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Survivor: Thailand - A Few High Points, But Otherwise…by Paris Cosby -- 12/28/2002
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I finally got around to watching the final two episodes and the reunion of Survivor: Thailand. I think this series, as a whole, was rather disappointing. About the only exciting and interesting parts of the show were the winner and the jury questions. I guess I can throw in the challenge that saw Robb choking Clay - that was fairly entertaining. Other than that, I really wasn't impressed - which is more than likely the reason it took me five days to get around to watching it.
Almost every cast member bothered me in some sort of way. Robb was annoying, Shii-Ann was annoying, Erin bothered me, and Clay reminded me of the guy that no one can understand on King of the Hill. I didn't see John long enough for him to grate on my nerves but I think it was heading that way. Ghandia was just strange (she looked great at the reunion though!), Helen disappointed me, Jed was boring, Stephanie was boring, the list goes on.
Brian, on the other hand, was great to watch! I didn't see Survivor 1, but after all the comparisons between Brian and Richard Hatch, I'm sorry I missed it. Brian wasn't there to make friends and I really don't think he is leaving Survivor with more than Jan as a new buddy. But that's what made Brian so great to watch. He was there on business and he wasn't about to let anyone get in his way of the million dollar prize. My hat is off to him, he did a great job.
At first, I figured Brian would be one of the first to go after the merge - just like Ken. But, somehow, he had almost everyone believing that they couldn't do it without him. Brian could sell crap to almost anyone. Almost. Jake wasn't buying. I think Jake was maybe the only one to see what no one else could. Yet Brian still got his vote and I think Jake gave it to him because he knew the plan and it worked and he respected that. Or, maybe he just picked the lesser of two evils. Either way, Brian will go down as one of the most hated (by his former tribemates) as well as one of the most respected, intelligent players of the game. Any other winner would have sent the show smashing to the ground.
The jury, this season, was great to watch as well! Starting with Erin's question asking why the other person did not deserve the million dollars to Helen's pushy, domineering badgering of Brian - it was great. I didn't understand Ken's question and wasn't sure what he was getting at and I wasn't quite sure what Ted was talking about either but you could see the anger. And I thought Helen might actually hurt someone. I said, "Geez, Brian didn't tell you because you were close enough to beat the crap out of him for voting you out!" I wouldn't have told her she was the next to go either. They have weapons out there and she may very well have used one. Remember why she doesn't carry a gun?
I'm not really one for analyzing the show and judging strategies (I'll leave that to the experts), I'm more of a people watcher. This season just didn't really have very many interesting people to watch. There were interesting incidents - but not interesting people. Of the 16 contestants, I think there were only probably two that caught my attention enough to wonder more about them. They were Jan and Brian. These two made the show worth watching each week.
Brian interested me because I could see what he was doing and how he was playing and I had no idea how he was going to pull it off, but he did. I don't think he ever wasn't in control. He played the way a winner of Survivor should play. I know there are no cut and dried rules of how the winner should play, but I'd like to see all of them play the way Brian did.
Jan wasn't a fabulous player but she was great to watch! From her pet cemetery to her absolute love of anything alcoholic, this woman was hilarious. She was as batty as the cave she lived in for 38 days but very, very interesting. I know a lot of people feel that she didn't deserve to be where she was in the game because she flew under the radar but I was glad she came in third. I really liked watching her each week. She broke up the monotony of Brian's climb to the top. I think he deserved it but I do like to be surprised every now and then as well. I would have like to have seen a few more 'characters' on the show and not so many of Brian's puppy dogs.
As a whole, it was a disappointment for me, and with that I will send Survivor 5 off to the past and look forward to a new, and hopefully more exciting, season for Survivor 6! Maybe I'll make my own little float for Survivor: Thailand and give it a proper send off.
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