Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Top Ten Jury Speeches

The jury is an important part of any Survivor season. And while they are practically ignored from being voted out until day 39, the jury has the final say into who will win each season. So I’m basically mentioning my favorite jury speeches from each of the Survivor seasons.

Rules: 1- Only one speech per season. One would clearly have stood out more than the others in one single season. 2- No questions allowed unless they are not the main point of the speech. 3- This one is more of a disclaimer, but due to my lack of good memory, I’m not going to have that much of a selection to choose from. But I will post videos here of each speech if I can find one. Just click the link and enjoy. There may be a lot of shade throwing going on in these, but I’m choosing the most memorable and I’ll mention why in each section. Sorry if I'm forgetful.

#10 Reed in San Juan del Sur: This is one of the meaner speeches ever given in the game. I only have it on here because of how memorable it was and not so much because I liked it. We the audience didn’t really see much of why Reed had this hatred towards Missy so it seemed to come out of nowhere. But he made his point as to why he felt that she didn’t deserve to win the game.

#9 Ozzy in Micronesia: This is a bit of an unusual choice for this list, but you tend to not see speeches like this. Basically, Ozzy gave a negative speech for the person who ended up winning and an impassioned speech for the runner-up. It normally happens the other way. Some people don’t like Ozzy and I’ll admit that he has gotten a worse edit with each season he’s been on. But this is one of the moments that I like about him as he gets fed up with the person he didn’t like even though she wasn’t actually the one who blindsided him. I like the speech a lot.

#8 Lex in All-Stars: So many finalists had already made their mistakes before the final tribal council happened. When Rob betrayed Lex after Lex had done what he wanted, Rob basically lost the vote that could have won him the game. Lex vents his frustration at Rob for doing so and thus we have this speech which explains why Rob didn’t win.

#7 Eliza in Vanuatu: Some may feel that this season has Eliza as a bitter jury member. But bitter or not, jury members need some love by the finalists or they won’t win. Chris understood that and Twila did not. Plus, Eliza was clearly more hurt by Twila throughout the game. This is a pretty good speech and Twila demonstrates what not to do to a jury member.

#6 Brenda in Caramoan: Some say that Brenda may have crossed a line with Dawn in this speech, but I still have it ranked as a good speech. Brenda did have reason to hate Dawn and Dawn also had reason to vote Brenda out. But what happens in the second part of the speech is actually an interesting moment regarding the teeth incident and Dawn does the right thing. The first part with John is actually a good thing for him as well as he explains why he helped voted out Dawn.

#5 Coby in Palau: I feel that Coby makes a good point about the final two. He speaks against both of them and basically tells them that Katie will only receive his vote if he is voting against Tom. That’s what ultimately happens. I enjoy it as a speech and do enjoy Coby for the shade thrower that he is.

Video: (unavailable)

#4 Jonathan in Philippines: Jonathan pretty much shared his thoughts about all of the finalists in front of the jury. It was quite the interesting take on the game. He barely even made a case for anyone, but all he had to do to make my top ten was give an interesting speech. He succeeded by pretty much pointing out what all the final three had done.

#3 Kat in One World: This is a more unusual speech that may only be here because of me not being able to find other speeches that I liked in their entirety online (more on that later) and not having much to watch in my personal collection of Survivor seasons. Anyways, this is on here mostly due to Kat’s character growth after she was blindsided. She could have been bitter at all of them and instead just did a speech on why she felt that she didn’t have to be upset. While she never spoke out for a contestant or against a different one, she did do a memorable speech.

#2 Erik in Samoa: People really need to stop bitching about how Russell should have won because nobody like Russell who has zero jury management skills should ever win Survivor. Erik gave a great and impassioned speech about why Natalie should win and she did. Whether or not this actually changed minds doesn’t matter when you think about it. People who do get hateful speeches by the jury tend to never win (except for maybe Brian) and people who get glowing endorsements like this rarely lose. Erik told the other finalists very clearly why they didn’t deserve to win and they didn’t. This speech helps Natalie look even better than usual as she gets the love she deserves from a man she herself blindsided. I love this speech a lot, but not as much as the next one.

