Thursday, May 21, 2009

The cowboy, the city boy and 1 million dollars

Last Sunday, May 17th, was the finale for the TV series, "Survivor". Avid watchers and followers of the show now knows that the winner of this latest show was James Thomas Jr. (JT, the cowboy from Alabama) over Stephen Fishbach (the city boy from New York). I won't talk anymore about the show since much has already been talked or blogged about it.

What I want to discuss here was about the character of these two guys which was put to the test during the final voting where JT had to choose between Erinn Lobdell and Stephen to vote out of the tribe and the one that stays with him will compete with him for the million dollar prize (to be voted in turn by the 7 jury members).

During the time when JT, Erinn & Stephen were waiting for the next and last survivor challenge and determine who gets immunity and is guaranteed a spot to win the coveted prize, Erinn seen to be the weakest link between the 2 guys and considered an outsider since she came from the opposing tribe made her move by trying to convince the guys to take her to the top 2 because whoever, she goes against with would be the guaranteed winner.

The scene with Erinn talking to Stephen showed us that Stephen was unwillingly going with her plan to get rid of JT even though Stephen and JT had already formed a strong alliance with each other since day one and even had to vote out a third member of their original tribe, Taz Johnson-George, to insure that these 2 guys go all the way through. Taj was blind-sided since she thought that the guys would stick to their plan which has been set in place for awhile now. However, JT & Stephen thought that Taj was likable enough that she could pose a bigger threat to them than Erinn, thus Taj was taken out. Stephen made a pact with Erinn that they will vote JT out if ever one of them wins the last game challenge.

When it was JT's turn, Erinn made her case good enough to cast doubts on JT's mind regarding Stephen and we can see JT looking forlorn and confused and likely starting to distrust his friend Stephen. Though, the scene didn't show him making a promise to Erinn to vote out Stephen, the viewers were left with JT's indecision.

As we all now know, JT still kept his promise and took Stephen with him to the finals. When Jeff Probst ask Stephen, he admitted that he would have taken Erinn with him to insure that he wins and of course, JT was surprise to know about this. Stephen response to this was an answer that I believe most people would take and what has been a common response in the Survivor show or for any other reality shows thereof , that one's final decision was always based on the final goal of winning. Never mind that friendships, promises or alliances were broken but it has somehow become the mantra that people will do anything even out of character just so they can win. And if they do win, it was considered a triumph worth all the effort. Most people who are not too sensitive of human interactions would just think of this as another game.

And that is what its all about now in this reality shows... it is just a game and how you play the game determines whether you win or lose. And there's no other way to go but WIN.

JT's character was put to the test on this and even though he was somewhat trusting and may even appear naive to some but the way he played himself, he didn't really destroy other people just so that he can get ahead and this is the reason why he got a unanimous vote from all the 7 juries.