Thursday, February 16, 2012

Survivor One World Episode 1 Thoughts

It's as though the Survivor production team realized that there was backlash among the Survivor fans, and said "You think we lost our fastball? How about this high heat?"

Survivor: One World started up tonight, and we got a fantastic episode. There were three keys to the episode.

The big twist

The set up for the twist was great, with the tribes being divided into men and women initially. Watching the reaction of everybody as they realised any plan they had of teaming up with the opposite sex was out the window was somewhat priceless.

It did lead us to see the impressiveness of Colton early on. His plan to buddy up to the women was thrown completely off. Rather than panic early on, he managed to keep his wits and was rewarded immediately by the bigger twist.

You could see who was on the ball when Jeff told people that they had 60 seconds to take as much off of the truck that they can to bring along with you. None of the women thought of the possibility that they could have items stolen, but Michael channeled his inner Rupert to steal the women's ax.

Each tribe receiving a map which lead them initially in different directions was a nice touch. But once they got to the same beach, the show picked up immensely. You had Chelsea catching chickens then not sharing with the men that she might have agreed to share. Then the men refused to help the women build a fire. This was our first theme that would be built upon later in the show.

Alicia decided that a better idea to get fire would be to try to steal it. She was thwarted during the day, but at night sheMonica and Christina successfully got a flame. Granted the fire only lasted the rest of the night, but small victories, etc.

Christina shone brightly when she came up with a plan to get fire for quilted somethings. (I don't entirely understand what they were building beyond it being quilted leaves.) She got bargained down to 20 of these things, and managed to piss off Alicia who wasn't happy that somebody else fixed the fire issue. And we had another issue to be built upon.

The men play the short-term game

At the immunity challenge, Kourtney went down to an injured wrist. She had to leave the challenge, so the men had technically won. But Jeff Probst is smarter than the average bear, so he gave the men the option of getting the immunity win, or playing things through to the end, where the men already held a significant advantage. The men conferred and decided to just take the win, much to the shagrin of the women.

A tip for all future Survivor players: if Jeff Probst specifically says that a choice you make could curry favour with your competitors, AND it is something that you already have an advantage in, make the choice that Jeff suggests you make.

It was a common theme for the men. Only Colton seemed to figure out that hey, currying favour with the women might not be a bad idea. And how was he rewarded? Sabrina gave him a hidden immunity idol, giving him a great advantage. (Of course, he's seemingly in that great advantage position already, being the swing vote between two groups of four.)

I understand the men's position. The women are their competition; eliminate them and you get further in the game. But at least 1 of those women are going to make the jury. Those votes exist. And realistically, if it is "One World", a tribal switch has to be on table. Why alienate what could be half of your theoretical new tribe? It just ends up causing you issues in the long term. But at the same time, the only person to win Survivor twice played a very short term game so who knows how much harm this will cause.

The women have one large rivalry that will last for another episode or two

Alicia set her five person alliance quick. It did not include Christina. Then Alicia and Christina butted heads over the negotiation to get fire. And once we got to tribal council, these two were willing to say whatever they felt like to each other at Tribal Council. They left Jeff shaking his head for crying out loud! When was the last time he did that?

Two things are pretty obvious after that tribal council:

1) Christina is going to be voted out the first opportunity possible. She's in the minority, and she was not nice towards Alicia. While Alicia was rude in trying to interrupt Christina, Christina was 100% in the wrong in yelling at Alicia to "SHUT UP" when Christina was trying to talk. It's one thing to stand up for yourself; it's another to come off as even more confrontational than the person who is continually interrupting you.

2) Alicia is going to get blindsided at some point, and it will be glorious. Though Alicia refused to step up at Tribal Council to be the leader of the tribe, she was certainly setting herself up to be the leader. Her arguments with Christina came from her disapproval of Christina not consulting with the tribe. She stood up for the tribe over Christina's lone wolf actions. Soon she will emerge as the leader of the tribe, and will think that she is in control of the game. And then somebody in her alliance will turn on her to further their own game, and we will get an epic meltdown. I can not wait for it.

Commenting on an invisible Survivor

Kourtney was the first person to leave the game. She wasn't voted out; instead she had to be removed for medical reasons. That's really all I can say about Kourtney and her game, because she got virtually no air time, being sacrificed for the overreaching story arches. So, I send my apologies to Kourtney for not having more to say about her; she'll have to blame the editors though.

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