Articles for Survivor Season 14

Survivor: Fiji premiered tonight.  For Survivor fans like myself, this might as well be a holiday.  Getting to know the new castaways, seeing the new digs, idnetifying the hot girls.  It never gets old.  This season has a new gimmick: The haves vs. the have-nots.  The two camps will be vastly different: one with all sort of amenities, one with next to nothing.  Should be fun.I watched the episode live and jotted down some quick thoughts as the episode progressed.  We‘ll be doing this every week, so check BuddyTV every Thursday around 9:15 ET for the thoughts. Read more »
The first episode of Survivor: Fiji aired last night, and the online world has responded.  All in all, most reviewers seemed to feel positively about the potential entertainment value of this season, but as these are critics, there are, of course, some critiques:Roger Catlin at Courant.com says, much as we have felt here at BuddyTV, “The problem with getting to know a more than a dozen and a half new contestants in a season premiere of Survivor is that viewers don’t know who to cheer for, can’t quite keep all of the castaways straight as a matter of fact.” Read more »
Originally aired on Thursday, 02/08/2007Episode Rating:  **** (4 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: This season’s Survivors arrive to more resources but less direction than ever before.  The entire group must work together to build a camp that only half will have access to after they are split into the two tribes.Episode Highlights: The Survivors land and have to immediately get to work constructing an elaborate shelter.  Although the Survivors are provided with materials and instructions, there is a noticeable silence from Jeff Probst and the producers for the first couple of days. Eventually the big, happy group is split in two, and we have our first immunity challenge with the two normally formed teams. The division between the Haves and the Have-nots begins tonight, with the losers losing access to the beautiful new camp they just worked to build. One Survivor is sent to Exile Island, and another is the first to be sent home.Recap:  In the recent interview mentioned here on BuddyTV, Jeff Probst spoke frankly about the difficulty the producers of Survivor have in coming up with fresh ideas.  They are not alone, and this isn’t just a problem for reality shows.  Once any show has been long enough, inevitably the well is going to run pretty dry.  And so it’s time to either dig a new one or start selling dirt.  Read more »
Jessica deBen, a fashion stylist from Lousiana, received the dubious honor last night of being the first contestant voted off of Survivor: Fiji.  Jessica did little wrong, and there was no ill will toward her from any of her fellow tribemates; sometimes, that‘s just the way things work out.  Someone has to be the first voted off.  Jessica was kind enough to sit down and talk with us at BuddyTV earlier today about her all-too-short stint on Survivor.  We discussed her previous brush with reality TV, what goes on behind the scenes on Survivor, and how surprised she really was at tribal council.Can you tell us a little bit about how you got involved with Survivor? Read more »
Survivor is the best reality TV show of all time.  It‘s the most important (with all due respect to The Real World), has the best premise, and is the most expertly produced.  Almost as importantly, Survivor is adaptable.  It is flexible.  From season to season, Mark Burnett and his fellow producers do everything they can to make the show better.  Yes, they are experimental, perhaps gimmicky, but it feels like they really care for the integrity of the franchise.  Survivor, unlike other reality shows, isn‘t scared of switching things up.  Read more »
Survivor: Fiji returns tonight with its second episode, which means its the first real episode.  No more introductions, just pure Survivor.  Questions for the night:  How lazy will the tribe in the nice camp get?  Will the immunity challenge determine who goes to what camp?  Well, let‘s find out.  These are my quick, spur of the moment thoughts while watching tonight‘s episode. Ravu, the tribe in the “poor” camp, has resorted to licking leaves for water.  Sad, just sad.  I can‘t really blame them for being in bad shape.  I don‘t know what I‘d do with no water, no fire and only a machete. Lisi, who we heard nothing from last episode, seems to be quite a character. Read more »
Two episodes into the new season of Survivor, and we are all starting to get a little better sense of the personalities.  This is, however, mainly due to the fact that the Moto tribe, with all their resources, are comfortable and boring so most of the episode focused on the struggling, scrappy Ravu tribe.  That said, Daniel Feinberg at Zap2It.com was able to form an opinion about at least one member of Moto”“’We‘re all thinking the same thing - this game is so vicious, it‘s delicious,’ says Lisi. Between comments like that, her horse laugh and her Popeye impression, I‘m kind of wanting to whack Lisi upside the head with a coconut.” Read more »
Originally aired on Thursday, 02/15/2007Episode Rating:  **** (4 stars out of 5) Episode Highlights: How are things going for the Ravu tribe, who have nothing but a machete and a pot?  About as well as you would think. The Survivors at the Moto camp eat lots of food, swing in hammocks and have pillows and a couch. Things look up for Ravu, then almost immediately look right back down. Recap:  As you might expect, things are not going well at Ravu.  After being kicked out of the luxurious digs they helped to build, they found themselves unceremoniously plopped on an extremely unfriendly beach.  Crucially: with no water.So they take to licking the dew off leaves, and, in general, descending into a dehydrated mild delirium.  To the group’s credit, they do manage to stay positive with each other; then again, that might just be because it’s hard to pick a fight when you have trouble standing up. Read more »
