned) action figures. Shana Shappee was another standout, with several strong answers.
After the finale, Ruby said she was still in a state of "semi-grief" over Charlie's death. "I can't believe he's gone!"
She watches every week because "it takes you away from life for a while," and she enjoys perusing the message boards the next morning.
"You don't do that on any other show," she said. "No other show has the kind of fan appeal that 'Lost' has." She credits Ben (Michael Emerson) and Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) with "saving" Season 3.
Another unique aspect of the series is its predetermined completion in 2010, which Ruby likes. "If they know they have an end, they can write to that end."
Yamazaki agreed, although he said he also felt "aggravated" about having to wait until February for the next installment. He wanted to learn more about the mysterious, invisible Jacob.
But Charlie's death didn't shock him too much. "I think it was time," he said. "His story was kind of done. I liked his character, and it was kind of sad to see him go but I like the way they did it."
Of all the confounding mysteries, Ruby admitted the show was "maddening." But then again, she said, "if they gave us the answers every week, what's the use of sitting around and talking about it?"
Finding the answers
Our "Get Lost" contest posed five questions, asking entrants back in February to predict what would happen in the third season. Here's what really happened as the season ended last week -- and some of the best guesses we received.
Who will die next, and how will that person die?
Second-place winner Allen Yamazaki was one of only two people to answer this correctly when he named Paulo. We liked Yamazaki's creativity when he explained that back on the island, it's still 2004, the year of the tsunami in Asia. "I believe the tsunami will hit the island and Paulo (probably with other people) will die from it." Of course, he was wrong about that part.
Janice Ky also guessed correctly that Paulo would die, and that Juliet might shoot him while he was in a tree.
In the end, a lot of people died. Nikki perished in a pit with Paolo. The finale was full-blown carnage, and included the loss of Pickett, one of the Others -- the most common answer to this question. And, of course, we can't forget the flawed but lovable Charlie.
What will happen to Ben Linus/Henry Gale on the operating table?
Juliet kept her word to help Sawyer and Kate win their freedom and Jack kept his by saving his nemesis.
Dina Tokita said Ben would be paralyzed after the surgery, which was true temporarily. He was still using a cane until the final moments of the last episode.
We also liked Bill Dickie's answer: "Jack would love to kill him on the operating table, but doctors have standards." Mitchell Gowen wrote that "Henry will live -- but only to cause more trouble later." How true!
What caused the paralysis in Locke's legs?
Ann Ruby solidified her win by explaining that Locke lost the use of his legs in a "tussle" with his father and that "Locke fell and hit his back or his head."
His father actually pushed him through a window to land many floors below. Locke returned the favor when his dad, through some yet unexplained twist, ended up a prisoner of the Others. Locke got Sawyer to kill him.
It seems Locke's struggle with paralysis and miraculous healing on the island -- and his desire to stay as a result -- will fuel many story lines, as the finale assured us.
Is that how he recovered from his gunshot wound so quickly?
Where will Claire and Charlie's relationship go?
This was an especially difficult question to evaluate, because the story line drifted away from these two. By the end of the season, it seemed they had reconnected (remember the kiss?).
Several people predicted they would marry on the beach. Despite Desmond's less-than-subtle foreshadowing, nobody imagined this important character would drown while trying to rescue his beach mates.
Jocelyn Leroux answered the question with a simple "Nowhere," which turned out to be accurate. Molly Gowen said they would "keep getting closer," which also seemed true. Shana Shappee wrote, "I think they will be on again-off again indefinitely. ... I believe Claire is meant to raise Aaron mainly alone." Indeed, she will!
What will happen with the Kate-Sawyer-Jack love triangle?
Again, Shappee wrote that Kate "will be closer to Jack for a while, but I believe eventually she will choose Sawyer overall. ... 'She doesn't do taco night,' and I think she will never be totally on the 'good' side."
Some people felt that Kate and Jack would end up together by the season finale. But most guessed that Kate would choose Sawyer.
However, there is still much between Kate and Jack, who told her he loves her in the finale. And now that we have seen a flash forward and we know there's a man in her life (and it isn't Jack), who could it be?
Now everyone has to wait until February to get a few answers -- and a lot more questions.