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Season Two Talk: Brand New Contestants, Same Old Bears

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This is an interesting group of people.  Very interesting.  I am disappointed in Desmond, but all his early bragging in the casting special kind of told me all I need to know--braggarts and bullies usually back down once real adversity rears its head.  We saw that last year, and we're seeing it now.  He had a deer caught in the headlights look from his first moment on the boat.

 

MaryKate...oh, MaryKate.  I expected more from you.  But I also don't blame you for being pissed about your wet boots, you were pretty much dumped into the water during your drop-off, and that starts you out on your little survival adventure with a handicap.  I do, however, blame you for being so upset at waking up to wet gear.  That bit of wet was your fault for building your shelter in such a way that the water is funneled into your tent.  Plus?  Down bag.  When you were all hunched over in your damp shelter, kind of rocking back and forth and rubbing your chin like a toddler trying to self-comfort, I was convinced you were tapping out.  But you were just thinking.  Kudos to you on the better shelter the next day.  You should have done that the first time, even though you were only thinking of temporary digs, not permanent shelter.  But...you're in a rainforest.  It rains.  Often.  Figure it out.  I would have thought that fire should be your next priority so you can start to dry out all the damp gear you're whining and bitching about.  The sun ain't gonna come out, so do it yourself.

 

And "tantrum about his steep terrain" guy?   (Can't remember his name.)  Suck it up, buttercup.  Maybe try to explore laterally rather than straight up the mountain, or follow that stream you're afraid will swell and drown you.  I'm figuring your temper issues will make you a quick quitter too.

 

Tracy?  Tracy, Tracy, Tracy...You are a doer.  Sadly, I initially discounted you for your size because you don't fit the survivalist stereotype, but I was wrong.  And I'm glad to be wrong.  I hope you go far.  I hope you quietly win the whole thing.  I hope that sometime while you're still out there, the producers will inform you that the red tide restriction has been lifted so you can have your favorite mussels.  I further hope that you will also find some wild garlic and maybe a nice bottle of wine washed up from the tide, because you'll probably deserve that gourmet celebration after holding off for so long.  You also deserve it, because from what little I've seen, you are awesome.  You have a great shelter.  You have fire.  You were calm when confronted with scary animal noises outside your tent.  And how fucking fantastic did you look when you pulled that tree straight out of the ground?    I can't wait to see what you do next.

 

There are seven other survivors out there, right?  I can't recall a single other one being featured in the first show.  Basically, I can remember Desmond, MaryKate, and Tracy.  Oh!  And the other woman.  The one with the scarf.  I wanted to see Spanish-Yukon guy who wishes he were Native-American.  He's either a total loon, or will provide the head-scratching but awesome side projects like a ukulele or stand-up paddle board, or will go far. 

 

On another note, I really appreciated the casting special with all the details about what they're issued and what they choose and how the sites are selected, and their individual philosophies.  All that background information was great, and I almost wonder if they had some folks in production combing websites and twitter etc. for questions to answer.  I noticed something interesting though.  For some folks, they were clearly at their own home, like MaryKate up in Homer.  That was her house.  But some of the other families were shown in totally empty (blank walls, no nicknacks, generic furniture) houses.  In one of them, you could actually see styrofoam food boxes stacked on the counter.  I wonder if that was because the producers deemed the contestant's home not TV-ready, or because the contestant wanted to preserve their privacy.  I thought it was interesting.  Like the producers rented out an empty house for the day.

 

This season is going to be good.  Go Tracy!

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OH good a new page, I can post what I forgot the first time. 

Is Tracy the one showing the bloody hand? That could be serious.  The hand seemed not skinny. 

Desmond was expected, He seemed to have no fear of bears until he saw traces, that foredooms one to reality shock.

Someone like me would never back down because I would not be there in the first place because watching it scares me.

 

Watching Larry by a tree with swooping branches, I wondered if it was possible yo create a hammock nest in those trees, probably not. . Just one more example of me not surviving.

 

next show promises to be interesting - tree on fire bloody hand bears watching. , 

 

 

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This happens on Naked & Afraid too.  Frequently parents, claim it is an achievement that will inspire their children.  Another frequent occurrence is when justifying a decision to quit, they site how much they miss their children. 