Erica Durousseau became the second contestant voted off Survivor: Fiji last night, and became th3e second casualty of the Ravu tribe.  Ravu was given the unenviable task of living in the lesser of the two camps, exiled to a beach with only a machete and a pot to get by.  Erica was kind enough to speak with us at BuddyTV today and talk about her time on Survivor.  How did you find yourself on Survivor?I‘ve got to credit it to MySpace.  I have a MySpace page and Alex, who is a casting associate for Mark Burnett productions, sent me an email on MySpace and she left me her number and I gave her a call back and she was talking about Survivor.  That‘s kind of how it got started.  She asked for an audition tape, so after doing about five tapes and sending them in, they never got them, I actually sent in a video clip and it went from there. Read more »
Colby Donaldson, a runner-up contestant on the reality series Survivor: The Australian Outback, is now part of Rachael Ray’s daytime show, Rachael Ray. Born in Christoval, Texas, Donaldson was previously a freelance auto designer prior to his exposure to television. This 32-year old reality show participant turned actor ranked second to Tina Wesson on Survivor: The Australian Outback and was the seventh contestant voted-off on the series Survivor: All-Stars. After this stint, he landed guest roles on several television shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Reba and Joey.  Read more »
Tonight, Sylvia Kwan, the 52 year old architect from California, was the third contestant voted off of Survivor: Fiji.  Sylvia had been grinding on her tribe mates since the very first day on the island.  Sylvia established herself as a “leader” right away, leading the construction of the nice camp.  Even then, her aggressive style of leadership wasn‘t too appreciated by the other members of the tribe.Sylvia‘s stay in Fiji had to be disappointing, with her heading to Exile Island twice in her brief time on the island.  After receiving the third clue to the location of the immunity idol, Sylvia attempted to look for what would‘ve been her saving grace, but to no avail.  Her attempts to find the idol became blatant as she neared tribal council, Sylvia finally resorting to digging with everyone around watching. Read more »
Originally aired on Thursday, 02/22/2007Episode Rating:  *** (3 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: Ravu gets some fire, but cannot catch a break during the challenges.Episode Highlights: Life is tough at the Ravu camp, but plucky Michelle is able to get something good going, namely fire. A rough tumble at the reward challenge puts Gary’s health at risk. If you are ever dehydrated and asked to participate in an eating contest, remember: lack of saliva makes it hard to swallow. Ravu learns this the hard way.Recap:  Ravu heads back to camp from voting Erica Durousseau off demoralized and depressed.  Yau-man Chan thinks they are not acting cohesively as a team, and that seems to be the feeling of everyone.  When they arrive at camp, they strategize a game plan for the next day and next challenge. Read more »
Survivor: Fiji’s gimmick – the Haves vs. Have Nots – is not necessarily winning a whole heck of a lot of fans out in the blogosphere.Jam remarks: “Last night, ‘Survivor’ host Jeff Probst remarked that the Ravu Tribe was “dissolving emotionally” right before his very eyes and chided the dehydrated and starving group for allowing the game to ‘slip through their fingers.’…How can any of the producers complain that Ravu is doing so poorly when they were intentionally put that far behind the eight ball?” Read more »
Last night, Sylvia Kwan became the third member of Ravu to be voted off of Survivor: Fiji.  The Ravu camp has not been the benficiary of this year‘s twist, having to survive with only a pot and a machete.  They have yet to win a challenge and are all weak and hungry and thirsty.  Sylvia Kwan was pegged as a bossy leader from early on and, combined with her two stints on Exile Island, made her the vote of choice in last night‘s tribal council. Sylvia was kind enough to talk to us today about her time on Survivor.Can you tell us how you found yourself on Survivor?  Was it something you always wanted to do?Not even close. It‘s probably the last thing I wanted to do, but what happened was I was at a restaurant in Santa Monica for my son‘s 18th birthday, we had a big party there. And there I was discovered by casting agents for CBS saying, "You‘ve got to be on Survivor, we‘re looking for somebody just like you!" And I was like, "No, no no!" Read more »
Originally aired on Thursday, 03/01/2007Episode Rating:  *** (3 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: It’s just getting depressing: the Haves (Moto) continue to dominate, and the Have-Nots continue to…not have.  Plus a medical emergency means one player is sent home early.Episode Highlights: Remember last week when everything kind of sucked for Ravu?  Yes, that happened again this week. Papa Smurf Gary had tried to stay in the game after his medical scare last week, but he realizes this episode that he cannot compete. Ravu does get an unexpected break, but it’s not exactly the win their morale needed. Recap:  It’s Night Eight on Ravu and they return from yet another tribal council.  If you thought the tribe was broken down last week…tonight they seem to reach a new low.  Back at the camp, calm Earl Cole tries s to get the group to regroup by hashing through the issues that were brought up at tribal council regarding Anthony Robinson’s performance.  Unfortunately, James “Rocky” Reid isn’t in the mood for problem resolution; he just wants to vent about how annoying and weak he finds Anthony.  Read more »
