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Thread: Does Mark Burnett Manipulate Survivor?

  1. #31
    @}-}-------- OldSoul's Avatar
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    I guess I'm not familiar with the Stacy issue, so I'm not sure why 'steering' the game would be risky or even that devious. He's the producer and it seems he could throw whatever curve ball he wanted, like someone stated above, it's not football or some tightly regulated game. It's a show.

    I don't know if you watched Forever Eden (worst RTv show ever, imo), but they threw all sorts of BS at the contestants.

    If the Outcasts came in last place, they wouldn't have been able to vote ANYone back in. The twist would have fallen flat on its face and proved pretty boring. As it played out, they got to vote not 1, but TWO Outcasts back in. Since most of us hated seeing that, we all watched avidly, hoping to see Lil and Burton get the hook asap. Kind of like those of us who hated JFP, but watched every week so we could b@#ch about him and WILL him off the show. Whether it's because we were happy or angry, we STILL watched... so IMO, that's how ensuring Outcast success could help ratings, even if it was an unpopular twist.

    That being said, from YOUR perspective... if doing any of this would open up even the slightest chance that MB would get sued.... I agree with you, I don't think he would do that. Just not worth it, and the game will find its own ground anyway.

    AND, yes, I agree that the Outcast team was fresher (even though JP said they'd only eaten rice, etc) and definitely had an advantage regardless of any knot issue. Even if they DID have the same diet, I bet they'd gotten more sleep, etc.

    I'm not trying to be contentious here... all I wanted to say is that "I wonder" sometimes.
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  2. #32
    Not caring is fun! Matt64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSoul
    I guess I'm not familiar with the Stacy issue, so I'm not sure why 'steering' the game would be risky or even that devious. He's the producer and it seems he could throw whatever curve ball he wanted, like someone stated above, it's not football or some tightly regulated game. It's a show.
    Stacey sued Mark Burnett for allegedly manipulating the players to vote her out instead of Rudy in season 1.

    If the Outcasts came in last place, they wouldn't have been able to vote ANYone back in. The twist would have fallen flat on its face and proved pretty boring. As it played out, they got to vote not 1, but TWO Outcasts back in. Since most of us hated seeing that, we all watched avidly, hoping to see Lil and Burton get the hook asap. Kind of like those of us who hated JFP, but watched every week so we could b@#ch about him and WILL him off the show. Whether it's because we were happy or angry, we STILL watched... so IMO, that's how ensuring Outcast success could help ratings, even if it was an unpopular twist.
    The twist wouldn't necessarily have proven to be boring. I remember when I first saw that twist happen, I was shocked, and I was really really hoping that the Outcast tribe would lose. I would not have been disappointed if they had lost. Then, once they won, we got stuck with Burton and Lil. The twist could have fallen flat had it been Ryan S and Nicole voted back in, because neither of them actually had the same kind of hatred directed at them as Lil and Burton. Burton was booted when his tried threw the challenge to PURPOSELY oust him, and Lil.. well.. it's Lil.. so the Outcast twist worked out well (if you liked the twist to begin with.. I didn't) but I don't think it contributed to the ratings success of that season.

  3. #33
    FORT Newbie Pierre Bernard's Avatar
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    Yes, Mark manipulates the game.

    For instance, look at week 10 this season. The "Rob-ites" went in with a hard won 6-4 advantage, and out comes Jeff with a vase full of buffs. Now, if you give Jeff the benefit of a doubt, he thought it would come out with two tribes of 3-2 in which Rob's side would have control no matter what. Alternative 2, would have 4-1 Robbies on one side, and 3-1 Lexies on the other. In this case, Rob et. al. would throw the challenge, and vote out the intruder. However, lo and behold, the one remaining possibility occured, i.e. 4-0 and 4-1 with Amber switching sides. This was the only situation where the game could be materially changed. I believe that a Penn @Teller-like magic trick was used to bring about the "Amber switch". The "You take care of her, I'll take care of you" line sounded a bit staged, as if Jeff gave it to Rob in the event Amber would be at risk. Regardless, Rob should not have been forced into a situation where lying to Lex was needed, at least without losing Amber. It ended up alienating Lex and probably causing Rob the win. Anyway, something was fishy!

