Did I just watch that correctly? Did the Fans make the same mistake two episodes in a row? Have they ever seen Survivor
played before? After five episodes, I suspect that CBS cleverly cast second-rate castaways as the Fans, in order to make the Favorites look good. From the second this season was concocted by Mark Burnett and the Survivor team, they knew they were going to feature the returning Favorites and not the new Fans. They did this by casting weaker players with weaker intellect and less personality on the Fans side, therefore giving the Favorites the upper hand and giving the editors an excuse to steal screen time away from the Fans. That's fine, though – I don't care if Survivor: Micronesia
is unfair, so long as us viewers get to spend more time with the Favorites. But, just for fun, let's examine just how unfair this season was from the very start.
I'm convinced that the first thing Burnett and team did in preparation for Survivor: Micronesia
was finalize which Favorites would be returning and then cast lesser facsimiles of those Favorites on the Fans side. So, let's take a look at all ten "match-ups," if you will.
James Clement vs. Joel Anderson
James and Joel are both huge, strong men. That's for sure. While Joel may be a little better in some of the more physical challenges, this did not result in very many victories. But, the biggest difference between these two is that James is intelligent while Joel is not. Joel played himself out of the game over the last few weeks.
Ozzy Lusth vs. Jason Siska
Are you kidding me? This isn't close. Ozzy is arguably the most valuable tribe member in Survivor
history. When you combine his insane challenge capacity and his ability around camp to catch fish, climb trees, etc, Ozzy is an absolute all-star. And, he found the immunity idol.
Jonathan Penner vs. Mikey Bortone
The two writers are kind of a toss-up. I'm going to give the edge to Penner only because Mikey was caught so unaware at tribal council twice in his short time on the island. You need some insight to do well on Survivor
and Mikey had none.
Slight Advantage: Favorites
Amanda Kimmel vs. Natalie Bolton
Natalie has been almost completely anonymous. I have no idea what she brings to the table, if anything. Amanda caught a 40-pound shark last episode.
Parvati Shallow vs. Alexis Jones
Alexis seems cool. I'm a fan so far. However, Parvati is the greatest flirt Survivor
has ever known and, as a result, she'll probably finish at least in the top 5 this season.
Jonny Fairplay vs. Erik Reichenbach
For old times' sake, I'm giving this to Fairplay. Why? Even though Fairplay gave up on day one, Erik has proved himself to be a spineless sheep. He looks like he could be Chet's son, and that's not a good thing.
Ami Cusack vs. Tracy Hughes-Wolf
Ami has done very little, while Tracy is the only Fan with any semblance of good strategy. She's kept herself and her alliance alive in dire circumstances. Her manipulation of Joel last week was something to behold.
Eliza Orlins vs. Mary Sartain
This is a tough one, but I'll give it to Eliza because, well, she's still in the game.
Cirie Fields vs. Kathleen Sleckman
The token “weak” female players. Except, Cirie isn't very weak at all. She single-handedly led the charge for Joel's elimination last night and has been a formidable strategic player throughout the season.
Yau-Man Chan vs. Chet Welch
I'm the guy who wrote an article called “The Cult of Yau-Man.” Chet is the worst Survivor player ever. What do you think?
Favorites have a 9-1 advantage in the match-ups. Not very fair at all, right? So what? It's going to be fun seeing the Fans get picked off one by one over the next few weeks as all of our Favorites reach the merge. Then the real game will begin.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)