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Thread: Does Mark Burnett Manipulate Survivor?

  1. #11
    FORT Fogey Anonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gher
    OMG!!!! I just watched the pick-your-buffs segment and Jeff CLEARLY says, " .. in order," as they line up to choose buffs, and they do, Lex first, Rob next to him, Big Tom and Jerri and so on ....

    I thought so!

    Well, if this ain't contrived ...
    Are you sure Jeff didn't mean line up in order? I don't think Jeff would actually say "pick your buffs in the order they are in the jar", you know? That is too obvious. Although I do find it suspicious that Amber was the only one who got seperated. That is a little odd. Maybe it was karma that they somehow survived or maybe MB wanted to split them up and fixed the switch to get Amber off because MB didn't like what she was doing to Rob and they somehow survived. Who knows?

  2. #12
    hubba bubba Gher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous
    Are you sure Jeff didn't mean line up in order? I don't think Jeff would actually say "pick your buffs in the order they are in the jar", you know? That is too obvious. Although I do find it suspicious that Amber was the only one who got seperated. That is a little odd. Maybe it was karma that they somehow survived or maybe MB wanted to split them up and fixed the switch to get Amber off because MB didn't like what she was doing to Rob and they somehow survived. Who knows?
    I am sure - I just watched it again ... he says line up in order of the numbers they first chose and the mates they chose next to them, before he even gets the pot with the buffs out. That's why they line up the way they do - Lex first (he was number one), Rob (the partner he chose), Tom, Jerri, Shii Ann, Rupert, Alicia, Kathy, Jenna and Amber.

    If you're skeptical check it out.
    Rob: "I was trying to appeal to their emotions. I was trying to make them see I was affected as well. To be honest with you, those were tears of sorrow, because I think I realized that I wasn’t going to win "

  3. #13
    A Random Foot Kitty Throw Champion PIMguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gher
    OMG!!!! I just watched the pick-your-buffs segment and Jeff CLEARLY says, " .. in order," as they line up to choose buffs, and they do, Lex first, Rob next to him, Big Tom and Jerri and so on ....

    I thought so!

    Well, if this ain't contrived ...

    Nasty Burnett wanted to split up Rob and Amber. They were the only couple/2 players who seemed to have any understanding of the game. This meddling on Burnett's part may have cost Rob the game. He got Amber back (personally I wouldn't have bothered if I were him ... like Greg said, "had fun, now it's time for the kitten to get the chop," or something like that), but at too great a personal cost. MB by splitting up Romber almost wrecked Rob's whole strategy (to go to f2 with Amber).
    When I was watching that happen I thought to myself that the jar was kind of small to let the players choose a "random" buff. I also wondered if the buffs were arranged for the outcome.

    What's funny about Burnett's alleged attempt to split up Romber is that the other players were too dumb to recognize the opportunity and go along with the plan. Burnett can do as much meddling as he wants but he can't make the players smarter.

  4. #14
    FORT god cable101's Avatar
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    Here's my thought on this...

    MB may very well manipulate the game for ratings. And at first glance, that may seem cruel and unfair. But think of it this way...if a player deserves to go farther in the game, they can handle a twist that comes at them. A player getting switched over to another tribe has a very good chance of staying around if that player is good enough to. Silas should've gone farther? No. If he did deserve to win Africa, and the title of best player that season, than he would have survived the switch and not made himself such a target for a switch (I know, they didn't know there would be twists in Africa, but still). I have the same thoughts on winners. The 8 players to win this game are the 8 players that deserved to win this game. When it comes down to it, they handled all twists that came at them, and stayed in the game. You may say that somebody like Lil from S7 doesn't deserve to win, and only made it to the final 2 because they're nice and easy to beat, but isn't that still a strategy on Lil's part? It was a good one too, because it got her to the final 2. Did she deserve to win? No. But she deserved her spot. Vecepia, Jenna M., and Amber have been bashed for making it as far as they did, and even winning, but they did win because they're strategy won it for them. It may not have been a big out in the open strategy, but it got them to the final 2 and they got the jury members to vote for them along the way, and they deserve the million dollar paycheck.