Now I leave you wondering what number one is. Most of you should already know by now what it is because you haven’t seen it mentioned elsewhere on the list. The original great jury speech can also be considered the greatest jury speech, in my mind at least.

#1 Sue in Borneo: Of course this is number one! What else could be considered number one? Sue was betrayed by Kelly and figured that Richard would make the better winner since he was better at the game. Snakes and rats would have to be one of the best Survivor moments of all time. Without this, we might not have the same Survivor we do today. It is a great speech and what I consider to be, quite possibly, the greatest moment ever in any final tribal council.

Honorable mentions: Shirin in World Apart: Shirin gives an impassioned jury speech, even if it seems a bit disjointed in different ways. Spencer in Cagayan was a nice speech in support of who he thinks is the best player between Woo and Tony. Dan in Nicaragua gave a speech that talked against both Sash and Chase. I couldn’t find any of these online, nor did I have it on DVD like I did with Palau. Otherwise, I might have and probably would have included them. There are probably others that I can’t remember or ruled out for one reason or another.

Well, that’s all that I can think of for this post. Maybe there is more that would have worked that I can’t remember for whatever reason. I just hope that my picks were good in the end. There’s not really much else to say. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Underrated Survivor Seasons

Sadly, one will never be able to agree with someone else on different things relating to Survivor. For instance, there are a lot of seasons of Survivor that people don’t like. And I tend to like a lot of those seasons myself. This could be due to a flaw in my character where I tend to like things too much. But, I’m going to make a case as to why some seasons of Survivor are actually underrated.

Africa: I’m a bit surprised that there are people who don’t really like this season. This is truly a great classic season. For one, there are finally twists that make the game more interesting. Another aspect is the great cast and you have one of the greatest Survivor winners. This is classic Survivor at its best which is surprising since most people don’t seem to care about it.

All-Stars: On the surface, there is a lot to hate about this season and not many redeeming values about it. Even I, while defending it here, would not put it in the good seasons’ list, although I feel that it gets far too much hatred among people that I’ve seen. This season is actually quite interesting when you think about it. We have a season with all returning players from every season before it. We are not so much all focused on just keeping up with the players who did well before as we get players who weren’t as good before doing better the second time around. While it may only be slightly underrated, I say that it remains underrated in the end because it is interesting to watch.

Vanuatu: I’m honestly not entirely sure if people actually hate this season or not. But, it can still be on this list due to how it doesn’t get the love that it probably deserves to get. I mean, here is a season with unpredictable twists and turns throughout the game. The way the women started to dominate after the merge, you probably wouldn’t think that the last man left could pull off a win, but he does.

Cook Islands: This isn’t one of Survivor’s best season, but it doesn’t deserve all the hatred that it gets. Maybe I spend too much time on the highly negative Addicted to Survivor facebook group. Of course, the internet tends to be a fairly negative place in general, but I have this blog as an alternative to that. As I was saying, this season is pretty good and interesting, even if it takes a while for that to happen. The finale was quite interesting and it was cool seeing the Aitu four conquer the members of Rarotonga both after the mutiny by winning every challenge and then doing well after the merge as well. It deserves far more love than it gets. An underdog story is underrated.

Nicaragua: Fabio gets far too much unnecessary hatred in the Survivor community. So does this season as well, I feel. Sure, the two players quitting at once may be one of the worst ever Survivor moments in history. But the season as a whole is much better than people give it credit for. It’s interesting seeing the old versus young twist work out throughout the game, even if the young tribe does quite good in the end. The game always seemed interesting to me. Even the terrible quits were something that you wouldn’t see and changed the rest of the game from that point forward. You might not have had the same sort of interesting game.

Redemption Island: Okay, I may easily be fighting a losing battle with this one. I may never be able to convince anyone that this season was good. But I see it as an interesting season, the likes of which you’ve never seen before. Rob dominating the game was actually a lot better than people give it credit for. That, and the cast is much better than people tend to give it credit for. Phillip, as crazy as he is, brings a great entertainment level to the game not typically seen. Matt is a wonderful example of a tragic hero, the victim of his own niceness. And a really satisfying part of this game is that Russell Hantz’s ways finally get the best of him and we see him cry like a little girl.

