Posts Tagged ‘jeff probst’

TV on the Radio: The Survivor Finale

As if Tim hasn’t written enough on the subject, today he’s teaming up with John S to break down the finale (and reunion!) of Survivor: Redemption Island. Was this season exciting? Was Rob a villain? Was Philip actually crazy? Who was better looking: Andrea or Ashley? And will Parvati be back next season? Click here and all these questions and more will be discussed and speculated on.

Survivor Survival Guide: The Sinking Ship

“I’m not fully in control of this game right now; me and Parvati are equally in control, and that makes me worried.” –Russell

“He’s getting outplayed by me AND DANIELLE at this point.” –Parvati on Russell

“Russell is insane.” –Danielle

Bravo, Survivor. You gave us an episode that matched this season’s earlier showdown between Boston Rob and Russell at a far more significant and usually predictable part of the season. And somehow, through two more immunity challenges that neither won, through another hunt for a hidden idol that neither found, and through two more tribals, Rupert and Colby are still standing.*

*This is especially astonishing in Colby’s case, considering he wasn’t even a member of the top alliance within the Heroes’ camp. I remember thinking how strange it was he even made it to the merge, and now he’s in the final six!

The episode started with the fallout from Candice’s betrayal of the Heroes in voting out Amanda last week. That left the Heroes down to two remaining members, Rupert and Colby, with the former describing Candice as “weak, pathetic, self-centered, and manipulative” before saying in almost Coach-speak, “Colby and I are on a stranded ship. There are no other heroes.”

Rupert then decided to go off on Russell at breakfast, calling him a “disgusting” human being who cared only for himself. Russell naturally didn’t back down, and the two digressed into a much-beeped argument that didn’t really go anywhere.*

*This episode had about as much cursing as any I can remember in the show’s history.

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Survivor Survival Guide: Going Down in Flames

“He’s a good old country boy.” –JT on Russell

“Giving Russell the idol could blow up in my face. He could never have been in trouble. He could be the leader of the girls. Do I believe it? Not for a second.” –JT

“Do you believe what Sandra told you, or do you believe the obvious truth?” –JT

People are villains for a reason. Don’t trust ‘em.” –JT

My respect for JT was at an all-time high four weeks into this season, when he teamed with Tom and Colby to blindside Cirie and eliminate one of the game’s biggest strategic threats. It seemed as if JT, Tom, and Colby would seize control of the Heroes tribe. One week later, I was bewildered when JT went back on what he did a week earlier and voted off Tom. See, look what I wrote then:

“I’m really perplexed by JT’s decision, mainly because he forfeited so much of his power in moving from the guy who saved one alliance to the guy who almost wrecked the one he’s with now. He just made it a lot harder for himself to win the game.”

Well, that’s got nothing on how JT has managed to screw himself and his tribe these last two weeks. He and the Heroes got played not once, but twice—first by Russell, and later more damningly by Parvati.

JT gave Russell the Heroes’ immunity idol last week so Russell could save himself from the presumed female alliance at the Villains camp, voting Parvati out in the process. Russell, of course, needed no such saving, kept the idol, and voted off Courtney instead. Continue reading

Survivor Survival Guide: “Expectations”

Coach: “I just want once to hear Courtney say, ‘I want to play. I can beat this guy.’”

Courtney: “Thanks, Dad!”

Danielle: “Well he is a coach.”

One week after Russell ousted Boston Rob in one of the most memorable episodes of Survivor in years, the show couldn’t help but take a step back last night. The rising conflict between Rob and Russell had driven the previous two episodes, so now it was back to expositing the next crises in each camp and creating new drama.

It didn’t take long for Jeff Probst and the producers to tip their hand, as the episode began with what could only be described as a kind of tribute to Boston Rob that was surprisingly editorial in showing the instant remorse exhibited by Jerri and Coach in siding with Russell. The new conflict was set: Russell’s axing of Rob splintered the Villains tribe, which was now far more dysfunctional than the Heroes. In fact, the Heroes gained another feather in their cap when JT found the hidden immunity idol they received a clue for last week. Now, JT had said they should all look for it as a tribe and he did find it on his own, but for the second time this season, Amanda happened to spot someone find the hidden idol, and JT was forced to come clean and pretend like he was getting it for the tribe all along.

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Survivor Survival Guide: “It’s Getting the Best of Me”

“She’s obviously the problem here. There’s no other source of kryptonite…. Something just ain’t right, and it’s got to be her.”

—James on Stephenie

I mentioned last week that it would be interesting to see how much stock the players put into each other’s past appearances on the show. After the second episode, the answer is clearly a lot. Not only have alliances been forged on the basis of prior relationships (Tom and Steph; James, Amanda, and Cirie), but James specifically brought up Steph’s ignominious membership in the Ulong tribe—the only one to never win an immunity challenge.

The episode started with the focus on the Villains and specifically Boston Rob, who was growing frustrated with the inactivity of his tribe. It’s hard to blame him: Coach, Russell, and Randy are particularly useless men, and none of the female Villains seem prepared for the long-haul (we could already see Courtney’s rib cage on Day 4; that does not bode well). Contrast that with the Heroes, who have Colby, JT, James, and Tom as ready and eager workers and Steph as one of the most physically gifted women the show has ever seen. Irritated by problems with the tribe’s shelter, Rob went out for a walk in the woods, where he proceeded to collapse and lose consciousness. Continue reading

Survivor Survival Guide: “Slay Everyone, Trust No One”

“These All-Stars, I feel I’m above them. Like Michael Jordan in basketball, Michael Phelps in swimming, there’s always someone that’s above their sport. That’s me. I’m the best to ever play this game, and now I get to prove it.”

—Russell, Villain

“To win this game of Survivor, you have to have a dark side somewhere.”

—JT, Hero

If John S is gonna go and file a weekly review of his favorite desert island show—and steal my interlocutor style in the process—then you best believe I’m gonna respond by doing a weekly review of my favorite desert island show, stealing his RW/RR challenge format in the process.

Survivor kicked off its 20th season last night with the first episode of Survivor: Heroes and Villains. Twenty former castaways are back for a second and in some cases third go-round, with 10 being assigned “Heroes” and 10 “Villains.” The designations ring true for most of them, although the dichotomy is a bit overstated (can anyone on a reality television show really be cast as a “hero” or “villain”? And even in context, Sugar?). Continue reading