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Survivor: Guatemala, Mid-Season Summary


by LauraBelle

I can’t be the only one out there that gets a kick out of Mark Burnett’s editing. Every week he throws in subtle little things to see if the eagle-eyed viewers will notice. Every season he tells a story with his remarkable editing. The tale Burnett spins is so enthralling to watch play out, it makes me stay away from all spoilers. I don’t want my story ruined.

The most obvious editing thrown in is comparing the survivors to the local animals. After a shot of an animal the editing always flips back to a survivor with similar qualities. There’s always a snake on every island, and we always see shots of a snake slithering around setting up an attack just before flipping to a survivor that’s about to outwit another.

The snake shots that always stick in my mind is that of Brian Heidek of Survivor: Thailand. There wasn’t anyone more slimy or more underhanded or more deserving. He pulled a good one on his fellow survivors, having them convinced he was nothing more than a used car salesman. The point was he really was a good salesman, so good that they never suspected he was an actor; a porn actor at that. He had each one of his fellow survivors convinced that they were the one he was taking to final two, making no one ever want to vote him out until it was too late.

This year the snake shots could have been used for another Brian, Brian Corridan, but he didn’t last long enough to put his plans in action. This psych major could outwit anyone on the show and knew it. Last week he was successful in extricating real estate broker and model, Blake Towsley. Blake is no slouch is in the intellect department himself, with a double major in finance and political science. Yet he was so caught up in trying to be the alpha male and bragging about his exploits he didn’t notice that everyone was tiring of his stories. It was Brian who encouraged him to tell every story ad nauseam, to the point of making even Blake’s own alliance vote him out.

What Brian didn’t count on was his own alliance turning on him, that of NFL quarterback Gary Hogeboom and Police Sergeant Amy O’Hara. While these three could have made a good run for final three had they stayed together, I’m suspecting Gary and Amy saw Brian’s extreme potential at winning and decided to get rid of him before the merge to protect their own spots.

It probably wasn’t so wise of them, and editing wanted us to know they, too, thought Gary was making a mistake he could regret. After they lost the challenge a closeup was shown of Gary and next to him is the Outwit banner. The top two letters are out of the camera view, though, so all we see is Gary’s face and the word “twit.” It’s true, Gary doesn’t make the best decisions, as he’s too caught up in hiding the fact he played in the NFL. It worked for Brian to hide his porn acting past, but Brian wasn’t on a team with anyone that had seen any of his movies showcasing his acting “talents.” Gary never would have guessed that he would be in Guatemala with a sports radio host, such as Danni Boatwright.

As for Amy, she was only protecting herself. Her weak ankle has made her an easy target, but she has such will and determination, even while walking with a limp with a severely swollen ankle, she still had the strength to push that huge ball over the line, beating returning contestant Stephenie LaGrossa. Much has been said of Steph being perhaps the strongest female Survivor so far, but in a match, I give it to Amy. At least when Amy lost she didn’t sit around whining and calling the winners “retarded.” I’d love to see Amy take it all the way, but I’m afraid she’ll be gone soon after the merge when others see her as the threat she is.

Snakes aren’t the only animal the editors focus on this season. They’ve also focused on the crocodiles and the monkeys. The message is quite clear, seeing a monkey braying and beating his chest just before flipping to a shot of hotel doorman Judd Sergeant IV. Judd isn’t quiet about the fact that he has brute strength and his team needs it right now. He feels it gives him the right to do whatever he wants and not be voted out. While he’s right, he won’t be needed once the game turns individual after the merge, and he and his chest-beating will be voted out quickly. He won’t ever become the alpha male he desires to be.

If Judd and Amy are voted out after the merge, I’m not quite sure who will emerge as the leader. Probably Stephenie or her Survivor 10 cohort waiter Bobby Jon Drinkard. While their teams kept them and their experience around, if they leave them in the positions they are in any longer, they could run away with the million. What needs to happen is for the others on the bubble, Judd, Amy, Gary, etc., to band together and vote out Bobby Jon and Steph soon after the merge, to better clear a path for themselves. But I’m not sure if the monkey and the twit will ever figure that one out.

Have thoughts on this season’s Survivor? Email me at LauraBelle@realityshack.com


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