Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Survivor: Game Changers- What Could Happen with the Players

The last time I blogged about an upcoming season of Survivor that was all returning players, I did a sort of cast assessment on them. I’m going to do that again this time starting out my various predictions with how that cast will meld and then going into each player’s potential chances of winning. I am going to predict how far I think that they will make it based on various factors. We’ll see if existing patterns continue into this season or not. So let’s start with each player and how I think that they will do in this upcoming season.

Jeff Varner is from Australia and Cambodia. He made the merge but not the jury then was voted out before the merge. Contestants from Australia have done quite well as returning players. To date, every season with a player from Australia has had one of those players reach the finale. I don’t know if this will happen again or not. Another pattern to look for is the fact that, so far, every three time player has made the merge twice. Since Jeff has made the merge once and not the other time, I think that he might actually make the merge again. I think that he’ll be on the jury.

Sandra played Pearl Islands and Heroes versus Villains. She won both seasons. Could she win a third? I doubt it, actually. If the other players are smart, they’d get rid of her fast. But I don’t know if they would want to get rid of her. They could see her as weak in competitions. Of course, some might be foolish enough to think that they could beat her. I still think that ultimately, the players will get rid of her early into the game. If that doesn't happen, then they aren't as good players as the title for this season suggests.

Cirie was in Panama, Micronesia, and Heroes versus Villains. She has made the jury twice and was voted out before the merge a second time. To date there have been only two four time players. They have made the merge three times and were voted out premerge once. Does this mean that she’ll make the merge this time around? But could she make it all the way to the end? We'll find out for sure later. I would say that she might be a finalist this season.

Ozzy played in Cook Islands, Micronesia, and South Pacific. He made the merge three different times. One of those times, he was a finalist. The other two times, he was on the jury. Now he seems to have a worse and worse edit each time he plays, going first from a strong player who almost won the game, to a bitter jury member, and then to an egotistical maniac. This could wind up being his worst season yet. While he will certainly help his tribe win before the merge, the moment they suspect that the merge is coming, he could wind up out of the game faster than you can say Double Redemption Island. I say that this will be the first time that he won’t make the merge.

JT played in Tocantins and Heroes versus Villains. He won the first time and made the jury the second time, being the first former winner to be on the jury in another season. His dumb move that destroyed the heroes tribe in his second season is the reason that he has a lot of redemption to go after. Will he be more of the player he was the first time around or the player he was the second time around? Knowing that this is his third time playing, he’ll probably be a totally different player. I see him making the jury again as I just don’t see him being taken out before the merge just yet.

Andrea was in Redemption Island and Caramoan. She made the jury both times. For some reason, I just don’t think that she will be relevant to the final game this time around as I think that she will be gone before the merge.

Troyzan played in One World. He made the jury. He was a candidate for Cambodia, but the fans didn’t vote him in. I’d say that his main obstacle to overcome is the fact that he can be annoying. If he can get over that and be a better player, then he’ll do well. But I don’t think that he’ll make the merge.

Malcolm played in Philippines and Caramoan. He made the jury both times. He had an advantage the last time he played since others hadn’t seen his season yet. (This will be important this season regarding two other players that I’ll get to.) I see no reason why he would do poorly. In fact, I see him becoming a finalist this time around. He may also be my favorite going into this.

Brad played Blood versus Water. He was voted out before the merge. He was considered for Cambodia, but the fans didn’t vote him to the cast. If he could actually get over his careless mistakes, he could be a better player this time around. But I’m not sure if he can or not. I won't say once a failure, always a failure as I know that the rule doesn't always work. But it is something to be worried about, the original placement. I’ll say that he’ll be out before the merge again.

Ciera played in Blood versus Water and Cambodia. She made the merge and jury both time. She has a villainous way of playing the game and it could get her far into the game again. I say that she will make the jury again.

Sarah played Cagayan. She made the jury and was the first person voted out after the merge. It is hard to track players like that in future seasons. But I’m willing to believe in her chances this time around. I say that she will make the merge and jury again.

Tony played in Cagayan. He won the game due to a very bull headed way of playing the game. I’m not sure how someone can be that aggressive and win. (Maybe he took the advice of cheerleaders?) Since these people will know his type of game play going into this season, I have the feeling that he won’t make the merge this time around.

Hali played Worlds Apart. She made the jury that time around. I do not have high hopes for her. While she might do well this time around, I just don’t think that she will. I see her as one of the game’s early boots and she’ll be gone long before the merge.

Sierra played Worlds Apart. She made the finale and wound up on the jury. I think that she will make it to the jury again, although I’m not sure if she’ll make it as far as the finale again. I just hope that we see more of her this time around if she does make it far.

