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The Season So Far….Survivor One World Review

I had 4 episodes on tape and because I hated the cast so much, I was in no rush to watch.  But after Kansas beat UNC last night (Go Jayhawks!!!)  I decided to pop in a few episodes and see if it’s gotten any better.  Well, the good news is….unfortunately, there is none.  Not only is the cast still as annoying as before, but it’s actually gotten worse.  WORSE!  I didn’t think that was possible, but it has.

In the beginning, it was very rare to see vile human beings on Survivor (other than Richard Hatch.)  There may have been characters you didn’t like, but no one so disgusting that it took away from the enjoyment of the show.  Bare in mind, there is a difference between loving to hate someone and all out hating someone because they are a horrible human being.  To me, someone like Parvati was someone people loved to hate.  Maybe some people liked her, but for the most part, she was not well liked.   And it had nothing to do with her being a horrible human being.  It was just she was devious and manipulative but all within the spirit of the game.  She is arguably one of the best players Survivor has ever seen.  You also had polarizing people like Coach, Jeri, Courtney, Randy, Sandra, Boston Rob.  Some nasty people in the group, some devious people, and some strange people.  But none of which who were vile, awful people.  Now I was not a fan of Courtney or Sandra…I really hated their characters because I thought they were pretty rude.  But from things I’ve read, they are very different in the real world than on the show.  So I can chalk it up to that.   Plus, their actions always seemed to be within the framework and spirit of the game.  But then everything changed with one show….Survivor Samoa.

Samoa introduced us to the most polarizing player ever to grace our Survivor nation….Russell Hantz.  Russell took playing dirty to a whole new level.  Russell’s arrogance was also like nothing we have ever seen before.  Sure there were people who had confidence in themselves and their game but nothing like Russell.  He was ripping the intelligence of the women around him, he would get in someone’s face, threaten them and then follow through with the threat (by voting them out.)  He was ruthless.   But even though Russell was mostly a hated player, there were still plenty of people out there that loved him and there were plenty of people who loved to hate him.   My husband and I didn’t like Russell but we loved having him on Survivor because he made for riveting TV.   We couldn’t wait to see what he would do next.  I still think he was robbed on Samoa because he deserved to win.   But after that, if you don’t learn from your mistakes, I can’t feel bad for you.

But after Samoa, we have now seen at least three people (at least 3 for me) that I don’t see any redeemable qualities in the type of person they are….Na’Onka, Colton, and Alicia.  And the scariest part, is that two of these people are EDUCATORS!!!!!!  I don’t mind if Survivor wants to bring controversial people on the screen who will shake things up a bit.   But there is a difference between finding a strong personality that will probably clash with other people and finding complete psychopaths who ruin the show.  In fairness to the casting department, they probably don’t know to the extent someone will behave on the island until they get out there.  But wow have they made some bad choices.   People like Na’Onka, Colton, and Alicia aren’t fun to watch.  They aren’t interesting or intriguing.  They are just horrendous.  Na’Onka didn’t totally ruin Nicaragua for me (although she came close) but I hated watching any scene she was in and was so relieved when she was finally voted out.  Talk about a horrible person.  But at least it was just one person.  And once they were gone, it was much better.  This season doesn’t have that luxury.

I have tried to start this paragraph several different ways because there are just no words to describe a repulsive person like Colton.  I’ve never in my life seen anyone behave or act like he did on Survivor.   And the scary thing is, I believe that’s exactly how he behaves in the real world.  He is a bigoted, racist, elitist, asshole.  And that’s being kind.   I understand in your confessionals or even to your closest confidants that you may poke fun or celebrate someone’s ultimate demise on the show.  But to be so blatantly rude and condescending to a fellow teammate by telling them “they couldn’t make an alliance with a hermit crab” or “you can be medivaced out or jump in the fire, it’s up to you.”   Who the hell do you think you are?   And what’s worse….EVERYONE IS ALLOWING HIM TO ACT THIS WAY!!!!   Why is this prick dictating what is going on?   Why did Mike, Jay, Bill, Troyzan, Leif allow this to go on?  Tarzan and Jonah have no spines so it’s not surprising that they have done nothing.   But what about the other guys?   How did Leif and Cristina allow Colton, and eventually Alicia, to talk to them the way that they did?  Grow a set and put him in his place!!!  I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I wish Matt was still on the show because he seems like the kind of guy who would have nipped this in the bud and gotten rid of Colton a long time ago.  Between Colton’s behavior and the fact that NO ONE will call him on it or punish him for it (like vote him off) is what is ruining this season for me.  I can’t stand people who don’t play the game.  It’s one thing to be smart about not pissing off people and making your move at the right time.  But it’s an entirely other thing to be so afraid of getting voted off that you allow this Mussolini to take control of everything….including spearheading the decision to give up immunity and go to tribal council instead of the girls tribe!!!!   I couldn’t believe what I was watching!!!!!  And all because, he didn’t like Bill.  Not because he was a threat, not because he was dangerous, but because he didn’t like his voice and career choice.  WHAT!!!!!!!  And SEVEN OTHER PEOPLE agreed to this.   Man I thought the girls’ tribe was stupid.  The men took it to a whole new level.

So on top of the whole, Colton is an asshole fiasco, you have his partner in crime, Alicia, who is just as much of an abomination as he is.  She is foul-mouthed, nasty, rude, arrogant, and is not above threatening to beat you up and slap you around if God forbid you need about an inch of room to sleep in the shelter.  And this is someone who teaches special needs children.  Like I said during Na’Onka’s season, if I had my kid in her class, I would yank them out so fast.  I wouldn’t want that woman anywhere near my kids.

I’m so frustrated because I really love this show.  But I am starting to get tired of not only the nasty people, but the stupid people.  It’s another problem Survivor is facing because you have people getting cast on this show who don’t play the game.  Either they’re too dumb to play or too lazy to play.  Between the dreck from Redemption Island to this One World cast, the casting has been horrible.  Out of the 18-22 people (depending on the season you get) who are cast, removing the returning players from the mix, you are only getting about 5-6 people who truly seem to want to play the game.   And unfortunately, they are usually deemed the “threatening people” are therefore voted out of the game early by the idiots.  Or, in the case of RI and South Pacific, just do whatever the returning player wants them to do and don’t bother developing their own game plan.   Where are the Rob Cestraninos?   The Ceries?  The Parvatis?  The Boston Robs?  While we all bitch about seeing the same people come back time and time again, at least these people play the game to win.  I’d rather watch that than people like Natalie and Ashley from Redemption Island or take your pick from this season.

