SURVIVOR: Is a Villain the Only Hero? - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SURVIVOR: Is a Villain the Only Hero?

February 19, 2010 by  

Uh oh. I think I have a problem.  I’m really loving SURVIVOR. This doesn’t bode well for (a) the sleep I need on Thursday nights (b) my poor, already overworked DVRs. But it can’t be helped…I’m hooked.

As I’ve said before, this is only the third season of SURVIVOR I’ve ever watched.  I, along with pretty much the entire country, watched the phenom that was the first season.  Although I caught a few eps here and there of other seasons, it wasn’t until the All Star season that I committed myself to the show again. But an overcrowded Thursday night line-up has always kept me from tuning in to SURVIVOR for most of its tenure.  I was, however, completely intrigued by the ‘Heroes vs. Villains’ match -up. It felt like another All Star season to me.  And then there was Boston Rob. I was in!

Now I’m not going to promise to talk about SURVIVIOR on GMMR every week.  With all the other Thursday night shows on, I can’t guarantee that I’m going to even watch SURVIVOR on Thursday nights.  But Ducky and I will be discussing it each week on The TV Talk Podcast, so be sure to tune in to hear our thoughts. (Last week’s ep of SURVIVOR and our thoughts on this season’s cast was discussed in the latest TV Talk Podcast which was posted today. Listen here.) With most of my Thursday night shows in reruns mode, I had time to watch it last night so I thought I could at least share some quick thoughts.

How quickly things change on the island.  The Heroes certainly looked the part during their first few days on the island. Embracing the ‘good guy’ moniker placed on them, they worked together to set up camp and win the first reward challenge.  But for those of you who watched last week, we know that things didn’t go the Heroes way during the all important Immunity Challenge. They were forced to trek to Tribal Council where Sugar’s torch was snuffed out and she was sent home.

Karma proved to be quite the bitch this week when the Heroes failed once again to put together a puzzle, costing them immunity.  Much like last week, they squandered a big lead in the early stages of the competition only to be completely bamboozled by the villains when it came to the actual construction of the puzzle

Going into the challenge it seemed that the Heroes had it all together.  Having done the challenge during his season, J.T. was designated as the task master. Everyone would do their parts to bring in the necessary pieces but when it came to construction, J.T. would be the voice directing the team’s actions.  Well, at least that was the plan.  After quickly getting the pieces from one side of the course to the other, the Heroes completely frakked themselves when they decided that a group mentality would work better than the ‘one voice’ approach they agreed on from the beginning. The eventually lost their lead and the challenge.  Sounds a little like last week, no?

For the Heroes, their inability to complete a puzzle wasn’t the issue.  What transpired at Tribal Council is the real problem. James’ physique is certainly impressive, but I couldn’t help but wonder if roid rage fueled his post-challenge hissy fit. Clearly the tribe was upset over the loss, but James acted as if he wasn’t a part of it at all. The first ten times he made his point about their lack of focus and team work I was with him, but after that I just wanted Probst to show up and announce that their was an exile island and James was its first guest.

I’m no SURVIVOR expert, but I can’t imagine why the Heroes would off one of their strongest female players this early in the game? Seems like Steph was out because James complained the loudest about her. Maybe I’m missing something here, but if you get rid of your strongest players in the beginning, isn’t it that much more difficult to win challenges and stay out of Tribal Council?  It’s only the second week and the Heroes were making decisions based on alliances? Again, I’m no expert but it seemed like it was almost too early to start playing an individual game. Again, I’m a SURVIVOR novice so I certainly welcome an alternative point of view on this one.

James should have been embarrassed about his behavior at Tribal Council. The guy was so full of rage that he unleashed himself on anyone that dared confront him. It’s too early for me to have allegiance to anyone (besides Boston Rob), but I liked how both Colby and Tom stood up for Steph. Yes, I know they are in an alliance with her, but it’s never a good idea to put a target on your back.  But they were right, she was being bullied.  For better or worse, no one dared to say a word. Stephanie didn’t lose this challenge for the tribe. She may have contributed to the loss, but it’s not like she alone sabotaged them. Group effort, group loss. But I suppose in a game that’s based on survival of the fittest, it’s best not to worry about who is taking the fall as long as it doesn’t hurt your game.

The Villains didn’t have pretty wins, but as long as they walked away with the W it really didn’t matter. At camp, no one but Boston Rob and Russell seemed to want to do much of anything….again. Huddling together in the rain at night seemed rather pointless when they had more than enough time to build a shelter.  You’re stuck on a deserted island. Outside of the challenges, what do you do with your days? Why not spend the time building proper accommodations? Doesn’t seem to make much sense to me. Seemed Rob had had about enough too. Taking on the major responsibility in building the camp took the toll on him, and Rob collapsed in the woods.

Now I need to stop right here and ask SURVIVOR fans for some input. The cameras followed Rob into the woods. They saw him collapse. I know there is some wall between camera operators and contestants, but did you get a sense as to whether or not they intervened? They wouldn’t let someone collapse in the woods and then wait for someone to just find him, would they?

Back to the passing out.  We’ve since learned that it wasn’t just sheer exhaustion from building the camp, but rather the flu that led to his collapse. Either way it was a little scary to watch.

