Articles for Survivor Season 13

Survivor proves that any new twist they put over this formula isn‘t going to change the nature of the self absorbed narcissicistic gym rat. Putting aside, for a moment, the bizarro antics of Billy, it‘s not hard to see that so far the eliminated can be counted among the "Square Pegs" of the crowd.Both Sekou and Billy wore bandanas in their bio pictures. Is there a bald bias this season or is it the same old age bias that always surfaces? With no real oldsters on the tribes this season it looks like Cao Boi and Jonathan will be next for winnowing out.But all of this raises another question: could the recent allusions that producers are coaching reality show contestants in efforts to refine the crowd and force interesting twists? Read more »
Billy Garcia was portrayed on last night‘s episode of Survivor as a lazy dude whose heart really wasn‘t in the game from the beginning. He was basically useless in camp and, given his obesity, was a terrible player in competitions. Not only that, his snoring kept his camp awake at night. In a rare move, the rest of his tribe made the decision to throw the night‘s immunity competition in order to vote Billy off.Then things got interesting at tribal council. Seemingly out of nowhere, Billy professed his love for Candice from the Raro tribe. Forgetting the fact that Candice, being quite attractive, wouldn‘t have anything to do with Billy in gagillion years, they also have not met. Billy explained this away by stating it was love at first sight, and that the two of them mouthed “I love youâ€? to each other after the last competition. The Survivors had only been on the island for six days; way too early to go insane. Probst was taken completely off-guard, as were Billy‘s tribemates. The sad thing now is that if Billy had stayed on the show, the Candice storyline would have immediately become the most interesting story on this season of Survivor. What would happen when they eventually met? I guess we‘ll see at the reunion.-Oscar Dahl Read more »
Reality television is being shoved down the throats of each and every one of America‘s television viewers, every single God-forsaken day. And yet, we keep on watching with smiling, unflinching veracity. Is this because we‘re stupid? Well, yes, probably. But there is another, far easier-to-swallow explanation for our life-altering addiction to reality television: In general, we all love people. Now this may seem obvious to some and completely ridiculous to others (those who actively hate people, like my tenth grade math teacher), but it is fundamentally true. Being human, we identify most with other, real humans. And, on reality shows like Survivor, it is undeniable that the contestants are real, live humans. Now that reality television has infiltrated what used to be the universally fictitious land of TV, viewers are now stuck. We can‘t go back and we (likely) never will. The reason we all crave human interaction (as opposed to scripted interaction) these days is because, where scripted characters have become predictable, humans are especially unpredictable. On scripted drama, the good guy wins 99.9% of the time. On reality shows, the bad guy wins, the good guy wins, the hot girl wins, the gay guy wins, and sometimes even the really boring person wins; just look at Survivor. You never know. With this in mind, I had an idea: What if (and I admit this is a fairly outlandish hypothetical) CBS created a celebrity season of Survivor, but with all famous actors playing versions of their most famous screen character. Now, I would not be expecting flawless method acting. The strategic decisions they make within the game would not have to be made by “their characterâ€?. However, they would have to interact as their “characterâ€? with the others as well as to the camera.This Survivor would create a sociological experiment far more enlightening than this year‘s racially segregated version; it would question our motives in watching reality television, put in doubt any notion that contestants on reality shows are “realâ€?, and possibly shatter my (admittedly weak)thesis back in the first paragraph. If the Survivors who we know are “actingâ€? end up being just as engaging or (gasp) even more so than normal people, what would that say about previous incarnations of Survivor (or any other reality show)? Although (as evidenced in the first paragraph) I‘d like to believe that us humans are perceptive in our enjoyment of reality TV, it‘s possible we are being manipulated much more than first thought. I do believe that we all love to watch human interaction and conflict, but what happens when we know it‘s not (completely) real? I suppose we know this now; everyone agrees that shows are creatively edited. However, we still like to think that the people are essentially real and, therefore, their interactions, opinions, and decisions are wholly their own. What happens when this is, outwardly, not