But you know what they say….karma’s a bitch.  Colton was thankfully carted off the island this past week with an appendicitis.  I shouldn’t say thankfully because that sounds cruel.  Hopefully, medically, he’s ok.  I’m thankful because he won’t be on my TV screen anymore.  But I hope his health is just fine.   Unfortunately, Alicia is still there but hopefully won’t be for much longer.  I’m still rooting for Kim, Sabrina, Chelsea (although not as much with her) Troyzan and Jay.  I was hoping this season would turn around but I’m afraid it’s too far gone.  If we can get Alicia, Tarzan, and Kat off the show soon, it may have a chance because the rest of the people, I believe, want to play the game.  Except for Christina but because of how she was treated, I’m really hoping Alicia and Tarzan go before she does.

What do you think of Survivor One World?  And what are your thoughts on some of the recent casting decisions over the last few seasons?   Does it bug you as much as me or am I reading too much into it?   Comment away!!!

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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews

 

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REVIEW: Survivor One World “Total Dysfunction” S24 E2

It’s official.  I hate these people.  Between the cocky Mike, Matt, and Jay to the most annoying Survivor ever in Colton.  And don’t get me started on the idiots that is the women’s tribe.  This reminds me of Season 3 Africa where everyone (except Ethan) was so grating and agitating that I hated the season.  Unfortunately, this may be another one of those seasons.

This has to be the dumbest group of Survivors I have ever watched.  Wait, I think I still have to give the nod to the crew from Redemption Island.  I am still steaming that Ashley and Natalie and the like allowed Boston Rob to walk all over them like the Godfather and his minions.  Not that I am upset at the way Boston Rob played because it was genius.  It’s because I hate people who go into Survivor but don’t want to PLAY Survivor.  If you aren’t going to play the game, stay the hell home.  I digress.  But this group is a close second.

First you have Matt pounding his chest about having the “strong man, cool clique” alliance that makes him completely comfortable in his position.  Hey asshole.  You only have four people in your alliance.  You know how many people are on your tribe?  Nine.  If the other 5 team up, which they will, you’re screwed dumb ass. Then you have Kat.  “What does ambiance mean?”   Really?  I know it’s not polite to pick on people’s vocabulary (especially when mine isn’t the greatest either) but come one.  Kat also has problems following the rules of a challenge.  It’s simple..get around the other people on the beam but you can only touch one person at a time, otherwise you have to start all over again.  In fairness to Kat, Cristina was also brain-dead during this challenge as well.  Between Cristina constantly touching other people and Kat jumping in the water wasting time when she didn’t need to, they were dead from the start with their challenge.  Finally Monica said, move away, I’m doing this.   Again, in fairness to Kat, if the other girls were so annoyed at her stupidity (like Nina) then why didn’t some one tell her to get at the end of the line and let someone else go through all eight people? After 3 failed attempts, that’s what should have happened.  Then you have foul-mouthed Alicia who likes to pick fights with everyone.   I would love to know where Survivor finds all these educators who are completely psycho.  Remember NaOnka everyone?   If I were the parents of the kids she teaches, I would move them to another school.

Finally, there’s Colton.  OMFG!!!!!  Easily the most annoying Survivor to date.  All he does is bitch that he doesn’t fit in with the men.  Then he annoys the only people who liked him by constantly begging to live in their camp.  In the course of 3-5 days he has managed to alienate everyone.  How about this Colton?   If you want to fit in, TRY!!  Don’t lounge around camp doing nothing pissing your tribe mates off even more.  Don’t always run to the girls complaining about the guys and how you are more a girl than a guy anyway.  Try to find a way to get along.   I know it’s hard but you had to know going on Survivor that at SOME point you would have to try to work with men on your tribe.  Are you kidding me?

The only people I like right now are Sabrina, Kim, Chelsea, Leif, and Bill.  So in no particular order, I am rooting for them.  Here’s the biggest problem with Survivor these days…people make alliances WAAAAAY too fast.   Idiot Alicia took a look around and saw 4 other girls who “looked” young, strong, and athletic so she created her alliance with them on the walk to the beach.  You haven’t known these people for an hour and you’ve already decided who’s in your alliance?  I give her credit for one thing….at least she can do math.  Maybe she could teach that to Matt.  I have to imagine that Sab, Chelsea, and Kim are kicking themselves aligning with Alicia and Kat.  They even said it at TC last night when they said they would make different alliances at this point in the game.  But what are you going to do?  If someone comes up to you wanting you to be part of the power alliance, what are you going to say?  No?  Let me get to know you first?  You would screw yourself.  What I would do if I were Sab, Kim, and Chelsea?  I would regroup with Monica and Cristina and vote of Kat and Alicia next.  It’s early in the game so they won’t be part of the jury and you won’t have to worry about that coming back to bite you.  It was a mistake to vote off Nina.  Kat should have gone.  And I think changing your alliance at this point, doesn’t make you a liar or fraud.  In this case, it would make them smart.  But I have a bad feeling that won’t happen.

What do you guys think of One World so far?  I think the two biggest things I like are no redemption island and returning castmates.  Other than that, two thumbs down….so far.  We still have 16-17 episodes more to go.  Plenty of time to turn the season around.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in CBS, Mid Season, Recaps and Reviews

 

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SEASON FINALE REVIEW: Survivor Redemption Island S22

Was that not the most boring and unsurprising final tribal council ever?   Was anyone even remotely concerned that Rob Mariano wasn’t going to win $1 million.  I wasn’t.  Once Andrea was the one that came back from RI, I knew Rob would win the million.

