I didn’t write about the reunion show when I wrote my Survivor post last night because the show was so delayed (thanks a lot, football) that it was 1:00 a.m. here by the time the show was over (thanks a lot, Atlantic time zone). The reunion show was tamer than I expected, but these things always feel a little rushed with lots of stuff crowded into the episode. It really focused on the players though – no audience appearances from members of the Hantz family – which is exactly what you want from one of these.
Beginning the show with the moment of silence was a bit awkward. The tragedy in Connecticut was, of course, on the minds of most of us. I’m not even American, but when you hear about children being murdered, you can’t help but feel sick to your stomach. I understand why the producers felt they needed to acknowledge it, but there’s no way to do it right before awarding someone a million dollars without having it feel uncomfortable.
OK. Let’s talk about appearances first. Penner looked super handsome – he clearly lost the extra pounds he’d gained before going on the show. Abi looked quite pretty, Lisa looked fantastic, and Malcolm, of course, looked like some kind of rock star. Denise looked rather nice. Carter looked weird.
Not much was revealed throughout the night – I hate that Probst called Kent’s exit speech the best because it was totally the worst. Carter STILL seemed stoned when Probst asked him why he was so quiet out there. He blamed it on hunger, but spoke so slowly that I wondered if anyone had fed him since he returned from filming the show.
Then there was Dawson, rushing the stage to plant one on Probst’s lips. Really, girl? Once is funny, twice is grounds for a restraining order.
Lisa spoke a lot about the role her religion played in her experience on the island, and I did find her take on it quite refreshing. All through the show she acknowledged that she doesn’t believe that God cares about or has an influence over who wins. That’s not always how religious players seem to think. She also said that prayer doesn’t translate well on television, which I think is true. I understand why people pray on Survivor – it’s a tough experience, people find hope to cling to. But it doesn’t translate well. Lisa was obviously trying to fit a lot of thoughts into a short period of time, but she spoke well. I really liked having her on the show this season, and I’m satisfied with her being chosen to win the “Player of the Season” $100,000.
At the reunion, it seemed like many jury members said they would still have voted for Denise even if Malcolm had been in the finals. I find that interesting – Malcolm sure seemed like a shoo-in – but it probably has to be taken with a grain of salt. Malcolm is smart and competitive, and I think he would have brought his A-game. It’s interesting that most people believe they still would have voted for Denise, but Ido wonder if Malcolm would have been able to sway anyone with his own arguments.
I wish they’d asked Malcolm more about his plans for life now that the show was over. I was kind of touched by how much he was affected by the reward where they got to visit the village kids and I wonder what he plans to do now. Of course, I certainly wouldn’t mind if his plans were to appear on the next season of Survivor.
So, next season. I’m already excited! Sure, there are maybe comments to be made about the show relying so heavily on returning players nowadays. But who cares? The fans vs. favorites concept in Survivor: Micronesia resulted in my all-time favorite season (stay tuned for that updated list) and I’m really excited to see it happen again. Malcolm and Lisa showed this season that superfans make great players, and if you recall, Kim Spradlin was the only thing that worked about Survivor: One World. And we have quite a while to debate which players we want to see show up again – that’s a whole other blog post in and of itself.