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Survivor: One World Episode 4 – The worst move in the history of Survivor

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Written by : published Thursday 8th March 2012

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In promos for this week’s episode, we were promised a Survivor “first.”  While Touting on Tout.com last week,  Jeff Probst promised “A game-changer” and called it one of the most unexpected Tribal Councils ever.

We were not to be disappointed.

In case you missed the episode, be sure to get caught up by watching Episode 4 of Survivor: One World, and then be sure to read my weekly Survivor Examiner episode recap before continuing on to this “Bonus Analysis” coverage.

There was so much crap that happened in tonight’s episode, I hardly know where to begin.  My initial feeling was of disgust, a realization that this current version of Survivor is not the Survivor game that I used to love.  There have always been “bad” players, or those who didn’t understand the game.  Never has it gotten to this level, where the vast majority of cast members are recruited to the show…people who have little understanding of how the game works and the history behind it.

Here then, is my reaction to the most talked-about events from Episode 4:

Manono’s decision to give up Immunity.  The modern game of Survivor has degenerated into a systematic approach, where players formulaically make Day 1 alliances, and then place their entire fate in making it to the merge with numbers.  This isn’t how it always went down.  Survivor has always been – and still is to a large degree – a game about adaptation.  As players have evolved over the years and seasons, the game has tried to keep up by offering several twists to keep players on their feet.  Mark my words, future twists will look to disrupt the idea of the Day 1 alliance.

The contestants over the years have increasingly lost sight of the idea that Survivor is a game that you must win at the end by gaining votes of those who you have had a hand in eliminating.  Russell Hantz was the evolved, mutated and distorted descendant of Richard Hatch, who had everything Richard had and more, except the focus on what the game is all about…winning.

So what does this have to do with One World?  There is nothing in the show’s history that compares to the stupidity of this group-think decision.  It was a horrible idea from the standpoint of Colton and his alliance, in the sense that numbers are numbers.  Look at Stephanie LaGrossa in Survivor: Palau, who was the last remaining member of her tribe.  Simply put, every person who leaves your tribe means that you are one step closer to going home yourself.  It is a glorious marathon to have to last 39 days, and these men had a free pass at 3 more.  How they could possibly conceive to do what they did really shows a short-sightedness and a lack of understanding in how Survivor is played.

Bill Posley – The dumbest move in history?  Again simply put, yes it is.  This tops Cochran’s swap last season by a longshot, and goes above and beyond the worst move in the history of the game, the giving up of the Immunity Necklace by Erik Reichenbach during Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites.  The reason it is dumb, is that Bill should have had absolutely no inkling of belief in the idea that the others would vote off Leif instead of him.  Leif even told him that he was Colton’s original target before Matt.  Why would Bill risk even going to Tribal Council at all?  Say that the plan would have worked in his favor, and the tribe would have actually voted off Leif.  That would have just been one less person in front of him on the chopping block.  There was absolutely no upside whatsoever in agreeing to go to Tribal Council, and the fact that he was eliminated because of it should be without question, the agreed upon “dumbest move” in the game’s history.  It’s too bad, because I like Bill and he seemed like an enjoyable contestant.  But even if Bill was going to be next, you never surrender because you never know what another few days in the game can bring you.  Look at next week’s preview.  Could you imagine if it is a Tribal swap?  This decision seems foolish now, just wait until we see all of the consequences and fall-out as this season plays out.

But Bill is not alone.  Bill should deservedly take the brunt of the criticism, but that doesn’t make the other guys smart in the game.  This decision serves nobody, other than to perhaps stroke Colton’s ego.  If Leif is truly on the outs, why wouldn’t he have instead tried to align with Bill in some way, or try to convince the others to flush Colton’s Idol?  It could have been Bill, Leif, Mike, and Jay, both of which are not a part of Colton’s solid alliance.  That would have forced a 4-4 tie at the next Tribal that they actually have to go to.  At the least, they could try flushing the Idol.  At best, they could have convinced somebody like Troyzan to blindside Colton.  Instead, Leif is now blowing in the wind.

Speaking of Mike and Jay, they are both on the outside of the alliance, yet they willingly cut Bill.  It is just mind-boggling and frustrating to watch as a fan of Survivor.

For Colton, he is continuing to get what he wants.  Even if he controls the game, it is again the kind of game like Russell Hantz, where his style of play leaves him absolutely no chance to actually win in the end.

A word about Colton.  Colton is the kind of character on the show that CBS producers must love.  He is also going to be one of the instant “All-Stars” of this season, love or hate him.  But wow, I have never seen such an unfiltered barrage of regrettable statements.  After the show, Bill Posley tweeted:  “As for Colton I hope this experience is the catalyst for change and acceptance in his own life.”  May we all wish for this to be true!

A Last Word.  So to recap, we just witnessed the dumbest move by a tribe and the dumbest decision by an individual in the history of Survivor.  It is sad to realize that there may not be any “Survivor firsts” left that don’t involve moronic gameplay.

Follow me on Twitter, @tomsantilli, and at tomsantilli.com.

About the author SurvivorTom


Tom Santilli is a respected journalist and member of the Detroit Film Critics Society.  He writes several on-line columns, most notably as the Detroit Movie Examiner and the Survivor Examiner for Examiner.com.  He also is a contributor as a Survivor-Insider to TVGeekArmy.com and writes exclusive Survivor in-depth episode analysis for TheTVKing.com. He has been featured on Rob Cesternino's "Rob Has a Podcast" and most recently landed the only exclusive Richard Hatch interview given since his latest legal trouble has surfaced. All of Tom's Survivor coverage as well as movie reviews can be found on his blog the "FilmSurvivor", at FilmSurvivor.com

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