No Survivor tonight

There’s no Survivor tonight because there are only four episode left! Nooooo!
So, instead, let’s talk about the season so far.

I was so sceptical about Ten doing a Champions V Contenders theme back to back, but it has turned out really well.
Season 2 is still my fave Australian season (that’s the one with AK, Luke, Henry and Sarah) but this is second.
What do you think?
Rumour is they are now filming some kind of Second Chances season. It’s s too soon, really, but I can see why they want to build on the momentum now it seems everyday Australians have finally caught on to what a good show it is.

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I’ll be honest. I’ve found this season very hit and miss. It started off okay, but the last couple of weeks, there were days when I just skipped episodes, or only tuned in for the tribal council (and even then, with the Exile Beach shenanigans that ultimately turned out to be pointless, I could’ve skipped those episodes entirely).

I feel like, once the tribe swap happened, everything went downhill after that. Oh, sure, on a personal-investment level, I blame several of the castaways for being absolute morons. But I wonder if that was the direct result of production interference? The champions were crashing and burning. The contenders had gained a huge numbers advantage (and at some point, that would’ve snowballed beyond control, putting the champions in a death spiral they couldn’t get out of … if they weren’t in one, already). It feels like the tribe-swap wasn’t planned, like the production crew saw the numbers dwindling — and the challenges planned, for the remainder of the pre-merge game, wouldn’t have been possible with a tribe of 10 versus a tribe of 2. So they *had* to throw in the tribe swap, to get things back to 2 even teams.

The other thing I really haven’t enjoyed about this season is the general editing. It’s been terrible. I don’t think too many would disagree with me about that. Who are these people? Simon made it to Final 7, and I know barely anything about him as a human being (beyond his name, which I learned from the opening credits). I mean, that’s atrocious. At least half the cast were just there. Half a dozen people got *zero* backstory. Casey, Sam, Matt, Hannah? Who were these people? If they were so unremarkable, why were they cast at all?

Sure, half the starting cast of any “Survivor” season never makes it within a mile of the prize money … but the audience isn’t supposed to know that until they get eliminated. The show itself treated the pre-merge cannon fodder like cannon fodder, and honestly, I feel like I was taken for a bit of a ride, asked to invest in people that the show itself didn’t give two craps about. And it’s not even an issue of time management. The episodes are longer than normal, as a standard rule, not to mention, the tsunami woman and Daisy and Janine all received multiple back-story segments. But Casey or Hannah or Matt didn’t even get one? I would’ve loved to know a little bit about Casey, but the only impression I got about Casey is that she hated challenges and nobody liked her. All that I got from Matt is that he was aggressively competitive, and all I know about Hannah is that she’s blonde.

The show was much better about that, in past seasons, than this one.


Windsong, I was also going to comment on the editing, but from a different point of view. I agree about the edits given to different players, but my beef this season is with the way the episodes were put together.

I don’t mind longer episodes, and in the past seasons I have preferred that to the US versions because you heard more of the scramble (and for a Survivor dummy like me, I could understand TC better). But this season, they have filled the time with endless head shots. For example, someone says “should we vote Luke tonight?” and then we see a full five seconds of Luke’s face looking concerned. It feels like they filmed a whole lot of generic facials for each, and then slot them in continuously when they think the person should be showing that emotion.

So, for me, too many long face shots, gazing out to sea, looking worried. I would like this time replaced with footage of them trying to get food, dealing with the fire, hunting for idols etc, or conversations that relate to the game or just give us info about their personalities or backgrounds. I suppose if they ditched the long looks, they would have had time to give to the background players.

The upshot is, I am convinced that this season has been edited by a different crew than the previous ones, and it shows.

However, in general, I have loved the season. I am not a fan of themed seasons but this one has worked. I like that a couple of times it has seemed like one tribe would go on a blitz, and then the tables turned. I like that there were strong, assertive players (even the quiet ones, like Pia) who came in with strategies. Most of all I love that the Aus versions doesn’t kill off the strong men first. The battle between David, Shaun, Harry, etc has been wonderful.