Season 24 of Survivor premieres tonight and this season I plan to blog my way through it. I hope to make these blogs more than just a recap (like most television sites tend to) and talk strategy, because that is what makes it my favorite show.
This season I am less excited than I have been probably ever been for a Survivor premiere. I still have lots of love for this show of which I have seen every season (some multiple times) and last season wasn’t too bad and the twist is actually the most inventive the producers might have ever come up with, but despite these factors, I still am not as excited as I typically would be for a Survivor premiere. I kind of count this as a good sign, because the last few seasons have been disappointing compared to the expectations I brought in to them. The last two seasons I have been really excited about the cast going in, but was extremely let down (thanks to you Redemption Island and returning player twist). I hope that the low expectations will lead to me being pleasantly surprised instead of let down.
The big twist of this season is that they are living in One World (One World? Seriously? This sounds like a piece-of-crap whale show at Marine World. This may be the worst season name ever). All the contestants will be residing on the same beach where presumably they will sleep, eat, and live together. I think that this is absolutely fascinating and cannot wait to see how a possible divide in tribe loyalties will affect those playing. After a couple of seasons where tribe loyalty was so strong that only bullying could cause a split, it will be refreshing to hopefully see people who are willing to jump from alliance to alliance rather than sticking to cult-like loyalty.
In Survivor history, there have been a couple of other situations like this, the most similar being in Thailand, where they brought the tribes together around merge time, but never officially merged them. This lead to Shi-Ann making deals with the other tribe only to be voted off because they weren’t actually merged. Other than that though, there was no real major difference made to the game. In Palau and Fiji they all started off on one beach only to be split later. This made things interesting, because it allowed for people to talk and make early deals (like Tom, Ian, and Stephanie in Palau, a decision that almost saved Stepanie). I think the producers shouldn’t have told them which tribes they were on, brought them to one beach, and left them there like in the aforementioned seasons. This would have caused a lot more deal making to be made and would have made things a lot more interesting when Jeff came to tell them to split into men and women. Now, they run the risk of the two tribes just spending all their time away from each other with two camps, fires, and sets of food. Let’s hope it doesn’t end up this way.
One moment in Survivor history that I am surprised I haven’t heard anybody mention in comparison to this season is the way exile worked in Tocantins. When a tribe would win a reward challenge, they got the opportunity to send someone to exile island. In return the selected player got to choose someone from the winning tribe to come along with them. On exile, they would spend an evening and even possibly an idol clue. This lead to something completely original to Survivor, the “Exile Alliance” between Stephen, Taj, Brendan, and Sierra (Two from each tribe). Come merge time this alliance seemed to be in completely shattered and both HII’s were never used, but it was a very creative idea (and when you think about it, it was kinda what JT was trying to do in Heroes vs. Villains only to the worst possible outcome). Who knows, but maybe if Coach, Tyson, and Debbie hadn’t been so insistent on getting rid of “the dragon” (Brendan), maybe Stephen and Taj would have called them out on the “Exile Alliance” and used this to their advantage. This is the sort of prospects we get from this new season and it makes me excited to see how it will actually turn out.
I like the Men vs. Women twist, as Amazon and Vanuatu are two of my favorite seasons, both starting with this same twist. Rob Cesternino basically founded the flip-flopping strategy in a situation like this, so it gives me hope, though there do not seem to be too many people who are Rob C. like in the cast. Which leads me to the cast… they seem so boring. Hardly anyone sticks out to me and honestly I don’t think half have what it takes to win or to even be interesting. A lot of people have gone through the cast and criticized nearly every single person, but someone’s got to win this thing! The last two years I picked Andrea and Sophie to win (5th and 1st place), but this year no one sticks out as a real favorite. I will still do my best (arbitrarily) to rank these people solely based on their preseason interviews.
18. Greg-The first boot is gonna be someone who doesn’t fit in, can’t compete, and people think is weird.
17. Alicia-My prediction: She does really well or really bad. I wanna say she does well, but there have just been too many Palomas and Carolinas that go early.
16. Nina-I don’t think she will fit in enough with the young ones.
15. Michael-This is the time that seems prime for a tribe swap. I think he would be a big target post-swap.
14. Monica-Just too high class to last long in this game.
13. Sabrina-She’s my Sherea pick, will compete and have solid enough relationships, but will come out on the wrong side of the numbers.
12. Troy-He really could place anywhere on here. Seems fairly athletic, but really weird, who knows.
11. Chelsea-Eh, why not here?
10. Matt-He is my Marty and Jim pick. Both villainous players who know strategy and the game of Survivor. Both played their hands too early and went as early jury members.
9. Kat-I actually really liked Jaime Dugan and think she is underrated, Kat says she is similar to her, I think Kat kinda sucks, but we’ll see.
8. Jay-He is my Benry pick, athletic enough to survive, dumb enough to not be at the core of the decision making. He will last until he tries to make a move of some kind.
7. Kourtney-She doesn’t seem fit for the game of Survivor. That being said, she will be a perfect tag-a-long until the numbers run out, then… SEE YA!
6. Leif-I think Leif will do well. I think the guys will lose the first challenge and won’t want to vote him out, then go on a streak to keep him around. There is no way they let him past 6 though.
5. Colton-They have never had a gay man on an all male tribe, so it will be interesting to see how he does out there. I think he will be a prominent partaker in cross-tribal alliances, this could hurt him or help him.
4. Jonas-I like Jonas. In the preview Jeff says that there are several villains, quickly afterwards it cuts to Jonas, which is quite different than the read people have been getting from him. I hope he does well.
3. Bill-At best Bill could be a Rob C. a-like smiling his way to the final 3, at worst someone just trying to promote his comedy.
2. Christina-Either she will get on the wrong side of an alliance or she will work both sides marvelously, her social game seems to be what could kill her.
1. Kim-Kim is my pick to win. She just seems to be a solid person. In this game you need to be smart, athletic, personable, and aware, she seems to best fulfill all these qualities. She doesn’t seem to be on to make herself famous, nor does she seem to have the capacity to go off on somebody, but she has her head on her. Let’s go Kim!
I will post something after the episode airs and each week I will pick who I think is in the best spot to win. Happy Survivor viewing!