9 reasons why Survivor is a fantastic TV show

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You might have watched the first season way back when in 2000 in Borneo with Richard Hatch (everyone remembers him), maybe even season 2 in Australia where Tina won. And maybe you might have watched season 3 in Kenya. Maybe. But after that, most people I know dropped off – I know I did for a very long time. Until a few years ago where Greg and I watched an amazing season, and have proceeded to watch ever since, and even catch up on most previous seasons.

I know I won’t convince any of you, especially if you’re not partial to reality TV game shows, but I thought I might try explain to you why perhaps, it is a great show after all.

1. Blindsides

Oh, you thought you were running the whole game? Oops, everyone’s turned against you, and you’re going home. Boom.

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Hell-no

 2. The Mental Game.

Who is in an alliance with who? If they win immunity, who do we vote next? Who can I beat in final three? Who do I want to take to the end? Do I stick with my alliance or jump ship? Outwit, outlast, outplay, they said. No wonder these guys hardly get any sleep for 39 days.

3. It’s always changing.

You don’t really believe a show could be 27 seasons strong (yes, they’re starting season 28 next month. Chew on that, F.R.I.E.N.D.S) if they kept it the same season after season.

Is it going to be 2 or 3 tribes?

Will it be a final 2 or final 3?

Will there be exile island (where you’re sent away from the game between challenges, and miss out on camp life and scheming), redemption island (where you’re voted you’re not actually out the game and can eventually win your way back in) or none at all?

Will it be men vs women, young vs old, fans vs favourites, blood vs water (past players playing with loved ones) – who is going to be against each other?

Are they bringing back returning players?

If so – who? Do we like them? Do we hate them?

You see, there’s really a lot to consider.

4. The Challenges.

Those darn challenges. Firstly: where do they build them? In the states? On the island? Where do they get the resources? And where do they get the ideas?! Granted, they have reused challenges (sadly, we’d know), but they do keep coming up with new ones all the time. Many challenges are intricate, physical, mental and incredible. It’s a great element of the game.

How long would you be able to last?

How long would you be able to last?

This is probably only one element of a challenge. Sjoe!

This is probably only one element of a challenge. Sjoe!

Need to use your brains too!

Need to use your brains too!

5. “The usuals”

Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with the same old, same old. The family episodes (that get me so emotional every time). The Survivor Auction. The food eating competition (though those are less frequent nowadays). We actually got very upset in this past season because there was no family episode. Come now, guys.

Reunited with their families :')

Reunited with their families :’)

6. Location, location, location

OK, personally I love the different places the show takes place in. Why do you think Nicaragua and Micronesia are on my travel bucket list? It’s like watching the travel channel, but far more fun. I’m telling you, I would 100% go on a Survivor cruise or tour. Totally.

How is that water in Nicaragua?

How is that water in Nicaragua?

Micronesia's Palau Islands - I mean, hello?

Micronesia’s Palau Islands – I mean, hello?

7. What actually goes on.

There are so many rumours. Apparently the Jury stay at some fancy resort and come back for tribal every few days. Apparently they’re sworn to secrecy about the game until the reunion show. Apparently they reshoot scenes from challenges so that they have better footage for the shows editing. How on earth do people wonder off alone to go find hidden immunity idols or to conspire with a camera man following them, and not get caught? Those individual interviews – how do they know exactly what to say? And seriously, how long is tribal council really?

I have a theory that they edit and switch around the reading of the votes at tribal to achieve maximum drama. And lastly, guys, what happens when Jeff leaves everyone behind at the final tribal counsel with the votes in hand? Is it all “cheers, see you in LA?” You’ve just nailed these final three, half of them hate one another, and now they’re left to their own devices? I think a Survivor documentary is in order.

8. Jeff Probst

Whether you love him or lovProbstJeffe to hate him, Survivor wouldn’t quite be Survivor without Jeff and his one liners.

“The tribe has spoken.”

“Drop your buffs.”

“You’re gonna have to dig deep”

“Want to know what you’re playing for?”

  • Once the votes are read, the decision is final, the person voted out will be asked to leave the tribal council area immediately.

Grab a torch and approach the flame. Dip it in and get fire. In this game, fire represents life. Once your fire is gone, so are you.

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9. The Reunion Show

After seeing people for 39 days in the dirt, it’s always interesting to see how they look in the real world (or rather, on live TV).

Magic!

Magic!

Well, it all keeps us coming back.

Season 28, here we come.

