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An “Insider” Look at Survivor: One World, Episode 8, Part 1 – “We’ve Got a Plan”by Andy Baker -- 04/06/2011
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Michael the Day After
Overall, Michael feels his Survivor experience was “awesome.” Pre-game, in-game, after-game – everything was great. He believes that 22 days are enough to show you what you’re made of and what your body can do.
One thing he learned: Not eating a lot of food is the easy part. He was sure he’d be really hungry, but he really didn’t think about it while he was out there.
The game also makes you appreciate your friends and family. Michael thinks his loved ones will be impressed with how he did, particularly in challenges. He came out, did his best, and he wasn’t the first person voted off (which was his biggest fear).
If he were to do it all over again, Michael wouldn’t team up with Matt at the beginning. Mike feels he dug himself a small grave by doing so, and was backtracking every day because of that move. Instead, he would have joined up with players who weren’t as strong, guys like Jonas, and built up some trust with them. But instead, he looked at the strong guys and said, “I need them on my side.” When they were gone, he was the last man standing.
In the game, Michael explains, you have to provide and you have to strategize – and find a happy medium between the two. He’s a “clean guy,” so he spent time cleaning up camp, but this just ended up frustrating him and wasn’t good for his game. He did too much cleaning and fire gathering when he should have been strategizing. Some people can do nothing and strategize all day, but others, like him, have to provide. Given a chance to do it over again, he’d provide less and strategize more.
The biggest challenge for Mike was the absence of truth, honesty, and genuine connection. Players come from all over and you have to work with them. It’s hard, because most of them are lying to your face every day, even going so far as to tell you fake stories. It gets to you after a while; even if they tell you the truth, you think they’re lying. After a while, you don’t want to talk to anyone, because it’s just “game, game, game” all the time.
Sadly, as an end result, Michael feels that there wasn’t a single part of the game where he was himself. He played Survivor as it’s meant to be played, but he still wanted to be himself a little bit. He feels he was trusting, wore his heart on his sleeve, and was open and honest the entire game, which Mike thinks is “pretty cool.”
Michael wanted to win in an honest way, and that strategy got him pretty far – and yet, he wouldn’t play that way next time (he’d be more deceiving instead). In the end, he tried hard in challenges, he didn’t back down, and he was open and honest – which is exactly how he wanted to play.
Looking back on his final moments in the game, Michael says that he “blacked out” at the moment his torch was snuffed. Everything happened so quickly, was so surreal, because he didn’t expect it. He was in complete disbelief as he walked away. And yet, Michael thinks his blindside was “so Survivor… it was beautiful.”
Michael explains that he would rather exit not knowing he was going than how Jonas did; he wouldn’t want to fight for his life at the end, being aware that he was going to go. In his real life, he feels he’s pretty smart about other people’s intentions, but he actually likes how he went out – he would rather not know. Offering a tip of the cap, Michael says that the blindside was “well-crafted… You have to like that about the game.”
Michael then insists that the game is much harder than you think it is when you’re watching at home. On challenge day, you have to get ready, but you’re tired, hungry, nobody sleeps well, and you don’t drink much water or eat much food. When the challenges come, though, you have to be ready to go. When viewers see them that tired in the challenge, they really are that tired.
On a personal level, Michael explains that he will now appreciate life’s small luxuries: a shower, a bed, a bathroom… friends, family, food. He can buy a bottle of water for a dollar at the store instead of grabbing a pan-full of water, boiling it, and pouring it into his canteen.
The most important takeaway for Michael, however, is the importance of friends and family. When friends invite you to come hang out, they truly want to spend time with you, they sincerely want to hang out. In the game, on the other hand, you don’t get that at all – nobody truly wants to hang out with you. There’s always a motive for every interaction; they want to talk strategy, get something out of you, or pull you away so somebody else can talk strategy. As frustrating as that was for Mike, he still thinks that this level of persistent strategizing is “why the game is beautiful.”
Secret Scene (Michael)
Kim invites Michael into the water for a quick strategy session. As Kim washes clothes, she tells Michael that the two of them can do really well together. They’re both in the middle – people aren’t gunning for either one of them right now.
In a confessional, Kim explains that she’s been assuring Michael that she trusts him as part of their alliance – but that’s not necessarily true. She then reveals why Michael has become a target: She doesn’t feel that she has any sort of connection with him and feels he would turn on her in a heartbeat.
Back in the water, Michael worries that people will in fact be gunning for him. Kim reassures him, though, that people aren’t worried about them. She even goes so far as to say she’s more interested in getting Jay and Troy out of the game before Mike! Mike then explains why he’s paranoid: The old Manono tribe had been targeting him. But now, thankfully, they’re not, because they think he’s going along with “their guy thing.”
The scene ends with a “famous last words” confessional from Mike. He explains that he trusts Kim because she’s level-headed. “Things will be fine; we’ve got a plan,” Michael proclaims. “I’m not on the radar at all right now – they’re not going to vote me out.”
It Was Exhausting (Michael)
Michael describes the reward challenge: They were split into two gender-mixed teams while Tarzan sat out. You slid down a huge waterslide, ran into the water, pulled back giant blocks, and then constructed the puzzle. The challenge, Mike explains, was exhausting. He went first, so he had to pull out a lot of big puzzle pieces.
The puzzle was very difficult in part because they were so tired. Christina was on top calling the shots, while Michael would spin blocks if she needed a different view. It worked out, but it was exhausting.
For Michael, walking into the reward was amazing. It was good to simply get away from the beach life for a while. There was 7UP everywhere, hamburgers, hot dogs, a giant grill, steak, potato salad, potato chips, coleslaw, condiments, pies – this is what he’s been dreaming of for a challenge, and he got it.1 2 Next-->
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