At the last minute CBS called to invite me to the Survivor Heros vs. Villians Finale in New York. I said yes and within a few days I was looking out of the 28th floor window of my hotel room at Central Park. New York is incredible, not just on a societal and personal level, but it is physically imposing. While driving in from LaGuardia airport over the Queensboro Bridge you are met with a soaring wall of concrete, glass, and metal.
I live in Ann Arbor Michigan now, not a big city by any means, but I still forget how far advanced humanity has become. Its only when I go to one of the great centers of the world that I realize the extent of our accomplishments and control over our destinies.
The reunion was great, and no one recognized me with my Mohawk. Its really easy to believe that characters on television or actors will always look a certain way and are never going to change. Their stylized image on the screen is given a kind of specialness that makes it more real in your own mind then the actual person. Kind of like creating an “image” or a caricature of that individual. While sitting in the audience at the Finale I found myself craning my neck to see Jeff Probst talking on the television screen to JT, and then realized they were sitting directly in front of me on stage! My mind was trained to watch whatever the television showed me; the camera angles, the editting, and I totally ignored the real thing right in front of me. I think that’s a sign of the times we live in.
I was up for a nomination as the Dumbest Survivor Ever but I lost. I’m kind of conflicted as to not winning a award for stupidity. I didn’t win, which is a bummer, but I’m not the dumbest ever, which is good I totally believe what I did was stupider then what the winner, JT did and I don’t know how I could do anything more dumb in the future. Should I go back on the show, win the million dollars, and then give it away at the finale? Will that make me the dumbest ever? Because honestly, I don’t know how I can do anything stupider then giving up Individual Immunity at the final five. JT is not the dumbest ever, I still think I am, America just voted for whoever the editing told them to vote for, and that was JT.
After the show we all drank a lot at a rooftop club and I got to reconnect with some Survivors from season’s past as well as fans of the show. One superfan flew in from Australia! Another couple freaked out when I told them Ozzy and Amanda weren’t still together and hadn’t really been together even at the finale for Survivor 16. It’s extremely difficult at times to inform people about what goes on behind the cameras on something like Survivor, the fanbase really is spoonfed everything they need to know through subtle editing and commentary. Although many parts of a season of Survivor are dead on, reality can get very twisted through the lens of CBS.
After that I walked home. It was nice to see New York at 3 in the morning on a Sunday night, with barely anyone out but all the lights turned on. You could actually walk down the street without worrying about a speeding cabbie or bus crushing you. I made my way to the hotel, rode the elevator up to the 28th floor, and drifted off to a settling sleep.