Friday, March 28, 2008

Who is in Charge at CBS?

I've been watching what should be one of the greatest seasons of Survivor ever - another All-Stars survivor, this time pitting former survivor greats against "superfans" who have been devoted to the show since day one. Sounds great, right? And it should be, with an all-star lineup including James, Ozzy, Amanda, Ami, Yau-Man, Cirie and Johnny Fairplay.

"Fans" Kathy (on the left) and Chet (on the right) both voluntarily left Survivor: Fans vs. Favorites.

Here's the problem: of all the "superfans" that could have been picked to be on this show, the casting directors ended up with two real winners: Chet and Kathy. Chet asked to be voted out two weeks ago because he was "physically unable to continue", and last week Kathy asked Jeff Probst to bring a boat to camp before they could even make it to tribal council so that she could exit the game. This week's episode was pre-empted by the Sweet 16 games.

It's clear that Survivor strategy is evolving. Long gone are the days when tribe members who are clearly physically/mentally/emotionally unable to continue would be voted off for that reason alone. On the contrary, contestants who have "given up" are seen as easy to manipulate, and are kept around regardless of their own personal wishes because their vote still counts.

On the other hand, CBS wants to keep ratings up and knows that no one likes to see all the weakest players staying around until the end, so they are contstantly upping the ante -- trying to make the challenges more physical and the living conditions more difficult.

I don't have a problem with any of this, but for crying out loud get some decent contestants who aren't going to quit! So many people would kill to be on survivor fans vs. favorites and it just doesn't seem fair that 2 of the people who got the chance chose to walk away from the show. Way to go, CBS!

I still can't wait for survivor: Antarctica...

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