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Rewatch: South Pacific: No, SERIOUSLY


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#1

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 8:04 PM

Returning to a location for the third time in five seasons? Check. Even when we were seeing Panama all the time they didn't manage THAT.

Completely ignoring the actual culture of the place they were filming and making it a generic coconut-filled wonderland? Check.

Recasting two ignorant, self-obsessed nitwits we were sick of after two episodes in their original seasons? Check.

Deciding to cast only one non-contestant who was actually playing the game, and then making them more obsessed with buying their own hype than actually making logical decisions? Check.

Actively slanting the game by filling it with willpower challenges and challenges the two returning contestants had won in their prior appearances? Check.

OY FUCKING VEY.

#2

TDI Ashley

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 9:09 PM

Oddly, I don't think a single thing was rigged for Coach. Yet for Ozzy, I always thought there was a lot rigged for him.

Even despite that, the newbies weren't as eager to hand the game to the returnees as the cast seemed to be last season, so I was more than okay with the season.

#3

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 9:41 PM

I think a lot of the things they rigged for Coach (say, for example, the opening challenge against Ozzy ending in a puzzle, or recycling the Immunity Challenge he won in Tocantins as a Duel) didn't wind up mattering because of the other factors at play, though - Ozzy would still be there now if his tribe hadn't helped him with the puzzle, and Coach wasn't voted out for the duels he's had experience in to take effect.

#4

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 10:12 PM

I didn't see a single thing all season that indicated that there was producer interference. The HII being found easily is a problem that has gone on for 5 seasons, and Coach wouldn't have even found his had he not gotten a lot of help. Given the amount of random scouring Ozzy does, it's very believable that he would come across his.

As far as challenges go, Coach made a pretty big improvement from Toncantins where he was bad in half the challenges and decent in the other half, to HvV where he was decent in half the challenges and good in the other half. I think logically it makes for him to have been consistent in the challenges this season. Ozzy is solidly in the Top 3 of best contestants ever when it comes to any and all challenges so I'm not sure where any rigging could seriously be considered on that front.

The duels were simple and straightforward for the most part, he's just more athletic and experienced than his opposition. That slight advantage is supposed to be negated by the larger target, and both of them did well to minimize that target moving forward.

The season was very underwhelming and I thought it was terrible, but not because it was staged. The location is pretty poor for Survivor standards and having it recycled time and time again is slightly depressing. I guess if that keeps them in the black as far as budgetary matters then coming to SP every other couplet might keep the show on the air another 5 years.

#5

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 10:29 PM

As far as challenges go, Coach made a pretty big improvement from Toncantins where he was bad in half the challenges and decent in the other half, to HvV where he was decent in half the challenges and good in the other half. I think logically it makes for him to have been consistent in the challenges this season. Ozzy is solidly in the Top 3 of best contestants ever when it comes to any and all challenges so I'm not sure where any rigging could seriously be considered on that front.


It's easy to improve at challenges when you've done them before.

You know what probably would have been the best change they could have made this season? Putting a pool in the RI Arena. Allows for water challenges AND you can still do many regular challenges by using floating platforms.

#6

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Posted Feb 13, 2012 @ 11:29 PM

Deciding to cast only one non-contestant who was actually playing the game, and then making them more obsessed with buying their own hype than actually making logical decisions? Check.


Who?

Recasting two ignorant, self-obsessed nitwits we were sick of after two episodes in their original seasons? Check.


To be fair, I found Coach less offensive than his first two outings. That IS something. It didn't hurt that his game play improved a whole lot. As for Ozzy, the less said, the better.

And Lame Twist Island? Thank heavens that that ain't returning for quite a while. (I wish it would've been "removed permanently without prejudice.")

I'm glad that the cast, for the most part, were students and fans of the game rather than clueless recruits randomly plopped into the island. Sucks the opposite seems to be true with "One World." (Seriously, Tarzan and Troyzan? *shudders*)

Even if I believe the right person earned the win, the ending was just goddamn excruciating to watch. A significant amount of the jury folks acted like petulant 5 year olds and seemed more in it for the airtime rather than the actual game. Some people just need to grow up, no?

