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Thread: Does Mark Burnett Manipulate Survivor?

  1. #1

    Does Mark Burnett Manipulate Survivor?

    I think this guy is so into ratings he'll put in twists as it suits him when the show starts becoming predictable and boring. He'll try and even up the tribes when one has got a big advantage over the other. Some players and tribes obviously benefit though they don't deserve to (Jenna L, the Outkast tribe), others I feel are seriously disdvantaged.

    These kinds of twists where tribes lose their advantage, such as Chapera (minus Amber) moving to old Mogo Mogo camp are inherently unfair. Why should the results of their hard work, building a great shelter, winning rewards, be handed over to another tribe?

    Arbitrary twists introduce an element of chance in deciding who will end up surviving and those who won't: Silas was unfairly switched into the Boran tribe where he didn't have a chance.

    I think MB interferes in the game for the sake of ratings and forfeits fairness in the process.
    Last edited by Gher; 05-19-2004 at 01:04 AM.

  2. #2
    I agree, but in all. It may be a game, but it's also a business. At the end of it all, Mark Burnett's main concern would be how many people watch the show, and if he has to manipulate in such a way that he does, so be it. (from his perspective).

    It all comes back down to the big greens. --> $$$

  3. #3
    Scratchin' an itch dawg's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    Does Mark Burnett Manipulate Survivor ?

    Oh yah, absolutely. I have thought he introduces twists during the show since Africa. Personally, I don't enjoy those twists, contestants work hard to find and establish an alliance and it makes playing the game harder. But maybe that's what's needed, having contestants think more, having them work harder to go deep into the game. However, Silas is one example of how this destroyed his game, and an opportunity to win.

    MB is notorious for manipulating the viewer with creative editing too. I remember in ASS when Amber was 'braiding' Shii Anns hair, we saw a scene with the 'braids' almost complete on one side, then the next scene the braids were gone. That exchange was presented completely out of order. :phhht

  4. #4
    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    On a Rocky Mountain High
    Quote Originally Posted by Gher
    I think MB interferes in the game for the sake of ratings and forfeits fairness in the process.
    Of course he does. And god bless him for it.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

  5. #5
    I've been a bad, bad girl Siryn's Avatar
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    May 2003
    This game would be a real snore to watch if MB didn't up the difficulty level. There have never been any set rules to the game other than a few ground rules of conduct. Was anyone upset when he kept equalizing teams on The Apprentice? I don't recall that, but then I started watching that show late in the game.
    I me some Marty Casey. Go Marty!

  6. #6
    Miz Smarty Britches queenb's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    running for the border
    I think the ability to adapt to an unexpected change is a big part of sucess on Survivor, and makes it more fun to watch. Fair? No, but life isn't fair!
    I have found the Truth and it doesn't make sense.

  7. #7
    Not caring is fun! Matt64's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
    It entirely depends on your meaning of manipulate. Does Mark Burnett come up with twists mid game? I don't think so. I don't think he's watching the dailys as they come in from each tribe, from each member (because after all, they are all interviewed throughout the day).. The man has a number of different shows which he is producing, so in order for him to actually be there making changes throughout in order to benifit someone, or hurt someone else's chances, I think that's pretty far fetched.

    I do however think that he does come up with twists and turns in the preproduction of the game in order to shake things up. I don't think he has a stake in who wins, because ultimately, some will be happy with the win, and others wont be. Maybe I'm being naive, but I just don't see him trying to manipulate the outcome. An exciting season is an exciting season.. doesn't matter who wins and who loses..

  8. #8
    I honestly can't say whether he does or doesn't because I have no proof either way. I have my suspicions on the matter but I have no idea if they're correct or not. Although if you're a good player who got lucky, you're going to survive most of his manipulations anyway. The "most deserving" winner who lost (by our majority opinion) is usually in the jury and/or finals anyway.

    But I do understand why he cares about ratings and manipulates the game to get them, if he does. We watch the show because it's entertaining. I mean, a lot of people do appreciate the game, but if the show was actually boring, I doubt we would watch it. Like Jeff said at the reunion, without us, there wouldn't be a show. And if the show was boring and no one watched, again, no show. So I think MB does it to ensure that there will be drama or at least things going on that will keep us entertained.

    I bet he loves the game himself but the game couldn't exist without an entertaining show to display it on.

  9. #9
    Alright,let me preface this post by saying I love Survivor,and twists are a necessary 'evil' to keep the game fresh. I do not have any insider information, I am purely speculating. If you think I'm stupid or insane with my theories,keep it to yourself. Like most insane or stupid people, I'd like to be kept in the dark.....

    There have been several incidents which made me question MB's tactics.


    The Samburu tribe was dominant in the beginning of Survivor Africa winning the first 2 immunity challenges and 2 rewards. 4/5 challenges is an excellent start!I read recently on another thread that MB was not fond of the younger members of Samburu .So what happened next? That's right,folks,it is time for the always ultra-exciting "Who Can Build The Better Distress Signal" immunity challenge. It just so happens that Mama Kim Johnson's luxury item was flourescent paints. How convenient. Boran won their first immunity challenge AND within the next 2 episodes,the famous 'Send 3 of your best' tribe swap occured,which eventually led to the demise of the Samburus (Sam-boo-hoos)


    A couple of weird things happened this season as well. Like the Samburu tribe in Africa, the Rotu tribe in Marquesas dominated the challenges,winning the first 3 immunities and 2 rewards. So what happened next? The infamous 'Stand on a random flat rock to determine your new tribe' swap occured,sending Kathy,Neleh,Paschal to Maraamu to join Sarah(the original Ambah )and Gina. Sean,Boston Rob,and Vecepia were swapped out to Rotu. Although Jeff Probst remarked that this swap was planned 'months before they arrived in Marquesas' the timing was a little convenient. I don't resent this actually,because if it were not for this 'swap' Kathy would have been gone much sooner and we really wouldn't have gotten to know her as well.