    I kind of got off topic there...sorry.

  5. #15
    *Until Next Season...* karalott's Avatar
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    Survivor would have become a snooze fest a long time ago if MB didn't throw twists in there, and these contestants would be so laid back if they knew they didn't have anything to worry about. MB has said he switches the tribes up so it won't give one tribe an advantage over the other come merge time. Look at how it worked in Marquesas and Amazon. Had there not been a switch in S4, look how boring and predictable that would have been. I know these twists are probably thought of before the show starts filming, and I've wondered before if MB would have used them had something not happened (like the younger Sambrats voting off the older ones) and what twists he had planned but we didn't see. I don't think he manipulates, I think he's just trying to make the game more interesting and give some players a chance to keep themselves in it. That's probably what his intention was when he sent Amber over with the former MM members to Chapera, but they blew their chance. Personally I thought it was a little funny that Chapera had to go over to MM camp.

    The only twist I haven't liked was the Outcast tribe. Any other season I might have liked it, or had someone other than Burton and Lill came back maybe I wouldn't have had such a problem with it.

  6. #16
    Starbucks is your friend Bill's Avatar
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    I seem to recall Jeff saying line up in "any order". Plus, it was confirmed by one of the survivors in their post boot chat that you can grab any of the buffs in the jar, they were rolled up.

    Finally, why rig that? It meant more boring TV. If he wanted to rig the game, then he would have kept Rob C around, and Rudy, etc... It doesn't make sense, and to him, who cares who wins? Seriously. The winner is meaningless if the ratings are there to the final show.
    "George Oscar Bluth II, aka GOB, featured magician in the best selling videotape, "Girls With Low Self Esteem" invites you to enter his world.
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  7. #17
    @}-}-------- OldSoul's Avatar
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    It seems the prevailing response is that MB does manipulate the game, ...And?

    Aside from so-called "twists" (tribal swaps, Outcasts, team composition, etc), I feel pretty sure there are more sereptitious manipulations that are harder to see and slide right past most viewers. There's been a few mentioned above, like having a swim competition knowing that Amber was a lifeguard.

    Here are a few other situations that have made me wonder if the game wasn't being manipulated. I recognize some may seem look like conspiracy theory type suspicions... but it's not that serious. I mean, we all agree that MB isn't above manipulating the game.

    KNOTS - This is a component that always makes me wonder. If MB wants to help a particular tribe (lets say the Outcasts ) win a challenge... just set up a challenge that involves untying a knot (like getting out of a cage, removing a knife, etc)... and make sure the tribe(s) you DON'T want to win have their knots tied EXTRA TIGHT... or even completely differently, in a harder to untie knot. Examples; when the Outcasts came back at an IC, or when Ethan beat Rahb into the woods, but couldn't get his knot untied, or during SAS in the underwater challenge (1 man, 1 woman). It'd be a real easy way to affect the outcome.

    TOOLS - Another suspicion in that same Outcast IC, where they had to use twigs and branches in their cage to make a pole to get their key. For the team you want to win, just make sure the sticks and twigs in their cell are longer or more sturdy and make sure they have a bit more twine. Or when shooting at a target, give one tribe straighter and/or heavier spears and arrows (better control), or a more tightly strung bow.

    PHYSICAL APTITUDE - An example of this is having a swimming underwater IC one when you know Amber is trained for that (okay, it didn't really WORK in S8, but ...). This is something I've noticed in other reality shows like Big Brother. Some people, WOMEN in particular, are generally better at balancing. Men, or just more top heavy people usually have more trouble walking down a balance beam. Remember the buff Asian guy in S7(or 6?) at that obstacle course that started with a balance beam... Man, that guy just COULDN'T get across the beam, giving the ladies a large lead. In SAS, during the RC with the car, it started with a balance beam and Rupert was out right off the bat.
    Another example of this was the F4 IC in SAS. You have a very skinny man and a tiny woman you want to benefit, make up a maze challenge with lots of roped up "cob-webbed" areas that a small or thin person can just skate right through, but a big guy like Rupert has to actually negotiate... or use wood beams skewed every which way... again, if you're small, slide right underneath.. If you're big, you actually have to negotiate them.