Caleb played Kaoh Rong. He didn’t make the merge as he was medically evacuated long before he even attended tribal council while trying to compete in a challenge. I’m not sure if he can make it far into the game this time around, but I think that he’ll be on the jury.

Debbie played Kaoh Rong. She made the jury after being blindsided by such a crazy tribal council and episode that you might not even have known that she was the target going into it. I see no reason why she would fail this time around, unless she becomes like Sugar did the second time around and wind up annoying her tribemates and be voted out really early. Regardless, I still see her as making the jury again this time around since she actually knows how to play.

Tai played Kaoh Rong. He became a finalist but got no jury votes. He betrayed the wrong people and was aligned with the wrong people in the first place. I’m not sure how he’ll do the second time around, but I think that he’ll make the jury this time.

Aubry played Koah Rong. She was a finalist but lost to the jury because her game play was mostly kept hidden from the other players. It seems that a lot of fans were excessively butt hurt by her loss which I find weird still as I don’t understand why people like her. I don’t want her to last long this time around and I don’t think that she will. If people know that she’s playing a good game, they’re likely to vote her out because of it. I don’t think that she’ll make the merge this time around.

Michaela played the most recent season before this, namely Millennials versus Gen X. She did not make the merge, but was one vote away from doing so (if I’m remembering right). She and Zeke have the advantage of being unknown to the other contestants this season. That is partly why I feel that she will make the jury this time around.

Zeke also played the most recent season with Michaela. He made the jury and could have made it farther had his alliance not turned on him. I feel that he could do quite well this time around as the other players wouldn’t know who he is. I say that he will be a finalist this time around.

Predictions: Premerge boots- Sandra, Ozzy, Andrea, Troyzan, Brad, Tony, Hali, Aubry; Jury members- Jeff Varner, JT, Ciera, Sarah, Sierra, Caleb, Debbie, Tai, Michaela; Finalists- Cirie, Malcolm, Zeke.

There are different things to look out for going into this season: Jeff could be the first three time player to never make it to the jury phrase of the game if he gets voted out early again. Sandra would be one of only three people to play three or more seasons and never be on a jury if she defies the odds and becomes a finalist again or if she is voted out before the jury starts forming. Cirie, Ozzy, Andrea, Malcolm, and Ciera could all potentially serve on their third jury this season, something that only one other contestant has done those far.

More things: Ozzy is the first contestant to ever play as a new player, a half newbie and returning player season, a one returnee per tribe season, and now an all returning player season. If Ozzy is voted out, he’ll break his own record for most times voted out. Andrea and Cirie could potentially tie his record if they are voted out and he is not. If JT is voted out before the jury, he’ll join four other players in the club of finalist, jury member, and premerge boot. The same can be said for Ozzy if he is voted out before the jury or Cirie if she becomes a finalist. Sandra, Tony, Caleb, Tai, and Aubry have not been voted out in previous seasons, so that’s something to look out for.

I’m not sure that there’s anything else for me to say in this blog post. I hope that you like my potential predictions of how the cast will do this season. Will I be right? Wrong? Both? We’ll see what, if anything, ends up happening this time around. Whatever one predicts might be accurate or far off. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Survivor: Game Changers- Knowing the Returning Players

Before the new season starts, you might be wondering who the returning players from the season were in their previous seasons. Well, I might as well mention them in this post and tell you who they were in the past before they play again.

Let’s start with Jeff Varner. Originally, he played the Australia season. He made the merge, but got voted out after tie-breaker rules that the other tribe knew about, but his didn’t. He came back to play Cambodia, only to be voted out early into the game, due in part to playing a villainous game.

Sandra is someone who played quite an evil and devious game despite not being a physical threat. Her social game might be unmatched by most players. She won the first time in Pearl Islands and then played again in Heroes versus Villains. Once again, she was a mastermind of the game despite less things going her way this time and she won it again. Could she go three for three? We’ll see. I just know that she won’t go down easily, without a fight.

Cirie started on Panama and seemed like a fish out of water. Despite her possible early failings in the game, she made it quite far only to lose it all in a fire making tie-breaker. She returned as a favorite in Micronesia and was up to all sorts of evil ways with other women. Ultimately, she was voted out after a surprise final two and became the first of only two contestants to be in multiple finales and yet not become a finalist in either one. She returned again in Heroes versus Villains, oddly as a hero, but she didn’t make it far this time as she was gone long before the merge. This time, she was idoled out of the game thanks in part to someone flipping on her.

Ozzy is one of the most physically strong players in the game. I believe that he won the highest percent of individual immunity challenges out of anyone in any season as he only lost one of them. In Cook Islands, he came one vote away from winning the game in a jury decision I like least. He lost to a more strategic player in the first ever final three. He came back in Micronesia as a favorite and was blindsided into the early merge thanks in part due to Cirie and an idol he didn’t play. I’m going to love seeing them play each other this time around if there’s still resentment over this move.

