Survivor Producers

Outwit, outplay, outlast, outlive?
Last night the Hubs and I watched the Survivor finale.  I won't tell you who won.  I will tell you that if you're a Survivor aficionado, you will agree with the critics that this season was one of the most boring seasons in history.  After 12 years, the producers have tried many different tactics to spice it up.  This season they tried men vs. women and it wasn't near as riveting as they'd hoped.

Like he does at the end of every Reunion special, Jeff Probst gave us a glimpse of the next installment in the franchise.  This time it's Survivor: Phillipines.  Jeff hinted that they would bring back 3 of the most famous Survivor injury disasters in the history of the game.  They showed clips of past injured players like Michael Skupin (the guy who fell in the fire just when the camera man was taking a break so there was no footage) and Russell Swan (the guy who practically died in the middle of a challenge because he was so dehydrated).

Jeff also got very excited about the fact that they were going to the Phillipines where the tribes would live with poisonous snakes and be surrounded by shark-infested waters.

That's when I realized that Jeff and Mark Burnett and all the other Survivor producers are planning a funeral for the very special Reunion show.

Here's how I think a FICTIONAL conversation between REAL PEOPLE went:

Burnett (imagine this in a chippy Australian accent):  We're getting a lot of flak about this season.  Everyone thinks it's boring and we've lost our edge.

Probst (we all know his voice):  I don't know.  It doesn't seem so bad.  We've got a lot of cute girls out there for them to look at.

Burnett:  Cute girls who are running the show and not a villain in sight!  They're talking about their feelings and staying loyal to their alliances.  This is not good television!

Weaselly Assistant Producer (nasally and simpering voice - think ultimate kiss ass):  Sir, I've been doing a lot of thinking about how to make the show sexy again.

Burnett:  Who are you?

WAP:  I've worked here for 2 years, but my name is not important.  What is important is my idea.

Probst:  OK, so what is it?

WAP:  Well, I've been thinking.  Have you heard of The Hunger Games?

Burnett:  Are you a bloody idiot?  Everyone in the world has heard of The Hunger Games!

WAP:  Right.  Well, The Hunger Games is popular because it's like Survivor, only people die.

Probst:  Actually, teenagers die.

WAP:  Exactly.  Here at Survivor we've had a couple of close calls with people falling into fires and that guy with the bowel obstruction, but we've never managed to get a death on tape.  I feel like it's time to raise the bar.

Burnett:  Have teenagers kill one another??!

WAP:  No, I checked with legal, we can't do that.

Burnett/Probst:  Damn.

WAP:  Only adults can come on the show and put themselves in danger.  What I'm thinking is we invite back some of our closest calls and then we tell them there is no medical evacuation option this season.

Burnett:  No medical evacuation?  Can we do that?

WAP:  Legal is working on it, but with our legal budget they're pretty sure they can make it fly.

Probst:  So we invite Russell Swan-

Burnett:  Who?

Probst:  Russell Swan.  He's the one who passed out during the challenge and just about died from dehydration.  He was the closest to death.  We filmed the medical team for almost an hour, but they just kept stabilizing him.  They're so damn good!  Finally, we had to airlift him out.  He'll want to come back.  He's a competitor and he'll want a second chance.

Burnett:  Great.  Who else?

WAP:  Michael Skupin.

Burnett:  Oooh...fire guy.  I still can't believe we didn't have a camera on him when he fell in the fire!  We fired that camera man, right?

Probst:  Abso-fucking-lutely.  He'll never work in this town again.

WAP:  I'm thinking we need 3 to round it out.  We'll have 3 teams and each near death Survivor will be a "captain."

Burnett:  Who is the third?

WAP:  I don't know, maybe Colton Cumbie?  The gay slash racist guy from this season?  He went home with appendicitis, although I'm hearing now he might have faked it.  People hate him.

Probst:  Yeah, but not in a good way.  He's no Johnny Fairplay.

Burnett:  Johnny Fairplay was brilliant with that whole dead grandmother bit.

Probst:  Yeah, Colton is nothing like Johnny.  That guy is a bitch.  I don't want to give him a second chance.

Burnett:  It really doesn't matter who we bring back.  All that matters is that we make great TV!  

