Though Survivor is far from being a new reality show you may have to remind the current season’s contestants, because they don’t seem to know how the game needs to be played. Let’s assume anyone who has the balls to send in an audition tape to try and get a spot on Survivor has had the sense to watch it over the years so they not only know what to do, but what to expect.
This season’s batch of contestants makes you wonder how they ended up on the show in the first place, because it doesn’t seem as if most of them have even followed the show; especially Keith. The whole blood vs water twist the producers threw in this season was supposed to spice up the show. Unfortunately just because your blood may be a diehard Survivor follower, it doesn’t mean you are. Now I don’t know about anyone else but if I was given the opportunity to not only be a contestant on the show, but to have a blood relative go through the experience with me, I would pick one who has watched and learned all these years to see just how the game is played.
Dale’s attempt at doing damage control looks like it’s either going to pay off for him well or tank horribly…and I have a feeling for the sake of ratings producers would rather see it tank. You know the season is going bad when, for only the second time in the show’s history, Jeff Probst has to offer contestants a bail out. When the governments bailed the banks out in the recent past, things looked less bleak than they do for this crop of Survivor contestants.
Probst’s declaration that the contestants needed a bail out two weeks into the show doesn’t bode well for the rest of the season, unless you gain joy from watching grown men and women fall flat on their faces in attempt to prove they can survive conditions all these other wussies can’t.
One of the keys to surviving Survivor is determining when to trade one thing you need for another thing you need more. Some not-so-great choices were made when Probst announced that both tribes could pick one member to go to head to head with each other. Putting a former cheerleader and a dancer up against each other should have made for a pretty good competition. Since good is a relative term, you’d need to watch and draw your own conclusions as to whether the head-to-head was compelling TV or just an excuse to laugh at people that are in a situation most of us wouldn’t even put down our remote control, set the bowl of popcorn on the coffee table and even contemplate subjecting ourselves to.
It started to get sticky when Reed was given a golden opportunity to get rid of whichever tribe mate he considered to be the biggest threat to him winning the game. Lacking the foresight to actually make a smart decision he ended up targeting Julie in (what he wants you to believe) is a noble and gentlemanly attempt to do what is best for her; send her into a situation where she can prove to her boyfriend that she doesn’t need to be pampered like a lady in order to survive; she can rough it with the best of them. However, Natalie, not content to sit idly by and watch someone else get exiled, bravely stepped in and offered to take Julie’s place. I think it’s pretty safe to say that Natalie didn’t volunteer for this in order to spare Julie. Natalie did it because she is either up to something or wants to trick her fellow contestants into thinking she is. It turns out that by heading to Exile Island Natalie did manage to get a clue from Baylor. Only time will tell how this plays out for everyone involved.
Julie seems to be in island unto herself as for all her efforts to make herself seem like a tough female she spends a decent amount of time telling the other contestants that she didn’t know if she was going to make it through an entire night of undesirable weather after her tribe had to give up their tarp just to be able to receive enough sustenance to try and crawl their way to the top of the Survivor food chain. Interestingly enough Julie received comfort from the one tribe member who basically made his goal to eliminate her boyfriend from the competition. This would make most decent girlfriends wary of him…but not our Julie.
Reed and Josh are stirring up trouble for themselves by acting more like they are guests aboard the Love Boat than contestants on a show where you have to eat things no human being should have to eat, just to survive long enough to at least hold onto a glimmer of hope that you might emerge as the winner at the end of this season. And Jeremy is using the couple’s PDAs to work his own strategy in this game. He is not liking that Reed and Josh are drawing attention simply because they are a couple who is acting like a couple; this is something that I guess Survivor contestants don’t really expect from their fellow contestants. It will be interesting to see whether or not Reed and Josh’s love affair will result in one or both of them being booted off the show by everyone else. When a decent number of the contestants are single and you are parading around with the love of your life, you are liable to make some enemies.
Next week’s impending merge could turn allies into enemies or enemies into allies. At this point the ratio of singles vs couples is 4 to 8. This could create an interesting dynamic as we move forward in the season. Check back next week to see who chokes and who moves promptly ahead.