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Improving Survivor


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#1

JDG

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Posted Apr 24, 2004 @ 9:10 AM

I always have a hard time sleeping on Thursdays, because I get so wound up while watching the show. After I am done mulling over the stupid things the Survivors have done, I try to calm myself by coming up with ideas for the show. Here are some of the things I have come up with.

Start the season without tribes, with everyone in one camp. This would eliminate the boring voting along tribal lines after the merge, and the need for a tribal switch. It could also make for some interesting challenge dynamics: Have more then one person win immunity (maybe even the top half). At an even number, have the person who comes in last at immunity lose the right to vote. Break the tribe up (gender lines, age lines), take them to different challenges, and meet up at tribal council, with no strategizing time. Some challenges could be individual, others could be 'team'. You could have them pair themselves off, thinking they were picking a partner, then have a head to head competition - all winners get immunity (or reward).

And this is my most complicated idea (remember, I came up with this very late Thursday night.) Have the players take a poll like they did this week with the following questions:

Who has lost the most weight?
Who talks about food the most?
Who needs a shower the most?
Who wants a shower the most?
Who is the biggest threat to win the million?
Who is the biggest immunity threat?

Have them do this when six players are left, you must right down each name (including own) once. Don't tell them what they are competing for, have them do a head to head competition. The winners to the top two questions go head to head, competing for a meal. The next two compete for a shower. The last two compete for the car.


Any other ideas?
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#2

Scat

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Posted Apr 24, 2004 @ 11:22 AM

I really liked the idea of telling people to choose a partner, and then learning that the partner you chose would be going up against you. ITA about the tribal merges too, it don't even seem necessary to have seperate tribes anymore.

Edited by Scat, Apr 24, 2004 @ 2:03 PM.

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#3

riley702

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Posted Apr 24, 2004 @ 1:23 PM

I like the idea of no separate tribes, with multiple immunities. Perhaps a different number each time. Get them thinking they just have to finish in the top 4, and then announce week 3, "This time only one will win immunity." I like the idea of the players scrambling to juggle multiple alliances, to cover all angles. And talk about a pissed jury! Everyone will be saying they were lied to, etc.

another idea:
It would be a little unwieldy, but shuffling tribes every week would be awesome. Do it the morning after TC, give everyone a day to get used to each other, then do RC, and the next day, IC. The next morning, shuffle AGAIN. This would again lead to mad scrambling to have multiple alliances, so you wouldn't end up on a tribe friendless.
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#4

TPorter2

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Posted Apr 25, 2004 @ 7:19 AM

What if they had an immunity challenge and then didn't tell the tribes who the winner was? Maybe like a puzzle challenge where whoever got the most right would win only they announced that the winner would be told later. Then you bring each tribe separately to tribal council. They go through the questions and the voting and then Jeff leaves to tally the votes. Only he doesn't come back. The tribe that sits there the longest before leaving wins IC. Whoever the losing tribe voted off goes.

Or how about a guest host for an immunity challenge?

Or how about an emergency tribal council in the dark with night vision?

Or tell them the IC involves not getting within 10 feet of each other. Would break up cuddling and group meals for a while.

Or give them treemail for an IC and send them each to a different spot on the island. Nothing will happen and the last person to give up and return to camp gets immunity.

Or have the tribal council right after the IC, with no chance to discuss strategery.

Messing with their minds...
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#5

SVNBob

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Posted Apr 26, 2004 @ 12:38 AM

Or have the tribal council right after the IC, with no chance to discuss strategery.


This has been done at least twice. The final immunity of S6, and the jury vs F4 immunity of S7, when no-one was immune.
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#6

amke

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Posted Apr 30, 2004 @ 1:06 PM

I'd like to see some structure to the game that encourages tribe spirit. I know we tune in every week to watch people compete against each other, lie, backstab, and generally try to win at others' expense.

Just thought it might add a nice flavor to the game to have some things that prompt people to act selflessly. Maybe have the IC winner get a great reward for everyone but himself. Or have the person who behaves selfishly be sent home without a vote.

Maybe there could be some challenges that promote the tribe as a whole. Like rewarding skills that benefit everyone (maybe shelter building, or navigating to a reward through the jungle, yes fishing, even singing or something else to lift everyone's spirits).

It would be interesting to see some game elements that create a sort of cycle or reinforcement. Like the more they cooperate and work together, the more they all get; when one person tries to get ahead, they all lose.