What started with so much promise for a great season really turned into a stinker and probably one of the worst Survivor seasons ever.   My two cents for anyone who ever wants to play Survivor….if all you are going to do is ride coattails or go out there to make friends, or just lollygag your way through the 39 days, please, don’t put in a tape and tryout for Survivor.   It’s horrible to watch.  I’ve never been more frustrated watching in group of people play a cutthroat game like Survivor in my life.  Between Zapatera’s ineptness and stupid game play to Ometepe’s complete LACK of game play, it was terrible.   And then to hear people like Ashley in her exit interview say things like “I wouldn’t have changed anything about how I played the game.”   ARE YOU SERIOUS?   Did you last 35+ days?   You sure did.   Did you do ANYTHING to warrant winning $1 million?  Nope.   So how could you say you wouldn’t change a thing?  You may not have a Boston Rob next time to tell you what to do.   Then what are you going to do?    My husband thinks I was overly hard on Ashley but I don’t think I was.    There were MANY opportunities she had to take Rob out of the game and she never bothered to entertain the idea.  How she ever thought that sitting with Rob in the finals, she still had a chance to win the money, is beyond me.  That’s what bugs me the most.  None of these people thought about the people who could beat them in the final 3.  Not One!!!   When planning to get to the end, you HAVE to think about who you are going to sit next to for the best chance to win.  Not your best friend.  Not the person who helped you get there.  The people you can beat is who you should be taking.   Actually you know who thought about that strategy?  Rob.   Guess who won the million dollars?   Rob.   At least Philip tried to go with a strategy to get to the end.  It was an awful strategy but it was one to try.  It worked in that Rob took him to the finals.  But Philip pissed off so many people (except Ralph) that no one would vote for him.   It was a more twisted form of the Russell Hantz strategy.   But I give Rob a lot of credit.   He played a terrific game with the hand he was dealt and rode it all the way to a million dollars.  He’s says he’s done playing Survivor, but we’ll see.

I wasn’t sure how this last episode was going to go with all the RI people still left and eight people to get through.   But they did a good job moving through it quickly.   And as much as I dislike RI, I loved it for 2 simple reasons….no boring filler moments from camp leading up to the final TC and no fallen comrades montage!!!!  I have always HATED the fallen comrades piece and I was thrilled beyond thrilled to see it gone from this episode!!!  I still think, overall, that I am NOT a fan of RI.  Now that the season is done and I watched it play out, I didn’t like it.    I think once you are voted out of the game, you should be out of the game with no chance to come back.   That’s my opinion.  Now maybe it was because this season had a bunch of people who could so easily be swayed and directed that RI didn’t really have much impact and I am willing to give it one more season to see.   But I’m skeptical.  In this season, the 2 people who came in, went right back out.  No drama and no change or impact.  So I don’t really know what purpose it served.

You know what really cracks me up every season I watch Survivor?   The interrogation from the jury to the final contestants.  Specifically the issue with honesty and playing the game with integrity.  This always drives me crazy.  The game is OUTWIT, Outlast, Outplay.  People behave and act differently on the island of Survivor than they do in real life.  So why is it that every single jury from season 1 through season 22, has someone who feels the need to make the finalists feel like shit because they made a move that was “questionable” to get further in the game?  I know people get hurt and it’s a tough game but it is a GAME.   Not real life.  I’m sure there are people who are who they are on the show (Na’Onka) but I would assume most people act one way on the show and another way in the real world.  Boston Rob said it best on the reunion show.   It’s such a hard game because you go in not planning on creating any real relationships but you do.  It’s human nature.   Survivor is a game but the relationships on the island are very real and it’s  a very slippery slope between the two.   You would hope, everyone (or at least 95% of the people) who play the game would understand it and not take it personally.  I’ve never played Survivor so maybe it’s easy for me to sit here and say “suck it up!”  But I was pretty pissed at the low blow Julie took when she brought up how people’s family’s would feel toward’s their game play.   I know what she was trying to say but it really came out awful…especially Natalie.  Say what you want about Natalie being brainless or not very bright or whatever but I think people forget that she is 19 years old.  She just graduated high school!  You remember how “smart” you were when you were 19?   I know I was an idiot!  Some would say I still am!!!   I agree with Julie that Natalie should have been tougher and not so easily swayed by Rob but you know what, Survivor gave her a great life lesson.  Stand up for yourself and make sure that YOU are always dictating the path you want your direction to go in….not someone else.  There are many people who need to be in a certain situation for them to learn that.  Unfortunately, Natalie’s situation was on national TV for all to critique.  But I still thought for Julie to ask if her mother would be proud of her, was unnecessary.

As for the reunion show, it was also a downer.  Not as interesting as year’s past.  Although I was happy to see Philip extend his hand and apologize to Steve for calling him a racist and I was also happy to see Steve return the handshake and accept the apology.  That was a cool moment.  One thing that Probst brought up that I disagreed with was when he and Julie were discussing strategy. Julie mentioned that she was frustrated that the girls would never make a move or do anything.   But then Probst threw back in her face that the girls (meaning Ashley and Natalie) got further than she did.  While he isn’t technically wrong, I think he’s missing the point.  Julie’s goal is to get Julie farther in the game.  That’s what she was trying to do.  But she needs help to do that.  The girls were never going to do that because that’s not what Rob told them to do.  Hence her frustration.  Also, and this goes back to what I said before, that while Ashley and Natalie’s strategy may have gotten them further in the game than Julie, they still didn’t do what they needed to do to win a million dollars.  So even though Ashley and Natalie came in 4th and 3rd respectively, they aren’t millionaires either, just like Julie.

Survivor is heading into it’s 12th year and season 23 in the fall and they are heading to the islands of the South Pacific.  “There is nothing like a dame!!  Nothing in the world.   There is nothing you can name that is anything like a dame!!!”  Sorry, I had to break out the Rodgers and Hammerstein there.   But guess what is happening next season……RI is returning and 2 more former contestants are  coming back to play the game.  RI coming back I can deal with because like I said, it may play out very differently with other people playing the game.   But another 2 former contestants coming back again?   Is this what is going to happen with Survivor?  We are just going to keep bringing former Survivors back to play?  I don’t like that.  I don’t mind All-Star shows or Heroes vs. Villains shows….they are some of my favorites.  But I don’t like mixing veteran Survivors with newbies.   Let the newbies play and see what happens.  And then have the experiences players face off against one another.   I think when you add the vets with the newbies, it really changes the dynamic and not for the better.  Again, maybe this season will be different, but I’m not encouraged.    Regardless, this is the only reality show I watch and it is the best and as long as Survivor is on the air, I will be watching it!!

