Survivor fixes its mistakes
Enjoying Survivor? You’re not the only one. While the first season, set in Nicaragua, had its moments, consensus among Survivor fans is that TVNZ’S Thailand-set second attempt at the franchise is a big improvement.
Warner Bros, which makes the show for TVNZ, seems to have listened to feedback on season one’s flaws and taken appropriate steps to rectify them.
Here are some changes it has made to the formula that have made the show more entertaining.
Redemption Island – a twist on the game where eliminated contestants are sent to live alone in an area cordoned off from the rest of the castaways, and can win challenges to make their way back into the competition – has often been regarded as one of the franchise’s worst ideas.
So quite why the producers decided to include it in Survivor NZ: Nicaragua isabitofa mystery. From a viewer perspective, it’s satisfying to know that when someone’s voted out you’re one step closer to the game’s conclusion. But Redemption Island undermines this, and drags out the show.
In Thailand, Redemption Island’s been replaced by The Outpost, an original twist on the game that brings together a single member from each tribe every week to compete in challenges and forge alliances for later in the game when the tribes are combined. to do during their downtime except sit around sweating, plotting and bickering, which has created some interesting tensions.
This season’s challenges have amped up in physicality and complexity. The mud challenges have been a highlight, but the spinning challenge where Tess was injured might have taken things a little too far.
If Survivor was a movie, the challenges would be the action scenes, the bits that get the heart pumping – and Thailand’s ambitious challenges do that a lot better than Nicaragua’s. each week. We’ve gone from 150 minutes of Survivor NZ each week, spread over two episodes, to a single 90-minute event.
That’s left us with a much more tightly-edited watch. More action, less sitting around on beaches talking about stuff that doesn’t have any impact on the final outcome. It also leaves more surprises in the mix, and the fact each episode has its own tribal council gives the show a cleaner structure.
Survivor seems to be going for quality over quantity this time around, and it’s working well for viewers.
Fans were divided on Matt Chisholm’s hosting in season one, but he seems to be winning more over this time around. Chisholm’s more fluent, and his Kiwi-isms like ‘‘hits the drink’’ and calling the tribal immunity idol ‘‘old mate’’ are pretty endearing.
Chisholm – or ‘‘Kiwi Jeff’’ as he’s known in some corners of the internet, a reference to American Survivor host Jeff Probst – even has his own fan page.