the case? Through the prism of made-up characters portrayed by well-known celebrities, how would any conflict that arises be consumed by the viewing public? If we were to enjoy this quasi-ficticious conflict as much as the typical Survivor conflict, does that mean that the realism of reality TV is not only overrated, but unnecessary? If Celebrity Survivor came to be as I envision it (which it never, ever will), it would do a lot to help us understand why we love reality television. Is it simply drama packaged in a new, exciting way? Or does the fact that people are real truly add to the viewers enjoyment and sense of connectedness?I still can‘t decide whether reality TV is good or bad for us, but until then I‘ll just keep watching Survivor and rooting for the bad guy.-Oscar Dahl Read more »
Welcome to my Survivor Live Blog. Billy‘s gone and it‘s a damn shame. Hopefully, crazy person Cao Boi is next. 8:00: And we‘re off. I will never tire of hearing Billy‘s astonishing profession of love. We need to see Candice‘s reaction. Maybe it‘s true and they are in love and Candice just hasn‘t confirmed it yet. "What my friend is trying to say is that love is blind."8:03: Well, so they just showed the moment where Billy told Candice he loved her. It didn‘t look like she reciprocated his feelings. It‘s a shame. They would‘ve been a great couple.8:05: The Audrey Hepburn Gap commercial is terrible. She‘s freaking dead. I wouldn‘t want to be be selling pants when I‘m six feet under.8:08: Billy‘s remaining tribe members discuss his love confession. JP is baffled. 8:10: Cao Boi is telling storis that make no sense. Talking about war or something. Brad kind of hates him. He‘s talking about all Vietnamese teenagers going to war. Or something.8:11: We‘ve got a challenge right off the bat. An early morning challenge. Yul makes his triumphant return, says nothing about finding the immunity idol.8:13: "Drop your buffs", says Jeff. The merge is happening now. Sweet.8:14: Two women and two men are the captains. The women must select women, men men. They have to choose those who aren‘t in their tribe, completely diversifying the new tribes.8:17: Cao Boi is the last overall pick. Weird. They crush colored eggs to join the the four tribes into two. So, now we got two completely mixed tribes. This is good. I‘ve never liked the four tribe system. It‘s confusing.8:19: Weirdest commercial of the night: The Kohl‘s ad with a soft rock cover of "In a Big Country". 8:20: Everyone at Raro loves their new tribe. Nate especially is happy. They discuss the racial segregation in the beginning. No one really is passionate positively or negatively about it.8:22: The Aitu tribe is also happy, especially Cao Boi. Flicka is a fan of the new "vibration" she‘s feeling of her tribe.8:24: Cecilia tells Candice about the Billy situation. Candice is taken aback, but takes it gracefully. We can end our Billy talk for the season now.8:25: Parvati discuss how she going to "work the guys". She wants to use her flirting as a tactic. You floosy, Parvati. 8:26: Becky and Candice start talking alliance. The prospective group: Becky, Candice, Yul and Jonathan. They want to add Flicka as their fifth. Jonathan says he can get Flicka. Flicka seems lukewarm on the idea. Why, I have no idea. 8:28: Flicka says she‘s just here to make friends. Stupid hippie.8:30: Yul tells Becky that he found the idol. I like this game play. The normal play would be not to tell anyone, but he‘ll get Becky‘s undying trust here. Yul‘s a smart dude.8:34: Nate slays an octopus. It‘s a big dog too. 8:35: Time for the first two tribe immunity challenge. Each tame will be clipped together by rope, each person lugging a 15 pound bag of sand. Teams have to race each other. The first team to tackle a member of the opposing tribe wins immunity. Players can drop out, but they must give their sand bags to another tribe member.8:37: The girls are dropping like flies, only one remaing. Aitu is falling behind. 8:39: Raro wins when Cao Boi goes down.8:40: Raro must choose a member of Aitu to go to Exile Island. The catch: that person will miss tribal council, thus keeping them in the game. Raro chooses Candice, somewhat inexplicably.8:44: Aitu discusses Cnadice being sent to Exile Island. It torpedoes the prospective four-pronged alliance with Yul, Becky, and Jonathan. 8:45: Ozzy spearheads a campaign to vote Becky out. Flicka is the deciding factor it seems. Flicka cites the vibe she‘s getting from Becky. 8:47: Dude, Flicka sucks.8:48: Flicka is spouting Hippie mumbo-jumbo. Yul is working hard on Cao Boi to get Cecilia off. Hopefully, it works.8:49: Jonathan sounds exactly like Alan Alda. Which is nice.8:50: Cao Boi and Flicka discuss their mistrust of Jonathan. They seem to be considering both sides.8:51: My prediction: Becky gets voted off.8:52: Yul and Jonathan make some thinly veiled insults towards Flicka. Flicka claims she‘s not used to manipulation part of the game. It‘s Survivor, you idiot. She also uses the word "like" 8,156 in a three sentence span. A real brain surgeon, that Flicka.8:54: And we‘re voting. 8:55: Cao Boi is very meditative while voting. What that means, I don‘t know.8:57: With 5 votes, Cecilia is voted off. Wow, I wasn‘t expecting that. Flicka and Cao Boi came around. Good for them.Well, all in all, a good episode. I‘m glad that we‘re down to two tribes and everyone will stop talking about the racially segregated tribes. I‘ll see yall next week.-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer  Read more »