Last night’s Survivor finally had the twist to the Haves vs. the Have-Nots: choose immunity over comfort.  For some viewers, the twist was exactly what they were waiting for.  For others, it was more proof that Survivor has lost its innovative spirit and is grasping at straws to maintain interest.TVSquad is among those that thought the twist worked:“So far this season hadn‘t really been too interesting to watch on that level despite the allure of the premise. It‘s been more painful than fun, Tonight changed that for me with [the] twist.” Read more »
Liliana Gomez, a former member of the US Marine Corps, became the fourth person voted off Survivor: Fiji. A surprising cast-off last night, Liliana was one of her tribe‘s strongest members. Liliana was kind enough to take the time to speak with us today. Can you tell us how you got started with Survivor, how you got involved, how you got cast on the show?Well, back in 1999 I actually got an email from a friends who is an actor.  I’ve been living in LA for six years now, so I’ve kind of been in that whole loop.  And he sent it to me out of the blue and I was like "Okay, let me look at it."  So I was like what the hell, what are they going to say, “We don’t want you?” I sent in my headshot, four sentences, my age, what I did, why I would like to do it, that it’d be fun and exciting, I have a military background, period.  That was it, they called me five minutes after I submitted it and I went to the casting process and it just happened so fast. Next thing you know, I’m on a flight to Fiji.  Read more »
This week’s episode of Survivor: Fiji saw the unexpected medical emergency departure of Gary Stritesky, aka “Papa Smurf.”  The big guy took a nasty fall during a slip and slide event, and afterwards, seemed to have trouble breathing and thinking clearly.  It was difficult to watch: the big guy was clearly of the “Cowboy Up” old school, and so he seemed reluctant to make a fuss over his physical condition.  Every time he had to talk to someone about it, he spoke quietly and covered his face with his hand, as though he was embarrassed to be so ill.  This made it all the more apparent how serious it must have been, as he doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would request the medical team unless it was dire. Read more »
Alex Angarita, the Harvard Law grad who can currently be seen dominating on the Moto tribe on this season of Survivor: Fiji, has run into some potential serious trouble with the law back here at home. Read more »
Rita Verreos became the fifth contestant on Survivor: Fiji to be voted off last week, after her tribe suffered another demoralizing defeat.  Rita stopped by to chat with us earlier today.How were you cast on Survivor?  Was it something you had always wanted to be a part of?It was something, I‘m describing it as something that just came from God to me at a time in life where I had actually been feeling the opposite of Survivor.  I had been transitioning from divorce to becoming a single parent who has to solely provide for her children and I‘d been struggling quite a bit to get my career going and to provide the financial stability for my kids and I had really started to doubt myself and my ability to survive.  Then, as I was out working out in Los Angeles, training one of my kids for the Teen Miss USA pageant, I had been spotted by one of the recruiters for Survivor and she just threw the opportunity out to me.  At first I thought “Are you crazy?”  Read more »
Last year he was convicted of tax evasion; now Richard Hatch, winner of the very first season of Survivor, wants a new trial. Hatch‘s lawyer, Michael Minns, says that Hatch thought Survivor‘s producers or CBS itself was going to pay the taxes on his million-dollar prize. Why? Because during his time on the show in 2000, he says, he caught Survivor employees cheating, slipping food to other contestants. According to Hatch, he then made a deal with Survivor producer Mark Burnett that if he won they‘d pay the taxes on the grand prize.  Read more »
I haven‘t done exhaustive research, but I don‘t think there are any official fan clubs for the venerable Yau-Man Chan.  Well, consider me the first member.  For the uninitiated, Yau-Man Chan is a contestant on Survivor: Fiji this season.  If you saw Yau-Man on the street, you would come away thinking very little; he is a very small, very frail man of Asian descent.  The truth is, you probably wouldn‘t ever see him on the street.  He‘s that small.However, the geniuses at Mark Burnett Productions cast Yau-Man on this season‘s edition of Survivor and, for me, he‘s been the highlight of the show so far.  Yau is a native of Borneo (which is cool in and of itself) and speaks with an accent to prove it.  Unlike the similarly syllabic Cao-Boi of last season‘s Survivor, Yau-Man isn‘t all about his race.  In fact, I don‘t believe Yau-Man has talked about his ancestry outside of “I‘m from Borneo”. Read more »
Richard Hatch, winner of the first season of Survivor in 2000, continue to speak out about his legal troubles related to unpaid taxes.  Early last week he appealed his sentence due to his claims that he believed the Survivor producers would pay the taxes on his prize money. Now, he has talked to People magazine from jail about his current situation.Hatch tells the magazine that prison is "horrendous because [he’s] an innocent man in jail."   He concedes that his minimum-security facility is "better than county lockup." Read more »
