Monday, June 18, 2007

Survivor All Stars -- Without the All Stars?

The latest rumor making the rounds is that following this fall's Survivor: China, a second edition of Survivor All Stars is on tap, featuring players from Seasons 9-15, or, castaways who have appeared since the last All Star edition.

On its face, I have no problem with the idea. Sure, many Survivor "purists" weren't thrilled with the first All Star edition, but I loved it. Sure, I could have done without seeing some of the Survivors again, but seeing the strategy of the game change, and the dynamic of players playing together who know each other, and have played the game with each other or watched others play (and thus were able to "study" up) was really fascinating. And it was the season that gave us Boston Rob and Amber, who I find immensely entertaining. Listening to the DVD commentaries from the Survivor: All Star season, including Rob and Amber discussing their game play, was great.

Yet, despite enjoying the first All Star edition, I think the second All Star version may be a disaster. Why? Because it's not really an "All Star" version.

So according to the reports, the "All Star" edition won't include any of the past winners. So, Tom Westman, one of the most physically dominating players ever and winner of Survivor Palau? Not there. Yul Kwon, one of the most strategic players ever and winner of Survivor Cook Islands? Absent. But Stephanie LaGrossa may return for a third try. I like Stephanie, I really do. And she probably deserves to be in an "All Star" edition, but how do you exclude Tom, Yul, and even Danni Boatwright (winner of Survivor Guatemala)?

Maybe people don't want to see Tom or Yul win another million dollars. And I'm all for giving other people a shot. But, this is supposed to be an "All Star" edition, so to not include the best players, well, then it's just the Major League Baseball All Star Game, and we all know how successful that game is at including the most deserving.

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