-Scout Clould Lee from Survivor 9: Vanuatu“DROP YOUR BUFFSâ€?, never sounded better. Frankly I was way over the race thing. I’ve waited all week to say this: “Judging people on the color of their skin is kin to buying a gallon of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream because of the picture on the package. Then, take it home, dump out the ice cream, and proceed to eat the package! It’s what’s on the inside that counts!â€? I’m with you, Parvati “Back to Americaâ€?! The old adage, “a change is as good as a restâ€?, played out with this “integrationâ€?. As always, Survivor is a game of skill and luck. Unfortunately for CeCe, the luck of the draw separated her from her alliance with Cristina and Ozzy just couldn’t save her. The Wizard Oz is playin’ it safe in the new mix. Yul rules and Ozzy seems to know it. Jonathan, Becky, Yul and Candice make a strong alliance. Sundra would be wise to jump on board with this four pack. Culture runs so much deeper than skin color. Flicka and Cao Boi are two peas in a pod, attracted to each other for their bizarreness. Different races, same drummer! Yul got to Cao Boi and Cao Boi got to Flicka to save Becky’s butt. I see these two lawyers getting a pretty good ride outta’ this game, although Raro has the brawn advantage. Brad, J.P., Nate, and Adam are going to be a tough bunch to beat, not to mention the brawn of Cristina, Rebecca, Stephanie, Jenny, and Parvati. Aitu will have to get on their knees and pray to the Great Who Da Do to get the advantage over Raro. The unanimous vote to send Candice to Exile Island was a resounding vote of confidence and support from Raro. She’s already a favorite and will probably easily make it to the merge and beyond. Let’s talk about Parvati. No one could call her “subtleâ€?! What an outrageous flirt. That might…and I say might…work with the guys, but Stephanie, Rebecca, Jenny and Cristina will see through that easily. I think Parvati’s days are numbered. Too bad too, cuz’ she’s a Georgia Bulldog,…and so am I. Got my doctorate at the great red and black university. Poor Billy! Wherever you are, Billy, be certain that Scout thinks you a brave man. Maybe not the most perceptive dude around, but brave to stick his heart out in the open. JP continues to impress me. He seems wise beyond his age. I love his steady, focused, honest presentation. I hope he makes it a long way in this game. Hey Brad, I agree with you about Cao Boi….He talks too damn much. However, I wouldn’t under estimate his ability to connect the dots. Jonathan lost me with his “you don’t have to thinkâ€?…â€?I’ll do the thinkin’ for yaâ€?, Flickaâ€? Pleeeeeaaassssseeeeee! Are we still livin’ in a world where the men think “the thinkin’s been doneâ€? just because they had an idea! Oh dear! You need an alliance, Jonathan, cuz’ your arrogance will come back to bite you in the butt. Forty years as a corporate coach has taught me one simple thing: We make it or break it in this ole’ world based on RELATIONSHIPS! Ya’ gotta’ be good at them. Jonathan might need to rein in his ego to make it to the merge. I’m missing the AWARD CHALLENGES, and I thank God above that Jeff finally got rid of that ridiculous cowboy hat. You’re a cap man, Jeff! Guess the Dream Team liked that shallow water chase challenge from Palau. This is the first time we’ve seen a challenge repeated from another show. It brought back memories of Tom and Stephanie. Way to hang tuff, Rebecca! This just in from “Base Camp Gossip From the Crewâ€?: “I don‘t care who wins...they‘re not going to share the money with me anyway.â€? Ain’t it the truth! Seems like Brad has this game in perspective.  Read more »
What did Cecelia do wrong? Seriously, we barely knew her. After three episodes, nothing sticks out about her presence on Survivor that I can remember and, yet, she was voted off. The quiet, unassuming contestants are usually the ones who stick around deep in the game. Cecelia is a victim of bad luck. It‘s not her fault. Not at all.Yet, someone had to go and Cecilia was it, the third castaway voted off of Survivor: Cook Islands. Goodbye, Cecilia.-Oscar Dahl  Read more »
All right, we‘ve been doing it all season and we‘re not going to stop until one castaway takes home the million dollars. Come back here at 8PM ET/5PM PT for a live, up-to-the-minute, recap of tonight‘s Survivor. I guarantee it will be fun. Don‘t forget to hit refresh. Read more »
