Survivor One World: February 22

23 02 2012

Episode 2 of the ALL NEW season of Survivor.

Remember the rant I went on last week? The one about the producers finally giving Women a chance to bear greater roles and responsibility and step up their game?

Well, I don’t think THESE particular women got the memo.

From my seat on the couch, as a long-time dedicated Survivor watcher, I can fix any problem and lay a lot of blame. However, I also constantly have to remind myself that things are different when you are LIVING it rather than just being an armchair critic of a situation. I believe there are some strong women on this tribe, I also commend the fact that they decided to name a leader and take some direction. I give full marks to Sabrina for stepping into that role without being petty or catty or overtly authoritative. Assigning roles was probably a smart move (if not a little bit ‘animal farm’ mixed with ‘Lord of the Flies’) because it establishes some semblance and order.

Another good move? Refusing to be Colton’s ‘Saturday night with the girls’. You know what I mean. Colton has a ‘hard week’ and needs a girls night to gossip and fawn and complain about the elements. It’s obvious that Colton is an odd fit at the boys camp, but then, so is Leif, Greg and even Jonas and Bill. You have to find a few other misfits and ban together despite differences. Mid way through the episode, Colton caught on. He showed his Idol (mind out of the gutter) to a select group, who made an about-face the instant they realized… they should be friends with the Idol carrier.

Not that the boys have anything to worry about. They may not see  Tribal Council until the merge.

Another challenge lost by the women because they lack communication skills and teamwork. This challange was ALL about teamwork – the women were scattered and trying to be a one-woman show. The major weak link was Kat, but to be fair… she was the only one to try. Had someone else been the first to attempt the balance beam walk…. would the results have been different, or would there be another scapegoat?

The challenge may have been lost by Kat, but apparently the women are hanging onto the archaic strategy of voting out the oldest and keeping the young. Nina was first on the chopping block. She isnt in the group of ‘5’ that decided to align themselves in the first 5 minutes of the game.

At Tribal Council, Kat embarassed herself even more by wilting under pressure from others about her lack of execution. Didnt matter. Nina was voted out. The Ex LAPD.

I don’t see much changing on this tribe unless the women can find a way to be better communicators than the men. That’s the one true strength advantage they potentially have over their male counterparts. Can they get it together? It’s just getting embarassing.



Survivor One World Premiere

16 02 2012

Another Survivor Premiere.

There have been like…over 20, and I still get a kick out of watching people try to build fires, run after local game, construct a lean-to shelter and use their new buffs as fashion accessories.

I love it. When does watching adult human beings chasing chickens get old? I say never. I could watch that all night… I should suggest it as the premise for a new FOX game show to fill the summer months. Who’s with me?

I digress… let’s start at the beginning.

Jeff announces a few twists to this new season.  The first, NO Redemption Island. Once you’re voted out, you’re going home. Traditional Survivor rules. The second, it’s Girls against Guys – making it a classic battle of the sexes (who doesnt love that?!) and easier to define the teams from the get-go. It always takes me at least a month to deferentiate between teams, the obvious distiction helps in this case. Finally, both teams will be sharing a camp. Two tribes, one camp. They will all have varying resources, be responsible for their own shelter/fire/activities/jobs etc. The difference is, they are face to face with the other team, which will make the social game much more important moving forward.

I could analyze the group dynamics of male vs female or deep dive into the psychology of two teams sharing one space… but I’ll spare you my prognosis of the entire situation. However, this is my blog and I want to talk briefly about a few things.

