Survivor Tocantins: Let's Catch Up
I've always been a huge fan of Survivor -- a little while ago, I made myself a list of my top 25 favorite all-time TV shows (something that, if and when I get the time, will find its way here) and Survivor was in my top five.
Of all time.
Yeah, deal with it. What's more, I can only think of two seasons out of the 18 (yes, EIGHTEEN) seasons that have disappointed. There's simply no other show with that tenure that's been as consistently entertaining. And without a shadow of a doubt, Jeff Probst remains the gold standard for hosting a competitive game show.
But how's this season going? Who has a chance of winning? Click the link to see my wildly entertaining breakdown.
First a few comments about folks who have been kicked off already:
Sydney: The most interesting thing about Sydney was that her looks were commented on a lot by other contestants and even Jeff Probst. Given the fact that every year there are plenty of good looking women, I suspect this means that Sydney is even prettier in person than on-screen. Otherwise, it's just odd. She actually played the game fine, but I'm only mentioning her because, well, I'm that kind of a guy.
Sierra just got the boot, and while she wasn't the strongest player, it certainly seems like she got a raw deal. People - pretty much everyone - treated her openly with contempt. There's no reason that the show wouldn't have aired Sierra acting in ways that warranted that attitude (they've certainly never shied away from such things in the past), so I have to assume this just goes back to her being sick the first few days and acting morose, etc. I don't think she's the worlds most sunshiney person, but I hope that the other contestants feel badly about how they acted when they watch the episodes.
Tyson: A former pro cyclist and swimmer, Tyson was the clear dominant athlete, and it was smart to kick him off. What makes Tyson interesting is how openly dickish he was (is). His Survivor profile says, "Witty, charming and arrogant is how Tyson Apostol describes himself ... His favorite movie is "The Jerk" and that’s how some people just might describe him."
He clearly enjoys saying mean things, and that doesn't make him very likable, but he did make good TV.
OK, now for the folks left in the game:
Erinn: First of all, she's my easy pick for "Wow, she cleaned up GOOD" at the reunion show. But will she be there as a winner? The odds are stacked way against her. She seems to be coasting through this which does mean she might make it with whoever the eventual winner is, but she'll have a hard time convincing any jury that she's deserving of $1,000,000. However, because of all of this, she's hard to count out entirely.
Speaking of having odds stacked against a win, Taj is screwed in this area. Why? Her husband is Eddie George - the former Heisman winner and Pro Bowl running back. Apparently she herself is a former pop star, though one I'd never heard of. What I'm saying is she's not hurting for cash, and eventually who 'deserves' it rears its ugly head. She is a great candidate to go far because she's smart and likable, but she's not going to win.
Debra: First of all, I never had a principal (Debra's occupation) with big fake boobs. I'm just pointing this out in advance. And Debby flew under the radar for awhile -- but in the last few episodes, she's started to lose it a bit. To put it mildly, she seems to handle stress poorly - after Sierra caught in her in an open lie, she freaked out - twice - and then later said she didn't even really remember what she had originally said. That's code for, "I know I lied but I don't want to admit it." In any case, she's in a weak position and while she can buy herself a few Tribal Councils, she's a tough choice to go far because she might get some pity votes from guys like Tyson or Brendan.
Stephen has got himself in a good place, because he has an immunity idol and seems to have the best head for strategy left in the game. He does seem like a good risk to something truly stupid that shoots himself in the foot, but he's positioned well and certainly doesn't have many real enemies out there.
I sort of wish he were funnier; he seems like the kind of guy who should be funny, but I haven't seen it. However, that doesn't mean anything, just thought I'd point it out. As far as the game goes, I like his chances.
JT is clearly the best athlete left in the game, extremely well liked by just about everyone and actually pretty savvy with the game despite appearing otherwise. His problem is that sooner or later (and it will have to be sooner) someone is going to have to take him out, since he would be almost impossible to go up against in the final Tribal Council. It's one of the worst parts of this game, that the most likable people almost never win.
Finally, Benjamin. Oh, I'm sorry, "Coach." I honestly didn't have a clue his first name was Ben because it's never been used in the show. Coach is so crazy that there remains a distinct possibility he doesn't coach anyone, or maybe did coach a little league 12 years ago. He has told stories about being captured and beaten by an Amazonian tribe, and calls himself "The Dragonslayer." I'd ignore most of this, except Coach truly does seem to believe he's the guy he's acting like. He's woefully insecure but he thinks he's at peace with himself. He says things like he'll never get rid of a true competitor because he wants to go against the best, then engineers an ouster of someone like Brendan. He says he'll never lie in the game, then when exposed lying completely, seems to truly believe he's still in the right. There's simply no way he can win this game, but he's the most entertaining guy on TV right now.
So, I guess I'd put my money on Stephen, with Taj and Erinn as possibilities to make it far as well. If JT starts winning Immunity Challenges and makes it to the final two, he's the easiest clear winner but that's a hard road to get there.
But I know one thing ... I'll be watching.