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CBS Reveals ‘Survivor: Panama – Exile Island’ Twistsby David Bloomberg -- 01/10/2006
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Although the 12th edition of Survivor won’t begin until February 2, CBS yesterday provided details on just what “Exile Island” will be all about.
There are only 16 contestants this time around (who I will discuss in a separate article), but they will start in four tribes! The tribes will be broken down by age and sex: older men, older women, younger men, younger women.
However, that won’t last long, as the four tribes will become two in the second episode with a schoolyard pick that is presumably similar to the one we saw at the beginning of Survivor: Palau (except that it’s doubtful anybody will be sent packing, the way Wanda and Jonathan were in Palau).
It’s interesting both that the original tribes will last such a short time and that CBS has chosen to reveal this twist to us so far ahead of time. Presumably, the producers were hoping to try to create some initial bonds among the groups, and then almost immediately mix them all up to see if those bonds would last. It will certainly be a surprise for the contestants.
However, it’s less clear why CBS would tell viewers that this tribal mix-up would happen. Why not surprise us too, or at least try? I’m afraid I don’t have an answer to that.
In addition to telling us some of what will happen with the tribes, CBS has also revealed some of the secrets of Exile Island. As was indicated in last season’s finale, at least one player each week will be “banished” to an island by themselves – much like Janu was for a day, also back in Palau. The difference is that this is supposed to be punishment of a sort, while Janu found it better than being with the rest of her tribe!
Also, it turns out the secret that can be found on Exile Island is a hidden immunity idol. Likely, producers will make it difficult to find, but will provide clues as the game progresses.
The first trip to Exile Island will take place in the premiere episode. All four tribes will compete in a reward challenge. The losing tribe will have to decide who goes to Exile Island, where they will remain until the immunity challenge.
If this pattern remains throughout the series, the person on Exile Island will be isolated from the plotting and scheming, and could be an easy target if the tribe should also lose immunity. Indeed, if exile is based on a straight vote, it will become an indicator of where each person stands in the tribe. Plotters will have to decide if they want to reveal their hands at the Exile Island vote or hold their cards close, let a secret ally be sent into exile, and then spring the blindsiding only at Tribal Council. Like the reward challenges that can reveal where a player stands in his or her tribe, the vote for Exile Island may become a tool to reveal alliances or find out that a player’s status in the tribe is not nearly as high as he or she thought it was.
So here we are, almost a month away from the new Survivor, and already three twists have been revealed. It has to make us wonder what other twists CBS is keeping hidden from us. And yes, I’m still scratching my head about the revelation of the tribal realignment – I can’t help myself, it just makes me think there is more to it than that. But we may just have to wait ‘til February 9 to find out for sure.
If you haven’t already, be sure to read up on the 16 new contestants!
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at RNO@pobox.com.
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