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Donny Ketchum

On an Island of One: Unpopular Opinions of Survivor

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He was a Tribe  Cancer in H vs V and just full on nasty at camp.  The heroes went on something of a win streak after he left , and I think it had to do with morale as much as anything.

 

Don't know if this an unpopular opinion, but I never liked him.  There's no there there.  I think he's probably the weakest of the people who have played three times.

 

And his friend Amanda is right behind him 

 

When I said "good to have around camp" I meant in the sense he probably does all the menial stuff like get the firewood, do some foraging, etc.  Not that I think he's a good guy (because he appears to be not very bright or personable to me).  I'd agree that there's no there there - he was strategically weak and did poorly in challenges.

 

Amanda, at least, came in with a strategy and executed on it.  If she had any idea how to handle FTC she might have one a season.  But she was horrible in her FTC performances.

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I thought James was a lot more likeable in his first season, and it was cute when he said that if Denise (the plain-looking lunch lady/janitor with a mullet) weren't married, she'd be his kind of woman. But he seemed to get more dickish with each subsequent appearance. Although I did like him a lot in China, by the time he was voted out of HvV, I was glad to see him go.

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Yeah, James is a great example of a guy who bought into his own "Survivor fan favourite" hype.  He was likeable, funny and (despite the fact that the Probst hype train was already in love with him) good TV.  Then you had James getting gradually more big-headed in S16 and he's downright unlikable in S20.

I think HvV is an interesting season strategically, but such a bummer to watch; no one in it seem to enjoy being there, there is no joy in the show at all, except for Russell's joy at being a shitty person.

Sandra was having fun!  Courtney was having fun! 

 

It's a good observation that both HvV and the original All-Stars seasons ended up being so mean-spirited and bitter, probably because you have an entire case of people who a) mostly know each other and b) are playing against their own histories and own "Survivor characters."  It doesn't bode well for S31, frankly.  As much as I dislike the fans vs. favourites type of half-and-half seasons since they're so lopsided in favour of the veteran players, perhaps you need that new blood in the mix to give the show a spark.

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James was a challenge threat?  That's news to me

 

Yes he was.  Go back and watch China again.  This is one weird bit of Survivor fan contrarianism with no basis in reality.  In the pre-merge he absolutely destroyed any chance of tribe balance in China.  The entire season was almost completely determined by Fei Long dominance in the early immunity challenges which almost entirely come down to James.  Watch that first challenge and see James get over the wall faster than Frosti, who is half his size and a parkour expert for godsakes.  It is insane.  James was not like the various big bodybuilding chumps who couldn't actually do anything despite their big muscles.  He's a guy who worked a very physical job for a living.  I'm looking at the challenges on Wikipedia now:

 

1. dragon puppet -- James is the biggest factor

2. giant ball mud soccer -- James is a very big factor

3. smash log through gates -- James is the biggest factor

4. wrestling on boats -- James is by very far the biggest factor

5. machete chop puzzle -- Fei Long loses thanks to Courtney having to individually chop.  James of course chops instantly.

6. giant chopsticks -- I don't remember, but Fei Long wins

7. throwing bolo things -- James is the biggest factor

8. floating puzzle -- thrown by Jamie and Peih Gee, James does fine

9. run through abandoned buildings -- everyone is too busy strategizing/talking to former tribemates, I don't remember

10. gross food -- James attempts to throw it but cannot because Denise sucks at life

11. question challenge -- James doesn't do well but so what

12. sink the boat -- James ia a big factor

13. sit on barrel -- James does OK

14. bounce balls on drums -- James does poorly, pisses off Peih-Gee

15. animal memory game -- James eats instead of playing

16. Chinese quiz -- James does poorly but so what

17. throwing stars -- James does OK

 

Now look.  We can say, oh look how James underperformed post-merge.  But most of these challenges are not physical, and there's no way they could have known that would be the case.  Considering how completely dominant James was in pre-merge challenges, it is nuts to not expect him to dominate the rest and plan accordingly.  And I tend to think that the post-merge challenges were almost all non-physical just to give the others a fighting chance.  I'm 99% sure that they cast Caveman Joel in Micronesia entirely to try to balance out the James factor.  Even in Micronesia after a very short break James was pretty amazing in challenges; remember how he broke the pole platform challenge by simply picking up pole, Parvati, and all, and walking them over to the other side?

 

Just because you don't like him doesn't mean James was bad at challenges.  Bad at Survivor, sure.  But not bad at challenges.  In a team challenge schoolyard pick situation I'd maybe only take Boston Rob and Palau-era Tom Westman over James.  He carried Fei Long to victory.  Vote him out the instant he loses the first individual immunity, assuming you don't put Zhan Hu up in numbers thereby.

Edited by KimberStormer
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The James debate originally started with you saying James was a huge threat for individual immunity and he's not. He's the only guy to come back three times and not win a single individual immunity. Maybe he's great at tribal immunity, but he doesn't have the body type for individual immunities. I think in the later seasons, it's all about speed and agility when it comes to comps. China turned into a showdown between Amanda and Peih-Gee, for god's sake. 

 

And that's one of my biggest issues with Todd. He kept blindsiding members of his tribe (usually against Amanda's advice) and let Erik/Peih-Gee stick around a lot longer than they should have. If Denise hadn't been scared of the rocks, it could have seriously caused some problems. 