Thanks for a great season!   See you in the fall.   “Bali Hai may call you….”   Last R&H song I promise!

 

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REVIEW: Survivor Redemption Island S22 E12

After the craziness of the last couple of weeks, this week’s episode was a little boring.  And unfortunately, because Rob’s tribe is playing like a bunch of zombies, it’s very predictable.   But now that all the obvious votes are gone, it should start to get interesting again.  Although I think it’s going to be Grant then Ashley with Rob taking Natalie and Philip to the final 3.  Again, this is assuming who ever comes back in the game from RI and they don’t win an immunity challenge, is going right to the jury.

The one great part about this episode though, which is always my favorite of the season, it’s the message/visit from the loved one from home.  I always love seeing the Survivors getting all choked up from the messages.  Unless you’re in the military or have a wicked travel schedule for work, most people aren’t away from family or friends for over a month.  I’ve been with my husband for 14 years (almost 11 married) and the longest consecutive stretch I’ve been away from him was 2 weeks.  So I could imagine not seeing him for 31 straight days and getting pretty emotional.   Depending on the season and depending on the time of the game when the loved ones arrive, it’s always amazing to see.  But for ease of discussion, let’s say it’s around day 30.  So for 30 days, you see some people in this game and they are nasty people.  You see some tough ass people.  You see some devious, manipulative people.   You see some very spiritual people.  No matter who you see, their reaction is always the same…genuine joy at seeing someone they love to the point where most burst into tears.   It goes to show you how much and family and friends mean to you, especially when you haven’t seen or talked to them in over a month.  Like Mike said, even though he was in Iraq fighting for our country, he could at least communicate and talk to his family.   Just like my 14 consecutive days away from my husband, I could still talk to him every day.  But on Survivor, there is no communication.  You haven’t seen or talked to anyone you care about in over a month.   Think about that.   That’s crazy!!!

We head to RI and there is a four person showdown to not only stay alive but to win the right to see your loved one.  The final 6 Ometepe are also there to watch the challenge.  There are 4 tiles for each man to break and the first one to break all 4, wins the challenge and the right to see their loved one.   With 4 throws, Mike wins the challenge.  He made it look easy.  Then Matt and Ralph soon follow and Steve is sent home.  I have to say, and this was brought up on the live Twitter chat with Jeff Probst but I also thought it myself, did Steve even look like he was even trying?  I didn’t think so.  This is now a few challenges in a row where Steve looked like he just gave up.  Which really surprises me from a former NFL athlete.  Probst says it all the time that you really can’t put your self in the mindset of these Survivors because it’s almost impossible to.  Day after day after day with little food, water, weather. and horrible living conditions.  It takes a mental and physical toll on you.  Maybe that’s what happened with Steve.  But it seems like his heart hasn’t been in this game for several weeks now.

So Mike wins the challenge and here comes his mom!!!  Yeah!!!  But it wouldn’t be Survivor without the dreaded twist….and Mike has 3 to choose from…he can keep his winning and hang with his mom or he can give up his right and give it to Matt and Ralph or he can give up his right and give it to the 6 Ometepe.   This is friggin’ brutal.  This would be the challenge I would NEVER want to win.  It’s a lose/lose for the winner.  I don’t think you can win a million dollars with this decision, but you can certainly lose it.  On one hand, you are fighting to stay in this game.  So from a social standpoint, if you give the chance for other people to see their families, you could win some jury votes and stay in people’s good graces a little bit longer.  On the other hand, you won the challenge so you should be able to see your loved one.  You’ve earned it!!  And why give people I’m competing against the chance to see their family members and get a second wind when mentally they may have been on a breaking point?  It could be a risky move.  I also don’t believe you could win a million dollars by giving that to people.  You think because Mike let Boston Rob see his sister that he will somehow take him to the final 3?   Hell no!!!  If anything, he has become more likable and more of a threat.  Therefore as soon as he gets the chance (especially with all the Zapatera already on the jury) Mike will be booted off again.  On the flip side, you could lose a million dollars with your decision.  If you decide to keep the reward for yourself, there may be many upset jury members that remember that and use that as the reason to not vote for you!

On that topic, I need to vent about something that has bothered me for YEARS on Survivor.  Obviously the person who is in this position of having to choose whether he/she gets to keep a reward or give it to someone else or they win and have to choose 2-3 people to come with them, is going to struggle with what to do because they know they can’t take everyone and they know someone is going to be pissed.   And that’s what bothers me.  Why would you be pissed at that person?  There was only one time I can remember a Survivor being perfectly within their right to be pissed off.   Fabio.  Last season, Chase promised to take Fabio and Sash on the very next challenge he won.  He took Sash, but then he took Holly.  So not only did he tell Fabio he would take him and then not, it was also worse because apparently Fabio doesn’t get to see his mother very much.  That is one time I can see being justified that you are pissed.   I would be pissed if I was out there and Chase did that to Fabio.  But in all other circumstances, I don’t get it.  Like Ralph.  Ralph was mad at Mike for picking the Ometepe 6 to get to see their loved ones instead of him and Matt.  You know what Ralph, if you really wanted to see your friend that badly, then you should have won the challenge!  You didn’t so really you deserve nothing.  I don’t understand that at all.  This was not Mike’s decision.  Mike was told either hang out with your mom, let Matt and Ralph hang out with their people, or let the Ometepe 6 hang with their people.  Someone has to get let down.  And Mike, who won the challenge, was one of those people.  So shut up Ralph!!!!   And for anyone else who goes on Survivor, don’t whine if someone doesn’t pick you.  If you want to win a reward then win it your damn self!!!!

There was a pretty grueling immunity challenge that involved carrying heavy planks of wood to make stairs (lots of stairs) and running up and down and up and down and up and down those stairs several times in over 100 degree heat.  I was exhausted watching them.  Eventually, Rob wins the immunity and almost collapses afterwards.  He was really struggling after that challenge and it isn’t the first time the heat got to him.  It happened in Heroes vs. Villains as well.  He was fine though and they are off to another TC where there is no shock as to who was going home, except for the person going home…Andrea.  I have to say though with this RI twist, blindsides aren’t what they used to be.  They just don’t have the same impact.  I’m not feeling it this season.  I always LOVED the blindside but not this year.

