Survivor: The Ugliest Season Of All Time

survivor worlds apart logoI missed writing about Survivor last week because I was out of town. And though I went straight to bed after the show last night (I’m still recovering from travel and a lot of early mornings), I couldn’t let another episode go by without weighing in.

Because this is the most despicable season of Survivor I’ve ever seen.

These people are rude, belligerent, misogynistic, cruel pigs. I’m mostly speaking about Will and Dan, who both said some truly heinous things in the last few episodes. But I’m also disgusted with the cast as a whole, for not voting these jerks out already.

Sometimes, the best strategic play is to bring the biggest asshole to the end. There’s a simply reason why Russell Hantz, the villain so many viewers loved to hate, never won: he was mean. Good strategy and sound, cutthroat moves get rewarded at the end. But unnecessary cruelty is not.

But this season, there are so many lousy people that taking a jerk to the end won’t guarantee victory. These horrible people like each other, and they’ll vote for each other.

Let’s recap the atrocities. Last week, Will personally attacked Shirin, a woman who has in the past been a victim of domestic violence. He used his knowledge of her family situation against her to tell her that “more people in this game like me than like you in real life”, and other such things. It wasn’t about the game, it was personal and it was disgusting. He never apologized or admitted that he’d gone to far – in fact, ever time he was given a chance to apologize he just made things worse.

Then there’s Dan. Disgusting, disgusting Dan. He’s always been horrible to Shirin. But this week took the cake. First, he said “For what it’s worth, I’m really sorry about what happened at Tribal Council.”

OK, sure. And then:

“Apparently there is violence in her history. If that’s the case, I feel very bad for her.”

Red flags! “Apparently” and “If that’s the case”. UGH I’m already mad.

“However, that being said, Shirin is a drama queen. She is a two-faced liar. She LOVES to play the victim. For Shirin to say that Will is worse than her, that’s hypocritical. Did he go overboard? From what I heard, yes. But when she’s calling him names, when she has no gratitude or appreciation – I’d call that karma.”

I have written SO MANY mean things about Dan here and then deleted them, because I don’t want to be that blogger. But……forget it. Choke on your beard and die, Dan! That was a disgusting thing to say! Shirin does not “love to play the victim”, she was and IS a victim.

That’s not even the worst of it. Later, at Tribal Council, Dan got even worse. Shirin said that her home situation is different than the others – because she grew up with domestic violence at home, she doesn’t really have a family to share this experience with. She has a boyfriend, his family, and close friends.

Dan says he can relate, because he is an adopted child. “All I have for blood in this world is my mother,” he says. Dan added that he has his biological mother, his adopted family, his wife, his wife’s family, their children, and his friends. So yeah, JUST like Shirin’s scenario.

Dan: “My scenario really isn’t much different from hers.”
Probst: “So you had domestic violence in your upbringing?”
Dan: “I’m an adopted child.”

THAT WAS A REAL CONVERSATION. Probst responded and said “Dan, not to split hairs, but that’s a very big difference.” And I was glad. But I continue to think that Probst is too easy on contestants when it comes to misogyny, and he has often shown sexism himself. The fact that Jeff Probst said that this was one of his favorite casts in a long time, when it’s a group of actual monsters, fills me with rage.

OK. I know, this is already almost 700 words just on how despicable this cast is. There’s also a show to discuss.

The Immunity Challenge offered the chance for both a man and a woman to earn protection, by holding up 25% of their starting body weight. Carolyn and Mike won. I don’t care for Carolyn, but I’ll admit she’s crushing it in challenges. I don’t love Mike, either – I want to root for him, but he makes so many mistakes – but I have to admit the guy is working his butt off to win.

Everyone had already decided to vote for Shirin, despite her arguments that she posed no threat to win. So, at Tribal Council, Mike pulled out his Hidden Immunity Idol. He said Shirin would be voting for Tyler, and he’d be voting for someone else. It forced the “strong six” alliance to reveal their true inner structure – players could either vote Shirin in hopes that Mike wouldn’t play the Idol, vote for Tyler, or vote for the person on the bottom of their alliance.

Mike did not play the Idol to save Shirin. I get why he didn’t – he’ll need it to keep himself in the game. For him, the move would hopefully cause enough drama in the alliance of six that he could forge a new alliance. But I was sad to see Shirin go.

Shirin, Dan and Tyler all received votes. So now Dan knows where he stands. And Tyler knows that someone other than Shirin voted for him. It’s magical. (Mike actually voted for Tyler, but not everyone will necessarily know that. Will and Tyler voted for Dan.)

Now Dan knows where he stands, and he has two votes. Mike still has his Idol. Mike is in a much better position than he was before he made this move. So, I guess I’m rooting for Mike to win now. Who would’ve thunk it.

How do y’all feel about this season? Do you hate the players as much as I do? Who deserves to win? Hit me up in the comments.

Guest Post: Flared Jeans

Weekend Wrap-up: May 2-3, 2015