Tag Archives: Survivor

Survivor: South Pacific Season Thoughts (And How Coach Could Have Won)

A recreation of the logo for the first America...

Those people who really know me know that I am a huge Survivor fan.  I have watched every season and rarely have I ever missed an episode.  I do have to admit that before last season my interest in the show was starting to wane but Boston Rob‘s brilliant game really re-energized my love for the show.  I must admit that when this season started up and they used the same gimmicky crap as last year and were bringing back two former stars of the show I was a little put off.  And when I saw that the two former stars were Ozzy and Coach I was watching with my finger on the remote and ready to change the channel faster than Jeff Probst can don a blue shirt.

I had no problem with Ozzy.  The guy can catch fish in the desert and climb a tree like someone was chasing him.  He also is probably one of the most physically gifted people who have ever been on Survivor.  A truly dominant force in all the challenges.  So I knew that he was going to fit right in on whatever gang he was “jumped” into.

English: Coach Wade, also known as a huge cock...

Coach…Freakin’ Coach, Man.

I told Deb, who really didn’t watch the show before I kind of made her last year, that Coach was going to be right up there in the Crazy Stratosphere like “Pink Panty” Phillip from last year.  This guy had been the epitome of Douchebag in earlier seasons and I knew he wasn’t going to disappoint this year either.  I was pretty sure we would all see his morning routine of “I saw this on TV and I pretend to know what I am doing because it makes me look deep” Tai Chi  while half-naked and alone on a beach.  I was also confident we would all be subjected to his constant Sun Tzu, Shakespeare, [insert your own long dead but highly quotable figure from history here], etc. quotes during his confessionals to let us all know just how much smarter he is than the rest of us.

And he didn’t disappoint either.  I was surprised at how much he toned down the more outrageous aspects of his personality but for the most part it was the same old Coach Wade.

The one aspect of the show this year that I did not see coming was Jesus.

Not sure which one is scarier

The real name of the show for season 23 should have been Survivor:  The Cult of Jesus.  Holy shit, was there a ton of praying on this season or what?  There was so much Jesus-freakery that I almost tuned out at about mid-season.  I know that it was all because of the God-Warrior Schizo Brandon Hantz.  This kid got his entire tribe cult to get in a circle and pray for everything.  And I mean everything.  They prayed before and after absolutely everything.  I am gonna go out on a limb here and say that I am pretty sure that the entire group was getting in a circle and praying before someone headed off into the woods to take a coconut laced dump.  It was almost unbearable.

And if you wanted to have a shot at any money this year you had to drink the Kool-Aid and get in there and get your Jesus-hands dirty.  If you didn’t bow your head and thank Jesus every time the wind blew you were going to be ostracized and have zero chance at seeing the endgame. It was all pretty sickening.  I felt like I was being forced to watch a version of Survivor that was somehow taken over by the 700 Club every Wednesday night.

I wish the producers would have had the foresight to stick some Jewish or Muslim players in the mix.  It would have been incredibly entertaining to see a Holy War erupt on that little island in the South Pacific.

I would like to point out that I did correctly make the prediction that every bit of prayer would stop once Brandon got the boot.  There wasn’t one mention of God by the other players once he was kicked to the curb.  Thank God.

Ozzy Cornell

And then there was Ozzy.

When the season started I wanted nothing more than to see him voted off early.  Especially when my lady kept getting all school girl crushy on him because he looked to be a mixture of Chris Cornell and a dirty pirate.  But about 5 or 6 weeks ago I started really pulling for him to win.  The little beach-hippie was not only surviving over on Redemption Island, he was prospering.  This cat was catching and eating more than the rest of these chumps combined.  So he pretty much had energy to spare at every duel and it really showed.  Ozzy just stomped every single competitor into the ground on his way back into the game when there were  just 5 people left.

You could almost smell the fear in the other four remaining members of The Jesus cult when Ozzy got back into the game.  And you could almost taste it when he won that next Immunity challenge.  It seemed like there was no stopping the Ozzy train as he just steamrolled over everyone on his way to the million dollars.

I have to give credit to Coach, Sophie and Albert for their smart decision at that Tribal Council.  They had to get rid of Rick.  He had no shot at winning at the next challenge and they needed to make sure Ozzy did not win immunity because if he did he would have won the game outright.  That jury wasn’t going to give the money to anyone but Ozzy if he was in the final three and everyone knew it.  So because Sophie was more of a man than Rick…he had to go.

And it turned out to be a brilliant move because Sophie bitch slapped Ozzy right out of the winner’s circle at the next Immunity challenge and pretty much sealed both of their fates.  If they voted Ozzy out…Sophie was going to win, hands down.  She did the least amount to piss off the members of the jury and at this point in the game that is what it is all about.  I honestly don’t think there was any way she wasn’t going to win if Ozzy was voted out.  But…..

