Season 32 of Survivor was amazing. It had everything you could ask for in a season and more. But unfortunately, the show ended in a very strange way with the worst reunion show in the history of Survivor.
A comedy show could have not scripted a more laughable reunion show than that and I don’t mean that in a good way at all. The Reunion started off with Michele winning the million dollars. Michele is a decent winner of this game but Aubry would have been 10x better. I’ll never understand how Aubry did not win, but I still think that Michele is a deserving winner even if she is the most disappointing one in recent seasons. After their hundredth commercial break of the evening, the Reunion show returned and Michele spoke for not even a minute about her game as Jeff interrupted her twice. The conversation went like this:
Jeff: So Michele tell me about your game and how you won.
Michele: I think that I was a very social player and..
Jeff: And weren’t you always in the middle?
Michele: Yes I rode the middle with Cydney and Julia and Nick and I think that…
Jeff: And isn’t there a trick to being in the middle?
Michele: Answers Jeff’s question perfectly.
Jeff: Alright and moving on to Aubry.
That proved to be a common theme throughout the evening as Jeff just seemed to want to get everything done as fast as he could. Aubry, the runner-up and easily the best player from the season was next up to speak and was forced to speak about how she was similar to another player, Jon Cochran, winner of Survivor 26, rather than being able to speak about her own game, which was nearly flawless. Then the conversation went to Tai. Tai cannot form an English speaking sentence that makes sense for longer than fifteen seconds, so if there was ever a time to interrupt in a contestant it was then. But Jeff let Tai babble on about absolutely nothing for over a minute before Sia of all people, interrupted and took two valuable minutes out of the Reunion show to tell everyone that she was donating money to Tai and to a charity that Tai wanted to donate to. Thanks Sia, but this isn’t about you, nor is it about Tai. Although Tai is a wonderful human being, he was a terrible player, which is why he got 0 jury votes despite making it to the end of the game. The fact that he and Sia were given more time to speak than anyone else on the show (Minus Jeff Probst), including Michele, the winner of the season and Aubry the runner-up, was ludicrous.
Before the next commercial break, Jeff also went into the audience to speak with Drew Carey about the Survivor Price is Right crossover. Although this looks like it’ll be a fun show, I’m sure CBS could have advertised it during a commercial break of some kind rather than taking time out of the way of the Reunion show to talk to Drew Carrie about how awesome it was when that time could have gone to someone like Cydney, who finished in 4th place and was not given the opportunity to speak at all.
After the commercial break, we caught up with Caleb, everyone’s favourite pre-merge player. Caleb tried his best to answer the questions Jeff was giving him, but like he did for Michele, Jeff interrupted him twice when Caleb was trying to answer his questions. Jeff would begin to ask him one question, Caleb would start to answer and then Jeff would interrupt again and ask something else. No one cares what Jeff has to say, we want to hear from the players like Caleb and hear what they have to say, so Jeff needs to stop interrupting them when they try and speak. The whole evening, Jeff Probst just had an air about him that was kind of to suggest that he was the best and that he was bigger than the show, both of which are not the case.
But the ridiculousness, didn’t stop there. After what I think was another commercial break, we spoke to Jason and Scott, two of the biggest characters of the season, for two seconds each and not about their own games, but about Tai’s game. It should also be mentioned that when Jason tried to give his answer to Jeff’s question, Jeff interrupted him to move on to Scott before Jason could even really begin to say what he wanted to say. Then we hear from Debbie and although everyone wants to hear from Debbie, (I mean come on she’s amazing!), we didn’t really get to hear much about her game and instead Jeff just asked her about how many jobs she had which we already knew the answer to, which was a lot! No one cares about her jobs, we care about how she contributed to the story the show, so ask her a question about her game, not about how many jobs she has. Before moving on to a preview for Survivor 33, we get a few quick words from Julia and Joe, that was probably the only part of the reunion show that was well done. Giving memorable enough characters a chance to speak for a brief ten to thirty seconds, is better than having them not speak at all, so cudos CBS, you did one thing right.
In the context of the whole reunion, Aubry was the only one who actually spoke about the game that she played and what she was able to take away from it. But she still had to do it, while comparing herself to somebody else, which is not what we the fans wanted to see at all.
Then, even though half the cast had not spoken, we move on to a preview about Survivor 33. But wait, before I move on to the preview of the next season I’ll actually do what Jeff and CBS should have done and at least give a shout out to those who did not speak. The following players did not speak one time at the reunion show even though there were clear questions Jeff could have asked them:
- Cydney – 4th place, was a massively important player, particularly in helping Michele win and was only eliminated because she couldn’t make fire. She also voted for Michele despite being seemingly tighter with Aubry.
- Nick – 10th place, had a big impact on the story of Michele and some of her best moments on the show.
- Neil – 11th place, Medically Evacuated and Voted off of the Jury, the first time Survivor had ever done a twist like this.
- Peter – 12th place. His arrogance allowed Tai to stay in the game longer and voting him off pre-merge could have been seen as a game-losing mistake for Aubry
- Anna – 13th place – Contributed to the story of Tai and to an extent, Aubry making it to the end
- Alecia – 14th place. Huge pre-merge player that CBS seemed to admire and was caught up in a controversy about Jason and Scott bullying her.
- Jennifer – 17th place. Was part of one of the most memorable tribal councils in the show’s history and had a bug in her ear for an entire night
The following players did not speak one at the reunion, and there probably wasn’t too much Jeff could have asked them.
- Liz – 16th place – Didn’t really contribute to the story, although Aubry was key in voting her off.
- Darnell – 18th place – First voted off, did not contribute to the story of the season.
Now on to the preview for Survivor 33. This season looks……HORRIBLE! Generation X vs. Millenials???? Who cares? You know the season is bad when all Jeff can say about it is that he loved the location. Of course he loved the location! It’s a beautiful island in Fiji! What’s not to like? Then when we get to the video, all of the people they showed in the preview were of white descent. I’m sure they had diverse characters on the cast so why does every single person they show have to be white and sound like a grumpy, stubborn American who is very set in their ways about why the other generation is worse than they are. It just looks really bad. Then Jeff says goodnight and literally runs off the stage to end the worst reunion show in Survivor history.
Overall this Survivor reunion show was a complete train-wreck and was a very disappointing way to end a very good season. Hopefully CBS and Jeff Probst can get their acts together for future Reunion shows and can go back to the days where everyone got to speak.