  4. #34
    Starbucks is your friend Bill's Avatar
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    Once again...

    Jeff told them to line up in any order they wished. Any order THEY wished.

    Secondly, the buffs were not stacked in the vase/urn. This was confirmed by the bootees in their post game chats. They could pick anyone they wished.

    Thirdly, I am sure Burnett was praying for a full mixup at that point. There is no evidence at all that he was out to get Rob.
    "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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  5. #35
    FORT Newbie Pierre Bernard's Avatar
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    Week 10 manipulation?

    First off, the very fact that there was a chance that re-mixing the tribes at such a late stage could alter the outcome, was an example of unfair manipulation. He was attempting to give Lex et. al. a chance that they hadn't deserved.

    Now, as to whether the drawing was fixed or not, skilled magicians could probably make it work with whatever order chosen, and in a way the contestants wouldn't realize.

    If you look at the possibilities, the odds of having the delicious plot line are remote. There are essentially 31 ways Rob's tribe could have split, not counting the permutations of the Lex group.

    3x3's (10 possibilities)

    1. a. Rob, Tom , Amber b. Alicia, Jerry, Rupert
    2. a. Rob, Tom, Alicia b. Amber, Jerry, Rupert
    3. a. Rob, Tom, Jerry b. Alicia, Amber, Rupert
    4. a. Rob, Tom, Rupert b. Alicia, Amber, Jerry
    5. a. Rob, Amber, Alicia b. Tom, Rupert, Jerry
    6. a. Rob, Amber, Jerry b. Tom, Rupert, Alicia
    7. a. Rob, Amber, Rupert b. Tom, Jerry, Alicia
    8. a. Rob, Alicia, Rupert b. Tom, Jerry, Amber
    9. a. Rob, Alicia, Jerry b. Tom, Amber, Rupert
    10. a. Rob, Rupert, Jerry b. Amber, Tom, Alicia

    4x2's (15 possibilities)

    1. a, Rob, Tom, Amber, Alicia b. Rupert, Jerry
    2. a. Rob, Tom, Amber, Jerry b. Rupert, Alicia
    3. a. Rob, Tom, Rupert, Amber b. Jerry, Alicia
    4. a. Rob, Tom, Rupert, Jerry b. Alicia, Amber
    5. a. Rob, Tom, Rupert, Alicia b. Jerry, Amber
    6. a. Tom, Rupert, Alicia, Jerry b. Rob, Amber
    7. a. Tom, Rupert, Alicia, Amber b. Rob, Jerry
    8, a. Tom, Jerry, Alicia, Amber b. Rob, Rupert
    9. a. Rupert, Alicia, jerry, amber b. Rob, Tom
    10. a. Rupert, Rob, Jerry, Amber b. Alicia, Tom
    11. a. Rupert, Rob, Amber, Alicia b. Jerry, Tom
    12. a. Rupert, Rob, Alicia, Jerry b. Amber, Tom
    13. a. Rob, Alicia, Jerry, Amber b. Rupert, Tom
    14. a. Jerry, Amber, Tom, Rupert b. Rob, Alicia
    15. a. Jerry, Tom, Rob, Alicia b. Rupert, Amber

    5x1's (6 possibilities)

    1, a. Rob, Tom, Jerry, Alicia, Amber b. Rupert
    2. a. Rob, Tom, Jerry, Rupert, amber b. Alicia
    3. a. Rob, tom, Rupert, Alicia, Amber b. Jerry
    4. a. Rob, Rupert, Alicia, Amber, Jerry b. Tom
    5. a. Rupert, Alicia, jerry, Amber, Tom b. Rob
    6. a. Rupert, Alicia, jerry, Tom, Rob b. Amber


    There were 6 possibilities out of 31 that could have altered the tribal balance, at least to the 5-4 stage. Jeff is at least guilty of allowing these chances. Beyond that is the question. The "isolated Amber" situation was unique, however, good TV for the love angle. One chance out of 31 it could happened randomly. I think it's more likely Jeff helped the situation along.

