Like every old time fan of the show, I’ve had my issues with it. First the constant returning players (although last season showed me that it was possible to have a good season despite of that), but lately, my main issue has really been the editing. It makes the show focus on the camera whores instead of the good players, and it also makes the show more and more predictable. Sure, this week’s vote was completely predictable, but there were many ways to try make it like it was going to be someone else (Shamar), all the ones that were used failed miserably. More and more, I have the feeling that the show panders to casual viewers who don’t want to think hard (or at all). The result is that the unpredictability of the show suffers big time. And more than better misdirections, I really hate the way that nowadays some players are completely invisible, merely extras.
We used to have 16-20 people every season, and they’d get roughly the same amount of screen time each episode (or spread over a few episodes). Sure, that meant that during the first two or three episodes, we had trouble knowing who was who, but at least we could root for whoever we pleased and then follow along.
Now, there are a few “important” players that we must follow, because they’re basically the only ones who are shown. And if at least they were the good players, but not, they’re just the biggest “characters” (i.e. trolls, crazies, camera whores, and such). The other players are just people in the background we sometimes see.
Gota Tribe – the Fans
I’m starting to warm up to this tribe. I mean, individually, I still don’t really care for most of them, but it’s funny to see how dysfunctional they are, and how hard they try to play from the beginning and making these huge mistakes. But in the middle of all of that, there are indeed a few good players, well, there’s at least Sherri, but let’s not underestimate Laura. I also want to see more of what is inside Matt’s and Michael’s minds.
– Eddie Fox: Really, I don’t really have anything to say about him. He seemed to be such a potentially great player on paper, and in the end, he’s just another cocky idiot.
– Hope Driskill voted out: She was pretty. No seriously, that’s pretty much all I have to say about her. In her pregame interview, she seemed that she had the potential to not be just another uninteresting pretty face who can’t play the game, and well… She was… She had an easy way to survive a few more days, and show everybody that she could play. It was simple, and Shamar even told her: vote Eddie. Nope, she didn’t. She preferred being voted out. People sometimes get mad at quitters (I do), but this is worse than quitting in my opinion. At least when you quit, you make a decision, you do something, even if this is something I disagree with.
– Julia Landauer: She had one confessional! Yeah… Yet, we still don’t know much about her. Well, we learned that she is tight with Laura, and we learned that she doesn’t have the strong personality I thought she had pregame.
– Laura Alexander: I’m liking Laura more and more. OK, I didn’t like her being scared to be voted out because she sucks at swimming. The days of being voted out for such things are long gone, and they didn’t even lose the challenge because of that. On the other hand, I loved her move when she went to talk to Reynold, implying Julia and her would vote against Shamar. What was edited as a misdirection was most likely Laura manipulating Reynold and co to find out what was up, as Shamar talking to Hope could imply Shamar’s betrayal. From that conversation, she found out that no, the “beautiful idiots” are still planning to vote against Shamar, and also she reassured them into believing that Shamar was going home. That’s the second time in two votes that Reynold’s alliance is being fooled like that. Fool me once, fool me twice, you know what they say…
– Matt Bischoff: I’m glad to see that he’s here to play the game, and he seems to know how to play it.
– Michael Snow: That’s two weeks with little to no Michael after a premiere that showed him as one of the most interesting people this season. Odd…
– Reynold Toepfer: I felt I had a lot ot say about him, but in the end, I don’t. He seems to think that he’s god’s gift to earth, but really he’s kind of a douche. The only thing that’s keeping him alive right now is the fact that he’s good at challenges, and a little bit his idol, but just a little bit really.
– Shamar Thomas: OK, I’m starting to understand where Shamar is coming from. He thought going on Survivor was going to be about having fun, and now that he realizes it’s not, he get’s upset. I don’t agree with his abrasive behavior, but I see what the logic is behind it. Same with his will to quit. The guys has been through hell and back, and he doesn’t want that type of bullshit in his life. I’m tempted to tell him that he shouldn’t have signed up for Survivor then, but also, production has to stop recruiting unstable people (ok, he’s not exactly unstable, but he has great potential for it) or one day we’ll have an accident on the show, and I don’t mean falling into the fire type of accident.
