Survivor Rankings: Exile Island

21. Exile Island (Season 12)
Rating: 2.5/10

Now that my period is over, I’ve actually got some positive things to say about each season now. If you’re questioning the rating system, you’re not going to get a very rational explanation. I merely picked 2.5/10 for Exile Island (referenced in the future as EI) because I’ll watch it 2.5 times more than Redemption Island (referenced in the future as RI).

I know many of you love this season. But the reason why it automatically gets #21 is because it is the only season out of the first 21 where I didn’t care about coming back from a bathroom break in time before the commercials ended.

Issues I had with this season:

1) At first, four tribes of four divided by age and gender was a welcome change in format…but they only leave it like this for ONE round! I hate it when a tribe votes somebody out and the game format prevents them from being accountable for their actions. I mean, does voting out Tina over Cirie in round one REALLY benefit the tribe? Voting out Survivor MacGyver day three would be virtually unthinkable when you only have four people, but hey, if everyone is put on different tribes next round why should they care. Probably my 2nd biggest pet peeve of the season. On top of that, in the following round, Casaya loses but once again it didn’t matter who was voted out because Bruce would come in to replace their number and make everything even again. The game doesn’t even feel like it starts until episode three, and by that time, the momentum shifts to Casaya and La Mina pays for peaking too early into the season.

2) Those dang previews they aired all season. “A medical emergency will take somebody out of the game, but it won’t air for a month and a half, so when Bruce gets sick, the whole episode is one boring P.O.S. episode.” and “They’re like two battering rams! And see how it is Terry and Aras?! This means if you don’t hear me yell this line prior to a TC, Aras can’t be at risk because you know he has to stay!” Thanks production for spoiling any potential excitement you had post-merge.

3) Dan Barry’s elimination. It was promoted as “a TC like no other,” which naturally, you’d assume the almighty super duper punch-my-ticket-to-final-3-unless-I’m-the-worst-player-ever-and-a-recruit had to be used for it to be a unique TC. But nope, instead you know who goes home as soon as Casaya sends Sally DaltonRoss’WetDream Schumann to Exile. And now that their numbers are down, Casaya easily picks off La Mina post-merge until Bruce can’t poop and Terry immunity’s his way to the final 3.

4) The Final Two. I was in a very pro-La Mina and pro-Terry household. So we all were forced to cheer for Terry in the finale hoping Crazy Casaya wouldn’t take home the win. But the least endurance-like challenge in twelve seasons of Survivor took place, leaving Danielle as the winner of the challenge. She takes out Terry, and then everyone in my house talked and talked for the remainder of the episode until the reunion show where the guy from Kratt’s Creatures was declared the winner.

5) The final six consisted of Courtney, Shane, Cirie, Terry, Aras, and Danielle. The worst possible combination ended up in the final two.

6) The Idol. Everyone in my household recognized its flaw about ten minutes into episode one. We even figured out that if they had it where it was played after the votes were cast but before they were read, that it would make things much more interesting. Apologies to production for not getting the memo to them for two seasons. I mean, Terry merely had to hold it up as a shield anytime he lost immunity post-merge. It’s like claiming the Fast Forward in leg 4 or 5 and being taken straight to the pit stop of leg 12. Unfortunately, we’d have to endure another idol that takes you straight to the finish line. Bleh.

7) I felt extremely underwhelmed overall by the characters and the events that transpired throughout the season. When I re-watched it for the first time, I had no interest in digging it up anymore because I was waiting for that one moment that shoots up the excitement of a season…but it never came.

8) Terry’s hero persona was lost when he put relationships with spouses above anything else in the entire universe and diminishing anyone’s value who didn’t have that type of relationship as being “not worthy” of a trip from home. His inability to see Aras’ point AND insult it sent his stock plummeting and leaving me excited about nobody for the remainder of the game.

However, despite all of this complaining, there were things I liked about this season:

1) Austin Carty days 16-21. His “I was acting so well to throw the immunity that I felt I needed to tell you guys” and his secret scene on The Early Show where he created the first fake idol in Survivor history to show Danielle….but then explained the idol was a fake. *facepalm* So when someone asks you “Who created the first fake idol in Survivor history?” The answer is not Yau-Man, but instead Austin Carty. Too bad 90% of people didn’t see this moment and 90% of those who did see it probably have forgotten it.

2) Shane once it got down to seven people. At first, I hated Shane for almost quitting but instead booting my beloved Melinda. It took me a while to forgive, but when I got really bored with the season, he was probably the one factor that kept it entertaining. After I had forgiven Shane, his antics on a re-watch were freakin’ hilarious. The ending to the final five immunity is the scene I’ve watched the most in all of EI. Classic Shane.

3) No Stephenie for the first time in three seasons. Nobody whose guts annoyed me to near-death this season.

Unfortunately, nothing else to really add to this list.

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