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Survivor: Pearl Islands – First, Last, and Lasting Impressionsby Ken Kellam III -- 09/24/2003
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The seventh edition of Survivor is officially underway, and already some definite impressions have been formed. Who has left the biggest impression so far, who has left the best one, and who might soon find themselves on the receiving end of a mutiny?
Let's start with Burton. Not surprisingly, he has already established himself as a tribal leader. Whether or not the others in his tribe will respect that remains to be seen. But there is also dissension in the ranks. Not only have he and Shawn started to alienate a few people right off the bat, they seem completely oblivious to this fact (although that will change when Rupert goes off on one them this week, as we have seen in the previews). Sharing coconut milk with only a select few wasn't the smartest strategy. Nevertheless, Burton won't be going anywhere for awhile, no matter how grating he may be. Drake would be smart to keep him around if just for his strength.
What about his partner in piracy, Shawn? I don't know if any of you caught the look on Rupert's face when Shawn said he liked people with beards, because they catch everything. Suffice it to say Rupert wasn't impressed and said if they weren't careful they would make everyone hate them. This is one of those times when it would be to a player's benefit to see the confessionals of others. Like Burton, Shawn will be around for awhile, although the post-merge could be another story.
Granted, the two did go fishing, but they only caught one fish between them, as opposed to Rupert, who caught a bunch by himself. If they can improve on that, it could lengthen their stay in the game. Otherwise, they might find themselves "dead in the water."
Then there's Jon. Many times, someone's bio doesn't give a true indication of how they'll do. But in Jon's case, a couple of people have commented that he seems like a real jerk, and the first episode seems to bear this out. He claims to go by the moniker of "Jonny Fairplay," without actually playing fair. First of all, who gave him this name? One of his tribemates? Himself, maybe? And why go by that if he doesn't play fair? To fool the others, possibly? Frankly, if one of my tribemates called himself that, I would put it in the same category as Nixon's infamous "I am not a crook." Furthermore, the way he seems to view himself as God's gift to women, maybe he should be called "Jonny Foreplay." Not only that, but he said that while he's not strong, he IS funny, and everyone likes his jokes. Well, not quite everyone. Sandra and Christa have already complained about him, and Rupert compares Jon to the troubled teens he mentors, who pop off and "say stupid stuff." Obviously the minimum age requirement to be on the show doesn't apply to maturity. Otherwise, Jon might be watching from home. So, not only is he not strong, his main weapon, humor, is already alienating people. Don't be surprised if he soon finds out the joke is on him.
And of course, who could forget the early breakout favorite, Rupert? Most likely, he'll be a guy the viewers love or hate. But just what is it about Boneham that's so enticing? Is the way he stole shoes to help his tribe? His gravelly voice? The heavy beard? The answer is, "All of the above." If he looked like Shawn or Burton but acted the same way, he wouldn't stand out. However, the beard plus the attitude is the perfect combination to stand out. Personally, I'd like to see him stick around awhile, and not just because I chose him to win in the roundtable. But there's another issue: What about the stolen shoes? I think while it was an awfully risky move, so far it seems to have paid off. The Morgan tribe seems completely clueless that their shoes are even gone. Then again, some of them were completely naked during the first challenge, so maybe that shouldn't be too surprising. As Rupert said, "We're pirates, so we pirated." And let's remember: If the producers thought it was wrong, they would've done something about it, such as in the first season, when Jeff Probst intercepted Rich Hatch trying to give juror member Jenna a token gift. So, look for the Hoosier Mountain Man to be around awhile, apparently a longer while than some people gave him credit for.
What about the women of Drake? First, there's Christa. She's already shown she can share, cutting off part of her dress to make a skirt for Big Bad Rupert. She's also shown she's not that impressed by Jon's antics. In her video, she went on and on about her intelligence, and she may just be right.
Then there's Sandra, who has the distinction of having the first televised confessional of the season, and the first "bleep," saying when she found out the game had started, she thought, "Oh s---." She made excellent use of her Spanish skills in the village, making a series of deals. However, she does seem to have an attitude, saying the nude members of Morgan "better not lose their weenies." She's one of those people who, if she's on your side, you love her, but otherwise, you want her out yesterday. If she can keep her attitude under wraps, she might just be around awhile.
Michelle? Not much to go on, but seems to be a good team player. Doesn't seem to be relying on sex appeal as a strategy, at least so far.1 2 Next-->
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