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Survivor: Palau - March Sadnessby Ken Kellam III -- 03/18/2005
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As I write this, my heart is emptier than Ulong’s bellies after the reward challenge. You went from not having much expected of you, to being a force, to being forced out. Not only is this a loss for your tribe, but for the viewers as well.
It’s ironic that your ouster was shown the day before “March Madness” started. In Big Dance terms, you started out as a low seed that was expected to be one-and-done, but you showed you could play with the big boys. And then, all of a sudden, when it looked as if you would play on, you got ousted with the help of a twist. It’s like if some guy for the other team who wasn’t even there when the game started ran down the aisle, made it to courtside, took off his warm-ups, entered the game, and beat you on a last-second free-throw in overtime.
If it were all about heart, you’d get the number one seed hands-down. It didn’t take but a couple of episodes to let everyone know you came to play, and play you did, dominating one of the two reward challenges Ulong won. Come to think of it, you dominated last week’s immunity challenge as well; it’s just that your team was 3-6 without you.
Every year in the Big Dance, there are a couple of Cinderellas. In Survivor: Palau, YOU were the Cinderella story, but unfortunately, the glass slipper ended up fitting one of the wicked stepsisters. To paraphrase “Starry Starry Night,” I could’ve told you Angie, this game was never meant for one as beautiful as you.
I’ll admit, when I first saw you, it was easy to look at the tattoos, piercings, and write you off. In fact, your own tribe did at first, but you quickly showed why you belonged in the game. In sports terms, your ouster is like an athlete that gets drafted in the late rounds, then proves he/she is a solid starter, if not an all-star, and then suddenly gets cut. Even worse, there’s no other team you can go to and contribute. But even in final defeat, you kept your chin up, didn’t complain in your closing comments, and left like a lady. Although gone, you will not soon be forgotten. In your all-too brief stay in the game, you struck a blow not only for underdogs everywhere, but for anyone who’s ever been underestimated or discounted, whether due to looking differently or just appearing to be weak. You started the game showing you were strong physically, and left it showing you were strong mentally.
Ironically, one reason you’re gone is that someone else in your tribe was mentally weak, that being Ibrehem. Yet, he got lucky, and you got unlucky. And there is no doubt in my mind that if it hadn’t been for the twist, he would’ve gone, and you would still be around. I don’t know that you would’ve won, but I thought you’d at least have a say in the jury box. At least we got to see for prove yourself for a few weeks, and go down fighting. You were one of the reasons I kept rooting for Ulong to win a least one immunity challenge. But now, I couldn’t care less.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way, here’s a question regarding the tie-breaker vote: In the past, if there were a tie vote, both parties up for eviction were allowed to plead their cases. Why were they given no such chance this time? Angie could’ve made a great case for why she deserved to stay longer than Bobby Jon. For that matter, she certainly deserved to stay more than James or Ibrehem, but that’s another issue. If she’d had a chance to speak, she could’ve pointed out the previous immunity challenge, when she won twice and Bobby Jon lost twice. Maybe it was a time issue, due to the extra tribal council.
Speaking of which, was having a second tribal council really a good idea? It seems like while Mark Burnett has come up with some excellent challenges this season, the twists keep getting more twisted. Both teams go to tribal council, and the team winning the reward challenge votes immunity for someone on the losing team? Next thing you know, the person awarded immunity will be asked, in another twist, to face his tribemates and do “eenie meenie minie moe.” In terms of twists, the Survivor franchise may have finally “jumped the shark.”
Now, onto other matters. There are always conspiracy theories flying around the web, with people claiming that Mark Burnett did this or Jeff Probst did that solely to promote their own secret plans. Well, I have a few theories of my own:
Well, the game is down to its final 12, and Ulong is just down. And you may be too, if you don’t remember the show airs on Wednesday night one more time. See you then!
If you haven’t already done so, make sure to check out the other Episode 5 columns already posted:
Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com .
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