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10-Year Rewatch: Vanuatu: Battle Of The Sexists


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#1

raceguy120390

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 8:06 PM

I like Twila, and Eliza's grown on me over the years, but still? Wake me up when it's time to talk about Palau.

#2

Mr. 888

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Posted May 16, 2010 @ 10:16 PM

Poor Chad. The only person I really truly liked that season. Chris played the game okay, but I could not root for him at all.

#3

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 12:00 AM

I'm a guy, but I typically root for the female castaways because they usually have more to overcome. This season was poised to be one of my favorites for that alone, until he whipped it out and pissed all over it.

Okay, Ami, Julie, and LeAnn technically played a part in it being ruined, too, but still . . .

#4

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 1:34 AM

Chris didn't play a great game, but he played a good game, and he played the Finale as well as anyone could.

The only other memorable thing about this season was the Vertical Maze. Great challenge, epic in scale.

Why is this one of the six seasons out on DVD? Was it really that popular? And did its low sales kill any future DVDs?

#5

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 10:38 AM

Is this the only (if not one of few) times that the older people managed to overpower the youngins at the first stage of the game and maintain that control through the end? Scout seems like a neat person, but I'll never understand why she was able to make it to 3rd place.

#6

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Posted May 17, 2010 @ 9:57 PM

I have to say that I don't remember why, because it's been so long, but I loved Twila so much, and I was devastated when she lost. I know it's not supposed to be about that, but she seemed like a woman who had a HARD HARD life, and it really disappointed me that she didn't get the money.

#7

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Posted Jun 28, 2010 @ 8:12 PM

I'm a loser so I just spent the weekend rewatching this season, and I have to say, it's a very interesting season. With almost a total lack of eye candy and instead being staffed by gruff, blue-collar men and women, it really gave the show a different feel. When you factor in Ami's hyper-aggressive misandry, this season left me feeling rather sad overall. There were a lot of great characters, but aside from fun-loving Chris, everybody was too busy feuding and caught up in the battle of the sexes to really have any feelgood spark.

I think Chris and Twila are two of my favorite characters ever, and I really hope one or both come back for a future season. I read that Twila was dumped at the last minute for Heroes Vs Villians and is bitter about it, and it pains me to think that useless women like Danielle and Candace were retained and Twila is left on the sidelines. I'm sure we can all guess why that is.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out what was so annoying about Eliza. She seemed universally hated by the entire cast, so she must truly be annoying, but I really enjoyed watching her and was kind of bummed Chris didn't stick with her til the end.

And Ami... wow. Some people, like Parvati, play up the villian angle and I believe they are probably normal, fun people outside of the game. There was just something about Ami that I found completely detestable and creepy. Scout also creeped me out. There was a weird angry lesbian undercurrent going on in this season that really turned me off. I don't mean for that to sound homophobic, I'm gay and friends with plenty of lesbians, but these particular lesbians were disturbing, the way they wrestled over the control of the women the entire season.

#8

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Posted Jun 29, 2010 @ 10:12 PM

DrivingSideways
And Ami... wow. Some people, like Parvati, play up the villian angle and I believe they are probably normal, fun people outside of the game. There was just something about Ami that I found completely detestable and creepy.

She was much more normal in Micronesia, though some doubt started to be cast on even that sentiment when her post-show interviews came out.

#9

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Posted Jun 30, 2010 @ 12:55 AM

I have such a short memory with these shows but I cannot recall her on Micronesia. I have to give her credit though - I thought Ami looked beautiful in her post-boot tribal appearances and at the final Council. Usually I think the survivors look bloated and overly painted on the jury, but she looked gorgeous, as much as I hate to admit it.

#10

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Posted Jun 30, 2010 @ 8:51 PM

The Leann boot remains in my Top 5 favorite TC's. So awesome. Everything about it was phenomenal. We had smugness, shock, disgust, passive aggression, triumph, & laughter all at the same time.

#11

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Posted Aug 19, 2010 @ 10:47 AM

Just finished rewatching this one (including the cast commentaries) and it, like Pearl Islands, was a hell of a lot better than I recalled.

I think Chris and Twila are two of my favorite characters ever, and I really hope one or both come back for a future season. I read that Twila was dumped at the last minute for Heroes Vs Villians and is bitter about it, and it pains me to think that useless women like Danielle and Candace were retained and Twila is left on the sidelines. I'm sure we can all guess why that is.


