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Survivor: South Pacific Roundtable Predictions Update, Episode 1 – Who’s in Trouble, Besides Semhar?by Ken Kellam III -- 09/19/2011
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Any season of the show has its share of irony, and this one is no exception, at least for me personally. How ironic is it that on the same night the show kicked off its first full season since I got married, someone who shares her first name with my wife was announced as the winner of Big Brother? No, I don’t know what that means for the season ahead, except that it should be interesting.
My marital status may have changed, but some things haven’t. For example, the RNO writers still made a series of roundtable predictions before the season started, and again, I will be tracking those predictions from week to week. Obviously, nobody is officially out of the game just yet, thanks to Redemption Island, but since we’ve already got one person on the hot seat, we can look at how her ouster would affect the standings should she lose the first duel.
Out of the seven of us to participate this season, five of us forecast an early exit for Semhar. Those five were William, Chris, Jenn, Sting7, and David. The only dissenters were myself and defending champ Jeffrey. But we didn’t even agree with each other, as I pegged her for the jury, while he had her as a finalist.
That means that Jeffrey has the most to lose if she loses, and I have the next most to lose. Yet neither of us was that impressed by her, as Jeffrey suspected she’d make it to the end due to not doing anything but hooking up with a senior partner, while I thought at best, she’d be strung along until her vote was no longer needed.
Turns out, her tribe already decided it wasn’t needed, as she was the unanimous choice to head to Redemption Island. With that, let’s ask this question: Should she have stepped forward before the challenge the way she did? Obviously, she wasn’t nearly as good at shooting baskets as she thought. But I suspect that what irked her tribe the most was the way she gave up so easily and tried to “tap out.” The fact is, stepping forward in any challenge is a lose-lose situation. If your tribe loses, you may get the blame, but a win means you may have set yourself up as a threat.
Now let’s ask a question about Ozzy. What can we make of his comment that he’d rather play the game with someone who at least has the guts to step up and give it a shot? To be honest, I agree with him, but probably not for the same reason: If someone else steps up, they become the focus of any negative energy in case of a loss. As two-time winner Sandra once said, “As long as it ain’t me.”
Back when I still played online versions of Survivor, one of the challenges was a story-writing contest, and since I was an RNO writer, yep, I stepped up and wrote my tribe’s story. Sadly, the judges picked the other tribe’s story, and I was handed my walking papers shortly thereafter.
I learned my lesson, and in a subsequent game, when someone had to step up, I kept my mouth shut. Again my tribe lost, and again the lead person in the challenge was targeted. By the way, I went on to win that game. You can call it a cheap win if you want, but it worked. The point is, whether you’re playing on the South Pacific or in cyberspace, if you put yourself out front, you’d better deliver or you risk getting the boot, especially if you give up.
Now to another question: How do you feel about Jeff Probst’s post-vote-results comment that apparently the Savaii tribe made the decision to believe a person (obviously referring to Cochran) can improve? As editor David wondered in his recap, does Probst really believe they made this decision on the spur of the moment? Honestly, after having hosted 22 previous seasons and hundreds of Tribal Councils, I think he knows better than anyone that as a general rule, a tribe makes its decision before they enter the Tribal Council area. Most likely, he was simply saying this for the benefit of the cameras, and once they stopped rolling, he probably said, “Did I just say that?”
Let’s end up with a question or two about Semhar’s closing comments. Is she really surprised lying goes on in this game, and is she really surprised her tribe could be so “fake”? Obviously, she has not familiarized herself with the rule about pretending to be nice.
She also expressed disgust at the way they all lied to her, and doesn’t know how people can be so cold-hearted. Frankly, I don’t know how she can be so clueless. Then again, maybe it shouldn’t be surprising, since she listed her pet peeve as “liars.” But that begs the question of why she came on to the show in the first place. How on Earth could she not know what she was getting into? Her RNO interview should prove to be rather interesting. Meanwhile, See you Wednesday.
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Ken is hoping his wife doesn’t vote him onto the couch. He can be reached at YourNextOfKen@aol.com.
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