Monday, December 21, 2009

Arrogance Doesn't Win

Yep. We admit it: we watch Survivor. I'm going to up the ante: PBS is the least thing we watch. Laurence Welk reruns have their (zzzz)charm, but if there's any reality TV to watch, it's Survivor. Good or bad, this show started it all.
[The Evil Russell got ripped off.]
I have to admit when we begin to record a new season, there is a bit of weariness. New faces, new annoying people and the first couple of weeks, the pacing can be slow even when the show's producers try to rev it up. But, by the time the season draws to a close, you are sucked right in.

Last night, it was a shock that Natalie won over the expected and rightful winner, Russell. Russell, a ruthless manipulator played the hardest game and yet, in the end, it was his arrogance that lead him to let Natalie, a person who hid behind him and followed every one of his moves, steal the million dollars away from him.

[It helps to have a nice body in Survivor.]

Every season, some player stands on the proverbial soapbox, making their plea to the jury, and talks about integrity and honor, but lying, manipulation and ruthlessness are built into this game. It's a simple matter of numbers: each week, somebody is going home. Besides, "integrity" seems to go out the window when product endorsements, movie roles and even Playboy photo shoots are offered to Survivor participants.
Russell was very hard to like because he was always reminding the viewers at home that he was the puppet master and the other players were doing his bidding. He forgot one very important element: likeability. Ultimately, you have to burn people and lie to them to vote them out, but in the end, you have to do it with charm. Russell had directly or indirectly burned every one of those jury members and so his fate was sealed.

Natalie was chosen over Mick because she truly was the underdog. The other major factor was Mick, like Russell, failed to deliver a moving speech before the jury. In fact, when Mick and Russell delivered their speeches, I thought:

This is not going well. This thing could turn. And did.
Lesson learned: you can burn every one you want
but, in the end,
be likeable.

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