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Thread: Does Mark Burnett Manipulate Survivor?

  1. #21
    @}-}-------- OldSoul'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.
    I AM thankful and AGREE with you that manipulations make the game more interesting and I also recognize that SOMEone will always be at a disadvantage in a physical (or even mental) challenge. My point with the Physical Advantages part of my post was that MB may manipulate the game by choosing particular challenges at particular times to benefit/hurt a certain group of people or person.... to give the underdog an edge, or get rid of a problem, etc.

    In regards to the rest of my post, most of the discussion til now has centered around more overt twists and changes (tribal swaps, double immunity, etc). Physical dis/advantages aside, I think MB can also manipulate challenges by tying one knot tighter than another, or providing better sticks in one cage than the other, or giving drier wood to one person in a fire challenge. I just wanted to know if anyone else thought MB might "rig" challenges this way. These types of manipulations would have nothing to do with how prepared someone came or how physically fit or how big/small, old/young they were.

    It's what I meant by more sereptitious manipulations. The physical ones are more obvious, but MB could still use them case by case to influence which way a particular challenge would go.
    Last edited by OldSoul; 05-19-2004 at 06:29 PM.
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  2. #22
    Starbucks is your friend Bill's Avatar
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    MB doesn't actually tie the knots.

    There is a dedicated crew of folks who design, build, and test the challenges, including doing them themselves (they are the folks you kinda see in the little challenge explaination shots). Challenges and twists that are set in advance on the production schedule. They all would have to be co-conspirators to all of this manipulation, and given that the winner has been spoiled several times now, I would be shocked if such manipulation was not outed as well by now, and no, Stacy's still completely debunked claims don't count in my eyes.

    Again I say, why would he do it? This would kill his ratings gold mine for no gain whatsoever. The ratings do not get better if Amber is booted off (as she should have been by Lex). I think most things in TV are driven by dollars, and there is no reason to mess with the formula that leads to the conclusion of this competition. There are no dollars to be gained, so I don't see the motivation to do it.
    "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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  3. #23
    Not caring is fun! Matt64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    MB doesn't actually tie the knots.

    There is a dedicated crew of folks who design, build, and test the challenges, including doing them themselves (they are the folks you kinda see in the little challenge explaination shots). Challenges and twists that are set in advance on the production schedule. They all would have to be co-conspirators to all of this manipulation, and given that the winner has been spoiled several times now, I would be shocked if such manipulation was not outed as well by now, and no, Stacy's still completely debunked claims don't count in my eyes.

    Again I say, why would he do it? This would kill his ratings gold mine for no gain whatsoever. The ratings do not get better if Amber is booted off (as she should have been by Lex). I think most things in TV are driven by dollars, and there is no reason to mess with the formula that leads to the conclusion of this competition. There are no dollars to be gained, so I don't see the motivation to do it.
    Not to mention the fact that it's impossible (like really impossible, not just a figure of speach) to watch 3 days worth of footage (especially in the begining when he has 2 [or 3] different tribes) and decide who he doesn't like at that particular time in order to manipulate the game in someone else's favor.

    Also, they pick numbers when it comes to individual challenges in order to pick their spot/station.. so the physical manipulation or objects (knots and wood for fire.. etc..) could not happen.

  4. #24
    hubba bubba Gher's Avatar
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    Happily accepting the manipulations and calling them random twists and acceptable in a competition format is exactly what makes Burnett happy. He is scripting the show to get the response from the viewers he wants. Which makes the viewing audience who indiscriminately eat up all the stuff he puts out just as much his pawns in the same way as the players who he manipulates, are.
    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 "

  5. #25
    Starbucks is your friend Bill's Avatar
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    I disagree that the twists are random, so I dismiss the premise that I am happy accepting them that way.
    "George Oscar Bluth II, aka GOB, featured magician in the best selling videotape, "Girls With Low Self Esteem" invites you to enter his world.
    -- Arrested Development, Season III

  6. #26
    I've been a bad, bad girl Siryn's Avatar
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    If this were a more structured game, I might feel offended by the twists. But since this is an unstructured, predominantly social game, any timely changes that add to the intrigue are a good thing. This isn't football, with its complex structured rules. It's not that kind of merit-based competition.
    I me some Marty Casey. Go Marty!

  7. #27
    @}-}-------- OldSoul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    MB doesn't actually tie the knots.
    I was speaking generally here. I know MB isn't out there setting these things up. But he IS the guy in charge and could just tell the crew [or pass down the request to whoever's in charge of that] to tie one knot more tightly.