But seriously, if the focus were put into the new folks, they would've been people we'd, at best, root for or at worst, not mind winning. One of the seriously messed up things here is the edit. Seems more like a narcissistic indulgence for those CBS suits rather than a fair and equal competition for a bunch of diverse personalities we could possibly relate to.

And the location? Maybe to really cut costs, they should do "Survivor: Urban Ghetto," "Survivor: Deliverance," or even "Survivor: Into the Wild."

All in all, this was a C-rated season. The nice things about the season was all but neutralized by the negative stuff.

#7

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Posted Feb 14, 2012 @ 2:39 AM

It's easy to improve at challenges when you've done them before.


You should really look closer, if you can bare to see it. Coach got in much better shape from his earliest season. That's what actually made the difference, not that he had played a season before. He didn't even specifically do any of the same challenges.

#8

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Posted Feb 14, 2012 @ 3:28 AM

But he'd have had a HUGE advantage over the other player if he ever got stuck in a duel.

#9

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Posted Feb 14, 2012 @ 3:43 AM

I think that, as always, would be determined by the specific challenge. If it were the challenge where each person has to stand on small pegs and brace themselves up then he would probably lose to almost anyone, despite being decent at it in Toncantins. That challenge like most are is straightforward and simply comes down to body type and willpower. There are going to be people that are capable of lasting in that challenge for hours, and some that can only last 10 minutes, regardless of how many times they've played the game.

Edited by Afterglows, Feb 14, 2012 @ 3:46 AM.


#10

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Posted May 6, 2012 @ 2:24 PM

From the Improving Survivor Thread:

Like last session, it would have been fun to see Ozzy, Coach, and Sophie debate for win, for example. To me Albert, I just do not see him as contender. I agree with Coach may have thought Sophie was goat, but she have other plans.


Ozzy wouldn't have had to talk. He could have stayed perfectly silent during the whole FTC and would have probably won. For me, it wouldn't have been fun in the least. Also, someone who has been voted out three times was not one of the best players on that season period (even if one of those times was voluntary and ended up not costing him, it was still incredibly stupid in the first place). I also do not see Albert as a goat. He won challenges, he made strategic moves and decisions, not all of them good but still. He played a decent game. While I agree that I never thought he would win, especially not against Sophie and Coach, I was actually surprised by the overwhelming bad press he seemed to have with the jury.

#11

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 1:40 PM

Recasting two ignorant, self-obsessed nitwits we were sick of after two episodes in their original seasons? Check.


Over in Improving Survivor, there was some talk about bringing back swimming challenges, and then somebody said that they can't do that as long as they're in Samoa. Which got me to thinkin': Ozzy should never talk, because, yes, he's an ignorant, self-obsessed nitwit; but if he has to appear on my TV, he should always be swimming. I could watch that man swim all day. For me, Cook Islands was "Yul is brilliant, and then Ozzy swims." In fact, let's all call PBS and make them put a little picture-in-picture inset of Ozzy swimming in the corner of Yul's show.

#12

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Posted May 12, 2012 @ 8:18 AM

Ozzy wouldn't have had to talk. He could have stayed perfectly silent during the whole FTC and would have probably won. For me, it wouldn't have been fun in the least. Also, someone who has been voted out three times was not one of the best players on that season period (even if one of those times was voluntary and ended up not costing him, it was still incredibly stupid in the first place).


To me, Survivor RI is not the same as traditional game of Survivor where being voted-out is a negative. In RI being voted out becomes part of strategy, actually. I think Ozzy was wise to exploit this to what worked best for him perhaps more than it would have worked for the others. In fact, Ozzy made it work for him up to the end, but he did not win final immunity, so live by the sword, die by the sword. It was risky strategy, and he lost, so there it is.

That said, I do not think it was such a bad thing Ozzy took advantage of all components of RI. Of course, he had to live up to it, too. If he had won the final immunity challenge, and been given a chance to go to FTC, I think he would have had to make a case for himself though. I do not think the jury would have necessarily handed him a win in spite of what they might say.