Edited by loki567
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Did you read my post?  Again, they couldn't possibly have known that they would get trivia challenges and so on.  He was indeed a "threat", someone who you don't want around to go on an immunity run.  He was plenty fast and agile, as I said--jumping up that wall, running around in the mud.  Plus there certainly are strength-based individual immunity challenges, like the hold-heavy-things challenge that Fabio won, or Boston Rob's stairs challenge.  It is bananas to keep James postmerge when you can get rid of him, even with no idols.  I'm sorry, no Zhan Hu was more threatening than James.

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The James debate originally started with you saying James was a huge threat for individual immunity and he's not. He's the only guy to come back three times and not win a single individual immunity. Maybe he's great at tribal immunity, but he doesn't have the body type for individual immunities. I think in the later seasons, it's all about speed and agility when it comes to comps. China turned into a showdown between Amanda and Peih-Gee, for god's sake.

The one thing I kept noticing during Rob's Second Chance interviews among particularity Peih-Gee and Shirin was that Individual Immunity aren't strength base and the pre-merge challenges are. Peih-Gee talked about how even though James didn't win any individual immunity challenges she thinks Fei Long did so well pre merge because of James. He is a worker and told Zhan Hu that he would do all the work so the rest of the tribe can rest and focus on challenges. Peih-Gee also said he dominated the pre-merge challenges because most of them were strength based.

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The idea that James was a threat in individual immunity isn't backed up by his performance in individual immunity. I'll grant that in China before the first individual immunity challenge there was no way to know that he'd never win an individual immunity in three seasons, that's a reasonable point.  And James was a valuable contributor to the team immunity challenges.  But to say there was no way of knowing that the individual immunity challenges wouldn't be strength-based is not valid - individual immunity challenges tend to be a mix of various challenge skills, rarely are they all strength-based challenges.  In fact, there are often challenges in which being large and muscular are a disadvantage (lots of endurance challenges, especially when balancing on a small platform).  Being the physically strongest player on Survivor is not often a ticket to victory.

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The idea that James was a threat in individual immunity isn't backed up by his performance in individual immunity. I'll grant that in China before the first individual immunity challenge there was no way to know that he'd never win an individual immunity in three seasons, that's a reasonable point.  And James was a valuable contributor to the team immunity challenges.  But to say there was no way of knowing that the individual immunity challenges wouldn't be strength-based is not valid - individual immunity challenges tend to be a mix of various challenge skills, rarely are they all strength-based challenges.  In fact, there are often challenges in which being large and muscular are a disadvantage (lots of endurance challenges, especially when balancing on a small platform).  Being the physically strongest player on Survivor is not often a ticket to victory.

 

But being a "threat" to win Individual Challenges doesn't need to be supported by performance to be true. I guess technically EVERYBODY is a "threat to win" because anybody could win at some point, but if you were to analyze the components that factored into every single Individual challenge in 30 seasons and compared that with a list of stats for every player ever, I think James would be pretty scary. Susie, OTOH, would probably only perform well in 5-10% of those challenges... but they just so happened to show up in the Gabon endgame.

 

I think James' biggest weakness re: IIC/IRC is that they often involve multiple skills or multiple stages, whereas Tribal challenges can have players specifically placed where they'll do the most good. Puzzles and coordination aren't his strong suit, and those tend to be the equalizers in individual challenges (i.e. Ciera/Kass almost dying at the F5 IC but winning it at the puzzle) but he is still a "threat" in anything physical.

 

The most threatening players are obviously the ones who are good at everything, but the next scariest are the ones who excel at a specific area to a point where they would crush a challenge designed for them. I would not want to face Parvati in an endurance challenge, Ozzy in a swimming challenge or Erinn in a pure puzzle challenge.

 

If we go by Individual challenge performance, then yeah, he kinda sucks. But I still think it's a prudent move to eliminate him early if possible.

Edited by Oholibamah
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The James debate originally started with you saying James was a huge threat for individual immunity and he's not. He's the only guy to come back three times and not win a single individual immunity. Maybe he's great at tribal immunity, but he doesn't have the body type for individual immunities. I

 

You're taking what Kimberstormer wrote a bit out of context.  She was talking about what happened in China.  And in China, James dominated the pre-merge challenges, more than anyone else out there.  Based on those performances it would have been a mistake NOT to fear him.  In fact people like that typically are targeted and eliminated shortly after merge.  Joe and Aras are two examples from recent seasons.  Terry was also targeted, but ran off a string of IC victories, and was able to save himself till the end.  (btw, I would add Terry to the list of people who out-challenged James.)

 

After the fact, we can look at what happened, and know James didn't win.  But at the time, based on all he did, the others should have feared him, for the reasons Kimberstormer said, including his challenge performances till that date. 

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The idea that James was a threat in individual immunity isn't backed up by his performance in individual immunity. I'll grant that in China before the first individual immunity challenge there was no way to know that he'd never win an individual immunity in three seasons, that's a reasonable point.  And James was a valuable contributor to the team immunity challenges.  But to say there was no way of knowing that the individual immunity challenges wouldn't be strength-based is not valid - individual immunity challenges tend to be a mix of various challenge skills, rarely are they all strength-based challenges.  In fact, there are often challenges in which being large and muscular are a disadvantage (lots of endurance challenges, especially when balancing on a small platform).  Being the physically strongest player on Survivor is not often a ticket to victory.