In past Survivors, one of the moot points that has perpetually plagued the show is the lack of strength in the female game. Sure, we’ve had a few dominating ladies… but they rearely win and they rarely have friends. What we DO see are a lot of women who latch onto a strong male and enjoy the ride until the end. Then they plead their case to the jury and boast about their ‘social’ prowess. Some have won based on this tactic. Similarly, in most Survivor seasons, there comes a point where the girls have one shot, one chance to pool their votes and take out a strong male figure… 9 times out of 10, the plan falls through, and the ladies retreat to their male leaders. It’s unspoken, but I think there have been a few conversations behind the scenes about how to reinvent the strategy of the female player. Forcing the women to be on ONE team, might just do the trick. The Women will make decisions for their team, the women will be responsible for the daily activities and role allocations, the women will be forced to work together in order to beat their male counterparts. Personally, I’m very intrigued to see this play out. Will this format give more power and responsibility to the women of the game… or will they squander this opportunity.

After last night, I’m not sure the group has embraced this chance to be formidable foes or proven competitors. We’ve got a few Type A’s who lack leadership quality, we’ve got a few ‘latchers’ looking for male attention, and we’ve got a few who were very quick to negotiate for the guys help. Sad. Watching the women scrounge for food, listlessly try to ignite a flame, unsuccessfully build shelter, instead…spend time weaving a roof for the men in exchange for fire.

Oy, it’s weak and embarassing. I sure hope they can shape up after a few days…

At the challenge, they showed once again that the competition is mismatched and lopsided… it reminded me of when it was girls vs boys in dodgeball or king of the hill… boys are MUCH more competitive. It’s not anti-feminist, there are alot of HIGHLY competitive girls out there (I’m one of them) but in general, a group of boys competing against a group of girls have the edge in pure combative exertion. No doubt, the girls will find their stride and take a few challenges, but they need to use teamwork and a levelhead to counteract the male physical dominance.

During the challenge, one of the girls landed hard on her wrist, was taken away for X rays. Therefore, the game was over… the men chose to take the victory instead of completing the task. The girls were surprised, I was not.

So at Tribal Counsel, the girls wasted no time in stabbing eachother in the back, and spitting insults at each other. Already. Jeff was absolutely right in saying the ‘men have you exactly where they want you’. The instant discord within the group will only weaken the team, making them ripe for destruction from within.

No one was voted out tonight, because the girl with the broken wrist would not be returning. Probably wouldve been prudent and well advised to save the overt clash for a later tribal… now it’s just going to be, awkward. Think ladies, think!

As I say, I’m very interested in this format and I’m hoping (as producers are, I’m sure) that this genderline split will actually improve the ladies’ game.



Survivor South Pacific: Episode 13

15 12 2011

Call it ‘Island fever’. But things are starting to get a little weird on Survivor.

Honestly, I truly think that the crazy builds with every day on the island, and as we get closer to the end… the crazy walks a fine line, on the edge of insanity.

So, Ozzy wins another challenge…surprise surprise… keeping him safe and isolated for another few days. Anyone else feel like this strategy is saving him? Like, he doesnt ever have to deal with the drama, the snap decisions, the alliances, the tribal councils… this guy is riding the Redemption Island all the way to the finale.

Back at camp, Brandon wins an immunity challange and brings the Rancher Rick to the reward. Somehow, Albert gets ratted out for trying to oust Rick and Sophie. Brandon, Rick, Sophie and Albert have a mini school yard fight… and Albert is on the chopping block with everyone.

ALbert then uses his ‘spiritual connection’ with Brandon to ask God who he should vote for. Brandon finally get the good word from God to save Albert, and give up his immunity because “Coach will never” vote for him. Right. Brandon tells Coach his plan, and Coach asks for some time alone with God. He needs a revelation.

At Tribal, God tells Brandon to give Albert the immunity. God tells Albert to keep the immunity and have faith in his alliance. God tells Coach a completely different story, and Coach votes for Brandon who is immunity-less. So…who mis-heard God? I get the feeling there were mixed messages.

Either way, Gods will sends Brandon to face off against Ozzy for his place back in the game.

This is gonna be good.



Survivor: Episode 12 December 7th

8 12 2011

Well thanks GOODNESS for Wednesday night TV, and thank GOODNESS for Survivor.

In comparison to monday, tuesday, thursday and friday nights…. Wednesday is an embarassment of riches. While every other show is on an extended hiatus, Survivor continues to make my wednesday nights enjoyable.