    Anyway, if you had people wanted to move along, setting up challenges that gave certain physical advantages would be a clever way to give them the advantage.

    Well... I guess my note is too long already, but these are the types of manipulations I'm talking about. Subtle. Hard to detect from the comfort of your couch. It seems to me they could be an effective way of influencing the outcome of a challenge (influencing, not guaranteeing).

    I'm sure MB uses these in his manipulation arsenal. I don't have a problem it, that's part of the game... but I guess if I'm being honest I'd have to say I hate it when it hurts people I'm rooting for, but love it when it benefits them.

    I'm so damn fickle.

    Anyway, what do you all think? Any other examples?
    Late to the Posting Party, but here all along.

  8. #18
    I've been a bad, bad girl Siryn's Avatar
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    Okay, pretty much all challenges are going to "discriminate" against SOMEONE in some way. If you took out every unbalancing attribute, there would be no challenge! Races discriminate against older people, heavier-set people, and women. Balancing discriminates against men and heavier-set people. Obstacles discriminate against the less flexible. Swimming discriminates against those that can't swim very well.
    Hell, puzzles discriminate against people that lack spatial or analytical abilities.

    Where does it end?

    Each individual comes as they are - and if they have not prepared to be an Olympic athlete in all styles of competitions so that they are never disadvantaged by any challenge, then that's just too damn bad.

    The reason why people are upset about this series is that the comeuppance that was long desired didn't happen. A gross advantage - in tribe numbers, in tribe composition, whatever - makes for boring TV because the comeuppance won't happen. Not without a miracle or a shakeup from MB. Only a manipulation targeted toward a specific individual would cross the line and be wrong.

    Be thankful for the "manipulations" - it gives us something good to watch and to talk about.
    I me some Marty Casey. Go Marty!

  9. #19
    Not caring is fun! Matt64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siryn
    Okay, pretty much all challenges are going to "discriminate" against SOMEONE in some way. If you took out every unbalancing attribute, there would be no challenge! Races discriminate against older people, heavier-set people, and women. Balancing discriminates against men and heavier-set people. Obstacles discriminate against the less flexible. Swimming discriminates against those that can't swim very well.
    Hell, puzzles discriminate against people that lack spatial or analytical abilities.

    Where does it end?

    Each individual comes as they are - and if they have not prepared to be an Olympic athlete in all styles of competitions so that they are never disadvantaged by any challenge, then that's just too damn bad.

    The reason why people are upset about this series is that the comeuppance that was long desired didn't happen. A gross advantage - in tribe numbers, in tribe composition, whatever - makes for boring TV because the comeuppance won't happen. Not without a miracle or a shakeup from MB. Only a manipulation targeted toward a specific individual would cross the line and be wrong.

    Be thankful for the "manipulations" - it gives us something good to watch and to talk about.


    It wouldn't be possible to make the challenges fair for everyone. The fact is, unless they only cast 16 (or 18) people with the same body type and IQ, each challenge is going to benefit someone at some point. That's why you need to make a strong alliance so that while you may not win the challenge (by the merge only 1 person in 10 is safe) you don't get voted out. It's a matter of social dynamics.. and thats why the game is interesting. I honestly wouldn't have a problem watching this show with NO challenges. I'd watch the show if it was 16 people stranded on the island and every 2 days they had to eliminate someone else, for whatever reason. Just watching the paranoia and the breaking and making of alliances would be fascinating enough.. assuming people were smart and cunning enough to actually do that. That's why Marquesas, Amazon and Pearl Islands were such interesting seasons.. it was all about the way the groups formed and the way people interacted. It had little to do with the challenges.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gher
    Arbitrary twists introduce an element of chance in deciding who will end up surviving and those who won't: Silas was unfairly switched into the Boran tribe where he didn't have a chance.
    .
    Silas volunteered to go and then bragged about his strong alliance with the other mallrats. He brought that on himself.

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