 

Not suggesting I have any understanding of the parent/child bond.

I've never understood the premise behind N&A. Two people, a man and a woman, are put out in the woods naked, and each person gets to bring 1 survival tool. The show is not about showing survival techniques, it simply watching two people sit around and suffer through 20 days. And, as if starving isn't bad enough, they're often in a tropical or jungle location where we get to wonder how many million bugs will bite them and to which diseases they'll be exposed. After 20 days at next to no food, losing a pound a day, we get to watch them walk barefoot (sometimes over coral or thorns where their feet will be cut up) a few miles to a pick up point, with maybe a swim thrown in for good measure. Occasionally we get to see them do something stupid like drink untreated water, but usually it's just watch them sit and starve, get sun burned or hypothermia, in general just be miserable. As far as I know, they're willingly starving and risking disease for "the experience" - no prize or reward, just bragging rights to say they are stubborn enough to stay and suffer for 21 days. I watched a couple times, thinking there must be SOME reason people put them selves through it, and others actually watch. Sorry, I just don't get it.
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  I wanted to see Spanish-Yukon guy who wishes he were Native-American.  He's either a total loon, or will provide the head-scratching but awesome side projects like a ukulele or stand-up paddle board, or will go far. 

 

On another note, I really appreciated the casting special with all the details about what they're issued and what they choose and how the sites are selected, and their individual philosophies.  All that background information was great, and I almost wonder if they had some folks in production combing websites and twitter etc. for questions to answer.  I noticed something interesting though.  For some folks, they were clearly at their own home, like MaryKate up in Homer.  That was her house.  But some of the other families were shown in totally empty (blank walls, no nicknacks, generic furniture) houses.  In one of them, you could actually see styrofoam food boxes stacked on the counter.  I wonder if that was because the producers deemed the contestant's home not TV-ready, or because the contestant wanted to preserve their privacy.  I thought it was interesting.  Like the producers rented out an empty house for the day.

 

This season is going to be good.  Go Tracy!

I'm pretty sure it was Larry who wanted to be a Native-American.  Ya know..being One with the Land.. Like Larry..

 

Are you sure that was Mary Kate's house? I was seriously curious when I saw it.   I haven't been to Homer, but spent quite a bit of time in Alaska and on parts of the Kenai Peninsula and that place looked too expansive, with not a tree in sight, to be Alaska.  It actually looked like she was at one of the plains states or Montana at her Mom's. .  In fact I thought they showed a shot of  corn, which to my knowledge will not grow up there because of too much light in the summer.  

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I kind of thought that looked too wide open and, er, dry for Alaska, but it was definitely a house that people lived in.  A nice house, in fact...which did make me wonder, since Alaska isn't cheap and hot shot work is kind of seasonal.  I didn't stop to think that it could have been her mom's place, but clearly it wasn't a generic "rented for a day's filming" place.

 

I can't wait until the season progresses and I can start to tell people apart.  At least with the three women and the one (now departed) black guy I could keep at least four people straight in the premiere.  The other six?  I haven't a clue...

Edited by HurricaneVal
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I got the distinct impression that they all purchased /provided their own 10 items and a sleeping bag seemed to have no set limits. yes, the Bivvy bag that they can put it in was another item and part of the 10. Maybe for some reason--possibly weight or durability from constant rolling -- they don't make serious ones with a completely waterproof shell.

