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Survivor 22 : Redemption Island – First Thoughts

If you’ve seen last Sunday’s Survivor Reunion show, you know that next season will be nicknamed Redemption Island and that it will have the biggest rule change ever in the history of the show.
What is it, you’re asking me? (well, maybe you’re not asking because if you’re reading this, chances are that you already know)
It is that once somebody’s torch is snuffed out they won’t directly go to Loser Lodge or Ponderosa. Instead, they will end up on Redemption Island!
There, they will keep on living in the same conditions as the other players, except alone, a little bit like on Exile Island until the next person gets voted out. Then, both will stay together for a little while (I assume until the next morning) and then they will square off in a duel.
The loser of the duel will be out of the game for good.
The winner will stay until the next person arrives and challenges him or her.
That, until the remaining person gets to re-enter the game later (I assume at the merge, but that’s just an assumption, actually it’s not clear whether there’s only one person to re-enter the game this way or if it will happen several times).
Apparently, this new rule has already been applied to some other Survivors editions (Wikipedia says Israel, the Philippines, Sweden and Serbia… I didn’t know there were a Survivor Serbia by the way).
So, what do I think about it?
Well, first, I don’t judge books by their covers and even less so without even seeing the cover, so I don’t really have a clear opinion.
However, I still have very bad memories of Pearl Islands with the Outcasts thing. That was the worst twist in Survivor’s history in my opinion (yeah, worse than Haves and Haves not or the Medallion of Power).
Jeff Probst says it’s going to be different this time, first of all because contestants will know since the very first minutes of the game about this change in the game, so they’ll be aware of it when they cast their votes.
And indeed, if contestants have half a brain, it should be influencing their votes.
The question is: how?
Well, the obvious answer is that usually, when people are voted off pre-merge, contestants know they won’t have to deal with them anymore so they can afford to be mean to them when they’re sure of the outcome of the vote and things like that. Not anymore as said contestant may come back to haunt them.
In addition, I think this rule will advantage providers and people used to live outdoors. Back in the days, being a provider and an outdoorsy person was a good strategy to be kept in the game for quite some time. Not so much in recent seasons. That could come back in fashion, as such a person being voted out early would have less problems surviving alone and coming back later – providing they can win the duels.
In any case, it will be interesting to see how having somebody voted out come back will affect the dynamics of the game.
Do you have any opinion?

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