 

For sure; my point though is why take the chance?  What if that first individual challenge turns out to be the only one that doesn't favor a big guy?  And of course he had 2 idols in his pocket for just such an occasion...anyway I think I've explained my side enough.

 

  (btw, I would add Terry to the list of people who out-challenged James.)

 

Terry certainly out-individual-challenged James, no disputing that; I just meant team challenges though, which Terry and his tribe famously blew it in, against the silliest tribe of misfit toys ever to don a Survivor buff.  There's plenty of people I would say are better at challenges in general than James, but hardly anybody I'd rather have on my team.  Rob and Tom were both great leaders of teams who made their teams better as a whole, that's why I mentioned them (and not, say, Ozzy, who in my opinion is the single best challenge dude to play so far.)

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For sure; my point though is why take the chance? What if that first individual challenge turns out to be the only one that doesn't favor a big guy? And of course he had 2 idols in his pocket for just such an occasion...anyway I think I've explained my side enough.

Terry certainly out-individual-challenged James, no disputing that; I just meant team challenges though, which Terry and his tribe famously blew it in, against the silliest tribe of misfit toys ever to don a Survivor buff. There's plenty of people I would say are better at challenges in general than James, but hardly anybody I'd rather have on my team. Rob and Tom were both great leaders of teams who made their teams better as a whole, that's why I mentioned them (and not, say, Ozzy, who in my opinion is the single best challenge dude to play so far.)

its interesting how much age can make a difference because Boston Rob was a disaster as a team leader in Marquesas.

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Rob wasn't running his tribe in Marquesas, though. Hunter was, and Hunter suucckked as a leader. They lost every challenge under Hunter, and he alienated everyone except for Gina and Patricia by being bossy and critical. Rob was ready to take over the leadership role when they blindsided Hunter, but the tribe shuffle happened the next day and he never got the chance, ending up in the minority on Rotu. Even if there hadn't been a shuffle, I don't know how successful he would have been leading Maraamu, but it would have been interesting to see him try.  I agree with you that age makes a difference and that season he did tend to say dumb things to provoke people when he felt in danger, and also Gina was the bitterest pill ever after Hunter was voted out, and I wouldn't have been surprised to see her actively trying to sabotage her own tribe after that.

 

Marquesas is probably where most of my unpopular opinions lie:

Hunter - terrible leader, kind of a jerk.

Gina - bitter and phony

Sarah - actually very sweet, but couldn't overcome the bad first impression she made

Kathy - all around bad player, crybaby drama queen

Paschal - garbage person

General - I liked the General, even though he was boring, mainly because I got a kick out of how he didn't seem to do anything but chop wood

Sean - I loved Sean, and Sean riding a horse = comedy gold

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Rob wasn't running his tribe in Marquesas, though. Hunter was, and Hunter suucckked as a leader. They lost every challenge under Hunter, and he alienated everyone except for Gina and Patricia by being bossy and critical. Rob was ready to take over the leadership role when they blindsided Hunter, but the tribe shuffle happened the next day and he never got the chance, ending up in the minority on Rotu. Even if there hadn't been a shuffle, I don't know how successful he would have been leading Maraamu, but it would have been interesting to see him try.  I agree with you that age makes a difference and that season he did tend to say dumb things to provoke people when he felt in danger, and also Gina was the bitterest pill ever after Hunter was voted out, and I wouldn't have been surprised to see her actively trying to sabotage her own tribe after that.

 

I like Boston Rob, but I always felt he targeted Hunter because he wanted to be the leader/alpha male on the tribe.

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Oh, I agree. Rob even said as much in a confessional. But I don't think he would have gone after him so early if Hunter had been at all effective as a leader.

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Oh, I agree. Rob even said as much in a confessional. But I don't think he would have gone after him so early if Hunter had been at all effective as a leader.

I never really understood the hype around Hunter and Gina. I do love Marquesas though its one of my favorite seasons. It's a shame only Kathy and Rob have been asked back. I remember really liking Rob, Sean and Vecepia all 3 were not very popular at the time. I never really liked Kathy who was the fan favorite of the season.

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Marquesas is probably where most of my unpopular opinions lie:

Hunter - terrible leader, kind of a jerk.

Gina - bitter and phony

Sarah - actually very sweet, but couldn't overcome the bad first impression she made

Kathy - all around bad player, crybaby drama queen

Paschal - garbage person

General - I liked the General, even though he was boring, mainly because I got a kick out of how he didn't seem to do anything but chop wood

Sean - I loved Sean, and Sean riding a horse = comedy gold

 

I actually agree with all of this, except the part about Gina. (And Kathy grew to be entertaining by the end, but is indeed a "bad player/crybaby drama queen").

 

I quite enjoyed watching Rob et. al from my living room, but I can't really begrudge somebody being bitter about losing the numbers game to 4 people who lazed around all day. Her attitude was never particularly vitriolic, and I would probably be jumping to the more hardworking nuMaraamu players and selling Sarah up the river, too. People commonly defect to the new majority and throw somebody under the bus, anyway - the fact that she didn't like Sarah is sort of here-nor-there.