WAP:  Exactly.  And the way to make it great TV is to make the conditions absolute shit.  That's why I'm thinking we go to the Phillipines.  We put these tribes on an island with no fresh water and poisonous snakes and bugs.  The peninsula where they live will be surrounded by beautiful water, but it's completely shark infested, so no fishing, bathing or swimming.  We may need to bring some more sharks in, just to be sure we have enough.  I'm also looking for crocodiles to bring in, because I love how they can attack on land or water - surprise attacks!

The camps will be close to one another, but cut off completely by rings of fire (with 24 hour cameras on them) that only go down when it's time to leave the camp for challenges and such.  Sometimes we could extinguish the fires and let the tribes out to wander about and maybe have a run in with a croc.  Since they don't know when the fire will be back up again, they might get trapped outside the safety of their fire ring and have to spend the night on the beach.  I'm thinking we could time this with the weather forecast - a lightning strike would be a-MAY-zing.

The only food and water the tribes get comes when we think they deserve it.  They could win food and water at challenges, I guess, but that seems so boring and predictable.  I was thinking we could mix it up and sometimes have the food they win be spoiled - e coli can be a just as effective a killer as a shark.  I've also been toying with the idea of getting them to turn on each other.  Food seems to be the only way to do that.  We could air drop small parachutes of food - just enough for one or two people and then let them fight for it.  I'm thinking hunger makes people do crazy things.  Or...the other thing people would kill for is their family.  We could keep a child or a spouse hostage somewhere in the jungle and show the Survivor contestant video clips of their loved one suffering on whatever new cell phone Sprint has and they have to win the challenges or else -

Burnett:  Let me just stop you right there.

WAP:  I'm sorry, sir.  Did I cross the line?  Is it too much?

Burnett:  Absolutely not.  I'm going to need to learn your name, son, because you just got yourself promoted to Executive Producer!

Probst:  Best.  Season.  Ever.


50 comments:

Kristin said...

Watched Survivor religiously the 2nd -6th seasons, but lost interest fast after it became the same old, same old. Give me the old days of Elizabeth, Colby, Rob and Amber any day :) I think its time for Survivor to retire. It had a good run.

JAMIE said...

BWUAHAHAHAHAHAHA - That pretty much made my day! I love the show, but really couldn't have given a shit less about this season. I thought it was lame and boring. They sure do need to do something.

SR said...

That's freaking hilarious!! You are right though.. this season was BOR-RING! The only exciting thing was seeing Kim's mustache fill in each episode!

BetseeT said...

I like how it's, what season 5 million? Really? It's not that good to run it five times a year. Haven't watched or recorded it in two years. A-MAY-ZING! LOL

Ali said...

i absolutely LOVE your imagination!! by the time i got to the end, I forgot I was reading a made up conversation. you better make sure Burnett doesn't steal your ring of fire idea.

Steve, Christa, Emily, Meghan, Charles & Elizabeth said...

I am shocked that survivor is still on, and even more shocked that people still watch it. Next you'll tell me they are still doing American Idol.

Veronica said...

Faithful reader, sometimes poster. I've watched every single season of Survivor - with my sister - it's kind of a sister thing. We were talking last night about how the recent seasons just SUCK. So predictable, so boring. They need to do something. They need to get a bunch of people who have never seen the show and put them on an island. That's the problem, all these people have seen the show, know how it works, how to work the system, and it's boring. That's what made the early seasons so great, they had no freaking clue what they were doing.

ConstructionQueen said...

I would agree, my husband just started watching it last year with me....I've been watching since season 1. They really need to turn up the heat or their "tribe" will speak & it'll be gone. This season was not at all what I was hoping; they needed a good back stabbing B in there & some guy that was a total dictator to go head to head!!!

imbogus1 said...

Couldn't we just have a funeral for Survivor and be done with it. It is so boring, even with your script (fucking awesome btw), the producers would find a way to screw it up and make it super lame.

Tiffany said...

Brilliant! We said the same thing as SR - hopefully with the $1.1 mil that Kim won last night, she'll spring $15 for a good mustache wax.

And why hasn't anyone learned yet that you vote out the frontrunner instead of asking her who you should vote for every three days? Get me on that show, stat. I'd be the girl without breast implants who shakes some shit up.

skooter8 said...