One World: A lot of parts regarding Survivor is stuff that I’m surprised to learn is hated by most of the community. I quite enjoyed Survivor: One World. The point where Manono gave up immunity may have been an incredibly dumb move, but in my mind, it was one of Survivor’s greatest moments and one of the most shocking moments in all of television history. Seriously. I wouldn’t be that shocked by something on television again until Jane’s baby got kidnapped on the first season finale of Jane the Virgin. That moment alone was when I decided to create this blog about Survivor. Even outside of that moment, the rest of the game was very interesting to watch. Seeing Colton’s downfall being one of his body’s making is something highly unusual. But karma’s a bitch. And I find this season to be quite an awesome part of Survivor.

Caramoan: I once got into a fight with various people as I tried to defend this season, but I failed at making a good point and only succeeded in making myself look bad. Of course, a blog isn’t at all like a facebook thread, so here I go trying to defend it again. I don’t think that either tribe was as terrible as some people thought. Sure, it would have been way better without the likes of Brandon Hantz, the worst ever contestant in the history of Survivor. But then we wouldn’t have had his crazy meltdown affecting the game and that actually would have been disappointing. The greatest tribal council happened this season as Phillip was voted out of the game. As much as the Cool Kids alliance and the Three Amigos struggled against the tide, it was still quite fun to watch what all they could do even if they were fighting a losing battle. All in all, this is a much better season than people give it credit for.

Cambodia: I’m not entirely sure if the reaction to this season was all that negative, but it was negative enough in some places for me to put it here. What does game bot mean? It doesn’t make much since to me. This season was quite interesting. I love the players that made it far and it had great blindsides. Plus, there was a different format with it to keep people on their toes. It is certainly an interesting season and the final four was great. Why don't people like it?

Koah Rong: Maybe lots of people did like this unusual season and were just disappointed at the final result at the end. Now I’m going to have to make something clear and I will yell to do this (by typing in all caps of course). Are you ready for this? Here goes: MICHELE IS A GREAT WINNER! SHE IS NOT ONE OF THE WORST WINNERS OF SURVIVOR! WHY DID PEOPLE LIKE AUBRY!? AUBRY WOULD HAVE BEEN A TERRIBLE WINNER! Now that I have that clear, I can honestly say that I do not understand the love of Aubry who was quite stuck-up and incredibly rude. What ending for a season would it have been if the person who constantly has things going the wrong way for her ending up winning? I’ll tell you what: a terrible winner. Aubry would have been the worst winner since Sophie. Now a lot of unusual seasons are quite good in the end (look at Palau) and this one had a better cast than some people would give it credit for. The blindsides of the bullies in the end were something that were quite good to watch. So I’m not sure if people hate this a lot or not, but I like it.

Well, that’s all that I can think about for this blog post. Seasons that people hated that I like are basically the ones that I picked here. If I felt that they were good enough considered in the fan community and I liked them, I didn’t put them on the list. If they did get negative reception and I didn’t include them here, I basically thought they were crap too. I might have to do an overrated seasons list in the future, although I’m not sure that I will. I’ll reveal the random rankings of old seasons randomly and I will rank all the seasons in special blog posts, but only if Survivor ends. Of course, you’ll see more of my thoughts on current seasons as they progress. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ideas for Survivor Twists

When you watch Survivor, you’ll notice that there are different twists that they do each season. Then, there are people who want to come up with the ideas for new twists themselves. I might as well think about what would make good Survivor twists in this blog post of mine.

One of the things that might be a crazy idea to do would be one of the simplest twists that could be done at this point in Survivor: a back to the basics season. Can you imagine a season without hidden immunity idols, tribe swaps, or any other craziness that you see in Survivor nowadays? It would be an awesome season to watch and one that I hope that they consider doing at some point.

Another strange idea of mine would be to have six returning contestants who all played the same season together play on one tribe with two other tribes of six players each with all new players on both tribes. Now, you’d think that there would have to be some sort of theme to the new players’ tribes. They could do some sort of theme so that they aren’t strangers like tribes normally are. Or, they could at least have some sort of twist with them. This actually isn’t that good of an idea and I’m the one who came up with it.

