Well, look at that, Malcolm made it to day 12. For a Pat Ferrucci Winner Pick, that’s pretty damn amazing. Maybe next season my pick will get to day 15. A boy can only dream.
But as we all mourn the loss of a great, entertaining player, let me just say that you should put me in the camp of those who believe this twist was both supremely entertaining and totally crappy.
Let me explain.
First, before we talk theory, this episode stunk because you could overtly see the maneuvers of producers. What do I mean? Well, we’ll talk about the tribal council soon, but even Tai’s idol just felt wrong. Troyzan finds his at a challenge. That makes sense, even though the most vulnerable player in the game found it. But Tai finding one at camp? Did that feel right to anyone? It sure didn’t to me.
I know that a lot of fans and recappers mention conspiracy theories and complain about producers or Probst interfering with the game. I’m not that kind of guy. You’ve never read a column where I did that before. I just felt like this episode was too much. None of it seemed organic. The tribal council was a huge setup that wasn’t fair to the players. And, especially, Tai and that idol felt so planned and unfair.
But we’re here for theory. So let’s do that.
Very seldom is there a theory that fits perfectly with an episode. That sure happened this week. Let’s talk the theory of disruptive innovation.
Developed by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, the theory of disruptive innovation fundamentally describes, according to Christensen, “how technology-induced changes made by innovators can not only significantly affect a market, but so thoroughly disrupt it that its leaders are threatened or, even, toppled.”
We’re not talking about technology here, but changes to the game. And this is why I didn’t particularly care for this episode.
But let me explain the theory first. Let’s think about the journalism industry. The internet would be considered a disruptive innovation.
Prior to the internet, to run a news outlet, you needed to own a printing press (newspaper) or have a television license (broadcast). Both of these cost tons of money and were only available to the richest of rich people. Then then internet comes along and someone can make a Buzzfeed or something like it without owning a printing press or getting a television license.
This changed everything.
All of a sudden, manufacturing and distribution and, in the case of broadcast, incredibly expensive equipment weren’t necessary. So smaller more deft organizations could produce journalism without the ridiculous overhead. That’s an innovation that not affects a market significantly, but topples market leaders who aren’t nimble enough to adapt.
The tribal council twist wasn’t just like any ol’ normal twist. It was such a big innovation that it didn’t just significantly affect the game, but totally disrupted it. We’ve seen sort of unfair vote offs in the past. But nothing like this. Malcolm played a good game so far. He did not have anything to fear at a normal tribal.
This innovation completely changed the game. It disrupted everything because 33 prior seasons of strategy no longer mattered. This was totally different. In fact, it was, as I mentioned, too disruptive for me.
We love Survivor because the game seems inherently fair. It’s about making sound decisions. Malcolm could have done anything. It wouldn’t have mattered. People playing good games shouldn’t be penalized. That’s what happened here and I didn’t like it.
Anyway, we barely saw anything from Tavua this week, but I’m still going to try to have some thoughts about every remaining player. Here they are:
Here’s hoping the rest of the season combines the excitement of this episode without the, um, intrusions of producers. I know some aren’t thinking much of Game Changers so far, but, to me, it’s been pretty entertaining. It might not last, but let’s hope we talk next week and I’m still optimistic.
Pat Ferrucci started watching Survivor when episode two of Borneo first aired. He's seen every episode since. Besides recapping here, he'll be live-tweeting this season from the Mountain Time Zone. Why? Because nobody cares about the Mountain Time Zone except when they want to ski. Follow him @patferrucci for Survivor stuff and tweets about anything and everything that enters his feeble mind.