Before the start of the sixth season of Survivor, I discussed how Mark Burnett likes to cast to type. We see the same characters make appearances over and over again.
I made my predictions of who I thought had been cast to fit a certain role, with the recap show ahead of us this week, it seems a good time to revisit the predictions and see if MB’s managed to break the mold.
My prediction – JoAnna.
Met the role of resident “crazy lady” previously filled so admirably by Linda during Survivor – Africa, head on. Whether the viewers concur with Linda or JoAnna’s beliefs or not, they surely cannot fail to notice that each was incredibly effective in the field of making their team mates go “Huh?”
JoAnna’s early exit never afforded her the opportunity to compete in individual challenges.
The reward and immunity challenges she did take part in were a mixture of mildly physical and mental, so we never really got the see her full potential. She certainly had the physique of an athlete, but will be remembered more for her opposition to the presence of the “Idol” than for her fish catching or athletic prowess.
My prediction – Shawna.
I do believe she was cast to fill this role. While she was the closest I feel the show has come to a sweetheart this season, her incessant whining makes her unworthy of the name.
The true “beauty” of the sweetheart is that they smile (and look incredibly cute) in the face of adversity, not lay sobbing in a heap moaning to a bunch of people that have it just as tough as you do.
Heidi did show some early sweetheart potential, but if the title is to be handed to anyone, that person has to display the requisite qualities to both her tribe mates and the viewing public. Heidi’s “cute girl” confessionals definitely led to failure in the latter part of the requirement. Her willingness to strip for peanut butter and a few Oreo’s erased any qualifications she might have had in the former.
My Prediction – Roger.
He’s the natural choice for a role that is generally filled by the oldest male on the show.
Who knew he’d be so disagreeable on every level? An equal opportunity “hater” neither “gays” nor women were spared his derision. He was at once, overbearing toward and dismissive of others. He emerged as the poorest possible choice as an ally; if Roger was on your side, no one else wanted to be.
To his credit, he was hard working, organized and a natural leader, but his blatant “my way or the highway” approach never proves popular among your tribe mates.
This role now has to go to the only remaining contender, i.e. Butch.
He has an easy-going style, good work ethic and quiet, calm disposition.
Add this to a genuine desire to nurture and fierce adherence to safety protocol and you have yourself a “father figure”.
My prediction – Janet.
In her two short weeks in the game, Janet managed to epitomize some of the “motherly” traits mentioned before.
Her general lack of fitness and failure to take adequate preparatory steps to ensure she was in the best possible shape to meet this challenge, lead to her uttering a comment that only contestants on the original series have the right to utter “I didn’t realize it was going to be this difficult”. You should have realized. There is hours of footage from previous series that illustrate only too well how difficult the task is.
The twin forces of her own illness and “Granolagate” combined to make her the obvious first boot choice of the Jaburu.
My Prediction – Matthew.
Drop him off in the middle of nowhere and Matthew would show the skills to survive.
He can catch enough fish in the space of a few hours to feed the entire tribe, while at the same time bother them by his presence sufficiently that it’s an effort for them to thank him. The Born Survivor must exhibit personality traits that cause his tribe mates to view him as a social out-cast. Matthew sewed the seed in fertile Tambaqui minds by downing a fish eye and his rhythmic machete sharpening has only served to further galvanize that feeling among the tribe.
Now labeled as the “crazy dude”, he needs to not only survive everything the Amazon has to throw at him, but also dodge his tribe mate’s collective ax.
My Prediction – Jenna.
Jenna can clearly stake a claim to this role. She makes no attempt to veil the contempt she holds for Christy, even if she does think she has cause to feel this way, to use one of her own favourite terms “get over it” Jenna. Scowling at Christy aside, Jenna does manage to reserve her more unpleasant behaviour for confessionals. While this doesn’t make you any less of a “bitch”, it is a very shrewd tactic in the context of the game. Her willingness to use her body to get what she wants, while maintaining a “you could never get a girl like me” air about her , marks her as bitch material extraordinaire.
Heidi doesn’t appear “cutting-edge” enough to be this season’s “bitch”.
There is something too “down home” about her. Her entire persona speaks of someone desperate the escape to the big city.
Her “cute girl” comments might out-number her nicer moments, but she did show some game savvy in determining Roger should be booted before he could make the jury.
Thanks to her own early attempts to make people focus on her body rather than her brain, plus Probst getting in his digs whenever he can, she has become something of a figure of fun. For me, Jenna is unchallenged.
My Prediction – Alex.
It really is a little too early to say who, if anyone, will ultimately blaze an individual immunity trail.
Both Alex and Matt have the physical and mental potential to win often, but now Alex feels safe in a majority alliance, he might not feel the need to go all out during the challenges. It’s difficult for a competitive person to hold back in the heat of “battle”, but a shrewd Survivor player knows winning can place a target on their back.
Matt is in the opposite situation, although he doesn’t appear to know it yet.
He’s at the top of the boot chart, but thinks he’s below both Christy and Butch, a belief that might lead him to throw a challenge because he knows his teammates feel his strength makes him a threat.
My Prediction – Dave.
If only you had been paranoid Dave, you might still be in the game.
By the time you realized you were the near the top of the boot list, you were actually at the top of the boot list.
Were you too confident in yourself, too confident in the assumption the men would want to realign post merge?
You may well have had the honour and integrity you spoke of in spades, but that will only get you so far in a game that is essentially based on anything but.
Early Boot Fodder
My Prediction – Deena.
Deena did show potential in this area. It’s not by accident that Jeanne and JoAnna nominated her for leadership. They saw within her the potential to blow up or melt down and wanted her to do it when she was at her most visible.
Events, including her own game playing skill, conspired to keep her in the game for longer than might have looked likely early on. She thrived in the leadership role at first, turning the camp into an effective unit. Janet was seen as a mercy boot, then Deena accepted the invitation to join the younger females in voting off JoAnna. Deena knew she was on the outside once the men joined the camp, purely by virtue of not being younger and hotter. Thankfully she was able to find an ally in Rob and hold on to Jenna’s support in booting Shawna and hence sending her spiraling down from her "testosterone high" to a bunk bed at Loser Lodge.
With four shows left, included a two-hour pre-reunion show, there is still time for others to burst onto the Role Call scene and claim their titles.
Burnett is very good at hiding essential information from us until we absolutely need to know it, e.g. the Colby/Tina alliance.
Butch could emerge as the “bitch”, Alex as the “sweetheart” and we could yet witness Jenna’s solo immunity run…or not.