I understand why tradionalists of the Survivor game have problems with Ozzy. But to me, Ozzy really exploited RI for his own benefit. He did not necessarily have to play a traditional game, but could have won anyway.

I also do not see Albert as a goat. He won challenges, he made strategic moves and decisions, not all of them good but still. He played a decent game. While I agree that I never thought he would win, especially not against Sophie and Coach, I was actually surprised by the overwhelming bad press he seemed to have with the jury.

As far as Albert, I agree he did not have a chance of winning against Coach, Sophie, or Ozzy, but for sure he had a chance of making it to the final. So to me, he was perfect goat: a player who kept believing he was in contention but was not. In other words, I do not think he play the "goat" strategy, but more his competitors set him up to be goat, if that make any sense.

For all his bravado, Albert did not even show anything during the FTC, for example. As a matter of fact, I recall some controversy involving Albert right up to the end which basically destroyed any social game he had. I do not recall the specifics, but I think it had to do with Brandon. And Rick hated him, as I recall. Rick called him "Prince Albert," no? And then Sophie yelling at him there at the end did not help the perception of him I do not think.

As a result, I do not think he got a single vote from the jury, did he? So whatever strategizing he did and immunity challenges he won, apparently the people participating did not give him any credit much less some of the viewers watching.

Edited by musica, May 12, 2012 @ 6:17 PM.


#13

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Posted May 12, 2012 @ 12:10 PM

As a result, I do not think he got a single vote from the jury, did he?

Nope. He was completely shut out. And deserved to be.

#14

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Posted May 12, 2012 @ 6:00 PM

Nope. He was completely shut out. And deserved to be.


I agree, obviously. I think Albert did well to get as far as he did. But in a way, I think he was a little delusional as far as his chances--maybe not delusional, but more did not read things very well as far as his chances of winning.

I think Albert should have tried one of his plans to vote out Sophie? I think there was a moment he wanted to vote out Sophie? But of course, this move would have put him at risk as much as it would have opened up the game for others.

So sometimes I wonder if some people are just not going to win no matter what they do.

Edited by musica, May 12, 2012 @ 6:20 PM.


#15

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Posted May 12, 2012 @ 9:16 PM

I think Albert should have tried one of his plans to vote out Sophie? I think there was a moment he wanted to vote out Sophie?

He tried at the first F5. Unfortunately, the rest of the Upolu Five found out about his double-dealing and targeted him. Until he somehow got Brandon to agree to vote Sophie out, and Brandon, for some stupid reason, gave up his immunity necklace to save Albert (prompting one of the few awesome Rick moments: his "Dumb move!" voting confessional), and was promptly voted out after both Albert and Brandon both thought they could get Coach to join them. Which they didn't.

#16

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Posted Oct 25, 2012 @ 6:44 PM

Coming in from the season 25 spoiler thread:

Albert and Coach engineered the alliance, not Sophie. That was the first big strategic move that season. Sophie benefited a great deal from it, even though she did not make the move herself. She also had no role in the other major strategic move, which was convincing Cochran to flip.

If you read postgame interviews, Albert and Sophie talk about how it was the two of them who brought Coach into the alliance. That scene of Coach talking about a strong five-person alliance going to the end together? The alliance was already formed by that point. Editing choosing to show the season through a Coach-lens instead of how it actually went down. And Sophie did have a part in Cochran's flip. He didn't offically jump on board until Coach, Sophie, and Albert offered him a F4 deal.

She won a few IC's. Only one mattered, which was the final one. It was unusual, because unlike most other final challenges, this one emphasized puzzle solving. i.e. the producers made a final challenge that favored her, not Ozzie.

Do you honestly believe that producers wanted Sophie in the F4 over Ozzy? And besides that, should Sophie's victory still be discounted because she was better at puzzles than Ozzy? How come none of Ozzy's balance victories are ever discounted because those contests clearly favor his body type?

