Because life is too short to watch all the clips CBS posts each week, I’m here to let you know which ones are worth your time (because apparently, my life is not too short). In addition, I’ll offer analysis of what these extra insights might mean for the game.
I’m A Practical Person
The big advertised story of the week was the sudden nudist tendencies of the White Collar tribe. In this video, Shirin explains her motivations for joining Max in the naked parade. She has reasons beyond “I’ll be damned if I let Max out-superfan me”.
Analysis: Alright, it makes sense that she doesn’t want to sleep in wet underwear just because she was washing out the dishes in the ocean. I get it. However, you can make a similar argument that “eating my lunch topless prevents me from getting mustard on my shirt”. It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be getting a meeting notice from HR for doing it in the staff room. And I think that’s the problem here: in a tribe of five, two people were down to let it all hang out, three were not. Maybe wet underwear is worth not ostracizing the group, you know?
Shirin gets into that a bit too, in that it’s sexist that her nudity seemed to bother Tyler and Joaquin more than Max’s. Which might be totally accurate. Male nudity is almost always treated as funny while female nudity is either sexy or taboo, depending on the level of fitness level of the subject. Take the promos for this episode, for example: they chose to focus on the beardo going full Hatch and Shirin Pooh Bear-ing it as an example of wacky hijinks in the White Collar camp, not the sexy skinny-dipping adventures of the two nubile twenty-somethings in the no collar camp. Which, I gotta be honest, is a fairly surprising marketing choice. Not sure I would’ve gone there.
But even if it’s true that the reactions are less fair for Shirin, I’m not sure Survivor is the right social platform for taking a stand for the sisterhood. Maybe NOT making tribemates who could turn against you uncomfortable is more important in a game? Case in point…
What Is Going On Around Here?
Tyler expresses his bewilderment over all the skin. He is very flustered.
Analysis: Tyler is clearly not on Team Shirin. It wasn’t just Joaquin putting words in his mouth during the episode, clearly her nakedness (especially hers, he never mentions Max) bothers him. And obviously, Shirin has picked up on that from her video. It’s tempting to say that this is a Tyler problem, not a Shirin one, but, again, Tyler has the agency to eliminate her from the game. Which he talks about as a possibility in this video in such a way that it clearly seems to be his desire. So that makes it a Shirin problem.
You could say that Tyler is just one vote of five, and that Max, Shirin, and Carolyn no longer need a fourth vote, except…
Streakers Gone Wild
Carolyn responds to the nudity. And Tyler’s reaction to the nudity.
Analysis: It seems like Carolyn isn’t down for this shit either. Ruh-roh. Interestingly, or more likely obviously, it’s Max’s bravado that bothers her, whereas Shirin’s is more troublesome for its effect on Tyler. So maybe it isn’t so much sexism and more that people don’t want to see your junk.
We’ll see if Carolyn bases any of her game decisions on this, or if the nudity stops now that bathing suits have been distributed, but for now, we have video evidence on how well it played on the island. Which is to say, not well. Either people are annoyed because they don’t want to see it, or they’re alienated because you didn’t ask them to join in.
We’re Not 9 to 5 People
Nina shares her positive vibes about her tribe. Clearly, this is pre-skinny dipgate/ghazi.
Analysis: The interview itself is not all that interesting, because Nina is the one speaking. Often, the biggest thing you get out of watching bonus clips is the answer to the question “why is the show not featuring so in so more”. And the answer is that they are boring. And Nina is.
What is interesting about this clip is how happy and positive Nina is about her tribemates. She’s the tribe’s biggest cheerleader here. So what happened? How long do you suppose it went between “I love being on this tribe of free-spirits who all pitch in in different ways” to “these fucking young bitches hate me and I’ll never fit in”? Did she want to go swimming with them that badly?
In any case, this video is instructive in just how quickly things can turn in Survivor, and how often it can be the result of something seemingly innocuous. I’m not saying it was skinny-dipping per se, it could’ve been that Nina slept horribly the day of the blow up. Or that she was really missing her husband that day. Or that Jenn and Hali were having too many conversations nearby that excluded her. Relationship managing is probably the most important aspect of Survivor, and this video shows why. Jenn came within a whispered conversation of going home last night, all because Nina went from feeling like she did in this video to feeling like she did when she blew up at them.
Vince: The Day After
Standard day after interview with Vince. You’ll be surprised to learn that he thinks highly of himself and how he played.
Analysis: I’ll admit right now: some weeks, it will be a stretch to get to five videos worth watching. But the internet decided that lists need to be divisible by five, so there’s not much I can do. So here’s your last chance to get a taste of Vince’s brand of new age bullshit. Does he mention Burning Man? You already know the answer. Vince says that watching himself on the show will be another opportunity for introspection. Something tells me he won’t spend a lot of time questioning himself and his actions.
Andy has been watching Survivor since the first season without wavering. Even though Nicaragua made him question that decision on a weekly basis. You can follow him on twitter @andy_sayers if you want to discuss Survivor a day after it airs and enjoy binge-tweets about whatever sporting event/TV show he happens to be watching at the time.
Favourite seasons: Heroes vs Villains, Cook Islands, Palau, The Amazon, Cagayan
Favourite players: Boston Rob, Kim Spradlin, Tony Vlachos, Cirie Fields, Yul Kwon, Rob Cesternino