Survivor films two seasons pretty much back to back. This could go into a theme that might otherwise never happen. After filming one of those seasons, they should take that exact same cast and start a new season. Can you imagine doing a different Survivor season with the exact same cast as the first one? I doubt that this would ever happen, but it would still be a cool idea.

There’s a strange idea that I (and many other people) have thought of doing relating to tribes, or lack thereof. Imagine starting the whole Survivor season with just one tribe from the very beginning. Now contestants would still be put into random groups for challenges during the first half of the game. But it would always be a different group and thus always be different people you’d have to worry about being sent with to tribal council. The only potential problem would be with when there are odd numbers of players in the game. But there’s something they could come up with.

Well, I’ve already run out of things to talk about in this post. Maybe there is more that could work and more that wouldn’t. I don’t know what twists are in the future of Survivor. I just hope that they are good twists and not ones that make you hate the show. These are my thoughts on what could make good twists in the future. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Ten Most Failed Starting Tribes Post Merge

Sometimes tribes fail while still in the tribal part of the game. Sometimes, they don’t fail until after the merge when they fall apart at the hands of the other tribe or their own failures. And a lot of times these tribes had actually been doing well before the merge. Sometimes, they were clearly the better of the two tribes before the merge. But for one reason or another, they fail after the merge. Now what are the ten worst tribes after a merge? Read on and find out.

#10 Rarotoga (Cook Islands): For better or worse, when they controversially split tribes by race, the white tribe did very well in the premerge game. Due in part to how things worked after the mutiny, the members of all of the Rarotoga tribes, which included all of the remaining white players, were the main targets and it only took one person to flip and cause all of the members (including the flipper) to be voted out, one by one. What could have been a good tribe quickly turned around after the merge due in part to one of its own members too. Thus the tribe failed.

#9 Manono (One World): Who can forget the dumb tribe that gave up immunity? I figure that they are worthy of this list, even if their hugest mistake happened before the merge. They entered the merge with even numbers to the women’s tribe. They made the same mistake that Lopevi did back in Vanuatu. Only, unlike Lopevi, there wasn’t a tribe member on it that could overcome the odds of the women and by the finale, all the men in the game were voted out. They are the dumbest tribe in Survivor history after making two huge mistakes (the first one being far more serious than the other) and paid the price by all getting voted out at the hands of the better gender.

#8 Samburu (Africa): This tribe could have easily turned things around after the merge and it failed. They had a numbers disadvantage compared to the other tribe, but then the other tribe got rid of two of their members. But, this tribe just couldn’t keep things together when that happened and missed the chance to turn things around. Thus, they were eliminated one by one.

#7 Savaii (South Pacific): If this tribe only had the common decency to treat John Cochran with respect, they might have never brought forth their own demise. The tribes were even at the merge but nobody cared jack shit about John. His tribe was openly against him throughout the entire premerge game that you have to wonder why he gets the hatred and dumb move label for it instead of him. There was so much contempt for John among his tribe mates, in a way, they deserved to have him betray them. South Pacific was a pretty bad season due to overall predictability, but this tribe was terrible when it came to the treatment of one of its own and they all lost the game because of it.

#6 Kucha (Australia): Poor Kucha would have probably had an advantage were it not for Michael getting medically evacuated. Then, there were rules with tie-breakers that they other tribe knew that they didn’t which got themselves at a number disadvantage. Now while things were a bit out of their control for the beginning of the postmerge game, they could have flipped just one member of the other tribe to their side and regain the advantage. But even though there were times when Kucha members weren’t voted out, they pretty much failed throughout the rest of the game.

#5 Yasur (Vanuatu): This poor tribe was actually doing well early into the merge. They only had one member of the other tribe left to eliminate. Not only that, but he just lost the immunity challenge and was now a sitting duck. Then everything fell apart for them. One member after another got voted out leading to the one remaining member of the opposing tribe taking control of the game and winning. This tribe could have had what Salini would later have, but instead, the tribe fell apart in the end.

#4 Solana (Cagayan): With things going well for this tribe heading into the merge, you’d think that it wouldn’t have had that much of a problem in the future. But then, so much falls apart for the tribe all at once that they are the first tribe since Ulong to have their highest ranking member come in 7th place. These are the only two tribes I can think of to have that low a number be their best member. It’s hard to even think about how the tribe fell apart so much, but it just didn’t work out for them.