    After the new Maraamu was formed,it was obvious that a physical challenge was out of the question...so enter THE PUZZLES!! YAY! I don't know about you,but I find people working on puzzles exciting! :rolleyes The new Maraamus failed to win the first immunity puzzle challenge forcing them to vote off the original missus Mariano (Sarah),so clearly something had to be done. That's right!!! It was time for the "Who Can Build the Better Distress Signal' immunity challenge! Let me just add here that the timing for this couldn't have been better,as the Maraamu tribe had won a reward challenge earlier in that episode which entiltled them to take as much as they wanted from the Rotu camp in 5 minutes. The Rotu tribe had nothing,so how could they have built a distress signal?


    MB made a major error this season (one of many) by allowing the oldest cast members to 'pick their own tribes'. Normally,this would have been a fresh twist on the game. However,when you have a woman like Mama Jan,who although is a sweet as a bowl of syrup,but has the mental capacity of an ice cube tray,things can go wrong.Horribly wrong. Instead of balancing out the tribes with a mixture of older and younger people,Jan decided to fill her tribe with older people. *disclaimer* I am an older person,but in a physical game like Survivor,you need a couple of young bucks to carry you to the finish line.*end of disclaimer* The result? PUZZLES,PUZZLES,and more PUZZLES. (which Shii Ann could do in her sleep )

    All Stars

    A whole lot of craziness ensued. First of all, I could be completely off base with this,but wasn't Mogo Mogo entirely too strong? Richard Hatch,Lex,and Colby all on one team??? It made me think that perhaps MB wanted to keep Hatch around for a little while at least(which was smart)to keep things entertaining. He also put Jenna on this team,perhaps to ensure that if the Mogo Mogo's did somehow lose a challenge,Jenna could be a target as well,since she and Hatch are both winners.

    The Saboga tribe seemed a little too weak to me. Tina and Rudy on the same tribe,along with a tiny Jerri and a flabby Jenna. I realize they had Ethan and Rupert,but it seems a little mismatched to me. Again, if they lost,Tina would be a target,not Rudy. Well, I guess that part worked out,huh?

    The Chapera tribe had no winners. They also had powerful people,Robfather,Alicia,Sue,To m. That's right, I said Sue...she's almost a man isn't she? If they lost,the obvious target should have been Amber,saving Cesternino. That didn't work.

    The other thing that was fishy was the first individual immunity challenge offering 2 necklaces,one for women and one for men.My theory is because MB wanted to keep the love story between Amber and Rob.Would they turn on each other? Would they look longingly at each other if one was on the jury and the other still in the game? Ick and Double ick. Oh, and for those of you that forgot, Amber is a lifeguard..she was supposed to beat Kathy at that immunity challenge.

    Well,that covers my weirdo manipulation theories. Did I forget anything?

  10. #10
    OMG!!!! I just watched the pick-your-buffs segment and Jeff CLEARLY says, " .. in order," as they line up to choose buffs, and they do, Lex first, Rob next to him, Big Tom and Jerri and so on ....

    I thought so!

    Well, if this ain't contrived ...

    Nasty Burnett wanted to split up Rob and Amber. They were the only couple/2 players who seemed to have any understanding of the game. This meddling on Burnett's part may have cost Rob the game. He got Amber back (personally I wouldn't have bothered if I were him ... like Greg said, "had fun, now it's time for the kitten to get the chop," or something like that), but at too great a personal cost. MB by splitting up Romber almost wrecked Rob's whole strategy (to go to f2 with Amber).

    I hate Burnett. The game is hard enough for OTR players, let alone his trying every dirty trick in the book to bring them down.

    It's time for a jury voting system change ..... the current jury system favors UTR players as it is .. let all the players vote for the winner - give the pre-jury players one vote on the jury -- they'd recognize how someone like Rob or another OTR player (not an UTR player like Amber), dragged their tribe/alliance to the top which is what is important to do in the first half of the game -- and I doubt they would've taken their actions personally either.

    The pre-merge casualties' vote, assuming they vote recognizing who was most effective in this part of the game which is the only part of the game they would know, would balance the jury's bitter vote which recognizes mostly what happened in the second part of the game.

    MB manipulates things, often setting an OTR player back in the game, just so we can have a winner coming out of left field each time.

    Mark Burnett has put in lots of twists into the game, including the return of the OutKasts, which are quite unfair and arbitrary. Some twists in one move wipe out all the gains a tribe/individual may have made.

    I don't understand why he can't put in a twist or a change in the jury voting system which does something towards undoing the bias in favor of UTR players (since he seems so fond of twists anyway). It would be more inclusive than the present system, and the vote would not be just reflective of the narrow viewpoint of an embittered majority on the jury.

    Maybe then we will start seeing more deserving winners.

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