Lesson Six: Law of the Jungle(You might think that reality television is one of the signs of the impending end of Western Civilization, BUT if you look closely enough, you can find some important life lessons.  So, kids, here’s One to Grow On…)We humans may be crafty and complex animals, but we are still animals.  Modern life can make it easy to forget this, but watching one season of Survivor will quickly remind you.  Removed from family, friends, work and the comforts of society, Survivor players wind up reverting back to some basic animal behavior, and it’s not just the Snakes and Rats of Sue Hawk’s famous final trial speech in Season One.This season of Survivor:Fiji might depend on a distinctly human element – the Rich vs. the Poor – for its current drama.  But beneath that, the same kind of behavior you can see out in the wild is still a major element of the game play. Read more »
Don‘t forget to catch Survivor tonight! Yes, Wednesday. Last week basketball pre-empted Survivor, unusually – in the past they‘ve usually just moved it to another day of the week during March Madness. Well, this week they‘re back to that plan, bumping out Jericho at eight. CBS‘s press release for the episode, "I‘ve Strength Now to Carry the Flag," says the castaways will "face a major shake-up." Read more »
James “Rocky” Reid has been the token “love him or hate him” character on Survivor: Fiji this season.  The brash, loud Bostonian, who bears a striking resemblance to a young Sly Stallone, has made his mark on the season and his respective tribes by being loud, outspoken, unafraid of conflict and generally annoyed by others.  This has made him a villain for some, a simple nuisance for others.  I‘ve been a fan of Rocky since the first episode.  I can understand where the haters are coming from, but reality shows need someone who will forgo the filter that runs between you brain and your mouth.  Rocky has never even heard of such a filter.  If he thinks it, it will be spoken.  Granted, this is not an optimal playing style for Survivor.  Your strategy is basically shot, and his fellow Survivors are going to know exactly where his mind his leaning on all big decisions.  So, you‘ve got to believe that Rocky‘s days are numbered.  Read more »
Originally aired on Wednesday, 03/21/2007 Episode Rating: ***** (5 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: Have you had enough of the weekly Ravu beating?  So have they, and things are about to change – but it is still not yet time to merge.Episode Highlights: Yes, the commercials didn’t lie: things are switched up this week on Survivor.  Buffs are dropped!  Old alliances crumble as the balance of power shifts. But some things stay the same and the Alpha Male domination at Tribal Council continues to steamroll over the less-physical players.Recap:This week, it was time to mix things up on Survivor, and the results left me feeling unsure as to whether I should give Survivor five stars for making me feel strong emotions or one star for making me feel completely depressed.  I decided to give it the high rating because it’s not the show’s fault that I found the behavior of some of the individuals repellent.  Really, all a television show is supposed to do is keep you watching, which this episode did right up until the last moment, even if I might have regretted afterwards.But onto what happened.   Read more »
Anthony Robinson, an Expert Witness Locator by day, received the full brunt of James "Rocky" Reid‘s verbal attacks at tribal council last night, but Anthony got through that unnecessary and unwarranted attack with dignity and aplomb.  Anthony was eliminated from Survivor: Fiji last night and he took some time to talk with us at BuddyTV earler today.You can either read the transcript below or check out the full live audio of the interview, also below. Read more »
Even with the temporary change to a different day of the week, and heading up against another popular show (America’s Next Top Model), Survivor: Fiji didn’t lose ground.  The show placed first both in viewers and coveted demographics (adults 25-54  and adults 18-49), and proved that despite the nay-sayers who have been wondering if the Survivor franchise has any juice left in it, the audience is still there. Read more »
Jeff Probst says he doesn‘t know if he wants to continue hosting Survivor after his current contract ends, apparently not feeling challenged enough by his role as host of the top-rated reality show. "I honestly don‘t know," he told Canada.com this week. "I think I‘m at the point in my life where I‘m considering, ‘What do I do for me?‘ I want to make sure that I push myself."Probst believes that Survivor would continue to enjoy the same success without him, and that the viewers would accept a new host, even though it‘s "it‘s asking a lot" of the audience.  Read more »
Originally aired on Thursday, 03/28/2007 Episode Rating: **** (4 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: With the new tribes now formed, Ravu is in for yet another shake-up: the return of Lisi. Meanwhile, Yau-Man and Earl continue their search for the immunity idol.Episode Highlights: Lisi returns from Exile Island to the new Ravu and begins the process of trying to fit in with the Boys’ Club. Yau-Man and Earl team up to work to find the immunity idol based on the clues they have both seen at Exile Island. Rocky’s big mouth is irritating more people than just the home viewers. Read more »
James "Rocky" Reid, was probably the most controversial contestant on this season of Survivor, and certainly the most outspoken.  Unafraid of calling out any of his fellow tribemates, Rocky was at once both wildly entertaining and exasperating.  Regardless of how you feel about Rocky, he was a passionate competitor who never failed to produce his best effort despite his tribe‘s losing ways.  Rocky was kind enough to stop by and talk to us earlier today about his time on Survivor. Read more »