The Final Three

Coach could have made things a bit interesting and even given himself an outside chance at winning the game if he just had the balls to stand up to his convictions.  Albert had about the same chances of seeing his name on any of those votes as he did seeing mine because he had pissed off every single member of the jury and there was not going to be any forgiveness during that last tribal council.  The only way Coach had a shot at winning was to vote against Albert and tie up the votes at 2-2 with Ozzy.  He could have (and should have) made a big “Dragonslayer” production out of that vote and make it known to everyone on the jury that he wanted to live up to his “play with the best” credo that he had preached since day one of his first season on the show.

Had Coach voted for Albert and forced the tie-breaker the most likely outcome would have been that Ozzy would have made his fire faster than Albert and been in the final three.  But there really would have been no difference to Coach if Albert or Ozzy were sitting next to him and Sophie up there at the end…he wasn’t going to win.

Oh FFS! More praying?

Now, had Albert beaten Ozzy in that tie-breaker then the outcome of the game would have most likely completely changed.  The jury would have seen Coach live up to his honor and integrity mantra instead of just wading around in the bullshit that it became.  The jury would have seen Coach take a gamble and give Ozzy the shot to win his way to the million.  So because Albert beat Ozzy in the tie-break, the same three people are still sitting in the Final Three but this time I honestly believe that Coach would have received every single vote from the jury for the payday.

Coach making that move (with the Albert beating Ozzy stipulation) was the only way he could have won.  He had to know he wasn’t going to beat Sophie…I knew it, so he had to.   So I don’t see why he didn’t at least give himself a fighting chance.

All in all it was a pretty entertaining season.  I could have done without the constant browbeating by a 19-year-old kid that was replacing his addiction to drugs/booze/gangs/tattoos/etc. with a Jesus addiction but overall it was enjoyable.

I guess I will be back again next year.

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Survivor: My Guilty Pleasure

I am a Survivor geek.  That’s right, I admitted it.  I love this show and still think that, even after some lackluster seasons over the last few years, it is still the best reality/game show year in and year out.  I just felt like I needed to get that out of the way before I even started talking about the new season that started up last night.

So Survivor:  Nicaragua started last night and I was once again, for the 21st season (I still don’t know how that is even possible) sucked in.  Here are my notes after watching the show:

1.  Youth and Strength vs. Age and Wisdom
They two tribes were split based on age.  Everyone under 30 on one tribe and everyone over 40 on the other.  My first thought, being in neither age group, was, “Where are the peeps in their 30s?”  I was hoping there would be that one guy standing in the middle of the two groups that was in his 30s that would have to choose which of the two tribes he was going to join…but no such luck.

I always find it amusing how cocky and arrogant the young kids are on this show during those first few days.  They always believe that their youth and strength immediately makes them the front-runner for the title of Sole Survivor.  Time after time I see those high expectations dashed as they slowly realize that the challenges aren’t always about who is the fastest or strongest and they find Probst dousing their flames one after another at Tribal Council.  Listen up whippersnappers, the hare does not always beat the tortoise.  And what I have seen time after time is how quickly the younger people start to implode as soon as they have to start feeding on their own at tribal council.  They get downright brutal whereas the older alliances usually handle having to “off” one of their own with much more grace and dignity.

Granted, last night the Young Guns did pull through and win the first immunity challenge but it was really a close game.  The old codgers were in it right up to the last puzzle piece.  But they really only won that challenge because the older group blew their opportunity to win by electing not to use the Medallion of Power..

My Verdict: I actually like the way the teams were separated and I would be willing to bet the older group wins more than they lose

2.  Medallion of Power and stupid, stupid, stupid people
The new twist this year is the Medallion of Power.  One tribe holds the Medallion every week and they can use it to gain advantage in a challenge.  I am not sure if this is just to be used in the Immunity challenges or if someone would be allowed to (and stupid enough to) use it in a reward challenge.  This medallion gives the tribe a “huge” advantage in the challenges.  But once a tribe uses the medallion if passes to the other tribe to be used at their discretion.

How long is that staff supposed to be?

For example, last night’s challenge was, essentially, to move water from bucket A to bucket B.  To fill bucket B they tribe would need to move approximately 5 buckets of water from bucket A.  Once Bucket B was filled with water they could move on to putting together a puzzle and the first team to complete the puzzle would win the first Immunity of the season.  The team with the Medallion could use it and start off with 1 bucket of water already in Bucket B.

Through a choice made earlier in the show the older group had the Medallion of Power.  They decided to “make a statement” and not use it for the first immunity challenge because they felt like this was a challenge where the two groups disparity in ages would not come into play.  The only statement you guys made was this:  You are collectively a bunch of morons.

