‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Post Mortem

The “Survivor” off season is finally upon us. While for most people that means an extra hour free on Wednesday nights, for me it means a break from Power Rankings, episode recaps, and exit interviews. I hardly know what to do with myself.

(That’s totally not true, I’m going to get to work rescuing Princess Zelda.)

What multiplies that workload is when it’s “Survivor” Hall of Fame time. On top of the previously mentioned work you’ve got coordinating executive committee votes, managing the vote tabulation team, creating art, updating the Web site, and about a dozen other things.

And actually, before we get too deep into this, I want to give a big thanks to everyone who had a hand in this mess; the fans, all of the executive committee members, the vote counters, and XFINITY TV’s Web development team. And a special double thanks to the amazing women at CBS PR. I lurve them.

So, now that we have another cycle under our belts and I have a free minute to think, I thought I’d take a quick look back at some of the questions/comments/etc. that I saw on message boards, Facebook, and Twitter. (I’ll leave out the ones that specifically refer to me as a “moron.”)

Is it Unfair to Induct Non-Winners Before Winners?

My personal stance is that there already is a list of “Survivor” champions. A win is definitely good for someone’s resume, but it isn’t a necessity.

The Hall of Fame Is a Sham if (Insert Name) Isn’t Inducted

I’ve heard a few people say that the SHOF is just like “Survivor” in that you can’t argue if someone has the votes. If you feel that strongly about someone, help get them the votes. Start a Facebook voting fan page, organize a mass vote, lobby the executive voting committee members on Twitter.

Will Cirie, Tom, and Ozzy Be Invited to Join the Executive Committee?

Absolutely. I got a kick out of having Parvati, Boston Rob, Russell, and Sandra’s votes this year. Hopefully, you did too.

Anything Surprise You?

I thought Rupert Boneham was a shoo-in. (No pun intended)

There Should Be a Special Category for One-Time Players

I like this idea and I don’t like this idea. I like it, because it’ll help dominant champs like Yul Kwon and Todd Herzog who I think are definite Hall of Famers. However, I don’t like it because it feels like we’re saying they can’t get in on their own merits. I’ll mull this one over.

There Are Too Many/Not Enough People in the Hall of Fame

Since I get this one from both sides, that leads me to believe that we’re on the right track. I think three a year is good for the time being. I’d consider revisiting this number if “Survivor” announced a final season or if we found ourselves inducting people like Wanda. (I always pick on poor Wanda. I’m the worst.)

Players Competing in a Currently Airing Season Shouldn’t Be Eligible

This was brought up a few times in regard to Ozzy Lusth this season. However, I think Ozzy’s executive ballot dominance would have put him in either way.

That being said, I do like this rule and will institute it next November.

Parvati Shallow Deserves a Trophy

Totally. Hundreds of them.

Is the Executive Committee Too Powerful?

Maybe. I’m hoping that expanding the committee will help even things out. I’m looking into a few ways of making that happen.

What Was the Final Fan Vote Ranking?

1. Cirie Fields
2. Rob Cesternino
3. Rupert Boneham
4. Ozzy Lusth
5. Tom Westman
6. Todd Herzog
7. Amanda Kimmel
8. Colby Donaldson
9. Ethan Zohn
10. Benjamin “Coach” Wade

The “Survivor” Hall of Fame Isn’t Real

Does the “Survivor” Hall of Fame exist outside of my brain? Nope. Did Cirie Fields light up like a Christmas tree when she learned that “Survivor” production staff, legends, press, and fans had voted her one of the best of all time? Totally.

Keep your real, we’re having fun here.

Any More Questions? Leave a comment below or drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

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9 Responses to “‘Survivor’ Hall of Fame Post Mortem”

  1. Joe Says:

    The thing about one-time players is, you know that the executive committee isn’t going to select them (because if they liked them so much, they wouldn’t be one-time players), and since their votes count so heavily, it’s guaranteed that we’ll never see the likes of, say, Brian Heidik in the Hall of Fame.

    I’ll admit, I was a little naive last year when the HoF first started, because I thought “Oh man, the producers will see our votes and come up with some new people to bring back instead of the same old retreads!” And then it ended up with the most famous/important contestant ever (Richard) and a bunch of people who we just saw again on Heroes vs. Villains. To me, that’s not like a reinforcement that the producers made smart calls on who to bring back; it shows how powerful recency and seeing someone multiple times is. There’s no way Ozzy and Coach would’ve received so many votes if they weren’t on the most recent season and we hadn’t already seen them twice before.

