Most long-time “Survivor” devotees have enjoyed “Winners at War,” the so-called “season on steroids” that has pitted 20 past winners against one another. The gameplay, alliance-making and strategizing has been quite intriguing. Even the Edge of Extinction is more interesting this time around as the booted players at least get chances to win fire tokens to use on advantages after completing grueling physical challenges and not just lay about the beach all day long.
But if Season 40 has had a downside, it’s that these former Sole Survivors have debased the one-time sacred ceremony of Tribal Council and taken it to a new low. In the good old days, host Jeff Probst presided over proceedings while questioning the castaways about the state of affairs within their tribe and who could be in danger of being voted out. But at some point recently, players acquired a habit of whispering to one another during the proceedings if some piece of info made them change their plans.
Then that led to people getting up and walking over others to update their thoughts. But “Winners at War” has taken such jibbering and jabbering to a new level of chaos and confusion. It’s gotten so bad at Tribal Council that the show now needs on-screen captions so viewers know what the heck is going on.
At least on last week’s episode, Denise Stapley, who won an immunity necklace and was safe, brought some sanity to the confusion as everyone was racing about and talking. She stopped Jeremy Collins from whispering to her and announced, “I’m done. I’m ready to vote.” The biggest complaint is that watching such unruly behavior wastes precious moments of airtime.
Little wonder that 48% of “Survivor” fans wish that Jeff stops the insanity and brings order back to the ritual of questioning the players about what is up with the tribe back at camp. Another 10% say that even though captions are employed on screen during the chatter, it is still hard to know what is going on.
Then again, 24% say they find it fascinating when suddenly everyone scrambles and tries to find out what everyone’s plans are. Meanwhile, 18% find all the panicky deal making amid the paranoia and plotting laugh worthy.
Let’s see what happens on the supersized two-hour edition of the show this week when an Edge of Extinction resident will likely get a chance to return to the game and whether crazy-like-a-fox Tony Vlachos continues to dominate Season 40.
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