Coach couldn't win? I think he had the season in his hip pocket. He snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, by needlessly alienating Brandon and Oz near the end. He also made the mistake, more than once, of keeping Sophie around when her neck was in the noose. That was her one strategic move: convincing Coach to keep her instead of other players.

I didn't say Coach couldn't win just that he wouldn't win and I think it's ridiculous to completely frame the season around three players who wouldn't win the game. And it's actually a very important skill to keep people from underestimating you in order not to vote you out. Albert and Ozzy both were afraid of Sophie in the F3 and immunity challenges and targetted her for that reason.

Sophie won on an anti-Coach vote. Just as Natalie won on an anti-Russell vote. Neither one dominated the game. The people who did got the air time, even if they didn't win.

I don't buy that it was an anti-Coach vote because the editors completely neglected showing us the dynamics of the jury. Sophie talked about in post-game interviews, about how she bonded with Dawn and Whitney or that she thought that Rick was a bitter vote against HER. We didn't see any of this because the focus was completely on dudes who wouldn't win the game.

And I'm not sure if I want to restart a Russell fight but I'll say that point of Survivor is jury management. Get yourself into the F2/F3 and have the votes when you get there. No one targetted Russell deep into jury because they all wanted to be sitting next to him because they knew he couldn't win. How much credit should the guy get for making the F3 two times when he was never really in much danger as a goat?

Once again, Colton was the story before he left. He completely turned the game upside down. Without his bizarre decision to give up immunity, the women would have gone to TC and been even further down. The numbers would have been dramatically different, and not in Kim's favor.

Compare Colton and Kim's screentimes pre- and post-merge. My point is that whenever there's a male "puppetmaster" type, the editors run over themselves to make that person into the greatest Survivor ever. We saw it with Russell (how the editors presented it), Rob, etc. RI was notorious for this. Kim had about as dominant game as Rob during RI and yet the editors didn't give her half the screentime. The first question asked at the Reunion? How did the guys screw up so much that women won the game.

Edited by loki567, Oct 25, 2012 @ 6:56 PM.


#17

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Posted Oct 26, 2012 @ 3:40 AM

If you read postgame interviews, Albert and Sophie talk about how it was the two of them who brought Coach into the alliance.


I've gone back and forth on whether Sophie was a coattail-riding idiot who got lucky or a secret mastermind, finally landing somewhere in the middle. She read what it would take to win the season and executed it perfectly; that's not nothing. The fact that what it would take to win the season is "stand near Coach" is a little more problematic. But the one thing I've learned - between postgame interviews and her excellent FTC performance - is that Sophie is very good at talking about how great Sophie is. It's an important skill, and has served her well, but if Chelsea had gone into the One World FTC and then into postgame interviews and said, "Actually, it was all me; Kim was just my stooge," would that make it true?

You're right that the editing didn't provide a good, objective view of Sophie's game. But Sophie's opinion of Sophie is hardly objective either. I mean, what are she and Albert going to say? "We're idiots! We got to the end by riding Coach's coattails, and Coach just sucks that much!"? I doubt it. Anyone is bound to think they're the hero, the star of the show; that's just human nature.

#18

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Posted Oct 27, 2012 @ 10:24 AM

It's funny how I was Team Kim and was impressed how she played & dominated the game but I hardly remember what Sophie did in her season. I did want Sophie to win especially over Coach but except for her yelling at Albert in the II challenge I can't recall much of her game. It isn't to say she didn't play a great game but it was sort of buried under the Coach mess. I would like to see Sophie & Kim in an All Star Winners of Survivor. Although, I sort of doubt they would work together. Of course, with a cast of winners one winner is going to have to work with another winner. It would be great to see

Edited by ByaNose, Oct 27, 2012 @ 8:52 PM.


#19

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Posted Oct 27, 2012 @ 11:19 AM

Coach got more attention because he's the one that was responsible for bringing in Edna, and bringing over Cochran. That's what really allowed Upolu to make it through until the end. Sophie needlessly antagonized both of them (though to her credit, after it would really matter) and her contributions to the Cochran manipulation only made the job harder (though again to her credit, that was an easier sell than in normal seasons because Cochran said he went in wanting to make some kind of shocking move just so he could play again). Coach or Sophie could have won that season based on their contributions, but Coach got more screentime because it was the Cochran-flip that defined how that season would end, and he was responsible for that.