I would have liked to see Twila again too. Damn, the more I watch some of the seasons that I hadn't seen in awhile/never saw, the more annoyed I get at the casting of Danielle and Candice. It's not even like they're that hot and they're sure as hell not interesting players.

And Ami... wow. Some people, like Parvati, play up the villian angle and I believe they are probably normal, fun people outside of the game. There was just something about Ami that I found completely detestable and creepy. Scout also creeped me out. There was a weird angry lesbian undercurrent going on in this season that really turned me off.


You know, I felt that way about Ami the first time I watched this season. I remember being so happy when she got the boot, but I actually liked her a lot this time. And then in the cast commentaries, they were all commenting about Ami's villain edit and how it surprised them because they really liked her on the island. Also, Ami does a few of the commentaries and she seems really cool in them (same for Julie and Chad.)

Needless to say, Lisa was not included in these commentaries, she seems to have some bad feelings toward Ami. Does anyone else have this on dvd? If so, watch the reunion where Lisa is seated behind Ami, every time the camera comes to Ami, Lisa does this weird little walking motion with her fingers behind Ami's back. It looks weird and immature.

and I have to say, it's a very interesting season. With almost a total lack of eye candy and instead being staffed by gruff, blue-collar men and women, it really gave the show a different feel.


This season is unique for its' "Fat Five" alliance of older and/or heavier men knocking off the young gym rat guys one by one. I didn't really care about any of those guys so I liked this twist on the usual "boot the old ones first" routine.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out what was so annoying about Eliza. She seemed universally hated by the entire cast, so she must truly be annoying, but I really enjoyed watching her and was kind of bummed Chris didn't stick with her til the end.


For me, Eliza is one of the most annoying survivors ever. That manic energy and nonstop talking would drive me out of my gourd in a nanosecond (her buggy eyes also freak me out, but that's not her fault.) Also, she just seems like she tries too hard in general. She does a few commentaries and she seems sort of okay for most of them, up until the last episode.

She beats this same dead horse through the entire commentary (that Twila refused to apologize to her at FTC) and honestly, Twila's FTC answer made perfect sense. Eliza's not apologizing for hating Twila personally, why should Twila apologize for hating Eliza? It happens, people dislike each other. But Eliza was adamant that Twila should have bowed down to her even though she knew she wasn't voting for her. It just had a yucky, ordering around sort of vibe that I hate seeing at FTC. Even during the commentary, she's all hyped up and going out of her way to diss Twila (who's also there) and it seems like she's STILL worked up about it several years after the fact.

I can see hanging on to your mistakes if it cost YOU a million bucks, but she seems to still be losing sleep over Twila's performance, which may well have cost her a million bucks. It has nothing to do with Eliza except that she didn't get to see Twila grovel to her so I'm not convinced that Eliza is not that nice a person in general, on top of being annoying as hell.

She was much more normal in Micronesia, though some doubt started to be cast on even that sentiment when her post-show interviews came out.


I thought Ami was a really interesting and dangerous player (after rewatching this season, I understand more of why she was brought back again in S16), but I think she was hamstrung by Parvati's inclusion in S16. Parvati occupied the same role in Micronesia as Ami had in Vanuatu, Ami ran the original Black Widow Brigade (with less success, obviously) so I think having Parvati on her tribe pushed her out of her game.

RE: the Vanuatu reunion, Julie certainly benefited from Probst's interest in her, she got a hell of a lot of airtime for someone who wasn't THAT pivotal in the game. She went far, but I don't think she was the one making moves, she just got brought along, and yet she seemed to have the floor every 10 min. at the reunion.

#12

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Posted Dec 14, 2010 @ 5:32 PM

I actually didn't watch this complete season when it aired. I was so annoyed by ASS that it took me a few seasons to start watching again.

I really enjoyed how there wasn't a huge emphasis on Chad's prosthetic. I remember it being such a polarizing issue when Christie was on Amazon, and now with Kelly on Nicaragua, and that really ruins.

One thing that surprised me was the general dislike for a lot of the cast members. I've never really understood it. The only person that I found to be annoying (by Survivor's standards) was Scout. Twila had her drawbacks but I don't dislike her all that much.

