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Headscratchers / Survivor

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  • What happened to the Russell Factor? It looks like after Nicaragua, people have been pulling idols out of nowhere with no clues in the first week. We finally got to see a clue, and it's the same poem. What happened to those visual cues? Did they ever state whether or not they thought the visual cues were too abstract or too much of a giveaway?

  • Every episode, we hear Probst ramble on and on during endurance challenges about how hot it is, how painful it is, etc. etc. Why has nobody told Probst to keep quiet? Is he supposed to be part of the game?
    • Yes, he is. In earlier seasons, there was no commentary during challenges. This, obviously, changed.
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    • Some people have told him to shut up. Most notably Jonathan Penner. Of course the next line out of Probst was "Penner getting frustrated by me."

  • The "Purple Rock". why do they do this, still?
    • It's done in order to discourage tie votes, and so that instead of having to implement a tiebreaker challenge, we have the more fair (and interesting) system of encouraging people to flip sides in order to break the tie and remove the need for a tiebreaker. Purple Rock has been very successful in this this: the only three times the vote went to purple rock since its inception were Marquesas, which (a) would not happen according to the current rules: Kathy and Neleh would compete in a firemaking contest, and (b) Paschal willing to sacrifice himself is an anomaly and would not be repeated by most competitors, the second being Blood vs. Water, where Tyson said in post-game interviews that he would have flipped if not for Redemption Island, and the third being Millennials vs Gen X, where Jessica vocalized wanting to avoid rocks but not flipping on Hannah- ultimately, out of six people she drew it, to everyone else's horror.
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    • It's used to discourage tie votes and to give an incentive to players to pick sides. Tie votes used to be broken by past votes (meaning, of the people who are tied, had the most votes cast against them in previous rounds) happened one apiece during the first two seasons, but with alarming frequency in the third season, Africa. For whatever reason, the producers didn't like that.

  • In those seasons with returnees mixed with "favorites"...why in the hell do these people who're long-time fans of the show not vote these guys out ASAP? Haven't they seen Fans vs. Favourites, where even the returnees admitted that returnees have an unfair advantage when it comes to those kinds of seasons? I dunno about you, but if I got onto a season and saw two returnees coming off the plane to join us, I'd get that person out as soon as possible...or suspect that everyone's going to get too starstruck to
    • I'm sure part of it is that they're starstruck. Like, there's no way Cochran was ever going to vote out Coach, because he was so starstruck by the fact that he was actually playing Survivor with Coach!!! Plus whenever they do the "2-3 returning players are joining you" thing, 8 of the 9 people they've brought back have been physically strong men, which makes them harder to target early.
    • Also, by the time your tribe goes to Tribal Council, you've been there at least a few days. You're already hungry, probably cold and wet or sweaty and sunburned, and maybe you've been struggling to make fire and find food. You're also paranoid and worried that you're going to be the first one out. And here's this guy standing there who's done this before and proved he can handle the conditions, who can contribute more on the survival side than most people because of his experience, and who assures you that if you team up with him you'll be safe for a long time. All of a sudden booting him doesn't seem nearly so urgent.

  • Since they seem to be invoking Reality Show Genre Blindness, has anyone ever tried to be someone who'll be so epically stupid they'll hand the season's designated "carry" the million? Other than Fabio?
    • If you listen to the Redemption Island final tribal council, Phillip says that this was his plan all along - fool everyone into thinking he was the perfect goat as part of his "master plan", then latch onto Boston Rob, the one person who could give anyone a free ride to the finals. YMMV if you really believe him, though. And other finals goats have been aware they were being dragged though, like Courtney from Exile Island or Katie from Palau, but who knows how much they thought they could win over the jury.

  • Is it just me or do they really need to hide these idols better? They're finding these idols within the first few days now.
    • How is this a bad thing? More hidden idols means that we usually have more of them and they become part of the game earlier. Besides, it's not really entertaining to watch people search for a rock over and over again.

