Since the Blood vs Water twist there has always been the potential for ‘pairs’ seasons of Survivor. One such season that has often been suggested is that of a ‘rivals’ season, pitting two competing players against each other who have previously shared a disconnect at some point in their Survivor careers. Today in our Monday feature, Ozlet Bridget Vellturo sits you down to take a look at how she thinks it could work and which pairs would be great to see doing battle. Read on for more!
We’ve seen Survivor test tight-knit relationships for years. From exploring how close strangers can become in 39 days to investigating the morality of voting those new best friends out, Survivor is a social experiment. They furthered the experiment a couple years ago with the inclusion of family members and loved ones, altering the original notion of “16 strangers” and thus launching a new strand of Survivor strategy. But why stop with exploring the effects of severe hunger, pain and stress merely on loved ones? Why not see what these harsh conditions do to people with an already rocky past? How does your strategy change when there is an automatic road-block in your way from Day 1? Survivor is a TV show first and foremost after all and the drama of seeing people faced not only with harsh conditions but also their worst enemy would definitely result in an entertaining season.
The producers originally tried this”Rivals”format on a small scale with Redemption Island. However, Russell wasn’t even on the island long enough for the HvV rivalry to resurface. The whole rivalry basically fizzled out and the season became more about Rob’s solo journey. Now imagine not just one pair, but a whole cast with a messy past that is right there with them on the island. Not just on the same season, but on the same tribe. Think about how enthralled you were watching Shane Powers scream at Courtney Marit about homicides and shitty apartments? Or Abi screeching at R.C. for basically no reason at all? And think about getting to watch those entertaining social dynamics AGAIN. A guarantee that your favorite rivals interact right off the bat seeing as they are put on the same original tribe. The added stress of having a rival there is just another element that the contestants need to overcome in order to become the Sole Survivor.
And before Day 1? Why not throw in the BvW Day 0 twist, leaving each set of rivals stranded for the night alone. Can you just imagine Courtney and Jean-Robert being left on an island and forced to collaborate to start a fire? That in itself (complete with Courtney’s sassy confessionals, of course) could be an entire episode.
Ultimately this format will, hopefully, further raise the level of suspense and competition during challenges. Most people who go on Survivor are quite competitive already. Add someone they hate into the competition and the challenges are bound to be more intense. Think of the high-stress challenges between Aras and Terry in Exile Island? The two pushed each other to perform every challenge and by the end of the season the two were trash talking each other like they were on an episode of Nick Cannon’s Wild n Out. If that isn’t the definition of reality-TV entertainment, I don’t know what is. Throw two rivals intro the arena instead of two loved ones (like they did on San Juan del Sur) and there won’t be tears at the end of it, but there may just be some blood. Definitely a lot of bleeped curse words at the very least.
There have been a lot of great Survivor rivalries over the years, but here are my top 10 pairs: Who I think would have a particularly entertaining story-arc on a “Rivals” formatted season:
1. Johnny Fairplay and Sandra Diaz-Twine (Pearl Islands)
2. Eliza Orlins and Twila Tanner (Vanuatu)
3. Shane Powers and Courtney Marit (Panama)
4. Aras Bauskauskas and Terry Deitz (Panama)
5. Courtney Yates and Jean-Robert Bellande (China)
6. Randy Bailey and Crystal Cox (Gabon)
7. Sugar Kiper and Corinne Kaplan (Gabon)
8. Troyzan Robertson and Kim Spradlin (One World)
9. R.C. Saint-Amour and Abi Gomez (Philippines)
10. Jeremy Collins and Josh Canfield (San Juan del Sur)
Honourable Mention: Morgan vs Kass (Cagayan), Sue vs Kelly (Borneo), Lex vs Kelly (Africa), Rob/Sean vs John (Marquesas), Big Tom vs Sue (All-Stars), Margaret vs Judd (Guatemala), Rocky vs Anthony (Fiji), Coach vs Brendan (Tocantins), Jane vs Marty (Nicaragua), Francesca vs Phillip (Redemption Island/Caramoan), Brad vs John (Blood vs Water), Tony vs Spencer (Cagayan), Chet vs the Elements (Micronesia)
What do you think of the potential of a ‘rivals’ season? Would it work? Who would you like to see take on each other? Let us know your thoughts below!
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