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Thread: What Happened to Survivor Strategy?

  1. #1
    I Think I Can Dance. Aota Bass's Avatar
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    What Happened to Survivor Strategy?

    I miss the days when winning Survivor was all about intrigue and political strategies. Remember Rob C and Rob M? Richard Hatch? Brian in Thailand? The backstabbers of Vanuatu? EVERYONE in the Pearl Islands?

    Those times seem to be gone. There haven't been any puppet-masters or grand schemers lately. It seems people just blindly try to "vote off the weakest" until the merge, and then blindly stick by their alliances. There hasn't even been good old-fashioned "let's vote off the men to protect ourselves" action from the women, despite the fact that the last few seasons women have done much, much poorer than in the first nine go-arounds of Survivor.

    Okay, so we had one episode of strategy last season when Jonathan flipped, but that used to be the constant entertainment factor every episode in earlier seasons. You never knew WHO was going to be voted out next in the Pearl Islands.

    Can't people think, "You know what, I'm in this alliance, but clearly I'm not in charge of this game, and I need to improve my position, alliance be darned!" Daid Sundra and Becky actually think they stood a snowball's chance in Hades against Yul or Ozzy?

    I think it started with Tom's dominance and the fall of Ulong in Palau. People had no choice to play a strategic game because the challenges meant that Stephenie was doomed entering the "merge," and the tribe couldn't vote out Tom if they wanted to because they didn't act when Ian wore the necklace early in the merged tribe. I still think Tom was a great player, and did think strategically, even manipulatively, despite his claims of integrity.

    But afterwards, no one wanted to be Ulong. Guatemala really made things worse because almost the entire cast was made up of athletes, the challenges were brutally tough, camp life was painfully difficult with no relief from the searing heat, and Stephenie and Bobby Jon were there as constant reminders of what could happen if the tribe didn't keep the strong players. So it was ALL about physical strength.

    Then you had powerhouse Terry, whose physical dominance and immunity idol in the back pocket basically meant that he was invincible because of his physical power alone. Although I really enjoyed the fact that the Casaya tribe prevented him from ever being able to keep an ally for more than 24 hours, strategy that season remained secondary to challenge performance. Last season was a little better, but only after the merge did people start to think strategically.

    At first I was really hopeful this season might see a return to strategy, because there are several players who are clearly not athletic material. But with Ravu following the "weakest link" mentality, Moto winning every challenge, and Gary's departure, it looks like this season is still haunted by the ghost of physical dominance.

    I know the under-the-radar players got lots of flack, but now the pendulum has totally swung the other way. Let's revalue the strategic, social aspect that made this game so intriguing in the first place!

    Bring back the schemers, liars, cheaters, and puppetmasters! Bring back the underdogs who manipulate their way back into power positions! Bring back votes based on strategy rather than blindly agreeing on the weakest link at the most recent challenge! Down with hidden immunity idols that aren't hidden at all! Down with challenges so physical the contestants have no choice but to vote out weak links! Down with entire casts of young athletes!
    And I sing sometimes like my life is at stake because you're only as loud as the noises you make.

  2. #2
    Horror of Horrors emjoi's Avatar
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    Cook Islands showed a very very dangerous strategy.
    1) Collect some calm, sensible people.
    2) Agree to look after each other.
    3) Look after each other.
    4) One of you win.

    It's boring, it keeps the boring people in the game. But it works.

  3. #3
    CEO
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    A piece of the problem is the casting formulas. The game is not only predictable for the players, it is also predicable and repeatable for MB -- that is how you run a business.
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  4. #4
    FORT Fogey Leftcoaster's Avatar
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    I dug your post enough to sign up to Digg It, Aota Bass.

    {Shaking my fist in the air at having to generate an umpteenth different username}

    I couldn't agree more with "Bring back the schemers, liars, cheaters, and puppetmasters! Bring back the underdogs who manipulate their way back into power positions!", but I don't envision thats something the show has too much control over.

    I could hypothetically get the producers jazzed up about me by staking a claim on planning to scheme, lie, cheat and shamelessly manipulate others stings when not pushing their buttons, cross my heart on my grandmother's health, but who can be certain the person that interviews for the show is the one who shows up when the gaming begins?

  5. #5
    FORT Fogey
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    A combination of lame twists (hidden immunity idol) and bad casting threw this out the window. I'm not sure it really matters, though, because half the people watching seemed to be fooled into thinking Yul was a "mastermind."

  6. #6
    FORT Fan Outlast's Avatar
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    I think a lot of the problem with the strategy now a days is with the casting. As in too many are cast (for looks and/or ethnicity) rather than putting actual applicants on the show (who presumably had actually seen the shown before).

    Remember Rob C? Huge Survivor fan.

    Rafe? Huge Survivor fan.

    Jonny Fairplay? Okay he was cast for the show, but to his credit he ordered every season off E-Bay and watched them all…twice. BEFORE he went on the show.

    I love looking at good looking/athletic people as much as the next girl. But that’s not what Survivor is really all about for me. If they put 16 fat or ugly or simply unathletic people on the show (as long as they were prepared to play the game of Survivor and not just compete in challenges)…I would still watch! In fact I’d be thrilled!

    It seems to me like most players in the last few seasons only have a surface knowledge of Survivor (or fact none at all). They all seem to follow the Terry mentality that you go and compete in challenges and whoever wins the most deserves to win the whole game.

    Oh and this seasons twist sucks.
    I reject your reality and substitute my own

  7. #7
    FORT Newbie Survivorsims07's Avatar
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    Did you miss Rafe, Cirie, and Yul? Those three had great strategies and played amazing games. They made others do the backstabbing for them.

  8. #8
    FORT Fan Outlast's Avatar
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    Oh, yeah...Cirire was a huge Survivor fan too.

    Yul wasn't though as far as I know.
    I reject your reality and substitute my own

  9. #9
    JR.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Survivorsims07;2280799;
    Did you miss Rafe, Cirie, and Yul? Those three had great strategies and played amazing games. They made others do the backstabbing for them.
    Yul lucked out by finding the idol, and Cirie used the awfully boring (but effective) UTR strategy. I wouldn't call what they did "amazing".

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