That's my impression as well. I think they get several lists, stuff which is prohibited, permissible clothing, safety gear and stuff everyone will take, and then a list of 40 items which they get to choose their ten items from. If you compare the ten items people brought, you see that the are differences. The list on History.com http://www.history.com/shows/alone/articles/full-gear-list-and-prohibited-items simply says they can bring a multi-seasonal sleeping bag that must fit in the backpack everyone is provided. Everyone brought a sleeping bag, but just about everyone's choice is a little different. Same thing with cooking pot. Except for Nicole, who brought a skillet because she says it will hold more, everyone brought a 2 quart pot - not the same pot, everything from aluminum with some spout and handle to a cast iron pot. Same with knives, everyone has one, but they're all different. As I remember, one of guys who chose a multifuntion tools, either Justin or Jose, talked about modifying the screwdriver that came on the tool so it would be more useful. My guess is everyone brought their choices, then someone inspected the gear to make sure it was within accepted parameters. Edited by SRTouch
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I've never understood the premise behind N&A. Two people, a man and a woman, are put out in the woods naked, and each person gets to bring 1 survival tool. The show is not about showing survival techniques, it simply watching two people sit around and suffer through 20 days. And, as if starving isn't bad enough, they're often in a tropical or jungle location where we get to wonder how many million bugs will bite them and to which diseases they'll be exposed. After 20 days at next to no food, losing a pound a day, we get to watch them walk barefoot (sometimes over coral or thorns where their feet will be cut up) a few miles to a pick up point, with maybe a swim thrown in for good measure. Occasionally we get to see them do something stupid like drink untreated water, but usually it's just watch them sit and starve, get sun burned or hypothermia, in general just be miserable. As far as I know, they're willingly starving and risking disease for "the experience" - no prize or reward, just bragging rights to say they are stubborn enough to stay and suffer for 21 days. I watched a couple times, thinking there must be SOME reason people put them selves through it, and others actually watch. Sorry, I just don't get it.

I am SO with you on this one. I watched a couple of episodes early on and didn't care for it. They can't just throw 2 people who don't know each other into the wilds for 3 weeks, they have to have them totally naked. Because that happens, like, so often. Bloody bullshit. It's just for the titillation factor. Discovery is chasing that 18-35 male demographic. I'm amazed that show is in it's 5th or 6th season at least.

 

My perception of the bloody hand was that it WAS skinny, therefore either Mary Kate or Nicole. It is nice that there are at least 3 people whose names I remember.

 

I was re-watching part of the into special from last week where Desmond walks into a house to introduce his family and I also noticed that it was all white walls with not a single picture or knickknack up, like someone had just moved in. It didn't occur to me that possibly it was a house rented by the show for some reason, but who knows. There are so many things I would like to ask the producers of this show.

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Also picked up on the chin rubbing, body rocking with hands quivering out of frustration behavior of MK.

Should we be worried?

All that self calming behavior was over her realizing the water from her tarp was misplaced so the runoff night rain pooled to her sleeping place PLUS the lingering frustration over wet boots.

Why didn't she remove the boots before she jumped off the boat?

Why no fire on the first day to dry out the much mentioned wet boots?

Another meltdown if the boots get muddy?

So many boot questions unanswered...

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My perception of the bloody hand was that it WAS skinny, therefore either Mary Kate or Nicole. It is nice that there are at least 3 people whose names I remember.

 

No no no, you only get to count Mary Kate once, even though she has two names
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I kind of thought that looked too wide open and, er, dry for Alaska, but it was definitely a house that people lived in.  A nice house, in fact...which did make me wonder, since Alaska isn't cheap and hot shot work is kind of seasonal.  I didn't stop to think that it could have been her mom's place, but clearly it wasn't a generic "rented for a day's filming" place.

 

I can't wait until the season progresses and I can start to tell people apart.  At least with the three women and the one (now departed) black guy I could keep at least four people straight in the premiere.  The other six?  I haven't a clue...

I do love it when people catch stuff like that.. producer set-ups or edits/TH's out of sequence.  

 

I wrote down descriptions of the players and a little about them.  I'm such a nerd.  But I'm seriously a little challenged recognizing average faces.  Plus, I do want to keep track of their intro information.

 

I''m almost positive the cut hand is MK's.   They show a little bit of her jacket in the clip.

 

I watch N & A.  I'm used to the nakedness now,  but it annoyed me in the beginning.  A simple bathing suit and they wouldn't have to constantly smudge out the screen.  Maybe I'm waiting for someone to really thrive.  Maybe *I'M * waiting for one couple to think fire is a priority.  