So Andrea, Matt, and Ralph are all on RI and now the final 5 on the main island should get REALLY interesting.  I think Rob is tightest with Grant and Natalie.  But he isn’t taking Grant because he’s too dangerous.  And I honestly believe that between Natalie, Ashley, and Philip, any combination of a twosome with Rob, Rob will win.  So who cares.  What I want to know is when the RI person comes back into play.  It can’t be that person is in the final 3.  I would HATE that.  It wouldn’t be fair.  I would think within the next episode or two, the RI person comes back in.  They have to right?

Who is your ultimate Survivor for RI?  Is it Rob?   Grant?  Matt?  Mike?  Andrea?  Philip?  We’ll know soon enough!!!!

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2011 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews

 

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REVIEW: Survivor Redemption Island “You Mangled my Nets” S22 E11

Just when I thought the lack of game play during this season couldn’t get any more frustrating, Ashley made sure it was taken to another level.  I have mentioned several times how disappointed I was in Zapatera’s utter lack of game play.  I have also been stunned at how Boston Rob has been able to manage his “alliance” like a cult.   I had such high hopes for this season when it started out, but it has really turned into a disappointment.  Other than Philip bringing the psycho element to the show, this season is pretty boring because NO ONE, other than Rob, is playing the game.  You could argue that Grant is possibly playing (I’ll get to my thoughts on him later) and to some degree Mike and David we trying to play.   Matt is playing the game from a challenge standpoint but from a strategy standpoint, he’s been awful.   Everyone else is just happy to be there and waiting to see what happens.  You can’t what to see what happens so Survivor.  If you are waiting for something to happen, you know what will happen?   You’re going to get voted out!

So let’s discuss Ashley’s brilliance!  Steve approaches her with a perfectly reasonable strategy…he and Ralph are writing Rob’s name down.  If the girls align with them, they can take Rob out of the game.  Instead of REALLY thinking about how that could benefit them, she just blows it off.  She even says, “you know that could work if we wanted to pull Andrea in.  But we don’t.”  WHY NOT???  If Ashley, Natalie, and Andrea teamed up with Steve and Ralph, they could take out Rob, Grant and Philip and then still have enough of them to take out Steve and Ralph.  Why wouldn’t you do that?  It is mind-boggling to me!!!   These girls aren’t thinking at all.  They are just happy to go through this game completely oblivious to what is happening around them.  They would rather be pawns in Rob’s Survivor than have the balls to make a power play and take control of the game.  But then Ashley takes her brilliance to an even higher level.  We are talking MIT people.  She goes and tells Rob everything Steve just said.    And after Blah Blah Blahing his strategy, she then tells Rob, “of course we didn’t listen to it.”  Of course you didn’t because you are an IDIOT!!!!!  Rob was looking for stooge #2 to take to the finals…well there you go.  It should be Ashley who has proven time and time again, she is just happy to make it as far as she has.

If the Ometepe 6 are the last remaining people (after all the RI people are gone), the only person with a real shot to beat Rob for the million dollars, is Grant.  No one is going to give a million dollars to Philip, because he’s nuts and alienated too many people.  No one is going to give a million dollars to Natalie or Ashley because they haven’t done shit.  And no one is going to give a million dollars to Andrea because she hasn’t really done anything and she may be perceived as being disloyal to her closest ally Matt, one too many times.  Grant is the only one with a chance.  And Rob knows it so he isn’t going to take him.   The interesting thing will be how RI plays in.  I think if Mike or Matt can somehow get back into the game and into the finals, they will win.  Mike for sure because all his former Zapatera are on the jury.  And Matt has a good chance because I think people will give him a lot of credit for lasting as long as he did, basically by himself the whole time.    Who will likely be on the jury?  We know David and Julie for sure and I think it’s a safe bet that Steve and Ralph will be there as well.  That’s 4 former Zapatera.  5 more must join them.  If no power plays are made, let’s say Grant, Andrea, Matt, Mike, and Ashley are on the jury.  Rob would need 5 votes.  If the final 3 is Rob, Philip and Natalie, I think Rob is ok.  Swap Natalie for Ashley or Andrea…Rob is still ok.  If it’s Rob, Philip, & Grant (because of winning immunities) Rob still may be ok but I think Grant could pose a significant threat to steal some votes.  If some how Mike gets in the final 3, Mike would have at least 4 votes and I think could get the fifth vote from Matt.  I don’t think Matt is voting for Rob.  So that would be bad for Rob.  If it’s Matt in the final three with Rob, I’m not sure what would happen.   That would be hardest one to call.  I could see people wanting to give Matt the million for basically surviving and winning by himself and after being voted out TWICE!!  But I could also see people still giving Rob his props for making it to the finals, again!  But I really think the most dangerous person for Rob right now, is Mike.

Let’s get back to Grant for a minute.  I hope he is going to pull a big move.  Because if he can, the game is his.  Grant has been a beast in challenges.  Probably one of the best we have seen.  There is no denying his dominance.  But there have also been clips lately, of him being slightly strategic as well.  I really think he and Rob have formed a solid bond and I think there have been lots of strategic discussions that have gone back and forth between them.  I still think this is Rob’s game not just from the editing but from what Survivors who have been voted out have said in interviews.  I just wonder if there isn’t more of a collaborative effort between Rob and Grant that we aren’t privy to.  I don’t know.  The shame of it is, even though Rob and Grant may have formed a solid bond and friendship, Rob knows that at some point, he will have to betray him because he knows he can’t go against him in the finals.  I hope, and I think I’m right on this, that Grant is much smarter than is being shown and that he is onto Rob and is playing him as much as Rob thinks he is playing Grant.  They only thing is, Grant needs someone on his side to go against Rob.  Andrea would do it.  Ashley and Natalie would just run right to Rob and tell him and I think Philip might do the same thing.  Unfortunately, Grant’s move should have come with Steve and Ralph still in the game.  Now I don’t know how tight Grant is with Ashley, Natalie, Andrea, and Philip.  Maybe he can convince them.  And if he can, look out.

