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Survivor: The Amazon – An Ax (or Machete) to Grindby Ken Kellam III -- 03/27/2003
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The seventh episode of Survivor: The Amazon had some of the best moments of the season. However, there was one person who affected the episode in such a way that it tainted an otherwise interesting installment. This person should've know better than to handle things the way he/she did.
This person has been at this long enough to avoid doing what was done, and is certainly capable of such. However his/her actions made the episode more predictable than it should've been. Just who am I so peeved with? I'll give you two guesses, and tell you it's a male. Nope, it ain't Roger. Granted, he should've known better than to do a lot of the things he did, but he didn't really manage to bring down the episode. In fact, I have a feeling his most obnoxious moments were left somewhere on a cutting room floor.
What's that, you say? Nope, it's not Rob either. Yes, he can be rather full of himself. But he's smart enough to keep his thoughts to the camera, and like the piranhas and crocodiles in the show's namesake river, he certainly adds bite to the goings-on. So who is it that managed to put such a damper on Wednesday night's episode? Let me answer that by asking a question in return, namely:
Why was it necessary for Mark Burnett to make it so obvious Roger was going to go? Last week, when Shawna got the heave-go, it was unclear what was going to happen. But this week, Burnett all but announced to the camera himself that the ex-Marine would soon be demoted to Loser's Lodge.
For the record, this really isn't about Roger. In fact, he brings to mind the following quote: "If one person calls you a dog, ignore him. If two people call you a dog, check for pawprints. If three people call you a dog, get a flea collar."
From the very first episode someone was complaining about Roger's bossiness. And in a post-eviction interview, Jeanne alluded to the same thing. Well, now that the merge was here, Roger had some new faces (and old) to tick off, and he did just that. So obviously it was, so to speak, "time for a flea collar."
The problem is with Burnett's editing of the episode. We were made so aware of Roger's ouster I thought I was reading a spoiler board. Well, I avoid spoiler boards for a reason, and didn't need to see one on the episode itself. When Jerri was booted from the Outback, it caught me by surprise (albeit a pleasant surprise), because even though we knew she was obnoxious, there were no hints that it was her turn.
However, that didn't follow here. In fact, Rob went so far as to say Roger was going by a 7-3 vote. And in the end, that's exactly what happened. Several players were shown saying they'd be voting Roger. In fact, it was made so obvious, I was sure he was staying. Then again, maybe that's Burnett's new trick: lead us to believe something, hoping we won't, and then have it come true. Whatever the case may be, hopefully the editing won't be so obvious next time. Alex stated that Roger had no idea he was going tonight. And what I want to know is, why did WE have to know?
Now, for some more questions. Let's start with Roger himself. Did Roger not realize what he was doing? Rob claimed he had no self-awareness and was completely in the dark that so many people disliked him. But in his closing comments, Roger said he was a strong personality, couldn't hide it, and knew it would put him at a disadvantage. You'd think that being an ex-Marine, he'd have the discipline to at least try, but apparently he couldn't adapt.
While physically, he bore a strong resemblance to someone with a very similar name, strategy-wise, he brought back images of B.B. from the show's first installment. After B.B. helped build the tribe's shelter, he was of no use, and got ousted (partially because he asked for it, literally). But he grated on peoples' nerves rather quickly with his bossy, domineering ways, even telling a tribemate, "When you're 64 YOU can be in charge." Yes, Roger lasted longer, but he too was ousted soon after helping build a shelter.
There were also shades of Patricia (she registers little more than a blip on the Survivor radar, but there are strong indications she was in Marquesas). She was so used to being a Mom away from the island, she tried to be one in the game as well, but these weren't her kids. In her Early Show interview, she said she wasn't changing who she was for the game. Neither was Roger, apparently. At least B.B. could use the excuse that no one yet really knew how to play the game. But being that this is the sixth edition of the show, Roger should've known better.
One final question about Roger: We saw various confessionals from people letting him have it. Why didn't we ever see HIS side of the story until his final words? Did Burnett choose not to let us see these so we would hate Roger all the more? Similarly, when Zoe lied to Kathy in Marquesas, we saw Kathy tell her side of the story, but never Zoe. This again is where editing comes in. It may have shed some light on Roger's mindset if we'd heard more of his to-the-camera thoughts, but then again, he didn't hide much anyway, so it might have been pointless.1 2 Next-->
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