This article highlights a lot of what I have been saying all season about Survivor.
It's a long article, here are some of the key points:
The US series has of course kept the format fresh with a series of slightly changed layouts, additional features of the game and a healthy amount of mid-game twists. Everything from Redemption Island (a chance to get back in the game after being voted out once) to super-powered idols that give their owners special benefits in the game and even a couple of seasons where the castaways had a pre-existing relationship with someone on the other tribe.
But what they've never, ever done, is undermine the core ideology of Survivor with blatant contestant deceit, useless episode lengthening fake-outs and twists that hold absolutely zero purpose except for making me want to hurl my burrito at the TV. Which brings me to Australian Survivor, the revived local version which airs its final episode tonight.
Yes, as I mentioned, US Survivor has played around with the structure somewhat, but what they’ve never, and I stress, NEVER done is commit the cardinal sin that Australian Survivor so gleefully wiped its arse with and that is mess with the sanctity that is Tribal Council, the arguable core of the Survivor dynasty.
So when early in the season of Australian Survivor, Jay-La-Pags gathered the increasingly stanky misfits from the losing tribe to council and revealed that, ~psych~, no one was in fact going home tonight, yours truly nearly had a conniption and upended his living room coffee table.
Cut to a week later and not only did JLP once again lie to his wards regarding Tribal, but the resulting double-twist that the votes already cast are not for elimination but for a tribal swap, pulled the final thread of hope I had for a truly great local version of the greatest show on TV and I spiralled into Dennis Reynold's levels of rage.
Look, throw in your twists and your Super Idols and your god damn Hungry Jacks-related reward challenges, but once you mess with the sanctity of Tribal Council and ostensibly lie to the contestants, you undermine the core process of a successful Sole Survivor's pathway to victory and begin punishing contestants for excelling at the game's three tentpoles of Outwitting, Outplaying & Outlasting.
A fact wholly proven when a week or so later, manipulative underdog Phoebe pulled off a spectacular move that WOULD have blindsided a fellow castaway, only for the Tribal Council in question to once again be revealed as a fake-out, a dastardly move on the producer's behalf, which ensured her departure the following episode.
Other slights to the Survivor name witnessed on Aus Survivor include but are not limited to, a post-challenge reveal that the last three placed contestants were off to the previously unannounced Exile Island for apparently no reason, some truly heinous examples of sensationalised advertising (remember when the gratuitously hyped 'SUE'S BIG MOVE'
Due to the many faults by producers, it's hard not to put the blame on them for an unusually tepid back half of a season of Survivor, which has resulted in one of the dullest final threes in history, with snoresville ex-Army blank page El riding the coat-tails of the frustratingly and equally vanilla-flavoured straight-edged Lee, both almost certain to bump off clueless, shiny-object-distracted Kristie, win the $500k and proceed to have unimaginative missionary-position sex on top of it.
What do people think?