What You Don't Know
Bob Stewart said that
the greatest game shows have you shouting at the television set. The man
knows what he's talking about: he created The Price is Right, The
$25,000 Pyramid among others. And how many times have you found yourself
saying "The light bulbs are a buck-twenty-nine, doofus!" or "C'mon, say
A DONUT!"? If you're me, several times. The same is true of competitive
reality shows. We cheer for our favorites, groan as they miss things,
and boo when they do stupid things. But we're forgetting something: we
can see what they can't.
Survivor made history last week, as JT gave the Heroes's pocket immunity
idol to Russell from the villains during an immunity challenge. In a
long heartfelt note that was packaged with the note, he unraveled the
women's alliance that he saw, and instructed Russell to play the idol on
himself and get Parvati voted out. Viewers then saw Russell and Parvati,
sitting under a tree, reading the note and laughing.
There is no women's alliance, but the Heroes have no way to know that.
We're allowed to see what happens at both camps, and we get to see the
confessionals of everyone on the island. No one there has even seen
Russell's first season of play in Samoa, they just know that he's one of
The show would be far less interesting if we had to pick one person to
follow, and we only got to see what that person saw. The blindside
eliminations would be completely new to us (and what would we do if that
person was first out of the game?) and we would only hear about life at
the other camp through third- or fourth-hand information. We get to see
everything that is going on, or at least what the producers want us to
see, and we need to remember that when things like last week happen.
Travis Eberle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, but don't try
to pry his pocket immunity away from him.