It looks like the elite club of "medically evacuated" Survivors is about to grow by one, according to this week's preview. Yes, that's right, joining Colton Cumbie, Kourtney Moon, Russell Swan, Mike Borassi, Joe Dowdle, James Clement, Gary "Papa Smurf" Stritesky and Bruce Kanegai, Jonathan Penner and Michael Skupin (the 10 previous players removed from the game following an injury or illness) will be somebody from Survivor: Caramoan.
Episode 4 – “Kill or Be Killed” - WHEN A MEDICAL EMERGENCY STRIKES, ONE CASTAWAY’S ABILITY TO PLAY THE GAME IS IN DANGER, on "SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN – FANS VS. FAVORITES," WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6. After suffering a medical emergency, one Castaway’s ability to play the game is in danger, on SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN – FANS vs. FAVORITES, Wednesday, March 6 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Analysis. So the big question is: Will this injury impact the Fans or the Favorites? The Fans seem to go from bad to worse, but there have been no real signs of anyone having a tough time physically. Over at the Favorites camp, only Cochran's sunburn has been a storyline thus far. I don't foresee the injured Survivor coming from the Favorites tribe (just a guess), but we never know how producers will treat the injury. Will the removal of said player take the place of a Tribal Council, or will they use the injury as an opportune time for a double-elimination episode?
I never like medical evacuations on Survivor, more than for the obvious reason that I don't take pleasure in seeing anyone get hurt. But entertainment-wise, it stops any and all momentum. We are reminded that we are watching a real situation, with real people, which is great, but I'd rather be focusing on the strategic manipulations and the social interactions between players. Dating back to when Skupin was removed in Season 2, there is also an unfair vibe that an injury casts over the entire season...an "X factor" that thwarts the integrity of what is to follow. Take the season where the villainous Colton was removed following a stomach illness. Yes Kim went on to win - and is regarded as one of the strongest female winners ever - yes most wonder in futility how the show would have played out had Colton not succumbed to illness.
There are always "what ifs" on Survivor, but when factors outside of the game dictate how the game ends up going, it is always disappointing. Of course, some would say that injuries are not at all "outside of the game" factors, as...well...the name and purpose of the show after all is to be a "Survivor," with one third of the show's mantra being to "outlast." It's just that, for me, I've always been more of an "outwit, outplay" guy.
If the injury does befall the Fans, they will be down two members from the Favorites tribe and will desperately need to rebound. If a Favorite boards that medical boat, it could just be the boost that the Fans need to crawl their way back into competition.
This is Survivor after all, so perhaps all of this is a ruse and there will be no injury at all. But don't count on it: Audio used in the promo suggests that the medical staff specifically tells a player that they recommend they leave the game.
If we are forced to think outside of the game this week, then let's do so: Here's hoping that the injury is not a serious one.
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What are your thoughts on tonight's episode? Will it be a Fan or a Favorite who is injured? Post your thoughts below! See you after the show!