Ozzy came back a third time in South Pacific as one of two returning players. He had a lot of control over his tribe and even came up with a plan to be voted out and then win his way back into the game. He made enough flaws this time around to be voted out for real only he was on a Redemption Island season and a player like him had no business on a season like that. Why do I say that? Well, he was such a huge challenge threat that he could easily beat anyone who played against him. Thus, he won his way back into the game, only to be the last person voted out after failing the final immunity challenge. He also found an idol this season, but proceeded to waste it on another player at the beginning of the merge. An interesting thing about him is that he’s had a worse edit with each season as he started out as a lovable player and turned into an egotistical maniac.

The next player to tell you about is JT. He seemed like quite a lovable southerner. His mastery of the game the first time he played made him accomplish something that no one had ever done before. He made it to the end with no votes against him and then got every jury vote. He played a perfect game, which I’m pretty sure that only one other person has done thus far. He came back on Heroes versus Villains as a hero. While he was doing interesting moves early into the game, he made one of the dumbest moves ever by giving his idol to a member of the other tribe which backfired and got him idoled out at the merge.

It seems like there’s a shift in the players here. We next go to Andrea from Redemption Island. She didn’t really stick out of the season that much. She had a showmance with a contestant but turned on him when he made a dumb move. She lasted pretty far into the game, only to be voted out when her alliance started to turn on each other (as they were the only ones left in the game). She got back into the game after winning a poorly designed challenge only to be voted right back out of the game again. She returned as a favorite on Caramoan. (She and Malcolm are the first players from that season to play again, although we have yet to see a fan from that season return. Ultimately, I’d rather have one of the sixteen players from Guatemala back before I worry about getting a fan from Caramoan back.) Her game worked out pretty much well, once again by being aligned by the right side for most of the game. Only she was considered enough of a threat to be voted out after she didn’t play a hidden immunity idol.

Troyzan played in One World and he had an aggressive game play. But, it didn’t really do much except annoy other players. He seemed to struggle a lot throughout the postmerge and wasted an idol before ultimately getting voted out by the women majority. I don’t think that he was liked by fans as evidenced by the Cambodia voting poll which he was an option in. There were different people we could vote for and he was one of them. But he didn’t receive enough fan votes. He is coming back this time around so production must like him enough even if the fans might not.

Malcolm was a wonderful player when he played the first time in Philippines. While he started out on a poor tribe that never won a challenge, he was switched to a better tribe and made the merge. He was voted out last due to being seen as such a threat, although the contestants lied at the reunion show and said that he wouldn’t have won. He played the very next season before anyone knew who he was from the previous season. This could have given him a huge advantage, although he also proved himself to be a huge threat. He made a brilliant move in Caramoan after his old tribe turned on him. But he wasn’t able to turn the game around and was voted out.

Brad, like Troyzan, was a candidate for Cambodia but didn’t make the fan cast season. Brad played Blood versus Water and was known for helping people reject clues to the hidden immunity idol. He thought that he was in control of the game, but didn’t play well enough when Caleb (RIP) turned on him and he got voted out as a result.

Ciera started on Blood versus Water and struggled a bit early on. But, she made it quite far, voted against her mother, helped orchestrated the second rock draw, and outlasted all the new players, although she made enough mistakes that got her voted out. She flipped on people although was criticized for not doing that at the right times. She played again in Cambodia and continued being a huge villain. She made it to the merge again, but was on the wrong side of the numbers and got voted out as a result.

Sarah played in Cagayan. I don’t really remember her as well as I would like. If I remember her, she did well before the merge, thought she was the swing vote, but was voted out at the merge by the real swing vote. What else can I say?

Tony was one of the most ruthless players ever. He played such a villainous game, that one could almost be surprised at the end that he actually came out on top. He played Cagayan with such brilliance and precision, it is hard to wonder who else would have made a good fit for a potential winner. Well, actually there would have other good winners that season, but he was the right one.

Hali played Worlds Apart. What is there to say about her? Well, she was on the no collar tribe, made the merge, and was voted out to become part of the jury. Even though she played recently, she was very forgettable and an odd choice for any returning player season, much less a game changer season.

Sierra was also in Worlds Apart. She was part of the blue collar tribe. She had an invisible edit her season even though she made it all the way to the finale. There’s not much else to say about her. I did like her as a player even if she seemed a bit uneven.

Caleb was in Kaoh Rong, a season that has three other players in this season. We never saw much of him as a player as he was evacuated before he attended tribal council. He also played Big Brother, but was a horrible player there who was used by pretty much everyone. Hopefully, he can prove himself to be a good player in Survivor.