#3 Timbira (Tocantins): Like many other tribes, they entered a numbers advantage at the merge and were even helped when a member of the opposing tribe was medically evacuated. But then, they started turning on themselves, one by one. Soon, almost no one was left in the game still that was on this tribe originally. It may have been more coincidence than anything else, but this tribe still failed a lot after the postmerge game happened.

#2 Pagong (Borneo): Poor Pagong just didn’t know what to do when it came time for the merge. They went with the highly ineffective vote to your conscious strategy so terrible that no group of contestants have ever done that since. How can they be that bad at the game? They thought of eliminating the other tribe one by one. Instead, that’s what happened to this tribe. They were so terrible at the merge that none of the five people who reached it were in the final five. If only they had stuck together.

Well, in my mind, only one tribe can be considered the worst tribe after the merge. This tribe had so much going for it and lost it all by being manipulated by the other tribe into getting rid of its own. They had the greatest advantage completely wasted.

#1 Galu (Samoa): Whether you love this season or hate this season, you might not have thought that a tribe that merged with double the members of the other tribe would have just one member left by the time of the finale. First off, a move got one of their own voted out and they would forever lose the power to split the votes. Then, members started flipping to the other tribe. By the time you got to the final three, not a single member left from Galu was still in the game. They turned an eight to four advantage into one of the biggest turnarounds in Survivor history. This tribe who had done so well before the merge failed spectacularly after it. Thus, I have it as the biggest postmerge failure as a tribe.

I hope that you liked this list of mine. I also hope that you understood it. I picked the tribes that may have been doing well before the merge, but failed after the merge. I hoped that I made good picks. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Survivor: Old versus Young with all Returning Players

With the verge of a season based on two different generations fighting, I thought that I would do another one of my hypothetical casts for a season this time putting old returning players against young returning players. I might exclude players from Panama and Nicaragua simply because they have already played a season like that before. Panama wasn’t too much like that, I’ll admit, simply because of the tribe divisions from episode 2 onward. But that doesn’t mean that they should do it again. Also, due to how people keep ageing, I probably will have to pass on some of the older people from earlier seasons so if they are among the older contestants now, then I might have to include them. But they can’t be too old or I know that they won’t be cast in seasons like this anyways.

Older men I’d cast: Paschal from Marquesas is a pretty interesting man. He fought hard and was eliminated from the game without a single vote ever cast against him. He should return. Gary from Guatemala would be a great player and great choice for returning to play the game again. Plus, at some point they are going to have to bring back a player originally from that season, right? Yau-Man from Fiji and Micronesia is a smart player who knows how to get things done. Tarzan from One World may be a random choice, but he’s the type of crazy person who still makes a good player to watch. Dale from San Juan del Sur is my last pick for the older men.

Older women I’d cast: Teresa from Africa is someone who has to return to the game at some point before she gets too old. Kathy from Marquesas and All-Stars is someone who I feel needs more done with her game so she should return. Gillian from Gabon is very active in the Survivor community so it makes sense that she should return to play the game again. Trish from Cagayan is a wonderful player and she should return again sometime. Carolyn from Worlds Apart is another great contestant who I think she be brought back. Thus ends the list of older players that I’d bring back.

Younger men I’d cast: James from Palau may not be that young, but he is entertaining and it would be a shame if we never see her again. Erik from Micronesia and Caramoan may not be the smartest player, but he’s still someone I feel should play again. Matty from Gabon is a player that I liked and will thus cast on this season. Eddie from Caramoan may have been on the wrong side of the numbers a lot, but he was still a pretty effective player. Spencer from Cagayan and Cambodia is a player who needs more love and I’m casting him on this pretend season of mine.

Younger women I’d cast: Jenna from Borneo and All-Stars may be a bit of a weird choice, but I am still putting her in my cast. Neleh from Marquesas is someone who I really liked the first time and feel should return again. Darrah from Pearl Islands is another player who should return and I’m surprised hasn’t been asked back ever. Eliza from Vanuatu and Micronesia is a player that I really like and feel should return again. Mikayla from South Pacific is my last pick of the younger tribe.

