Every season of Survivor, there’s a “loved ones” episode. The remaining contestants are lined up, and one by one they’re greeted by a specific person they chose in advance to visit them. There are a lot of tears (from the contestants, their loved ones, and me) followed by a reward competition where only the winners get to hang out with their loved ones for the few hours.
I have a few thoughts and questions about this episode. The first question applies to anyone reading this, even if you don’t watch Survivor: If you were on a tropical island with a half dozen friends/strangers/competitors and you could spend an hour with a loved one, whom would you choose?
Just for fun, my first thought was my cat, Biddy. It would be adorable to see him run out of the woods to greet his papa. However, both Biddy and I know that he would despise the entire trip from St. Louis to the tropical island, and if Jeff Probst somehow got him into the woods, he would absolutely refuse to budge.
Alternatively, my best friend Trevor would have to be at the top of the list, along with my parents–they all love to travel. It’s a lot to ask someone to travel halfway around the world for just an hour visit, though. I’m guessing Survivor makes it worth the trip with some pure vacation time too.
Now here’s the situation I’ve been pondering for Survivor fans: One of the hardest parts of the episode is that if you win the privilege of spending time with your loved one, you’re taking away that privilege from someone else. You will see people literally sobbing on their hands and knees. It’s tough.
For me, while the loved one time (and the food that accompanies that time) would be great, I would gladly give up that privilege to someone who truly needs it. The odd thing with Survivor, though, is usually when people do something generous, they get a target on their back.
So do you think it would be a poor strategy to give up your loved ones visit? Or could it strengthen a connection with someone else that you wouldn’t otherwise have?