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Survivor: China - Who Will Go in Episode 2?by Kari Kennedy -- 09/27/2007
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“Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe whom he is facing.” - Sun Tzu, The Art of War, translated by Lionel Giles.
I’m so disappointed that Chicken was given the boot so early in the game, if only because there were so many jokes that could be derived from that man’s fowl moniker. He would’ve been a delight to listen to for about three episodes, then I think his down-home quotes would’ve gotten old. In any case, his little outburst after finding out his neck had been snapped at Tribal Council was hilarious. Did you all rewind the Tivo several times to watch it, too?
In editing over the seasons, the Survivor producers tend to show you who will be booted by showing us more of the characters who will be shown the door in the near future. Many times this is done through confessionals. It allows the viewers, especially in the earlier episodes, to get to know the early ousters and tell their stories quickly.
Confessionals become even more important as to what kind of story they are telling. Some are confessionals which only tell about the experience the individual is having at the time. There are a few who are shown explaining their personal strategy. Other confessionals become the basis for storytelling of the tribe in general. As the season continues, you can pick up a lot of clues just from the confessionals themselves.
Other editing clues come in the way of scenery, animals, and even sounds or music in the background. The editors and producers do take a lot of time to tell the story of the tribes and insert their commentary in subtle ways. Take for instance the shot of Dave last week as he let loose from his backside and the editors immediately cut to a shot of a goofy-looking monkey clinging to a tree. They’re telling us that Dave will be sort of an impish, clownish character.
Sounds and music come into play, though they can be more subtle in nature. Take for instance the cymbal sound followed by quick camera cuts to Ashley and Peih-Gee as points were made in Tribal Council. It gave us a clue as to something that may be important later. Other times we may hear lighthearted music behind scenes of a tribe doing well, like we did last season while watching the “haves” enjoying their luxuries. In contrast, you also may hear more funereal themes in times of despair, as we may hear when the Zhan Hu camp is flooded this week. As the season goes on, look for more of these subtleties in the editing.
So getting back to confessionals, again the first few weeks speak volumes when it comes to folks being shown through confessionals. Last week, we didn’t get a peep out of Erik or Jaime on the Zhan Hu tribe. Does this mean that they’re just quiet or just that their storyline hasn’t yet started? On the other hand, we saw the most confessionals from Chicken (4), Peih-Gee (4) and Ashley (3).
Chicken’s confessionals were all about his experience and his frustration with the tribe. It was obvious that he wasn’t fitting in and that whatever strategy he might think he had coming into the game was quickly imploding.
Ashley’s one-on-one time with the camera wasn’t much better. She talked a tough game coming in, then as she got sick, she showed her weakness. Her thoughts initially were about strategy, then quickly shifted to herself and her experience within the tribe as she also tried to fit in.
The other main character was the final vote-getter at Tribal Council, Peih-Gee. Her confessionals stuck mainly to what she was experiencing in the first few days in the tribe. This wasn’t as much of a narration of the characters on her tribe, as much as it was a day-to-day diary. There wasn’t anything in them to make us believe that she had an end goal or game plan.
The few who were talking strategy stood out quickly in the rest of editing as well. Todd and Amanda were the only two who spoke about either winning the million or doing whatever it takes to win the game. They have their heads in the game and they’re looking all the way to the end. Todd, with his flight attendant charisma, may also end up being a great narrator for his tribe. He’s such a huge fan of the show, so he knows what grabs the producers’ and viewers’ attention. I’d love to see these two go far in the game or even win it for all of us fans.
Aaron, Jean-Robert, and Dave all had brief snippets of strategy talks in their confessionals as well, which leads us to believe they’ll do well in the game, but will they understand what it takes to get to the end?
In interactions between players, we saw a few getting started on their game-play and alliances. Although Leslie, who is an avid Survivor fan, took a slightly negative edit by leaving the Buddha ceremony, she made up for it by approaching a quiet, yet strong James. This pairing may work out well as she’ll lead the political side of the duo and he’ll be the strength. She may be very smart to single him out as her first alliance member. Who else will she pick?
Jean-Robert took a rather strange approach to sizing up his competition by sniffing Todd out as a potential schemer. Todd deflected some of the backhanded flattery well, but will these two work to scheme together or fight it out to be the mastermind of the tribe? Another uber-fan of the show, Todd made an effort to deflect a leadership role to Aaron as a strategic move. It puts Aaron more out front as a selected leader and moves Todd back in the shadows to work his puppetry from behind.
But in the end, we’re here to talk about who may be going next, aren’t we? So let’s look at who is not playing the game well yet.1 2 Next-->
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