Survivor Insights 30: My Sole Survivors

With JT’s triumph in Brazilian Highlands, I now have three sole survivors under my belt. Eighteen seasons of Survivor and I can’t truly believe how my instincts have driven me in the right direction. (NOTE: I don’t like reading spoilers)

Back in Season 12 – Panama Exile Islands, I chose Aras Baskauskas and Danielle DiLorenzo as my early picks. These two were in the final two and Aras eventually took home the title. Same story happened with Parvati Shallow. She was my only huge favorite in Season 16 – Micronesia and surprisingly, she outlasted the rest. I have already posted an article about “How Did Those Castaways Won?” in myblue blog. Today, I updated the article entitled “How My First-Impression-Favorites Won?” to be posted here. David Bloomberg of Reality News Online wrote the following analysis below.

What David Bloomberg has to say?

“J.T. was the country boy who could survive outdoors, but that’s not what Survivor is really all about… Like Stephen, J.T. definitely did well in terms of the first rule, scheming and plotting. He formed his alliance with Stephen on Day 2 and went all the way to the end with him… J.T. also clearly knew what he wanted to get across to the jurors and was able to argue it. He played up his aw-shucks country boy aspect, did a lot of smiling, and basked in the love from the jurors.”

“The thing is, J.T. had cultivated that love over the past 39 days… his combination of strategy and friendliness is rarely seen on Survivor. The ability to stab somebody in the back and still have them be your friend and hand you a million dollars is somewhat amazing to watch. Even though he was obviously a huge threat to win, nobody wanted to go against him until it was too late and he had it all wrapped up. Then he put the bow on top with a great jury performance.”

“Each time, Parvati was the blindsider, never the blindsided… She owned Tribal Council from the moment of the opening statements. She took credit for playing aggressively and beating her competition before they had a chance to beat her. She made bold power plays and helped guide a powerful group of women to some of the biggest moves in Survivor history.”

“Parvati played strategically while eliminating emotional decisions, but also played socially, thus building up emotional attachments. She took out the threats when they needed to be gone, and she set herself up in a prime position to give her an enormous amount of flexibility to go forward no matter which side came out ahead. She set herself up to make it to the end, and then did a fine job with the jury.”

arasSole Survivor: Aras

“Early in the game, Aras did not seem a likely candidate to win. A couple of his original tribemates thought he was a bit nutty as he tried to start a fire using mind power. Then, after the switch-up, he revealed the core alliance, which is generally a big blunder… Once he got in the finals, Aras said many of the right things. Aras talked about how he tried to play the game with integrity. Yes, he had to turn on a couple of people, but he was just trying to get them before they got him. And yes, it was necessary to tell the few lies he did.”

“Aras also pointed out several times that he took the time to get to know each and every one of them on a personal level.. He did a good job of reading the jurors and telling them mostly what they wanted to hear… Aras was not the best strategic player this season. That would probably have been Cirie. Aras was not the best at challenges this season. That would definitely have been Terry. But Aras put those two facets into one person, and added a good social game as well. By being second best at several things, he avoided being the biggest target.”

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During the first season of Survivor Philippines which took place at Ko Tarutao, Thailand, the First Pinoy Sole Survivor was also my first impression pick.It should have been ME (just kidding!) Read: Survivor Insights 13: JC Tiuseco- First Pinoy Sole Survivor My pre-show pick in Survivor Philippines (Season 2) also won. Read: Survivor Insights 46: Amanda Win Survivor Philippines Season 2

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What SurvivorDean has to say?

All in all, Survivor: Panama Exile Island is still my #1 favorite season. It’s the first time the castaways were divided into four tribes (younger men, younger woman, older men and older women) and each group has a deserving representative going in the final four. It’s unbelievable two of my early bets before the pilot (Aras and Danielle) outlasted the physical threat (Terry) and the social strategist (Cirie). This is a big picture that illustrates the fight between two elephants and two rats. Even how small these rats are, they can still make the elephant run. And who can forget the beautiful Misty who got voted off so early, the strange naked truth about Shane, Dan – the astronaut and the dominant Terry who won six individual immunity challenges in a row?

Survivor Micronesia and Survivor Tocantins are completely two different seasons with bold characters. It’s likely unfair to compare these two seasons but the level of competition in Micronesia were fierce, considering it’s a battle between fans and favorites. A number of unexpected accidents and alliances occurred as early as Episode 1. Quite the opposite in Tocantins, every episode of Season 18 has something to shock you. It’s undeniably the season of blindsides. The only predictable events in Tocantins are when Sierra was voted-out and when JT won. I knew JT had a 75% winning chances but I was not expecting JT would get a 7-0 votes against Stephen.

Here are my thoughts on JT and Parvati:

1) These two appears to use their charismatic personality to fully-convince people around them. Parvati chose to take risks and played both sides. JT, on the other hand, cemented his alliance with his tribe as early as Day One.

2) Both of them played a well-structured social game. Parvati was the flirt while JT took the role of provider.

3) The only difference is, JT won (3) Immunity Challenges in a row when he truly needed it while Parvati only managed to win (1) challenge and she’s the first one out during the Final 3 Endurance Immunity Challenge.

4) Parvati played a riskier cut-throat game and could face elimination anytime but she still survived all the tests even without an immunity. Parvati was the social blindsider which JT did not regularly do (He relied on winning immunity to be safe). Therefore, I stick to Micronesia as my second favorite season.

Here’s my ranking:

1) Survivor Panama Exile Islands [Season 12]: Television Rating in US: 16.82 Million Viewers, #12

2) Survivor Micronesia: Fans vs Favorites [Season 16]: Television Rating in US: 13.51 Million Viewers, #11

3) Survivor One World [Season 22]

4) Survivor Tocantins [Season 18]: Television Rating in US: 12.92 Million Viewers, #19

5) Survivor Heroes vs Villains [Season 20]

** With respect to Season One, I also love this season. It’s not enough to rank this season as 1, 2 or 3. This season was the start of everything beyond the imagination can conceive. Richard Hatch remains to be the King of Alliance.

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