Survivor host Jeff Probst recently told reporters that the producers are considering setting the show in northern Canada for a future season of the hit reality series. This is a familiar rumor – I remember a similar one three years ago, when producers were said to be looking at the idea of doing a season set in a remote part of British Columbia.  Read more »
Lisi Linares became the eighth cast-off on Survivor: Fiji last night, another victim of the seemingly cursed Ravu tribe.  Lisi began the season at the comfortable Moto camp but after a tribal shake-up, she found herself the only female member of the new Ravu tribe.  Lisi‘s spirit got somewhat broken down near the end, but understandably so: she took many a trip to Exile Island.  Earlier today, Lisi stopped by and spoke with us about her time on the show.Below, you‘ll find the transcript of the interview, as well as the full audio. Read more »
Survivor is often credited with kickstarting the whole competition-based reality TV genre seven years ago. But did you know that Survivor was actually created in 1992? UK production company Planet 24, owned by Charlie Parsons and Bob Geldof, first came up with the concept, which British and American networks had no interest in. Consequently, the first series made was in Sweden, called "Expedition: Robinson," and aired for seven seasons. In Scandinavia, it was one of the most successful yet controversial shows ever, and its fourth season finale was watched by millions.  Read more »
Originally aired on Thursday, 04/12/2007 Episode Rating: *** (3 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: What time is it?  It‘s Merge Time!  Moto and Ravu are no more.  Welcome, Bula Bula, to Survivor: Fiji!Episode Highlights:  Both Happy Fatty Camp and the Land of Misery are no more as the two tribes merge into one.  However, don‘t expect the new tribe to be living the luxurious Moto life. With the new tribe formed, the Survivors go into overdrive trying to work out new strategies. Although they are living as one, the immunity challenge pits one group against the other; but with the players mixed, old alliances might not be helpful.  Read more »
Survivor: Fiji is back and we‘ve got live updates on the action.  Will tonight be the merge?  The ads certainly hint at that.  The promos have been making it seem like everyone would be heading to Exile Island which, if true, is pretty hardcore.What follows are my quick thoughts while watching the episode.  And Survivor: Fiji begins its ninth episode with a recap of the dual discoveries of the immunity idols.  We also take a look at Yau-Man’s utter dominance at the challenge last week.Lisi was pretty annoying.  Dreamz started redeeming himself when he called out Lisi brutally at tribal council. Read more »
Originally aired on Thursday, 04/05/2007 Episode Rating: *** (3 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: We’re getting closer to a merge, but we’re not there yet, so Ravu still needs to step up their game to keep their group together.  Unfortunately, despite their physical strength – and their unfounded confidence in their physical strength – they still cannot seem to get it together.Episode Highlights: Lisi’s decision to share her immunity idol clues has repercussions. The Survivors have the chance to learn more about the culture and people of Fiji. Yau-Man continues to step up and deliver in surprising ways. Read more »
The merge has to be coming up soon on Survivor: Fiji.  Could it be tonight?  We shall see.  What follows are my quick thoughts while watching the attitude.I don‘t like Lisi‘s attitude.  Yau-Man‘s celebration when he found the immunity idol was classic.  Better yet, it was ingenious to bury a fake immunity idol.  Yau-Man is quickly working his way up my list of favorite Survivor players ever.  Michelle falling last week was also great.  Can you tell I‘m watching the recap?Edgardo and Alex know everything that Lisi knows regarding the immunity idol.  They start digging for the idol in the morning before Dreamz and Lisi wake up.  Read more »
Originally aired on Thursday, 03/08/2007Episode Rating: ** (2 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: It’s Survivor: Groundhog Day.  Another episode and more of the same.  The Rich?  Richer.  The Poor?  Poorer.  Episode Highlights: • Remember last week when I said, "Remember last week when everything kind of sucked for Ravu?  Yes, that happened again this week."  It happened AGAIN this week.  We are stuck in an infinite loop of Ravu beatdown.• Yau-man tries to find the immunity idol from clues he learned from last week’s trip to Exile Island.• Moto’s sense of entitlement is starting to chafe within the tribe itself as well.  Will pride goeth before a fall?  Well, if so, it’s not this week, that’s for sure.Recap:For Ravu, most of the focus has been on the survival of the tribe as they continue to be decimated by Moto in every immunity and reward challenge. Read more »
Where is the love?  When it comes to Survivor:Fiji, it’s not out there in the blogosphere.  We are all losing our patience with the current structure of the show and the severe beating that Ravu takes week after week.  All I can say is the producers better pull out the twist to beat all twists to win us all back over.TV Squad thinks that the problem is greater than the structure; they think it’s also the specific individuals that wound up on this season and on Ravu in particular that are part of the problem: Read more »
Uber-producer Mark Burnett announced today the next destination for the long-running reality show juggernaut Survivor. They‘re going to China.It‘s probably the most extreme choice of locales since Survivor: Africa, which seems like years ago.  The filming will take place in mainland China, and Burnett describes the location as such, "It‘s a magic, really epic location.”  Well, alrighty then.  Read more »
