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Pop CultureMay 8, 2017

The tribe has spoken: The Survivor NZ voting papers are simply too crisp


Our superfan think tank weighs in following the premiere of Survivor New Zealand on TVNZ 2 last night. 

Luke Harries on the voting paper scandal

We need to talk about the paper.

During the inaugural tribal council of Survivor New Zealand, I noticed something seemed off and it wasn’t the rotten papaya. I realised what had been bugging me: the voting papers were crisp, clean and decidedly not distressed enough for the gritty rituals of Survivor.

Did Matt Chisholm manage to find the world’s most remote Warehouse Stationery out on the coast of Nicaragua? I think so.

It’s a tiny detail I know I’m really nit-picking here but I really wish they had busted out a bowl of cold coffee and a Bic lighter to give the paper that authentic children’s pirate party look that Survivor fans have come to know and love.  

Paper aside, the first episode of Survivor New Zealand had me totally shook. I can’t wait to see Hannah slay the rest of them out on Redemption Island.

Lucy Zee asks: does a pinky promise mean fucking nothing anymore?

It was never said directly, but we all knew why Hannah was eliminated her tribe thought she was too fat to compete in Survivor.

Nevermind that she went IN on that sand and dug her hands raw for the first challenge. Ignore the fact she speared a juicy little crab for dinner, Tom Hanks in Castaway style. Forget that she was lifting boulders the size of Dr. TK Samuel’s ego. Who cares that she was strong, she was funny and she was a team player.

But please, keep on the controlling, casually sexist geriatric. How about the girl who got sick on the first day? You know the knife-returning, untrustworthy one? The one who pinky promised Hannah they were in an alliance the most sacred of all promises. A pinky promise made, sealed and then broken on camera and aired on national broadcast television.

Just like any good reality TV show though, the twist was that Hannah came back, fought for and won her spot on Redemption Island and is living to see another day on Survivor NZ. Hannah has a new pinky promise to make with the tribe now, but this version is sealed with both her middle fingers up in their fatphobic faces.  

Alex Casey on the inspirational Survivor squits

“My plumbing wasn’t good … I was going into two tribal councils, interviewing 16 people, an hour and a half of interviewing, and I had the shits.” – Survivor NZ host Matt Chisholm in the NZ Herald.

Look, the fact that Matt Chisholm managed to avoid crapping his cargos, even after shitting uncontrollably in a shower earlier that same day, should be an inspiration to us all. No matter how hard a situation is, no matter how many people are counting on you, all you have to is keep your shit together. Literally.

Sharon Lam has some concerns…

The premiere of Survivor NZ left me feeling very worried. Neither tribe seemed to know what they were doing, both just absently poking around the jungle, mumbling vaguely about alliances as they picked up random leaves and tugged on tree branches (shot Barb).

Or in Tony’s case, mansplaining to a glazed-over crowd that if they pooed too close to camp to “give it a good kick” (not 100% sure if he actually said that, because I found him completely incoherent). Tony is also worrying because his frighteningly red nose may lead to him being first Survivor to ever be medevac-ed for sunburn, which is a shame because we were all looking forward to hearing some more of his “dark humour” that not everyone “gets”.

But the most worrying thing of all was… THE VOTING PAPER.

I am sure I was not the only one to gasp as one by one each castaway folded their vote longitudinally, and then be stunned silent seeing Matt awkwardly drag the votes out of a ridiculous too-tall jar. If there’s one thing you must get right in a reality show reproduction it is, of course, the height to width ratio of the voting vessel.

The private vote is a keystone of Survivor, and the chance of peeking at other people’s votes due to poorly chosen paper folding orientation is embarrassing. Together, the clueless mumbling castaways and measly 40gsm voting paper has me hardly hopeful for the rest of the season.

Weird paper or not, make sure you come back tomorrow morning for our first official Survivor NZ contestant power rankings!!!!

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