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.
Oh, you thought you were running the whole game? Oops, everyone’s turned against you, and you’re going home. Boom.
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.
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.
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.
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 love 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).
Well, it all keeps us coming back.
Season 28, here we come.