Survivor: Micronesia is a little weird in that no other season of Survivor has been remotely similar. Granted, I’m making this proclamation after only one episode of Micronesia, but it can’t be denied that this season will be the most atypical Survivor season since Survivor: All-Stars. The whole set-up has created motivations that have never existed before. The Favorites came into the game super-confident, cocky in their abilities in the game. They believed a beat-down of the Fans was inevitable. After last night’s humbling immunity loss, you have to believe that these Survivor veterans are going to work as hard as they can to prove themselves. The Fans enter the game wanting to simply prove they belong next to the Favorites that they admire. These excuses for motivation have never been a factor on Survivor until now. But, as anyone who watched the premiere knows, last night was all about one Mr. Jonny Fairplay.
I’m going to assume that anyone reading this watched last night’s episode and knows what happened. It was quite shocking. Jonny Fairplay gave up, said he wanted to go home and then he did. You see, his girlfriend (Michelle Deighton, former America’s Next Top Model contestant) was seven months pregnant when he arrived in Palau and he couldn’t stop thinking about it and told everyone to vote him off. This is not the Jonny Fairplay we’ve come to know and love/hate. It was an unexpected move, and kind of ruined the last quarter of the episode. I guarantee that CBS wished they had brought someone else into the Favorites fold besides Jonny after his teary-eyed plea for mercy.
But, c’mon, let’s be honest. Jonny Fairplay was never truly the evil mastermind that he purported himself to be. If you have the internet handy (you clearly do) just look up Jonny’s bio – he seems like an OK guy. The Fairplay persona is exactly that – a persona he came up with to create good television. Jon Dalton (his actual name) actually studied the art of being a “heel” in fake wrestling, which means you play an evil wrestler who incites the crowd. Inciting hatred is his trade. On the other hand, you could tell in tonight’s episode the hatred that Jonny and Jeff Probst have for each other. A couple of my Survivor viewing buddies didn’t see it until I pointed it out to them – it helped to know beforehand that they are not friends by any means. For instance, check out this quote from Probst:
“… [then] you have Jonny Fairplay, who’s completely despicable. It was actually fun to work with Fairplay on the show because he’s a producer’s dream. When he shows up drunk or flips somebody off, he’s bringing you gold every time. I wish we had a Jonny Fairplay every season. Personally, however, he’s an absolute jackass whose actions at the Vanuatu finale after-party pissed me off so much that he’s banned from any event that I’m at from now on. I’m done with Jonny Fairplay.”
Seriously, Probst said that in an Entertainment Weekly article. Even though I’m kind of a Fairplay apologist, I trust Jeff Probst with my life. So, really, I’m not sure what to think about Jonny and his actions on the season premiere. I either believe that a) he was telling the truth, and he missed his girl and worried about his unborn daughter, b) that CBS edited the hell out of this episode and Jonny tried to pull something that backfired, or c) Jonny showed up on the island, put that old Fairplay persona on and realized that he just couldn’t go through with the act again, that the pressure to live up to his previous antics was too high.
That third possibility intrigues me the most, and is the one I suspect is true. What do you think?
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)