Well, there’s my cast. I would mention alternates, but I don’t feel that such a thing is necessary. Do you like my picks for an all-stars young versus old? Did I miss anyone that you’d think would work better? I just hope that I did a well enough pick. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Why Survivor Should Redo the Opening Twist of Philippines

At the beginning of Survivor: Philippines, the new contestants learned that three players who were medically evacuated in previous seasons would be playing again. That twist lead to a wonderfully great Survivor season. Could redoing the twist lead to another great season? Even if it doesn’t, shouldn’t medically evacuated players be brought back? What better way is there to bring them back? You might not have the same people to pick from again, but there are still some good players that can be brought back to play Survivor again.

We all know just how devastating it would be to be pulled from the game. It could be any number of bad things happening. Maybe you get an injury that just gets too serious. Maybe a sickness gets too serious instead. But these people didn’t do anything wrong. They weren’t voted out due to mistakes that they made. They were forcefully taken from the game simply because of medical reasons beyond their control. Do we really think that most of the players would leave the game without being pulled from it? Could some of the players really not reach the end on their own? All you have to do is bring back three of them. You can’t say that you wouldn’t have interesting picks.

Let’s first look at Bruce Kanegai. He was an entertaining player when he was in the game. He created a rock garden and proved to be a vital part of his tribe. Before he was pulled from the game, one might have thought that there would only be one evacuation ever in Survivor. Is he the type of player that you think should never play again? Even if he wasn’t medically evacuated, he would still be a person who should return to play the game again.

Next we have Gary Stritesky who was always on a winning tribe. Only one other person besides him has that distinction. Can you imagine not being able to compete in the game anymore even though your tribe has won ever challenge in the game? That wouldn’t be fair for him not to ever play the game again. Why is he even considered a quitter? He clearly left for medical reasons and he should be brought back, even if he might lose his perfect winning streak.

Different players who were medically evacuated had different amounts of success in the game and Joe Dowdle made it all the way to the merge. He knew loyalty to a fault. He helped lead his tribe to the camp when they first got there. All that freaking went wrong in his game was a knee that got infected. While hardly the first person to fall victim to this, he certainly would prove that he’s good a second time since he did so well the first time.

Sometimes players are taken from the game for dumb reasons such as what happened to Mike Borassi. The challenge that got him medically evacuated has now been banned from ever appearing on the show again. Isn’t that unfair? If you don’t think that is, imagine that you recover quickly after being pulled from the game. Not even the camp’s next tribal council had even happened yet. Sometimes you’d think that the rules regarding medical evacuations should be changed and since they aren’t going to change them, then you should at least bring him back to play again.

Speaking of medical evacuations that are unfair, Kourtney Moon was injured in another poorly designed challenge. I know that she had cancer in the past. I don’t know much about what happened afterwards. But she should be healthy enough nowadays to return to play the game again. I mean, she didn’t even get to finish the first challenge she was in. Even Jonathan and Wanda from Palau technically did a challenge. Poor Kourtney got just half a challenge that was messed up because she was pulled.

Now sometimes whether or not someone was medically evacuated is debated by people. But if you remember in Philippines, someone sadly did have to leave the game. And this was a season already devoted to bringing back players who were medically evacuated. So shouldn’t you bring back Dana Lambert? She had a lot of potential as a player that we never got to see. And if she really was a quitter, than why wasn’t her torch laid down on the rites of passage? She should probably return to play the game again because it just makes sense.

Sometimes productions messes up and they need to right their wrong. There were problems that lead to Shamar Thomas’s evacuation that were seemingly caused by production itself. But this poor person was pulled from the game when it probably never had to happen in the first place. He had a hand injury that caused a staph infection. You should bring him back to play again as his problem only got worse due to a lack of help until he eventually had to be pulled from the game itself.

Then we get to Erik Reichenbach. The first time he played, he made a really dumb move that got him voted out. The next time he plays, he does really well again despite some blunders here and there on the way to the end. But then a leg infection pulls him from the game right after someone else was voted out. It’s a shame that bad things keep happening to him. But that could end on a third appearance.

