LAST EDITED ON 02-21-15 AT 05:46 PM (EST)
Season 30 is just around the corner and it promises to be a hit with the fans. Of course, that is according to Jeff who, despite his claims to the contrary, isn’t really in tune with his audience.
This season starts once more with a new “creative” idea which will certainly influence the game play and the editing. The editors will probably do their best to show a White Collar being a dumb leader, a Blue Collar making the rules and a No Collars following someone orders just to make them all look stupid. With that in mind, we will have to keep an eye for the players that aren’t stereotyped; the white collar that listens, the Blue Collar that can get people to follow, the No Collar with a game plan.
After All-Stars, Panama, Cook Islands, Philippines and Cagayan, Worlds Apart will be the 6th season that starts off with more than 2 tribes, the 4th with three tribes which seems to have become Probst’s favorite format. Looking only at the last two iterations, we could agree that it prevented a simple pagonging after the merger but then Chapera proved that it isn’t a guarantee. I would also argue that the pre-merge’s story loses its focus when the scenes have to constantly switch between the three camps. With only 6 players, the tribal dynamics are almost impossible to hide so it makes for much less interesting viewing: After one vote, we know where everyone stands. So, like all twists, this one has an upside and a downside but Jeff would never admit to that!
With that being said, I had the pleasure to “sit” at a virtual roundtable with “Rob Has A Website” Bloggers, Dan Heaton, Sarah Freeman, Scott Gallagher and Catherine Lucas. We each gave our impressions of the players and the result can be read here: http://robhasawebsite.com/survivor-worlds-apart-the-bloggers-roundtable-preview/
These were my impressions:
Masaya (White Collar)
Carolyn Rivera (52, Tampa, Corporate Executive): For some reason, listening to Carolyn’s video, I realized why this show has been going downhill for so long. It was when she said quite confidently: “I know I will make good TV”. That’s not her job. Her job is to play the best game possible, not to give the juiciest confessionals ever. It’s one thing if someone has the wit to give good confessionals but it’s totally nauseating to think that this is has become part of the players’ plan. I blame it on the constant casting of returning players: Survivor isn’t the chance of a lifetime anymore; it’s an audition for a recurring role on prime time TV. That being said, I hope Carolyn falls flat on her face. It would be funny to see supermom crack under pressure and quit. I’m pretty sure that we will see her leaving early so that would be enough to satisfy me.
Joaquin Souberbielle (27, Valley Stream, NY, Marketing Director): The self-proclaimed bullshit artist exudes confidence. He is certain that he can discern the players that will lie to him while being able to pull one out on everyone. The guy seems himself as a ladies’ man will use flirtation to get ahead. He says he who won’t fall for any women out there because he loves money more so it would be interesting to see if he gets fooled by one of these ladies. He already seems set for a big blindside. He does have the good idea to align with a social butterfly in order to get information. Will he be able to use that information or will he be fooled by a good social player? It’s funny that he sees similarities between himself and Tony but doesn’t think he will suffer from paranoia during the game. Tony’s game was based on paranoia and how to counter every possible move that could be made against him. Instead of a second Tony, I see this recruit as the new Drew. Not that he will necessarily be an early boot but his fall should be funny.
Max Dawson (37, California, Media Consultant) : I had never heard of Max, never read anything he wrote about the show but from what I have read since the cast has been announced, I am reminded of Rafe who was a big internet Survivor poster before Guatemala. Max may have a theoretical knowledge of the game and he does say all the right things in his introduction video but I think he will have a hard time with the practical aspect of the game. For one thing, I think he will be too patient. While one can be voted out for playing too hard too fast, one can also be eliminated for missing the train. Alliances are made on day 1 and I think Max will waste time analyzing his tribe mates while some like Joaquin and So will already be making deals.
Shirin Oskooi (31, San Francisco, Yahoo Executive): She must have a lot of drive to be a Product manager at Yahoo so we shouldn’t underestimate Shirin. She says she leads by influence so that could be interesting to see how she applies this to the game. She is sure that she can befriend all the A-type personalities that she will encounter but will she be able to convince them that they need her? The first few cycles will be crucial for her. Shirin wants harsh conditions in order to break her rivals and a disgusting food challenge so it will be interesting to see if she can live up to her assurance that it won’t break her down. “Morons are great to play with” she claims with confidence, already thinking of manipulating people like Lindsey. I wonder who will be edited as the moron?! She fears the lack of sleep which makes her emotional. I do like the way she thinks about using Amanda as her favorite ally but I think she believes in editing more than she thinks: Amanda could have beaten her. I doubt that Shirin makes it to the merger but she would be very dangerous if she does.