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Some thoughts and ramblings of late.

I feel like my heads been floating in the proverbial clouds recently. I’m not too sure, I just feel pretty unfocused and all over the place. And there’s just stuff going on.

I’m hosting a Murder Mystery birthday party on Sunday, somewhat belated, for my birthday (it’s because all my friends have university and this is the only time I can do it because they’re actually on vac – accommodating, right?). If I had more time to really think about it, I’d be super freaking excited. It’s next to impossible to find a free Murder Mystery online, let alone one for over 20 people. Once I’d surrendered to the fact that I’ll be paying for one, I went in search of the best  one I could afford.

I came across a great company and paged through all their different mysteries. I was so confused as to which one to choose I literally emailed them asking “Hi. I can’t decide between these mysteries. Please can you tell me which would be the most fun?”. They were so incredibly helpful and respond to my emails so quickly (including a time difference because they’re in the States). I’ve been super impressed with the quality of the file I downloaded. Now we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes! (I’ll be sure to blog about it. Well, hopefully)

Character bios, goals & objectives are ready for Sunday's Murder Mystery!

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Life is also super busy because September is practically “hell month” for a working Jew. All the High Holy days seem to be squished into September. Not that it would change much from year to year, because they’re always a week apart from each other. There really are just too many. You’d think God would have planned this stuff a bit better for religious humans of the future. Apparently not, and so here I am. Greg will be reading from the Torah and blowing what we call a Shofar (it’s a ram’s horn, please don’t ask me the details of how or why, I’m sure Rabbi Google will be able to explain). Even thinking about September exhausts me. Sjoe.

Casual Sunday morning. #myhusbandtherabbi #jokesnotreally

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Also, my dear friends who got married a few weeks ago – went back to Israel today. We went out last night for a little farewell dinner. I’m pretty sad about it. Having them here was like they never left South Africa in the first place, and it was great having extra married friends for a little while. Another friend who was working in Cape Town for the year with the Jewish agency is leaving soon, and it also breaks my heart because the two girls this year were like our family. Like my sisters. In recent years a lot of my friends have left Cape Town, and in January so many more will be doing the same. I’m really hoping that Cape Town won’t be getting lonely in the years to come. It kinda makes me sad thinking about it. We really love it here.

And on a totally random note: Greg collected my matric certificate recently (and I finished school a good number of fingers ago). It came with a full recommendation letter too, which really got me thinking about things. Hopefully I’ll find time to share those thoughts with you too.

This seems to be one of those posts where your fingers just do all the typing, and next thing you know, there’s a page of writing you don’t quite remember putting together. But I think that’s ok too sometime.

Some classic Disney moments, had they gone awfully wrong.

If  I didn’t share this find with you, I’d be an incredibly selfish person. Imagine if these actually happened? The Lion King one is my particular favourite (I guess it also lends a chuckle considering all this Royal Baby drama that everyone is so enthralled in).

gifs + Disney + awkward moments = priceless.

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Guys, laughing for days here.

(source: Mashable)

A dose of Harry for the day.

So in my past life (read: childhood). I was the hugest Harry Potter fan. I may or may not have written about this previously, but I’m not sure I want to dig up blog archives of posts to prove it to you. But I saw this and it made me smile. And I hope that it’ll make anyone who lived through (and with) Harry and the gang, smile too.

1 (1)  e im q6

(Apologies for some of them not coming out. Anyway, source here.)

When you use your passions wisely.

When did you last sit down and think about what your passions are? Is it baking, cooking, writing, teaching, helping people or creating? And then comes the question “what is a passion”? Is it merely a more extreme version of a hobby? Is it a cause you align yourself with? Is it something you’ve been fortunate enough to work into your daily life and maybe make a career out of? I work in digital, but can I really say that my “passion” is the internet? Mine and everyone elses on the planet, or is it just something I “get”? Is my passion communication, and how to convey messages best to people?

Anyway, I have a friend and she inspired all these thoughts and questions. She doesn’t even know it. Her passion is women’s rights and spreading awareness about the issues women face on a global scale, and she blogs about it at  “Women and the Art of Change”. She’s currently studying at UCT, on exchange here in Cape Town and I can tell that this has been an enlightening period for her.

I want to commit myself to creating an online space for innovative thinking and social change. I want to give it time when I have no time. I want to stay passionate, committed and dedicated. This is the beginning of my concrete journey to repair the world.

