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And the winner of Survivor: One World is…

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Written by : published Monday 14th May 2012

And the winner of Survivor: One World is… main image

SPOILER ALERT!  Please don’t read below if you haven’t yet seen the Survivor: One World Finale Episode.  In fact, here is my Survivor Examiner Finale Episode Recap that can get you up to speed before reading on.

There, you’ve been warned!

So congratulations to Kimberly Spradlin!  In the next few weeks I will be posting with my updated rankings of all-time Survivor winners and where Kim ranks, as well as where One World ranks on the “Most Memorable Seasons” list.  So instead of going there, let’s talk more about what we just witnessed.

Kim simply owned the game.  The likeable, smart, physically attractive and strategically dominant Kim also won the Sprint Fan Favorite vote which tells you that she was well-liked for her style of play.  Still, there seemed to be a cackle of haters that crawled out of the woodworks over the second half of the season clamoring for Kim to fail.

It’s in our nature to want endless blindsides and drama…that is ultimately why we watch shows like Survivor.  But Survivor should be looked at like a sport, and for those who know football or baseball, you should already know that it doesn’t take a ton of points or scoring for a game to be considered “good.”  A great pitcher’s duel in baseball for example may not generate a lot of runs but to a baseball aficionado will love the complexity of what is going on out there.  With Survivor, true fans of the show and the game should appreciate a dominant player like Kim or Boston Rob, even if there style of play isn’t swinging for the fences.

Sometimes, you just can’t win.  I’m not talking about in the game I’m talking about pleasing fans.  When people play Survivor foolishly, many fans complain about the casting or they wish that they had more knowledgeable players in the game.  When they actually put strategic players in the game and they have success (like Kim), people complain that the show is boring or predictable.  Granted, Tribal Councils as dull as the final two in tonight’s episode aren’t ideal for prime-time entertainment, but overall this season of Survivor showed just how far these players have evolved from the early days of Richard Hatch, Rob Cesternino and Brian Heidik.  If you don’t know who these guys are, go do your homework!

Herein lies the current problem and the next major challenge for Survivor.  This show has always flourished as a socio-political experiment, but keeping contestants on their toes has forever been the game’s bread and butter.  Just when players think they have it all figured out, Survivor has consistently thrown twists in that change everything.  Survivor is currently in need of a major format shake-up and I’m not talking about Redemption Island.

No instead, Survivor needs to look at how they can bust up Day One alliances.  Alliances formed the minute a person steps foot on the beach has really become the standard for anybody who knows the game, and it is time to take this comfort away from the players.  Maybe switch tribes a few times in the first few days?  They don’t pay me enough to figure out the details, but rest assured that Survivor will continue to adapt…to outplay, outwit and outlast each new crop of contestants that come in knowing it all.

So if you’re like me, you felt satisfied with this season and Kim as winner.  It wasn’t the most dramatic of seasons nor did it contain ground-breaking moves, but it featured a likeable and memorable cast where the most-deserving player was voted Sole Survivor by an un-bitter jury.

Really, was there any other satisfying ending?


Thanks for reading all season, be sure to check back in as I will be pitching in often with Survivor news as we near Season 25 beginning in the Fall (speaking of which, let the speculation begin on Survivor: Philippines!)  Be sure to post your comments on the Finale and on this season as a whole below!

Be sure to 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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