#20

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Posted Oct 27, 2012 @ 10:15 PM

It always seemed to me that the two key moves of SP were flipping Cochran (point Coach) and beating Ozzy in the last challenge (point Sophie). Otherwise it was as boring a game as I can remember. So it seemed to me like either one of them could have won and "deserved" it (don't want to get into the "you can't not deserve it" argument).

God those Redemption Island seasons were lame. Why couldn't someone, anyone, make a goddamn move. If you're Sophie I guess not making a move is what's best for you, but for everyone else, what was the deal? Edna! Rick! DO SOMETHING!

#21

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Posted Oct 27, 2012 @ 11:40 PM

It always seemed to me that the two key moves of SP were flipping Cochran (point Coach)


I hate Coach, and have never seen him do anything that wasn't both terrible gameplay and being a terrible human being (and terrible coaching)...except for the Cochran flip, which is in my top ten Survivor scenes ever, gameplay-wise. That was a work of genius. It frustrates me to think that if Sophie did anything of the same calibre, it ended up on the cutting room floor.

#22

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Posted Nov 2, 2012 @ 12:55 AM

Rick called him "Prince Albert," no? And then Sophie yelling at him there at the end did not help the perception of him I do not think.

Rick did call him Prince Albert, though I did think it got spun into Princess Albert. "Prince Albert" was unwittingly hilarious enough as it was.

I will believe the testimonies of Sophie and Albert more than Coach's, since I can easily believe that Coach would manufacture a scene where he pretends to engineer a five-person alliance even after it was already established. Sophie/Albert were also constantly trying to belittle Coach in front of the jury throughout the game, but most of it wasn't shown until FTC.

Having seen Kim dominate a season, I feel more confident in saying Sophie is a middle ground winner. She's totally not a coattail-rider, an abomination of a term considering that the term tends to be applied to anybody that isn't a camera hog or a mactor. She won Immunities, the most crucial one against one of the biggest challenge competitors in the game. She didn't need to make huge, wacky Cochran-like strategic moves because she was slowly inching towards a great set-up. Her social game was not based on being likeable (unlike Kim, who had that charm in spades) but by being straightforward. Albert and Coach lost partially because they were seen as insincere, especially with the godbothering stuff.

But she did get lucky, twice partly because of Ozzy. Being a stronger challenge competitor was likely one of the reasons she was picked over Rick, to combat Ozzy. And Ozzy causing her to break down emotionally during one of the Tribal Councils allowed her to steel herself and own up to her demeanor during FTC where she was able to make a compelling argument.

I'm glad Redemption Island is gone as a concept. It sucked.

#23

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Posted Nov 10, 2012 @ 11:52 AM

And Sophie did have a part in Cochran's flip. He didn't offically jump on board until Coach, Sophie, and Albert offered him a F4 deal.


That is such a minimal part as to be meaningless.

Your alliance can take control of the game after your ally convinces someone to flip, provided that you're willing to make flipper a false offer of an F4 deal. Do you

1. Decline on the grounds that it isn't honorable, thereby risking that you and your alliance be destroyed in a purple rock meteor shower,

or do you say

2. Final 4 t-shirt time!

Being a stronger challenge competitor was likely one of the reasons she was picked over Rick, to combat Ozzy.


At the time, I felt that Rick was more likable than Sophie/Coach/Albert. I don't recall why, and I don't intended to re-watch SP or review the post-boot interviews to refresh my memory.

After all, Coach wasn't much more likely, if any more likely, to beat Ozzy in the final IC than Rick. So why not boot Coach?

I suspect because it wasn't in Sophie's or Albert's interest to keep someone who couldn't beat Ozzy in the final IC, but could beat them at FTC.

