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Survivor: Panama - Who Will Go in Episode 1?by Wesley Rice -- 02/01/2006
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It seems like just yesterday that we saw Danni organize a brilliant little strategy, playing head games with some of the other Survivors by preying on their fears and winning in a 6-1 vote against Stephenie. Last season, my predictions ran amok, and I ended up getting very few predictions correct. However, I did manage to determine that Danni would ultimately defy the odds and come out of Guatemala as the winner. That marks two seasons in a row now in which I have correctly predicted the winner before the final show.
But now it’s time to embark upon a new season of Survivor. This season I hope to once again predict for you the winner of Survivor using only my own meager understanding of logic and human behavior (and hopefully I’ll be able to improve on my regular season stats as well). Remember that each prediction will be spoiler-free. So if you just want to look up the winner so you can go watch a celebrity do the polka on a different channel, you’re in the wrong place. But if you’d like an in-depth analysis of the weekly tribal makeup (and maybe just a dash of inanity), then please continue reading.
As is always the case, the first week presents a bit of a challenge. It’s exceptionally difficult to predict the first boot without having even watched an episode yet. The Survivors have yet to reveal any of their personalities beyond the biographical information found on the CBS website. And despite some speculative strategy here and there from some of the players, there’s really not much that I can definitively draw from for the first week.
Therefore, last season I used the cereal method to determine the first to be booted, measuring each Survivor’s staying power based upon the tastelessness of the cereals they preferred. This was actually a fairly accurate measure of the first few weeks. I had Lydia, Amy, and Morgan on the short list, all three of whom were under scrutiny after the initial hike. However, I failed to take into account the tastelessness of Jim’s favorite cold-rolled Irish oatmeal and thus missed the first boot.
However, I still believe that the answer to the first boot resides somewhere in the mundane details of the Survivors’ preferences. So this season the first Survivor to go will be determined by an old-fashioned video game tournament! Now, before I go any further, I must make note of the fact that some of this season’s contestants don’t seem to play video games. In those instances I have taken their favorite board games and tried to incorporate them as best I can.
First, let’s review each contestant’s favorite game:
Aras – Warcraft II
Now, although most video game tournaments are played to determine the winner, this one shall be a little different. The winner of each round will be safe, while the loser travels to the losers’ bracket, which we will follow all the way to the end to find the first booted contestant. And of course, a cheap tournament is nothing without cheesy commentators. So commenting for us today through the first round of play will be Larry Csonka and Mike Adamle of American Gladiators fame. Welcome, Larry and Mike!
Larry: Thank you, Wesley! And let me say, there are going to be some very exciting feats of futility today!
Mike: That’s right, Larry. And first up are Aras and Tina.
Larry: Well, it seems that Aras is off to a commanding lead as his peasants begin building a chicken farm, barracks, and lumber mill.
Mike: But wait, Larry. Tina has released Pac-man, and he’s just chomping through the middle of those peasants. It doesn’t look good for Aras.
Larry: No indeed, Mike. Aras doesn’t seem to have much of a chance here unless--
Larry: Well would you look at that! Aras’s footmen are coming out of the barracks and beating poor Pac-man to a pulp. Looks like this one’s all over for Tina.
Mike: Wow! That was a rough turn of events for Pac-man! I guess he’s going to the losers’ bracket, because his bags are already Packed, Man!
Mike: That’s right, Larry! Next up is Shane versus Bobby. Now, each of them has chosen multiple favorites, so they’re going to limit their selections to NCAA March Madness ‘06 and Fight Night 2 for this round. And the players are getting set on the court.
Larry: Oh, no! It looks like all of the Fight Night players have taken swings at Shane’s chosen team, the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The refs have called several flagrant fouls and the game hasn’t even begun! And now the remaining Fight Night players are taking swings at the refs! Technical fouls all over the place, and the entire team has now being ejected. Quite an odd start for Bobby and his games, but it looks like they’ll be headed to the losers’ bracket.
Mike: And now Austin and Cirie are stepping up with Trivial Pursuit and Frogger. Austin pulls out the first card, which is Arts & Entertainment.
Austin: What HBO series’ first three seasons are detailed in David Bishop’s unofficial guide to Bright Lights, Baked Ziti?
Austin: I’m sorry, it’s actually The Sopranos.
Mike: Well, it looks like Frogger isn’t taking this defeat very well. He’s actually hopped out of the room, across the street, and into a river.
Larry: I really think Frogger took that defeat a little too hard, Mike. Committing suicide because he didn’t know the answer just seems a little extreme to me.
Mike: No time to dwell on that now, Larry. Our next contestants, Ruth Marie and Terry, are already preparing their match.
Larry: Now, it seems that Princess Lolly will be piloting an F-12 fighter jet for this round of the tournament. She’s taking off. Plenty of thrust, and she has liftoff. She’s climbing... climbing... uh-oh, maybe climbing a little to fast, she seems to be stalling now, and oooh! Fiery burning wreckage! It seems Princess Lolly will have to concede her spot to Lord Licorice in the losers’ bracket.
Mike: Well, Danielle and Sally are now up to the plate as another Pac-man takes on Tetris. And Pac-man makes quick work of his opponent this time around, chomping up each Tetris block before it hits the ground. It’s amazing what an insatiable appetite like that can accomplish!1 2 Next-->
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