Survivor reveals some biases from host to contestants in a decent episode

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I want to share some wonderful news: Lucy is able to talk! She spoke a few words this time. From “Calm down!” to “Shh” to “I agree about Paul,” Lucy Huang is apparently a real player. Now, she didn’t have any confessionals but there’s always next week.

It was interesting that the episode set up a few competing “fail” storylines. On Gen-X, there was the obvious of CeCe, who was isolated by the majority alliance and did poorly in the challenge. There was Ken, who seemed out of touch about what really mattered. And even poor Paul, who couldn’t catch a single fish and thus was not the right person to “lead into battle,” as Ken kept repeating.

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A good leader on Survivor really can help, but that’s a rare thing indeed. Paul seemed more like a classic “big guy, decent attitude, no real game other than morale” leader. It’s a great target, but that’s why he was targeted. Chris and Bret are smarter but are good in challenges and less annoying. They may be in trouble soon enough, although Chris dominated so much I doubt he’s in danger.

David’s game has gotten a lot better; not only does he seem to be the most levelheaded of his three person alliance, he’s also completely willing to throw them aside at the merge. He also did not play his idol when he didn’t need to play it. In contrast, CeCe was just along for the ride. Ken had some interesting bits, like the contrast between how “Ken Doll” could be used as a compliment or an insult. It’s not something I considered but it makes sense.

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The way he was noticed by the Millennials might help him later on though. Dave also interacted well with them, unlike Paul, who only seemed to think he did.

Jessica played things pretty well for the most part, not alienating Ken when he complained about Paul, and keeping her options open. But I think that when Paul said “ladies you’re on your own” he just misspoke — I don’t think it was a Freudian slip. That’s enough to sink someone though, and it seemed obvious going into Tribal that Paul was a goner. I’ll get back to Jeff’s nonsense after a brief look at the Millies.

There was some real lazy game play here from Taylor who was sitting super pretty, and acting like he had no worries for the rest of the game. He also didn’t seem to realize how much Michele had worked to keep his alliance strong, considering he didn’t even mention her in his top four list. It was good to see Adam working hard to sway Michaela and stay in the game. Not much else from them this week, but I like to see assumptions shattered and game play built up.

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The summit was a fun little divergence, but it seemed to have minimal impact so far. We’ll see how it changes later on. The challenge itself was tense and very close, with Probst revealing his classic biases, like how he kept attacking CeCe and showering praise on the Millennials.

[blockquote]”Wow, I’m impressed, aren’t you guys? C U Later, eh?” – Jeff Probst[/blockquote]

C’mon Jeff, you’re supposed to be better than that. Another bias that revealed itself was Paul, missing how the women were huddled and discussing his potential ouster. It’s a good reveal to set up Paul’s elimination.

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Overall, the episode was pretty good, if not crazy like last week or boring like sometimes. This is a mostly fun cast, with only a few boring people. I have high hopes going forward.

Next time on Survivor, tensions are high on Gen-x with dictator Lucy (what?), the real battle is against Millennials, Michaela takes her top off strategically, and Jeff Probst is nearly felled by a wave.


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