I hate Coach, and have never seen him do anything that wasn't both terrible gameplay and being a terrible human being (and terrible coaching)...except for the Cochran flip, which is in my top ten Survivor scenes ever, gameplay-wise. That was a work of genius. It frustrates me to think that if Sophie did anything of the same calibre, it ended up on the cutting room floor.


IMO TPTB like to show winners in as positive a light as possible. If Sophie did something like that, it would have been shown.

But while I'm not wild about Sophie, her strength is avoiding mistakes, not big moves that are good for TV.

#24

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Posted Nov 10, 2012 @ 7:12 PM

IMO TPTB like to show winners in as positive a light as possible. If Sophie did something like that, it would have been shown.


Samoa was edited with the specific intention of making Russell look more in control than he was. The previouslies were even retconned to give him credit for one of Natalie's biggest moves!

I think when returning players and "Characters" are concerned, editing them into the story takes precedence over making the winner look good. I think Sophie and Natalie played great games, but the producers preferred to show how Russell and Coach lost, not how they won.

#25

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Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 9:24 AM

loki, here are my reactions to the points you made.

I saw zero evidence that Sophie formed the alliance. I know she claimed she did. But as the Baron pointed out, she is not the most reliable source about herself. She, after all, told another player to give up during one of the immunity challenges, so she, Sophie, would have a better chance to win. She got pissed when he refused.

Maybe more important than forming the alliance was holding it together. Very, very hard to do for an entire season. There my impression is that Coach did most of the heavy lifting. Especially with Brandon, who all through the game was a loose cannon that might explode any moment.

As for the Cochran move, I firmly believe Coach talked him into flipping. Sophie came along for the ride, like she did most of the season. If you have any evidence that suggests otherwise, I'm all ears.

About the Final Immunity Challenge: Survivor designed an FIC that was mostly a complex puzzle. That greatly favored Sophie over Ozzie. This is unusual, as nearly all FIC's before have been far more physical.

On your next point, I'm repeating, but it still seems to me the key fact. TPTB built much of the season around Coach because he was the main story. He was behind the key strategies. He held together the alliance. He made the unnecessary screw-ups that cost him the game. Without those screwups, the win was in his hip pocket.

It still amazes me that Coach managed to lose Ozzie's vote and Brandon's. Sophie didn't get those votes because she managed the jury so well. She got them on the rebound, because Coach made absurd promises to both guys that were quickly, publicly outed as lies. Those two votes, both of them anti-Coach, handed Sophie the win.

Cochran got screen time because his move set the course for the post-merge season, the F3 and ultimately the win. Without that, Coach, Sophie and Albert (who IMO is an excellent player), would have been in the minority. They probably would have gotten voted out early and become jury members, not finalists.

Again, if there's any evidence (besides Sophie's claims) that she was a mastermind winner who got a poor edit, I will be glad to see it. I kind of think the opposite. She got a good edit. She was arrogant and self-entitled, and they had to cover that up as much as possible.

As for Kim: after Colton left, the whole season WAS her. Survivor made this 100% clear to me. I wasn't alone. Virtually all the speculation on the TWOP boards was about her. Person after person here said she would win. Many accurately predicted how the season would go. All because Kim was shown as the master player she was, who was running the game like few ever had. Person after person commented on this.

Survivor knew this. I think they also knew they had a problem. One person was dominating the game, while the others did next to nothing. To generate false excitement, they even tried to fake us out in several previews, to make it appear Kim was in trouble. When the episode aired, we learned she was never in trouble.

So to sum up, I think Colton, asshole that he was, deserved the attention he got before he medevaced out. Kim, cool as she was, deservedly got the attention after that. Much as I couldn't stand Colton, I wish he hadn't gotten sick. It would have made a far more entertaining season to me.

The first question asked at the Reunion? How did the guys screw up so much that women won the game.


Like it or not, that really was the issue of the season. Except for their bizarre decision to give up immunity, the guys would have been two up. If Colton hadn't gotten sick, they would have been three up: Christina was next to go. The women's alliance would have been shut down before it started. A VERY different season would have unfolded, with men in the big majority at merge, and Colton still in the game.

