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An “Insider” Look at Survivor: South Pacific Episode 1, Part 1 – “Playing this Game Is My Super Bowl”by Kari Kennedy -- 09/20/2011
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It’s a new season and new Survivors. And, as always, with a new season come new shiny hopes and dreams for those playing the game.
Dream Come True (Cochran)
Can I just tell you right off the bat that I just love Cochran. He’s a doll, albeit a little, pink, sunburned doll. I hope, as a huge fan, he makes it deep into the game.
Cochran thinks being a student at Harvard Law School has taught him a lot of things that will translate well to this game. At his law school, people are just nasty, smart, and extremely competitive. They’ll tear pages out of books so you can’t get to information. They are graded on a curve so, even when studying together, people will give out false information. This says a lot about our current legal system, doesn’t it?
Cochran’s a fan and student of the game In high school he wrote a Survivor newsletter and in college he wrote a prize-winning essay about the game. He’s put in lots of man hours watching and reading about Survivor. Cochran knows the game on a cerebral level, but can he make it work in a practical environment?
“I’m not a fan of football, but I imagine those who are fans dream of being in the Super Bowl. Playing this game is my Super Bowl. This is a dream come true… I’ve literally dreamt about this for the last eleven years,” Cochran tells us.
Cochran decided to try to get on the show now, just before he graduates law school and before he gets stuck doing something he hates in a real job. This cracks me up! Cochran realizes he is equipped to win the game, but he knows that a lot of winning is based on the other people in the game. “I don’t mean to be immodest, but I’m probably going to be one of the smarter players to play this game… I may be smart, but I don’t look smart, which may help in throwing people off a bit.”
Continuing on, Cochran says he has the knowledge, passion, and even the social game to win this. Cochran says he is approachable and has friends who are potheads, Valley girls, and jocks, so he can get along with just about anyone. I think we have that mix in this season’s cast, don’t we?
Cochran says his Achilles heel is his insecurity and his tendency to over-analyze situations. He’s worried that the negative thoughts and scenarios in his head will cripple his shot at the game. Cochran isn’t thrilled that there will be a returning player on his tribe as well since the rest of the tribe will probably look at that person with a sense of awe. Cochran worries the tribe will immediately flock to that person, but as a caveat, Cochran also thinks that this person will have a huge target on their back. He hopes that it’ll be a hated player because that will make it easier to send them home. If it’s a lovable person, Cochran thinks people will be harder pressed to send them home. Yep, Cochran, this is the case with Ozzy on your team, buddy.
Hard to Keep My Mouth Shut (Jim)
Jim has a huge resume behind him with all the jobs he has or has had in the past. Jim is currently in the medical marijuana business and he knows it comes with stigmas both positive and negative. Jim had a hard time even telling his parents about this business. The thing that surprised me is that Jim says he’s never smoked the stuff before, but he knows how much it helps people who need it.
Jim’s poker playing smarts start showing when he starts talking about odds. Straight off the bat, Jim knows that the odds of winning are 18:1 for everyone coming into the game, but when you handicap players with skills and who might be thrown off first, he thinks his own odds of winning are about 8:1. Jim thinks that he has the brains, athleticism, and personality to win the game, but he knows winning requires some luck as well.
Adaptability is the key word in Jim’s strategy. He has ideas as to some scenarios that could happen, but Jim is also realistic –he knows everything will change the minute he steps onto the island.
Jim thinks that there are a couple of reasons he might not win the game – which is a unique approach in an interview. Jim says he’s a natural leader so he thinks he’ll have to work hard to step back a bit in the early rounds. He also knows that as he goes further in the game – as with poker – he will likely be willing to take bigger risks. Jim hopes he can keep his mouth shut in the beginning and that someone else will take on the leadership role.
Why does Jim want to play the game? His mom asked him the same thing. His reason is the best I’ve ever heard! “Mom, I get to be on an island for 39 days and every day someone builds me a new game to play.”
Jim wants to win the game to win it, not necessarily for the money. He says that he’s not wealthy, but he’s doing fine. Jim wants his parents to be able to retire. “The best thing that happened to me in my life was to go broke. It showed me what I need against what I want. Now I see what’s important and what I want in life.
“I don’t think there’s a person with a better knowledge of the game or a better skill set to win the game,” Jim says. Wouldn’t it be great to see him and Cochran facing off at the end?
I Have an Advantage (Mark)
Mark, or Papa Bear as he prefers, is now a registered nurse, but used to work in the NYPD as a detective. Mark thinks his background as a detective will help him out because he’s used to watching people and looking for clues to their personalities and if they are lying or telling the truth.
Mark worked in a morgue for a while, notifying families that someone had died from a disaster or homicide. He also was there for those who were on one of the American Airlines flights that crashed on 9-11. He did fingerprints and DNA on the bodies before sending them home to family. It was a tough job, especially after the attacks, because there were only 20 people on the police force of 33,000 working on this notification.
Mark thinks he’s a nurturer by trade and puts others before himself. He thinks this will be good in the beginning of the game, but as it progresses, Mark knows he’ll have to learn to start looking out for only himself. Mark isn’t sure he can do it and so he’s curious to see how he will change.
As an advantage, Mark says he has a lot of life experience on which to base his game. He went back to school late in life to establish a second career. He raised a child. He is also gay – and in the police department that isn’t easy.
In summary, Mark’s in this for the experience, even though he says he’s in it to win it.1 2 3 Next-->
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