Considering we are taking a hiatus from Survivor until the middle of February, I decided that I would remind everyone of some of the past seasons’ greatest moments and memorable characters, as well as provide some insight on what I believe were the best moves from each season. To start this new series off correctly, I am going back to where it all began.
The Southeast Asian island of Borneo is the third largest island in the world and was the host of Survivor back in 2000. Survivor: Borneo began filming on March 13, 2000, wrapped on April 20th, and then aired later that year. The finale of Survivor: Borneo garnered approximately 52 million viewers, which is more than any episode of the show to date.
The season began with two tribes of eight. The orange tribe, named “Tagi,” consisted of: Dirk Been, Rudy Boesch, Sonja Christopher, Richard Hatch, Susan Hawk, Sean Kenniff, Stacey Stillman, and Kelly Wiglesworth. The yellow tribe was called “Pagong,” and it consisted of: B.B. Anderson, Greg Buis, Gretchen Cordy, Ramona Gray, Colleen Haskell, Joel Klug, Jenna Lewis, and Gervase Peterson. The merged tribe’s color was green. The merged tribed was known as “Rattana,” which referred to the abundance of trees that grew on the island. The people to make it to the merge were: Gretchen, Greg, Jenna, Colleen, Gervase, Richard, Susan, Rudy, Sean, and Kelly. The term “Pagonging” was coined because of the Tagi tribe’s ability to completely wipe out the members of the original Pagong tribe, one by one. Richard Hatch, arguably the biggest Survivor villain of all time went on to win the original season.
There are innumerable reasons why Richard went on to win this season. Below are just a few things that stuck out to me regarding why I believe he became the show’s first sole survivor:
1. Richard wanted to prove to be a valuable member of the tribe, so he went fishing every day for the tribe.
2. Despite the fact that Richard talked negatively about his competition in personal interviews, he was very respectful of people’s ideas and their emotions. He was the first player to play the perfect social game.
3. He knew how to work as a team, but always knew that it was an individual game.
4. Other than Russell, he is probably the most hated person to ever play the game. He didn’t care about how the media was going to depict him; he just did whatever was necessary in order to win.
5. He laughed at some of the other competitor’s stances on the “ethical/moral” dilemmas that they thought they would put themselves in by joining an alliance. He considers himself a moral person, but that’s not what the game is about.
6. When the tribes merged, Richard was the only person from the original Tagi tribe to greet the members of Pagong, thus establishing an early relationship with the other players.
Other tidbits of information that I learned:
1. Ramona mentioned that the first two days are crucial for building relationships (which she failed to do, which was why she was the second person booted from her tribe).
2. If you know the tribes are getting ready to merge, why not sacrifice a strong competitor? That way you won’t have to worry about him/her winning individual immunity challenges.
3. Also, the more people from your original tribe on the jury, the better. Sometimes it would be good to blindside some “friends.”
|Contestant||Original Tribe||Merged Tribe||Finish|
63, Walnut Creek, California
|Tagi||1st Voted Out
64, Mission Hills, Kansas
|Pagong||2nd Voted Out
27, San Francisco, California
|Tagi||3rd Voted Out
29, Edison, New Jersey
|Pagong||4th Voted Out
23, Spring Green, Wisconsin
|Tagi||5th Voted Out
27, Sherwood, Arkansas
|Pagong||6th Voted Out
38, Clarksville, Tennessee
|Pagong||Rattana||7th Voted Out
24, Gold Hill, Colorado
|Pagong||8th Voted Out
1st Jury Member
22, Franklin, New Hampshire
|Pagong||9th Voted Out
2nd Jury Member
30, Willingboro, New Jersey
|Pagong||10th Voted Out
3rd Jury Member
23, Miami, Florida
|Pagong||11th Voted Out
4th Jury Member
30, Brooklyn, New York
|Tagi||12th Voted Out
5th Jury Member
38, Palmyra, Wisconsin
|Tagi||13th Voted Out
6th Jury Member
72, Richmond, Virginia
|Tagi||14th Voted Out
7th Jury Member
22, Las Vegas, Nevada
39, Middletown, Rhode Island
Kelly was the runner-up. I do believe that she played an amazing game. She won the last five individual immunity challenges. She also established very personal relationships with members of both tribes. The only thing that she failed at was letting her morals get in the way of making the big moves that needed to be made.
As aforementioned, Richard Hatch outwitted, outlasted, and outplayed everyone else in the 39 day tryst. He was awarded the million dollar prize and title of sole survivor in a 4-3 vote against Kelly. Richard, Jenna, Susan, and Rudy were all called back for the All Stars edition that took place during season eight. Colleen Haskell was also asked back, but she declined the offer. I am not sure why Kelly was never asked back because she played a nearly perfect game, as well. Hatch was almost recruited for Heroes vs. Villains but he was still under house arrest for the tax evasion scandal he was involved in after winning his initial million dollar prize. Hatch was also inducted into the illustrious Survivor “Hall of Fame” in 2010. He continues to be one of the most prominent and referenced figures to ever play the game.
Survivor: Borneo was the surprise summer hit of 2000 and went on to be one of the top shows of that year. It is simply incredible how the new generation of players still use some of the original’s trade secrets in order to play the perfect game. The idea of “Pagonging” the other tribe, building those initial alliances/relationships, as well as fighting inner demons in regards to moral obligations, are all elements of the game that we watch every season. We will get to see these factors come into play yet again when my favorite reality TV show returns to the Philippines in February.
The second edition of this “Throwback Thursday” series will probably take place some time after Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorites goes off the air in May. At that point, I will be focusing on the Australian Outback which provided us with one of the biggest heroes in Survivor history, as well as the show’s original villainess. Until next time. . .
Follow @tvfishbowl for your Television, Movie, Celebrity, Pop Culture, and Gossip scoop— TVFishBowl (@TVFishBowl) April 9, 2013