Did you know Jeff Probst, host of CBS’s Survivor, found true love on the show? He’s been dating Survivor: Vanuatu contestant Julie Berry since 2004. Yes, they’re still together. The two spent last Christmas together in her hometown in Maine. Berry, who moved to California after the show to be near Probst, is a student at California State University-Northridge, getting her master’s in counseling. Read more »
Survivor: Fiji promises to be, at the least, an important episode tonight.  Will The Four Horsemen stay alive?  I‘m not sure how I feel about these four horsemen.   They‘ve got too many weak links.  I still feel like Michelle got a raw deal last week. Hey, it‘s a bat.  Earl isn‘t too pleased that Michelle is gone.   Mookie is also pissed that Michelle is gone.  He thought that he and Dreamz were on the same wavelength.Mookie and Alex get into a little fight about Alex‘s support of Stacy.  I agree.  That was weak, Alex. Read more »
In what will likely go down as the most important episode of the season, Edgardo Rivera fell victim to one of the more bizarre back-stabbing incidents I‘ve ever seen on Survivor.  Edgardo and his alliance had a plan and an immunity idol, but they also had Dreamz, who single-handedly destroyed any and all chances for their alliance to succeed.  Edgardo stopped by to speak with us at BuddyTV earlier today about his time on the show.Below you will find both the written transcript and the full audio mp3 of the interview. Read more »
One of the best things about Survivor: Fiji is how the game can change so abruptly.  It makes it difficult to predict what will happen week to week. I say this, of course, because it‘s true, but also in order to excuse how completely wrong I was in my prediction last week that the "Four Horsemen" would control the game.  There were two things I didn‘t predict that changed the whole landscape of the game and resulted in the ouster of Edgardo Rivera. Read more »
Yesterday’s Survivor: Fiji episode played out pretty much as expected. Mookie Lee and Alex Angarita were not able to pull any votes from the other alliance their way, they bungled their Hail Mary play at uncovering Yau-Man Chan’s immunity idol, and neither could secure immunity through the challenge. Alex at least had the sense to vote for Mookie to save himself, but one wonders if he will be able to scramble together some kind of plan now that he is the admitted target of the rest of the alliance. Yau-Man made it clear at tribal council: barring some miracle, Alex is next to go.  Does he have any options at this point? Read more »
Mark Burnett, who’s behind the hit show Survivor, has two new reality shows coming up. Pirate Master, yet another “outwit for money” series, premieres May 31, and will hop into Survivor’s time slot on Thursday nights on CBS.Independent, a “groundbreaking political reality show” produced in partnership with popular social networking site MySpace, will launch in early 2008.Pirate Master seems to be very much cast in the Survivor mold; sixteen contestants (er, “modern-day pirates”) will spend a month living on a pirate ship in the Caribbean, searching for hidden treasure and competing for “the largest booty,” under the reign of one contestant, the captain, who gets to assign chores. (Arrr, I foresee mutiny!) Read more »
The Four Horsemen was a nice thought, but the Survivor alliance fell through the second that Mookie Lee told Dre "Dreamz" Herd that they had an immunity idol at their disposal.  The unraveling of a possibly formidable alliance began at that moment, and Mookie Lee finally fell victim last night.  Mookie was voted off to little surprise; he was a sitting duck through little fault of his own.  Mookie stopped by earlier this afternoon to discuss his time Survivor with us.Below you will find both the written transcript and the full mp3 audio of our interview. Read more »
Does Alex have any sort of chance at not getting voted off tonight?  Please let him win the immunity challenge.  I thought last week was a pretty good Survivor episode, because at least we didn‘t know exactly who was going to be sent home, since it was a toss-up between Alex and Mookie.  Anyway, I just hope there‘s some intrigue.  What follows are my quick thoughts while watching tonight‘s episode.After the recap, Alex is pretty pleased with himself for voting for Mookie and saving himself.  Earl is pissed about the split vote; he wanted Alex out.  Earl and company are freaking out for some reason. Read more »
The game of Survivor can be cruel.  Alex Angarita found this to be true.  The de facto founder of the short-lived Four Horsemen alliance on Survivor: Fiji, Alex was stabbed in the back by an alliance member, placing him in a deep hole he was unable to emerge from.  Alex did the best he can with no remaining allies on last night‘s episode, and almost pulled off a huge coup.  But it didn‘t come to pass and Alex was voted out at tribal council.  Alex stopped by earlier today and spoke about his time on Survivor.Both the written transcript and full mp3 audio of the interview can be found below. Read more »
There is, as my fellow BuddyTV writer Oscar Dahl aptly put it, a "Cult of Yau-Man."  Every person I talk to about Survivor: Fiji singles out Yau-Man Chan as one of their favorite players, if not THE favorite.First of all, who doesn‘t love an underdog?  And going into the game, he certainly seemed to be one.  This season of Survivor, like most, started out with the usual domination of the game by the Alpha Males - the younger, stronger players - even when they were not empirically the best or most valuable players as the game unfolded.But Yau-Man made himself useful, from being the only person able to open the box containing the first clues about the game, to helping the other players opening coconuts most efficiently.And slowly, but surely, his other strengths came to the fore.  Read more »