I'm probably a lone voice on this but sometimes I get tired of watching people treat each other badly.
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#7

AussieGirl

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Posted Apr 30, 2004 @ 7:06 PM

You're not a lone voice in that amke. I'd like to see that too. I think Survivor is like watching a tiny piece of humanity and community. It's very indicative of the way we live in this world. And it would be nice to see people work together, instead of trying to kill each other off.
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#8

atomi

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Posted Apr 30, 2004 @ 7:43 PM

They had the men and the women, how about the skinny and the fat, or the old and the young?
The competitions would have to be physically neutral.
How about one show where everyone is physically equal?
How about one with all ex-cons? Scary Survivor! Devils Island Survivor!
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#9

Hitcho

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Posted May 1, 2004 @ 5:55 PM

It would be a little unwieldy, but shuffling tribes every week would be awesome. Do it the morning after TC, give everyone a day to get used to each other, then do RC, and the next day, IC. The next morning, shuffle AGAIN. This would again lead to mad scrambling to have multiple alliances, so you wouldn't end up on a tribe friendless.


Maybe mix the idea of having no tribe with this idea. Still do team-style immunity challenges before you get to the traditional "merge" time, but randomly select the teams for every challenge. That lets you keep the managable size for TC, but gives the benefit of no chance of a pure Pagonging.
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#10

Ecka Dimmock

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Posted May 2, 2004 @ 11:17 PM

HI Everyone,

I'm new here, though I've lurked for a while.

On the subject of improving Survivor, I've got a couple of suggestions.

1. First and foremost, cut back on the rewards. This season has been almost like Survivor Hyatt Hotel: every other day they're having drops of tools, mattresses, going to five star restaurants, luxury yachts, and recently Pizzas and beer. The name of the show, and the beginning where they jump off a boat suggests that they are simulating survivng a shipwreck or something. For a million dollars, surely they can go without manicures and buffet dinners for a month?

Also, it makes for boring TV: 20 minutes of Tom getting drunk, Rupert stuffing his beard and girls ooohing, aaaahing and ohmygodding incessantly. Oh, and keep their relatives to a minimum, too.

2. Get some new challenge ideas. I'm over the 'traditional Thai puzzle' already, though thankfully we've lost the food auction. Challenges should include more mental aspects, too. The quiz about each other was interesting, but loaded (who thinks she's intelligent, when she's not?

That's all for now..
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#11

Tygrkatt

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Posted May 3, 2004 @ 11:25 AM

As for tribal shake ups what if Burnett reached into The Apprentice's bag of tricks and kept the tribes seperate until it's down to 4, two on each tribe? Do trades if nessecary to keep numbers even or at least relativly even. I'd say have the tribes still live together when it gets to be 9 or 10 people to keep the jury informed. It's certainly not something any player would expect.
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#12

Scat

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Posted May 3, 2004 @ 3:51 PM

I don't think that would work in Survivor Tygrkatt. A solid alliance could just keep voting out whoever was traded onto their side every week.
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#13

Tygrkatt

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Posted May 4, 2004 @ 10:10 AM

Maybe, but then there will be times when it's a member of a strong alliance that gets moved. Trades would have to be random, since who stays and who goes is decided by players, but it could work. I'm not saying the idea is flawless, and it could bomb horribly. It could be intersting to try it.
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#14

Tasmaniac

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Posted May 6, 2004 @ 11:31 AM

Call me deranged, but I would like to see the contestants unanimously vote out Jeff P. At least we would see if he does have a peak at the votes first, and rearrange them into a tension building order. Sadly I don't think they will ever cross Survivor with Monty Python.
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#15

jennblevins

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Posted May 6, 2004 @ 11:44 AM

Somebody a while back suggested that the TAR route should intersect with the Survivor camp, which I found to be a hilarious, if unlikely, idea to contemplate.
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#16

Tasmaniac

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Posted May 6, 2004 @ 12:04 PM

Or how about this idea? Many countries have had their own version of Survivor, with varying degrees of success. Why not have an international one. With at least 6 that speak little or no English. They are already trialling this with Big Tom.
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#17

vallegirl

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Posted May 6, 2004 @ 12:06 PM

Call me deranged, but I would like to see the contestants unanimously vote out Jeff P.


Tasmaniac, according to Jenna, the first season already tried it. They just revoted.

Edited by vallegirl, May 6, 2004 @ 12:08 PM.

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#18

JDG

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Posted May 6, 2004 @ 3:37 PM

Tasmaniac, I like the idea of an international Survivor. In Africa they did a multicountry Big Brother, that I think was a big success. It wouldn't be hard to get 16 English speakers of various fluency. I've known some Scots with impossible accents that would be great to see interacting with a downhome boy like Tom.
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#19

Raguel

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Posted May 7, 2004 @ 8:27 AM

Interesting article on what's wrong with Survivor on the Slate web magazine at Slate
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#20

vallegirl

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Posted May 7, 2004 @ 3:39 PM

I read the Slate piece, and it made me think about what I think would encourage smarter gameplay. Instead of piling on twist after twist, they need to strip away everything that interferes with the gameplay. No tribes and single immunity from the beginning. Only one person is safe at every TC. Small teams allow even smaller groups to assemble and with no immediate consequences, that small group controls its team until the merge, and then the larger team (with only one exception to date) decimates the smaller one because it's better to stick with the devil you know. Lazy, weak and dumb players thrive in this environment and turn the game into tedium just when it should be heating up.

