Survivor 44

Doesn’t look like anyone started a topic for this one yet. If this premiere is any indication of the rest of the season, were heading for the sloppiest, most chaotic season in a LONG time, which I think is exactly what the show needs.

Only watched the first half so far (up to the immunity challenge).

Some interesting folks (I like the NASA guy, and a few others have had moments), I think, and lots of injuries…

The cage was kind of funny, particularly the dude opening up the idol and then fake idol in front of everybody. Probably not exactly what the producers were intending. And somewhat ironic how finding the key together made two people not trust each other - typically the opposite of what happens in that situation.

It does certainly seem like they have a good number of players that don’t “know the game” quite as well as in the past few seasons. Which might help make it more exciting and interesting.

I’ll share more thoughts once I see how the rest of the episode goes. My sons are really into the show now, so I’m hoping we get a good season.

Watching the first challenge I noticed that the guy almost hit his head diving under the first obstacle. Guess he didn’t notice how close he was since he successfully sliced his head while diving under the second obstacle.

Pretty sure the medical team is going to get paid more for all the speaking parts this season.

I’m also a big fan of MTV’s The Challenge, and by extension CBS’s Challenge USA. On The Challenge reddit, Challenge USA was reviled for sloppy production, particularly in the final. Half of the criticisms were about being unfair, the other half were about being unsafe.

I loved Challenge USA and rolled my eyes at most of the complaints; the MTV show has always been both unfair and unsafe. So I was chuckling about how unsafe this first episode was. Two medical interventions in the first two challenges is not a great look for production. Can’t blame production for the dumbass non-challenge injury, of course, but still. Not quite the level of professionalism I was expecting from production.

Jeff is cringier than normal when talking to the tribes – that goofy sword and shield thing gave me douche chills – but he continues to be excellent as a play-by-play guy during challenges. At least in my opinion.

Other than the super insecure lady who kept complaining about people not talking to her, I found everybody to be quite likeable. And even the insecure lady was self-aware enough to acknowledge how annoying she was being during a confessional, so good on her for that. (Still hope she’s gone soon.)

I was impressed by the originality of the new advantages. I thought both were pretty clever, and was bummed we didn’t get to see the third one yet.

Craziest first episode ever.
Bruce clearly suffered a concussion. It’s odd that neither Jeff nor the medical team ever said that word. Legal reasons, maybe?

No idea why two players felt the need to use their shot in the dark so early; neither was in any danger, and I think they both had enough information to realize that. Jaime is just a basket case, and I’m not sure what Matthew’s reasoning was.

Lauren gets my early vote for most irritating player (yes, even over Carolyn). Every season there seems to be one player that everyone wants gone, but they always push to the “next vote” for one reason or another. I have a feeling that’s going to be Lauren this time around, and we’ll have to put up with her for the whole season. I hope I’m wrong.

Maybe Matthew played his Shot in the Dark to force Brandon to play his idol? Flushes an Idol early and gets rid of Maddy without revealing to the rest of the Tribe which way he would have voted.

Maddy: It was a good run while it lasted.

Me: That was one episode!

Apparently we didn’t see it but Jamie’s name was thrown around.

I really enjoyed this episode. Some great editing, and it kept the challenges interesting. I like the two new idols, but I know they are going to flop.

Yeah, I think his thinking was something like: “I’d like to save Brandon, but I only can if he plays his idol. But if he plays his idol and I vote for somebody else, I’m now stuck with Brandon in a 2-person minority. But if I vote for Brandon and he plays his idol, he won’t trust me anymore. Best thing is to not vote at all”.

I’m not sure what Jamie was thinking - there must have been some talk about voting her out. Otherwise it’s way too paranoid to be playing a shot in the dark on vote one without even hearing your name. Her announcing she was going to play it also basically compelled Brandon to play his idol (if he wasn’t going to already).

But I actually think the biggest mistake was Maddy voting the way she did. She believes everybody is voting for Brandon. So there are really 3 options:

  1. Everybody votes Brandon and he plays an idol. Result: Whomever Brandon votes for goes home. Her voting Brandon does nothing.
  2. Everybody votes Brandon and he doesn’t play an idol: Result: Brandon goes home and her vote doesn’t matter.
  3. She is being lied to and there is actually a majority to vote for someone else, which might be her and might be Lauren (or whomever). Her voting Brandon does nothing.