  6. #36
    hubba bubba Gher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    Once again...

    Jeff told them to line up in any order they wished. Any order THEY wished.
    I watched it again after you said it had already been discussed and dealt with, and I replayed it several times so that I wouldn't miss anything: Jeff says, " ... in order" and then is cut off, he does not say, "as they WISHED."

    Furthermore, when you see them line up, they line up EXACTLY as they were numbered and with their partners next to them. This is because they were told to, they lined up in the original order that I am assuming Jeff told them to when he said "in order".

    That also clears up something that was puzzling me. There really was no need for them to choose a number in the first place, if they were to pick partners for the picnic, Jeff could have just asked them to choose a partner in turn from each tribe as they were standing. The fact that they had to choose numbers at the start would make more sense if this played into the order that they would go and pick the buffs from the tribe which could be manipulated if the producers knew in which order they would be picked.
    Secondly, the buffs were not stacked in the vase/urn. This was confirmed by the bootees in their post game chats. They could pick anyone they wished.
    When I watch the video again, I can see Jeff holding up the urn quite high and the players not taking long or moving their hand around to pick up a buff. Perhaps the buffs were not stacked up neatly in piles inside but when you look at the jar it is quite narrow and not roomy and the buffs even when rolled up would take up alot of room each - this would make it easy to pick the buff placed on top. I do not see anyone spending more than 1-2 seconds picking a buff, and I do not see any player rummaging around to get a buff that might not be on top. I can understand why no player may have rummaged - they probably believed the placement of the buffs was random and was not thought out exactly beforehand, and even if they did suspect it wasn't random had no idea in which order the buffs would have been placed.

    Thirdly, I am sure Burnett was praying for a full mixup at that point. There is no evidence at all that he was out to get Rob.
    Maybe, maybe not. Amber being cut off from Rob and the rest of the tribe made for quite good drama and if the Mogo Mogos had taken up the opportunity and booted her off would have given them a chance to get back in the game. Burnett wants the manipulations to help the loosing tribe and I think it did work out into an opportunity like that.
    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 wasnít going to win "

  7. #37
    Starbucks is your friend Bill's Avatar
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    I am afraid I have to disagree Gher. I had it on TiVo, watched it at least ten times prior to writing the Pirate Report that week, and verified it with folks in our discussion thread here, and as explained five times now, he says words to the effect of line up any order they want. Again, this was discussed on this board and others in infinite detail at time the show aired.

    Further, again it was confirmed that they could reach multiple buffs inside the urn, by the booted participants themselves. Jeff holding the urn high is not a sign of cheating. it is a sign of not allowing them to peek.

    Finally, Burnett has said many times that the tribe mixups are scheduled in advance. Yes in advance. It just happened to come down here.

    I don't think the isolate Amber angle was good for TV at all compared to how good things might have been had their been a full mix up of some sort. The show was boring.

    But all of that aside. Even if they did line up in numerical order as you seem to recall, how did the pairs stay in perfect order for this supposed prepacked buffs? They were comingled as they stood there.

    Burnett doesn't have reason to manipulate the game in a way that will get him sued. He is sitting on a freaking gold mine, selling shows to multiple networks. Why do that?

    If he was going to screw with the game, it sure as hell wouldn't have been over the absolutely sickening Rob/Amber story in my opinion. In any event, it is shown that the buffs were accessable, and the pairs were mixed. So I don't see the double secret conspiracy here.
    Last edited by Bill; 05-21-2004 at 12:42 AM.
    "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