It also helped that the finale, I feel, was geared towards having everyone (including the viewers) forgive her for something that had (and still is) commonplace on Survivor, which is lying.

The finale was interesting because it indicated that this cast was particularly closer than some of the previous casts and they left the show with very little ill-will towards each other. There was a lot of unnecessary emphasis on Julia but we all know why that happened.

I think Chris probably (and to this day) had one of the best, if not THE BEST, FTC performances ever. He played a good game and a GREAT Day 39.

#13

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Posted Dec 20, 2010 @ 6:41 PM

RE: the Vanuatu reunion, Julie certainly benefited from Probst's interest in her, she got a hell of a lot of airtime for someone who wasn't THAT pivotal in the game. She went far, but I don't think she was the one making moves, she just got brought along, and yet she seemed to have the floor every 10 min. at the reunion.

I felt it was both outrageous and hilarious the way Probst conducted himself during that reunion. With all the attacks and potshots directed at Chris, you'd think he was Jonny Fairplay or something. The recap for the reunion was good for how much it pointed out how ridiculous Probst was acting.

#14

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Posted Dec 30, 2010 @ 5:26 PM

I think Chris is one of the most, if not the most underappreciated winner of all time. The odds were completely against him! He played all of the women like fiddles, and when it came time to get their votes, he got them. And all of this, despite the fact that he blatantly lied to all of their faces and appeared to be having fun with it. Remember the flippant way he sent off Eliza? She gave him the look of death, and he literally shrugged her off. And she still voted for him! I am always rooting for the underdog, and usually, it's the females. But Chris, in my opinion, was the underdog this season, and he won against all odds, and despite being absolutely full of shit. Love him.

#15

Reuben

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Posted Dec 30, 2010 @ 10:38 PM

be arthur
I think Chris is one of the most, if not the most underappreciated winner of all time. The odds were completely against him! He played all of the women like fiddles, and when it came time to get their votes, he got them. And all of this, despite the fact that he blatantly lied to all of their faces and appeared to be having fun with it. Remember the flippant way he sent off Eliza? She gave him the look of death, and he literally shrugged her off. And she still voted for him! I am always rooting for the underdog, and usually, it's the females. But Chris, in my opinion, was the underdog this season, and he won against all odds, and despite being absolutely full of shit. Love him.

The odds were against Danni, too, to be fair. Chris really only lucked out that he even saw a crack to exploit. A tighter group of women, he'd have been sunk.

#16

be arthur

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Posted Jan 4, 2011 @ 7:43 PM

I don't think luck has any bearing whatsoever on spotting a crack to exploit.

#17

orangepenguin

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Posted Jan 5, 2011 @ 3:16 PM

It still makes me mad that Chris didn't get voted off the first tribal council. He was the reason they lost, yet the older men stuck together. Which, was smart for them, but as a viewer, just annoying to see them prevail, and then see Chris of all people to end up winning the whole thing.

#18

Yogurt Baron

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 9:52 AM

I just watched this season for the first time - and a great season it is!

Starting with the shallow:

With almost a total lack of eye candy


You think? By the F3, definitely you're right, but I think this is the eye-candiest cast ever! I have a full-on Survivor Crush on Eliza. Plus Ami, Julie, Lisa, Dolly, Mia, Leann (and Chad, Brady and the Johns, if you're into that sort of thing)...what season can match Vanuatu for eye candy?

Moving on to the juvenile: at the F5 reward challenge, Julie gets all excited because the hot dogs are foot-longs. Given that, and given what his odd fixation/desire to live vicariously through buff men might say about him, I’m not sure what she saw in Probst.

Obvious observation: I hope it was intentional that in the Battle of the Sexes season, the most capital-M Manly Men are named Brook and Lea.

So, this might have been the best season ever to watch unspoiled as it was airing - I wish I had! The first episode sees Chris, Twila and Eliza on the chopping block...and then they go on to make final two and an All-Stars season. What a turnaround! One way in which this season is different from most (in a way, kind of the opposite of the two RI-era seasons) is that with the exception of Twila and Scout, none of the F5 seem to like each other much or bond at all beyond “this is who I need to work with right now”. When Julie's begging Eliza to stay in the game over Twila, Eliza tells her to talk to Chris because "he feels really close to you", and I thought, "Really? What?" None of these people seem close to each other at all. Which is how the turnaround happened, I guess: Chris and Eliza and Twila and Scout get to the F4 by making smart game moves, not by sticking with who they like.

