With the reveal of a new Survivor cast comes the traditional cast photos and videos, as a way of introducing each new player to the fans. Its usually a few pictures and quick clips to give a glimpse of who they are and how they think about the game prior to starting but its always handy for the fans to have a bit of an idea on what these people think of themselves and their strengths and weaknesses going in. This week with the airing of Survivor Kaoh Rong imminent, Kiwi Nick is back on the Top 10 scene, bringing the top 10 things that get his goat when perusing the profiles of a new cast. Do you agree with his pet peeves? Share your thoughts below!
For me, the most fun, revealing and infuriating parts are the written biographies that appear on CBS.com. They feature generally the same questions, with occasional tweaks and are again intended to provide an insight into the players and some context as to who they are. Over the years, the answers tend to become a little formulaic and whilst fun and often hilarious to read, there are some ridiculous questions and answers that make me angry more than anything else. Some of these clichés have been seen so often I almost have to laugh when I read them, as I’ve seen them coming like a freight train. By now, these bios simply help me differentiate the crazy players from the absolutely insane. Its time to dive into what makes these bios so annoying.
10. Short and uninformative answers
I get not everybody is Shakespeare (or Max Dawson) and can eloquently describe their way out of a paper bag, but really short answers are boring. Give us some info dammit!! Surely these people showed enough personality and charisma to get on the show – if their written bios are this low-energy it really doesn’t set us up well for a great character on the show. We don’t need an essay – but more than 7 word answers are always helpful. And yes, I’m looking at you Kelly Remington!
9. People who say they would take a camera
One question asks players to list 3 things they would take onto the island. It’s always a good question but one answer that crops up continuously is “a camera to document my experiences”. You do realise this is a TV show right? You are going to spend the next 39 days surrounded by cameras, capturing everything? Why would you need to bring one yourself?
8. Hobbies that aren’t
Asking people what their hobbies are has always been a fun question. Most people are pretty literal about it, but there have been some standout answers over the years, including Kelly Goldsmith’s answer of “manipulating men” in her bio way back in season 3. However, plenty of people also list things that are clearly not hobbies. If you are a personal trainer, “going to the gym” is not a hobby, it’s your job. I’m not going to list “sitting at my desk” as a hobby. If you are crazy workaholic who has no hobbies, just say so.
7. Pet Peeve of “annoying people”
You realise what show you are about to be on right? Where you are going to be food and sleep deprived and around people who would probably annoy you even on a good day. Plus, the very word “annoying” indicates that it is negative – basically “annoying people” is a pet peeve of everyone, but what constitutes annoying varies from person to person. So this answer really tells us nothing about the person, except that they probably have a short fuse. Which I guess has to be a good thing for entertainment purposes.
6. Ridiculously specific pet peeves
However, we can get rather too specific at times, bordering on obsessively strange. Where do some people get these answers? I do worry about the mental health of many of these contestants (beyond the obvious fact that they are prepared to put themselves through physical and emotional abuse on international TV). The answers some of these people give are just bizarre. How does knowing about your disdain for stickers on apples or people who scuff their shoes when they walk going to give me any sense of who you are or your approach to the game? Other than, you know, you are a crazy person and are annoyed by everything. Not sure how much you think your hatred for bad service at subway or when people have their windshield wipers on when its not raining is going to impact you on the island, but maybe try and make them somewhat relevant to Survivor so they have some meaning.
5. Misguided Life Inspirations
Your inspiration in life is also telling as to what kind of a nut job you will end up being. Parents, family or significant friends all make perfect sense. Celebrities, especially the type that are famous for being famous – not exactly inspirational stuff. Of course the best ones are those that are inspired by their own greatness. I won’t name names, but its happened more than once and usually ends in a hilarious downfall for the egotistical player in question.
4. Complete lack of practicality
I get its a bio so I don’t expect players to answer the question about what 3 things they would bring to the island as “Swiss army knife, torch, rope” etc…there is room for creativity and fun. But an iPod? Come on. Where are you going to charge that? Or a horse/goat/other livestock?? Honestly, unless you are planning to eat it, I couldn’t think of a more annoying and pointless thing to have to bring to an island To me, the answers to this question go one of two ways – the usual one of family photos, journal etc. (personal items to help them through the experience) or outlandishly silly items that just seem like people are deliberately trying to be kooky and funny for the sake of it. Of course, nothing will ever beat Garret’s suggestion of a photo of a hot girl to use for…well, you get the idea.
3. Anyone who can’t name a former player they are like
Don’t you just love those players who say they are so unique that we have never seen anyone like them ever before? No you’re not. The question is just asking which former player you are like – you don’t have to be an exact replica of them. Maybe you have Rob C’s humour, Ozzy’s athleticism or Stephen’s intellect – just pick something! It’s to give us a feel for what kind of person you are, not an attack on your individuality. By saying you are unlike anyone else, all it says is that you actually haven’t seen the show or bothered to watch it before playing, and have no idea of any names of previous players. Trust me, 32 seasons in, we have seen it all. You may bring something fresh to the table, and I sure hope that you do, but if you truly are one of a kind, I look forward to a great season.
2. “Personal Claim to Fame”
OK, this isn’t the contestant’s fault. This one I blame on production. Exactly what is a “personal claim to fame”? I have no idea what this word-mangling phrase means exactly, but to simplify it, what the question is really asking is what their greatest accomplishment or proudest moment. Can we please change the wording here? It may seem like a small deal, but raising two kids as a single parent or graduating college are great achievements and incredibly deserving of praise and admiration. They don’t make you famous though. And to be honest, if most of these people were going to cite their most “famous” moment before being on Survivor, it’s probably that mug shot was taken after they were caught shoplifting at the local liquor store.
1. Girls who claim they are like Parvati
…and they never are. This is by far and away my biggest bugbear with these profiles. You would think Parvati is the only female to ever play the game.
Asking players the question of “which former player are you most like” only works if they are fans of the show and have seen more than 2 seasons. Every female under 30 seemingly believes they are the new Parvarti, and will use charm and sex appeal to get to the end. Spoiler alert: they don’t. Parvati was such great TV, and to correct an earlier point, she was a truly unique person and casting caught lightning in a bottle by getting her on the show. She was able to charm both men and women, and her attractiveness means this has just been classified as flirting by many. Really, it’s about making people feel at ease, and her ability to talk to anyone and make them feel special and important to her that makes her a powerful player. It’s a very rare gift indeed, and hearing players talk about how they are going to “flirt their way to the top” just like Parvati is annoying. Especially when they never do. There have been so many great female characters on this show – perhaps you could be like them instead? Maybe you have the positivity of Kim Spradlin, or the competitive nature of Stephanie. Or perhaps the colourful vocabulary of Stacey Powell. Be a little inventive. At this point, Id rather you said you were unique and unlike anyone else than read another glib comparison to Parvati.
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!
ALL IMAGES USED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE COPYRIGHT CBS/ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. IF YOU WISH TO READ OUR DISCLAIMER IN REGARDS TO THE USE OF IMAGES PLEASE CLICK HERE