Another contestant has a debatable status as to whether or not he really was medically evacuated. Terry Deitz played in Cambodia (a season about second chances) and was told by Jeff Probst basically that he had to leave the game. The way Terry left was actually a new way, but it shares something in common with all the medical evacuations: he left because production forced him to. They shouldn’t have actually told him this information when you think about it. You go to Survivor knowing that you won’t receive any updates about your family until you are voted off. But they probably made an exception due to how serious the condition was. And thus Terry had to leave.

Only three contestants can be considered for most serious medical evacuation. One accidently fell into a fire. Another passed out at a challenge that was then cancelled and left incomplete. But at least Russell Swan was able to speak and say something as he was pulled from the game. When Caleb Reynolds was getting pulled from the game, he basically was unconscious the whole time. They had to air something immediately after his departure that said that he was okay. (Honestly though, if he wasn’t okay, they wouldn’t have aired the season when you think about it.) There was a lot of potential still in his game that we never got to see.

Now we get to another poor contestant who we know had a terrible overall Survivor experience. Poor Neal Gottlieb was medically evacuated after a specially ordered doctor’s visit in one of the most unusual ways of ever leaving the game. Since when do doctors just randomly visit the island? I know that he wasn’t the only one looked at, but he was the only person who had a serious enough problem that he had to be tearfully pulled from the game. And that’s not even the worst thing that happened to him. A twist that was highly unfair got one of the final three to vote out a member of the jury and he was the victim of that vote. How messed up is all that? They owe it to Neal to have him brought back.

Last is the most recent medical evacuation as of this blog post (although, since Cambodia was filmed after Koah Rong, Terry is actually the most recent if you count him) named Joe del Campo. He’s an old contestant (one of the oldest, actually) and his removal was sad that it was after he had won a challenge that caused his medical problem. That challenge was messed up in the rules and could have had a different winner had the rules made sense. Once again, a dumb decision with a challenge leads to a poor person’s medical evacuation. Like every contestant on this list (which is everyone I consider medically evacuated except those who have already played again), I believe that he should return to play Survivor once again.

Well, I wasn’t entirely sure what this post would be when it started out. But I guess that I can’t make the case for reusing the twist where three medically evacuated players are brought back without making a case for any of those players returning too. I’m not sure when they should redo the twist. They have overused returning players a lot even when this twist was introduced the first time. There have since been three more seasons with returning players since. I just hope that if they ever have to do the one returnee per tribe twist again that they will have the decency to do this again. I at least hope that they will consider it. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Top Ten Best Survivor Challenges

When it comes to ranking the best of the best in terms of Survivor challenges, you might be wondering what I believe are the greatest Survivor challenges in the history of the show. Well, I might as well mention them and include a link as to which challenges are which in case you get confused. All links will be from Survivor Wikia. But I might as well mention which challenges I think are the best and why.

Rules: #1 Only challenges that have appeared more than once can appear on the list. If it were a good challenge, why would it only appear once? I’m not saying that it wouldn’t happen, but you’d think that the best challenges would appear over and over again. #2 I’m not including the Survivor Auction as I have no idea how to classify it as a challenge. Is it a challenge? Is it a twist? Is it an event? I feel that I have enough challenges to choose from without it. To me, it takes place instead of a challenge and isn’t actually one. #3 Both tribal and individual challenges have to be included. #4 Both reward and immunity challenges have to be included. #5 A final immunity challenge has to be included. #6 An opening challenge has to be included. I think those are all the rules that I can think of.

Honorable mentions: Survivor Quiz is a pretty good challenge, but I feel it is too close to another choice on my list to make the top ten. Shoulder the Load is a great challenge demonstrating strength, but I don’t think that it works in the long run for a top ten. Build it up, Break it down is a challenge I love a lot, but I just don’t like it enough to put it on my top ten. Blind leading the blind brings entertainment whenever it is used, but it would just barely make the cut in a top eleven and thus wouldn’t be in a top ten. I also like Get a grip a lot, but not enough to put it in this list. And I would like fallen comrades, but it wasn’t that great a challenge even without its controversy in Africa. I do like the concept of the challenge, but I don’t feel that it works as well as it should. On to the top ten where I have a link from their page on Survivor Wikia so you can look up more info about the challenge.

