Survivor: Nicaragua, “Pulling the Trigger”

I haven’t seen every season of Survivor, but I’ve definitely seen more than half of its 21 seasons. I know how the program operates, what kinds of people it likes to cast, etc. With that familiarity with the series and its history, let me just say this: The castaways on Survivor: Nicaragua are, by far, the most annoying, unintelligent and awful group of individuals ever brought together in Jeff Probst’s sight. These people suck. Hard.

In the mix of castaways, it’s fine to have a handful of mean asshats who like to be disruptive, crude and generally terrible to those around them. It’s fine to have a few idiots who lack the self-awareness to stop them from ranting about uncomfortable topics or sentiments. And it’s fine to have some harmless, but ultimately annoying people who just don’t shut up with the stereotypical Survivor rhetoric.

But the Nicaragua cast is completely full of these three kinds of people. Four episodes in, it’s damn near impossible to find someone to like or even root for, particularly with Jimmy Johnson out of the picture. The general un-likability of this group makes me wonder if they decided to bring JJ in after casting was supposedly done just to save the production so viewers would have someone to be invested in. Unfortunately, the oldies crew voted out the coach and now we’re left with a batch of screwballs, wannabe schemers, assholes and harmless fools.

So let me ask this question: How do you watch Survivor when you hate all the people in the cast? This isn’t like some VH1 reality series when hating all the people is part of the fun. There has to be someone to root for. The season tried to convince us that there were people to root for by dividing the tribes up by age, but the elder castaways quickly flushed any empathy down the toilet with their bickering and generally annoying attempts at scheming. Meanwhile, we are already designed to hate the younger tribe and no one there has done anything to convince us otherwise, aside from maybe Kelly, but then it’s hard not to root for someone with prosthetic (perhaps she was a late addition like JJ too!).

There is something to be said for watching a program full of awful people and that’s why people watch most reality TV. But this is Survivor damnit! It’s not supposed to be like this. Should I just suck it up and hope some of the lesser-shown contestants end up being better people than I think right now or is it time to cut and run with this season?

Finally, if we combine the issues with the cast and the failed (up to this point) experiment of dividing the cast by age, this has to be the worst season of Survivor ever, right? Again, I haven’t seen every season, but this one shines out brighter with its sucking more than any season I’ve watched. Ugh. What do you folks think?


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