I think the producers have to be careful about how far they push this kind of cruel twist. I've always thought Survivor is fascinating because of its fairly pure premise: put a disparate group of people on an island without any comforts, make them vote each other off, and see what transpires. When they start adding elements like Exile Island and the immunity idols, they just distract from the premise.
By this late in the game, the contestants are barely thinking straight. Now they have to consider whether it's smarter to NOT win rewards? They have to weigh the strength they would get from the food and the pleasure of visiting with a loved one against how they will be perceived if they win? And if given the choice to keep their prize or give the rest of the tribe some bigger benefit, now they have to weigh how that will be perceived in the long run? It's too much! Just let them compete for a prize and reap the reward, for heaven's sake.
I did not see the very first Season of Survivor ... but have read that Richard Hatch was the only one who realized it was mostly a social survival game ... rather than a physical one. Did he ever write anything about it?
I am not positive that Dawn really would have left the game back when she lost her partial plate. I think it was a lot of hysterics. She is on my last nerve.
I was surprised that Brenda gave away the reward that she and her dad worked so hard for to win and she even said that it was a no-brainer to give it away. I thought that was a bad decision. She had no idea that people could see through the generosity as a suck up to get jury votes (although she did say before she left that she was being true to her heart...referring to the gesture, not the gameplay and that's why she said it hurt and was crying). If I were her I would just tell the others that my dad and I worked for the reward fair and square and I wouldn't want to screw up my friend Dawn because I selected her to share the reward with me. That's it. It was that easy. I really thought she had the gumption to say that. I'm sure the others would have understood. As for the IC, did she really throw the challenge so Dawn can win and boost her spirits? And as for Dawn, didn't she tell Brenda a few episodes ago went she went hysterical that they are BFF after Brenda dove in the water and found her fake teeth?
Survivor: Caramoan - It Was Dawn Screaming - YouTube
Survivor: Caramoan - Game Makes You Insecure - YouTube
Survivor Caramoan: Life At Ponderosa - Brenda - YouTube
Not agreeing to the Brenda boot would have been a red flag for Cochran and Sherri .... and they may have chosen another option for their alliance. :nod
Brooks, I agree, it was surprising that the last two players for individual immunity were the two who did NOT get to eat. Weird. Maybe their alimentary canals were lighter? :)
Re the "torture" of having the BBQ within visual and olfactory distance... I did notice that Eric was trying to be nice--when he was waving at them from the platform he was making a big heart shape with his arms, like "I love you, thanks!".
I don't know if Dawn would have left the island if Brenda hadn't found her teeth or not. From what Dawn was saying it wasn't a functional piece, but cosmetic. She didn't want to be on tv with her mouth looking a certain way. It had nothing to do with how she could eat or anything along those lines. I am sure she would have been just fine without them for the remaining week or so they had left on the island by then. I wish Brenda hadn't of found them lol.
We've also seen that some of the contestants find that the million dollars isn't worth having over some of the friendships that get cultivated on the island. It is a pretty intense experience to share with someone. I can think of Tina/Colby as one example. Elisabeth and Roger are another, and of course Rob and Amber.
At that point, Season One, I, as a watcher, still thought it was about physical survival! :)