Some side comments:

  • Matt really seems to be mentally having a harder time.  I can believe it with little food, water, and for a while, companionship, I can totally see how you would start to go bat shit crazy.  But the Lord is guiding his way.  We’ll see if he guides him to a million dollars.
  • Philip found his shorts and acted like he solved all of our issues with the Middle East.  Relax dude.
  • I loved the immediate immunity challenge and voting out of someone right after tribal.  It just helps to speed things along!
  • If you are going to quote “A Few Good Men”, get the frigging quote right.  It’s not “you can’t stand the truth.”  It’s “you can’t HANDLE the truth.”  Get it right Phil or don’t quote the movie!
  • What will happen next week on RI and when will those people come back in the game?
 
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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews

 

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REVIEW: Survivor Redemption Island: “Rice Wars” S22 E10

So that happened last night.  Last night’s show really struck a cord in me and my husband.  It’s hard to know how to start this because normally a TV show, especially a reality show that’s a game, is entertainment.  Sure it covers heavy topics but overall it’s acting and entertainment.   But last night wasn’t acting or entertaining.  However, it was compelling TV and my husband and I stopped whatever we were doing to watch and listen to what was going on.   You had two very real men debating a very real issue that unfortunately is still prevalent in today’s society.   The language used and the topic debated is very polarizing.  I’m talking about race.   It’s hard because as a blogger who writes about the escapism world that is TV, I don’t like to write about issues like politics and race.   I don’t like to go quite that heavy.   But in reality, these topics creep up from time to time on our TV landscape and they should be discussed.   But never have I seen it happen in such a real forum like what happened last night.  This is why I feel Survivor is the best REALITY TV show because it doesn’t get more real than it did last night…especially for Philip and Steve.

If you haven’t seen last night’s episode yet, here is a quick rundown on how this volatile topic arose.   The Ometepe tribe (call them Murlonio all you want, they are still 2 different tribes living on one beach) noticed that their rice in their container was full of mold and maggots.    Gross!   So they decided to empty it out onto a blanket and pick out the good rice from the bad rice.   Zapatera also has a container or rice (oh and by the way, the rice is not shared…it is still managed separately.)  Their rice is fine.  So Andrea goes over and asks if they can combine rices so the rest of their rice doesn’t spoil.  Steve and Julie are sitting there and they say no they don’t think it’s a good idea.

I have a few comments about this.   First, it’s clear these tribes don’t like one another.  Ometepe won’t share a tarp with Zap because they feel like they won it so why should they share.  Likewise, Zap has a lot more rice because of the dwindling members and don’t feel the need to share since it’s their rice.  I think they’re all being a bunch of babies but it is what it is and it is the game of Survivor not make the competition more comfortable.  Second, while it came across as awful and cold, I really don’t blame Zap for not wanting to combine good rice with rice that had mold and maggots in it.   There is no guarantee that they are going to get real food again.   So this rice may be the only thing they have to eat for the last couple of weeks.  I don’t care how well you say you cleaned out that rice, and it looks like they did, I wouldn’t want to take that chance.  I wouldn’t hold that against Zap because what they did makes logical sense.  You can’t risk contaminating the only guaranteed food source they have.   What I would have done was tell them that we didn’t think it was a good idea but eat what you can of your rice and if it spoils or you run out, then come talk to us and we can possibly share our rice with you at that time.  But it happened the way that it did…so be it.  Then Philip gets involved and this is when all hell starts to break loose.

Philip goes over incensed that Steve and Julie won’t help them out.  To try to calm Philip down, they tell him that they want to talk to Ralph when he gets back.  Next thing you know Philip loses it on them and starts threatening them that they better watch their backs and they better carry that rice container around with them because he is going to steal it.   Steve and Julie don’t take too kindly to that and start calling him crazy.  And this is where things REALLY start to get out of control.  After Steve calls Philip crazy, Philip then comes over to talk about how making that comment is the type of thing a white person would say to knock down a black man and the whole race card is now played.  Andrea is trying to get Philip not to go there.  Grant is completely stunned and asked Rob if he just heard Philip correctly …”did he just play the race card” he asks him.  Yes Grant he did.  Meanwhile, Steve, who is still laying down like he is about to get a massage, is incredulous over the idea that Philip has made this a black and white issue.  And just when you think it has died down, Philip starts breaking out the N word and giving Steve some very pointed gestures.  It was horrible.  It really boils over at TC but let’s get to the rest of episode before we get into that.

At RI, Matt, MIke, and David all have to build the infamous house of cards tower to 8 feet.  The first TWO people to do it, stay alive and the person out is now the first member of the jury.  David is the self-proclaimed puzzle expert so he’s going to win right?   Right?   Ah, no.   Mike is the first one finished all though my husband and I gasped about 5 times each watching is tower sway back and forth for fear it was going to topple.  It didn’t and Mike was safe.   Then Matt was right behind him and he was also safe.   Puzzle expert David, who has yet to win a puzzle challenge by the way, is now on the jury.

I get the feeling Matt is ready to go home and has had enough with Survivor.  However, if it is God’s will, he will stay.  Oh boy.  I have to say, as much as I have lost respect for him as a Survivor competitor due to his ridiculously bonehead decisions, I feel really bad for the guy.  I think they have been out there close to a month and I think Matt has spent about 95% of his time alone on RI.  That has to suck.  I’d probably hate that too.  If I am able to last 25-28 days however long it has been, I would have wanted to be on the main island with everyone.  I would feel like I have missed out on the entire Survivor experience in the traditional sense.  No wonder Matt is starting to lose it.  I’m glad to see Mike still around and I think he could be very dangerous if he is able to stay and re-enter the game.   Because he is someone who could pull a Kelly Wigglesworth (like that shout out to Season 1) and win out on all the challenges.