 

I do understand bristling at the sweet-as-pie character that people tend to remember her as - Colleen has the same effect on me. But I don't think she was some evil, bitter old witch, either.

 

My UO re: Marquesas is that, while I appreciate what the power-shift did for the franchise long-term, I didn't actually enjoy watching it unfold. I was solidly in the John/Tammy/General camp (and Zoe before she pretended she was never involved) and wasn't looking forward to seeing anybody from Kathy's alliance win.

 

Another UO is that Jenna was my favorite winner from the first 6 seasons. Strategically, I think she was better than Tina, Ethan and Vecepia.

 

Finally (and this one might get me some heat), I find the earlier seasons (1-6) have low re-watch value. They're sprinkled with some entertaining and extremely human moments that the more polished recent seasons are missing, but the straight-forward gameplay and lack of strategy can make rewatching them rather tedious. I agree with whoever deemed the middle seasons (approx. 10-18) the "Golden Era". They seemed to hit the right balance of twists, strategy, editing and casting. I could probably watch Micronesia a hundred times and never get bored.

Edited by Oholibamah
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I know this is a very unpopular opinion around here but I actually liked Thailand and found most of the cast to be entertaining in a bat shit crazy sort of way.

 

I also find the final two to be completely superior to the final three, though I am not sure how unpopular that opinion is.

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 It seems like it's generally between 2 survivors anyway with the third getting 1 or no votes so the third seems kind of superfluous.  

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Maverick, I think it's not superfluous and here's why.  It lets another person into the finals, who could end up winning.  e.g. suppose Panama (Exile Island) had three in the finals.  Good chance Terry wins (sure thing, actually, according to Aras).  If Micronesia had 3, Cirie might have won.  If Amazon had 3, Rob C. might have won.  

 

If All-Stars had a 3-person final, would Amber have won?   That jury was so pissed, I think it would have voted for anyone besides A or R. 

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Maverick, I think it's not superfluous and here's why.  It lets another person into the finals, who could end up winning.  e.g. suppose Panama (Exile Island) had three in the finals.  Good chance Terry wins (sure thing, actually, according to Aras).  If Micronesia had 3, Cirie might have won.  If Amazon had 3, Rob C. might have won.  

 

If All-Stars had a 3-person final, would Amber have won?   That jury was so pissed, I think it would have voted for anyone besides A or R. 

 

It's hard to say, since Jenna Lewis wasn't exactly the most popular player either.  Amber might still win since she was so inoffensive, whereas everyone was shooting daggers at Rob and Jenna didn't have many allies.

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It's really pointless to debate who would have won in a F2 vs. F3. Everybody's strategy would have been adjusted, there would have been different members on the jury, etc. 

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Agreed: we can't know who would win if we expand F2 to F3. But we CAN surmise who wouldn't make the F3 in a F2, and it makes for some rather lackluster finishes. In order, we would likely have:

Ozzy v Becky

Dreamz v Cassandra

Amanda v Courtney

Somebody v Sugar

Russell v Natalie

Russell v Parvati

Sash v Fabio

Rob v Phillip

Sophie v Albert

Kim v Chelsea

Mike v Lisa

Dawn v Cochran

Tyson v Gervase

Somebody v Missy

Mike v Carolyn

Obviously those are just guesses, but the point is, they would likely be very lopsided votes because the biggest threat to the IC winner is removed. We don't get any Yul v Ozzy or Parvati v Sandra. Even close votes like Chase v Fabio don't happen.

TBH, I think TPTB made the change because so many landslide votes were happening back to back. Aside from Rob v Amber, every vote from Amazon straight through to Exile Island was pretty decisive.

Edited by Oholibamah
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Agreed: we can't know who would win if we expand F2 to F3. But we CAN surmise who wouldn't make the F3 in a F2, and it makes for some rather lackluster finishes. In order, we would likely have:

Ozzy v Becky

Dreamz v Cassandra

Amanda v Courtney

Somebody v Sugar

Russell v Natalie

Russell v Parvati

Sash v Fabio

Rob v Phillip

Sophie v Albert

Kim v Chelsea

Mike v Lisa

Dawn v Cochran

Tyson v Gervase

Somebody v Missy

Mike v Carolyn

Obviously those are just guesses, but the point is, they would likely be very lopsided votes because the biggest threat to the IC winner is removed. We don't get any Yul v Ozzy or Parvati v Sandra. Even close votes like Chase v Fabio don't happen.

TBH, I think TPTB made the change because so many landslide votes were happening back to back. Aside from Rob v Amber, every vote from Amazon straight through to Exile Island was pretty decisive.

Didn't Russell win a bunch of immunities at the end? I think he would have brought Sandra and lost.

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Oh, I agree. Rob even said as much in a confessional. But I don't think he would have gone after him so early if Hunter had been at all effective as a leader.

Or he may have wanted to target him that early, but probably couldn't have convinced the others if Hunter's leadership had gone well. It's one of those "we're losing WITH him, what's the difference if we're without him." 

 

Personally, I'm glad Rob outlasted Hunter, because he really wasn't great TV. Handsome and obviously good at the survival part, but dull as hell too. Rob and Sean entertained me way more. 

