Outwit, Outplay, Outlast: My obsession with Survivor

On the arrival of the twenty-eight season of reality tv juggernaut Survivor, I’ve decided to look back on my relationship with a show I love dearly. The show became a cultural and critical success in the summer of 2000 and was originally seen as a fad. Fourteen years latter, Survivor is still going strong, and takes viewers to incredible locations like The Amazon, Guatemala, Vanuatu, China, Palau, Kenya, Samoa, and Australian.

 

I remember watching Survivor as a child. A memory of seeing Colby Donaldson and Jerri Manthey in the “Australian Outback” late at night (which was really more like prime time, but it felt like sure felt late at night for a seven year old me back in 2001) has always stayed with me years later. Moving forward to 2003 and I have memories of bad ass Sandra Diaz Twine running her mouth into overdrive telling everyone who’s boss, and a crazy ‘pirate’ , Rupert Boneham, stealing the Morgan tribes shoes. Rupert must have been the ratings help needed at Channel Nine, as the much hated All Stars season was moved back into a decent prime time. I enjoyed the season, but maybe it was because at ten years old, I was there for the characters rather than the non existent strategy. Despite the lack of major strategy from 14 people in Panama for those 39 days, I still enjoy the season to this day. At my young age I loved seeing familiar faces such as Richard Hatch and “Big Tom”, and enjoyed meeting new ones like “Boston Rob” and Shii Ann Hung. The finale and Rob’s Proposal was the most talked about topic at school the next morning. Everyone had watched the show the night before. At the time I wished Rob had taken just one extra vote to become the sole survivor on that last night in Panama. Not to take away from Amber Brkich’s win, it was well deserved as I the last person standing is always deserving in one way or another, but I was a big fan of the “Rob-father” back in the day. Now days I can see how Amber played just as good of a game. 

 

Survivor continued on and the game evolved. My memories post All-Stars include the awesome final four vertical maze challenge in Vanuatu, fan favourite and back-to-back player Stephanie LaGrossa and the Aras/Terry rivalry. Once the show had reached its 15th season, some poeple felt it was on its last legs. The past two seasons were poorly received by fans and cause controversy in the media. But the show hit a mini resurgence around the same time I got back into the show, with the 2007 season putting castaways into the jungles of China. Next I was able to see Micronesia before the how was moved to a digital channel for Gabon. Thanks to the infamous Russell Hantz, the show returned to a place where I was able to watch Samoa, and since then I obsession has continued and grown stronger. 

 

This year I will be recapping Survivor: Cagayan over on popwrapped.com. But I will be doing a look back at the show on this blog. Over this year I will post recaps of old Survivor episodes starting with their first season Survivor: Borneo, and in the lead up to this season I will be making posts on my favourite contestant, season, tribe, alliance, and to fit in with the up-and-coming seasons theme, I will look at previous contestants to find the best brain, beauty and brawn. 

 Survivor: Cagayan airs 8 p.m. Feb, 28 on CBS

 My Survivor: Cagayan recaps can be seen at popwrapped.com/?s=survivor

 

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