At the immunity challenge, it’s puzzles, puzzles, and more puzzles.   Guess who wins this one?   That’s right….the true king of all puzzles….Boston Rob.  So he is safe.  And even with all the crazy stuff going on at camp, there is no way Philip is in danger.  As long as Rob wants him in the final 2, and Rob is still in control, Philip will stay in the game.  So it’s either Steve, Julie, or Ralph going home.  No real shocker.  Due to the rice wars and the fact that Philip has now called Steve a racist, Julie decides to get some revenge.  She takes Philip’s bathing suit and buries it in the sand.   What Julie doesn’t realize is that while it sucks for Philip, it sucks for the people who have to live with him, and his saggy pink briefs, even more.   I have to say, I’m not a big fan of messing with someone’s stuff on Survivor.  Things are hard enough that I don’t think you mess with someone’s personal items on the island.   It crosses a line and cheapens your game play.  But that’s just me.  However, after the stunt Philip pulled last night, he deserved it.

Tribal Council is now upon us.  As I mentioned, there was no shocker on who was going home.  Philip was safe (even though everyone can’t stand him) and Julie was the one sent to RI.  “Guess you’re never going to find your shorts” she tells Philip as she leaves.  Ha!   Usually the drama of TC is the vote but this week, the vote wasn’t even close.  It was the race issue.   I can’t say enough how well Jeff Probst handled that situation.  He was the consummate professional and he handled that situation with class and respect.  He could have really pushed some buttons (which he has been known to do) to incite better TV.  But even Probst saw that when you have an issue like race out there, good TV is not the goal.  Getting the two parties to communicate and hash it out, is the goal.  Major kudos Probst!!!

Ok, here is my take on the whole thing.  I am also making comments based on what the editors decided to show us.  So if other stuff happened behind the scenes I wasn’t aware of, I can’t comment on that.  I can only comment on what I’m seeing so take that for what it is worth.  I’m going to start with Steve.  I was bitterly disappointed how he handled the situation.  It seemed to me that he wasn’t happy about what Philip was saying but he never really defended himself either.  If I was sitting there and I called Philip crazy and the next thing you know he is calling me a racist as a result and throwing the N word around, I would go off.  There is no way I would sit (or lay) there and take it from him.   If you are going to call someone a racist, you better be damn sure they are.  And if someone called me a racist and I knew without a doubt and with 100% certainty that I wasn’t a racist, I would be fighting them with everything I have to make sure it was known that I am not the hideous person they are claiming me to be.  And Steve just seemed to walk around and take it!!!!  I couldn’t believe it!!!!  Calling someone a racist is not a term that should be thrown around lightly or cavalierly.  And if it is (which in my opinion it was) you need to set the record straight.  Now maybe Steve isn’t that type of person.   I just don’t know how in that situation you don’t stand up for yourself more.

As for Philip.  I really started to change my viewpoint of him due to last week’s episode.  I went from thinking he is a few eggs short of a dozen (I must be a racist) to thinking he was much smarter possibly than I was giving him credit for.  Then this week happened and I went from thinking he is a funny crazy man who is playing the game better than I thought, to being an asshole who is no longer an entertaining aspect of my Survivor viewing.   As Jeff Probst said, I can’t even being to put myself in the shoes of an African-American man and understand how they think and feel because I am not an African-American man.  So when it comes to truly understanding race and it’s impact, there is no way I could ever really understand.  However, being a woman, there are aspects of being a minority that I can relate to.   There was a time in this county where women were treated almost as horribly as African-Americas were.  But when someone disagrees with me or says something derogatory towards me, I don’t jump to the conclusion that they are saying it because I’m a woman.   They are possibly reacting to something I said or did as a PERSON not as a woman.  This is the difference here.  Steve is not the first person to call Philip crazy.  And Philip himself, knows this is the perception of him and he plays it up to try to get to the finals.  Now when someone calls him on it, it’s now all of a sudden a race issue?   I don’t get it.  You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t play up the crazy and then call someone a racist when they call you out on it.   Not to mention, this all started because Ometepe wanted to put their rice in Zapatera’s container and Zap wouldn’t let them.  If you re-watch the clip, it was Rob’s idea to do that.  But it was PHILIP who said they aren’t going to go for that and said “I wouldn’t want to do that if I was them!!!!!”  So if you can understand their point, why did you flip out the way that you did?????

At TC, Philip used an example of the way his father was treated in a store.  The clerk called his father “boy.”  And it has a racial tone to it.  Now, I wasn’t in that store but listing to his story, I can completely understand where he and his father would take that expression and think there was something more sinister behind it.   Because the term “boy” can be racial charged when used in a certain way.  That makes perfect sense to me.  But I’ve never heard someone call a black man crazy and it have a racial undertone.  Crazy doesn’t equate to racial for me.  “Boy” on the other hand, I can totally see how that can be misunderstood or used in a racial context.  But “crazy”, not so much.   In fairness, it has been mentioned time and time again by Probst that these people are dehydrated, malnourished, and sleep deprived.   So I can understand how tempers and lack rational thought can erupt when in this situation.  But I still think it was out of line and unacceptable.  I would have a hard time living with Philip after something like this.  But you know what I would also do if I were Steve?  I would try to have a sit down with Philip.  After I would have unloaded on him, I would try to have a real heart to heart and see if I could work this out with him.   Maybe both men could come to an understand and middle ground and possible apologize.   Maybe something like that would even have to happen off the island, after the game, after getting some sleep and food in their systems where rational discussions can be had.  I hope so.

So after all that, Julie was voted to RI, David headed to Ponderosa, and it looks like Matt has a severe breakdown next week.  I am still dying to know when and how many RI people are going back into the game.  Also there are still ELEVEN people left in this game….8 on Survivor Island and 3 on Redemption Island.  There are only 3 more Wed episodes left and the 2 hour May 15th finale.  How are they going to get rid of all these people?  They are going to have to have some double eliminations I would think.  Because if only one person leaves each of the next 3 weeks, you will have EIGHT people left for the finale.  So some mass house cleaning of Survivors is going to have to take place.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2011 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews

 

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REVIEW: Survivor Redemption Island “The Buddy System” S22 E9

Remember last week when I said that there is really no one playing a strategic game better than Rob and that at this point, I can’t see anyone taking him out or a way he could lose?   Well I have figured out the person that can take Rob out…Rob.   He is starting to play a very dangerous game here and his enormous ego may be his downfall (that and Julie’s one liners at tribal council.)   The thing that shocks me is that no one else on Rob’s tribe sees this dictatorship forming.  And if they do, they aren’t doing anything about it!   You had one small comment from Grant about being his own man and making his own decisions but he still went back to his group when Rob called him over.  It’s amazing to witness.  But the most surprising revelation of all last night, was Philip.   Philip is down right nuts…or is he?