  8. #38
    hubba bubba Gher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    I am afraid I have to disagree Gher. I had it on TiVo, watched it at least ten times prior to writing the Pirate Report that week, and verified it with folks in our discussion thread here, and as explained five times now, he says words to the effect of line up any order they want. Again, this was discussed on this board and others in infinite detail at time the show aired.
    If it's a closed book in your opinion, it's a closed book, Bill. The discussion about the buffs may have occurred, what five weeks ago? I did not watch that complete episode until this week, as I had it on tape but for one reason or another could not watch it in full until now. That's why I made the post above when I did. Straight after I watched it and straight after I checked on the facts. I can safely say at no time does Jeff say "in ANY order", he says 'in order'. AND THEY DO.
    Further, again it was confirmed that they could reach multiple buffs inside the urn, by the booted participants themselves. Jeff holding the urn high is not a sign of cheating. it is a sign of not allowing them to peek.
    They could have rummaged around and picked a buff that was not on top if they really wanted to although this was discouraged by Jeff holding the pot so high. Even if they wanted to, what would be the point? They probably thought the buffs were randomly placed in the urn and just went for the top one.

    Holding the urn up out of view may have been one of the reasons; increasing the chances the top buff would be picked is another.
    Finally, Burnett has said many times that the tribe mixups are scheduled in advance. Yes in advance. It just happened to come down here.
    If you believe everything MB says that may be a fine enough explanation for you, it's not for me.
    I don't think the isolate Amber angle was good for TV at all compared to how good things might have been had their been a full mix up of some sort. The show was boring.
    An Amber isolation and boot would have made for good TV as it would mean Romber would have been split up and Rob would have to change his strategy.
    But all of that aside. Even if they did line up in numerical order as you seem to recall, how did the pairs stay in perfect order for this supposed prepacked buffs? They were comingled as they stood there.
    My memory is not the best but I think my recall is pretty good if I posted something I only watched two minutes ago (as I did in my first post about this in this thread).

    If you don't believe me maybe you should watch the segment again (as I have) before you dispute the facts. As you have said the last time you watched it was five weeks ago.

    They were not comingled, they were lined up in numerical order as they were first paired: Lex chose Rob, Tom chose Jerri, Shii Ann chose Rupert, Alicia had to choose Kathy, Jenna (no 5) and Amber (no 6) had no choice but to choose themselves.
    Burnett doesn't have reason to manipulate the game in a way that will get him sued. He is sitting on a freaking gold mine, selling shows to multiple networks. Why do that?
    After the Stacey incident, MB tightened up the contracts I believe so that none of the contestants can really sue. They waive away many of their rights by signing to play. MB has also manipulated his "Survivor" show so that by FCC regulations it is not even considered legally a "gameshow" such as say "Jeopardy" where there would be repercussions if the producers had been found to fix the questions for a particular outcome.

    It is an 'entertainment' show so that gives MB free reign to do what he likes, and I believe he does (gives two immunities up for grabs to help Kathy and Lex to stay together, introduces the pick your buff twist to delay the pagonging of Mogo Mogo, put in a twist when one tribe looks like it is dominating too much - Marquesas, Africa, ignores instances of players violating his OWN rules of the game - conspiring, sabotaging food supply, forming pre-game alliances ... and so on).

    The legal aspects of 'gameshow' vs 'entertainment show' was also thoroughly discussed here too some time back.
    If he was going to screw with the game, it sure as hell wouldn't have been over the absolutely sickening Rob/Amber story in my opinion. In any event, it is shown that the buffs were accessable, and the pairs were mixed. So I don't see the double secret conspiracy here.
    If it sickened you it could have sickened him and he might have wanted to see what would happen if the lovebirds were split up as the Romber story was getting quite boring. As it was, they stayed together right towards the end which everyone knew they would once Amber was safely back with the Chaperas and you know how predictably the game played out from then on.
    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 wasnít going to win "

  9. #39
    Selling New Machines mrcorkles's Avatar
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    *mrcorkles secretly arranges a friendly mud fight beteen Bill and Gher at FORTCON in Chicago*

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  10. #40
    I've been a bad, bad girl Siryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gher
    It is an 'entertainment' show so that gives MB free reign to do what he likes, and I believe he does (gives two immunities up for grabs to help Kathy and Lex to stay together).
    What an assumption. Rob, Lex, and Rupert had pretty even shots at winning, but maybe you should consider that double immunity was for your precious Rob and Amber? Of all the women, who expected the 50-year-old to kick ass? Be careful about what you assume.
    I me some Marty Casey. Go Marty!

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