survivor twists and advantages brains v brawn

‘Australian Survivor’ Producers, Please Stop With All The Advantages And Twists

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Survivor: Brains v Brawn is down to its final six contestants, but in reality, we should really already have our final three.

You see, of the six remaining contestants — comprised of George, Wai, Hayley, Cara, Dani and Flick — three of these players have been flat out eliminated from the competition and then brought back with advantages and twists, while the other two have been saved by Immunity Idols.

This isn’t to say that idols shouldn’t be used in the game of Survivor. They’re a staple to the game and are essential for a good blindside.

What I’m talking about here is the blatant producer interference during Brains v Brawn that has ensured that players who make “good TV” haven’t gone home when it was their time to.

Let’s break it down: Cara was eliminated from the Brains tribe weeks ago when she sacrificed herself for George before the merge. But she was told that while her game was over with the Brains, she would be joining the Brawn tribe. So Cara re-entered the game.

A few weeks later, fan favourite Hayley was eliminated fair and square — and in a landslide vote at that — when all of her flip-flopping between alliances caught up to her. But instead of going home, the producers offered up a redemption challenge that favoured Hayley’s physical abilities over Baden, and Hayley returned to the game.

Then last night, Wai and Hayley stayed Brains strong and decided to stick with the George and Cara alliance instead of siding with Dani and Flick. As Dani had won individual immunity, Flick was sent packing. That was, of course, before she had the chance to pick one of four urns to win a potential spot back in the game — the latest twist introduced this season.

In a surprise to no one, Flick managed to pick the exact vessel that held a “save” scroll which meant she re-entered the game.

Survivor at its heart is a game of skill. It’s all about outwitting, outplaying and outlasting, as the tagline of the show has always said. What doesn’t exactly feel like “skill” is producers selecting who they want to save, and when, “just because”.

The contestants last night even admitted that the introduction of the “urn” advantage had changed the way they voted because of the potential fallout that could happen after a recently eliminated contestant returned to the game.

But even beyond the urns, Immunity Idols and advantages feel like they’ve been poorly hidden this season and have just been given to whoever the producers have felt will keep people invested in the show. For example, throughout Brains v Brawn, the show’s unlikely hero, George, has been given a number of advantages that have saved him from elimination.

From the first week, George’s tribemates have tried to eliminate “the king of Bankstown” and when producers learned that the divisive character was on the chopping block, an advantage that saved six contestants magically landed right in George’s lap.

On the night where George was set to go home before Cara decided to play her idol for him, there just so happened to be an advantage that allowed the eliminated person to join the other tribe. And last night, when the fate of George lay in the hands of a conflicted Hayley and Wai, Flick had luck on her side as she managed to pick the urn that brought her back in the game.

Really, it almost feels like any time a producer can sense that there is a very real possibility that George is going home, he is saved. At this point, it wouldn’t even be a surprise to find out that each urn last night had the same “save” scroll inside to ensure there was no way George would be eliminated.

And fans of the show agree: There have simply been far too many advantages, convenient twists, and barely-hidden idols thrown around this season at very auspicious times.

But still, none of the twists have sucked more than the urns.

So Survivor producers, if you’re listening, please never EVER do this again. I beg.

Australian Survivor returns tonight at 7:30pm on Channel 10.