I have always loved Survivor but haven't hated a season since the porn actor won. It was boring with only the women left and let's face it, nobody wants to hear about feelings, they want villians they can root for like Russel. (on a side note, I live in the middle of butt fuck nowhere and the guy who makes all the buffs for the show lives up here) I have to admit I will be watching the new season in the fall and your post made LOL.

Anonymous said...

Why do they keep sending the contestants to tropical locations? It's just the same thing every season. I stopped watching about 4 or 5 seasons back because of it. They should put them someplace cold, like the woods in northern Canada. Dealing with cold and snow would be an interesting change of pace. Plus, they might get eaten by a grizzly!

luvgreen said...

Ditto!

jmfelicity said...

Those were the good old days. I haven't watched it since Survivor All-Stars. That was a great season!

jmfelicity said...

exactly!

HeliconiaPink said...

Obviously they are never going to do that - you can't show mostly naked people in the snow!

My Daily Jenn-ism said...

Ha ha! I hated this season and totally forgot about last night's season finale...I'm not even sure I care - but if next season goes off your way - I'm so tuning in!

spymay said...

Oh dear Lord, No e coli..
It's bad enough I've had to see my own family with food poisoning,I certainly don't want to see total strangers with shit coming from both ends.Explosive diarrhea is not good TV.

Jennifer said...

I have never watched Survivor. It came out the year my husband left me and our children for his trampy high school girlfriend. When I think about my dear friend with two daughters on the autism spectrum (different ends), she is a survivor. No one is giving her money to pay medical expenses. Or my best friend who found out her daughter had been raped by a cousin, and how that family spiraled downward until my friend became suicidal and hospitalized herself. She is a survivor. Or my sister-in-law who survived cancer. Or my former mother-in-law who was physically and emotionally abused by her ex-husband. These are the REAL survivors.

Sorry to be a party-poopper on this, but I hate that show.

imbogus1 said...

Sure you can....it's gets really nippy out in the cold.

AngelaB said...

Laughed out loud! Seriously, you should be writing for a show. Brilliant dialogue. Why the hell hasn't Tina Fey contacted you yet?! Surely, after she sees this post she'll be ringing you up. ;)

Sarah S. said...

Holy SHIT, you are a diabolical GENIUS!

Anonymous said...

I think the half-naked thing is overrated. I can see half-naked women all the time, and they don't have knotted, greasy hair and dirt covered skin.

Anonymous said...

right? I was reading and thinking "Omg, they can't do this, but it would be freaking awesome." Then I remembered it wasn't real :(

Veronica said...

Remember the season they did in the middle of Africa - worst rated season EVER (well, maybe until this one). They learned pretty quickly they need water and bathing suits to make it work. And, in a glimmer of actual safety (I know, who wants that???) I would guess it's really really easy to get injured in the cold. Frostbite is no joke, I don't think any amateur could last 40 days in a frozen location. At least it would be a change of pace...

Angie and Chris aka Supertwins said...

totally friggin hilarious! Seriously....I'm trying to drink some coffee here. I just spit it out.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking that it would be super awesome to put a bunch of really fat people on the island sorta like survivor meets biggest loser. Everyone always loses an insane amount of weight, and quite frankly I am sick of seeing these girls rib cages. I agree this season was boring, but I can't give up on it just yet. Looking forward to next season. Love your ideas!

Anonymous said...

OMG -- I thought I was the only one who noticed Kim's lip getting darker and darker and darker....

Kim said...

I made it through the first 15 minutes of the first episode and decided this season was going to suck. I just didn't care enough about anyone (and usually I know within the first few minutes who I'm rooting for.) From the sounds of it, I didn't miss much. I'll check out next season, and if it's Survivor:Hunger Games, I'll definitely tune in.

Poppymann said...

The Missus and I watched the first season or two, but now it bores me. Fuck The Hunger Games, most boring movie ever.

Strand them on an island with nothing but Tom Hanks Movies, Colt 45 and Pop Rocks for 45 days and allow them to kill and eat one another. Now THAT"S entertainment.

DLH571 said...

LMAO!! I thought I was the ONLY person referring to her as "mustache girl!" I can NEVER remember the boring people's names!