I think for me it's a quiet show & nature views. My mother passed recently and that's all I watched while she preparing to 'move on' (she was 94)  It was soothing.  Plus you can watch them over again because since they're all almost the same, you don't remember them. lol.  The series where they sent them out in groups was interesting tho.   Actually it might be kind of fun if they did that with these guys..putting some returnees together  in groups of  three.  .

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As far as the house goes, I believe we saw 2 different houses that Mary Kate was at.  There was a pretty conventional one, and then the log cabin.  I figured the conventional one was hers, and the log cabin was her mom's (her mom is minding the kids whilst Mary Kate plays).  So if mom lives in another state, that would explain the dry expanse of land surrounding the cabin.

 

I wonder if Tracy bulked up for this trip?  I remember Alan as saying he was stuffing Snickers into his mouth until the moment they had to board the boats for drop off.  Maybe Tracy did as well?  To give her the edge on stored food?  I hope whoever's hand that was takes great care of it and uses their medical box.

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Here's my feeling:  TV producers do care about ratings, but to me, they also care about reinforcing certain beliefs and stereotypes like, all black women are fat, black people don't camp/ski/swim/black women ALWAYS worry about their hair/black women wear weaves, etc.  Then when they show those things on TV, it just reinforces these stereotype.  It's not that these things may not be true on their own, but it's not the whole story, the whole story doesn't get told, and that's the problem.

I'm still thinking about Desmond, and about neurochick's observations, above. TV producers definitely care about ratings--hence the Naked part of N&A. I kind of want to believe that the producers of this particular show, at least, are less invested in reinforcing lame, reductive stereotypes...but maybe I'm delusional. And I admit that I--a white woman who if deposited alone in the wilderness would sob so loudly the boat would turn around--was initially rooting for Desmond because I wanted him to subvert the assumptions I, and others, have absorbed from the culture at large. When he tapped out, within hours, I was mortified for him, and disappointed...but how much of that is my own privilege talking? I mean, one of Desmond's ten items shouldn't be The Burden of Proving To The World That African Americans Are Competent Campers. I'm all tangled up in my own best intentions here, and that's both maddening and edifying. 

 

Maybe the trope this show actually demonstrates is that the majority of black people have better sense than to endure Vancouver Island in November in a janky lean-to? ...ha ha?

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What were the prohibited items? I can't click the history.com link I get redirected to history.ca 0_o

Lists of items cut and paste from history.com

clothing / personal effects --- not counted against the 10 items

1. 1 pair high leg Hunting boots

2. 2 pairs of Outdoor Pants (can unzip into shorts)

3. 1 t-shirt

4. 2 fleece or wool shirts (hooded or unhooded)

5. 3 pairs wool socks

6. 1 hat (brimmed, wool or baseball)

7. 1 bandana or shemagh

8. 1 pair gloves

9. 1 light outdoor jacket

10. 2 pairs underwear

11. 1 rain jacket and rain trousers

12. 1 thermal underwear (long)

13. 1 pair of gaiters

14. 1 pair of Crocs, Teva sandals or Keen sandals

15. 1 toothbrush

16. 1 pair of prescription eye glasses

17. 1 personal photograph

winter gear --- not counted against the 10 items

1. 1 wool sweater (heavy)

2. 1 pair of gloves (wool/Dachsteins)

3. 1 trapper’s hat with ear protection or toboggan

NOTE to me a toboggan has always meant a sled, so I had to google to find it's also another name for a knit cap

tracking safety gear --- not counted against the 10 items

1. 2 safety tools (may consist of a canister of wild animal repellant, an air horn and/or 1 flare)

2. 1 rules and regulations guide

3. 1 backpack

4. 1 camera pack

5. Camera equipment

6. 1 emergency flare

7. 1 satellite phone

8. 1 emergency personal flotation device

9. 1 first aid kit (military type – tourniquet, wadding, ace bandage, alcohol, plastic bag, etc)

10. 1 small mirror

11. 1 20×20 canvas tarp

12. 1 10×10 tarp for protecting camera and equipment

13. 1 GPS tracking device

14. 1 head lamp

15. 1 emergency rations pack to include water and food

lists of item which DO COUNT AGAINST THE TEN ITEMS

Shelter

1. 12×12 ground cloth/tarp (grommets approved)

