NEW! Former Survivor blogs Season 5

Written by AmandaHoosen from the blog Amandas Take On ... on 27 Jan 2014
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Survivor SA: Season 5
Episode 1 and 2

20 Contestants, 29 days, 1 Survivor………………oh, and 2 Coaches?

I wanted to blog about this season of Survivor through the eyes of someone who has experienced it all up close and personal. The hunger, the treacherous weather conditions, the emotional rollercoaster and the fight to live to see another day.

Amandas Take On 27-01-2014 Pic 4
As the 2nd runner up of my own season Survivor SA: Malaysia, I am so excited about this 5th installment of the SA version, but quite frankly, I am not sold on the idea of having a tribe coach ... yet. In fact, there are a few things that have me perplexed and questioning whether or not this format will live up to the essence of the Survivor franchise.

In the first episode, the number of supplies each tribe was able to win on DAY ONE truly shocked me: Construction equipment (including a hammer, nails, wood and tarp - WHAT?), Food (including rice and fruit), rope…….I mean what kind of picnic is this!?

Amandas Take On 27-01-2014 Pic 5

Not only was there this plethora of supplies available but for the first few rounds of competing to win these items, the actual Survivor contestants didn’t even have to break a sweat!

Two ex-professional athletes in the form of Coaches Mark Fish and Corne Krige competed against each other to win the various items of survival on behalf of their tribes, Utara and Selatan respectively. Sorry guys, but if you want to win the title of Survivor, competing for that title every step of the way should be a pre-requisite.

Not only did my tribe and I build our shelter from scratch using bamboo and our hands, (I mean, they had nails and a hammer? Can’t get over that one!), we also didn’t eat literally for the first 5 days with the exception of coconut. So, I found myself screaming profanities at the TV during both episodes with my poor boyfriend sitting next to me, probably tired to death of hearing me relive the agony of playing this game that I love so much. I’m over it though, so let’s move on and talk strategy.

Amandas Take On 27-01-2014 Pic 10

Usually, I don't dare predict the outcome of this crazy game because I know first-hand that it can turn on its head 6 times in one day, however, I have one predication that I am comfortable to make at this early stage: Ready? Mark my words ...  Zavion will not win Survivor. He actually has me wondering whether he's ever watched the show before.

Displaying too much strength in the challenges this early on, thinking that you are “running the show”, making alliances with everyone who lives in Asia, helping to make fire and now the added dimension of being “teacher’s pet” are probably the Top 5 ways to guarantee that you will never see 2 cents of that million rand grand prize. Dude, only Boston Rob can get away with that strategy!

Amandas Take On 27-01-2014 Pic 6

Zavion had himself, Corne and two dedicated alliance members, Ashleigh and Marsha, convinced that “THE TRIBE” had decided that Shona was going home. Wrong. Ashleigh was voted out instead and Zavion’s expression of shock and horror was priceless. Who doesn’t love a classic Survivor blindside?

I know how hard this game is so I do not wish failure upon any of these daring brave contestants. As a veteran, my advice to Zavion would be to use the blindside as a lesson and change his strategy ... immediately.

Amandas Take On 27-01-2014 Pic 8

On another note, I was very impressed with Graham! One of the many questions I am often asked when people learn that I was on Survivor is, “What was your strategy”? To be honest, my strategy was to follow the way the game was designed.

When Mark Burnett pitched this show to CBS in the US, the tagline for the pitch was “A social experiment to see how people behave when they have to survive the elements”. Ultimately, when someone is voted out, there is always a social reason for it.

I played the game with a heightened sense of awareness of my social position in the tribe at all times and it got me pretty far. Graham seems to understand that aspect of this game. Graham did such a good job of reading his tribe mates and he responded to the drama that Zavion and his minions created by being calm, logical, collaborative and not dictatorial. He used his social skills to the max.

He now has the numbers in the form of a 7-strong alliance (which is code for having 7 people trust you), he was able to read Zavion and Marsha’s behaviour extremely well and he managed to use that to his advantage.

In a nutshell, he's as close to a perfect Survivor strategy as one can get at this stage of the game. If Graham can keep a level head throughout the game and maintain the trust that he has garnered so far, he will surely secure a spot in the merge.

Amandas Take On 27-01-2014 Pic 7

Then we have Shona and David, David and Shona - a union truly made in Survivor hell. I am actually mortified for Shona being in this forced partnership with David who I definitely think of as a crazy unpredictable character.

The fact that he has been charged with safekeeping the hidden immunity idol that they both earned is of grave concern to me. In my view, this could go horribly wrong! Hopefully Shona finds a way to get the idol away from David for I fear that he will not use it wisely.

So there you have it folks! I stress that this is my take on the game having played it before and also having been a loyal fan since Survivor Season 1 kicked off in the US. It’s going to get interesting so stay tuned!!


27 Jan 2014 15:48

Hey hey Amanda - welcome to TVSA and blogging!!

Thanks for the juicy insights *yum*. I can imagine it must make you want to tear your hair out seeing what an easy ride they got at the start.

Yip, I fully agree that that David needs a smack. Looks like he's gonna be the Poison Dwarf of the season i.e.the Russell Hantz of the season *eyeroll*.

27 Jan 2014 16:43

Thanks Tashi!! I am *eye rolling* with you :-)

28 Jan 2014 14:33

Great take on the show.  I must say that I am quite enjoying it.  I was VERY shocked to see what they got when started and also had a giggle with the first swimming challenge and they had goggles!  FFS ...really!  And yet Corne lost his sunglasses.  Argh!
Zavion is entertaining and I hope he sticks around for awhile but agree, they will vote his sorry ass out as soon as they don't need his strength.  Ha ha, it was so funny watching him whip the "captain" (the guy with the sailor hat on) in the reward challenge at the begining.  No one gave him a change (including me) and whack ... game over :)
Watching them all trying to make fire is always entertaining.  Love the mortician chick although she is already destined for an early exit.  Hopefully they will find the idol quickly as well.
All in all, I think it is going to be a good season.
Thanks for taking the time to blog Amanda.  Looking forward to it all.
Oh - hi Tashi xx  Long time :)

28 Jan 2014 14:56

Thanks for the feedback Andy!!

05 Feb 2014 22:20

Thanks for the insights :)

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Amandas Take On 27-01-2014 Pic 3

Amanda Hoosen was in
Survivor SA: Malaysia
and was the 2nd runner-up of the season.

Amandas Take On 27-01-2014 Pic 1

Amandas Take On 27-01-2014 Pic 2


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