It’s Wednesday again, so here comes your weekly fix of Survivor Oz Top Ten! Rob Cesternino famously quoted: “Survivor is like pizza. Even when it’s bad, it’s good.” Here on Survivor Oz, we like to encourage viewers to see the good in so-called “bad” seasons, or seasons that have generally proved to be less popular than others. We did it with Guatemala and Thailand, and today, host Ben Waterworth explains why Survivor: One World deserves more love from the fans. In a season with such a huge twist, memorable characters, and one of the most highly-regarded winners in Survivor history, it’s surprising that One World rates so poorly as a Survivor season. Can Ben convince you to give it another chance? You’ll have to read on to find out.
Continuing on our trend of helping give seasons that don’t get much love a little more love, this week I take a look at why One World needs some more warm feelings towards it. As the last season to feature all new players, people often overlook it as a ‘boring season’ and one that should be quickly forgotten. After a re-watch, however, you can certainly see it in a different light, and I for one feel that it is a top ten season rather than a bottom season. Having trouble believing me? Here are ten reasons why One World deserves love rather than hate.
10. Leif’s Box
It’s extremely lucky that Leif is a man, otherwise this entry would sound completely wrong. There is just something about seeing Leif getting into that box that brings a smile to a Survivor fan’s face. I’m not sure what it is, but the fact that there is a custom-made shelter for a cast away makes it so memorable that it just can’t escape being on this list. And besides, if Leif didn’t have his box, what else would you remember about him?
9. So Much Conflict
The opening couple of episodes were some of the tensest, most drama-filled episodes in the history of Survivor. The twist of having both tribes live on the same beach as well as having the tribes divided by sex seemed to really create a new level of conflict, and it made for some great viewing. From fighting over who can have fire, to using shelter when it was raining; the amount of bickering and fighting throughout the game gave it an entertainment factor that hadn’t been seen in some time. And it wasn’t necessarily all ‘negative’ fighting either. It was done in a way that you could tell afterwards the players would more than likely laugh about it and go and have a beer back in Ponderosa. It was the most entertaining and ‘nicest’ conflict seen in the history of the show.
In an era of Survivor that is dominated by puzzle piece collecting and assembling, it was refreshing to see some different challenges that really made the season work. One of the best challenges by far involved the players seeing items revealed by Jeff before pulling a lever to say they were ready to go back and assemble the same items on a board. It brought some great moments and even involved Troyzan giving Jeff Probst a chance to exclaim “WHAT?!” (in the girliest voice you will ever hear Jeff use) when he pulled the cover down instantly, not giving himself or Kat a chance to view the items. Other notable challenges included: the endurance challenge, which required the players to literally dangle face first over water with their hands behind their back; the burning effigy challenge with incredibly life-like dolls; and the Final Immunity Challenge, which returned to the classic ‘endurance/concentration’ challenges that had been missing for some time. The season did have a downside with the ‘do it yourself’ challenges, but let’s remember the positives, eh?
7. A True Battle Of The Sexes
One World was the third time the tribes had been divided into two tribes of male and female (fourth if you count Panama and the four tribe split); but for the first time, one gender dominated and formed a Final Five that couldn’t be toppled. In Amazon, it was a gimmick that was soon forgotten as the tribes switched. In Vanuatu it was the women who dominated, only to be overthrown by the might of Chris Daugherty. The third time around, the women held onto their stranglehold and made sure to create history by having an all-female Final Five. The battles throughout the season between the genders were also apparent, from the early days of living on the same beach, right through to the Tribe Switch, when the key strategic moves were made by people assuming numbers would be back to how they were when they returned to members of their gender whom they had been separated from. It remains the only season divided by gender to keep the divide true throughout.
6. Last Original Player Season
At the time of publication, One World remains the last season to feature entirely new contestants with no returning players. In fact, since Heroes vs. Villains, it is one of only two seasons (Nicaragua being the other) to feature no returning players at all. With Jeff Probst often saying on record how much of a fan of returning players he is, it looks very unlikely that we will see an entirely ‘newbie’ season of Survivor anytime soon, so the ‘new player factor’ is one that people just need to soak in a little more. There were no returning players to overshadow the new players so you were able to make your own minds up fairly early and not judge players based on past performances or expected outcomes. It also saw the chances of spoilers slimming, as, with all new players, the leaks that are so common now seem to be not as frequent. Hopefully we’ll have that feeling of not knowing what to expect again sometime soon with another all newbie season. Please, Jeff?
