Survivor: Edge of Extinction
We asked the Survivor: Edge of Extinction cast members to pitch new twists and themes for the show. Here’s what they came up with.
Get rid of the family visit. Because people play for the family visit instead of playing to win. I think there are certain goal-posts in Survivor. You don’t want to be the first boot. You want to make it to the merge. You want to make it to the end. There’s this funny spot, mid-merge, where people get exhausted. They’re like, “Oh, I’ve just got to make it to the family visit,” and then I feel like sometimes, someone’s easily hacked off right after that. Get rid of the family visit, and I think it leaves people guessing a little bit.
It’s not like I have no heart. I mean, I would love to see my mom. I want nothing more than to see her out here. I told her I couldn’t make her any promises. In Game Changers, people played to get to that moment. For me, in particular, it was very frustrating, because those were people that I wanted to be with me to get me to the end, ’cause I had no numbers the whole game, except for the people that kept getting killed off, because that was kind of how it went with me, and it just frustrated me that people played for that and not to get to the end.
Definitely an advantage that lets you get out of a bad tribe swap because a bad tribe swap can get a lot of people and it has gotten a lot of people. A lot of good players were sent home early in the game just because they were out of the numbers and there was nothing they could really do. Like Stephanie back there in Ghost Island, I was so sad to see her gone. So, I wouldn’t mind trying an advantage that lets you switch tribes with another tribe. Hey, I wouldn’t mind having it.
I think obviously the hidden immunity idols are here to stay. And we always see them hidden in a camp, we’ve seen them hidden in challenges, we’ve seen clues hidden on rewards. Maybe having a hidden immunity idol hidden at Tribal Council would be cool. I don’t know how it would play out in terms of where it would be and how it would work, but even sometimes like when they go to vote, and they have their voting confessional, and they pick up the pen but there’s the paperweight on the paper. I’m like, what if you pick that up and it said something under it? Like, “This is a hidden immunity idol.” Or maybe it’s under Jeff’s hat.
Dan “The Wardog” DaSilva
I know they don’t like four tribes, but maybe you could find a way of making three tribes, but I would love to see a geographic battle: East, South, Midwest and West Coast. I think the East Coast would get ganged up on the merge, and for some reason, I tell you, those southerners do really well on Survivor. They fly under the radar, they get people to like ’em, and when they back stab somebody, they do it with a smile on their face like they’re J.T. and they handle their own.
I think that nobody on the West Coast wins because I don’t have too much faith in them. They seem to be a little bit out there and surfing too much, but I think it’d be a fun little season to see because I think there’d be some person out of the South that would be combustible, all right. Inside the South and the East Coast tribe, there could be combustible personalities going at each other, and the Midwest tribe might have a few people that are really hardened by their ways of what real America is and how things are done on the farm or whatever does it, and another one might be from Chicago or St. Louis and have an urban twist to be a Midwesterner, so I thought that’d be kind of a cool way to split it up.
I definitely miss the two-tribe standard. I don’t like the three tribes. I think it makes it too easy for people to just not get any sort of relationship. I think it would be interesting to go back to the beginning: one tribe. Drop them on the island. They’ve done it before, and then see where it goes there. And then split it.
I think it’d be interesting for people to pick their tribes [with a school-yard pick], because what is Survivor but going back to high school? This is immediately back to who’s popular, what crowd do you fit in, so why not put people back into what you were in high school? Not what you are now, but what were you in high school? Were you a geek? Were you a jock or were you a nerd? It almost goes with the brains, brawn, beauty standpoint that they did before, but what were you before and who are you now?
I’d like to see some type of aspect of the game that would really tap into people’s desire to win the game. Something that really demanded a lot, maybe physically. I mean, I know the game itself does, but I would love some extended, long final challenge where the players had to travel some extended distance and go through all these challenges — some type of marathon type of challenge that was really gonna demand a lot of players, physically and mentally. Something like that would be cool. I’m excited for Fans vs. Favorites 3. That’s gotta be coming down the pike.
I was actually just thinking about this last night as I was once again laying there trying to figure out what this season could be. And it brought me back to this theme of me and the man with the army thing [ED NOTE: She is describing The Wardog, before she knew his name…which is not actually The Wardog.] And I was thinking, you know, it would be really cool to do like a Survivor: Vets vs. Brats. Like, army veterans versus either their dependents, their kids, or spouses. You know, the people that are related somehow that experience military life but weren’t directly in the service. So Jeff and the executive producers, reach out to me! We could make this happen, I think that would be great.
