Survivor: One World Recap

By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis

February 23, 2012

She has got the crazy eyes and is making a finger gun. Run, Kat, Run!

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Previously on Survivor, a new cast was introduced to the world for the first time. We instantly found approximately 80% of them to be insufferable. The worst offenders are Alicia, a prima donna who quickly formed a strong alliance on one tribe, and Matt, an unbearably arrogant jerk who quickly formed a strong alliance on the other tribe. In combination, this means that we are going to be stuck with both of them for an indefinite period, barring something unforeseen. Alicia seems more likely to implode. Technically, she’s already done so once at Tribal Council.

The more engaging aspect of last week’s episode is that tribes were divided in a battle of the sexes, yet they were asked to live in one location. This is the basis of the One World theme for the season. What became readily apparent is that the men’s tribe was much, much stronger than the women’s tribe, at least at first blush. The men had fire within moments of their arrival at camp. Conversely, the women spent the body of three days begging the men to gift them with fire.

The only man who acquiesced was Jeff Probst, who did so after the women were informed that Kourtney, one of their most interesting players, required wrist surgery. Already a person down, the women need to discover some semblance of cohesion, else the producers of the show may have to do a reformation of the tribes after only a few rounds as happened with the failed old versus young ploy during Survivor: Nicaragua. Casting missteps like this are what leads to mind-boggling scenarios such as “Survivor Winner Fabio.”


We could have predicted the start of tonight’s episode immediately after last week’s aired. There is this strange aspect of human nature that weak people exhibit wherein any time they lose an argument, they go into heavy denial. Alicia demonstrates an extreme example of this by gloating to the camera that Tribal Council “couldn’t have gone any better”. She has deluded herself into believing that it was Christina who looked crazy by shouting Alicia down and totally humiliating her.

What those of us who do not reside in Crazy Town see is Christina recognizing that she has to work with Alicia since they are in the same tribe. So, she pulls aside the woman she recently dominated and tries to make amends. They lie to one another about the situation and then fake-hug at the end. What their body language says is “Watch your back. There are lots of knives around camp.” These people have known each other for three days. They probably spent years trying to get on Survivor and yet here they stand ready to throw away the opportunity in exchange for victory in a nebulous feud. This is probably who Alicia is as a person but Christina has to be smarter than to take the bait.

The other aspect of the return from Tribal Council that is new is that the conquering tribe is nurturing the fire when the losers arrive. Never before has a group this size been forced to make awkward small talk moments after eating one of their young. Michael the Axe Thief is needy about the women acknowledging his efforts in keeping the fire alive. This is twice in two episodes that he has craved positive reinforcement from others. Michael is a strong, smart player from what we have witnessed thus far, but this sort of behavior generally is not conducive to victory in the game. Michael, you’re good enough, you’re strong enough and doggone it, people like you.

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