Let me preach to the Old School for a second. Remember Summer of 2000? Survivor burst onto the scene. It started as a word of mouth curiosity — hey, did you see that show about the fat, naked guy on the island? Word spread. Pretty soon, everybody was watching that fat, naked guy, and I mean everybody. Over 54 million people watched that fat, naked guy take home a million dollars thanks to a truck driver talking some smack about a rat and a snake.
Everywhere you went, people were chatting about Survivor. It was inescapable. When Michael Skupin put his hands into the fire, a nation cringed. When Colby took Tina to the final 2 instead of Keith, a nation cringed. When tribe members were redistributed halfway through Survivor: Africa, a nation threw its collective hands in the air and screamed, “That is so unfair!” having no clue whatsoever that it would be the least intrusive twist to the game imaginable when measured up against twists to follow.
But slowly, things started to change. Like for anything that burns that white hot in the public consciousness, there was the inevitable cooling period that followed. And instead of hearing “Hey, did you watch Survivor last night?” at the proverbial watercooler, we began to hear, “Oh, you still watch that?” or even worse, “Oh, is that still on?” (Which really is a ridiculous question because while Survivor obviously does not have the ratings to match its heyday — pulling well less than half of the viewers it did at its peak — it still performs well in the ratings when matched up against its competition.)
But while many casual observers may have jumped ship, we true fans kept watching, knowing just how special this show is, and knowing that when just the right circumstances strike with just the right cast in just the right setting, that there is nothing better on television. All we had to do was sit and wait and it would happen. Some seasons (Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Blood vs. Water, etc,…) it has happened a lot. Other seasons (Fiji, Nicaragua, One World) not so much. But it happens. We just have to wait for it. And it happened again last night.
This most recent episode was yet another stark reminder as to why Survivor remains one of the supreme television viewing experiences on the planet. This first post-merge Tribal Council for the Cagayan season may not have featured the craziest moment ever at a Tribal Council — the ice cream scooper from Hell still has that honor in my book — but I am not sure I have ever seen a collection of so many crazy moves at one single Tribal. So we’re hitting the fast forward button to skip straight to that zany, kooky, wacky, weird Tribal Council to dissect just how crazy it was and how the Solana folks blew it not once but twice and yet STILL managed to somehow come out on top. There were so many WTF? moves that we have to go over them one by one, grading each of them on a scale of 1 to 10 Reichenbachs — in tribute to the man who handed away his immunity and was promptly voted out.
NEXT: One crazy move leads to another