Both teams filled their buckets at almost identical times with the young group having a slight edge.  That slight edge in time was just enough to finish the puzzle before the older group and take home that immunity.  Had the older crew used the medallion they would have easily finished miles ahead of the younger group and sent them to see the Jeffster at tribal council.

What the old people didn’t think about was how important, especially this season, that first tribal council would be.  Had the older people sent the younger to feed on one of their own it would have been a monstrous advantage for them.  First, they would have caused the younger group to start clamoring for alliances in the first 3 days and they would most likely be demoralized enough by the loss to have no group cohesion at the next challenge.  And secondly, at the next challenge the older group would have been a man up and they could sit their weakest competitor.  Having the ability to sit that weakest player is always a huge advantage in a challenge.  By not playing the medallion the young guns get to sit out their weakest competitor while the older people have to now play everyone…stupid stupid move.

My Verdict: I think the entire reason for the Medallion was last night’s show.  Using it last night would have been an incredible momentum builder for the older crew and quite possibly could have altered the course of the game for the entire season.  I like the idea of the medallion but I really do think that its affect will be lessened by not being played in that first challenge.

3.  Sympathy Competitors
Producers:  No handicapped people on Survivor, please.

That may not be very politically correct but these poor people have no chance of winning.  Their complete inability to win has nothing to do with their performance in the game but with how all of the other contestants react to them.  This year we have the girl with one leg.  She has a prosthetic leg that appears to have a Cheetah Flex Foot for running.  I don’t know if you have ever seen someone running on these things but there was a guy, Oscar Pistorius, that was disqualified from running in the Olympic games because he had an unfair advantage over runners with two whole legs.  So the dude with no legs had and advantage over those with legs in a running race…crazy to even try and process that one.

She could very well be the strongest and fastest of every player out there but it won’t matter because there isn’t a single person that would want to be sitting next to her at that final tribal council.  Everyone is afraid of the sympathy vote.

My Verdict: Would love to see her win but she won’t.  She won’t be the first one to go…not a single person would even be willing to even broach the subject for their first trip to the voting blocks.  But I am pretty sure she won’t make it as far as the merger.  There is just too much for a person with a handicap of any kind to overcome that would ever make them a good choice to sit up there next to you at a final tribal council.  So don’t put any more of these good people on the show when they have zero chance to win.

4.  Dudes with Blurry Junk

Bet you are thinking about mouse balls now

Ok, WTF was this all about?  All throughout the show last night dudes were strutting around in their underwear.  And because these guys came to the island wearing the tightest underwear they could find CBS had big blurry spots all over their junk for most of the show.  I don’t want to spend an hour looking at another dude’s johnson but I am pretty sure my eyes would have never even focused on that part of the anatomy had there not been this huge blur drawing my eyes there.  It is almost like Louis CK’s view on the N-word.  I wasn’t planning on viewing the wangs of these contestants last night but because of the big blurry spot on my screen Survivor was basically making me visualize these peckers in my mind.  It got to a point where I was wondering if these guys were just walking around with their twig and berries just hanging out of their underwear.  Is that gay?  Did CBS just make me gay last night?

My Verdict: Wear some freakin’ pants for the love of God.  I don’t want to see or be made to visualize any man meat for the rest of this season.
Sidenote:  Most of the chicks on the younger tribe, please disregard my comment about pants…feel free to strut around in your underwear.

5.  Jimmy Johnson
Jimmy JohnsonI have never liked Coach JJ and before the show even started I was hoping to watch Probst douse his flame at tribal council on that first show of the season.  Seriously, how can I ever have anything but hate for the former Dallas Cowboys coach, right?  I am a Redskins fan for crying out loud.

But something changed after only about 15 minutes into the show:   I started warming to the guy.  How can I be brought to dark side that quickly?  How can I put away so many years of hatred for this guy in 15 minutes?  He was upfront with the other competitors about why he was on the show (for the adventure itself more than the win) and I actually believed him.  His pep talk before the initial immunity challenge alone would have been enough for me to not vote to kick him off if I was on his tribe.  How can you really beat having a motivational tool like a former Superbowl champion coach on your side before going into any challenges?

I agree with Jimmy’s own assessment that it would be pretty smart for just about anyone else in the game to have him sitting next to them in that final tribal council.  I know that if I was in that jury I wouldn’t give that guy a million dollars.  That million would be a life changer to every other contestant on the show but would that even really matter to the Coach?  Even if I thought he was the best player and deserved to win I could not, in good conscience, give him the money over any other contestant.

My Verdict: I find myself liking the guy and can see how he can be a great leader.  I hope he sticks around a while.  Plus, I just want to see how messy his hair is after a month out there in Nicaragua.  I really want them to do a celebrity survivor…not another Survivor All-Stars…a celebrity survivor.

Guess I will have to wait til next week to see how things progress.

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