Debbie played Kaoh Rong and was a pretty weird player. I can’t tell if she actually had control of the game or not. She was considered a threat and voted out after one of the strangest tribal councils to have ever taken place. Some didn’t even tell that she was actually the target.

Tai had a lot going for him in Kaoh Rong. He was doing well and aligned with a bunch of people he was certain to beat. Only he decided to turn on them and when he made the end of the game, he was rejected by everyone in the jury. Maybe he can learn from his mistakes and be likable again this time around. Or he could fail at the game again.

I’m just going to say it: I do not understand the love of Aubry from Kaoh Rong. I don’t understand why so many people were butthurt over the fact that she didn’t win. Um, maybe it’s because she’s not that good a player who complains a lot when things don’t go her way? I’m going to say it right now: if she wins this season, then they might have rigged it in advance for her. And I normally would say that this show was never rigged for or against anyone. Hopefully, I can like her if she makes it far. But she played that season and came in second. And people were upset that she didn’t win, which seemed unusual. I quite enjoyed the actual winner and was glad that it wasn’t Aubry.

Michaela played Millennials versus Gen X, the season right before the upcoming one. She played too strong before the merge and was voted out as a result. She is quite the entertaining person, although one might wonder if she’s too open with the way she plays the game.

Zeke also played the most recent season like Michaela did. I would have to say that he played a mostly decent game and could have made it much farther than he did if someone in his alliance didn’t flip on him. There’s not much else to say regarding him.

Well, that’s the cast along with my biased opinions about some of them. I hoped that you liked this post regardless. I have more posts planned before the season starts that has more of what I think about this season before hand. I hope that you enjoy these posts. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Should a “Normal” Season be Done Again?

What is a normal season of Survivor? In the early days of Survivor, it was all of them. It wasn’t until Thailand came along that they introduced the concept of seasons that weren’t defined as normal. I’m wondering if they have become a thing of the past. I mean, one hasn’t happened since Samoa. In this blog post, I’ll make my case for why one should appear again.

Here are all the seasons that I would consider to be normal: Borneo, Australia, Africa, Marquesas, Pearl Islands, China, Tocantins, and Samoa. Those are considered normal to me because they had all new players, only two tribes, and no major twists regarding the divisions of the tribes. In simpler terms, that’s five of the first seven seasons, then after introducing returning players, only three more seasons after a seven season break. They have not done it since the nineteenth season and we are going to have the twenty-fourth season pretty soon. The new normal ain’t normal.

Why should the normal season appear again? Well, even if it is something different nowadays since they don’t do them anymore, it would be something new to add to the Survivor world simply by doing it again. I’m tired of all the different and just want something normal again. There’s just been one themed season after another. Why can’t you go back and do something simpler for a change?

A normal season doesn’t mean not having any of the twist that we’re used to. You can still have the tribe swap, the hidden immunity idols, and whatever strange new twists you feel the need to include. Just don’t have any strange way of starting the game out. Don’t split the tribes based on a theme or have the contestants pick their own tribe. You should split the tribes randomly instead. As much greatness as we get out of three tribe seasons, you should go back to the usual two tribe season just once as you do this again. And don’t let there be a returning player in this season. Let it be all new players the way it should be.

I’m not sure why they haven’t done a normal season in quite a while and am not sure if we will ever see one of them again. The classic seasons that I mentioned that all qualified as normal were pretty good season. The next three were fairly decent. And while there have plenty of good ones without it being a normal season, that can be expected with the majority of them not being that way.

So I hope that they do a normal season of Survivor again. I’m not sure yet if they ever will. But if they can do a brain versus brawn versus beauty season based on popular demand that I had no idea was what anyone wanted (was Jeff Probst full of fake hype and full of crap as a result as usual?), then maybe I could get them to do one of these again. Hopefully other fans can do this. Imagine if they take it a step further and do a back to the basic season. That would hopefully be something good. But that’s a different blog post. I hope that I made a good case for it. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Survivor: Premerge versus Merge

I heard a rumor that the thirty-fourth season was going to be premerge versus merge. I don’t think that will be the case anymore, although the cast isn’t official yet. This does make me wonder who would actually be good for a season like this, so I might as well get to casting it.

Rules: 1- In order to keep this potentially fairer for the premerge tribe, those who became finalists will not be picked. 2- If someone, like a returning player, was both merge and premerge, they will not be considered. 3- If they made the merge, but not the jury, they still count as making the merge. 4- If they made the jury, but not the merge, then they count as premerge. 5- Due to the Outcasts twist in Pearl Islands, neither Lillian nor Burton can be considered. This is because it is hard to classify them since they are both premerge and merge in one single season. I may have to eliminate some, but not all, of the players on Redemption Island seasons as a result as well. 6- I know that the merge has changed what number of players it has had over the various seasons. Still, I’m including who made the merge what season they played and only factoring in other seasons should they have played multiple ones.