 

My UO re: Marquesas is that, while I appreciate what the power-shift did for the franchise long-term, I didn't actually enjoy watching it unfold. I was solidly in the John/Tammy/General camp (and Zoe before she pretended she was never involved) and wasn't looking forward to seeing anybody from Kathy's alliance win.

 

Oh, I hated Tammy with a passion. I didn't care either way about the General or Zoe, but Tammy was my most hated with John up there as someone I kind of loved to hate. He fascinated me with his utter arrogance and the schadenfreude of his fall was great to watch.

 

 

Finally (and this one might get me some heat), I find the earlier seasons (1-6) have low re-watch value. They're sprinkled with some entertaining and extremely human moments that the more polished recent seasons are missing, but the straight-forward gameplay and lack of strategy can make rewatching them rather tedious.

Season 1 is tough for me to rewatch and I've only sat through Africa one time as well. Thailand was the very first season that I ever watched, and I rewatched recently but probably wouldn't  revisit it again. Season 2,4, and 6 are pretty entertaining though. 

 

Pearl Islands is one that I don't feel any particular urge to revisit either. 

 

Maverick, I think it's not superfluous and here's why.  It lets another person into the finals, who could end up winning.  e.g. suppose Panama (Exile Island) had three in the finals.  Good chance Terry wins (sure thing, actually, according to Aras).  If Micronesia had 3, Cirie might have won.  If Amazon had 3, Rob C. might have won. 

If All-Stars had a 3-person final, would Amber have won?   That jury was so pissed, I think it would have voted for anyone besides A or R.

 

It's interesting that a lot of the seasons that I would have appreciated having a final 3 turned out to be final 2s, while so many of the seasons that DID have final 3s had at least one completely dead-in-the-water, no shot in hell contestant in them. 

 

Have there been any true nail-biter final 3s? Micronesia would have been pretty amazing and I still think that was supposed to be one if not for the mass evacuations/quitting. 

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I'm one of the few who can't stand it when women use their sexuality on Survivor (Parvati, those women who dropped their bikini bottoms for no good reason).  Some say use the power you have but I disagree at least on this point.  Social skills yes, outright sexuality no.  I seriously suspect that Parvati really teased James along if not outright gave him a handy or something.  Jeff Probst has said they provide condoms in a box and they disappear (funny, never see them get used for water or anything).  Go be a prostitute somewhere else.

 

Forums are half my enjoyment of Survivor, I love others inputs on strategy and numbers and speculation on who is in charge of an alliance etc.  But  I find that the 70% of people assigning BS psychological, criminal conditions or just the constant assgning of negative personality traits more  disturbing and fucked up than any behavior I've ever seen on the show. He's a stalker, he's narcissist, he's pyschopath, he's an asshole. On and on and one and on and on, scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll.   Like we could possibly know.      It makes me really unhappy and I seriously wonder about the people putting that stuff out. I have ocassionally sucumbed  myself but hate it and resist.  (Russell may be an exception).

 

  I think Cochran's second season was handed to him and I suspect Shirin's will be too.

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Forums are half my enjoyment of Survivor, I love others inputs on strategy and numbers and speculation on who is in charge of an alliance etc. But I find that the 70% of people assigning BS psychological, criminal conditions or just the constant assigning of negative personality traits more disturbing and fucked up than any behavior I've ever seen on the show. He's a stalker, he's narcissist, he's psychopath, he's an asshole. On and on and one and on and on, scroll scroll scroll scroll scroll. Like we could possibly know.

 

Preach it.

 

(And, yes, I know I called Dan and Colleen assholes. Preach it anyway!)

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I just rewatched Caramoan and here's my unpopular opinion:  Brandon Hantz was 100% right about every single thing he said about Phillip.  No, I don't think the others were wrong to think he was crazy, fear him or want him gone.  He was losing it and he had to go immediately.  But damn if I would be able to live with Phillip and hold my tongue either.  I think the dumping of the rice and beans and threat of violence (real or perceived) made it obvious that Brandon was unstable and had to go, but the fact that all of them stood there and acted like Brandon was pissed off for no reason bugged the shit out of me.  I get it - they still had to live with/be aligned with Special Agent Delusional Asshole and didn't want to poke the bear, but it would have been nice for SOMEONE to validate what Brandon was feeling, even if he went WAY over the top.  I know they all saw Phillip as a goat/joke and likely thought it was good for their games to keep him, but I don't know... there's only so much one can take on an island when you're starving and sleep deprived and can't get away from people who suck.  I wouldn't have gone batshit and dumped my tribe's food, but I probably would have quit if I had to live with that douchebag.  And all of this is coming from someone who loathes ALL the Hantzes that have been on reality TV and agrees with most that Brandon should never have been cast in the first place, let alone brought back.  But I felt bad for him.  He was targeted by a delusional power hungry douche who was very clearly playing a (bad) character and no one seemed to validate (even in private) the fact that he had a right to be angry about it.  Not sure anyone could have prevented the meltdown (we are talking about Brandon, so...) but who knows.  It just seemed like everyone thought Brandon was being unreasonable even before he freaked out.  I disagree.  NOT an unpopular opinion (I think) that I never want to see Phillip OR any Hantz on my TV ever again.  

