Here I am, back for the final episode of Survivor 29 – San Juan del Sur.
First of all, sorry to all regular reader for pretty much disappearing this season. I knew early on that I wasn’t going to be able to blog weekly about the show, and worse that even on the weeks I’d be able to do so, I wouldn’t be able to do it in a timely fashion (who wants to read their analysis of a Survivor episode on a Monday?), so I unfortunately had to skip blogging about this season.
While I still read most blogs I usually read about the show, it’s interesting to see that not blogging about it made me watch it in a slightly different way, a more passive way maybe. It also could be the fact that this season was somewhat less engaging than many others at times.
It is considered by most as a quite weak season, and while I don’t fully disagree, I think it has the disadvantage to have happened after an amazing series of seasons. If it had happened after such disasters as Nicaragua or Redemption Island, maybe we would think higher of it.
It did suffer from having too many players who didn’t know the game much, and that’s an unfortunate consequence of having a Blood Vs Water format with all new players, it is very difficult to find 9 or 10 pairs of people who could be both good TV and good players.
With that being said, while it wasn’t such an exciting season overall, I don’t think it was bad either, just kinda plain.
Sometimes I complain about the editing, especially the infamous “winner’s edit” which makes some winners a bit too obvious early on, but I gotta admit that the editing was pretty interesting this season, making us believe it was being too obvious early in the season only to mislead us. Natalie became the obvious winner only after Keith’s vote out basically.
So, my final thoughts and farewells (and see you in a later season for a few?) about those players:
– Alec Christy: Instead of saying a few words about Alec, I’ll unusually post a picture that pretty much summarizes all there is to say about Alec:
– Baylor Wilson: I still don’t know what to think about her. Sometimes I liked her, sometimes not. Sometimes I felt that she could play somewhat alright, sometimes not at all. I think that before the tribe reshuffling she was more interesting than after when she was playing with her mom. From then on, she just ride her coattail basically (except when she decided to vote Jon out with Natalie and managed to convince mom to do so too). I can’t blame her, especially at her age, but it shows you that casting good pairs for the show is quite difficult.
– Dale Wentworth: I really liked Dale, and I’m sad that he got screwed from the first minute of the game being put in a tribe of younger people who wouldn’t care less for him. Now, maybe his social skills weren’t that good either, and what really did him in the end was pretty much Missy. Anyhow, I wish I had seen more of him. Oh well, this is part of the game, some potentially interesting people always get voted out early.
– Drew Christy: Gone too soon. Such an idiot lacking so much self-awareness is a rare thing. If only he could have lasted a few more episodes, although, I’m afraid he would have gotten on my nerves after a while. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll see such a Survivor mastermind in the next All-Star season, won’t we?
– Jaclyn Schultz: Sorry Jaclyn, but despite what you think, the only reason why you made it this far is thanks to Jon, and any move you have made wasn’t based on strategy, but on your self-centered ego.
– Jeremy Collins: Jeremy really should have been the star of this season. Gone too soon, for real. The guy knows how to play the game, he’s a great storyteller, and his face is priceless when he’s embarrassed by stupid people; look at his face every time one of his tribe mates tried to negotiate with Probst, whether it is for a lost flint, or more rice or whatnot. Hopefully, he will likely be one of the returning players from this season, right?
– John Rocker: Douche.
– Jon Misch: He had a pretty unique and odd trajectory on Survivor. We can’t really say he knew how to play well, and most of his moves were based on his attention-craving annoying princess girlfriend, and yet, he was somewhat in control of the game for several votes in a row. I’m afraid that the reason is that there weren’t that many strong strategist players this season.
– Josh Canfield: I really liked Josh at first, and thought he could play quite well, despite some weird moves (like throwing his vote at Baylor on episode one) but after the reshuffling, he got complacent, and complacent players always get voted out earlier than they should have. Anyways, I’d like to see him play again one day. Everybody (or almost everybody) gets better their second time around.
– Julie McGee: I gotta admit that she impressed me at first. I thought that she would fall apart after a few days in the wild. But just when I was starting to really respect her, she quit!
– Keith Nale: I really like Keith. At first because he seemed like a genuine endearing good guy. Next, because he was so hilarious to watch; not knowing how to play, unwittingly screwing over people constantly and still surviving vote after vote, to the point that after Jeremy’s elimination, I started convincing myself that Keith was going to win (he really got close). And then, in the end, because he seemed like a genuine endearing good guy. I hope we see him again, even if I think that’s very unlikely.
– Kelley Wentworth: I think we really missed out with Kelley. She seemed to be a very intelligent and interesting woman, apparently she was a fan of the show and was playing pretty well, but her early elimination before any real story happened ended up making her a pretty invisible contestant through the editing. Every time there is a shuffle, someone gets screwed. This time it was her.
– Missy Payne: Even now that the season is over, I still don’t know what to think of Missy. I have to admit that all season long I had a hard time rooting for her, and I’d be tempted to see her the way that Reed described her during Final Tribal Council, and yet, I don’t know, I just can’t really dislike her either. Odd…
– Nadiya Anderson: I don’t really have an opinion about her. I heard that the twins were annoying in Amazing Race, and I did find them a bit annoying for the few minutes we saw them together, but apparently, they’re not when they’re away from each other.
– Natalie Anderson, Winner of Survivor San Juan Del Sur: Interesting as she was pretty invisible early in the season. It’s rare to have a winner that you don’t see much (well, female winners sometimes get that treatment, because you know, the producers, especially one in particular is known for being somewhat sexist), but I loved the way she completely took control of the game after Jeremy’s vote out (and even before that, she is also greatly responsible for Drew’s and Josh’s elimination) without not becoming too obvious and letting Jon and Missy in the frontline. She never appeared to really be in charge, but she really orchestrated most votes in tribal councils where she was involved (and even one where she wasn’t involved as she somewhat played a role in John Rocker’s elimination). Well played Natalie and it really is a deserved win. I hope we see her again, although I’m not sure if she wants to be away from her sister for so long again.
– Reed Kelly: I have mixed feelings about Reed too. At times I really liked him, especially when he tried to take control of his destiny (and failed for reasons independent from his actions), but at other times, meh… I’m sure that with a different format, he would have done better though. In a sense, being Josh’s half locked him in Josh’s alliance, which ended up being his demise.
– Val Collins: She seemed cool, but played too hard too fast and almost voted herself out if I remember correctly (I do admit I don’t remember the early episodes that well for some reason)
– Wes Nale: He seems like a nice kid. Not Survivor material though.
And that’s a wrap for Survivor San Juan Del Sur…
Next time on Survivor:
So, the next season Worlds Apart is already hyped up to be amazing. Let’s hope it is. I’m kinda surprise it’s not an All-Stars season, we’re kinda overdue one, aren’t we? I mean, even if we had so many returning players during the past 10 seasons, nothing beats a full All-Stars season.
Now, with that being said, I like the new twist: white collar, blue collar and no collar. And from what I’ve heard they divided the tribes that way after casting the contestants (same thing happened for Cagayan), which is a good idea, the other way around is bound to put many people on the show who have nothing to do there.
Let’s see how this play out (even if the division will most likely last just a few episodes before the inevitable reshuffling of the tribes.