More rules: 7- Since the season Palau didn’t have a merge, no contestants from it will be considered for this season. I know that it might seem unfair to cut it, especially when I could just say that Jonathan to Bobby Jon is premerge and Coby to Tom is merge, but there have been thirty-three other seasons thus far and I shouldn’t really miss just one. 8- No contestants from Game Changers are included as I do not yet know how they will rank. Plus, they just played Survivor, even though this is just a fictitious season that I’m casting. Even though the cast might not be official when I post this, I still think that it might work as a good rule. Now, with all the rules out of the way, let’s get to casting this season.

Let’s start with the premerge tribe of players. I would pick Sonja from Borneo as she’s the very first boot and would make the most sense. Next I’d pick Silas from Africa since he was eliminated after the very first tribe swap happened. Shawn from Pearl Islands would have probably made the merge if the outcasts twist hadn’t happened. That will be a common theme among people that I’m picking. Travis from Vanuatu screwed himself out of the game by telling others about the upcoming merge. Jenny from Cook Islands was almost there, were it not for a surprise double elimination. Aaron from China was doing well until the other tribe took him to their tribe only to vote him out. Marcus from Gabon is one of the greatest players to have never made the merge as his great game play suddenly ran dry. Sandy from Tocantins was negatively affected by the opening twist and should return as a result. Christine from South Pacific was a great player who fell just one challenge short of getting back in the game. Nadiya from San Juan del Sur is something that I feel might be a surprise return to the game eventually.

Now let’s get to the merge tribe. My first pick would be Teresa from Africa who is a great player who has been robbed so far of returning to the game. I then pick John from Marquesas who had an alliance that suddenly fell to the bottom. Christy from Amazon is a player that really should have returned to the game by now. Cindy from Guatemala is someone who I feel should return at some point. Brett from Samoa is a great player who has a lot of game left in him. Jane from Nicaragua is another player who was pretty good the first time and should really return at some point. Edna from South Pacific is an overall likable person and one of the few people that I liked that season. Reynold from Caramoan is someone that I feel played great the first time and should return to play a second time. Hayden from Blood versus Water is an overall wonderful player whose social game is better than some winner’s were. And Neal from Kaoh Rong is someone who really should return at some point. They kind of owe him after he was voted off of the jury.

Premerge tribe: Sonja (Borneo), Silas (Africa), Shawn (Pearl Islands), Travis (Vanuatu), Jenny (Cook Islands), Aaron (China), Marcus (Gabon), Sandy (Tocantins), Christine (South Pacific), Nadiya (San Juan del Sur). Merge tribe: Teresa (Africa), John (Marquesas), Christy (Amazon), Cindy (Guatemala), Brett (Samoa), Jane (Nicaragua), Edna (South Pacific), Reynold (Caramoan), Hayden (Blood versus Water), Neal (Koah Rong).

Premerge alternates- Borneo: Dirk, Australia: Mitchell, Africa: Carl, Marquesas: Gabriel, Gina, Thailand: Erin, Amazon: Jeanne, Pearl Islands: Nicole, Vanuatu: John K, Guatemala: Amy, Panama: Misty, Cook Islands: Anh-Tuan, Fiji: Sylvia, Liliana, Anthony, China: Sherea, Micronesia: Tracy, Gabon: Gillian, Ace, Tocantins: Carolina, Samoa: Betsy, Elizabeth, Nicaragua: Kelly B, Redemption Island: Francesca, Kristina, South Pacific: Elyse, Mikayla, One World: Nina, Philippines: Sarah, Caramoan: Allie, Laura, Blood versus Water: Marissa, Cagayan: Brice, San Juan del Sur: Drew, Worlds Apart: So, Nina, Kaoh Rong: Alecia, Millennials versus Gen X: Mari.

Merge alternates- Borneo: Gretchen, Greg, Australia: Rodger, Africa: Brendon, Frank, Tom, Marquesas: Paschal, Thailand: Jake, Amazon: Heidi, Pearl Islands: Darrah, Vanuatu: Eliza, Scout, Guatemala: Gary, Rafe, Panama: Sally, Shane, Cook Islands: Nate, Fiji: Michelle, Mookie, Stacy, China: Jamie, Micronesia: Jason, Alexis, Erik, Natalie, Gabon: Matty, Tocantins: Sierra, Taj, Samoa: Erik, John, Nicaragua: Alina, Marty, Brenda, Redemption Island: Mike, Grant, Ashley, South Pacific: Keith, One World: Christina, Philippines: RC, Caramoan: Eddie, Blood versus Water: Katie, Cagayan: Jeremy, Trish, Kass, San Juan del Sur: Josh, Reed, Jon Misch, Worlds Apart: Tyler, Kaoh Rong: Nick, Millennials versus Gen X: David.