The Four Horsemen have been vanquished, so things should get interesting.  The word is that this episode will hold some pretty important happenings.  We shall see.  This is the last Thursday episode of Survivor: Fiji; the two hour finale is on Sunday.  So, since there are six left, that means we‘ll have one outcast tonight, followed by two voted off on Sunday going into a three-headed tribal council.  Anyway, what follows are my live thoughts while watching the episode.Earl leads the charge at the outset of this episode to take down Boo next.  I‘m rooting for Boo at this point.  Earl thinks he‘s the man.  I don‘t buy into it, Earl.  I know who‘s really running the show.  That‘s right: Yau-Man. Read more »
If anyone got a raw deal on Survivor: Fiji this season, it was Michelle Yi.  With a solid alliance set up as the tribes merged, Michelle fell victim to a cruel twist that placed her at the mercy of four non-alliance members.  It‘s rare when you can look back on a Survivor elimination and find that there was nothing that person could do to stay alive, but that was certainly the case with Michelle.  Michelle took some time earlier today to speak with us about her experience on Survivor: Fiji.Below you will find both the written transcript of the interview and the full mp3 audio. Read more »
After this week’s episode of Survivor: Fiji, it seems clear that the “Four Horsemen” (Alex Angarita, Dre “Dreamz” Herd, Edgardo Rivera and Mookie Lee) with their special sidekick, Stacy Kimball, do currently control the game. Despite the twist of splitting the one tribe into two groups, the Horsemen still managed to get through tribal council without eliminating anyone necessary to their survival. How will this alliance affect the rest of the game?  Can they be stopped? Read more »
Originally aired on Thursday, 04/26/2007 Episode Rating: *** (3 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: Alex and Mookie didn‘t just get burned at last week‘s tribal council: their alliance was completely incinerated.  Backs against the wall, the two pull out all the stops to try to save themselves on Survivor: Fiji. Episode Highlights: Alex and Mookie scramble to revamp their strategy after Dreamz‘s defection to the other alliance leaves them nearly powerless. Desperation drives them to some pretty shady behavior but it doesn‘t have the desired effect. Yau-Man‘s hidden immunity idol becomes common knowledge.  Read more »
It‘s been a good season of Survivor so far, hasn‘t it?  I‘ve thoroughly enjoyed every episode.  As always when this is the case, the cast is good.  I hope that the Mookie-Alex-Dreamz triumvirate figures something out to make it interesting, but I‘m not holding my breath.  I hope Dreamz gets called out hard tonight.  We shall see.  What follows are my live thoughts while watching the episode. God, what the hell was Dreamz doing last week?  He just punted Edgardo, Alex and Mookie under the bus.  Alex and Mookie, immediately after the tribal council, realize that Dreamz turned on them. Read more »
Originally aired on Thursday, 04/19/2007 Episode Rating: ***** (5 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: Last week, the Four Horsemen were able to carry out their strategy despite a twist in the game; will they be able to continue to control the outcome of Survivor: Fiji?Episode Highlights: The elimination of Michelle Yi requires that the Earl/Yau-Man/Cassandra alliance work out a new strategy. An unexpected winner for the reward challenge helps to create a new dynamic. Each of the two alliances has its own hidden immunity idol and this week, they come into play.  Read more »
Originally aired on Thursday, 05/03/2007 Episode Rating: *** (3 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: Alex is working overtime to save himself on Survivor:Fiji and Boo might just be digging himself a grave every time he opens his mouth.Episode Highlights: Alex‘s vote for Mookie last week saved his own neck.  Now he‘s searching for a new target as he tries to get through the next tribal council. Will Yau-Man‘s confidence in his alliance and hidden immunity idol be his downfall? Boo has some success in challenges this week, but he‘s not winning any friends.  Read more »
Originally aired on Thursday, 05/10/2007 Episode Rating: *** (3 stars out of 5) Episode Overview:  Big risk could equal big reward for Yau-Man as he makes a series of game-changing decisions on Survivor:Fiji. Episode Highlights: Boo is starting to feel like there is a target on his back...but so does Yau-Man. Yau-Man makes a crazy-like-a-fox proposition to Dreamz. The hidden immunity idols continue to impact the face of the game. Read more »
Stacy Kimball laid low for much of Survivor: Fiji, but proved to be a hardened competitor when it really came down to it.  Caught between alliances after the merge, Stacy did all she could to stay afloat in the name of self-preservation.  She was almost part of an incredible coup on last night‘s episode but, in the end, Yau-Man had the presence of mind to use his immunity idol and Stacy was sent to the jury.  Stacy was kind enough to take some time and speak with us earlier today.Below you will find both the transcript of our interview, as well as the full mp3 audio. Read more »
Thus far, I‘m not exactly batting 1000 with these predictions.  So, in anticipation of the finale of Survivor: Fiji this week, I‘m going to dispense with any pretense that I can guess or puzzle through what will happen and instead, just create my best-case-scenario at least through the final three.Anyone who has been reading my recaps no doubt knows that I am a big time Yau-Man Chan fan.  (I don‘t think I‘ve ever referred to myself as a "fan" of anything before, but that‘s how good this guy is.  He can move even the most cynical and hard-to-impress to sincere enthusiasm.)  Since his brilliant move on last night‘s episode, I‘ve been trying to figure out if he can actually win this thing, and if so, how?  So, again, it‘s probably all just wishful thinking - Survivor usually doesn‘t play out quite how you‘d love it to - but here‘s what I‘m hoping happens.   Read more »
We enter tonight‘s two-hour finale of Survivor: Fiji with five remaining castaways, which means that the final vote will, like last season, be between three contestants.  The Survivor producers must have like how the three-pronged final vote worked last season, seeing as they‘re doing it for the second time in a row.  The final five are : Dreamz, Earl, Yau-Man, Boo, and Cassandra.  Here is my prediction for the final order tonight:5. Boo4. Dreamz3. Cassandra2. Earl1. Yau-ManWhat do you all think?  What follows are my live thoughts while watching tonight‘s finale.  I‘ll be updating throughout the show, so feel free to check back often and even let your own thoughts be heard in the comments section below. Read more »
Originally aired on Sunday, 05/13/2007 Episode Rating: *** (3 stars out of 5) Episode Overview: The final five are whittled down to the ultimate winner in the season finale of Survivor: Fiji. Episode Highlights: Yau-Man survived the last tribal council, but he knows he is still a target. Yau‘s deal with Dreamz has far-reaching ramifications. There is a new format for the final vote - this season, it‘s a final three, not final two.  Read more »
Yau-Man Chan will go down as one of the most beloved Survivors in the series long history.  It is impossble to discuss Yau with any Survivor fan and not end up postulating on the little man from Borneo‘s greatness.  Yau-Man came into Survivor: Fiji as an afterthought.  No one expected much from him, but he was formidable in every aspect of the contest.  He won more challenges than anyone else, found the immunity idol, and was simply smarter than the rest of the field.  The only reason Yau didn‘t win was the fact Dreamz reneged on his immunity deal with Yau.  Nonetheless, Yau-Man will go down in Survivor lore as one of the game‘s best players.  Earlier in the week, Yau-Man stopped by to speak with us about his time on the show.Below you will find both the written transcript and full mp3 audio of the interview. Read more »
Earl Cole became the first Survivor in the history of the long-running program to win the top prize with a unanimous vote.  That‘s right, all nine members of the jury gave Earl their vote.  There has to be a pretty good reason for that, right?  Earl played an intelligent and subtle game, forming an alliance that catapulted him into the finals, where he eventually ended up winning the million dollars.  Earl took some time earlier today to stop by and discuss his Survivor experience with us.Below you will find both a written transcript and the full mp3 audio of the interview. Read more »
This fall, CBS will be airing Season Fifteen of Survivor, and the show is taking a break from the usual tropical island locales by taking the castaways to inland China. Maybe host Jeff Probst needed a break from the relentless sun and mosquito bites that go along with the scenic but difficult conditions on those pretty beaches.Where will the show go after China, for Season Sixteen? It is still a secret, but if you think you’d like to find out firsthand, CBS is currently accepting applications for that season.  Read more »
Yul Kwon proved that he had the brains and the brawns when he became the first Asian American winner of Survivor: Cook Islands. Credited for his strategic game plan and dexterity, he beat out Ozzy Lusth and Becky Lee in a 5-4-0 vote. Eventually, his endurance earned him $1,000,000. Read more »
This season of Survivor: Fiji started out slow. The division between the two tribes – Moto, the Haves, and Ravu, the Have-Nots – seemed to irritate some viewers and many wondered if the show had finally totally lost its edge. But then it seemed to turn a corner and suddenly there was a renewed interest and enthusiasm for the show. Part of the show’s strength this year was, once again, an interesting group of castaways. Some, like Yau-Man Chan and Earl Cole, won over fans with their smarts and savvy game plan. But others? Well, some others didn’t always get our attention for their smart moves.  Read more »
While this season of Survivor: Fiji certainly had some winning moments, there were also several events and decisions that - with the benefit of both hindsight and the birdseye view on our comfy couches - turned out to be truly questionable.Yesterday we reviewed the first set of this season‘s Stupidest Moments.  Today, it‘s time for Part Two. Read more »
Over the past couple of days, we took a critical look at some of the missteps and mistakes by this season’s Survivor: Fiji players through Parts One and Two of the Stupidest Moments. But it wasn’t all bungled blackmail and fruitless betrayal. This season wound up winning over so many viewers after its slow start because there were strong players who each brought a different angle to the game. From the blunt force of James “Rocky” Reid, to the lawyerly machinations of Alex Angarita, from the clumsy but successful athleticism of Kenward “Boo” Bernis, to the sheer brain power of Yau-Man Chan, the different strengths ran the gamut.  Read more »
It is time for our final look back on some of the top moments on Survivor:Fiji.  The tail end of the season had quite a few strong moves by a variety of players.  Their ingenuity and ruthlessness created some great highlights and some of the most memorable episodes of Survivor in several seasons.Yesterday, we looked at Part One of the Smartest Moments.  Today, it‘s time for Part Two. Read more »

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