2. 8 mm climbing rope – 10M

3. 550 parachord – 20m

4. 1 hatchet

5. 1 saw

6. 1 ax

Bedding

1. 1 multi-seasonal sleeping bag that fits within provided backpack

2. 1 bivy bag (Gore-Tex sleeping bag cover)

3. 1 sleeping pad

4. 1 hammock

Cooking

1. 1 large (no more than 2 quart) pot, includes lid

2. 1 steel frying pan

3. 1 flint or ferro rod set

4. 1 enamel bowl for eating

5. 1 spoon

6. 1 canteen or water bottle

7. 1 bear canister

Hygiene

1. 1 bar soap

2. 1 8 oz tube of toothpaste

3. 1 face flannel

4. 1 40 m roll of dental floss

5. 1 small bottle bio shower soap

6. 1 shaving razor (and 1 blade)

7. 1 towel (30” x 60”)

8. 1 comb

Hunting

1. 1 300-yard roll of nylon single filament fishing line and 25 assorted hooks (No lures)

2. 1 primitive bow with 6 Arrows (must be predominately made of wood)

3. 1 small gauge gill net (8 m x 2 m OR 1.5 m deep x 3.6 m long and 2” [50 mm] mesh)

4. 1 slingshot/Catapult

5. 1 net foraging bag

6. 1 3.5 lb roll of trapping wire

Food

1. 5 lbs of beef jerky (protein)

2. 5 lbs of dried pulses/legumes/lentils mix (starch and carbs)

3. 5 lbs of biltong (protein)

4. 5 lbs of hard tack military biscuits (carbs/sugars)

5. 5 lbs of chocolate (Simple/complex sugars)

6. 5 lbs of pemmican (traditional trail food made from fat and proteins)

7. 5 lbs of gorp (raisins, m&m’s and peanuts)

8. 5 lbs of flour (starch/carbs)

9. 2 lbs of rice or sugar and 1 lb of salt

Tools

1. 1 pocket knife

2. 1 hunting knife

3. 1 Leatherman multi-tool

4. 1 sharpening stone

5. 1 roll of duct tape or 1 roll of electrical tape

6. 1 small shovel

7. 1 small sewing kit

8. 1 carabineer

9. 1 LED flashlight

10. 1 pair of ice spikes

and finally

prohibited items includes note that items not listed above are not permitted, and this is not a list of everything that is prohibited

1. Fuel or matches

2. Bug spray/mosquito repellant.

3. Sunscreen/chap stick

4. Sunglasses

5. Beauty products

6. Map (detailed topographical)

7. Compass

8. Unapproved technology (anything with a battery or an engine, eg. cell phones, computers, watches, etc.)

9. Professional snares

10. Firearms of any kind

11. Ammunition

12. Explosives or gunpowder

13. Animal poison

14. Professional fishing rods

15. Fishing lures, flies, bait kits

16. Fishing traps

17. Food or beverage (except the options from the selection list)

18. Decoys

19. Animal calls

20. Tree stands

21. Professional bows or crossbows

22. Scopes of any kind

23. Tents or shelters

24. Stoves, pressure cookers or other cooking appliances

25. Hydration packs

26. Fire pits

27. Electric or propane lanterns

28. Inflatable boats

29. Filtration, purification devices, iodine tablets

30. Coolers or food storage boxes (except optional bear canister)

Edited by SRTouch
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No no no, you only get to count Mary Kate once, even though she has two names

I got smart this time around, and printed out the bios before the first epidode. This time I'll know the names, even if they're gone in the first couple days and are only on screen for a total of 10 minutes. I arranged them so that the people I think will go the longest are on top, and had poor Desmond on bottom as first to go. I'm going to have to rearrange them, though, as I had Tracy down next to Desmond as the second to tap out. I'm putting her on top until I see how the folks who haven't made it onscreen do - she's my new favorite. For now, Larry is on the bottom as next to go, in part because he hasn't found a decent camp site. Have to remember, though, Mitch started last season in a poor location, built a raft and crossed over to a better spot.