I think what would be a cool idea would be if all of the players in the game became the jury. The pre-jury’s still part of the game, and they come back and watch all the Tribals, but you see what’s happening at Ponderosa socially, the social dynamic of everyone who’s voted out, and then you have the people still in the game. There’s just this balancing act happening. I think that would be interesting.
I’ve spent two times on the jury, and the social dynamic of Ponderosa is so important to the game, but you don’t really get to see who’s for somebody, and who’s really against somebody, and how is that dynamic changing the thoughts of the jury members when they’re going into final Tribal? They’re just asking all these questions, but why are they asking those questions? Are they really already biased towards a winner or not?
How about sensitive people versus people just … I’m not going to say non-sensitive, but I would like to see a tribe of super sensitive people that are going to sit there and coddle each other the entire time against people that aren’t. Because I really would love to see how that pans out. I don’t do great with sensitive people. No disrespect to people that are sensitive. We need them in the world. They’re wonderful. They’re great grandparents. But in real life, on this island, it doesn’t belong here. So I would like to see something like that. You can’t take everything so personally, man. Like no disrespect to Coach, but he got a little sensitive out there, dude. What are you doing? You can’t trust people. You can’t. This isn’t the land of sensitivity. It’s not.
I really wanna see winners come back and play — an All-Winners season. Or a Legends season. It’s fun, there are people that have played several times, but it’s also fun, like, Coach, he’s a funny guy. I wanna see him play again.
I think East Coast versus West Coast would be really fun. If I was going East Coast I would pick more the Northeast versus maybe the Southern Cal people. I think that that would be a really funny from what I’ve experienced because one of my best friends was from up north and I think just the way you carry yourself, the way you look at things, the way you solve problems would be very different. I think that could be fun just watching those people try and problem solve and get to know each other. West Coast would definitely win, all day. Californians for life.
Here’s what we’re doing: We’re going to bring back Michael Yerger and we’re going to have him a with group of teenagers, so that pulls in the teenage audience. We’re going to have someone do a 20-something tribe, we’re going to have a 30-something tribe and we’ll have a 40-plus tribe and so we’re going to see who really wins. Wisdom, youth, speed and intellect. Which group will rise to the top? Wisdom has to win. It would be so depressing if the teenagers prevailed. There’s a reason why teenagers never won the game.
I kind of want them to bring back an idol that you can play after the votes have been read. They brought something in this season that is going to make it harder to play an idol, so I want something to be easier to play an idol after the votes have been read. I would love to play that one and see the looks on people’s faces.
I’d love to bring my pets out here. It would be interesting to see. If we get chickens, I’ll treat them as pets too. I don’t think I can get hungry enough to kill a chicken myself. But I’m a hypocrite, I’ll eat it if someone else kills it.
I do think they could limit the swaps, but only because it’s so difficult to understand what’s going on. So I think three swaps is too much. One swap, I’m down with. That’s not really a twist, but it’s just changing the game a little because it’s a lot going on.
I’ll do a theme: Survivor: City Slickers vs. River Rats, which is the North versus the South. I’m not trying to get a Civil War started, but I think any type of northeast, southwest, you know we’ve had four tribes before, so I think anything like that would be something different. And just to see, it’s almost like Brain/Brawn/Beauty, which characteristics bring out the best in people or the most successful in Survivor.
Is it bad for me to say that I want them to not do twists? I mean, I don’t want to sound awful. I love the game and I love what it’s become. I don’t want it to go back to seasons 1 and 2, or anything like that. I like the hidden immunity idols, but I just liked it when they were a lot fewer and farther between — when they were harder to find, when they were more of a big deal, and when the game was more about survival rather than all of the twists and the gimmicks. I mean, don’t yell at me, but I just felt like Ghost Island was so cheesy. I cringed a few times, so I don’t really want things like that. I want classic, not super classic, but seasons 15 through 30 Survivor.
I just feel like the game is so good on its own, that it doesn’t even need all these crazy things that it’s adding. The core of Survivor is the fact that it’s like a microcosm of the real world and it amps up everybody’s different faculties, and I feel like that’s what makes it so cool to watch. Not necessarily like idols, and then idol nullifiers, and all those things.
I feel like this has been brought up before, but it’s in my own self-interest. Just in case I don’t do well this time, how about Survivor: Third Time’s a Charm?