First impressions count on new ‘Survivor’
MSNBC has posted a new article previewing Survivor: Tocantins, talking about some of the already published information concerning how the game begins as well as some information about the geographical area and some interesting notes about contestant interaction which takes place before the game begins.
Age and other external characteristics could matter more than usual this season. As previews for “Survivor Tocantins” (pronounced “toe-can-cheens”) have revealed, the season begins on Feb. 12 with the contestants asked to make a decision based upon their first impressions of one another.
One promo says that “first impressions are everything,” while another insists that “the new survivors have not met each other. They have not communicated at all. And they must make a critical decision that will affect the next 39 days.”
Probst then says, “We’re going to have our first vote. One person from each tribe is not going to make this journey.”
The articles also talks about how the players interact even before the game starts, mostly nonverbally with body language, as communication is forbidden:
While it’s true the cast members have not spoken, it’s not exactly true that they “have not communicated at all.”
Contestants spend days together on location before the game begins, and may even share living spaces. During that time, they meet with producers and Probst so they know what to expect; attend “Survivor school,” where they learn about the location and its environment; get their official photos taken; and talk to members of the press who are on location.
During that time, the contestants are not allowed to talk, strategize, or otherwise connect with each other, but some do communicate via nonverbal communication, from smiles to eye rolls. And the smart players begin to read their fellow competitors’ behavior, from the clothes they wear to the way they choose to spend their time.
Those first impressions often spill over into the game, as initial alliances have been formed based upon eye contact, or just the insight gained when one player notices which book another player is reading. The contestants even see each other during the final stages of casting, when they’re staying in a hotel, so they have a lot of material to work with.
With the first-episode twist, “Survivor” is finally acknowledging that the game begins long before the cameras turn on.
Of course, first impressions are often wrong. None of that matters if a tribe can’t pull together long enough to win a challenge. And twists the producers interject, never mind the reality of the players’ personalities, are truly what dictate the course of the game.
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