    On a side note... I think that would be a fun job (set-up crew). Stay in tropical places (lately), build obstacles and such, then sit back and enjoy people trying to negotiate my trap (evil laugh). Survivor crew camp would be a fun place to work for a season or two.

    I still think these things might occur to some degree. As far as WHY MB would go through the trouble? I think it's been said here already... RATINGS. I don't mean to imply he does it all the time, but maybe when it suits him... for whatever reason, not necessarily to make everyone happy.

    The perfect example that comes to mind is when the Outcast twist came out at that IC last year. Both tribes breezed through the cage challenge but took forever undoing their knots. The Outcast tribe blew right through theirs and won.

    It wouldn't have been much of a twist if the Outcasts came in last and couldn't vote ANYone back on.

    Thanks Matt64, you're right, in many of the challenges (but not all), the station you or your tribe uses is chosen randomly (Or IS it randomly??) , making a "rig" hard to set up.
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  8. #28
    @}-}-------- OldSoul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siryn
    If this were a more structured game, I might feel offended by the twists. But since this is an unstructured, predominantly social game, any timely changes that add to the intrigue are a good thing. This isn't football, with its complex structured rules. It's not that kind of merit-based competition.
    True.
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  9. #29
    Starbucks is your friend Bill's Avatar
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    And again, I go back to my original point. Given that the winners are now routinely spoiled, why wouldn't this manipulation, being carried out amongst many people (to fit the arguement being made) be exposed as well.

    The outcast tribe was easily the most disliked aspect of the PI edition. Therefore, I fail to see how it helped ratings.

    Secondly, he did make the rules so it was likely that at least one outcast got back in. Remember, the contest was if the outcasts beat either tribe, they got someone back. Plus, despite what they said about similar conditions, the outcasts were not playing the game everyday, and not working as hard, so yes, they had high odds of beating at least one tribe. There was no need to rig the game.

    I am not saying MB doesn't do twists on purpose. Obviously he does, and it is my point that ratings are the goal of this, and ratings are not evidence that anything unfair is going on. I am saying they are planned before the beginning of the game, and there is no incentive to rig it compared to the risk.
    "George Oscar Bluth II, aka GOB, featured magician in the best selling videotape, "Girls With Low Self Esteem" invites you to enter his world.
    -- Arrested Development, Season III

  10. #30
    Not caring is fun! Matt64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSoul
    I was speaking generally here. I know MB isn't out there setting these things up. But he IS the guy in charge and could just tell the crew [or pass down the request to whoever's in charge of that] to tie one knot more tightly.

    I still think these things might occur to some degree. As far as WHY MB would go through the trouble? I think it's been said here already... RATINGS. I don't mean to imply he does it all the time, but maybe when it suits him... for whatever reason, not necessarily to make everyone happy.

    The perfect example that comes to mind is when the Outcast twist came out at that IC last year. Both tribes breezed through the cage challenge but took forever undoing their knots. The Outcast tribe blew right through theirs and won.

    It wouldn't have been much of a twist if the Outcasts came in last and couldn't vote ANYone back on.

    Thanks Matt64, you're right, in many of the challenges (but not all), the station you or your tribe uses is chosen randomly (Or IS it randomly??) , making a "rig" hard to set up.
    No prob

    I still don't think he could or would do it for ratings. The Stacey Stillman lawsuit is still being talked about, and I'm sorry, but IF that lawsuit has even an ounce of truth in it, would Mark Burnett REALLY risk another lawsuit, a lawsuit that would make the same allegations of manipulation coming from Mark Burnett or CBS? In order to manipulate things to that degree, not only would Mark Burnett have to watch all the footage from all the camps (that would be the ONLY way that he could decide who he would like to favor in the challenge) which as I've stated before is impossible, but he'd then have to communicate his desire to benefit one tribe (or one person) to the leader (foreman?) of the challenge set-up team.. and that person would would then have to either communicate that to the person setting things up, or he himself would have to do it. The odds of that NOT getting out are pretty slim.

    As for ratings.. it doesn't matter who wins or who loses to Mark Burnett.. why should it? The game is as boring or as exciting as the people who play the game make it. A manipulation here or there would not make the game more exciting. The only possible manipulation Mark Burnett can conceivably do, is editing. He can manipulate the editing to make the show more exciting.

    As for the show being scripted or not.. I certainly think he has certain things planned out before hand. For example, the tribe switches, the fake-merge, etc.. I'm SURE those are planned out in advance. Sometimes they work like in Marquesas, Amazon, and sometimes they don't like in All Stars.

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