HBentley said...

I love this show and will watch it until it goes off the air but this season made it really hard! While I love that nothing but women went to the end, they were just so boring!!
I kept waiting sor something to shake up.

Christie said...

I totally agree with you! I only watched the first couple of episodes of this season and gave up. I really didn't care about the people and had no compelling reason to stick with it. It just seems that they flip-flip seasons between the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands. The challenges are starting to get predictable (swim out, unhook a bag full of puzzle pieces, bring it back, untie a difficult set of knots and put the puzzle together). And do the producers not know how to dress these contestants? How many times have we seen a girl with her bottom half blurred out because her bikini is waaaaay too small??

Kp said...

Holy cow, you're dead on. There is no way they came up with this concept without referencing a little Hunger Games. Oi.

Kelli at I'd So Rather Be Reading said...

Actually I think they are referencing Catching Fire, where the survivors go back into the arena at the Quarter Quell. Great post! I am new to your site and loving it!

Anonymous said...

Saw survivor in the title and skipped to comments. Punch yourself. Immediately.

threelittlebirds said...

Agree - didn't even watch it this season. I'm sick of the 'ultimate survivor' being the one that all the rest of the butt hurt collective think is the nicest one [or one they don't hate for being the biggest and best snake]. It is going to have be a HUGE gimmick to suck people back in to watch.

Anonymous said...

I keep thinking that Survivor should take the contestants, fly them around in circles for hours, land and take them off the plane somewhere right here in the good old USA. Except they blindfold them from the time they get off the plane until they drop them off in the middle of a forest or swamp or something where they can't tell they are like 2 miles from a McDonalds. HA HA suckas, can you smell the Big Macs? You must be hallucinating...

TNMom said...

I have never watched one episode. I think the problem is, people that have never watched it would never go be on the show. :/

spymay said...

I would definitely watch that.
Survivor + Swamp People=Genius

Anonymous said...

This season was boring....didn't learn half of their names....but I love the show and will continue to watch. Would like to see them eat gross "food" again.

Anonymous said...

*shudders* You realize this is exactly where we're going, right? If they can engineer death or at least close calls (the closer the better), AND have it filmed 24 hours (which they WILL do eventually, because we can stream this ish from anywhere to anywhere now), that's exactly what Survivor will become, and it won't matter what legal says as long as no one can prove negligence or some such. Of course, given the world economy, they'll find their volunteers, too.

Lisa said...

I've been a faithful Survivor viewer since it first aired..I feel obligated to keep watching (I gave up American Idol after 2 seasons and recently broke up with The Amazing Race)..but I love my Probst! I can't quit him!

This season was mind numbingly boring! Each season has been getting progressively more boring- I think part of the problem is that they really aren't "surviving" anymore Too many food rewards! Seasons 1 &2 those people really survived! They had no food given to them, they had their rice and foraged for plants and fished. They were covered in bug bites and were filthy and smelly. These recent folks look too clean, shaved (except Kim's mustache) and well fed.....Stop giving the fire! For Christ's sake these people should make sure they learn how to build a fire before they go on the show! I also hat ethe 3 people in the final..take it back to 2...

Nicole said...

This is hilarious but, for real, people still watch Survivor??? lol

melleecat65 said...

Excellent idea about getting SURVIVOR virgins.

anne said...

That's the problem in a nutshell, Tiffany. I wish the producers/cameramen/Jeff Probst could give the players some intel so that they would mix it up next time and vote out the puppet master.

alas, I don't think they allow girls w/o implants to be on the show...

anne said...

I like this idea. It is nauseating to see the emaciated women season after season...and this would do even the runners-up some good.
So, you didn't win the million bucks, but you lost 30 pounds! Great idea.

melleecat65 said...

Great idea.

Unknown said...

I was a fan, but quit watching two seasons ago. I was tired of seeing bad behavior rewarded. I also wanted to make sure no one with the last name Hantz ever showed up on my TV screen ever again.

Anonymous said...

Great ideas! I still watch Survivor and loved The Hunger Games. Great and interesting concept.

This Letter Stopped Me in My Tracks

Photo by Jordan Whitt School started a few weeks ago, and we're still trying to get back into the swing of things. I don't kno...