Friday, March 26, 2010

Is Survivor Fixed?????

From the very beginning Survivor has dealt with the always nagging question in the back of all viewers' minds in almost any reality show you can name and that is: Is what we are seeing really REALITY???? Or is something else at work here.....namely the producers of said show. When the original 16 castaways landed in Bornea and ushered in this new era of TV genre, the questions began soon thereafter. Speficially speaking, the forgettable Stacy Stillman first brought to light some possible "interference" by someone other than the contestants when she alleged that the show's producers influenced her tribe to vote her out and not the elderly Rudy Boesch. This was one the heels of the first two boots of the series being fellow elderly's Sonia and BB. So with the threat of ageism being lobbed at the new phenomenon, the argument went that Sean, Sue, Kelly etc. were steered to vote for Stillman and keep Rudy in the game. Nothing ever came out of the lawsuit and no criminality was found. The seed was planted in viewers' minds however and has remained in a dormant state through the various seasons until last week when fresh water was poured down onto the bud.

Of course I am referring to the events of this past Wednesday when Russell Hantz supposedly pulled off one of the biggest blindsides in history by taking out Tyson Apostle and sparing partner Parvati Shallow in the process. On the surface here nothing seems out of the ordinary. Blindsides are part of the game and have resulted in some of the most memorable moments in Survivor history. However the intricacies involved here were too much for many viewers to ignore.

For starters, why on earth would Tyson change his vote from Russell to Parvati when Boston Rob came up with a foolproof plan to boot one of the two out of the Evil Alliance????? 3 votes for Russell and 3 votes for Parvati would ensure that one of them would go home as the revote (along with the 3 votes for Tyson) would not allow Russ or Parv to vote (again along with Tyson) and than have no defense to the majority of Jerri, Coach, Sandra, Rob, and Courtney. The fact that Tyson at the last minute changed his vote and ruined the plan was just insane. I dont care if you have an IQ of zero.....no one could be that dumb, especially in a game for a million bucks.

The other aspect here was Russell knowing who Tyson was voting for in the first place. For all he knew, Tyson could have been assigned to vote for Parvati in the first place and thus not be able to change the tally and hence the result. Nowhere did Tyson say to Russell who he was voting for.....which leads to arguing about how Russell knew to give the idol to Parvati and not keep it to protect himself. For a guy who will do anything next to killing someone in order to stay in the game, why would Russell put himself in peril for a skank like Parvati? Again no one would put their neck on the line in this game without knowing for absolute certain that the plan would work. It just doesn't add up.

Now I will be the first to admit that I despise Russell. I have no respect for his antics and would love nothing more than to see his smug ass voted out for a change. So if you want to say sour grapes than go ahead. However the fact of the matter is that this isn't the first time producers have been called into question and surely it won't be the last. There is no way that the producers would like to see a Courtney/Candice/Danielle final three as ratings would surely take a hit. After all the show is a business and a business is out to make money. Money won't come in from advertisers without people tuning in. People won't tune in unless there are polarizing characters like Russell running around creating havoc. Russell undoubtedly has been one of the most talked about players in history. His scenes are always must see tv. There is no denying this. The threat of his early departure would have hurt the show no doubt.

The pieces are all in place and the case has been made. In my view I honestly think producers do in fact influence the show. Maybe they had nothing to do with the lottery ticket won by Russell last night but I think there is no doubt that in the past events have transpired that can be called into question for sure.

Paging Oliver Stone!!!!!!


  1. Pretty weak argument here. It sounds like you are basing your "facts" from last night on what you saw on the show, ignoring the fact that an hour-long show unavoidably reveals only a very tiny fraction of what happens during the 160+ hours on the island each week.

    Tyson has already stated that he, in fact, TOLD Russell about the 3-way split vote, implying that Russell knew exactly who was going to vote for who.

    In addition, Tyson did have a reason for wanting to change his vote from Russell to Parvati. That reason, very simply, is that he wanted to get on Russell's good side so that he could use him later on. It would have actually been a pretty smart play on his part if it would have worked. As a self-professed "loyal follower" of the show should know, the best players are those who don't think of just one vote at a time, but rather those who set up future moves and are always thinking one step ahead.

    That also explains Russell's decision to give the idol to Parvati. He had to have known that even if he had saved himself from elimination this week, with Parvati gone and his idol gone he would have been facing a pretty insurmountable numbers deficit in the weeks to come, and there's no doubt he would have gone home the next time the Villains went to tribal. His move was certainly done in desperation, but it was also a very intelligent, calculated move that makes a lot of sense if you see the big picture.

    So what has Russell done with the move? First, he has kept himself around AND managed to keep his two closest allies around with him. Second, he has put doubt into his tribesmates' heads about Rob's status as the best guy to align with (if I were Russell, I'd play up the "if you align with me you better be scared" thing next week). Third, he has shown that people who DO align with him will be protected by him (more than anyone else, I expect this to be a very weighty thing in the mind of Coach). Fourth, he has rid himself of the idol -- a double-edged sword for sure, but certainly something that will take some of the target off his back.

    Finally, the biggest reason why this was such a smart move for him is that it keeps Parvati around. If there's anyone on that tribe likely to go before him, it's her. Tyson stated in a post-elimination interview that she was considered to be the biggest threat due to her close alliances with so many others in the game. Sometimes the smartest thing you can do as a player is to keep the person around who is even more feared/hated than you, and Russell certainly realizes that.

    I don't like the guy much either, but altogether, you have to admit that he plays the game with a level of intelligence that most other players simply can't match.

  2. I agree the show is atleast partly fixed. Always has been. Now as it struggles in ratings, having dropped considerably since the first 15 seasons, and at best stagnated for a long time, they have to be fix things to make it interesting enough to even keep the ratings to stay on air.

    1. The show is fixed. When producers are aware of voting alliances that wouldnt be interesting, they get involved. IE...Inventing a male and female immunity idol when they hear there is an alliance of guys. Then after voting you never hear of that again. This show is a fixed joke.