'Survivor' Renewed for Two More Seasons: How to Fix the Pagonging Problem
Thursday, November 17, 2011
So long as the world doesn't end in 2012, neither will Survivor.
Today CBS officially renewed the long-running reality competition for
two more seasons to air in the fall of 2012 and the spring of 2013,
bringing the show up to 26 seasons in total.
The news also keeps Jeff Probst as host, which is good news since his syndicated talk show will begin in the fall of 2012.
However, I think the continuation of Survivor might require a few new twists in the game to keep it fresh. Most notably, they need to fix the rather severe Pagonging problem.
In case you don't know, "Pagonging" refers to the strategy of one tribe voting out everyone from the rival tribe after the Merge. For the past two seasons, Pagonging has resulted in the middle of the season becoming painfully dull and predictable.
The show's best solution seems to be cramming four votes into two episodes just to get through this boring part, as the past two episodes of Survivor: South Pacific have seen the original Savaii tribe get decimated.
How do you prevent the Pagonging? I have one very dramatic solution: End the teams. Pagonging happens because of tribe loyalty, but what if you took tribes out of the equation?
Instead, the game could start with all of the castaways living together in one camp. At the first immunity challenge, they would randomly draw for teams and then play. The losing team would go to Tribal Council and vote someone out. In the next episode, Jeff would tell them to drop their buffs and they'd randomly draw for teams again. This could happen every time until they get down to individual immunity.
If this were the case, there would be no Pagonging because there would be no tribes. It would also increase the difficulty level of the game because you wouldn't be able to make traditional alliances as you'd have no idea who would be on your team.
I'm sure there are other potential twists, and this one might seem radical to Survivor traditionalists, but the show has to do something different. Right now, the first two or three post-Merge episodes are the most boring episodes of the season.
(Image courtesy of CBS)