Last night was a very good episode – lots to talk about.

1. Cochrane faces his idol/nemisis in Ozzy at Redemption Island. It’s no surprise that he didnt win. we all saw that coming. but he put up a good fight, better than most wouldve expected, and went out with a bang. He cried over his love for the game… whatever your opinion is on Cochrane, he has never hid his devotion and admiration to ‘the game’.

2. Families came to the island, however only 3 people got to spend time with their loved ones. Coach, Brandon and Albert. Yes, Brandons dad… a Hantz, made his debut on the island. He cornered Coach and worked his Hantz charm to secure his sons place in the game. At least that’s what he thought he was doing… Coach, on the other hand, felt threatened. There’s something fishy about this Hantz family. I am never wuite sure. SOmetimes, I think it’s an act, sometimes I think theya re all just crazy, and other times I think they might be slightly psychopathic and completely oblivious to normal social interactions. Somehow, they throw people off their game… and are successful. Brandon has that in his blood… his bite will be worse than his bark, if that makes sense.

3. Coach wins immunity, and Edna begins to scramble. First she asks him for his idol. shot down. Then she makes a case to vote out Bandon because… he’s emotional and cruel. Which is true, but may not be enough to save her.  Coach goes as far as telling Edna that his vote will be for Brandon, and to rally the troops with his ‘blessing’.

4. At tribal: Edna voted out unanimously. At which time, Coach gives his Godfather embrace to Edna as she moves on to battle Ozzy for her final chance to stay alive. Would be amazing wouldnt it?

Coach is still the figure head and leader of this game… Ozzy has a lot of power, and the tables will seriously topple if they ever let him back into the ‘real’ game. He’ll be virtually unbeatable at challanges, because he’s gone toe to toe wih almost everyone to stay alive at Redemption Island.


Survivor Wednesday: November 30

1 12 2011

Survivor saves the day – after a long drought of terrible TV this week, Survivor swoops in and completely saved my week!

You can always count on Wednesday Night

Last night’s episode was a doozy wasnt it? Everything Survivor promises, it delivered last night.

A Redemption Island duel, Flip Flopping, Game play, Lazy bums coming up big at challenge, a big lie, strategic conversation, and a blind side.

Let’s talk a little bit about each of them.

The Redemption island show down was between poster boy Ozzy, Dawn and a token blonde. Yes, Ozzy won…. again. This is his domain, this is exactly the forum that he dominates. I’ve talked about his social game… it sucks. Here, on Redemption Island, it’s all about performance… and that’s where Ozzy comes up big. He can win any challenge, no matter the skillset required.

So two more now sit on the Jury panel…

Flip Flopping–  there’s always talk. But Coach seems to talk the same talk to everyone… he has somehow promised each and every one of them….absolutely nothing. the whole ‘Family’ knows… nothing. Each person in ‘The Family’ doesnt really know if they are number 2 or number 6, and they seem to be… OK with that? Strange. Coach is running a tight ship, where he basically tells each person, well, nothing about where they stand in this game.

Apparently Albert is a lazy bum at camp, eats all the fish and then outperforms his tribe mates at challenges. We see this every year, it’s one of Survivors favourite ways to incriminate people. Whether it’s true or it’s a bit of an editing stretch… he has been labelled with a pretty great nickname “Princess Albert”. I love that! Albert, doesnt share my enthusiasm for the handle and begins to plot against Rick for giving it to him.

The ‘Big Lie’ was really just a weak attempt to imitate Survivor lore. Cochraine decides to bring everyone together and tell them it’s his birthday, and the best gift would be to stick around for another day. I smelled the rat from my couch, of course it WASNT his birthday. There have been some prolific lies in the 20-odd seasons of Survivor… this lie, was neither well-planned nor well utilized. It did no damage. However, he DID get the spa -treatment as a ‘gift’ from the winner of the challenge, lazy bum Princess Albert.