Well, that’s my idea for a season. I’m not sure if we will ever see something like that on Survivor, although it could potentially be an interesting season. One would just have to wonder if they could keep it evenly matched between the players or not in the event that they do decide to do that. But here’s my cast. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Top Ten Game Changers

After the idea of a game changers season was announced, I wondered what my own list would be. I could do a made up cast of it if I wanted to, but I’m not sure that I will. I had already done my version of a Legends cast between Cagayan and San Juan del Sur. So I’m making a top ten list of the players that I think changed the game the most. I’ll forgo any rules that I may have used to form this and just skip to the top ten. Who made this list? Read on and find out.

#10 Russell Hantz (Samoa, Heroes versus Villains, Redemption Island): Whether you actually like this person or you despise him like I do, you have to admit that his overall sliminess of his game is something that you had never seen in the game before. He is quite a terrible person and would probably admit that to anyone. Few people have had the sheer control over eliminations that he did. He’ll never win, but he has a huge following and changed the show, if not for better, than definitely in a new way.

#9 Colton (One World, Blood versus Water): Here’s another person that I didn’t like who is worthy of this list, once again, for the absolute control that he had over people. Who else could convince his tribe to give up immunity after winning a challenge? The fact that everyone agreed to this, including the person who end up getting voted out as a result, is a sheer shock, the likes of which we’ve never seen before nor will ever see again. I still don't know why people didn't like the move.

#8 Johnny Fairplay (Pearl Islands, Micronesia): This is yet another contestant whose overall villainous ways were unprecedented at the time that it first appeared. He convinced his friend to do a lie before the show even started. When that episode in question first aired, you might have believed that his grandmother had, in fact, died. You’d believe that until the moment that the truth (err, lie) was revealed and you hated this guy even more than you did. Ultimately, while he was a huge dick, he ended leaving an impression on the game that you haven’t seen before.

#7 Christy (Amazon): Here’s what some might see as a strange choice for the list, but before her, there were no disabled contestants who played the game. Now I find the term disabled to be insulting and will avoid using it whenever possible. We saw some of her struggles to fit into the game, yet she made it quite far in it. With her, we saw that you don’t have to be a “normal” person in order to play Survivor. You can have a major difference between you and other people and still fit in as a player.

#6 Yau-Man (Fiji, Micronesia): While a lot of people changed the game regarding the use of the hidden immunity idols, few would have thought of the idea before Yau-Man did to actually create a fake idol and hope that others use it. Even though he was eliminated early into Micronesia, it wouldn’t have nearly been as good as it ended up being if there wasn’t a fake idol in it. While Ozzy did it, Yau-Man was certainly the inspiration that has inspired Ozzy and whoever else made one afterwards as part of the game. Plus, when it came to the actual idol, he knew how to affectively use it. Even without idols, he was certainly influential in proving that smart people have a place in the game.

#5 Stephenie (Palau, Guatemala, Heroes versus Villains): While her game has admittedly gotten worse, she certainly proved that some players can survive everything in the game, even all the members of their own tribe. While it might not be possible for another contestant to be all that’s left of their tribe ever again, it certainly changed the way that she was able to, more or less, outplay everyone on her tribe to the point of outlasting them all.

#4 JT (Tocantins, Heroes versus Villains): This guy made it to day 39 without a single vote cast against him and then got every single jury vote. Nobody else had ever done that before. He helped disprove the theory that only villains can win (in my opinion, at least) and remained quite popular. Even his second time around, when he foolishly gave up his idol to a member on the other tribe, he changed the game yet again. One wonders what he can still do with the game.

#3 Chris (Vanuatu): Here’s the person who may have been the ultimate underdog winner. Few people could manage such a great, late game turnaround. The fact that he could be the last man left in the game and not be voted out by the SIX women who were still in the game was quite impressive. He was able to turn themselves against each other and came out on top.

#2 Richard (Borneo, All-Stars): This man is pretty much responsible for so much in Survivor that we could take for granted. We might not have alliances if he didn’t help create the first one. Villains wouldn’t be as powerful and good as they are without him. People wouldn’t be making bold and risky moves like he did when he threw the final immunity challenge. That could have got him voted out, but it didn’t. I did have to include the first real game changer in this list, so here he is. But who, do I feel, changed the game the most? Who is the number one game changer?

#1 Tony (Cagayan): What a gamer this man is. He takes Jersey attitude to a whole new level. There are so many great moments with this character that it is easy to see why he ended up dominating the game his season. What type of person can really play this evil and still win? Well, he’s that type of person. So few people can do what he does, in the way he does it, and still be likable in the end. That is why I have him listed as the number one game changer in Survivor.

