.. nly two survivors remain. At that point, the seven most recently eliminated castaways will return to form the final tribal council and decide who will be the final survivor, the winner of $1,000,000! Episode 1: The 16 survivors, divided into two eight-person groups, float their rafts to their respective beaches on the South China Sea island of Pulau Tiga. Ramona, the 28-year-old biologist, sits on the raft barfing. On the Tagi beach, tubby Richard, a 38-year-old corporate trainer, sits on a tree branch and tries to tell everyone how to process decision making; the other group members roll their eyes.
Stacey, a cranky 27-year-old lawyer, doesn’t get along with Rudy, a 72-year-old former Navy SEAL and a real martinet as well. Sonja, a 63-year-old cancer survivor, plays a ukulele. The group can’t seem to get a fire going. Over at Pagong beach, another crabby old guy, B.B., 64, assiduously builds a house and loudly notes who is and isn’t helping. Every three days, the teams must compete in some sort of grueling ordeal, with the losing team having to vote a member off the island — this is the immunity challenge.
In this episode, the teams compete to run a raft through the bay in hopes of winning a supply of matches. Sonja falls down in the middle of it, and the Tagi team loses as a consequence. They have to convene later that night in a remote tiki hut for a tribal council, where, under the stern gaze of host Jeff Probst, they vote to eject one of their own off the island. Richard votes to off Stacey; Stacey, for Rudy. (He’s a Navy SEAL and he couldn’t even start a fire.) Stacey gets one vote, Rudy three; Sonja, who’d compounded the ukulele playing with the contest mishap, gets four. She’s history, and things don’t look good for Rudy. Episode 13, continued They then have to troop through a pit of live coals; none seems the worse for the experience.
Then comes the immunity challenge proper, an oddly cosmic one. The three have to stand on stumps and hold on to a wooden pole. Last one standing gets immunity. It’s a tough chore for aged Rudy — he stands stooped right from the start. Probst stands around taunting the three. Suddenly, Richard gives up.
No way he’s going to outlast Kelly, he realizes. He then sits on his fat ass, leaving Rudy, a man nearly twice his age, to go up against the determined and athletic Kelly. Richard figures Kelly will win, and given the choice will go before the tribal council against him rather than Rudy. It turns out he’s right. Probst periodically tells Rudy and Kelly to revolve around the pole.
After more than three hours Rudy loses by absent-mindedly letting his hand slip off while he’s moving. That just cost me a million dollars, he says. He’s probably right, too — though it’s not clear he could ultimately have outlasted Kelly. We get a reflection from Kelly I knew 100 percent I was going to make it to Day 38. She just won her fifth immunity challenge in a row.
(She also won the last reward challenge.) Kelly is indeed, as Probst says, the queen of the island tonight. She dutifully votes the formidable Rudy off the island. The jury of seven former castaways is realizing that the choice before them is surprisingly unattractive. No one here is saying, ‘Gee, I’m so glad Kelly made it to the finals,’ says Colleen disgustedly. We’ve mentioned before that Survivor was a tabula rasa, capable of serving as a metaphor for just about anything. Here’s the saddest one: The last round of the first Survivor series may go down as the Michael Dukakis George Bush race of reality TV. At the final tribal council, Kelly and Richard get to talk to the jury, and then have to answer questions.
Kelly says: I hope we’re not judged on how we play the game; I hope we’re judged by the kind of person we are. I hope the better person will win. She’s referring to herself. Rich looks at things differently. He says he played the game best, so he should win.
From the beginning I tried to figure what it would take to get through 14 ejections, he says. It got really complicated, and I couldn’t plan it as well as I thought. But I certainly had a strategy and I came to play the game. During the question period, Gervase asks if either would do anything differently. Rich again is oddly wrapped up in strategy.
I got too comfortable believing who I could trust, he says. I got surprised. Kelly says she wishes she hadn’t joined the alliance. Jenna asks them whom they’d have in the winner’s circle in their place. Richard says Rudy and Greg. The latter mention is a political move; a few episodes ago, Richard was ridiculing Greg’s flirtatious efforts to ingratiate himself with the alliance leader. Kelly gives props to Sonja and Gretchen, strategically bad choices because neither was there to vote for her.
Sean, the chuckleheaded internist, doesn’t ask a question; instead he babbles a bit about Richard. Go figure what do I know? he concludes. He and Kelly have a bad history — a few episodes ago, he promised to share a reward challenge with her and then suddenly shared it with Richard instead. Colleen asks the two what character traits got them where they are. Kelly says faith and a tinge of likability, I hope. Richard says, Self-awareness, observation and ethics.
He keeps a straight face through all of it. When his turn to talk comes, Rudy says, I don’t have anything to say to these two except how dumb I feel after the mistake I made. Greg asks the two to pick a number between one and 10; it seems he’s going to vote for whoever comes closest to a number he had in his mind. Sue speaks last and best. She lambastes both Kelly and Richard in a scorching, minutes-long jeremiad.
The gist is that Richard is a snake, but snakes are at least upfront about their nature. Kelly’s a rat and she just ran around the way rats do. If I found you thirsty by the side of the road I wouldn’t give you water, Sue tells Kelly. I’d let the vultures get you. That would seem to be a vote for Richard. Finally, the votes.
We see six of the jury members write down their choices. Three for Rich, three for Kelly. Greg’s is the only vote we don’t get to glimpse. When Probst counts the votes, we discover Greg went for Richard. (After the show, Greg says Richard’s guessed number was closest.) Colleen, Jenna and Gervase voted for Kelly, with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
Rudy stuck by his man, and so did Sue. As he votes, Sean remarks that this has all generally degenerated to who’s the least objectionable; I feel that strongly. Then he screws over Kelly again and votes for Richard. Richard gets his million dollars. Yuck. All the castaways start hugging.
Sue walks over to Kelly. Kelly walks right past her. Reference Adler, Alfred, Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2000 http://encarta.msn.com 1997-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Ansbacher, H., & Ansbacher, R. (Eds.).
(1956). The individual psychology of Alfred Adler: A systematic presentation in selections from his writings. New York: Basic Books, Inc. Cloninger, S. C.
(1996). Theories of personality : Understanding persons. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. Survivor illustration: Daniel Adel AP Copyright 2000 Time Inc. & Entertainment Weekly http://www.ew.com/ew/feature/0,1917,222,allaboutsu rvivor.html Psychology Essays.