 

And while we're on the subject of delusional players who came on the show with the intention of playing a character, I hate almost all of them (obviously Phillip Shepherd, and Dan from the most recent season come immediately to mind)... here's another unpopular opinion - I enjoy Coach.  I can't even explain it.  

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I think both Spencer and Tasha are overrated. I also think their bitterness over Kass's flip is ridiculous. She had no obligation to help them get further in the game. I don't think they were going to take her to the end, and I think she got much further than she would have otherwise.

 

 

See I actually think she would have gotten just as far and possibly even win because the jury members would not have disliked her as much as they did. This may be an unpopular opinion but I think if Kass had stuck with the plan and stayed with the three, Spencer and Tasha would have targeted each other down the line, not her. I didn't see these two bringing each other to the end if things had gone as planned and they'd been in the power position,

 

Spencer would have likely called more shots and been more mercenary which would have made him a bigger threat to others and if Tasha had gone on the same immunity run she did, she would have been looked on as a threat as well. I definitely think Tasha and Spencer would have been more interested in getting rid of each other than Kass. I think she would have been fine. 

 

I didn't hate Kass and I have no problems with people flipping on their alliance to further themselves in the game. I just believe, and maybe that's an unpopular opinion, that Kass' flip wasn't about furthering herself in the game and everything to do with her not liking Sarah. It was her "fuck you" to Sarah and to the alliance who she felt was taking Sarah's side at the time (they weren't) instead of a strategic move to get herself ahead in the game. Yeah it worked out for her in the end but that's why I can't really respect it as solid game-play.

 

Other unpopular opinions:

 

I don't care about people quitting...at all. I'm not offended, it doesn't anger me, I don't think it's some great offense against "real fans" who would give anything to be on the show or anything dramatic like that. As far as I'm concerned, it's just a silly reality show. Okay, an admittedly awesome reality show but still just a show that people choose to sign up for. And if they feel they don't want to do it anymore, they are more than within their right to leave in my opinion. I think it's a little ridiculous that some think the show should put things in place to forbid people to quit or make it impossible for them to leave or some kind of sanction. Again, it's a show, not jail. 

 

I don't think that just because it took four tries for Boston Rob to win, that automatically means he's a bad player or diminishes his ability in the game. Many believe Cirie is an amazing player and she lost three times. And for the record, I don' t disagree that she's an amazing player. I just think that while yes an amazing strategy and strong social game goes into winning the show, there is also A LOT of luck involved - tribal switch-ups, special rewards, immunity necklaces, people quitting, etc. So sometimes a person losing does not automatically mean they were a horrible player. And for the record, I'm not saying Rob is the greatest Survivor player. I just don't think his winning after four tries is proof positive that he is a bad player. 

 

That said, my other unpopular opinion is that Amber absolutely deserved to win All-Stars in my opinion. Oh don't get me wrong, Lex and company were totally bat-shit crazy in their hate but I think Amber was right in expecting exactly that and I do think Shii-Ann got it right in her vote. I know some will say that of course Rob would talk up her game because well he loved her, but Amber and Rob both always made it clear that she wasn't just doing what he said but instead they talked things out together and came up with strategies.

 

But the other things I think Amber did that solidified her win was one, realizing that Shii Ann would be a key vote on the jury and making sure she was as kind and warm to her as possible and using the time to convince her, without outright saying so, that she was playing a solid game. Two, unlike Rob, she didn't make promises with every single person. If you ever watch the All-Stars DVD with the commentary, she says at the end during the finale episode that Rob made too many promises to too many people. The handshake nonsense with Alicia was unnecessary and it only served to give her a reason to feel superior and judgmental as she loved doing so much. Amber states that she told Rob she made the deal with Alicia but never did. And while she and Rob were in an alliance with Big Tom, Rob was the one who promised Tom Final 2. And while she made some deal to save herself with Lex and company, what Lex and Kathy held onto was Rob's promise to them, not Amber's. 

 

But I think the move that truly won her that season, was convincing Rob to blindside Tom at Final 5 when they were already set on voting Jenna out. I always believe that's where Rob really lost the game because that solidified Big Tom's anger and him joining the pissed of ranks of Lex and company. I really think if they'd voted out Jenna, even if it meant betraying the Final 4 they had with her and Rupert, she still would have voted for Rob. Jenna wasn't the type to be bitter about being blindsided.

 

Then they would have gotten rid of Rupert at Final 4 who would have also voted for Rob and all Rob had to do at Final 3, when he won Immunity, was give Tom the sob story of his great love for Amber and how he just couldn't vote against her. I don't think Tom would have been as pissed off - disappointed sure, but can you really consider it a betrayal if the guy doesn't want to vote against the woman he's in love with? And just like that he gets Tom vote and I think Amber probably figured that. I mean maybe I'm giving her way more credit but after thinking of it, I really think she deserved her win and it wasn't one of the worse wins ever either in my opinion. 

 

Finally, speaking of Alicia above, I think she has to be one of the most annoying and obnoxious contestants ever. The woman constantly touted that she never had an alliance like it was some great accomplishment and yet was bitter and angry when she got voted out, like she was betrayed. WTAF? 