Honorable mentions: Greg from Borneo was a lovable goof he proved right away that you can have fun while playing the game. Susan from Borneo and All-Stars proved that jurors have a huge influence on how the game goes down. Ethan from Africa and All-Stars proved that nice guys can actually win. Kathy from Marquesas and All-Stars is the person who I think was able to cause the first ever power shift. Vecepia from Marquesas changed, once again, the way people could win the game. Jenna from Amazon and All-Stars made unique moves that affected the game. Burton from Pearl Islands proved that people could change their fate in the game. Osten from Pearl Islands may not have changed it in a good way, but he was the first quit and that changed the game. Tom from Palau and Heroes versus Villains proved that being a leader can actually work out well in the end. Yul from Cook Islands changed how the hidden immunity idol could be used. Earl from Fiji was the first person to get all the jury votes. NaOnka from Nicaragua actually created an official known change in the rules, even though it was under terrible circumstances that she caused.

I’m sure that there are some great people that I forgot to mention, for one reason or another. I can’t remember everyone. But I do think that I came up with a good top ten list of game changers. I’m hoping that they make the whole cast official soon so I can do special posts regarding that before the season actually starts. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

An Analysis of Medical Evacuations

Am I obsessed, in a way, with medical evacuations on Survivor? Maybe. I’m obsessed with a lot of things, honestly. I just hope that I can provide in this blog post a good analysis of medical evacuations in this game. There’s a lot to wonder about the situation. What’s there to talk about? Well, let’s go through various parts of it that I can think of, at least.

Why are men pulled more?

Men are supposedly the stronger gender, but they don’t seem to have luck when it comes to avoiding getting medically evacuated. It took until the 24th season and the 10th evacuation before a woman was pulled from the game. Is it because they are doing more dangerous stuff as players? Does it just relate to being unfortunate events just happening to affect men instead of women? What some people would have you believe is that there aren’t coincidences on Survivor. Clearly there are. The fact that it is mostly men with one or two women getting evacuated could speak to any number of things. But it could just be that more dangerous things on this show happen to men.

Has Survivor gotten more dangerous?

The first medical evacuation seemed like an anomaly compared to the rest of the early seasons. It wasn’t until the twelfth season that another evacuation happened again. From there, modern Survivor seems to have only gotten more dangerous. A recent season had three medical evacuations all happen at once. Doesn’t this seem bad? Has Survivor gotten worse in terms of healthy living conditions? I’m not sure if we’ll ever know for sure, but it doesn’t seem as good as it used to be.

Does being evacuated mean you should play again?

When we learned about Survivor: Philippines, we learned that three contestants who had previously been medically evacuated would be playing Survivor again. This makes you wonder, should all contestants who were medically evacuated automatically get to play again? Would it be fair that they would be picked over other players? Would it be fair if other players were picked over them? You’d have to wonder if some players would be good picks over others, just choosing among the medically evacuated. Should they be brought back? One would think that it would be fair or a good idea, but some of them are bad players. Hopefully, there wouldn’t be a Colton like player brought back again.

Is location the problem?

Some may wonder if some locations are more dangerous than other locations. The location of Marquesas was considered bad enough to never be considered to be returned to; the only location ban that I know of on the show. That location had no evacuations, but it did have its fair share of injuries without an evacuation. Cambodia proved quite dangerous with three evacuations in one season. Samoa had a collective four evacuations in the seasons set there. But how do you know if a single location is the problem? Should you really ban a location just for evacuations happening there? While I wouldn’t think so, I’d have to wonder if some locations should be avoided in favor of others.

What’s the reason for all the evacuations?

You do have to wonder if Survivor is doing something wrong if there are these many evacuations in the first place. You know that they wouldn’t want people to leave this way. But why does it keep happening over and over again? Well, Survivor is overall a tough game. It is very real with people in an environment that can be quite dangerous. The weather can cause problems and so can many of the island creatures at each location. Just look at poor Gary in Fiji. People have to survive. That’s why it is called Survivor and not something like 39 day island vacation. The conditions they deal with are very real. Of course, there are even more specific reasons that I will mention next.

Are challenges to blame?

There have been at least three challenges that could be considered to have caused an evacuation. The first was in Micronesia, which caused many injuries, the most notable being one to Jonathan Penner’s leg. That challenge will never be used again. The challenge that caused Mike Borassi’s evacuation has been banned as well, but only after it appeared once more and caused another injury. Plus, I really got annoyed, as did other fans, at the opening challenge of One World which lead to Kourtney being pulled from the game, earlier than anyone else. Both Russell Swan’s and Caleb Reynold’s evacuations were at challenges, although one might not blame to challenges themselves for those particular evacuations. But, challenges aren’t the exact reasoning behind others that I can think of easily off hand.

