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This new, long-awaited season of Survivor is beginning to wind down. After last Wednesday’s episode we are down to the final six.
We lost Liana, a strong thinker and strategic player throughout the entire game. And we’re all probably a little worse off for not having her in the rest of the season. The tribal council was a wild one. With a brand new “Do or Die” twist never before seen in the game that almost sent Deshawn to Ponderosa. There was also a very powerful conversation that took place about a unique foursome alliance in the game. As well as the state of the cast this season as a whole.
The Conversation At Tribal
The conversation was about the state of diversity in the cast, and in the history of Survivor. Deshawn broke down in tears about having to vote out Shan the tribal council prior. The two of them plus Liana and Danny had a foursome alliance dedicated to seeing a black winner of the season. A lot of dialogue then ensued about what their color means to them, and what it means to see black players succeed in the game.
On social media, there’s been a lot of complaining over the game’s “wokeness” this season. Between Jeff changing his iconic “Come on in, guys” to a diversified cast that is 50% people of color, certain people have felt the need to speak out against this.
Liana, almost prophetically, spoke out about what she expected to be a negative response to the dialogue opened up within the show. At the tribal council she said “I think something hard for viewers back home is like ‘I just want to watch Survivor. Why do all of these real life elements have to jump into the game when it’s suddenly super diverse?’ To those people: I understand. But, you know, it just means that we’re human beings and the game is a little bit more complex and we’re a microcosm of the real world, too.”
Sadly Liana ended up being the one getting her torch snuffed after such an impactful talk. The elimination had nothing to do with the racial conversation that had taken place prior and everything to do with Liana alienating herself from all of her connections after Shan’s elimination.
Throughout Survivor’s 40 seasons, only 4 black people (6 people of color overall) have ever won the show. For a show that claims to be a microcosm of the real world, it’s rare to see the diversity present in America represented in the cast. It’s far more common to see a predominantly white cast with a couple minority people sprinkled in there. Season 41’s cast and the conversations that are taking place represent a positive change in the show that will hopefully continue in future seasons.