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October 13, 2015

Survivor Fiji: Snakes are Misunderstood

by Deidre Woollard, posted Feb 16th 2007 7:21AM
ravu(S14E01) A friend and I had a debate last week on whether or not the posh pad would be a liability for the Moto tribe and for Survivor as a game. First of all, the experience shifts for the viewer, it is impossible, for me at least, to be happy for a tribe that has everything without really working for it. Often inequality happens organically over the course of a season. It often seems that the one tribe has string of wins for reasons of teamwork or brute strength. But when one team is purposely handicapped the game is a bit different and it highlights the fact that these are people being tortured for our entertainment.

With just one challenge per episode we get to see a whole lot of tribal suffering on the part of the fireless Ravu tribe. For the most part they wander around in a waterless stupor until Yau-Man has the idea to chop coconuts to get water. It's a grueling process, as Rocky put it "it's chop five coconuts and take a nap for an hour." Dehydration isn't something we ever worry about so it is startling to see the tribe so devastated. Luckily Erica discovers some pineapples which helps. Earl tells the camera he will marry her because "that's a good woman." A few days without water, I'd want to marry Erica too. Even if the pineapples look a bit green.

This episode also reunites Sylvia with her new tribe. Yau-Man immediately assesses whether she has the idol by giving her a hug and taking a peek into her bag. This man needs his own reality show where he solves crimes or something like that after this season ends. Sylvia is socially awkward in that way that smart people often are. She wants to be helpful, she believes she knows best but she's also a big Miss Bossypants and that's not usually a good thing to be in this game.

Over at Moto things were a lot less interesting but surprisingly, more bloody. Poor Boo managed to get something in his eye, chop both his hand and leg with an ax and fall out of a hammock. Dreamz gets enough camera time to do a whole soliloquy on his homeless childhood and then undoes whatever audience sympathy he has by questioning why his teammates are on Survivor and telling Boo to his face that he will probably be voted out because he is self-destructing. Sometimes Survivor's editing efforts to "build" a character in one direction are undone by that person's personality. Dreamz is a good example of that.

Given how much Moto has had and how worn out Ravu is, the immunity challenge is surprisingly even for a time. Ravu even has the lead but once again self-destructs during the part of the challenge that involves more strategy than strength. Erica starts shouting and insisting she is right. I love the look Erica gives Sylvia when she tells everyone to calm down. Pure death glare. They lose and Earl gets sent to Exile Island and learns that the immunity idol is at camp. He also becomes a remorseful snake killer. I love Earl.

I'm not sure if Ravu is addled by dehydration or just challenged in general because every time they are faced with a decision they splinter off into a bunch of different groups, twist one way and then suddenly twist in the other direction. Rocky and Anthony decide that Erica should go because she yelled and panicked.

Heading into tribal it looks like one of the bossy women either Erica or Sylvia will go. Sylvia nearly talks herself out of the game at tribal by saying she feels like being an outsider and that the tribe should assign a leader. This is not one of those tribes that can handle a leader at all. Erica goes home which seems like a mistake since she was strong physically, too bad Earl wasn't around to save his pineapple bride. I'll be curious to see what happens when there is an immunity idol in play because this season Jeff asks for the idol before votes are read.

Next week's clips indicate that Ravu finally gets fire. Maybe this will bring an end to the suffering. I shouldn't have to cheer for Ravu just because they have nothing.

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Can someone tell me what that sea snake was doing on 3/1's Survivor episode. It looked like it was throwing up another snake.

March 02 2007 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the tribe Ravu needs to let Sylvia handle the mental challenges while the brawn concentrate on the physical challenges.

February 17 2007 at 6:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

Dreamz statement about being homeless being much tougher than "Survivor" might have had a bit more relevance if he were actually playing "Survivor". Being on Fantasy Island (because it is every past contestant's fantasy to have the stuff that the people on Dreamz team were given) isn't the real "Survivor". The real "Survivor" experience is what's going on at Ravu Island.

February 17 2007 at 4:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If I have to listen to Dreamz's homeless story again next week, I'll gag. There are a lot of people who have led tough lives. Does he think by pointing out his repeatedly and at length that we will like him more?

I was disappointed at the challenge - I thought the cushy camp would switch each week. It seems really unfair to let Moto keep it until the merge. Hopefully there's a twist coming up.

I agree Yau-Man needs his own show. Maybe he and Cao-Boi could team up for something. Mark Burnett? Are you out there? Hook these guys up.

February 16 2007 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They eventually did start using the eyeglasses but the clouds were making it difficult. And I also noticed there was no fuel for the fire if they even got a teensy spark...

Seems like Ravu got the barren beach - no fruit trees, no fish, no nothing. Feel bad for them but as I recall there were other editions where people had nothing to start with except just a machete and a pot...I hope they become stronger from the experience...Can't wait for mold to start growing on the couch in the humidity!

February 16 2007 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Big D

They did show them trying to start a fire with the glasses individually. I think you are right that stacking would have worked.

February 16 2007 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't think Dreamz said Boo would be voted out, I think he said that they won't have to vote someone out one day, becuase Boo is just going to hurt himself out of the game.

February 16 2007 at 10:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allison Solow

I think CBS has crossed the line this time. You can't let people suffer without water for six days and think that you're providing entertainment. Watching the Ravu bunch in agony is harrowing -- and not very humane. With only one challenge -- one chance -- to win something, the odds are stacked against them. And it's true, what has Moto done to earn so much largesse? The imbalance is irritating and hard to watch. If Survivor knows what's what, they'll find a way to tip the scales.

February 16 2007 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I couldn't believe they were trying to start a fire with friction (and had absolutely no tender there to get it going if they did manage a spark), when at least 3 members of the tribe were wearing eyeglasses. I would have been using those lens stacked up and started a fire on the first day. Haven't these people ever tortured bugs with a magnifying glass or did I just grow up in a twisted household?

February 16 2007 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was disappointing to see Erica go so soon. She looked like she hated everyone on her tribe. Weren't her and Rocky in an alliance last week and he spearheads her ouster? I can't wait for him to get the boot, preferably before the jury.

February 16 2007 at 7:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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