I think the right thing to do is throw a vote on someone that you suspect might not be loyal to you (Matthew, for example). Then if scenario 1 happens you at least force a tie, and maybe you can get your folks to go for Matthew on the re-vote. In scenario 2 (Brandon goes home) you have helpfully pointed out the next target, and it’s pretty easy to explain why you did what you did if you feel like you need to mend fences with Matthew. Scenario 3 you’re screwed anyways and have to regroup (or go home if you are the target).

So, the two hour opener seemed to just fly by for me. Yes, they had a whole lot of the traditional stuff, from how it seems all the Immunity challenges are obstacle course followed by solve a puzzle down to Probst reciting his long standardized lines.

OTOH, so far many of the cast seem like they could be interesting, and new/unexpected happenings and twists happened every ten minutes or so. Like the one guy nearly bashing his brains out less than ten minutes in, and another nearly destroying himself just goofing around because he’s so happy to be there. And just when we thought they were doing that already old feeling ‘send three people off to hopefully bond between tribes’ they twisted the payoff wonderfully. You could lose not just one, but two TC votes! Or win a totally new type of advantage … and this on top of a second completely new advantage type … or even lose a vote and then win the advantage as well!

Of course, some things never change. Do they deliberately seek out Black contestants who can’t swim?

Any way, I though it was the best opening episode they’ve had in a long time. Anyone else?

I swear I scanned the first page of topics and saw nothing for Survivor. :blush:

Thank you, mod, for moving my post!

I hear what you’re saying but I want to push back just a little bit on that. Back in the day Survivor would have one or two people of color per season, and then someone like Gervais wouldn’t be able to swim and would stick out and it would draw attention to the stereotype.

By contrast, today’s Survivor is almost half minority, all of whom except one swam very well.

Interestingly, according to USA Swimming News,

And, a season with no celebrities and no return players is already a win for me.


Some of my favorite contestants have been celebrities. Penner is a national treasure, for example.

Jury duty style might be nice. It’d be great to try to find some interesting people who are the opposite of super fans. People who may have heard of the show, but are not overly familiar with it.

With this weeks elimination I came to a realization that the winner of survivor is determined mainly because of luck.

This week the player that was eliminated did absolutely nothing to get eliminated. We will never know why she was chosen, but from a gameplay standpoint she was just unlucky.

But thats Survivor…

There were two groups of two that had started forming bonds: the old folks (Yamyam and Carolyn) and the young women (Sarah and Helen), then the young guy (Carson) was in the middle as the swing vote. He decided to go with the old squad, and he’ll probably tell us why in a confessional next episode. My assumption is that he thinks Carolyn is a better meat shield, whereas if he were with the young women he might be the first target.

Also, he confirmed via social media this week that both he and Helen knew Sarah didn’t have a vote, which means if he went with the young women it would have been a 2-2 tie. That isn’t a dealbreaker, of course, but probably made his decision easier.

As for why target Helen over Sarah, probably because Helen appeared to be a bigger threat.

Yeah, Helen was giving off big “I’m calling the shots” energy. Way too early in the game for that. They made the right choice.

There is more to luck to it, but luck is definitely a big factor, especially in the earliest days of the game. We have no idea how many incredible players were eliminated in the first two or three votes over the past 40+ seasons, but there is not much you can do early game other than try to form some small alliances.

They have enough “voted off first” players now to form an entire season or two. Hmmm…

And this is why it’s not entirely luck. Helen could have done something, or tried to change how she was being perceived. She could have realized once she found out that Sarah didn’t have a vote that she could be targeted - nobody ever wants to force a tie… She could have approached Carolyn about voting Sarah. She could have played up the cage being mucked with and tried to throw shade at Sarah or Carolyn that way. Hell, she could have approached Yam Yam and Carolyn about Carson playing both sides and tried to get him voted out.

Coming out on the wrong side of a 2-2 vote, when you know it’s 2-2 at best since one of your alliance doesn’t have a vote, isn’t just bad luck. It’s also lazy play. Carson certainly didn’t sit back and assume he was safe.