Survivor: Cook Island Finale Where Contestants Were Divided By Race

I criticized Survivor: Cook Islands a few months ago when it was announced the teams would be segregated by race.

Since Desperate Housewives was a repeat last night, I watched the two hour finale and was surprised how into it I got. (I even bought a coconut to eat, story of how abysmal that turned out here.) The four finalists were all minorities. It was a great show.

After Yul won (I would have picked Ozzy)all the contestants were brought out and there was a discussion of the racial division theme. Almost all said they played the game based on loyalty to individual members they bonded with, rather than on their ethnic backgrounds.

Yul is a Stanford and Harvard law graduate who once worked as a legislative aide to Sen. Joe Lieberman. Ozzy is a 25 year old waiter and surfer.

So, back to the original question, was Survivor's initial race-division theme terrible?

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    Small correction (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Angrybat on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 02:34:10 PM EST
    The winner's name was "Yul," not "Kyl."

    And I never thought the racial theme was intrinsically offensive, probably because it was such an obvious attempt to get buzz for an ailing franchise.  The racial division only lasted, what, like 3 episodes?

    Thanks, I'll Correct It (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 02:37:32 PM EST
    Much appreciated.

    I agree with Angrybat (none / 0) (#3)
    by Maggie Mae on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 04:17:53 PM EST
    It was planned, obsolescent, hype.  Since the entire show was already finished, taped and in the can, before it even aired, and the fact that they knew the segregation was only going to last 2 or 3 episodes, it was just hype to get people to talk about and watch the show.  Frankly, I was more offended that they knew it was going to end quickly, yet still promoted it like it would continue throughout the season, than I was that they did it, in the first place.  

    Survivor (none / 0) (#4)
    by Kewalo on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 06:25:37 PM EST
    We've been a "Survivor" family from the first episode. I didn't consider this years program at all racist. Isn't it a fact of life that usually people of the same race hang together? So, I thought the interaction and the way it finally turned out was a great! We were rooting for Yul.

    I didn't like the new ending having three contestants rather then two. I thought it was humiliating for the third person and completely unnecessary as it was obvious that one of the men would win.

    Racial angle (none / 0) (#5)
    by Pancho on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 06:43:43 PM EST
    Almost all said they played the game based on loyalty to individual members they bonded with, rather than on their ethnic backgrounds.

    During the final four Sandra made a comment about "black, brown and yellow" when referencing her desire to vote out the white guy.

    I'm not a huge survivor fan (none / 0) (#6)
    by peacrevol on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 09:15:35 AM EST
    ....so I didnt watch any of that season. But the idea of dividing the teams based on race actually seems like a pretty good idea that might tell us something about how a sample of our population views racial differences. Of course, it's survivor and not real life where green is the only color that really matters. But it seems that if we look at those few episodes with a critical eye and try to see the differences between them and other seasons of the show where race was not considered but a diverse group still existed, we can learn something about how they all treated one another and see how apparent race issues affected things. The sample is small and most likely not representative of the entire population of the US, but it's still a pretty entertaining idea from which we might could learn something.

    was the theme terrible? (none / 0) (#7)
    by scribe on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 11:55:29 AM EST
    Who knows, and who cares.

    My paper today says the finale episode was the lowest rated finale of "Survivor", ever.  16-some million watched this episode, down from 17-some last spring and 21-some a year ago.

    In other words, this series is getting long in the tooth and will soon find its way into being only reruns on Versus (between bull-riding, shark-fishing and hockey).

    FWIW, I never watched an episode all the way through.  Silly and contrived, IMHO.