Reviews: Survivor

Heroes vs. Villains and Executive Meddling

Survivor has always had moments where it has become apparent that ExecutiveMeddling is playing a hand in the show. From the many of each season's new twists to some downright destructive ManipulativeEditing, Survivor is many times a "reality" show in name only. Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains continues this long tradition.

First is the entire premise, which is blatantly concocted by executives to generate more drama and bring back old feelings of friendship and resentment. Not such a bad example, but an example none-the-less.

Then we have the structure of challenges vs. the structure of teams. More than 2/3 of the Heroes' tribe was composed of players known specifically for two things: their overall "good" nature, although this could definitely be debatable, and being strong physical players. The villains on the other hand, were composed of players who were prone to less-than-honorable acts, which is also debatable, and who were typically stronger in strategy and mental challenges. Therefore if you throw them all puzzle-based challenges, which they basically did, who do you think is going to win?

Also the composure of the villains tribe led to a stronger team making the merge. Because the Heroes' were all players who generally did not form complex strategies, excluding Amanada and Cirie, they seemed to vote each other out based on noticing players who had formed strategies in the past, again Cirie. Therefore, by the time the merge hit, all the strategic players were gone, though they didn't have many to choose from. Amanda even alluded to this in a confession. This was likely unintentional, although due to meddling.

Finally, I think many of us noticed Russell's final episode ConfessionCam where he essentially revealed that he knew the results of the previous season, which would be impossible unless one of two things happened. The producers could have told him that he didn't win, which would have been fair given that he had to play twice in a row. Another possibility is that they could have filmed this confession after the show and edited it in. The only problem there is that Russell still looked EXACTLY the same as on the island, which would be near-impossible to pull off.

Overall, not a horrible season for any type of meddling, but a season were it became more obvious.