Survivor Review: Phillip Dominates For the Wrong Reasons
Just when Phillip was starting to be a little bit watchable, he went racial on us.
Ok, he did more than go racial. He couldn't keep his mouth shut. He sounded ridiculous. He made an ass out of himself. Let’s be honest about this: he went crazy.
Phillip didn’t want to hear the truth coming out of Steve’s lips this week, but no one on Phillip’s tribe agreed with him and certainly no one watching agreed.
What was most frustrating about the “Rice War” between Phillip and Steve is that we were forced to watch it. Certainly I get it – the footage was dramatic, fiery, contained adult language (always a ratings booster) and seemed like it might be integral in the actual game.
There was no way we were not going to be subject to the footage. nlike previous Survivor fights, however, it didn’t impact who was sent home at all and that made it basically useless.
Unlike many other verbal spats in Survivor history, there was nothing unique or interesting about Phillip going off. All that happened is that he came off looking terribly, especially in the face of Steve handling the situation almost flawlessly.
At least in previous fights we got to see an unknown or unique side to someone.
Additionally, those fights often result in one of the combatants being sent home. Phillip was never realistically going home, but why was Julie sent home instead of Steve?
Does she pose more of a threat to win challenges than Steve or Ralph?
Perhaps worst of all, the fight completely hijacked tribal council (if not the entire episode). We were subject to a long therapy session with Dr. Jeff Probst and his nine misfit castaways. While Jeff delivered an A+ performance trying to diffuse what initially seemed like a potentially explosive racial situation, did we really need to see it?
Was it interesting television? It certainly had nothing to do with the game.
Phillip was making a rational argument to Steve for storing the rice, if they existed in a vacuum. But the former Ometepes have been freezing out the ex Zapateras since the merge. What did Phillip thing they were going to do? Willfully help them out?
Once the whole story is told, of course what Phillip was asking for wasn’t as rationale as he thought it was. Beyond that, Steve’s comment had more to do with Phillip’s entire persona this season, not just his allegedly rational suggestion for storing the rice.
A problem with focusing so much time on Phillip’s tirades was that it lent credence to the ravings of a crazy person. (Yes, Phillip’s crazy. I’m a white male and saying he’s crazy has nothing to do with his color.) Jeff may have calmed Phillip down, but he also placated him and gave him the incorrect feeling that he may have been right to act the way he did.
Not only did Phillip’s actions hijack the episode, they hijacked this review! Let’s move on.
Survivor took another twist this week with a move to a trial (I agree with David, a duel can not incorporate three or more people. They are trials now.) instead of a duel. As someone who wasn’t very enamored with Redemption Island to begin with, moving to a format where it doesn’t really matter if you finish first, only if you don’t finish last is even less exciting.
I really liked my own idea of filling Redemption Island with all of the people voted off and doing one final endurance-based challenge at the end to determine who gets to go back in the game. Yes, I know there are logistical issues with this as far as who’s on the jury, etc, but I’m sure the producers could figure out a work around. Is it crucial that whoever returns to the game doesn’t get to see the tribal councils as a potential jury member?
More from this week:
- I loved the Julie hid Phillip’s shorts and was thoroughly disappointed when she fessed up to it. It would have been really awesome if Ralph was voted off and after voting off he told Phillip that he’d never find his shorts, as Julie did, but just to take the heat off of Julie or Steve (presuming he doesn’t know who took the shorts either). You know what would have been even funnier? If Boston Rob (or one of the ex-Ometepes) had hid the shorts just to shake the bees nest, so to speak.
- For all of you who are huge Matt lovers, what do you think of him not wanting to stay in the game? Is he still deserving of coming back if he wins the trials?
- After Steve just barely lost to Boston Rob in a puzzle-based challenge, why wasn’t he sent home instead of Julie? I’ll guess that wasn’t the last puzzle challenge we’ll see.