So, the new series of Survivor begins tonight on CBS (should be “available” to watch elsewhere tomorrow). This season’s big twist is Redemption Island – when you’re voted out of the game, you aren’t out of the game, you’re sent to live on Redemption Island. When two people are there, they must battle it out in the Redemption Arena (in front of the other survivors), the winner stays on, the loser goes home and at some point someone gets to go back into the game. Oh, and Rob and Russell are back.
This is not the first time eliminated contestants have had a chance to come back, that would be the Outcasts challenge on Pearl Islands which apparently didn’t go down too well. The thinking this time is that this will work because everyone knows about it.
The thing is, I don’t think everyone needs to be aware of it as long as the viewers are aware of it. As a concept it’s worked in many different European versions of the show as The Swamp where it was kept a secret from the other contestants. The moment of shock when someone comes back into the game is going to be lessened dramatically because everyone’s aware of what’s going on at all times. This being said, it’s nice that Survivor is finally looking at some of the interesting ways the Europeans have twisted the game, even if they are implementing them in a strange manner.
Also I’m intrigued about how it’s going to be introduced – in theory one person will go there in episode one, a second person in episode two then there will be the first challenge. So you’re building the entire season around a concept that’s not actually going to get used properly for the first episode. Will they do a challenge to eliminate someone immediately, like The Cage? And are they going to shift Tribal Council to mid-episode and end on the Redemption challenge, or will they hold it over for the next week?
Lots of questions, soon we’ll have answers.