I’ve got to be honest and tell you that when it first happened I thought he was faking. On some level I thought that maybe he was trying to illustrate a point about how much he was working. Or fake fall as some kind of shady strategy.  It wasn’t until Probst and the EMTs arrived that I got a sense of just how much the guy was hurting. Seeing him struggling to drink the water was disturbing. For a minute I thought he was going to be evacuated and taken out of the game (which might have been enough to take me out of the game too). Once he was out of the woods, figuratively, of course, Rob was like a caterpillar turning in to butterfly. He decided enough was enough and he was done trying to play nice with his tribe. In his altered, yet honest state, I liked what he said about having too much respect for the game to sit back and just let others take the lead.  Giddy’up, Rob.

Given the heavy editing, I couldn’t really tell how much time had elapsed between Rob’s collapse and the immunity challenge.  It didn’t seem like that much time. Maybe that’s why I was so surprised to see Rob competing, especially given that they needed two people to sit out.  This guy has the flu and just collapsed, maybe he shouldn’t be pushing a huge block across the sand in scorching sun.  But this is Boston Rob, so not only did he push the block, he stood up and led the team to victory; at one point literally holding the entire challenge on his back.  Maybe I’m biased, being a Boston girl and all, but I was impressed. Interesting that one of the most infamous and notorious villains in SURVIVOR history is showing himself to be the only true hero of this season. I might be pulling for the Heroes tribe, but if I were at final tribal council, Rob would get my vote.

Any SURVIVOR fans out there?  Thoughts on the Heroes decision to oust Stephanie?  Should Amanda have been the right one to go home?  Were Colby, Tom & Amanda right to have targeted Amanda? Will James’ actions have a lasting effect on the tribe or will everything blow over.  Can the Heroes rebound from these disastrous turn of events?


3 Responses to “SURVIVOR: Is a Villain the Only Hero?”

  1. Kim on February 19th, 2010 5:01 pm

    I watched some of the earlier seasons and pretty much stopped watching after All-Stars, so I don’t know who a lot of these people are. I wasn’t a big Boston Rob fan before this, but I am LOVING him this season. Maybe it’s just because he’s on a tribe of misfits and it doesn’t take much to stand out, but he seems to be running the game so far. Last week, it was great when he started fire with a couple of sticks (after the other Villains were like, “You can’t start a fire with sticks. You just can’t.”) while the Heroes struggled to make fire with flint. And he won both challenges for the Villains (immunity last week + immunity/reward this week.) You have to respect a guy who passes out because he has the flu and then apologizes and starts kicking ass again. I don’t know exactly how much time had passed, but there’s only 3 days between tribal councils, so it couldn’t have been more than a day or two before the challenge. Impressive.

    I’m not sure about the cameramen/contestants interaction, but I think either (a) Jerri saw him fall & it wasn’t an issue (that seemed to be how they edited it or (b) the cameramen told Jerri. He had something behind his head like a pillow when she came up to him, and he didn’t really seem like he had the energy to fashion a pillow out of a shirt, so I’m guessing the cameramen intervened a bit. I mean, Jeff Probst came to camp and sat with him until he could get up, so I think in certain situations, it’s ok for them to kind of break protocol. I’m just hypothesizing here, though, so if someone knows better, please correct me! Definitely got the impression that Probst is rooting for Boston Rob, though.

    Voting out Steph was a stupid idea, like you said. Probst explained in his blog on that originally on Survivor, everyone just got rid of the weakest players first, but with some of the newer seasons, that changed. Now you have social players who aren’t so good at the physical challenges, so they’ll vote off the strongest players first for some bogus reason they come up with and save themselves from being eliminated. The strong players are the ones who are going to argue that you should get rid of the weaker players who don’t perform well, so if you get out the strong players first, you can go further. Plus, the Heroes have a bunch of athletic people on their tribe, so maybe they think it’s not a big deal to lose one. They’re totally self-imploding, though. And considering how poorly they’ve been doing in the mental part of the challenges, they really need to keep their strong players unless they just want to go to tribal council all the time. From what I’ve seen, I like Tom and Cerie on the Heroes tribe, but I’m rooting for the Villains. They’re more entertaining to watch.

  2. luke on February 19th, 2010 8:22 pm

    I’m thrilled you’re covering Survivor. It’s such a fun show to talk about.

    Last nights episode was great. I find it so interesting how different a normal season is compared with an all-star season. Normally the goal is to get the weakest out first, but in an all-star season anything goes and it becomes a numbers game. Stephanie wasn’t the weakest on her tribe, but she was the weakest when put against her alliance members Colby and Tom.

    I was really confused why they seemed to be targeting Amanda as the weakest of the tribe. In past seasons, she’s won four individual immunity challenges plus she made it all the way to the end twice, but failed miserably at both of the tribal counsels. You’d think these would be reasons to keep her.

    The whole James and Stephanie fight at tribal counsel was just bizarre. James is normally really laid back, so I feel like something more must have happened to get him so fired up or maybe it was the lack of sleep.

    Anyways, that was a great episode and again, I’m thrilled you’ll be recapping it.

  3. Ashley on February 20th, 2010 1:27 pm

    I’m with you! I only watched the first season and All-Stars, and because Amber and Rob are the only reality star couple I totally love, I had to watch this season. I also like Colby, but the second Rob is voted out, I’m done watching. His fall was scary and I was worried he was faking, and then worried that it was real! Have you seen the pics of Amber and Rob’s baby is People? So cute!