Also, that really wasn't the first question. The Reunion started with footage from the season, all about Kim and her dominance. Jeff first actual question (after giving tribute to Kim's dominance) was to ask Kim what her big moves were. After some discussion about that, he then said he thought the big move was getting the men to vote each other out.

#26

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Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:45 AM

As for Kim: after Colton left


I think the second half of this says a lot. Kim was essentially ignored until after Colton left, and I shudder to think how the season may have been edited if Kim had beat Colton in the F3.

I saw zero evidence that Sophie formed the alliance.


Well of course, and for the sake of time, they preferred to show a group of 5 strangers, sitting in the water, randomly deciding to work together. Why were the five of them together? What if there was someone there nobody liked? It seems pretty convenient that the 4 people left out of the alliance were the 4 people that nobody ended up particularly liking.

The 5 of them got there somehow. And I'm not even saying that Sophie, in particular, was the mastermind behind all of this. But I also don't think that Coach went to each of these people individually and made the alliance happen. I find it more realistic that Sophie and Albert, as Sophie says, connected at one point before this. I also believe she truly did think to herself "Coach is loyal to a fault. Perfect" and wanted to align with him. I also believe she had talked to Rick at some point before this and had discussions with him for an alliance.

In summary, I think the alliance came together because there were 5 willing parties, and I'm not going to give special credit to any of them for it, because alliances are part of the game, and the 5 of them were smart to join this one. I don't think Coach offered it to the 4 people sitting in front of them as we were shown, but I do think that at different points, Albert, Sophie and Coach did some legwork to make the bonds happen that made the alliance possible.

I give Sophie credit for understanding Coach's game and exploiting it, and for making sure she was as close to him as possible at all times. Although loyal to a fault, Coach is very good at rationalizing himself out of promises, and also very wishy washy, and it took Sophie a lot of work to make sure she stayed at the bottom of his pecking order, despite his best interests.

About the Final Immunity Challenge: Survivor designed an FIC that was mostly a complex puzzle. That greatly favored Sophie over Ozzie.


I find it impossible to believe that TPTB would prefer a Sophie win over an Ozzy win. I think that with the nature of the games on Redemption Island (both in S22 and S23), they needed to shakeup the format for the FIC. In both of these seasons, there was a physical component mixed with a mental component instead of the usual Endurance/Concentration challenge. Ozzy also gained enough of a lead during the physical component that, against anybody else, he should have had it in the bag. Which is why I am so impressed with Sophie's come-from-behind victory.

TPTB built much of the season around Coach because he was the main story. He was behind the key strategies. He held together the alliance. He made the unnecessary screw-ups that cost him the game. Without those screwups, the win was in his hip pocket.


Coach did a lot of great things this season: he helped forge the original alliance, he made sure Edna stayed loyal, and he got Cochrane to flip. And yes, he made a lot of mistakes: pledging unnecessary allegiance to Ozzy, skunking Brandon, and all the Godbothering.

My issue isn't that he got credit for these great moves and was shown screwing up the game. My issue is, as always, with the lopsided editing. I find it very hard to believe that someone as vocal as Sophie sat around for 36 days before she started playing. But that's how the edit makes it look. I think it would have been easy for TPTB to give Sophie and Natalie a little more credit and show how they won the game, and exploited Russell and Coach's propensity toward shooting themselves in the foot.

As always, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle: I don't think Sophie was the sole mastermind of the season. I think this season took a very specific tagteam effort from Sophie/Coach. However, I do think Sophie had a lot more influence on her win than what we were shown. She ultimately played the endgame better than Coach, but I wish we were shown confessionals along the way of how she was using Coach, or how she anticipated the endgame to go. I believe these confessionals exist, but they didn't fit into the story that they wanted to tell. Which is a shame, because it shortchanged Sophie and makes people think she was less worthy than she is.

Edited by Oholibamah, Nov 11, 2012 @ 11:50 AM.


#27

kikaha

kikaha

    Couch Potato

Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 2:38 PM

I shudder to think how the season may have been edited if Kim had beat Colton in the F3.


