Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Survivor 13 Adds Major Racial Element

Are the new people Surivors more tan than usual?

CBS's hit series Survivor: Cook Islands is entering it's 13th season, and this time changed up in a major way...they'll begin the season dividing the tribes by race.

Normally, there are 16 contestants when the season begins, this year there are 20.

Traditionally they begin the season in 2 tribes that have gotten mixed and mingled through various random ways. The 2 tribes at the begin are sometimes created randomly or picked by the producers. Last season on Surivor: Exile Island the show began with 4 tribes of 4 divided older men, younger men, older women, younger women.

This year they will begin with 4 tribes of 5 people divided by race. The four groups (CBS's terms) are white, African-American, Asian-American, and Hispanic.

These teams will probably get intermingled and mixed early on, but surely this is a bold move to create stir and pick up viewers.

What are people saying?

"white America will learn the occult secret of how the little-understood Hispanics make fuego in their secretive barrios" -- Shakespeare's Sister

"I can't believe how bad of an idea this is. Please, all you people out there still watching Survivor: give this one a miss." --Feminist Engineer

"the term, the 'white tribe,' really makes me uncomfortable. are they serious?" --blac(k)ademic

"I wish I could have been a fly on the wall in the CBS board room when it was decided" --Kimberly Ann

"what I'm really looking forward to - the following season of Survivor will feature teams consisting respectively of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. It will be called Survivor: Holy Land, and the winner gets Lebanon." --Rod

"I'll watch to see how the Asians do and also so I can yell at them on television when they do something stupid..." --The Hyphenator!

"However, I will make a prediction. The Hispanics will win. Why? They'll do the challenges that the other tribes just won't do." --Rick Moore

"I guess they are desperate for attention. We're supposed to talk about them. Should we fall for it?" --Althouse

"If the folks at CBS want to use Survivor to talk about race, they should figure out how Black people manage to survive with inadequate health care, diminishing job opportunities, poor schools, and institutionalized racism." --Marc Lamont Hill

"...looking at the Olympics, you'd have to say the white tribe would be the best swimmers." --Rush Limbaugh

Pictured above are Sundra, Cao Boi, & Ozzy.

Survivor: Cook Islands premiers premiering Thursday, September 14.

(Thanks to Anthony & my mom for sending me e-mail about this today)

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Sher said...

Rod's comment is by far my favorite!

Marilyn P. Sushi said...

Apparently there is not enough ethnic folks on television.

Paula said...

Oi. Oh, brother! I'm shaking my head in disbelief.

I'm with the guy who wants to see the religions go toe-to-toe.


Jon said...

Grete and I were very surprised to see the previews for this this week. Don't really know what to think of it yet...

the kevin scurry blog said...

The son-of-a-bitch of it is that "Survivor" has been that rare show where race/sexuality is reliably absent for the most part. Why make a deal of it now, especially in such an ostentatious fashion?

Unknown said...

As a faithful Survivor fan (I haven't missed an episode since the first season), I look forward to what the producers will do with this. It may be a little shocking to call out teams by race, but it will likely lead to some good discussion and insight on the show.

In the past, when the producers have chosen to segregate the Survivors - whether is was male/female in Season 6 or young/old last season - it was done in a lighthearted way, with great results. In Season 6, the women, assuming (correctly) that the men thought that they would be easy to beat, rallied and destroyed the men. In Season 12, again the perceived underdogs (both Older Men and Older Women) rallied to prove that they weren't to be underestimated.

We could see that again with this season. Perhaps our views on the strengths and/or weaknesses of these group will be challenged and changed. Or maybe not. It is just television, after all.

Anonymous said...

Sorry William but I don't agree with Survivor being absent of sexuality. Ive seen many bathings in the river and stripping for chocolate.

Rod's statement cracked me up!

Here's a thought...if they want to add more people of color to television just do it. You don't have to create a special season to accomplish this. What scares me the most is it won't be thought provoking television, but just reinforcing stereotypes and generalizations of people. I will probably watch the first couple of episodes to see how they spins this and if they can pull it off.