To add to this, and to minimize the effect of an immunity monster, the person with immunity is the only person who votes. He or she has sole say in who gets voted out. That way the game is constantly changing and evolving, and choosing your allies becomes critical. No more smart player picks three morons to carry him or her to the end. Every action will have immediate consequences and it's up to the individual players to determine when to play it safe and when to make a move. They all can't play UTR because someone will have to win immunity. Win too many immunities and paint a target on yourself. Weighing your options and taking calculated risks will become the norm instead of following the leader off the cliff.

Finally, after each TC, they receive the bare minimum rations they will need to survive until the next TC. (1 cup of cooked rice per day per person for three days) They will be responsible for providing the rest. No more starving Survivors.

Edited by vallegirl, May 7, 2004 @ 3:43 PM.

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#21

skagirl77

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Posted May 7, 2004 @ 4:48 PM

My worry with Survivor: So much English, So Little Time, would be that 1) a lot of people already hate us, imagine if we put Rob, Tom & Rupert with our brothers & sisters from other nations?, and 2) It would have to be balanced IMO. For instance, 4 each US, Canada, Australia & England - I just think that puts people on a better playing field and prevents, at least initially, an international gang-up on another country.

However, I think it's a great idea for shaking it up the show a bit, without losing the integrity. From I've gathered from our Aussie friends, the love that is Probst is definitely an international language o' love. And I think it would be a great way to see new strategies put in to play from people (although I guess a lot of other countries get US Survivor) who haven't seen this version.
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#22

jcpdiesel21

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Posted May 7, 2004 @ 6:30 PM

They just need to do something to shakeup the concept of alliances. It was something new in the first season, and now the minute the contestants meet their tribemates, they immediately start forming alliances. It's starting to get old and it has really dragged down this season.
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#23

SorchaRei

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Posted May 7, 2004 @ 6:53 PM

I think that one season where all the immunities are individual from the start would help. I do like having two tribes, but I'd like to shake that up a bit. Here are two odd ideas...

1. Two tribes. All immunity challenges are individual from the get-go. In each IC, the first place person wins immunity and the second-place person wins a switch card. Both tribes go to Tribal Council. Both tribes vote. The only people who are eligible to be voted for are the non-immune people on the tribe of the person who won immunity. Right before the vote, the second-place person can switch places with one person on the other tribe. The other person has no choice but to switch and (if switched to the vulnerable tribe) becomes eligible to be voted off.

2. Two tribes. Two kinds of immunity. All RCs are individual from the start. When you win an RC, you also get an immunity necklace. The ICs are tribal, and the winner gets the immunity idol. Both tribes go to Tribal Council. Only the losing tribe votes, and only the members of the losing tribe are eligible to be voted for. However, the person with the IC necklace can give it away, and they can give it away cross-tribe.

I'm not sure what a solution looks like, but both these ideas, unworkable as they probably are, try to address the heavy dependence on alliances that is now bogging down the game.
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#24

Spy Chadwick

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Posted May 7, 2004 @ 8:04 PM

Or how about this idea? Many countries have had their own version of Survivor, with varying degrees of success. Why not have an international one. With at least 6 that speak little or no English. They are already trialling this with Big Tom.


This is something about which I have thought for quite some time. An international cast of native English speakers would be great. The only caveat would be that the nationalities would have to be divvied up evenly. Have anglophones from Africa and India thrown into the mix, too, so that it's not just white folk from USA, Canada, the UK and Down Under.

One problem with Survivor is always that the first person is booted out way too soon. It has always struck me as unfair. I think that the first few challenges should be reward challenges. Maybe after seven days the first Tribal Council could be held. One week is enough time for the survivors to get a feel for one another.
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#25

cggb

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Posted May 7, 2004 @ 9:06 PM

This is something about which I have thought for quite some time. An international cast of native English speakers would be great.

Given how the international concept flamed spectacularly on Joe Millionaire 2, I doubt the Survivor PTB will be adapting this idea anytime soon.
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#26

triggerhappyjack

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Posted May 8, 2004 @ 12:51 AM

If Survivor used the "only one tribe" idea, it really would just be Big Brother on a beach. But I do often find the politics of the Big Brother game more interesting than Survivor, so I'm not saying that's a bad thing. It would completely change the game, though, and I'm not sure MB wants to make that big an adjustment.