  • What, exactly, was Rupert Boneham thinking on Blood vs. Water? All right, so you took your wife's place on Redemption Island. Touching move, and will show selflessness. But now, what have you really done? Either your wife goes straight back to the tribe that just voted her off (meaning they'll vote her off first chance they get in all likelihood), or she'll go to a tribe where she is the only non-returnee (meaning she's an auto-outsider, and will likely be the first one voted off). In either case, Rupert has pretty much just ensured that, assuming he survives on Redemption Island, he'll have to face his wife, an unenviable position. Maybe it's because I'm new to Survivor, and have never seen Rupert Boneham play, but that seems to show a stunning lack of strategy for a four time player.
    • Rupert has NEVER been exactly what one might call a good player, and that's putting it lightly. His multiple appearances have more to do with his personality and persona (His first season had a pirate theme, and he looks a lot like a traditional pirate) than his tactical capabilities.
    • This might actually be a brilliant move on his part, by taking his wife's place He has given his tribe an unnofficial 11th member. She will side with their team giving them the 11-9 advantage provided that he survives.
  • The current strategy of the men's alliance on Tadahna, to vote out the loved one's of the strong players on the opposing side in hopes of them trading places and going to redemtion island fails for two reasons. 1, By voting out a person and if the enemy tribe gains them, they will be less likely to side with the loved ones who voted them out. 2) If the loved ones don't swap out, that's basically putting a big target on themselves by the returnees for going after their loved ones.
  • After Candice won an RI duel in episode 4, she gave the HII clue to Monica because her husband Brad voted out Candice's husband John because he was being cagey with HII clues. Noticing a Diabolus ex Machina when they see one, the Culpeppers decide to burn the clue in the fire pit almost immediately so she doesn't become a target. With that in mind... why did John immediately try and give Monica the clue again in the next RI duel?
    • No points if you guess what Monica did with the clue the second go-around.
    • Two options: she doesn't burn it this time, and becomes a target. Or, she burns it, and the clue doesn't give anyone else a better go at finding the idol.

  • Two huge headscratchers for me on rewatches of previous seasons, both involving similar scenarios with people that effectively made the decision for the final elimination. First, on Panama, when Danielle backstabbed Terry in the face of an explicit agreement that everybody knew she had, and then on Fiji, Dreamz infamous refusal to honor his car deal with Yau Man. How in the name of God did that make ANY sense to either of them? It got them to the final jury vote, but they both lost in a HUGE landslide because the jury was disgusted with them - Danielle only got ONE legitimate vote and lost 5-2 (only getting a 2nd because Shane had a fit that neither deserved to win and made them pick a random number that she won) while Dreamz got ZERO in the face of the first unanimous vote. Danielle in particular is idiotic - she had won her spot, she had a well known deal with Terry, most of the members of the jury were from the alliance she had been part of, and Aras was significantly more popular than her in the first place. There was absolutely zero chance she was going to win over Aras, while she had at least a reasonable chance of convincing them to vote for her over Terry, the guy that almost everybody on the jury had been trying to get rid of from the merge and only survived because of an absolutely dominating immunity challenge performance, and who she could bring up had promised to play the immunity idol to protect her at the vote of four, forcing her to do the tiebreaker instead. It just makes no sense that she thought that she had a better chance of winning votes against Aras than Terry. And of course Dreamz - how the hell did he think for one second that he had the slightest chance of winning the final prize after his disgusting backstab?!? He made a big deal about how he thought he was going home if he gave up the immunity (which from all the discussion definitely didn't seem to be the case - Cassandra was going to get tossed), and he when trying to justify it kept blabbing on and on about CHANCE FOR MILLION DOLLARS!! He guaranteed that he had absolutely zero chance of winning. He traded a moderate chance of getting voted off followed by a very high chance that his sob story would have given him the win (with a huge plus for honoring a tough deal), in return for a guarantee to the final three and a ZERO chance at the final win.

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