Survivor Thoughts on Keeping Kosher, Loved Ones and Tony
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Adam’s Podium Idol
Before we get too far into the meat of this newsletter, I do need to talk about Adam trying to play the “podium idol”. That was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on TV. I think the producers have also begun to view Adam as comedic relief as well given his edit this season. They’ve shown multiple instances of him being a goof-ball, from being unable to place his torch correctly, to his performance in the coconut challenge this week . That being said, the podium idol doesn’t seem as outlandish as it did at first. Adam replied to this tweet, indicating it’s where he got the idea from. In Survivor South Africa, they did in fact hide an idol at Tribal.
It makes sense from Adam’s perspective that the producers of the American version would draw inspiration from international versions. What’s going to be really interesting is if they decide to follow suit in subsequent seasons. If I were a contestant from now own, I would try to play the podium at Every. Single. Tribal.
Passover was at the beginning of this month. Naturally, the holiday brings a lot of questions from gentiles about what gluten products count as Kosher for Passover. This year, a passionate friend of mine went on a considerable rant arguing that tortillas should be Kosher. That led us to texting about the complications associated with following a set of laws written over 2,000 years ago.
Friend: “My larger point with the kosher food is that there is a clear opportunity to revisit what’s actually spelled out in the rules vs what’s just tradition, and revise modern behavior accordingly to those who want to keep the rules, not just tradition for traditions sake.”
Me: Read your last line. That’s literally Judaism 101.
This got me wondering about a couple things. First, would it be possible to keep Kosher on Survivor? Has anyone ever tried? A number of Jews have played, most notably Ethan Zohn. He actually came to my local JCC in Charleston, S.C. around 2008 to talk about his non-profit, Grassroot Soccer. However, as far I can tell, no observant Jews have ever played. That being said, if you stick to rice and coconuts and avoid any shark or squid, I do believe it would be pretty easy to keep Kosher on Survivor. As long as you didn’t go over Passover since rice is not K4P. But that’s also assuming your tribe doesn’t win a reward from Applebee’s.
The second thing it reminded me of strict constitutionalism. In general, I find it pretty absurd to follow immutable laws, but not when it comes to Survivor. The game has gone a little out of hand in regards to the number of advantages in play plus Fire Tokens plus the Edge of Extinction. If you have no idea what new types of advantages are out there, it makes it extremely difficult to strategize effectively. Even having too many idols can be problematic, as evidenced by Cirie’s elimination after receiving ZERO votes.
The Loved Ones episode is always one of the most anticipated episodes of the season. It was great to see all the legends with their families. Watching it under the quarantine, did in fact “hit different.” Living on the opposite side of the country from my family has never been ideal, but I’ve always more or less known the next time I would see them. Right now, I truly have no idea when that next time that will be. Until then, I’ll just have to keep watching this group hug.
Obviously Tony is the front-runner right now, so I don’t feel the need to go too much into it. I’d rather talk about those surrounding him. Sophie and Kim were definitely his biggest threats (except for potentially Jeremy). While Sophie was technically part of his alliance, she’s a smart player, and I believe would have turned on him eventually. Not to mention that she could’ve flipped Sarah. While we’re talking about Sophie, I think it’s extremely important to bring up the funniest Survivor reward of all-time, a screening of Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill. Straight insanity.
Imagine you’re on a stranded island, bored as fuck. And someone comes to you and says, “we got something great for you… you’re gonna love it.” It’s a screener of Adam Sandler’s Blockbuster Film, Jack and Jill.
Watching this week’s episode was tough. Kim had become my favorite player left in the game. Her read was unparalleled, and it’s kind of ridiculous that she even had to persuade the rest of the tribe to target Tony. That’s why watching her choose the cookies and peanut butter was so tough. Of course it’s easy to arm-chair quarterback, but I think Parvati summed it up best.
I do wonder if she would’ve stayed in the competition if she was in direct competition with Tony for immunity. Either way, I definitely got the sense that she regretted it pretty quickly. At least she’s able to find the humor in it months later.
Watching 3 people drop for a reward was strikingly contrasted with Boston Rob completing the coconut challenge even after he became ineligible for the fire tokens. But that’s been a problem with a large part of the season… all of the more interesting players are on the Edge. In this new age of survivor, it feels like it’s almost impossible to win as a Lion, as Tony would put it. The way this season is shaping up, I think there’s a significant chance we get Michele, Nick and Denise in the final three. I started off as a Michele defender, but I’ve been confused by a LOT of her moves this season. Why did she give the 50/50 coin to Jeremy and then write his name down? I guess she’s trying to play both sides, but I’m not sure it makes a ton of sense.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Tony, but I find myself always getting frustrated whenever there’s a clear front-runner and the rest of the tribe isn’t gunning for them. That’s why I loved Kim so much. I can’t really explain it because Tony is definitely playing an amazing game, but I am definitely rooting for the rest of them coming to their senses. Someone else just needs to win a challenge first.