    Next year, folks–let’s band together and get Heidik in the Hall and cross our fingers that he may get to play again!

  2. jon dunn Says:

    Thanks for the post. I wish Rob C had made it in, it seems clear the fans think he should get in. i just worry that the EC will always have other people to vote for (Jennna, Ethan, Colby, Rupert, Amanda, etc) and Rob won’t get votes

  3. Mark Says:

    I do like that this HoF has no set criteria; it means that those who want to see the classic “personal integrity” players honored can cast a ballot for Colby, Ethan and Rodger Bingham, while those who want to see “players” honored can vote for Parvati, Rob C. and Russell and be equally justified. I do wonder if, as a companion to the “no currently competing players” rule, a “minimum time since first appearance rule,” say 2 years, might be useful to get past the rush of “new and exciting” that accompanies some new players and allow people to digest what they truly meant to the game. It’s telling that all 4 of the major North American sports Halls of Fame have a mandatory waiting period of 5 years after retirement; that’s probably too long for something like this (the most-recent eligible season would be Panama: Exile Island), but two years (which would have made this year’s last-eligible season Tocantins) might be right. Note that the only inductees that would have been affected by these rules would be Russell (not eligible until 2012) and Ozzy (competed during this year’s balloting).

  4. Sam Says:

    First of all, I want to say thanks to you, Gordon. This has been such a welcome diversion these last two months or so. I know that in the greater scheme of things, this is just a fun way to pass the time, but as a huge fan, I’ve been obsessed. Thanks for doing this. And I apologize for my constant questions and requests for updates. I hope you took it as enthusiasm for your project.

    That said, here’s some feedback based on what you posted here:

    I like your voting system a lot (50 percent executive votes, 50 percent fan vote) and I like just having one vote a year for exclusivity. I don’t think you need to do any tinkering with it, especially if the new inductees continue to be asked to join in. By my calculations, you could have 17 executive voters next November (Probst, the 3 producers, the 5 press members and the 8 HOF’ers … I’m hoping Rob Moynihan will return to the fold and I hope Richard Hatch will be partaking, as well), which means that based on this year’s results, there could be as many as 29 live votes in next year’s election (minus all the votes for Cirie, Ozzy and Tom, plus all the first-time ballots and the people who didn’t/couldn’t vote this year). And if the executive voters actually change any of their votes, there could be even more. The only person I would hope you would add, other than through the already-established parameters, is Mark Burnett himself if you can get him.

    I like that you’re cool with us lobbying for our favorites thru social media and message boards.

    Non-winner over winners? There are plenty of non-winners that have proven to have more game that Fabio. I’m cool with it … but not necessarily that Russell and Ozzy are in. I can’t complain because they have been edited to be bigger than life and not everyone watches the same show as me. It’s what actually makes the show so cool, so whatever.

    However, I still wish you’d put in five new members every year for at least the first three or four years. Even if you put in five a year, after 4 years, that would only be 20 players … out of a possible 400+ to choose from. I know that you want this to be super-exclusive and something that can go on and on indefinitely, but I’m afraid that once the show goes off the air, the Hall of Fame might lose a lot of steam. And none of us know when that will be … it could all be over in May 2013 for all we know. Die-hard fans will still be involved for sure, but you probably won’t get nearly the fan vote volume and that could hurt the credibility.

    Plus, with just three a year every year, it could get stagnant voting-wise. For example, the executive voters probably won’t change their minds much until their favorites get in and the diehard fans will keep voting the same until their favorites get in. That means that the casual fans will continue to vote for the players who were on the current season and the one just before, and I’m worried that might make a mockery of it (I know you said that current players won’t be eligible for induction anymore, but you know as well as I do that many people don’t read the rules and regulations, evidenced by Parvati, Boston Rob, Russell and Sandra still getting tons of votes this year).

    I guess the best argument I can make is this: Did you pay attention to the “Best Survivor Poll” this summer on “Rob Has A Podcast”? There were a good 30 players or so that had solid showings there. Based on that, even if you put in five a year, we’re talking about a good, solid five or six more years of this Hall of Fame being viable, fun and unpredictable. That’s half the run of the entire series time-wise. Five a year … please think about it.

    Separate Hall of Fame for one-time players? No. Next question.

    Is the Hall of Fame real? Probst, Rob, Parvati, Sandra voting? Over 2,000 ballots? Yeah, it’s real. I hope you can come up with a more permanent place on the Web, but I’m not too worried about that. Has there been any talk about a TV Guide Special along the lines of season previews they do or the Survivor Millionaires specials?