One thing I think they should do in the future is sequester the jury members seperately. I don't think PI's Let's-All-Shit-on-Lill Party would have been nearly as ugly if they jury was not allowed to communicate. Sequestering the jury prevents people like Rupert, Burton, Rob C (I'm convinced he said things about Matthew that made the others not want to vote for him, and I don't even like Matthew), and Lex, from swaying votes away from the people they don't like.

Edited by triggerhappyjack, May 8, 2004 @ 12:52 AM.

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#27

atomi

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Posted May 8, 2004 @ 1:04 AM

How about only one immunity per contestant? Once a person wins an IC, they sit out the rest of the IC's and can't win it again. Strong players might avoid winning an IC too early in the game.
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#28

Masem

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Posted May 8, 2004 @ 8:01 AM

I think shifting the tribes around as much as possible is a great idea, and do it early, if only to disrupt (but not necessarily kill off) strong alliances. I could see the 3 tribes idea used in ASS moved to a regular series, or even up it to 4 (maybe with 20 contestants, with 2 players lost during the first two TCs from the 2 losing teams).

Personally (but would not make for great MB television), I'd start off every player on their own tiny camp, with no allowed contact with anyone else for the first two days. Then they would introduce teams at the first IC, but after that, they must live individually. Make it so that the weak players are suffering, and suffering badly. At some point afterwards, they could then start moving into individual team camps but not at least for 2-3 IC bootings.

Actually, the IC itself could be made a lot more fun by having it right then and there after the IC challange (as the Trivia ones tend to be). Sure, it won't be dark and brooding, but this means that the players have to make up their minds on the spot of who to vote for, getting some rather juicy debates as Kathy did with Vee at F4. Lots of pandamonium if a team doesn't plan well or alliances fail to account for all options.
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#29

ems7

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Posted May 9, 2004 @ 12:58 PM

Building on what's been said upthread, put everybody on one beach. Production divides them into two teams of eight, along the usual lines - carefully balanced for sex, race, and age. Run the first IC as usual, and send the losing team to tribal council. Run the first RC as usual.
When they get to the second IC (15 people), appoint three leaders to pick teams of five. Run the second IC as a three-way event, and send the losing team to TC. RC in the same teams, winning team gets reward.
Next IC (14 people), appoint two leaders to pick two teams of seven. RC in same teams.
At 13 people, make it an individual challenge, and give immunty to the first 7 finishers. Everybody votes. RC in pairs chosen on the spot, winning pair gets reward.
At 12 people, divide them into four teams of 3, and send the two bottom teams to TC. RC in same teams, winning team gets reward.
At 11 people, for the first time, keep them in the teams from the previous IC, and again send the bottom two teams to TC. RC in same teams, winning team gets reward.
At 10, two teams of five. The winning team all gets immunity, and everybody votes. RC in same teams, winning team gets reward.
At 9, three teams of three. Winning team gets immunity, everybody votes. RC in same teams, winning team gets reward.
At 8, four teams of two. Winning pair gets immunity, everybody votes. Individual RC, no sharing.
At 7, 6, 5, 4, and 3, individual immunity & RC's; rewards to be shared with a different number of fellow players each time.
At 2, jury vote by the last 7 bootees.

I think that's about as many tribal shake-ups as can be fit into one season of tv. The players would each be trying to preserve their own alliances, and here's the cool part, in doing so, they would have to expose those alliances every three days or so. Or would they? Get an experienced con-man like Thailand Brian in there, and he'd have half the crew convinced that him not picking them was proof that they were his nearest and dearest. Another cool part: keeping everybody on the same beach first to last means lots o' strategizing (which is dear to my heart), and also lots o' drama (dear to the hearts of the production company). With that many people, I'd bet we'd finally see a revolt of the worker bees: "Screw you guys. We're moving to the other end of the beach. If you want water, get it yourself." I sooo want to see how that would play out.

The coolest part of all: with things changing every three days, nobody can just go along for the ride. Everybody would get caught on the hop at some point, and would have to solve their own strategic problems. And there wouldn't be this eternal dissatisfaction about "undeserving" winners. Heaven.

Edited by ems7, May 9, 2004 @ 3:45 PM.

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#30

JDG

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Posted May 9, 2004 @ 4:04 PM

Great idea. I think the picking of the teams would be problematic, but would make for very interesting strategy. Maybe the top x number of players in the RC challange would pick the new teams at IC. Would the person picking the team go for alliance mates? strong people? or people more hated then themselves, so if they end up at TC, it won't be themselves that get the boot.
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