was unique, as far as Survivor
seasons go. The hybrid All-Stars formula of Fans vs. Favorites was perceived as gimmicky when announced, and the first handful of episodes did nothing to quell the doubters – the favorites were better, they were taking more screen time, and the whole Survivor
season looked like it might turn into a rout. While the Survivor
favorites did dominate the season, the fans weren't completely worthless, and they gave us some nice moments along the way. The number of injuries was unfortunate, but it added to the overall excitement of the season. Now, looking back on it all, I thought I'd try something new: castaway grades. The grades are not based on when the players were voted off (though, that obviously plays a part), because luck has a lot to do with Survivor success. The grades are based on how well each player performed, given the set of circumstances they were placed in.
There is no doubt in my mind – Cirie played the best game of anyone this season. As she stated, the only mistake Cirie made was losing that final immunity challenge. Besides that, she was masterful – manipulating anyone she wanted, staying behind the scenes, all the while staying true to multiple alliances.
Obviously, Parvati won, so you have to give her credit. While one could argue she kind of lucked into a strong alliance, that alone did not get her the million. She was flexible in her alliances, witching it up when it was necessary. She also proved to be far more likable than Amanda in the jury interrogation, which ended up netting her the necessary votes for victory.
The way she played that hidden immunity idol is enough alone to get her a good grade. She's been the runner-up two seasons in a row now, and that doesn't happen by luck. She's a good actress, though her theatrics (crying when ousting Cirie, for example) may have caught up with her in the end.
Tracy was placed in a terrible position, aligned with wet blankets Chet and Kathleen. When it looked like it was her time to go, she ingeniously planted a seed in Joel's mind that Mikey was after him, and saved herself. In the end, her terrible alliance set her on a course for elimination. In another season, she could have been a contender.
I was tempted to give James an N/A, but I figured he was in the game long enough for a score. He did all that he could do, especially given the fact that the target was on his back all along.
She played a solid, unspectacular game. She was blind-sided through no fault of her own. Who knows what would've happened if Amanda and Parvati had chosen to eliminate Natalie instead of her. Perhaps her biggest mistake was drawing Amanda's ire by buddying up with Ozzy.
I didn't particularly like Natalie, not at all, but you can't argue with the results. She finished higher than any other fan, though you could say she floated by.
Yau was rightly voted off for a lack of challenge ability. He is a master gamesmen, and had the rest of the players not known that, he may have had a chance.
Mikey overplayed everything, but I still argue that had Joel not gotten on his high horse and had hit out for Mikey from the beginning, Mikey could've done some things.
“Play the freaking immunity idol!” - Part 1
“Play the freaking immunity idol!” - Part 2
Ami was a weird player. I don't know if she was unable to get along with some people or what, but to be voted off by your fellow favorites while fans are still around seems fishy.
Eliza got further than I would have expected. She probably could have done better if, you know, people liked her. A half grade is docked for her constant bug-eyed reaction shots while on the jury.
You know why. Up until the “Worst Survivor Move Ever” Erik had played pretty well. He was definitely someone to be reckoned with in the challenges. Still, some things can't be ignored.
He way overplayed the game. And, he's an idiot. I don't like Joel very much.
Suck it up. I don't care how hard it is – if you applied 6 times for Survivor, you at least owe it to yourself to try and stay tough.
I feel kind of bad for Chet. He should not have been cast on Survivor.
Boooooooo! I don't hate Fariplay, but I do hate that he went on the show when his heart clearly wasn't in it.
I don't think he could've won, but I really would have liked to see him stick around. He may have caused a ruckus somewhere down the line.
Poor Mary, voted out because Joel thought she was a threat because of Mike. Yeah, it doesn't make sense.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)