Survivor Philippines: Palau and how I perceived it


I am a fan of reality TV and I followed the show throughout its run. It’s funny that the show is made by my workplace but just like the viewers, we know nothing about its end. Yes, the show is so guarded that leaking it is a deathwish. I am a huge strategy guy and this is what I crave about Survivor. I rarely encounter the US version because I don’t what channel airs it (last I saw it, it was back in Solar Entertainment) but I don’t miss it because the Philippine version is better.

One thing that gives the show its much needed oomph is its weekday format. Audiences love shows they can see everyday (try looking at the two fail attempts of Idol invasion and you’ll see why) and Survivor is a perfect artillery to defend against the Pinoy Big Brother franchise.


Anyway, here are the things I noticed about the castaways (failed) attempt to win the show.

*16) Justine Part 1: Sure, when they discovered her transgender-ness, they thought she’s fragile to work in challenges but it was her mouth that led to her ouster. She was still pissed as hell when the other camp gave Carol the immunity necklace. The attention she was getting was enough to give her the boot en route to Isla Purgatoryo. Anyway, this turned out well for Justine.

16) Carol: Unlike Mommy Zita, Carol was the grownup young people want to hate. She bitches people around and likes to be seen as a “higher being”. She’s also a liability in terms of physical prowess.

15) Maya: Under the radar – she seemed the conniving type but barely made a presence during the early stages. Also, with four men still in the other camp, one girl has to go.

14) Vlad: Aside from the guy that didn’t even try to return to the game, he was basically a two-faced dealer. Unfortunately, seething behind the sidelines is a no-no in this early part of the game. Plus, Louie was a better manipulator than him.

13) Troy: He should be the first one to go with the way he played the game as a suave Casanova that FAILS to attract the women. His ouster was further accented when Vlad left. And the way he was manhandled by Tara was enough to ship his magic tricks elsewhere.

12) Louie: He was not discreet in his role as being the bad boy of the camp. But unlike Season 1's Marlon who used his head in dealing his tactics, Louie bossed around and used people. Unfortunately, Tara and Charles grew horns and this led to his downfall. On a lighter side, he’ll likely fit a bill of a goon or rapist in any big budgeted movie (but since the movie industry sucks right now he’ll likely stick in Indie films) with the way he does his macho dancing while at camp.

11) Cris: Sure, the events that unfolded in that phase made him the unfortunate victim but fact is, while he was dominant in the physical challenges, he was a lousy strategist. He just sat there thinking his brawn would take over the game (think Rupert of Survivor: Pearl Islands). He never approached Tara, Mika, or Charles on the person to vote. And when his ass was on the line during the faceoff between Justine, merely made a house without coming up with anything special! That is why the former 1996 Alaska grand slam team member was eliminated in the contest. He’ll likely end up as some monster in a GMA telenovela.

10) Marvin: He was solid in challenges and quickly pointed out as a threat. But he thought there was a men’s alliance. The fact that they all voted for him means no one thought of scheming at that point and merely relied on a person’s power.

9) Tara: She TALKS too much. Let’s actually emphasis of the term “foulmouth” here. She berated Mika, Jef, Charles, Troy and pissed of Louie, Amanda, Echo, and Justine. With Charles and Echo turning against her, the fact that she had no alliance made her a target (you know if she had a powerful alliance, they’ll surely pick her in the Top 3 because no one would pick her a la Jef).

8) Echo: The Koror people failed to realize that by voting Tara and Marvin, they are leading a slew of Airai people at the helm. Echo played well but the sudden voteoff blinded everyone. With Justine having the immunity necklace and the alliances of Mika/Amanda/Jef and Shaun/Charles/Suzuki in full force, she was the unfortunate odd-woman-out.

7) Suzuki: Shaun, the leader of the men’s alliance, is next in the chopping block so when he and Suzuki found the immunity object, he took it from Suzuki. This was bad for the Jap-Am because it left him vulnerable. Actually, he was funny and adorable and all but as a strategist, he played weak. He looked too gullible and never really made any big thing to save himself.