In the second week in a row of (at least to me) surprising Survivor tribal councils, JP Calderon was evicted in what may have been a landslide (Jeff Probst didn‘t read the last two votes). The Raro tribe, in it‘s pre-tribal council state, contained four guys and five girls. Stephannie, after failing to make fire in the immunity challenge, thought she was a goner, even going so far as to proclaim to the rest of the camp that she was their "weakest linkâ€?.  Read more »
We‘re back for another exciting live blog session. Survivor: Cook Islands has gotten off to an exciting start with some quality, eccentric characters to root for (or against). As always, don‘t forget to refresh the page as the blog goes along; the updates come every minute or two. Enjoy! Read more »
After a devastating loss in last night‘s Survivor immunity challenge that saw the Raro tribe squander what looked like an insurmountable lead, all indications pointed to police woman Cristina getting unanimously voted off. Her fellow tribe mates were growing sick of Cristina‘s bossiness and seemingly self-appointed position as the tribe‘s alpha dog. However, one little slip of the tongue by Stephannie Favor saved Cristina and doomed the nursing student and mother of two. Read more »
Ugly Betty premiered and proved fairly stiff competition for Survivor, scoring a 4.9 ratings share to Survivor‘s 5.8. Grey‘s Anatomy beat CSI again, which makes feel warm and fuzzy inside. My Name is Earl is still trending downward and, for the second week in a row, The Office has improved on Earl‘s ratings in the second half of the nine o‘clock hour. ER is still holding steady, leading the ten o‘clock hour in front of ABC‘s new and boring Six Degrees. -Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer Read more »
With the first episode behind them, the racially segragated cast of "Survivor" is not feeling as much a clash of the races as much as a looming interracial clash. In fact, Ozzy, a waiter in the Aitu (Hispanic) tribe said, "Oh, God, this is gonna be hard. I feel like the people who have the same ethnicity are gonna clash on things.‘‘This is an interesting and, if you think about it, very valid departure from what the knee-jerk reaction to the setup seemed to indicate. Could it be that the comfort zone could work against them?  Read more »
Cao Boi (pronounced "Cowboy") is an idiot. But he also seems to be the only Survivor who is willing to delve into racial stereotypes, albeit in a juvenile, backwards, and annoying manner.I know they want Survivor to be an equal opportunity show, but I don‘t think they should cast obese people anymore. They are inevitably the first to go, like Sekou last night. I‘m not talking Rueben-esque folks who are in shape, but guys like Sekou and Billy from this cast. Why bother if we‘re only going to watch them struggle? It‘s a little sadistic.Candice and Parvati are both hot, although that hussy Candice gets points taken off for cozying up with the Copier Salesman on the VERY FIRST NIGHT!Pirate ships are awesome.There has been talk of Jeff Probst retiring from Survivor for some time, but I don‘t buy it. It only takes a little over a month to shoot a season, Yeah, there‘s some pre-production (a lot, actually) but he doesn‘t need to be prominently involved with that.The racial "twist" on Survivor: Cook Islands is exactly what I thought it would be: mostly inconsequential, kind of interesting, and really just no big deal.Hippie Chick and Cao Boi are neck and neck on the "Annoying the Hell Out of Me" leaderboard.The biggest twist of the Survivor premiere was the reappearance of Exile Island. I had no idea it‘d be back.Having twenty Survivors makes the first few episodes unwieldy, It‘s going to take awhile to get to know the contestants.Prediction: The four tribes are merged into two at the end of the 2nd episode.-Oscar Dahl Read more »
Big Brother, Survivor, and Jericho have been added to the primetime CBS series that will be made available at no cost on Comcast‘s video-on-demand service. Episodes will be viewable for four weeks beginning the day after their initial network airing.Other shows included are the three CSIs, NCIS, and Numb3rs.Previously, Comcast has sold these on-demand episodes for $.99 each on CBS stations. So what‘s the catch? The "free" episodes will now contain commercials.Non-Comcast subscribers and those who don‘t like advertisements might want to take note of the fact that you can already watch these episodes for free, without commercials, on the CBS website.  Read more »