    And finally, I cannot stress this enough: Please, please, please make it clear in next year’s voting blog who not to vote for anymore. Put it in big bold letters: DON’T VOTE FOR PARVATI, BOSTON ROB, RUSSELL, RICHARD, SANDRA, CIRIE, OZZY AND TOM. Put it at the top. Put it in the middle. Put it in at the end. Make a Facebook post once a week reminding people. Post it within the votes once a day. Make it the title of the friggin’ article if you have to. I can’t tell you how frustrating and annoying it was to see so many votes thrown away because stupid people can’t read two paragraphs on the voting article and see who’s already been inducted. Tons of votes got wasted because of laziness, and someone good –- like Rob Cesternino — might have gotten left out because of it. I was praying that Rob and Tom would be within a hair of each other percentage-wise and you’d call it a tie. Rob, Tom and Cirie would have trumped the inclusion of Ozzy, in my book (I hated that he got in over Rob in particular, but he had the executive votes so I can’t complain).

    I’d like to see more “characters” get in, sure. There is no Survivor without Rupert, Stephenie, Rudy, Jerri, Colleen, Eliza or Coach. But there are so many better “players” that deserve it first. It’s interesting to see how we’ll get there.

    OK, I’m done. As my Christmas present to you, you will not hear from me again until next November (well … I’ll try, at least). Thanks again for the fun diversion.

  5. DM Says:

    For the comments above: You really think that the executive committee members are stupid?
    So …Would been better if before the vote, were invented rules or any possible form so that Ozzy can not be in any Hall Of Fame.
    Or better were to erase, delete and forget Cook Islands and his other’s two seasons, so that most of the men no longer feel somehow subconsciously threatened or unsecure – Because if it’s not about that, then it’s strange how certain brute force judgments occours and Ozzy’s achievements are minimized while other contestants merits are exacerbated. Nobody is perfect so why forgive others contestants flaws and pretend perfection from Ozzy? He will be remembered like one of the best *survivors*. This is about Hall Of FAME and not every winner will remain famous. Some wins (and some losses) are purely contextual.

  6. Sam Says:

    If you’re referring to me, you must have missed me saying this, re: the executive committee:
    (I hated that he got in over Rob in particular, but he had the executive votes so I can’t complain).

    Regarding Ozzy, I just think there are more worthy players and even more worthy characters. I don’t think Ozzy is one of the eight most memorable players OR characters in the history of “Survivor.” So many PLAYERS are better than him (Brian, Rob, Chris, Todd, Danni, Tina) and let’s not even get into the CHARCTERS (Rupert, Steph, Rudy, Jerri).
    If he had never played again after Cook islands, I MIGHT be OK with this. But much like Colby before him, he progressively damages his legacy as a dominator every time he plays, even with the high finishes. If it wasn’t for Redemption Island, he’s a footnote to this season. As a player, he’s only good at physical challenges and he thrives at island living, which to me is incidental. He sucks at strategy and he’s very arrogant, which affects him socially. And go back and read the executive votes again … nearly all of them point out the flaws I just mentioned. I firmly believe that he was only inducted because he was on the season airing when the vote was taken.
    In the greater scheme of things, I can live with his induction. He’s a three-timer. Girls like him and he had gotten to to Final Fours. I hate Russell being in, as well, but I understand why he got in. I like the executive voters and love the voting system. I just disagree with them. But I don’t have a vote, so I’m just debating, which is what I think Gordon had in mind when he created this thing.

    • DM Says:

      First five inductees, class of 2010 Hall of Fame:
      – Parvati Shallow
      – B Rob Mariano
      – Russel Hantz
      – Sandra Diaz-Twine
      – Richard Hatch
      So do not panic, Rob is one of the first choices of all. (And you really think Rob, Richard, Russell, Brian or Coach and some others are not arrogant? com’on)

      • Sam Says:

        Boston Rob – he won once and should have won twice (he was mostly arrogant in his interviews and you know this)
        Richard – he won (rules don’t apply to first season)
        Russell – c’mon, I just said he shouldn’t be in, either
        Brian – he won (wasn’t outwardly arrogant AT ALL, just in interviews)
        Coach – was on the currently airing season.

        Plus, I was talking about Rob Cesternino (whose actions were totally innovative and game-changing, even though he didn’t win). I wasn’t talking about Boston Rob. I know who is already in and who isn’t. Did you not see the part in my original entry when I was harping on this?

  7. Chris Says:

    Last question, for Gordon … are you planning an annual spring vote involving fans and the executive committee for the side categories (like asking them to vote on “deserves a second chance” or something like that? You mentioned other categories before.

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