HOLLYWOOD─To say I’ve been disappointed in “Survivor” lately would be an understatement. How so? I mean how do you follow-up the fantastic ‘David v. Goliath?’ I knew it would be a tough feat, but with ‘Edge of Extinction’ we expected a twist that might work out well. Not so? Someone who had really only played the game for 2 weeks, won over a contestant who didn’t have his name written down ONCE during the entire game! Yeah, sorry, but Chris Underwood winning a million dollars was the biggest slap to “Survivor” fans.
Fast-forward to ‘Island of the Idols’ which witnessed two of the greatest players in “Survivor” history, Rob Mariano and Sandra Twine-Diaz mentoring contestants to help them win the game. Sorry, but Rob and Sandra might have been the most exciting thing about this season. The crop of contestants have not played the game, and we cannot ignore the biggest issue in the room: contestant Dan Spilo. This guy was relentless in his constant touching of female players, who warned him they did not appreciate his touching.
Kudos to Kellee for addressing the issue first-hand, but the frustration lies with the fact that other players like Missy, Elizabeth, Lauren and Janet bonded over this experience and were keen to use this to stop playing the game and address a serious issue. However, you had players ‘play up’ on this issue, which made me so uncomfortable to watch as a contestant. It was the first time I can recall that I really did not like what I was witnessing on TV; it was no longer fun people, and that’s not good.
I mean there are ONLY two people I’ve been rooting to win the game: Karishma (who was voted out after giving us the best tribal of the entire season when she played that idol) and Janet (who is still in the game) for having the guts to put her own game in jeopardy to send a clear message that what Dan did was wrong. How she was treated just boiled my blood. As for everyone else, I could care less about them, except Kellee, Jack and Jamal who were indeed playing the game, but joined the jury much sooner than I expected. I also have to give love to Elaine who was a big reason for my interest in the beginning.
I mean a final 5 consisting of Dean, Noura, Tommy, Lauren and Janet is just baffling. Tommy should have been voted out the week that Karishma went home, but for reasons I cannot understand Dean, wants Tommy as his ally. Dean, you cannot win against Tommy. You know you have a bad season when the jury points out that these people are stupid. Yes, jury they are, because why they consider Elaine and Karishma, such big threats when you have Lauren and Tommy I will never know.
I think I’m more peeved that the audience was NOT GIVEN the exact truth about why Dan was revealed even though we already know it was a direct result of his inappropriate touching yet again, this time with a member of production. So it begs the major question: why did it take Dan touching a staff member for the producers to finally send him packing? Why was Dan’s constant touching of the female contestants not taken more serious?
He should have been sent packing the first time ANY of the woman complained about the touching, but nope, he was allowed to continue doing it, which led to some strong players making moves they never expected and them being voted out before Dan was removed, remember he was not voted out he was removed from the game.
This finale was underwhelming, because we had no final six, it jumped to final five and I was telling myself how in the world do the producers plan to keep viewers engaged for 2 hours with only 5 people left to play and two tribal councils? It was underwhelming because a very predictable final 5 boot took place, following by an expected final four fire making challenge. Yeah, I really hate this twist because it doesn’t make the game as interesting as it could be. Perhaps we should have as the great Rob Cesternino pointed out, the fire-making challenge at the Final 5. I think that would totally shock some contestants and really change the dynamics of the game.
Things kicked off with the remaining survivors being brought to the Island of the Idols, where Tommy finally met Sandra and Rob, who offered an ominous clue, which Tommy first discovered, but stupidly told Dean, who acted disinterested before he found the idol. Yes, Dean is becoming a bit of a power player, but I’m baffled: do we really need 2 idols and an idol nullifier with only 5 players left in the game? That is a bit much if you ask me America.
Dean won his second consecutive immunity in the game, and has so many advantages that he seems like a lock for the final three people. In perhaps a lackluster Tribal Council, Janet was voted out when Dean played the idol nullifier, but it was not something that caused the jury to lose their minds. So that makes me wonder how Dean or the rest of the players are perceived in the game. Noura won the final immunity challenge, taking her total challenge wins to three, but the question is who is she taking to the final three with her: Tommy, Lauren or Dean.
Crazy Noura, this is why they should have gotten rid of her quite some time ago, decided to take Tommy to the end with her. Which means Dean and Lauren were forced to make fire to win? Tommy silently helped Dean because he didn’t want to be sitting next to Lauren who he considers a major threat, while Dean he thinks is an easier layup for the victory. Noura, what the hell are you doing? If you tick off Lauren and she goes to the jury, you could lose her vote bozo.
The jury was baffled that Noura placed Dean and Lauren to make fire, it was almost clear to the jury that Noura is a complete idiot. It tells you a ton when the jury is rooting for Lauren to win fire, but ultimately it was Dean who edged out with the victory. Ugh, all the people I’ve wanted to win has been evicted from the game.
Time for the Q/A jury session where the final three of Dean, Noura and Tommy. Things kicked off with Noura spiraling, but at the same time Tommy was forced to own up to his deception against Lauren with the fire-making challenge. Dean really started to plead a super strong case to the jury and it was damn impressive to say the least. Tommy didn’t back down from Dean’s arguments. Yes, Tommy played a very social game, strategy and competition wise not so much. Well this is a first, a storm erupted during the questioning and the rainfall drenched the finalists and jury. Based on my impression it was a battle between Dean and Tommy, with Noura in the far distance.
After nearly 2 hours and 30 minutes we get to the vote, which revealed our winner to be Tommy with eight votes. I was not interested in watching the reunion show because it has been tainted with all the controversy and with Elizabeth, Jack and Dan not in the house, what’s the purpose?
I mean “Survivor: Island of the Idols” has left a major blemish on the series, and after two dreadful seasons, they better pray season 40, which is giving fans the Christmas present we’ve wanted for years: an all winners season delivers! Yes, season 40 will bring some of the best to play the game to have to compete against one another to claim the prize of sole survivor. Remember only one player has won the game twice, that person is Sandra, so with this latest season we will have two people holding that torch, heck it could be three if Sandra edges out the victory yet again people. The audience will have to wait until February 2019 for this epic battle to explode.