At Tribal, there were a few people on the chopping block: Cochraine (who stated his case, and threw in the Birthday card), Rick (who had no idea) and probably Edna (but meh, she’s like the perma-stain on the chopping block… she’s always there).

Even though Cochraine pled his case, threw in the Birthday lie for good measure and is considered one of the ‘power players’… he was sent to Redemption Island.

Now things REALLY get interesting. 2 high profile players duelling for their spot in the game or on the jury. Very interesting indeed!


Survivor South Pacific Episode 8

3 11 2011

Alot of questions to be answered in last night’s Survivor.

Would Ozzie’s plan to win the challenge at Redemption Island work? Yes.

Would the teams merge? Yes.

Would Cochran give back the Idol? Yes.

Would anyone become a flip flopper at Tribal? You bet.

The merge is so intoxicating it can really mess with your game. It gives you ideas. It gives you hope. It gives you more options to play with if you’re a gamer or a complete outsider.

I think we can agree that Cochran is both an outsider and a ‘gamer’ (not like Russel Hantz or Boston Rob gamer, but a sneaky little devil). He is the perfect candidate for a flip flopper.

As soon as Ozzie won the challenge, and the two teams officially merged… both teams split off to ‘stay strong’ in their tribes. The ONLY person doing any interacting with the other tribe was Cochrane, who was apparently given that ‘role’ by his teammates. They arent the brightest crayons in the box, that whole tribe has made some seriously headscratching decisions along the way.

At any rate, the pther tribe seems almost cultish in their allegiance to each other. However, picking off the weak and making them a part of your alliance is exactly the kind of move Survivor is known for. Cochran shared his distrust and dislike for his tribe, and opened the doors for a flip flop.

This is Survivor, there are so many game nuances that come into play every time you make a move. At Tribal council, Ozzie gave the Idol to one of the girls, thinking the other tribe was voting for her. They werent. They voted for Keith. Ozzies tribe votes for the cowpoke – and it’s all tied up. IN the second vote, Cochran flips the switch, and votes Keith to Redemption Island.

This kid reminds me of the tattle taler – everyone hates a tattler, and man, is he ever going to get the wrath of his former teammates. ‘Just you wait til we get home!’

But Keith is at Redemption, which means that part of the game still exists… no one is every really ‘gone’ gone until they’ve faced their final duel.

Survivor South Pacific: Premiere

15 09 2011

The premiere of the newest installment of the original reality show, Survivor, aired for its 23rd time last night.

In my opinion, Survivor is the perfect show: drama, reality, survival, challenge, competition, a test of the human condition and Mother Natures elements.

I love it.

They hardly have to mess around with the template – last year they added redemption Island, a twist that added a new level to the game. Being voted out is not your last chance, you will face off against the next person to get the most votes in a challnge…winner remains.

The other ‘new twist’ is enlisting the help of two former Survivors, one per team, to assist and get their own redemption in this game.

This season, Coach and Ozzy are back – who would YOU rather have on your team?

Already, the teams have taken on personalities. There are the bevy of hot girls vying for Ozzys attention, theres the ‘old people’ who breakdown immediately, there’s the loud mouth rich dude, the hardworking vs the hardly working, the skinny academic, the deep south farmer that needs subtitles everytime he speaks, Russel Hantz’ meek and righteous nephew, and the lemmings girls who gravitate to the strong players  that will take them to the end…

In the first immunity challenge, it was clear that Ozzy and Coach are the true leaders of their tribe. However, a poor playing eprformance by one of the many bikini clad women proved costly… Coach’s tribe wins over Ozzys. Yellow over Red… don’t ask me what their offical tribe names are yet, too soon.

A few people were on the chopping block heading to Tribal. The older woman who had an emotional breakdown earlier in the week, the skinny academic survivor fan, and the girl that lost the challenge.

In the end, after some long winded pleas for mercy… Semhar, the weak player, was the first to head off to Redemption Island.

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