I wasn't clear about it, but I was counting Tracy among the 3 people whose names I know.

 

Do you know that History has a contest you can enter about who wins and the order of people tapping out?

http://www.history.com/shows/alone/interactives/alone-solitary-showdown

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I wasn't clear about it, but I was counting Tracy among the 3 people whose names I know.

Just kidding - actually I thought you were counting Desmond as your third, but guess you had already forgotten him

Edited by SRTouch
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Did they even really show anyone besides Desmond, Mary Kate, Larry, and Tracy? I can't remember. What a shame, I was curious about how Nicole and others were doing. They could have cut out at least 5 minutes of Desmond finding bear crap and saying "I gotta get out of here" over and over and over again.

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I wonder if the guy who shaved his beard off did so because by doing that, production couldn't swap around the timing of his segments, because you'd be able to tell by his beard growth.  Someone, long ago, on Big Brother--maybe the first season--pointed out that you could tell her diary sessions and individual scenes were shown out of sequence because of her hair style and color which she changed often.  After that, I think they prohibited drastic changes in appearance without an OK from production.  Like if a person had to shave their head as a punishment during a competition, their (bald) diary sessions would be with them wearing a scarf or hat until the hair shaving was shown.

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Did they even really show anyone besides Desmond, Mary Kate, Larry, and Tracy?

Didn't they show David? I thought he was the one who was trying to climb up that steep slope and cursing up a storm every time he got a branch in his eye.

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Didn't they show David? I thought he was the one who was trying to climb up that steep slope and cursing up a storm every time he got a branch in his eye.

Pretty sure that was Larry, but I would have to watch again. There was a lot of Larry last night along with Desmond. I actually thought that we would get 2 tap outs last night. 

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Don't torture yourself by watching it again.

Second the opinion that it was cussing Larry crashing around trying to find a place to set up camp.

David would be wearing glasses and not getting a "stick in the eye."

Gonna toss it out here:

Mike Lowe looks like Kris Kristofferson mixed with Cody, the dude from SisterWives.

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It was Larry.  We had to revisit the families of the ones they showed and they didn't show David's family.   

 

 I was  confused by the tarp arrangement MK did.  It seemed she put the tarp down to pool water into the *middle* of her tent,?   Does anyone understand what or why that's a good idea? Is it for when she's not there and it rains?  

 

I did the contest.  I put Randy first over Jose because I think Jose may have less to prove. Like Lucas, he may tap just because he's done doing.  I think I put Dave third mostly by default and Tracy 4th..because in a way I think she's there for her and her search and not for the win.   Then I think the sniper guy, Justin.#5. Nicole#6  then the last 3--Mike, Larry and MK.  People surprise you tho, and so will the circumstances.  

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 I was  confused by the tarp arrangement MK did.  It seemed she put the tarp down to pool water into the *middle* of her tent,?   Does anyone understand what or why that's a good idea? Is it for when she's not there and it rains?  

She wants to keep water out of the tent, not pool it into the middle. If I understand it correctly, she put the ground tarp down and raised up the sides, like a little boat or canoe. The sides of the top tarp go over that, so any water running down the side of that tarp will run off and not have a pathway to the inside of the tent.

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The bottom of the tarp was tucked haphazardly so the water had no choice but to go towards her sleeping bag.

 

Why didn't she stake the tarp taut so the run off was away from her sleeping bag?

 

Her wet boots really took her out of her game.

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So very good to see this show back!

Loved the intro episode with the backstories and the selection process etc.

 

Query - Desmond tapped out so quickly could they not have dropped in a back-up Alontestant (Solitestant? still working on this one) from the 10 who got cut? Maybe just handicap their total by a day?

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Note: I am almost certainly talking out of my ass here.  I have a lot of book learning and a little bit of experience, which is a dangerous combination.  But hey, what are these shows for other than Monday-morning quarterbacking?