So Kim (30, New York, Fashion buyer): She wants to prove that women can be strong and strategic but I’d like if she could prove to be less boring. Her monotone voice will probably turn off the interviewers so I don’t expect so much from So. So was very so so in her interviews. She wants to have fun but I get the feeling the fun will be at her expense. She is already afraid of starving so that’s not very promising. I couldn’t believe that she thinks it’s a bad thing that she has a hard time trusting people. She thinks that will hurt her but that’s exactly what could save her.
Tyler Fredrickson (33, LA, Talent Agent): He has the drive that got him to the NFL and to work in one of the biggest agency in Hollywood so we will have to keep an eye on this soft-spoken Californian. Then again, he was a kicker so I think Sarah may be overestimating his physical abilities. Just like a rock group is usually made up of 3 musicians and a drummer, kickers aren’t really football players. Tyler wants to be a difference maker so we should see his strategic side early on. I think it’s a safe to bet that Tyler will be there at the merger. If there is dissention in the White Collar tribe as most of us expect, then Tyler could find himself on the Jonclyn position, the swing vote. I don’t think this group will be as forgiving to the fence sitter this time. The thing that could hurt Tyler is overconfidence. He thinks he will be able to get into people’s head and he challenged Probst to mess with him. That’s not necessarily the best idea because our host may take him up on that challenge.
Escameca (Blue Collars)
Dan Foley (47, Maine, Mailman): This super fan should know what to do but will he know how? Reading his interview left me a little puzzled because, in the same paragraph, he said that logic dictates the game and that you have to follow your gut or else you are screwed. Which will he choose? He sees himself as a good poker player so it will be interesting to see if he is edited as a strategic player or not. Besides the heat he says he can handle everything so let’s see if he lasts long enough to “enjoy” Survivor’s conditions. Personally, I think he won’t last as long as previous memorable contestants from Maine.
Mike Holloway (Fort Worth, Oil and gas worker): He says he is ready to let his real life at the door and use people, especially a woman that would be sweet on him. He said he wants to be one of the elite people to have played this game just before adding that he’d like to be the villain. That shows what he thinks is required to be an elite player so I expect that he will be socially inept. He wants to show that the dumb country boy can win but they lose also...
Rodney Lavoie (24, Boston, Contractor): Obviously cast as a possible new sort of Boston Rob, this guy will keep the censors on high alert with his choice of words. While he calls Brady the G.O.A.T., it seems he sees himself as the G.O.A.T. human being. It’s rather comical that he values his ignorance of the game’s history, saying that it is better to trust his instincts than to have learned from previous strategies. This self-proclaimed big liar says he doesn’t know how to follow and that he can easily get people to trust him. This will be the key point of his game: Can he sell himself? He says he will let the others dig their own graves but I question if he will be able to keep his cool. On the other hand, the way he describes his rivals was quite interesting, he reminded me of a cruder Bobdawg.
Kelly Jo Remington (44, New York, NY State Police): She intends to let the guys flirt with her even if she is gay and she wants to say that she is a bartender instead of a police officer so she better be good at lying. Kelly is also a long time fan who understands the social game so it will be interesting to see how she puts it in practice. She has an agenda before the game starts: “I already know who I’m aligned with. I already know who I want to get out first. I know who the strong people are, who the weak people are.” She thinks it will be Brain, vs Brawn vs Beauty which isn’t far from the way it will turn out. At 44, Kelly Jo could be targeted by the younger members of the tribe but I have a feeling that the Blue Collar women will stick together. They saw what happened to the Kalabaw and Matsing women in their first Tribal Council so they will probably try to drive a wedge between the guys.
Lindsey Cascadan (24, Florida, Hairstylist): She wants us to know that she brings her wild and eccentric personality to Survivor but somehow I feel she will spend most of her time in Loser Lodge. She likes to flirt and says she is smart and sneaky but she isn’t too sure how she will handle starving and being sleep deprived. I see a train wreck in Lindsey’s future. Maybe not as bad as the previous Lindsey had but still she won’t come close to the goal.
Sierra Thomas (27, Utah, Cowgirl): She says she is very driven, focused and athletic. She isn’t afraid of sleep and food deprivation...now. I wonder if she will say the same thing on day 10, if she makes it to day 10. It’s funny that she has to remind herself that these people aren’t trustworthy so she may already be in trouble. Somehow, I don’t think she will show the same confidence after she gets her butt kicked around a few times. Like Lindsey, her only chance is for the Escameca women to stick together and get one of the guys on their side.
Nagarote (No Collars)
Hali Ford (25, San Francico, Law Student): Reading her interview with Gordon Holmes, I get the impression that Hali is ready for the game. She already intends to align with Joe whom she sees as a second Malcolm and she is ready to boot anyone that stands in her way. That’s a tall order but I think she can just get it done. As soon as she hears Jeff say that she is on a tribe of No Collars, I’m guessing that she will lie about being a law student and come up with a more frivolous field of study. If she has the skills to be a lawyer then that twist could be a gift for her because it could hide her true colours. I’m going to say right now that Hali will go far in this game.
Jenn Brown (22, Long Beach, Sailing instructor): If her interview with Holmes is any indication, she enjoys joking around a lot so the question becomes: Will the others find her amusing or will they cut her fun early? She has no problem lying but will she overdo it? Jenn gives me the impression that she is very self-aware and knows what will work and what won’t and she also knows that trust has to go one way when she says she wants to align with someone that is very honest because she isn’t. She already likes Vince, calling him “Dances with Wolves” and also notes that there are a couple more she likes so I suspect that she will be making alliances early on but not with the women! If we don’t see her making those alliances then she could be in trouble. For now, I put her in the group of players with potential.
Joseph Anglim (25, Scottsdale, jewelry designer): He says he comes from a Survivor family, he likes Malcolm and he seems cool so Joe should be able to navigate his way around the pre-merge. He reminded me of Todd when he said: “when you vote them off, you have to say this relationship with you was real. It’s an absolute truth, but that’s the game.” I also enjoyed reading: “Everyone dies, it’s just a matter of when and how.” He cautiously mentions Vince as a possible ally but will wait to know him personally. He claims to be a lot like McGyver, being able to do anything.
During her interview with Holmes, Shirin said the following about Joe: “There’s a guy who’s like a beautiful specimen of man. He’s got Greek goddess hair and he’s tall. And beyond that, he’s friendly and gentlemanly. He’s got a first class ticket to the end. Because, in spite of being attractive, he’s also so nice. You can tell that he’s outdoorsy and skillful and has an artistic side. He’s the kind of guy I want to work with.” Right now, I have to agree with Shirin and say that I am impressed with Joe.
Nina Poersch (51, Housewife): She is deaf but can hear because of implants but she has problems when more than one person talks at once. She plans on proving herself through her work in camp but she has to ask herself if she can lie. That could become a problem once she gets to know the others.
Vince Sly (32, San Francisco and New York, Life Coach): This “complex and dynamic individual” has already made quite an impression on his fellow castaways. For example, one said: “You’ve got Pocahontas with the feathers in his hair. With his food he does this trance thing every time he eats. Some weird cult stuff, I don’t know what he’s doing.” If he is has easy going in camp as he seemed in his video than he shouldn’t have a problem aligning with others. He likes to flirt and tell stories so he should have no problem with the social game. His present work consists of helping people find what motivates them which is probably one of the best things to do in this game so that could make Vince a very dangerous player. If the conditions don’t turn him into someone that the others think is too weird then he should go far.
Will Sims (41, Sherman Oaks, Internet “sensation”, Bartender): It’s funny that the title of his interview is “I’m Not Going to Compromise Who I Am” when his “fame” comes from a video that was supposed to be spontaneous but was apparently staged. Come to think of it, he is perfect for Survivor and its “reality”. He sounds like a guy who enjoys life and wants to have fun with the others so he should be seen as a good team mate. Like he says, it is hard to vote against someone you like. He is a casual fan of the show so it will be interesting to see how much of his knowledge he can use. His limited knowledge is apparent when he says he likes Rupert because he never really got stressed out when, in actuality, Rupert stressed out more than most, especially after receiving a vote or hearing that a spear had been lost! This bartender should be able to use his people skills to go deep in the game but, in Survivor’s version of the “Peter Principle” he will reach the point where his likeability will become a liability.
I post these mostly because it will be fun to see how far off the mark some of these will be. I hope that the season will be enjoyable and I invite you all to give your thoughts on the characters and their stories after each chapter of the show.