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Survivor: Exile Island – Waiting for the Fireworksby Ken Kellam III -- 04/03/2006
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When the current season debuted, the question was, who will get sent to Exile Island? Once certain players found themselves stranded there, the question for them was, where’s the immunity idol? Soon, the question for everyone but Terry was, who, if anyone, has found the idol? For the viewers, it was a matter of when Terry would need it, and how exactly how he would use it. Judging by previews, we’ll all find out Thursday.
There is, however, one mystery that has not been solved, and may not be: Is there any reason to keep watching? The “good guys,” aka Austin and Terry, seem destined to be picked off one by one, while Casaya, arguably the most obnoxious, dysfunctional tribe in the show’s history, will probably produce the show’s eventual winner.
Several weeks ago, I was certain Shane was gone, judging by the previews. But alas, I allowed Burnett and company to sucker me in, and was heartbroken when Shane’s tribe won again. Just when you think it’s safe to go in the proverbial water of hope, the shark known as the Casaya tribe rears its head and chases you back to the shore, dimming your enthusiasm for turning the show on again.
Coming back from the basketball break, I actually looked forward to watching again and figured that there was no way the Casayas would stick together, leaving the door open for the La Mina tribe. But alas, Casaya once again proved they actually knew how to play the game, and banded together to vote out Nick.
In a way, the Casaya tribe reminds me of baseballer Ty Cobb. Cobb was one of the nastiest, vilest, most obnoxious people ever to step on the diamond, but was also one of the greatest players in the game’s history. Despite his abrasive personality, he was part of the first group enshrined at Cooperstown, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Obviously, voters were able to look past his demeanor and give him his proper due.
Similarly, as much fun as it is to despise Casaya, and Shane in particular, it’s only fair they be given their due. Despite being one of the most contentious tribes in the game’s history, they obviously knew how to pull together for challenges, thus securing the numbers advantage. And now that they have that advantage, they obviously know how to keep it. So as hard as it sometimes is to like them, they must be given props for knowing what they’re doing, at least as far as sticking together.
Like the Casaya tribe, the show itself seems to suffer from a lack of respect, but somebody out there respects it enough to keep watching. Could Survivor be the Barry Manilow of television? Yes, you’re about to get a full explanation for that question:
Manilow has long been the butt of jokes for his music, or to change up his “Copacabana”: “Manilow Bashin’ is always in fashion.” However, his latest album went to No.1, so despite all the grief he gets, SOMEBODY out there is buying what he’s selling.
In the same way, it’s always been trendy to claim a distaste for Survivor (and for that matter, reality television in general). I can’t tell you how many people have told me they’ve never watched, or stopped watching it after the first couple of seasons. But season after season, the show ends up near the top of the ratings, so like Manilow, the show still has its fans.
The “lack of respect” issue occurred while watching last Thursday night. You may know by now my editor missed an episode because he was busy dodging tornadoes. Well, Thursday night, certain parts of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area were under a tornado watch, and the station meteorologist broke in to keep us informed.
That’s not so bad: After all, the safety of the public is obviously more important than a television show. And I later learned, thanks to the recap, that all I really missed was Bruce designing the new tribal flag. But I noticed that when she was done, the weatherlady said, “We now return to our regular program,” not even mentioning the show by name.
By contrast, she later had to break into C.S.I. twice, and when doing so referred to the show by its name, i.e. “We’ll now return to C.S.I.” So a fictional show seemingly gets more respect than one with real people. How telling is it that the show is disrespected to the point that the station that airs it doesn’t even call it by name?
Now that I think about it, I won’t quit watching, because even though Casaya will most likely Pagong the remaining three La Minas, they’ll eventually have to turn on each other, which should produce some interesting fireworks. Speaking of which, is it too early to be looking forward to final Tribal Council? Regardless of who wins, regardless of which two players make the final two, the prediction here is that all the tribe’s ugliness and dysfunctionality (or is it dysfunctionalism?) will come to the forefront in a huge way in final Tribal Council, making for some of the most explosive footage ever in the show’s history. I’m also predicting Shane will be a big part of that, whether he’s in the final two or the jury.
Speaking of which, now that everyone left in the game is at least on the jury, it will be interesting to see how the tribal dynamics shape up, since the person you’re voting off today could come back to haunt you tomorrow. See you Thursday!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other Survivor: Exile Island Episode 7 articles:
Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com.
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