Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
Survivor: The Greatest of All Time – An IntroductionPage 2
View Printable version of this article
It’s certainly possible to win Survivor and never win an individual immunity or reward challenge. After all, the best players often position themselves with their allies so that they don’t need to win a challenge to advance. However, when there are opponents left in the game or the game is approaching its conclusion, it is certainly helpful to be able to compete successfully for immunity.
Occasionally players need to win for the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they are safe. At other times they need to make sure that their intended target doesn’t win safety. Either way, there are times in the game where a player simply has to be able to switch into another gear and at least contend in critical challenges. This isn’t the most important criteria, but being able to seize control of their own destiny can be the deciding factor between victory and a second-place finish.
Outlast: There are a lot of factors that tie in with outlasting the other competitors on the island, but predominantly this is where the social factors come in to play. A player can have a great plan, be physically dominant, and be voted off their tribe so quickly that we barely remember their name... as Hunter Ellis can attest. To get past the early days when tribal alliances are still shaking out, a player has to have this quality, and it’s a must for navigating the waters at the end of the game as well.
Many players have found themselves going from a controlling position to a seat on the jury, and every great player has faced the challenge of avoiding that. You can call it the “X factor,” call it the “social game,” or call it the “diplomatic view” as we have in previous seasons. It all boils down to the ability to form relationships, make it to the end of the game, and get the most votes when you get there. As we put it in the first “Diplomatic View” column for Survivor: Redemption Island:
Survivor has always been a three-headed monster ever since Richard Hatch taught a nation of television viewers how to play. Strength in challenges will make things easier for you and your tribe and may help you in crucial spots to get to the finals; strength in numbers will let you control the votes and go as far as possible in the game; and being liked (or less hated) will win you the million dollars. The diplomatic game is less flashy than winning challenges but without it, alliances are much harder to form and winning is next to impossible. Just ask Danielle from Heroes vs. Villains how one slip at the wrong time can change everything.
So perhaps Jeff Probst’s summary at the start of the season of what it will take to win describes what it will take to be the Greatest of All Time. But there is another factor that bears considering, an over-arching quality that ties the others together and turns them into the perfect recipe for success on Survivor.
Flexibility: It’s easy for players to create a strategy before they come to the island, playing out in their minds how they’ll befriend the young guys at camp, work hard, provide food, stay in the background, not be a threat, and any number of other strategies that we’ve seen previous winners play out. However, once players actually get their boots on the ground, they often find that the strategy they thought they’d employ isn’t viable at all.
One thing that Mark Burnett and company have done very well is to tweak the formula each season so that no preconceived strategy is guaranteed to work. Every season of Survivor is a little bit different, and Jeffrey Clinard summed up the importance of that flexibility:
The best Survivor players examine the situation from the start and adapt their strategy to the elements around them. The biggest factor is assessing the other players in terms of their ability to either enhance or inhibit the ability of a Survivor to win the game. I don’t think there is any single good strategy, but the best Survivors are the ones who figure out how to best adapt their strategy to the demands of each particular game.
Things change in Survivor with every vote, with every reward, and with every argument back at camp. Great players are always ready to shift their strategy when they need to adapt to current events. Trying to keep the initiative and keep other players reacting to their moves is one of the small touches that make a big difference in the game. It’s also not always possible, and this quality covers great players knowing when they have to relinquish control and do whatever needs to be done to last another three days in the game, even if that means watching an ally get sent home.
Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke, Chief of Staff of the Prussian army and one of the greatest strategists of the 19th century, once said, “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” He did not mean that plans weren’t important, which the quote is often used to indicate. What he meant is that any plan must have a series of options so as to be adaptable for any circumstance that a general might face. So it is with Survivor.
Finally, before we get to our list of the Greatest Players of All Time (and those who should have received a higher grade), a quick note on the voting. Each of our voters ranked their top players, and points were allocated to each player based on their position (10 points for first, 9 for second, and so on). These points were then tabulated and used to determine the top ten. In cases where players were tied in points, average ranking was used as the tie-breaker. Twenty-five different players received votes. One player appeared on all ballots with ten players appearing on only one ballot.
After the voting, for each of the top ten players, a member of our panel was given the chance to write a piece justifying the placement of that member, or a dissenting piece arguing why they should have been ranked differently. We hope you find those arguments as interesting as the list itself.
Christian has been reading Reality News Online for a very long time, but joined the writing staff a little over a year ago. A reality television junkie who still wishes Anderson Cooper would come back to host one more season of The Mole, he’s almost always willing to argue about Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race, and about a dozen different Food Channel shows. He and his writing partner Shane share a Twitter account (@howwejudgeit), and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can follow Reality News Online on Twitter and on Facebook! On Twitter, you can get up to the minute notifications on article postings and other reality TV news by following us. So head on over to Reality News Online’s Twitter page! On Facebook, you can become a fan, join discussions, and more!
Be sure to sign up for the RealityNewsOnline/FoxesOnIdol e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on both sites! Also make sure to check out RealityNewsOnline for recaps and articles covering other reality TV shows.
For even more news about Survivor, be sure to check SirLinksALot: Survivor !
<--Previous 1 2
View Printable version of this article