Edited by truthaboutluv
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I don't care about people quitting...at all. I'm not offended, it doesn't anger me, I don't think it's some great offense against "real fans"

You're not alone on this island - I don't care either.  In point of fact, quitters have afforded me some amusement as Jeffy both rails against them and occasionally rewards them as needs be.  I do enjoy a bit of exposed hypocrisy.  

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See I actually think she would have gotten just as far and possibly even win because the jury members would not have disliked her as much as they did. This may be an unpopular opinion but I think if Kass had stuck with the plan and stayed with the three, Spencer and Tasha would have targeted each other down the line, not her. I didn't see these two bringing each other to the end if things had gone as planned and they'd been in the power position,

Spencer and Tasha were actually going to dump Kass at F6 and go with their side alliance with Sarah and Jeremiah.  Kass somehow got wind of that, and that's what spurned her to flip, not simply disliking Sarah.

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1: I don't think that Borneo is/was a different game than everything else. I just think it is slower. But everything in that season, is basically what we see in Redemption Island. Just in high definition, and maybe less aware people. I don't think that Pagong was stupid, there just wasn't enough people who wanted to play a harder game, and by the time they got it together, it was too late. If Richard was on Pagong, I do believe he still wins  because Gervais, Joel, and Jenna wanted to play that game. 

 

2: I don't think Wigglesworth gets enough respect for being the first challenge beast - especially because she needed to be (maybe didn't know it, I can't remember). 

 

3: I never got/understood the black-widow moniker that Jerri got. At all. I didn't think she was that bad in Australia.

 

4: The PlaySkool vs OldSkool Alliance in Africa were both equally wrong. (But I still Love T-Bird). I don't think Brandon gets enough credit for for actually being a vote for hire (even if it came at wanting to screw Frank over). I do think that that the Kelly/Lindsey Boobooo should have just been left at that, a boo boo and not a reason to bring back Lex, AND Tom. 

 

5: I think Neleh got robbed in the finals, but I don't think Vecepia was a bad winner either. (I think Vee played a really good sneaky game, She was the anti-Varner. While Varner (and Rob) loved to stir trouble, Vee just sat back, and skipped over the carnage) But I do feel that Neleh should have won

 

6: I don't think Thailand was that bad of a season. 

 

7: I think Jenna was a good winner in Amazon.      

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Parvati, Stephenie, Cirie, and Sandra are the players I think are the most overrated.  I'd include Russell Hantz on that list, but I don't think that's unpopular.  

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1: I don't think that Borneo is/was a different game than everything else. I just think it is slower. But everything in that season, is basically what we see in Redemption Island. Just in high definition, and maybe less aware people. I don't think that Pagong was stupid, there just wasn't enough people who wanted to play a harder game, and by the time they got it together, it was too late. If Richard was on Pagong, I do believe he still wins because Gervais, Joel, and Jenna wanted to play that game.

2: I don't think Wigglesworth gets enough respect for being the first challenge beast - especially because she needed to be (maybe didn't know it, I can't remember).

3: I never got/understood the black-widow moniker that Jerri got. At all. I didn't think she was that bad in Australia.

4: The PlaySkool vs OldSkool Alliance in Africa were both equally wrong. (But I still Love T-Bird). I don't think Brandon gets enough credit for for actually being a vote for hire (even if it came at wanting to screw Frank over). I do think that that the Kelly/Lindsey Boobooo should have just been left at that, a boo boo and not a reason to bring back Lex, AND Tom.

5: I think Neleh got robbed in the finals, but I don't think Vecepia was a bad winner either. (I think Vee played a really good sneaky game, She was the anti-Varner. While Varner (and Rob) loved to stir trouble, Vee just sat back, and skipped over the carnage) But I do feel that Neleh should have won

6: I don't think Thailand was that bad of a season.

7: I think Jenna was a good winner in Amazon.

I remember after her season in interviews vecepia talked about how she used to boast players up like Hunter who would annoy Rob and Sean

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Parvati, Stephenie, Cirie, and Sandra are the players I think are the most overrated.  I'd include Russell Hantz on that list, but I don't think that's unpopular.  

 

I agree with saying Stephenie and Parvati being overrated.  As I have stated before I always felt that Parvati being the gold standard by which all female contestants are measured is a little out there.  Granted when I used to say that on TWOP folks seemed like they wanted to kill me.

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Parvati, Stephenie, Cirie, and Sandra are the players I think are the most overrated.  I'd include Russell Hantz on that list, but I don't think that's unpopular.  

 

I do agree that not winning doesn't make you a bad player (luck, tribes, etc., play a big part). But if you win every time out, how can you be overrated?

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I do agree that not winning doesn't make you a bad player (luck, tribes, etc., play a big part). But if you win every time out, how can you be overrated?

I felt the majority of the first season in particular, she made it because she wasn't a threat. Not because people underestimated her, but because she literally didn't have any special skills - people skills, game skills, etc. She lucked into winning, in my opinion.  The second one, I felt she benefited immensely from who she was competing with and several stupid moves they made.

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I know I'm far from totally alone in liking Kim Spradlin, but I'll go one step further and state the seemingly unpopular opinion that I found her game to be quite interesting viewing. The show editors didn't do as much with that season as they could have, but I'd love to see her on the show again (and doubt she's ever been asked--not that I'm sure she'd do it if she was). 