Has anyone ever played as well in the first episode of a season as Chris does? I think he deserves Survivor Hall of Fame just for that episode…but then it all goes downhill from there. I’m going to break my mega-long posts into two (still very long) posts, and move the Chris parts to the Chris thread, but: one of the most interesting winners ever, IMO.

Ami's a type - cocky, abrasive, great at rudimentary strategy and alliance-building, bad at keeping it together - that we see a lot of on Survivor, but almost never see a female version of. I like that (AFAIK) no real fuss is ever made over her being a lesbian---unlike Richard and Todd, who were Evil Conniving Gay People, Ami's an evil, conniving person who happens to be gay. (Not anymore, according to Wikipedia.) I’m looking forward to rewatching Micronesia now!

Travis/Bubba almost seems like a Penneresque rational player in his early conversation with that stupid John - "I'm playing for my kids" / "So if I had kids, you wouldn't vote me out?" - but he loses me in the tribe-swap episode when he tries to send a signal to Chris. He wants the guys to throw the challenge and vote off a woman - one of the few situations in which throwing a challenge would make sense! - and his way of expressing this is to mutter, "The merge! The merge!" at Chris? And Chris just stands there grinning all, "Sure, buddy - see you at the merge!", and meanwhile, Ami gets it and votes Travis out over it. Why mutter? Why not just yell, "Hey, guys, throw this one and vote out a woman!"? That's right up there with Cook Islands's Candice and Billy "we love you!" / "I love you too!" moment. I nominate Travis for Most Squandered Potential of Vanuatu.

All in all, one of my favourite seasons.

Edited by Yogurt Baron, Dec 22, 2011 @ 9:53 AM.


#19

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Posted Dec 22, 2011 @ 2:48 PM

This is also one of my favorite seasons. I thought there was eye candy aplenty, almost to a gratuitous level!

Poor gorgeous Dolly repeated the lesson that Christy learned in Amazon: being the "swing vote" can kick you in the butt because both alliances can decide to turn on you. It's best to pick a side and stick with them instead of reveling in the power you may not really have.

I loved the idea of having a drill sargent on Survivor. For once I had someone else yelling at them instead of me uselessly yelling at my screen.

Twila didn't know how to type. It's easy to forget there are people who have never used a computer in their lives.

And the earthquake, also known as the "Holy shit!" interview! Cameramen falling over! Coconuts looking like they're aiming for contestants' heads!

The poor Vanuatu native who showed the women how to make beds, eat native foods, then looked like he couldn't paddle away from these crazy American women fast enough as they sang while he departed!

The rise and fall of Ami is a Survivor classic. You had her in sexy charge of a dominate female alliance (a real one for a change) that didn't finish Pagonging the other tribe before they turned on their iron-fisted leader instead of blindly marching to the jury like so many others have. Chris was among the most unlikely winners of Survivor coming from the nearly-Pagonged tribe and having no special skills.

I agree that this season was full of strategy, tactical alliances and working relationships but not much love and friendship (except Scout's crazy love for Twila). This was both good and bad.

#20

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Posted Dec 23, 2011 @ 4:24 AM

Chris was among the most unlikely winners of Survivor coming from the nearly-Pagonged tribe and having no special skills.


Mario, the creator of the Funny 115, stated in the original 115 that the story of Vanuatu was actually a revenge story, like a Chuck Norris movie, starring Chris. His winning the game was merely incidental to him getting revenge on all the women; primarily Ami, Julie, and Twila.

After reading that write-up and thinking about it, I see his point. It does play like one of those movies.

#21

Constantinople

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Posted Dec 23, 2011 @ 2:43 PM

It does play like one of those movies.

More recently, I think Mario has referred to it as "Kill Bill"

#22

littledonnie

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 7:32 AM

The rise and fall of Ami is a Survivor classic.


Ami's fall was due to the fact that in her women's alliance there was a clear-cut 1-3 and 4-6. In her man-hating mind, the women in the bottom half of the six person alliance should be happy to lose, as long as they lost to another woman. She was blinded by her misandry.

#23

SpeciousLogic

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Posted May 12, 2012 @ 11:04 PM

I don't think luck has any bearing whatsoever on spotting a crack to exploit.