Not me. I bet the season would have been thrilling, and Survivor would have shown that. We would have seen some real drama, some real tension. Kim would look far better, because she would have beaten a really outstanding player.

Ozzy also gained enough of a lead during the physical component that, against anybody else, he should have had it in the bag. Which is why I am so impressed with Sophie's come-from-behind victory.


I read that, even though they didn't show it, the puzzle part took way, way longer than the physical. (This was lost in the editing.) So Ozzie's lead didn't really matter much.

Overall, it seems to me that to turn Sophie into a mastermind, you have to make guesses and inferences. What I saw onscreen definitely did not support that. I didn't read anyone from her season (other than Sophie) make the claim either.

#28

Oholibamah

Oholibamah

    Stalker

Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 7:05 PM

Kim would look far better


See, my fear is that they would have edited her into a nonentity. That regardless of her vicegrip on the game, the editors would have been having such a field day showing us Colton's "charming" little machinations that Kim's quiet assassin game would fall by the wayside.

Probst even said he found Kim boring. Had Colton been there the entire season, he would have dominated the screentime instead if her.

And then people would be saying "what I saw onscreen did not support that Kim was this season's mastermind. It was all Colton because that's what we saw". When the only reason we saw Colton as a "mastermind" is because editing decided to show us How Colton Lost, not How Kim Won.

I make no guesses or inferences about the strengths of Sophie's game. Her victories include being in the right alliance, understanding Coach as a player, brilliantly convincing him to keep her at the endgame, playing the jury perfectly, using her skills to win the most important challenge, and knowing when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em, otherwise known as Albert Wrangling.

I am merely saying that the narrative that Coach spearheaded this 5-person alliance on day 1 is not realistic. Even if that's true, I don't even think this fact weakens or strengthens Coach or Sophie's games enough to matter. The real playing happened later.

I actually would not categorize Sophie as a "mastermind". That would be someone more like Kim, Parvati or Rob, who understand people and the dynamics of the game so well that, regardless of what's thrown at them, they can manipulate those around them to get the result they want.

For me Sophie is more like a Richard Hatch or Yul: they understand the people around them and can identify the choices these people will likely make given x, y, z. As such, they don't have the skills to change people's minds like a Mastermind, but they smartly place themselves in the correct position early on to capitalize on the existing personalities later in the game.

Sophie played a great game. It wasn't flashy, nor was it a particularly difficult season to navigate, and the information provided on screen is enough to show that, regardless of who made what alliance and who convinced who to flip. My only point is that TPTB have a history of under- and over-editing players that they want to market to the audience in certain ways. And I think it's a shame that the season took such an overbearing "How Coach Lost" spin as opposed to "How Sophie Won".

Edited by Oholibamah, Nov 11, 2012 @ 7:09 PM.


#29

loki567

loki567

    Couch Potato

Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 8:09 PM

See, my fear is that they would have edited her into a nonentity. That regardless of her vicegrip on the game, the editors would have been having such a field day showing us Colton's "charming" little machinations that Kim's quiet assassin game would fall by the wayside.

Probst even said he found Kim boring. Had Colton been there the entire season, he would have dominated the screentime instead if her.

Absolutely. And the funny thing, I still say Kim was underedited. I mean compare her game in one try to Boston Rob's RI game in four. It was just as dominant with a fraction of the screentime. Probst was trying to make Rob's RI game as the greatest performance in Survivor history. Kim's? "Well, there were a lot of bad players." And no, I'm not buying that as a reason to downgrade Kim's game. Phillip, Matt, and Natalie were just as bad as anyone on One World.

#30

ByaNose

ByaNose

    Fanatic

Posted Nov 11, 2012 @ 9:40 PM

I never never understood Sophie in interviews such as she did with Rob C. Is she just not a nice person and doesn't care that people know or think it? Or is she bitter/mad that she didn't get a good edit or a great Survivor winner edit? I might just not get her sense of humor or something but she doesn't seem like a happy person. Can someone enlighten me?