 

I also notice that a lot of people tend to attribute her win strictly to weak competition. I don't agree.

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I also notice that a lot of people tend to attribute her win strictly to weak competition. I don't agree.

The only one I know who does that is @kikaha.  I've seen no one else who says or does such a thing.

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Oh boy are they out there.  Venture into more male-dominated Survivor spaces and you will find them in abundance.

 

I agree with you, Kromm, watching Kim was sort of like watching Usain Bolt at the Olympics to me.  A close race is also exciting, of course, but there is a kind of elegant beauty in watching pure human excellence.  (ps if Usain Bolt has been a part of any doping scandals or something like that plz do not tell me and ruin my delight)

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The only one I know who does that is @kikaha.  I've seen no one else who says or does such a thing.

I know what I've seen. Dozens of discussions on TWoP, a bunch here, and buckloads of social media and other reality boards.

 

Probst recently did a small about face after years of ignoring her.  He gave Parade Magazine a list of his "Top 10 Survivor Winners" and surprisingly she was on it. Then again, read his quote about her...

http://t.co/uHWBOzeFeA

 

JP: "You have to include Kim. I don't know if anyone has ever dominated the game from start to finish like she did. She literally made every move she wanted, and every move she made counted. It was so good, some would argue it was boring to watch. That's how much ahead of everyone else she was.

"What I also like about Kim, and I hope she appreciates me saying this, is she's one of the most attractive women who has ever been on the show, one of the most physically gifted women that's ever been on the show, and she can spit a loogie better than any guy that's ever been on the show. She dominated."

So she's boring, attractive and spits well.  Wow, Jeff.  Glad you were careful in what you said!  And it's worth noting that JEFF was one of the first "some would argue it was boring to watch" people. So it's pretty funny to read him attributing it loosely to some vague group (that by implication doesn't include himself).

Edited by Kromm
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I felt the majority of the first season in particular, she made it because she wasn't a threat. Not because people underestimated her, but because she literally didn't have any special skills - people skills, game skills, etc. She lucked into winning, in my opinion.  The second one, I felt she benefited immensely from who she was competing with and several stupid moves they made.

No people skills?  Sandra has arguably the best social game of any Survivor in history.  She is very widely liked and respected by pretty much everyone, which makes her casting on the 'villains' tribe completely baffling.  The trouble with having such a great social game, however, is that from a TV perspective it's hard to really show.  Survivor obviously loves big showy moves that they can use in a clip or point to a concrete reason why someone wins the game...it's a lot harder to properly illustrate "the jury just thinks this winner is a thoroughly cool and good person."  She is able to knife anyone in the back and completely get away with it, as evidenced by her legendary "I'll vote off Rupert and he'll still vote me to win a million dollars" comment.  It's not just Rupert --- it's everyone.  Sandra wins them all over since while she may be playing you, she's doing it without an ounce of phoniness. 

 

Every Survivor winner benefits from who they're playing against, obviously, yet I'd argue that the only way in which Sandra was fortunate was that she happened to be on seasons against two of the most disliked lightning rods of all time in Fairplay and Russell.  Sandra's popularity amongst her tribemates was only enhanced because she was the one openly telling those two off in hilarious ways, making her a vicarious hero to everyone else. 

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The only one I know who does that is @kikaha.  I've seen no one else who says or does such a thing.

 

HA!  I have to defend myself!

 

I don't attribute Kim's victory to weak opponents.  She's a great player who was far and away the class of her season.  But I think she played against weak opponents.  That is the main reason I can't put her at the very top of the pile of Survivor players. 

 

I also don't think Kim dominated from the start.  None of the women did.  The women's tribe was falling apart the first several episodes, in danger of getting Pagonged.  Two things saved them.  1) The men's moronic decision to go to tribal, after they won the IC.  2) The shuffle.  Once those played out, Kim took charge and did just about everything she wanted, while engendering love among the rest of the players (except delusional Troyzan). 

 

I've said many times I really hope Kim returns.  Would love to see her play in an All-Stars season, with plenty of other winners.  With one toddler in hand, and another baby on the way, I wonder how likely that is in the near future though. 

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I know I'm far from totally alone in liking Kim Spradlin, but I'll go one step further and state the seemingly unpopular opinion that I found her game to be quite interesting viewing.

 

Wouldn't want to see it every season, but occasionally I actually like to watch a season totally dominated by one player. I'm one of those people who actually enjoyed Thailand. And I thought One World was more interesting in Thailand if you could see Kim's balancing act more, you saw the ways she had to manipulate people in the right way at the right time, otherwise her game would have imploded. 

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No people skills?  Sandra has arguably the best social game of any Survivor in history.

Completely agree.  Just rewatched HvV and I think it's some measure of Sandra's skill that Russell (poor player but no idiot) even at the end couldn't figure out how the hell Sandra got the better of him.  I mean this contrasts his abysmal social game with her flawless one, but the distance between them seemed to render her victory all but incomprehensible to him.  I'd bet that if you asked him even today he'd still be baffled, given that he had everybody fooled (in truth, nobody was) and she didn't fool anybody.  And yet she won.  Astounding social game right there.  

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