Are the older more at risk?

A factor that goes into playing Survivor is how an older person would probably be more likely to not survive tough environments that they used to be able to at a younger age. They are also more likely to suffer from problems that probably wouldn’t befall younger players. Both Bruce and Joe del Campo had digestive problems that got them pulled. Mike Borrassi got hurt in a challenge and was pulled as a result. Gary was another older person who was pulled, this time after an allergic reaction to bug bites. While that is all of the older ones that I can think of, it is interesting to wonder if they are more at risk of getting pulled than other people. The younger players seem less at risk.

When injuries and sickness don’t result in evacuation

There have been some notable times when they didn’t have to pull someone after things had happened to them. There was Aras’s injury at the end of Panama that was treated at camp. I remember a severe bug bite happening in Amazon to a contestant which lead her to being carried to a challenge. James’s injury in Heroes versus Villains didn’t get him medically evacuated this time around which would have really sucked to be pulled twice. This leads into my last point of the post.

The Missy situation

Hers was a unique situation that we haven’t seen before. If you are injured in a serious enough way that it threatens your life, production pulls you from the game. But Missy wasn’t experiencing a life threatening injury. But it did fall in a weird, grey area as she couldn’t compete in challenges anymore. Maybe she had made it too far into the game in order to justify an evacuation. It is hard to tell for sure, but I’m not sure if something like this will happen again.

Well, I hope that this is another worthwhile post. If not, then you probably shouldn’t be reading this blog anyways. I hope that this was a good analysis of medical evacuations. I don’t have much else to say, so I’ll be back later with my next blog post. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Development of Gabon Players

You will see when I’m blogging about the new season of Survivor my mention of a dead contestant from Gabon that happened on the last day of 2016. Boy that year just had to end with another death didn’t it? Well, Gabon has now joined Palau, Borneo, and Blood versus Water as a season of interest for me as I’ll now be calling it. Anyways, ignore this paragraph and go to the next one where I explain what the actual point of this post is.

When contestants play the game multiple times, there is clearly a difference between how their games went down the first time versus how they went down the second time. Something I realize going into this is how the three returning players from this season have done worse in placement in the seasons that they have done thus far. But, I might as well get to them and how their game changed from one season to another.

Randy was pretty much a random contestant the first time around. There wasn’t much of an impression that he made on me. He clashed a lot with other contestants this season and ended up being the deciding vote in to who would win the game. When he played a second time, in Heroes versus Villains, he was placed on the villains tribe. Ultimately, he didn’t make much of an impact on the game as he was the first voted out of the tribe after which, he then threw his buff into the fire of tribal council. While I thought at first that it might be him not liking the villain label, it was actually due to him losing his first buff and him being told not to lose the second one. Main transition: From an angry jury member to a forgettable, early boot.

Corrine might have only retroactively made a negative impression on me. What’s weird is that she probably doesn’t care that most people don’t like her. It seems that she relishes in the fact. The first time she played, she didn’t really get along with most people and said incredibly rude things to Sugar on the jury. When she returned the second time, I honestly didn’t remember who she was. She didn’t really stand out that much the second time around, except for being the third consecutive rival of Phillip to be voted out of the game. Main transition: From a mean-spirited player to a forgettable one.

Sugar is someone that I don’t really like and don’t understand why others like. I think that my sister likes her, but I can’t remember. She was constantly being sent to Exile Island over and over again and due to a twist with it, got luxury after finding the idol. That twist wasn’t ever used again, which is good. Of course, they never fixed the problem of people being constantly sent to Exile Island over and over again, but that’s an entirely different rant and not really needed since they don’t have it anymore. While she never got voted against the whole season, she didn’t get any votes to win at the final three either. She wasn’t that great a player. She returned as a hero on Heroes versus Villains. I didn’t know why she got to be a returning player and she did terribly the second time, annoying her tribe and becoming the first person voted out that season. Apparently in sequester, she was so negatively affected by her vote out that she had to be medically evacuated due to sudden depression. I hope that she feels better now. When people don’t like me, I typically just shrug it off and don’t care about them. I don’t need people like that in my life. Main transition: From an annoying player who made it far to an annoying player who didn’t make it far.

Contestant’s Name
Second Season
Angry at everyone
Just mildly irritated
Excessively bitchy
Easily forgettable
Really annoying
Very bad

Well, you will get more information about Gabon as time goes by. You’ll see my thoughts on the cast elsewhere and if this post is any indication, I really didn’t think fondly of the cast. I guess that you will find out more about it later, if all goes well. For now, this is Adam Decker, signing off.