10- Survivor folklore: This challenge has contestants listening to a story about someone related to the location that they are at. This is a fun and great challenge, in my mind, even if it is only good enough for number 10. It’s nice that they incorporate some cultural aspects to the show at times in the challenges and that is why I like this challenge a lot. I just wish that we would see more of it in the current seasons than we do.

9- Distress signal: This challenge is a classic survival situation which makes sense as something that would work as a Survivor challenge. All you have to do is create a signal that a person on a plane would be able to see. Is your tribe better at it than the other tribe is? Could you get rescued when they can’t? Once again, I don’t know why we still don’t see the challenge in newer seasons when we should.

8- Quest for fire: Remember the first ever challenge on Survivor? I wouldn’t do a top ten without including it. While it always has different variations, it basically involves the new tribes lighting a fire to win the challenge. It is the type of basic thing that makes the perfect first challenge in a season as fire represents your life and without it, someone on your tribe won’t have life in the game anymore.

7- Survivor Obstacle Course: Sometimes basic concepts make for good challenges for Survivor. What better concept than an obstacle course? (Well, I do have six other challenges that I think are better challenges and one of them is based off of a simple concept.) You could practice this challenge before going on Survivor. Heck, you could even design your own version of this challenge if you wanted to. Have any of my readers not done an obstacle course? I don’t recall this challenge ever causing problems in the game. That’s why I like it so much.

6- When it rains, it pours: While people often criticize the endurance challenges on Survivor (probably only due to their overuse in season after season), sometimes it can prove to be the best challenge used. Jeff loves tempting the contestants to step out of the challenge. Some contestants love to drop out in front of all the other people in the game for these food items. But if you are really into it, you just keep your hand held high and prevent the water it is attached to from falling down on you.

5- Hand on a hard idol: Survivor’s only exclusive final immunity challenge is something that I’m surprised we don’t see more often. It has only appeared on Survivor a mere four times. But it makes a great last challenge for a Survivor season. It makes a great lead-in to the end. And it should be used even if they don’t use the final two again. It could make a good final duel for Redemption Island. All you have to do is hold onto an idol for as long as you can.

4- Survivor Smorgasbord: Better known as the gross food eating challenge, this is a staple of Survivor challenges and something that really works well in the game. I’m surprised we don’t see it more often even though we do see it as often as we do. But this hands down has to make the list. No one would ever want to compete in this challenge, but it makes sense that it is here in the game. You could even wind up liking the food the way Tom Westman did.

3- The Maze: Okay, so I like mazes a lot. And I like them better when you can see what you are doing versus being blindfolded the whole time you are going through it (although the other variation should be an honorable mention, I didn’t say it as I didn’t want to spoil this choice). You see it a lot during the finale episodes of seasons nowadays which make finales even more memorable. Solving a maze never looked more fun.

2- Touchy Subjects: This challenge is such a classic that you have to wonder why we don’t see it enough. That’s not to say that we haven’t seen it a lot, but we don’t see it anymore. First, contestants do a poll of what they think about their tribe mates. After that, they then vote on the most popular answers. It works best as a reward challenge. Whoever gets something right gets to take steps to knock someone out of the game and with three strikes, they are out. Anyone can try to knock out someone else. But it makes the game more interesting to see tribe dynamics after the merge being shown this way.

Now while I like every challenge on this list, there is one that I like more than any other. It wasn’t that hard of a pick for number one for me. The best challenge in my mind is something so simple and basic that you have to wonder why we haven’t seen it in a really long time. I guess that I like too many classic challenges, but this one I like most of them all.

1- Perch: Imagine just having to stand on a perch for as long as you can. But then the desires of wonderful items come up. Would you lose immunity and your clothes for chocolate and peanut butter? Would you give up security in the game for any sort of sweet? This challenge has been seen mostly as the first post merge challenge of the game. It shows you how the newly merged tribe feels about their place in the game. And it makes for what I think is the best challenge in all of Survivor.

Well, that’s all I can think of for this blog post. I would have included pictures instead of links, but I wasn’t sure if pictures would actually post to this blog. You can look back through the archive and see the ten worst challenge post that I did to see the fail of pictures that I was trying to do. You can also compare that list to this list. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.