Not only does she write (so beautifully and insightfully!) about some very important women and the causes they fought for or situations they lived through, but she paints the portraits that feature on her blog. I’ve known her a couple months now, I knew she had a blog, I only just read it the other day – and I still can’t believe how she also finds the time to make beautiful paintings!

Farnas Seifi, painted by Melanie Openheimer

Farnas Seifi, painted by Melanie Oppenheimer

Louise Shelley women's rights

Louise Shelley, painted by Melanie Oppenheimer

You know in school they ask “How can you do your bit to raise awareness about cause xyz” and then you brainstorm little ideas about what you as an individual can do? But no one ever goes and does those things. Yet here is a blog, started by a girl from Georgia, who’s traveled across the seas to Africa. I’m actually really proud of her, as she recently got contacted by some pretty big peeps to write something for them. It really shows how one person can do something if they are dedicated enough.

The plight of women isn’t something I’d consider myself “passionate” about – that sounds bad and comes across wrong, I know. I guess it’s just something I hadn’t spent too much time thinking about, but I’m really looking forward to reading more of her blog. I love what Mel has done to promote her passion and educate others, even in the tiniest way. I really hope I someday find my passion (whatever that might be defined by), even if it is simply something as simple as, I dunno… baking. If that turns out the be my passion, I’m gonna be the best darned one out there.

When people deserve your undivided attention.

There is one thing I have a very low tolerance level for: and that’s people sitting on their cellphones in a social setting. It happens far too frequently and I was reminded how much this bugs me the other night.

At university, studying media and digital what-not, we often discussed how distracted society is and how different media forms literally have to fight it out for our attention. You could be watching TV, the adverts in between, all while browsing facebook on your phone and still whatsapping a friend at the same time. It’s one thing for “the media” to fight for our attention, but your friends really shouldn’t need to.

I see it so often, usually in larger social gatherings vs more intimate ones where so many people are sitting on their phones.  It stands to reason that you have agreed to go out with your friends, you obviously wanted to see them, talk to them, to hang out. Is hanging out just to “be in their presence”?I sometimes find it rude and insulting when out with friends, and those in your physical company aren’t as important as those living in your phone. I sometimes find it offensive. Is the company you’re in not good enough?

This isn’t a “never use your smartphone” rant. If I’m out and need to message Greg, ask a question or let him know when I’m going to be home, I’ll do it. But that’s not the same as sitting and having a conversation about my day when I’m out with other people. I’m out with someone else and they deserve my undivided attention.

This isn’t to say I’m not guilty, or that this isn’t a difficult game to play. I’m often the one to sit checking facebook or twitter before bed, while Greg is next to me doing the same. Or doing the same while we’re watching series. Sometimes, when I’m more conscious of this and I’ve made a point of putting my phone away, I’ll ask Greg to put his away too. I’m not always good at this, and it’s something I definitely need to work on. If there is anyone who deserves my undivided attention, it should be Greg.

Technology today is such a blessing, enabling us to chat to those far away for practically nothing. It makes them feel so much closer to us. It just makes communication that much easier. Maybe it makes it too easy, when you think about these situations of being with friends in real life. I don’t know. This is just what I’m thinking currently.

Some important lessons from “Toddlers & Tiaras”.

Have you seen Toddler’s and Tiara’s? You may have a glimmer of hope that it’s an animated girls tv show, similar to the likes of My Little Pony. But no, you’re wrong. It’s exactly as it sounds. Toddlers. And Tiaras. Little girls in beauty pageants.

Last year, post graduation, pre-wedding, prior to starting looking for a job, I used to spend countless hours vegetating watching TLC – one of those shows, was Toddlers and Tiaras. I know it’s terrible. I know the controversy around it. But I came across these on Buzzfeed (all hail the mighty Buzzfeed!) and couldn’t help but have a laugh.

Give your ambitions a solid deadline. (Way to make a girl feel like a granny...)

Give your ambitions a solid deadline. 

Enjoy great cuisine, but especially bacon.

Enjoy great cuisine, but especially bacon.

Pick stimulating hobbies.

Pick stimulating hobbies.

Never listen to the haters. (Aint noone got no time for that shit)

Never listen to the haters. 

Radiate with confidence and charm.

Radiate with confidence and charm.

Always have a plausible plan for the future. (No amount of face-lifts will help you at THAT age!)

Always have a plausible plan for the future.

Shame, these poor little girls. Wait til reality hits you.

(I blame my colleague for my new love of animated .gifs. I feel so behind the times.)