RNO Roundtable - 'Survivor: The Amazon' Predictions, Part 1: The Women
by RealityNewsOnline Staff
The writers of RealityNewsOnline once again gather to predict what will happen on the new season of Survivor - but this time we've split it up just as the producers have. Today we will address our thoughts on the women.
Editor's Introduction: Usually at about this time before the start of a new Survivor season, the writers of RealityNewsOnline gather to predict what will happen on that season. Generally, because of the rather sparse information available, we're mostly wrong. But sometimes we hit it on the nose, as I did last season in picking Brian to win and saying Clay probably wouldn't do much work around camp, and as Charlie Reneke did a few seasons back with similarly good predictions. So you never know. CBS gives us something to work with, and we go from there.
This year, to avoid a 20-plus page mega-article, we are breaking it down. Today we will look at the women. Tomorrow we'll have the men. Wednesday we'll make our overall predictions. Also, don't miss Professor Jeffrey D. Sadow's predictions, which he is going to make using a statistical methodology that should, in theory, be better than any of us mere humans. You can check out the first article in his three-part series here and the second here.
But below you have predictions from, in alphabetical order: David Bloomberg, Jeffrey Clinard, C. Brian Devinney, Jamie Goralski, Ken Kellam III, Phil Kural, Charlie Reneke, and Melinda Smith.
JABURU: THE WOMEN
Christy Smith Age: 24 From: Basalt, CO Occupation: Children Adventure Guide for the Deaf Marital Status: Single Luxury Item: Sage Special Notes: First deaf Survivor. Christy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology/criminology from Gallaudet University (Washington, D.C.). Spent 50 days in a wilderness adventure in Alaska. Self-described as "succulent, independent and goal-oriented." Favorite sports are winter-themed events such as snowboarding and skiing.
David: Certainly Christy will be the focus of much attention this season, but the real question is whether the fact that she is hearing-impaired will have any real effect on the game. Frankly, I've often thought that the ability to read lips would come in quite handy on Survivor for those times when others think they are out of earshot and plotting against you. Whether that will come into play here is, of course, unknown. The fact that she has been on outdoor adventure trips may help her, but we've seen before that the most important skills are not starting fires but dealing with people. If she can integrate herself well with the group, she shouldn't have a problem. In fact, it may not be politically correct to say so, but I suspect that some of the women will avoid voting for her early on just so they don't look like they are picking on her. Given this, I think she'll make the jury, but probably not any further.
Jeffrey: Communication is a big factor in Survivor, and it might seem her handicap of deafness might hurt her in this regard. I disagree; I think she'll go out of her way to communicate with the others in the tribe. I think she'll make the merge, but not win.
Brian: Luxury item is sage? What is she going to do with that? Smudge her camp? I like the fact that she's the first deaf Survivor and part of me has to wonder how this is all going to play out for her. Technically they talk behind her back (and in front of it as well for that matter) because she won't be able to hear them, but she can read lips. The fact she spent fifty days in a wilderness adventure shows that she can survive in the harsh inclement weather conditions. However, in order to win, she has to play smarter and harder than any previous winner before. She can do well, but she's going to have to work at it.
Jamie: Sure has excellent outdoorsy credentials and working with kids have to think she has patience and diplomacy. I wonder how her being deaf will affect communication with tribemates. It takes more effort and energy to communicate with someone who is lip reading and I would think she would have to bring a lot to the table and be very personable for strangers to make the effort. Her degree in sociology makes me think she might be very savvy about the interpersonal aspects of the game and describing herself as succulent either she has a great sense of humor or she will be sorry they are divided by sexes. I see her making it at least to the jury if not final four.
Ken: Obviously the most interesting to watch, given her disability. Her theme song may as well be, "Please don't let me be misunderstood." Being used to overcoming obstacles, I wouldn't be surprised to see her overcome the communication barrier here. My feeling is she will go out of her way to communicate with her tribemates, and will endear herself to them and the audience. May become the Elisabeth or Colleen of this game. Also, people like underdogs, and will root for her for that reason. I can see her sticking around awhile, although she may get ousted near the end because no one wants to face her in the final two. I see her making the final four or at least getting close to it.
Phil: Well, from the looks of her profile, I like her. I'm not sure how long she is going to last though because of her deafness. I'm in no way saying that a deaf person can't be on Survivor, but I'm not sure if that will play against her or not. She seems to be in good shape and is a very active person. However, I'm not so sure how the other ladies will view her. If she can just wedge her way into some kind of alliance, she should be fine. I'll go out on a limb here and say she will make the merge. Not so much because I really think she will but more for the fact that I would love to see her do well.
Charlie: Of course, the first question that comes to mind is can a deaf person thrive in a game where communication is the most important aspect? Well, I would like to remind all doubters that being deaf and being stupid are two very different things. Judging by all her qualifications, I would say that Christy should be able play the mental aspect of the game very well. And remember, the best players of Survivor have all made it to the top with minimal communications when it comes to their alliances. In fact, alliances (and complete tribes) have failed because they talk too damn much. Kucha anyone? How about Rotu? Of course, some people will say that Christy's tribemates would be able to really scheme and plot behind her back. But remember, she can hear minimal sounds, so that's not entirely true, and besides, deaf people are more self aware out of necessity. So I really don't think that her disability will harm her at all, and in fact, she might be able to use it to her advantage. Play off other's sympathies and rise to the top. Of course, we have to remember that she is self described as 'independent,' which is pretty much the worst character trait a Survivor can have. In the early game, if a person comes off as a loaner, then it almost always result in that person being gone before the jury. Although she will have no problems with the actual survival aspects of the game, I don't think she'll make the jury.
Melinda: Christy has a good chance at staying in the game if she uses the skills she's developed at "reading" people and maneuvering in a hearing world. She's obviously integrated well in society at large, having worked as a facilitator and children's nature guide. Her ability to pick up on subtle clues in body language and expression, as well as emotional clues, could be invaluable. The fact that she has learned to lip read says a lot. Lip reading is not so common anymore - sign language is the encouraged means of communication among the deaf - and the fact that she has applied herself to learn lip reading shows how committed she is to integrating within hearing society. Reading Christy's own body language, she seems shy, which makes her achievements that much greater. If Christy can maintain solid relationships with other players, I think she'll do well.