Monday, May 13, 2013

Reaction: Survivor Caramoan

I don't recap all of the Survivor shows that I watch, and honestly, it takes either something amazing happening to get me to write something - or a pretty fun season.

I think here it was the latter. The season was pretty fun. It might have been an added bonus that this was the first time I played a Survivor elimination game to add a little more fun to it - and I thank those involved for allowing me to participate (I learned more as I went, and think I will play much differently next time).

There are a lot of people out there that absolutely hate that some players continue to get the opportunity to play the game. And that is fine, I have a few things in this show that I cannot stand (the 3-person finale for instance - more on this later), but I really enjoy former contestants coming back and competing.

Do I think they for some reason bring back 'favorites' that I really wouldn't consider favorites? Yes, absolutely. Phillip and Brandon were both crazy characters - but were they actually anyone's favorites? For the life of me I could not remember which season Brenda was from - when I saw her she was familiar to me, but I couldn't really remember her - that being said I felt she was a fun player and deserved being there. (at some point I think I will go back and see exactly which 18-20 players from past seasons I would like to see again).

Anyway, having returning favorites back on the show really makes the first handful of episodes worth watching. I really like the Fans vs. Favorites idea - All-Stars was great too, but I like the idea of having new participants as well. And, as we get to know the new participants, we can follow and enjoy those we already know (if we do in fact know/remember them).

OK, on to the show.

Out of the favorites that were returning I really loved the idea of Erik returning. He got his start on the original Fans vs. Favorites season - and for him to return as a favorite on the next edition was a pretty cool idea. Plus, I actually liked him during his first run - but he was young, naive and definitely made one of the biggest mistakes in Survivor history by giving up his immunity. So, I was interested in seeing how he would do again - and from the start I thought he was on the outside of the favorites tribe. But, he managed to stick around and was right there in the end.


After what I thought was a horrible decision by Dawn to vote out Brenda at tribal council - the woman who found your teeth for you and sat and calmed you down during all 200 of your breakdowns, plus you asked her to jump down in the immunity challenge to give it to you - pretty much guaranteeing her that she was not going home. Then, stabbed her in the back. I know it's a game - but that was one of the harshest moves I have seen in this game. Just really cold-blooded.

But, we were teased that someone was getting pulled from the game in last week's preview - and my fear was realized when Erik was pulled for 'starvation' symptoms. So mad, I honestly felt he might have had a chance (oh, I picked him to win in my pool - so that added to my frustration).

In the end, I think Cochran made the right move. He had the option of bringing either Dawn or Eddie into the final three with himself and Sherri. Dawn did have the six children, sweet as can be mother angle to play - but the way she played really angered people, especially after she eliminated Brenda. Eddie, though he played the dumb guy, did a lot in the game to keep himself in it - from the very start he and Reynold were on the outs and they made it very far. Eddie had at least two votes in Malcolm and Reynold on the jury, and he may have even had Andrea and Erik as well. So, do you take that chance?

Finally, I was OK with the way Brenda reacted. She was very upset with Dawn after becoming so close to her on the island. And, she was right - if she hadn't gotten into that water and saved Dawn's teeth, I think Dawn would have pulled herself. So, she wanted her to prove that she would have stayed. If she hadn't saved her teeth, that is what everyone would have seen for weeks if Dawn would have decided to stay - so I see no problem with it. Ruthless? Absolutely.

Now, back to the three-person finale. My memory on this is horrible, but has the third person in the finale ever been worthy of being there? Have they ever even come close to winning or receiving a few votes?

I have always felt the best is to have a two-person finale. Not only is it down to two, but in the end on the final vote before the jury - the person with immunity must choose who they want to sit next to, which is a huge decision that could help or hurt them.

Sherri in the finale was despicable. Her plea to the jury by saying she was a successful business woman with 75 employees, and that she wanted to treat the other contestants as her employees? Yeah, that helped her cause. She did nothing throughout the entire game - and she was hardly mentioned once during the jury questions (though she snapped at Erik, that certainly was going to help her) and wasn't asked one question at the reunion show. Even though she technically tied for second.

In the end, I feel the correct person won. Even though Phillip was so flamboyant and out there, I always felt like Cochran was the mastermind behind everything. He stayed calm (and held back his laughter) when speaking with Phillip and, for the most part, steered him in the direction he wanted him to go.

If this were any other season I would have been wishing for Cochran to win - and in the end I still feel OK that he won. Because I had voted for, and liked Erik so much, I was really pulling for him to win. And, if he had got to the final with Cochran - I don't think Cochran would have won 8-0. But, I think he still should have won.

And with that, another season is over. Looking forward to the next installment in the fall.

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