6) Shaun: Without Suzuki, and with Charles’ flip-flop, he was in his lonesome. He could have played under the radar but this stems from the fact that he didn’t properly nurture the Airai women (first alliance) and Charles (men’s alliance). He deserved the ouster for letting Mika grow horns.

5) Mika: Mika and Amanda are inseparable but Jef, the third woman forming their alliance thinks she’s left out in the cold. This prompts Jef to join an alliance with Justine and Charles. After the most awesome vacation male audiences feasted their eyes on, the duo found out that Jef switched alliances. With Amanda having the necklace, she was out.

4) Charles: He was a chameleon – everchanging, sneaky, and when we saw him pee in his pants… really, really disgusting. But fact is, we saw him as Louie’s lackey, and Tara’s biatch… but we also saw him as a master manipulator, scene-maker, and an assassin. Come to think of it, you can’t blame Charles to be in this position because he now owns a 2M condo.

Although you might still remember him as the guy Tara said “LITCHI KA! LITCHIIII KAAAA!!”

3) Jef: Her value in the game is not how she wins but who’ll win because of her. Because of her indecisiveness, she created the fact that she is the vote castaways fear. She did this against Mika and then Charles. Yes, Tara was right to tell her that she was merely towed to the Final 3 spot but you have to realize that she just replaced Tara in her Final 3 spot – as the person they had to take in the Final 3 because they know people won’t vote for her. In the end, the fact that Justine couldn’t control Jef was enough to destroy her chances.

2) Justine Part 2: When Justine returned to the game, people saw how powerful she was and she got everyone’s respect. When Echo was gone, instead of quitting, she created a bond to carry her to the Final 3. However, the second to the last tribal council was enough for people to think otherwise. The way she downgraded Amanda and the fact that she could have been nice in the tribal council was enough for votes to be cast not for her. You don’t act like a mean bitch inside the tribal council! I haven’t seen anyone win doing this antic. All of a sudden, the Koror originals remembered why they voted her off in the first place.

1) Amanda: She started the fire during her entry and her fire never faded. She was a powerhouse in challenges (with Mika only rivaling her) but merely a follower in voting procedures. Sure, she rode in Mika and Shaun’s cudgels but she was actually the person everybody feared because they think she’s the “brains” behind a person. When you watch Survivor, the fact that she talks little and strategize less doesn’t mean she’s scheming… it just means everyone else is paranoid. This exactly destroyed Justine’s game and the suspiciousness she caused was enough for her to bag the plum.

I don’t know if the outburst was made to force people to side with her or to expose Amanda’s bad side. When the dust settled, Amanda outpointed Justine 4 to 3 with Jef failing to receive any vote. Echo, Charles, and Suzuki stuck with their Koror tribemate while Mika sided with BFF Amanda. Shaun was shocked to hear Justine’s mean streak that he sided with Amanda while Marvin knows that mean streak and reliving it could be his basis not to vote Justine. Until the end, Tara proved to be the BEST VILLIAN OF THIS SEASON by siding with Amanda instead of tribemate Justine.

Actually if you look at their history you’ll find that Justine destroyed the Koror dominance in the merger. Amanda was merely a pawn there while Justine and Echo could have manipulated the others to voting Mika who has the black pearl during those times (worth 2 points). Mika will actually play an important role in this game and her hearty speech in the “Hot Seat” part against Justine doomed the latter.

The sophomore edition of the show wasn’t as big as the original (thanks a lot Rosalinda) but it did give us something to look forward to. The second salvo created a new bunch of heart throbs and hotties (insert Cris Bolado).

Starstruck is the next reality show in the mix for GMA. ABS-CBN will milk PBB and I guess Pinoy Dream Academy will reappear sometime soon. American Idol will premiere this January as Amazing Race Asia promises to return next season. Fear Factor? Just like Idol and Philippines’ Next Top Model, I can’t see it returning. Project Runway Philippines though, is an awesome show though, and it will make its Finale this week. I am not sure how to grade basketball reality shows because its not believable that a player could play straight in the PBA.

The reality format in the Philippines has yet to be exposed in love (The Bachelor), dream jobs (The Apprentice), a better search for a vocalist show (Rockstar), and a "size show" (Biggest Loser).

Paging TV networks…

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