It’s been three and a half months since Survivor: Kaoh Rong ended, but thanks to my inhumanly good memory, I think I can knock out a review of the season without having to go back and rewatch it. While the season had a pretty weak ending, I still enjoyed Kaoh Rong regardless. Of course, I only realized I still liked this season the day after the finale, because I, like most fans, couldn’t accept the fact that Aubry lost to a person who never spent more than a minute in the limelight until the last three days. I’m not saying I hate Michele; you’ll hear my opinion about her later on.
So the first thing I have to bring up is, of course, the record-setting three medical evacuations. There, I brought it up. I don’t want to joke about sad things, so now let’s move onto everything else. Kaoh Rong brought back both the casting gimmick and especially the Special Powers Idol from Cagayan, as well as the Double Vote twist from Worlds Apart. You’d think that would be redundant as hell, but surprisingly, neither the Double Vote nor the Special Idol had any effect this season. In fact, none of the HIIs were used at all, which I think is a first for the series. There was one twist, however, that unfortunately did come into fruition- voting out a member of the Jury. That was such a horrible idea, it completely ruins the point of having a Jury. I don’t care who tries to justify that twist to me. Don’t do it again, CBS!
As much as I loved and supported Tai, it didn’t take long for me to realize he wasn’t going to get a single vote. I was rooting for Aubry and Cydney. While I was personally leaning more towards Aubry, who was being built up as a great strategic/social underdog all season, I felt that one of these two had to win. But less than an hour into the finale, I was suddenly fearing that Michele was going to win it all, which she did. As much as that pissed me off in the heat of the moment, I couldn’t blame the jurors for their decision. Survivor’s a social game, after all. But why was it this decision that angered us? I didn’t realize it at first, but there was another season that had this exact same result.
Remember that trick the editors pulled in the Amazon where it looked like Matt von Ertfelda, who was a Survivor genius for a total of nine days, was going to win the game? That’s what’s happening now. Michele’s portrayal was much different than Jenna’s, but her edit’s not the problem here. I don’t recall one moment before the finale episode that either painted Aubry in a negative light or shown some of the alleged flaws in her social game. Now, if she was given a clear FTC loser edit like Russell or Sach, both of whom lost to an underground social threat, we wouldn’t have minded as much. But Aubry was just too good, apparently. To clarify, I don’t have anything against Michele, but her story arc could’ve been so much better.
Still a good season overall, but it’s hard to get past the fact that we were baited by the editors.