Sekou Bunch knows he‘s black. So it didn‘t upset the Survivor: Cook Islands cast-off when the popular reality show decided to shine a light on that fact by splitting the tribes up by race. "I was like, bring it on, let‘s go, this is cool because I came alone," says the 45-year-old jazz musician and actor from L.A."In real life, we are all born in our own tribe of ethnicity, for the most part, and we are taught how to live and survive in the world. I saw that to be pretty commonplace."What was different about (Survivor) was that you don‘t have the social and economical stigmas attached -- you are stripped of all of that."Regardless of how the teams were divided, Bunch‘s elimination had nothing to do with race. He was simply booted off the show for being too outspoken and aggressive.And while he knew it would be a better strategy to hang back, Bunch says he had no choice but to step up."What do you do when you go out there and ... people are afraid? I knew they didn‘t know what to do ... so being myself I just chose to be proactive and start getting into action."I guess they figured I was trying to take over and be in charge, but I was really only trying to help."  Read more »
LIVE SURVIVOR RECAPPING!!(Keep refreshing as the show goes along. Updates will come often.)We‘ll see what happens.8:02: And Survivor begins with a recap of last episode. Cao Boi is a crazy person. Wow, Flicka is an idiot. Sekou seemed like a nice guy, but he wasn‘t the smartest of dudes. What instrument does he play?8:04: I like this season‘s theme remix. Nothing drastic, just solid. 8:05: I‘m a big fan of the "Your Dreams Miss You" commercial with Abe Lincoln and the talking ferret. Debatable question: Is the dude in the background a Cosmonaut or a diver? Discuss amongst yourselves.8:08: If I were going to be on Survivor, I‘d practice making fire, wouldn‘t you?8:10: FIRE!!!! FIRE!!!! Manihiki (African-Americans) make fire.8:12: The Latinos catch a bunch a fish. Cristina discusses getting shot on the job (she‘s a police officer). She almost lost her arm. Consider me "touched". Ozzy thinks Cristina has bad ideas, mostly in regard to catching chickens. Ozzy v. Cristina will be one to watch. 8:13: They catch the chicken! 8:15: Puka (Asian-Americans) catch two chickens.8:16: Jonathan comes back from Exile Island and finds the camp in the same poor shape as when he left it. Jonathan and Flicka want to make a floor for the shelter, but Adam doesn‘t want to. Mostly, he‘s lazy. I don‘t like Adam. 8:18: A trailer for the film "The Prestige" about magicians. Looks damn good. 8:21: Scott Bakula with really long hair. Scary.8:22: Billy talks about "conserving his energy". He‘s the overwight heavy metal player. Everyone in the Hispanic tribe is annoyed with Billy, especially Ozzy. I don‘t blame them. His excuse; he has no idea what he‘s doing. Billy claims that Hispanic isn‘t his culture; metal is.8:24: Cao Boi works his face massage magic on Jenny. It works again. I‘m calling it "Cao Boi‘s Face Grabbing Placebo" from now on.8:25: Cao Boi likes to tell bad racist jokes. The rest of the camp is offended and wants to sleep. Cao Boi continues to annoy.8:26: Ozzy throws out the possibilty of throwing the challenge to oust Billy while Billy keeps everyone awake with his snoring. 8:33: Immunity Challenge: Jeff tells them a story about Captain Cook. Each team is tied together. They mus traverse through logsand whatnot, unbinding themselves and picking up answer plaques along the way. At the end the teams must answer five questions with their plaques. First team to finish gets to big tarps. Last team goes to tribal council.8:35: Aitu (Hispanics) decide to stay back and read the written version of the story. They really have decided to throw the challenge. Crazy.8:36: Puka and Raro neck and neck for first.8:37: Puka wins, barely beating Raro to their mat.8:38: Aitu loses, successfully throwing the challenge. Upon further review, Jeff tells us that Puka and Raro actually tie, so they each get two tarps.8:39: This will be the least suspenseful tribal council in the history of mankind. 8:42: Is CSI the most overrated show ever? Discuss amongst yourselves.8:43: Jonny Fairplay makes an appearance! Don‘t miss his TVj sessions on our front page.8:44: Forgot - Yul gets sent to Exile Island. Sucks for him. The clue is predictably vague.8:46: HOLY CRAP! Yul finds the immunity idol! That was unexpected. 8:47: Billy tries to convince Cristina to get Ozzy out. Cristina says she‘ll talk to Cecilia about Ozzy. Cristina is really making a play to get Oscar out. Hmm.8:49: Off to tribal council.8:50: Man, that pirate ship tribal council is cool.8:52: JP admits to throwing the challenge. Jeff is taken aback. Billy and JP get into a quasi-shouting match. 8:53: WTF!!! Billy just admits to falling in love with Candice (hot blonde girl) from Raro. He says they mouthed "I love you" to each other at one of the competitions. Billy is freaking insane. That was weird. 8:55: Billy is voted off. Frankly, I‘m still stunned by what just happened. Of all the delusional moments on reality TV, this might just be the most bizarre.Final Thoughts: A kind of crazy episode. The earliest thrown challenge in Survivor history, followed by a stunning confession of love by a seemingly sane person. Billy will surely go down in infamy.-Oscar Dahl Read more »