– Sherri Biethman: Seriously, she may be the best player out there right now. In her tribe definitely, but even compared to most of the favorites. The way she manages Shamar is great, and she’s definitely in control of her alliance without showing it.
Bikal Tribe – the Favorites
Not many interesting things from them today, but well, the drama was in the other tribe (winning important challenges helps with reducing drama at camp)
– Andrea Boehlke: She’s playing hard. After the Francesca thing, I thought she’d stay under the radar for a while, but no, she’s game on and she’s ready to break her alliance because she’s afraid of potential danger within. Interesting. We’ll see if she actually does cut Corinne and/or Malcolm when the situation arises, or if she’s all talk this time again.
– Brandon Hantz: Of course last week’s preview was all misdirections. Apart from that Brandon is given a genuine chance to stay in the game longer (go with Andrea, Phillip, Cochran and Dawn against Corinne/Malcolm) but he’s being paranoid, and think he’s being lied to. Why would anyone lie to him about that? So that he doesn’t pee in the rice? What hasn’t been said about the kid being unstable. Honestly, when I see trolls on the show (whatever type of troll they are: Phillip, Russell, Shamar, etc) they amuse me, bore me, and such, and I take it as they are: edited characters, but Brandon always makes me feel uncomfortable. Brandon is not a character, this is what he is, a kid who needs therapy not spending time on such an island that will test you in every possible way. That won’t end well (and I’m not talking about the show here).
– Brenda Lowe: Come on! Show more Brenda, will you!? Thanks to the editors, we know she’s screwed and out soon, but at least could we see her a little (yes, I’m one of the few Brenda fans out there, and yes, I’d be single, I think I’d have a little crush on her, even if I know better than to fall for them Miami girls… been there, done that…)
– Corinne Kaplan: Three episodes in, and she hasn’t been a bitch to anyone yet. What has happened to her? On the other hand, she has made both a good and bad move. Getting tight with Malcolm was a good move, as she said, her alliance works with twosomes (Andrea/Phillip, Cochran/Dawn) and her and Malcolm had to get together or risk becoming the 5th and 6th in the alliance. However, there’s a way to do that and it’s called subtlety, something she clearly lacks, and now Andrea and all paranoid about her, and now Corinne is clearly 6th in the alliance. She’d better realize it before it’s too late if she wants to survive.
– Dawn Meehan: Did we see her at all this week?
– Erik Reichenbach: Same for Erik.
– John Cochran: Interesting how Cochran is almost constantly presented under a positive light. And more important, interesting how he’s part of every discussion that seems to matter. He’s in a very comfortable spot right now, and he could easily take control of the game.
– Malcolm Freberg: See Corinne. Good for Malcolm that he got close to Corinne, but he’s gotta be careful with that, especially because I feel that he’s not as tight with her as she is with him. Right now, I think he’s safe, because he’s clearly well liked by everyone and he’s just found an idol (although, it’s not good that Corinne knows), but he’s still kinda alone out there. If Corinne is not the next to go in the tribe, he’d better start forging a sub alliance with Erik and Brenda.
– Phillip Sheppard: Did we barely see him today? Wow, that was refreshing.
Things are getting worse in the Fans camp. I guess that’s all they showed, right?
Next person voted out:
Brandon is still the obvious choice for Bikal, unless Corinne gets targeted.
In the fans tribe, Eddie is toast.
Winner prediction: Cochran, Dawn, Michael and Sherri.
And now, the usual links to the other analysts I really like (sorry for not posting them last week).
- Rob has a website and a podcast and bloggers and a great “know-it-alls” show with Stephen Fishbach. Rob Cesternino was “the smartest player to never win the game” (with Fishbach in my opinion), he now has the best website about Survivor.
- Superjude is finally blogging again.
- Stephen Fishbach also has a column with People.com too.
- Dalton Ross is always great and hilarious at EW.com
- Jeff Pitman at True Dork Times is also one of the most hilarious (and smart) Survivor blogger out there.
- more to come…