Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites II, Ep. 5 & 6

It's been a while since I posted something.  I think it's because: (a) I though the last few episodes have been below average, and (b) I don't have too much to say about them.
Brandon is a deeply disturbed person, but his histrionics seemed a tad staged to me.  I'm not saying he isn't a tortured individual.  I'm not saying he doesn't lack self-control.  But, the whole thing seemed a little forced.  Brandon didn't lose control.  Brandon decided to act like he had lost control.
Brandon's first time on Survivor was a mess.  He played a very confused game.  Was he playing to win?  For honor?  For Jesus?  Or, as Coach's pawn?  It was hard to tell.  When he got back home, he was criticized from all angles for blowing it.  When he came out the second time, I don't think he knew what he wanted to do.  He didn't have a game plan or father-figure to lean on.  He was outside the main alliance.  He felt vulnerable.  He crumbled.  He went looking for a reason to be the center of attention for an episode and get the heck out.  Frankly, it's a pathetic way to quit.  Brandon might be the author of his own fate but only a lunatic would write such a script.
After the Brandon meltdown, Corinne made a crucial observation.  She realized that no one defended or comforted her or Phillip after they had borne the brunt of Brandon's diatribes.  I'm not saying the tribe defended Brandon, I'm just saying Corinne and Phillip didn't get much personal sympathy and that should be a major red flag that they are not particularly liked.  We'll see if Corinne will use this realization to her advantage and sniff out a blind-side in the nick of time.  My hunch is she won't and will have a meltdown.  For those looking to eliminate Corinne, my advice is to do it before she gets on the jury.
I have a gripe with how they reshuffled the tribes.  I had no problem with making sure both tribes were going to be 4-3 majority-Favorites.  I think it would be unfair to shuffle and have some Favorites in a minority.  The Favorites had rightly earned to be in a dominant position.  My problem, though, was that the rest of the allocation was random and the next challenge was incredibly physical.  Whenever you have a random allocation, you risk creating significantly mismatched tribes (which happened here).  I think it's fairer to have a more strategic or knowledge-based challenge.  Instead, they ran one of the most physical challenges in the show's history, and next week's challenge looks just as tough.  I have no idea why they are doing it like this, but I don't like it.  I want competitive challenges not blowouts.
Next week's preview showed Malcolm possibly aligning with Reynold.  Alliances like that make sense early on (strong men do better when aligned to strong men), but I think it's too late for that now.  How does Malcolm expect to win a jury vote if he betrays the Favorites?  Has he been keeping track?  The whole jury is going to be made up of Favorites - they already outnumber the Fans 8-5!  Hopefully, the preview was misleading.
One last point - since I criticized the producers I should say they were right to give both tribes a bag of rice after Brandon dumped his.  Rule #1 of Survivor is that you can't hit another contestant, so how exactly are you supposed to restrain someone from dumping your food supply?  Giving both tribes a bag seemed like a fair solution.
Here's to tomorrow's episode being more fun than the last two!  (Then again, even a bad episode of Survivor is still better than almost anything else on TV!) 

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