5. The Cast
What makes this season great as well is that every single person is memorable, and it’s the first time this has really happened since possibly China. Everybody has a unique personality and brought something to the season, with even the ‘lesser known’ people still bringing their own unique quality. It has also been said on record that the cast is the closest of any of the casts in the history of the show, with old fights and rivalries forgotten after the show and genuine friendships formed. And the characters! Look at the characters! Tarzan, Alicia, Colton, Kat and Troyzan. You have the lookers in Chelsea, Jay and Matt and then the strategic mastermind that is Kim Spradlin. Everyone else too is worthy of a returning spot and it was great to see three return on Blood Vs. Water, and I hope there are many more to come. Having interviewed seventeen out of the eighteen castaways, I can strongly say how amazing this cast is and I definitely feel it’s one of the strongest group of contestants ever assembled on a season of Survivor.
4. The One World Twist
It didn’t stick around for as long as some people hoped, but when it was there, it was a sight to behold. First attempted back in Thailand, having both tribes living on the same beach causes conflict (see above), which makes for great viewing, and adding the battle of the sexes dynamic (see above also) just ignites the fire even more. The Idol finding also was affected, with the great twist of having specific Idols for tribes, meaning that when Sabrina found her Idol and had to give it away, it made tribes that were meant to be enemies soon friends in order to sort out the issue. Having someone like Colton too, who clearly wanted to play with the women and only had the men, made it unique, as generally he wouldn’t have been able to associate with the other tribe the way he did. The twist made it possible, and again the viewing was great to see. Definitely needs to be brought back on a future season, and would be great on a full all-stars season in the future.
3. The Dumbest Move In The History Of Survivor
I don’t care what the polls or other things have said on the show, I feel that the ‘dumbest move in the history of Survivor‘ by far was when the Manono men gave up Immunity to vote out Bill. This caused the entire game to change, and from this point the women clearly took control. Call it a dumb move sure, but it definitely was also one of the biggest strategic moves ever pulled off by Colton and showed the power he had in order to get an entire tribe to give up Immunity. At the point of the move, Manono would’ve gone into the Tribe Switch having only lost Matt, while the Salani women would’ve lost three. Even if both Monica and Colton were the next two to go, the men would’ve had a 7-5 advantage heading into the Merge and would’ve been able to pick the women off one by one. It was a massive blunder in the scheme of things and gave the win to the women, and definitely was an extremely stupid move. But it was one that quite possibly will never happen again and one that changed the course of the entire season and perhaps Survivor itself.
2. Colton Cumbie
What can you say about Colton that hasn’t already been said? You either love him or hate him, but there is no doubting what an impact he had on this season and Survivor as a game. While it wasn’t for the right reasons, he brought Survivor back into the media with his controversial antics, and his gameplay before his medical evacuation was entertaining and enthralling to watch. He was crying out for a return to another season, and while that obviously didn’t turn out for the best, he still left his mark on the game. The biggest disappointment from One World is that Colton was removed and we never got a chance to see him take it up to Kim, as I feel by far that would’ve been one of the most epic battles in the history of Survivor. Without Colton, One World wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good.
1. Kim Spradlin
If the first half of the game was ‘the Colton show’, then the second act was all about Kim Spradlin. One of the most dominant and complete Survivor players the show as ever seen, she played a near perfect game to never look in doubt for the win after the Merge. I’m officially dubbing her the female Richard Hatch, as she held her subjects in line, played a brilliant social game whilst stabbing everyone in the back in the essence of the game and making sure that she still got the votes at the end. It’s no secret that I wasn’t a fan of hers during the first airing of the season, but on a re-watch, there is no denying the shear brilliance that is Kim Spradlin. If you haven’t watched it in a while, do it now. You might just not believe that she is THAT good. If Kim Spradlin never returns to play Survivor again, then there is really something wrong with this world.
What do you think of the top 10? Do you agree? Disagree? Is it in the wrong order or are there ones that didn’t make the top 10 that you feel should’ve? Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts!