It’s really crazy to think that we are entering the 24th season of “Survivor,” a show that has managed to grow and evolve so extensively over the years. A show that was once about adventure has in many ways evolved to emphasize the social mindgames along with the power of alliances. Unfortunately, it at times has also morphed into placing however many model / actress types you can on the screen at once.
We’re going to delve into the toss-up nature of this cast in a future article — but for now, we want to focus more on the twists and turns that are officially set to come our way in “Survivor: One World.”
Catastrophes at camp
Forcing all 18 contestants to live on one beach from the get-go is a brilliant move, and it’s actually sad to think that the show hasn’t done this before now outside of a brief tryout in Palau. It really gives you that sense of things slowly chipping away, and it also allows for more cross-tribal alliances to form up over time. Hopefully, we will get a better post-merge game out of this, with more backstabbing all across the board.
Having both tribes together also alleviates the potential concern of having a boring tribe — Upolo on “South Pacific” had some great characters in Christine and Stacey, but both left early in favor of the ghost that was Rick Nelson. Now, the odds of there being some entertainment around are higher.
Battle of the Sexes
This “One World” twist would not work if the tribes were divided any other way. Putting men (some of whom are single) against women is going to lead to all sorts of tension, and it could make the overall vibe a bit more competitive.
Just on the surface, the women here seem to be in a great position — they have a good many contestants with survival experience, and they also seem to be in potentially better shape. However, ti’s all really going to depend on whether or not there is a Jenna Morasca or Parvati Shallow in there — someone who can trick the boys into doing what they want.
No returning players
There’s not a lot to say here except how happy we are. Save returning players for All-Star seasons, since it’s been proven now (with the exception of Russell in “Redemption Island”) that they have a bit of advantage in how to play the game.
Plus, it’s just nice to see some other people have screen time who we have never seen before, whereas the past two seasons have been dominated by Ozzy, Coach, and Boston Rob talking continuously.
No Redemption Island
In what is another thing to be happy about, there’s no longer any consequences to voting someone out away from angering them and losing a jury vote — they can’t come back in the game and eliminate you.
We never really felt as though “Redemption Island” was at its core a true part of the game — it instead felt at times unfair, unneeded, and ridiculously biased against strong physical players like Ozzy and Matt Elrod. We also never realized how much we missed reward challenges until they were gone.
New immunity idol rules
Really, this may be the icing on the cake when it comes to this season. For the first time, you are no longer finding immunity idols for yourself — you can only give them to someone from the other tribe. What better way is there to promote cross-tribal bonds?
First and foremost, this twists keeps someone from pulling a Russell Hantz and trying to get by on just however many idols they have in their possession — it actually forces them to have a social game in order to get one to begin with. It also could change the motivation people really have to hunt an idol down. Will someone see no point in working to help someone else? This idol search is going to help us to see just how selfish some players really are.
Here is the only twist we’re really not excited about — like we saw last in “Survivor: Samoa,” there will be some challenges that are set up right at camp that the tribe runs on their own. There’s no Jeff … and we watch “Survivor” to see Jeff encourage and / or harass the castaways into pushing themselves.
What’s the deal? Why take away our Probst? He’ll still be around for most challenges, but this is obviously something they are trying to do in order to make things even more unpredictable.
As we said, we’re going to be talking about the cast for this season soon … so stay tuned!