How Boring was Survivor’s “Million Dollar Decision”?

The tribes meet for a merge feast on Survivor.
Survivor: San Juan Del Sur (Photo: Monty Brinton / CBS)

It’s merge time on Survivor: San Juan Del Zzzzzzz as Hunahpu and Coyopa combine to form…#Huyopa. Ef Ef Ess, show.

Normally the merge is the most exciting time on Survivor. It’s the one time on the show that cleavage doesn’t make you a dirty old man as the single tribe can split over all sorts of party lines. Gender, original tribe formations, revised tribe formations, couple status (a first thanks to this season’s format), and general alliance-building can create the shift in power that will define the remainder of the game.

What better way to celebrate this development than with food. Lots of food. And lots of footage of people eating food. As the Survivor photo page tells the story, most of last’s night episode involved watching food. My day job involves event planning and the marketing of such events. One of the first things you learn in that line of work: photos of people eating are really effing boring. Video isn’t that much interesting either.

The central conflict of this week’s episode involved Julie hoarding trail mix after the merge feast. See, the people who signed up to be on a show about being on a deserted island/landscape for 39 days are hungry and can’t fathom the idea that their tanks may be 1/4 full. I don’t condone Julie’s hoarding, but when the prevailing story arc of the season is “I could really go for a nosh right now,” I’m not exactly interested in choosing up either side. This conflict does touch on Julie’s waffling1 last week about staying in the game or not. Eventually she decides to leave the game and subject herself to Probst-shaming. I think even he is over it this season.

Other random bits from the episode:

  • Jeremy is trying to form a singles alliance, but needs help from Missy (and Baylor) and power couple Jon and Jaclyn. Even if Jeremy’s plan works, when it gets down to seven the couples can easily remove the singles. I’m not sure Jeremy has thought that far ahead, but it would hold up my prediction that he finishes in seventh place.
  • Josh does an excellent job of parroting Probst and saying exactly what the host wants to hear. Either Josh is a Teacher’s Pet black belt or he has tapped into a deeper level of gameplay.
  • Keith is one win in to being declared this season’s Challenge Monster.
  • There are still 11 people on this tribe because they decided not to do Tribal Council after Julie quit. This season of Survivor will never end.

Next week on Survivor: San Juan Del Zzzzzz: Jon and Jaclyn weigh their options. Jaclyn is not a fan of the sexism on the tribe, which makes me happier she’s my preseason pick to win.

  1. Mmm, waffles. Let’s have an episode about THAT.  

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About Mike McComb 656 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv