Many of you are probably familiar with the popular reality television show “Survivor” hosted by Jeff Probst. If not, this show is about a group of strangers that split up into tribes and set out into the wilderness to fend for themselves. Players compete for immunity and rewards. Each week the players vote to eliminate a player who does not have immunity. The player with the most votes is eliminated until there are three left. The jury of eliminated castaways then votes for the winner who receives a million dollars. They have had many interesting twists such as playing with family members or bringing back returners. This season’s twist is a tribe of Gen X people face off against a tribe of Millennials. How do Millennials feel about how our generation was represented by the cast chosen?
In my opinion, the Millennials that played this season represented the strengths and flaws of our generation accurately. Millennials often get a bad rap from other generations for being “lazy” or “entitled,” but I think this is a misunderstanding that comes with the generation gap. In fact, this season has been one of the least selfish in terms of playing idols.
Episode 4: David plays his idol for Jessica and Episode 11: David plays his idol for Ken
Episode 12: Adam plays his idol for Hannah
The Millennial tribe started off very strong. They won most of the first several challenges. In one challenge in particular the Gen X seemed to be ahead because they had shuffled so many pieces around the puzzle, whereas the Millennials seemed to be falling behind because they stepped back to take a broader look. Jeff had commented that it was unprecedented in survivor and how the strategy would likely not work, but then they won the challenge. In a different challenge, a Millennial (Michaela), was so determined to win, she lost her bathing suit top and kept going to secure a reward for her tribe. The Gen X tribe ended up winning the reward by one point, but Michaela won both of her individual match-ups and gave 110% fighting for her tribe. Millennials may take a different approach to situations in life, but that does not make them lazy or entitled, as this season has shown. Their downfall, however, was that when the tribes were rearranged, the millennials could not stay loyal to one another, whereas for the most part all the Gen X-ers stuck together. Millenials had the numbers on all 3 tribes when a swap was introduced, yet tribal council after tribal council until the merge Mmillennials went home.Millennials are a generation where love has become confusing. This season of Survivor touched on that aspect too. It is common knowledge on shows like these not to get yourself into a showmance. Showmances pose huge targets. However, in the millennial tribe, Figgy and Taylor were quick to form a showmance, and were very open about it. Then, at the next tribal council, the tribe did not vote one of them off. Although this showmance was eventually betrayed by Adam, the dynamic shocked America for as long as they were there.
This season had two gay guys. The millennial, Zeke, was very open from day one and none of the millennials seemed to have an issue with it. At a reward, a Gen X-er, Bret, reveals to Zeke that he too is gay. Growing up in that generation, being open about something like that was shameful and Bret had been afraid to say that aloud in front of his Gen-X tribemates. They had a deep conversation about how good Bret felt to see future generations being accepted for who they are, and not having to live in fear.
With very little left in the season, three Millenials and three Gen X players remain. Will a Gen X survivor win and take home both the million dollars and bragging rights for their generation? Or will a Millennial prove to the world they can Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast the generation that precedes them?