I've been watching some past, classic seasons of Survivor lately, my favorites are the R. Hantz, Parvatti seasons, and then the seasons of the last few years, not including this last season, which had some great moments but overall was only meh. This is the only "Reality Show" I watch. I've tried others, including many that have lifted the format, but they pale in comparison. I don't know, but was Survivor the originator of things such as voting off players, teams (tribes), challenges, immunity, alliances? If so, that's pretty impressive considering how many shows have copied that format in some way. Probst likes to call the game "a great social experiment" and I think that's more than just hype. There are some real complexities to the game that make it fascinating, the central one being that there is both the social and strategic game, which any fan will know is brought up in player discussions throughout every season when discussing the jury. The most obvious example of the importance and the difference in the two is illustrated by Hantz. Without a doubt one of the greatest strategic players of the game, he never won because he alienated so many of his fellow players, to the extent that, IIRC, he didn't even get a single vote his second season. In that reunion ep he said this was a "flaw in the game", that the viewers should have a portion of the vote. His point was that the jury was voting out of resentment, not an appreciation of a game well-played. Is his point valid? Well, yes and no. Yes, because w/o a doubt there are jury members that are bitter at being voted out by those they trusted - or even those they never trusted - and certainly this is the reason for their vote. Or maybe they simply didn't like the person for whatever reason. These are human beings, after all, nobody says they're going to be logical, unemotional, or - most importantly - even fair. OTOH, no, his point is misguided, because there really aren't two central aspects to the game - strategy and social - there is only one, which is the social. Strategy must be a part of the social game. The best players - for instance Boston Rob in his 3rd season or Parvatti in her 2nd or Wendell in this latest season imho - are able to be obviously dominant players who lead and manipulate while also cooperating with others when need be, or at least giving that appearance. (Of course, there is also a combination of both luck and skill, as in the finding of HII's, along with the smart use of those idols. Or the winning of challenges. But these are just more aspects of the game that contribute to its complexity.) These winners played strategically within their social game. They were able to find a balance between the two and if you listen to their "confessions" their strategic game is always being tempered by their social game because they know the latter is imperative to get the votes. I'm certainly no authority on Survivor, have there been abrasive players that won? In the mode of Hantz? If so, I don't think there could be many of them. There will always be aberrations, but unless the strategic game serves as a component of the larger social game (and is skillfully executed) the chances of coming out on top are low. I don't know, maybe this is obvious to fans of the show, I'm not saying it's not, just that it's interesting in how people relate to each other in difficult physical, psychological and emotional conditions. I was disappointed in this latest season because I found what was happening so obvious - conspicuously dominant players whom every other player should have known w/o doubt that they could not win against and that should have been taken out w/o question. Have these so-called "SuperFans" actually learned nothing? Re-watching these earlier seasons, I also see the (now, to moi) obvious - Boston Rob? WHAT? You let this guy play on and on? There are certain unwritten rules in Survivor: Don't draw undue attention to yourself, especially early on. Don't be abrasive. Don't get too "strategic" too early into the game or be too obvious about it deeper into the game. And so on. How 'bout: As soon as a dominant player emerges post-merge, start working on how to get rid of them. Of course there's the danger - again, a wonderful complexity of the game - that if you go against the leader you're putting a big bright target on your forehead so it must be weighed against getting a little deeper into the game, at whatever cost now. Obviously the problem is getting others to go along. Here the argument should always be, and this should be the primary question for all players, "WHOM CAN I WIN AGAINST?". They will counter with "He will take me further, to the final 543... And I'll make my move later." How much later is too late? is the question. (And then there are those inferior players who actually think they can win against a much more dominant player, which in some cases may be reasonable, but not often.) Popularity together with dominance should be the red flags to which every player should be on the highest alert. Float, yes, but not so long that it sinks you.