When you have to have someone else (Twila) spell it out for you in one-syllable words, it certainly does.


Ami's fall was due to the fact that in her women's alliance there was a clear-cut 1-3 and 4-6. In her man-hating mind, the women in the bottom half of the six person alliance should be happy to lose, as long as they lost to another woman. She was blinded by her misandry.


Bisexual Ami showed no signs of misandry that I could ever detect, and I've got a good sense for prejudice. I think she received one of the most unnecessarily-negative edits of any contestant on Survivor ever. The editors knew she got knocked out late in the game, and they wanted it to be a feel-good moment. If you listen to her DVD comments you get a much better sense of who she really is.

#24

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Posted May 13, 2012 @ 12:41 AM

Bisexual Ami showed no signs of misandry that I could ever detect, and I've got a good sense for prejudice.


This is one of the ways in which "men vs. women" seasons really muddy the waters. I haven't watched those commentaries yet, but Ami always seemed to me like the kind of entitled power player who thought the others should be grateful for the opportunity to lose to her, not to a woman.

#25

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Posted May 13, 2012 @ 1:42 PM

She also had a knack for making the most personal insults you possibly could about any individual. She attacked Twila's quality as a mother, basically said Scout was a bad lesbian for some bullshit reason, and was generally a terrible person.

Though it did lead to Eliza's condescending nod of hilarity after she turned the tables on Ami, so that was cool.

#26

Yogurt Baron

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Posted May 13, 2012 @ 6:01 PM

She also had a knack for making the most personal insults you possibly could about any individual. She attacked Twila's quality as a mother, basically said Scout was a bad lesbian for some bullshit reason, and was generally a terrible person.


The one terrible Ami moment that's stuck with me is from the loved ones challenge, when she yelled "I love you!" at her girlfriend when her girlfriend was doing well, and it seemed incredibly manipulative, like Ami's love was conditional upon her success in the challenge. Contrast that with Chris, who was all, "Thanks a lot, you just lost me a million dollars" toward Lorie. But which of those couples is still together?

To me, Ami's routine always seemed like Tom Westman-at-F3-style "if I have to be a terrible person to win, well, them's the breaks", though, as opposed to Russell/Colton "this is who I really am when the cameras are off" cruelty.

#27

Unconditional

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Posted May 14, 2012 @ 11:27 AM

That's not really an accurate characterization. Like a poster mentioned above, after 15 minutes of listening to a commentary with her on it you realize that the show needed a "villain" and they simply chose her. I would think after her FTC vote, how she handled everything at the reunion, and what happened on FvF that people would clue in to that.

To me, Ami's routine always seemed like Tom Westman-at-F3-style "if I have to be a terrible person to win, well, them's the breaks"


You really should watch some commentary. This silly idea that Tom somehow "bullied" Ian to step down is dismissed in the final episode. Ian himself talks about how he and Tom went back and forth at one another for hours and the show simply cut his comments and kept Tom's in. It's understandable that people who haven't listened to DVD commentaries wouldn't be aware of that, but it really crushes this humorous false-narrative that Tom is somehow a bully and Ian was coerced into stepping down. It simply didn't happen that way whatsoever.

Edited by Unconditional, May 14, 2012 @ 11:32 AM.


#28

Bob Sambob

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Posted May 14, 2012 @ 4:25 PM

Responding to this in the Palau thread ...

#29

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Posted Nov 18, 2012 @ 11:36 AM

Just re-watched this. I remember loving Chris' comeback, even though I had been rooting for the women.

I remember thinking "He can't win." And then he won!

#30

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Posted Nov 23, 2012 @ 6:17 AM

I remember thinking while watching the first episode that the women were exceptionnally gorgeous (including a mother of 5, if I remember correctly), loving the season from the TC where LeAnn was voted out up until the FTC, which I felt very uncomfortable with. While Chris deserved the win for his strategy at the beginning of the game and the masterful way he handled the jury, his big break in the game came from Twila spelling out to him who was on the outs (Eliza) and therefore who he should work on. Too bad Twila wasn't able to do it herself (for reasons pertaining both to her and to Eliza), but her assessment makes me want to see her in another season because, as excessively blunt as she was (which would not have been a deterrent in other seasons), I think she is the one who had the best grasp at strategy that season.