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Survivor: Pearl Islands – Welcome? Backby Ken Kellam III -- 11/10/2003
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The point can be made that the latest Survivor twist was unfair. After all, once out, always out, right? However, there can be no denying one fact: Burnett's latest spin on the game has provided some great moments for viewers. While it's not a twist you'd want to see every time (otherwise it wouldn't be a twist now, would it?), it was fun to watch this once.
First of all, we got to see something we'd never seen before: A tribal council to open an episode; now I know many of you will claim that this episode was simply a continuation of last week's, but nevertheless, it was still the first time a one-hour installment of the show has led off with a vote. And what a vote it was: Everyone was given not one, but TWO votes on who should go back in. Now if I were a castaway, I would use a little strategy and cast my votes for the two people I thought were least likely to receive any. Of course, if everyone employed the same strategy, it could backfire something terrible.
Maybe the major sports leagues will follow Burnett's lead and we'll someday hear an announcement that my beloved, hapless Texas Rangers, out of the pennant race before Summer officially starts, still have a chance to qualify for the playoffs. I mean, how exciting would it be to see them come back from the dead and obliterate the Yankees in three straight games? Yep, right after Osama and Saddam are named co-winners of the Nobel Peace prize.
As for Pearl Islands, let's take a look at the first two people to go back into the game in Survivor history after being ousted. Burton had it pegged when he said he's the most competitive person he knows. He went on to prove his point by outdoing Rupert to win immunity, even though he didn't need it. Of course, he passed it on to the big man afterwards, citing how close the challenge was. But I have a feeling he might have passed it on anyway, seeing as how Rupe would've been a tribal council target otherwise.
Burton also came back into the game in a strategically sound way, not holding any grudges, or at least pretending not to. After all, he knows he needs to schmooze up to his old (and new) tribe if he wants a shot at the money. He did such a good job of it that Sandra, who previously dreaded his return, told the camera the Drakes are now glad he's back. But understandably, Burton isn't fully convinced. He's smart enough to know that they may be playing him, but also smart enough to know he needs them and smart enough to hide his skepticism.
In contrast, Lill may be a nice person, and certainly may be the most useful of the Morgans when it comes to doing work. However, she's shown in her return that she really has no idea how to play the game. Upon her arrival, she told her tribe she never felt like she fit in. While her feelings are justified, playing nice and forgiving might've been a more practical route, game-wise. Yes, they would just be using her and would most likely cast her out at the first opportunity. However, playing your hand right away will not earn you a merit badge in game play.
I don't doubt that she's an inherently honest person. But don't tell me she's afraid to have her troop see her lie on TV. If she were really concerned about image, she would not have referred to those who evicted her as "sons of bitches" during tribal council, not that they didn't deserve it.
Having said that, did she make the right decision strategically? It's hard to say, because either way, she's up a creek. While she sided with the Drakes, allowing them to once again get the upper hand in numbers, it's unlikely they'll give her much of a chance to win. Even if Jon goes before her, the best she can hope for, barring immunities, is most likely fourth place. And it doesn't seem likely she can pull off a win. Of course, it didn't seem likely Mama Kim would outlast two younger males in the "hands on an idol" challenge in Africa, either.
A few comments are also in order regarding Andrew, whom Lill would eventually help banish from the game. Right around the time she was getting re-acquainted with her tribemates, a couple of minions appeared, sitting on each of my shoulders. The one on my right said, "Andrew is getting his comeuppance. He thinks he friggin’ rules the game, but maybe if he'd gotten back with Lill like she'd asked him to before her ouster last time, he'd still be in the game." The one on the left, who bore a strange resemblance to Dr. Phil, said, "Get real. It's not a good idea to let someone know they're leaving the game. And how was Andrew to know she'd come back to haunt him?"1 2 Next-->
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