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"Purple Rock"
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evanakm 250 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Network TV Show Guest Star"

03-15-03, 03:22 PM (EST)
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"Purple Rock"
Well, I'm sure that this is a shoe-in for the Biggest Network/Producer Blunder award, but I'd like to do something that very few people have done: I'd like to actually speak in favor of the rock.

MB said he got rid of the previous votes because it made the game too mathematical. I don't really see anything wrong with that from the point of view of someone who likes to dissect everyone's strategy, but to Joe American, I can see how this could get boring, so I won't fault MB on that one.

Part of the appeal of Survivor is seeing people stab each other in the back. The people who use the I-word can be nice people, but I think we can all agree that we want to throw a brick through the screen whenever someone like Kim Johnson screws over themself and 2 or 3 others just because they are not willing to play the game. It just makes the show boring.

Pappy, he was probably the best person next to Kathy in the Final 9 of S4, but he was also one the least deserving of the win. He certainly wasn't as bad as, say, Robert DiCanio, but he was not willing to play the game to win. He would have voted against himself if Neleh told him to.

So we come to the F4, Vee wins immunity, and we have a 2-2 tie between Neleh and Kathy, but somehow Paschal ends up getting his torch snuffed because he is not willing to suck it up and play the game. I can't think of a better way for MB to send the message "If you want to play with integrity, you can play with integrity from the jury box."

The purple rock may have seemed a little anticlimatic to some people at the time. (I loved seeing it, but I understand that not everybody has the same sentiments) But it worked perfectly. There are echos of Paschal's demise throughout S5 and now into S6. We saw Jan say on the finale that they did not want to have a tie at the F4 TC for fear of the purple rock. Shii Ann defected for fear of the purple rock. So even though MB flushed most of the season's potential down the toilet with his fake merge, if you only caught the last 2 episodes of S5, you would not have had any idea that the first 11 were so inane. Now in S6, we saw Heidi sell out Jeanne.

Yes, I know the jury is still out on how smart of a move Heidi's vote was. But the amount of intrigue a season has is proportional to the amount of backstabbing there is. Case in point, after Kelly Goldsmith's demise, everybody wanted to know what happened next. Nobody knew who had allegiance to who. After Brandon's demise, we found out. And not a single interesting thing happened for the rest of the series. Love them or hate them, the Brandons and the Shii Anns are what the show needs to stay interesting. And the purple rock has forced people to play at least a little bit more like them.

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 RE: Purple Rock DEVILRAYS 03-15-03 1
 RE: Purple Rock Survivorerist 03-15-03 2

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DEVILRAYS 398 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Cooking Show Host"

03-15-03, 05:50 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: Purple Rock"
Well, I nderstand your viewpoint, but as someone who hated the rock and further hates it when some of the sim Survivor games I play online use this as a tiebreak, I will rebutt. It has its merits but it also has its drawbacks.

The biggest drawback by far is that it takes the game out of the hands of the contestants. The contestants are the ones who need to be making the judgments about who stays and who goes, and the divide was between Neleh and Kathy. Paschal could be said to be another under the radar, inoffensive contestant like Ethan from Africa who doesn't do as much strategizing but doesn't gather any votes (neither Ethan nor Paschal were voted against during the entire game.) The fact that he didn't garner a single vote has to count for something. ALso, Paschal was in a no-win situation in that spot anyway. He could have sold out Neleh or he could have put himself on the chopping block, taking a one-in-three chance of being eliminated. If he sells out Neleh, even if he reaches the final, the jury roasts him for it. Instead, he chose to take his chances with the rock, and he lost. That rock could just as easily have been drawn by Kathy, who was one coconut away from being gone and forgotten in the third episode anyway, or Neleh, who had drawn two votes in the last TC. So Paschal made the right decision, although it didn't pay off. I would have done the same.

The fact is, there are two parts to the game of Survivor: diplomacy and achievement. Achievement keeps you in the game if you don't have diplomacy; diplomacy wins games and keeps you alive if you don't have achievement. By diplomacy, of course, I mean building alliances and trying to control the vote, being liked or hated, etc. By achievement I mean winning challenges, and to a lesser extent, doing work around camp, though some stuff around camp falls under both categories. The game doesn't need to introduce dumb luck; enough of that happens already, such as Michael falling into the fire, which completely changed the Australian Outback.

Obviously, since that event, there hasn't been a tie vote. It came close a couple of times - TC4 in Thailand, when Helen broke rank to avoid the possibility of the rock (and maybe because she was sick of Ghandia, too...I don't know.) The no-merge prevented another instance of the same, with Shii Ann possibly voting with Chewing Gum to get rid of her old tribemates. Not to mention Thursday's TC, in which Heidi switches sides in order to avoid a tie. If MB's motive was to deter tie votes, he did an excellent job. But it might have to do with the fact that only one person ahs ever changed their mind in a tiebreak, and that was clear back in season 1 when Kelly saved Rich's ass (might have been the worst move she made...) People tended to stick with their guns in the second and third seasons, revealing obvious alliances and sacrificing individual players. The rock completely changed everything, so rather than a tie coming between the two tied players upon whom the tie was wagered, everyone is vulnerable and it comes down to which alliance has an immune player (as it did in the Marquesas.) Past votes might not be the way to go, but there's no need to take the game out of the hands of the contestants and punish them for sticking to their guns. There was no way there would have been a decision from two lousy minutes; MB obviously wanted to eliminate by random draw. With that, they might as well have just skipped to the rocks, and with the obvious split, JP might as well have just pulled a name out of a hat to eliminate someone. There's no strategy involved in this and no achievement; if Neleh or Kathy wanted to stay in the game, they should have been forced to earn it rather than sacrificing a man who had no voted whatsoever in the game.

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Survivorerist 4103 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Jerry Springer Show Guest"

03-15-03, 06:16 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: Purple Rock"
I see where you're coming from evanakm. I used to hate the purple rock, but after a while I realized it did have some merit. Gonna add a few notes to what you have...

1) It keeps the contestants on their toes. In Marquesas, it totally shocked Kathy, who had made the deal with Vee not 5 minutes earlier on the assumption that there would be trivia. Granted, she didn't pay for it, but it turned her assumption upside down.

2) It makes the contestants fear ties and, as you said, makes for more backstabbing. Case in point, as you said, Heidi backstabbing Jeanne, which IMO was a smart move as she has an alliance waiting for her back at Jaburu. Another example was Helen betraying Ghandia in episode 4 of S5, another smart move to avoid the purple rock. Either way, it throws a wrench in the game and punishes tribes for not being able to come to a concensus.

3) It breaks up alliances. Not so far detached from #2, the purple rock adds another factor into the strength of alliances, namely the "Do you feel lucky" effect. Nobody wants to see a majority alliance rule the game, and the rock helps that, as alliances can crumble when someone decides they don't feel lucky enough to face the luck of the draw.

(Another IceCat original )

The Top 5 FLL Castaways

1. Neleh Dennis (11 weeks at #1)
2. Colby Donaldson (5 weeks at #1)
2. Helen Glover (5 weeks at #1)
4. Amber Brkich (4 weeks at #1)
4. Heidi Strobel (4 weeks at #1)
4. Lex Van Den Burghe (4 weeks at #1)

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