There was a brief clip last night that showed an interview with Philip where he talked about his place in his alliance.  And I’m not talking about the part where he said he realizes he’s on the bottom and likes it there so he can look up at everything happening above him.   Was he talking about Survivor or his favorite sexual position?  I wasn’t sure.  But I’m not going to go down that road right now.  I’m talking about the side bar where he said that he is very aware of what people think about him.  He also mentioned that they are playing a game and knowing Rob the way he knows him, who would be the type of person Rob rather take to the finals?  Someone who’s “polarizing and insulting” and someone who doesn’t look so pretty.   That would be one Phil Sheppard.  You know what, Philip just moved up huge in my book.  I still think he’s bit crazy.  But if this has been more of an act than we have been led to believe and he is playing Rob and the other members of this tribe the whole time to get to the finals…kudos Philip because I thought you were 100% crazy.   And if he plays it right, he could steal a million dollars.  Think about it, as crazy as this sounds.  He’s always worked hard around camp, NO ONE would deny that.   He has been a 100% loyal solider and never lied to anyone and kept true to his word and alliance.  And he was able to fool everyone into thinking he was a crazy nut job to get himself further in the game and land himself in the finals.  He outwitted everyone in that sense.  His downfall is not being very strong in challenges.   But Philip could make a solid argument for the million dollars.  I never thought I would write those words down but maybe Philip deserves a little more credit for being savvier than we have given him credit for.

You know who isn’t getting props for being smarter than he appears…Matt.  At least he realizes how much of an idiot he was.  What really drove me crazy was when he said, “well this wasn’t the outcome I wanted but I guess it’s God’s will.”   AAAAHHHHH.   Did he miss the part in the bible where God gave us the greatest gift he could…..FREE WILL!!!!  If God wanted us walking around like zombie’s having him control our destiny’s he would not have given us the power to make our own decisions.   Don’t get me wrong. I really do respect someone who has a strong relationship with God and wants to honor that as best they can.  But you know what?   This is Survivor.  And I don’t think the Big Man Upstairs would be too thrilled knowing you were using him as the excuse for your poor decision-making or lack of decision-making.   If you wanted a certain outcome, then do your best to make it happen.  You don’t sit there and say, that isn’t the right thing to do and God will steer me on the path I should go on.   NOOO.   God gave you free will for YOU to choose your path and to suffer the consequences or enjoy the rewards of those decisions.   That’s why it pains me to say (as much as I like Matt as a person) that I am rooting for Mike to beat him and David this week on RI (if that’s what is going to happen.)   I was rooting for Matt in a huge way but when he came back and made the same mistakes as before and betrayed Andrea and their pact and decided to go down the enlightened path vs. the winning path, I didn’t like him anymore as a Survivor competitor.

I know I’ve said this before but I will say it again.  Zapatera’s lack of game play infuriates me to no end.  I feel bad for Mike who I do believe got the short end of the stick on the tribe he ended up on.  I think he has tried to play the game a little bit but you’re really limited when no one else plays the game with you.  These guys have done NOTHING to try to break up Ometepe.  At least Ralph, tried to do something when he went up to Ashley and Natalie.  It’s the dumbest “strategic” move I ever saw but I give him credit for at least TRYING.  Steve, Julie, and David have done nothing.  The only thing Julie has done, which I think is more hurtful to Rob than helpful to her, is by dishing out the one liners at tribal.  In the first tribal council this week, after Philip proclaimed he was secure with his tribe while other Zapatera were trying to tell him how he is in the bottom, Julie simply reminded them that Matt thought he was tight with them as well.  Nicely played Julie!  It wasn’t nasty or snarky, it was very matter-of-fact.  Then at the second tribal council she brought up how Stealth R Us isn’t an alliance, it’s a cult with Rob running the whole thing.   Here is her quote: “Rob has complete control over them.  It’s not even a tribe, it’s a cult.”  Did you see the look Rob gave her?  And I can’t imagine a guy like Grant being too happy sitting there hearing that he’s a puppet in Rob’s game.  I know I wouldn’t.   And Rob was not pleased that she laid out his strategy on the table for everyone to hear.   But then what is Zapatera doing about it?   Nothing!!!   You know what I would do?  If I knew it was just a matter of time to get picked off, I would go out with a bang.  I was start stirring stuff up to try to make something happen.  If Rob doesn’t want them alone and talking.  Fine.  Then in front of all 6 of them, I would lay out what Rob is doing to them and how every move he makes is not in their best interest, but in his.   Because as much as he wants you to think it’s still a team game, it isn’t and everything he is doing is to win himself a million dollars and you are just there to help him make it happen.   If I could get just one person to crack, that could be all it takes.  If not, at least I tried.   But these guys are doing nothing.  And really Steve?   You are in a fight for your Survivor life and you would rather eat a cheeseburger than try to win immunity?   That was the lamest thing I have ever seen.  Some people were saying it didn’t matter because he wouldn’t have won.   You don’t know that.  And I don’t understand how you don’t at least try.  That was almost as bad a quitting.  I lost a lot of respect for him there.

Now what do you think is going to happen at RI?  Are they just going to lump a bunch of people out there and have one big duel to come back in?   Because at some point, now that we are down to 9 (not including the 3 on RI), I would think the jury would start to be formed.  If it’s a duel between the 3 and that person comes back in, then you have 10 people.  You could then vote off 7 for the jury and have a final 3.  I hate a final 3 by the way.  I much prefer the final 2.   But I guess you could have the winner stay and continue RI with the loser heading to the jury instead of going home.  I don’t know.  I’m still not sold on it but let’s see how it goes this time around.

What do you think?  Is Rob’s ego going to cost him a million dollars?   Can Zapatera open up enough cans of worms to derail all the Boston Rob fanaticism?  Or will he cruise to his first million dollar check because no one is playing the game or no one has the guts to stand up to him?

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2011 in CBS, Recaps and Reviews

 

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