 

They keep casting dry-climate people for this show.  Homer and the Yukon are both pretty dry, compared to Vancouver Island.  Most US military-trained people are desert-trained these days.  I haven't camped much, but I have camped a couple times in the rainforests of Washington State, which is pretty much what Vancouver Island is, (including once when all we had was a tarp once it began to rain), and if you're on the ground when it rains you're going to get wet.  Given that list I would pick the hammock in a heartbeat.  Have a hammock with tarp and good sleeping bag for one camp, then use another tarp for a "cooking" camp with fire by a stream a ways away.

 

And yeah, Mary-Kate should have put on her sandals before jumping in the water; she should be aware that with clear water you can never be sure how deep it is.

 

From what little I've seen (I haven't watched the "intro" episode, since those tend to bore me), Tracy has the best experience.  The Appalachian Trail hike usually involves a lot of trudging through rain, although since there are camping shelters with sleeping platforms every several miles making camp might be a bit unusual--then again, lots of people don't use the shelters because of crowding and bugs.

 

And by the way, Patagonia has a huge temperate rainforest very much like Vancouver Island.  So it might not be as different as all that.

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Query - Desmond tapped out so quickly could they not have dropped in a back-up Alontestant (Solitestant? still working on this one) from the 10 who got cut? Maybe just handicap their total by a day?

It's a good idea, but they'd have to have people in the wings waiting. I expect they prepared over weeks, not hours.

 

Also, it's actually good for the producers to have people tap quickly. That means fewer stories to tell in their limited number of show hours.

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Tracy?  Tracy, Tracy, Tracy...You are a doer.  Sadly, I initially discounted you for your size because you don't fit the survivalist stereotype, but I was wrong.  And I'm glad to be wrong.  I hope you go far.  I hope you quietly win the whole thing.  I hope that sometime while you're still out there, the producers will inform you that the red tide restriction has been lifted so you can have your favorite mussels.  I further hope that you will also find some wild garlic and maybe a nice bottle of wine washed up from the tide, because you'll probably deserve that gourmet celebration after holding off for so long.  You also deserve it, because from what little I've seen, you are awesome.  You have a great shelter.  You have fire.  You were calm when confronted with scary animal noises outside your tent.  And how fucking fantastic did you look when you pulled that tree straight out of the ground?    I can't wait to see what you do next.

I already love Tracy, especially since I am a single woman of similar age and girth who adores her dog.  She actually reminds me of Sue (Life Below Zero) with her measured speech and her ability to get things done as opposed to sitting around and feeling sorry for herself.  I did think that she might be trans because her voice is low and those penciled-in eyebrows looked like she was trying too hard, but it hardly matters.  I hope she goes far in this.

 

Her backstory sounds like it is interesting (what we know of it); seems like she witnessed a lot of horror in the military and law enforcement.  You can never "un-see" some stuff and it haunts you forever.  A season or two ago, there was a young woman on Naked and Afraid who had PTSD from her career in law enforcement.  I might be making this up, but I vaguely remember that she was with a child pornography/pedophile unit.  She had a lot of issues that she needed to "set right."

 

How did I miss Season 1?  This is the kind of reality show that I absolutely adore!

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I was  confused by the tarp arrangement MK did.  It seemed she put the tarp down to pool water into the *middle* of her tent,?   Does anyone understand what or why that's a good idea? Is it for when she's not there and it rains?

She wants to keep water out of the tent, not pool it into the middle. If I understand it correctly, she put the ground tarp down and raised up the sides, like a little boat or canoe. The sides of the top tarp go over that, so any water running down the side of that tarp will run off and not have a pathway to the inside of the tent.

I just rewatched the entire first episode in it's entirety and it turns out I was talking out of my ass here. She actually tied the grommets of her tarp together, which would create a tarp tube, basically. Then she put the edge with the grommets up along the ridge pole, and laid the solid side of the tarp on the ground, then put the blue tarp inside that. She's definitely created a barrier against water getting in from the ground (except for the ends, which gets no explanation)  but now I understand your comment about directing water into the inside of the tent. I don't know how tightly you can tie the edges of the tarp together, but unless she put something else over that edge, it certainly seems as if rain could come in that way.

 

I also caught something in Mary Kate's background scenes, similar to Desmond's family in the otherwise empty house. The house with the clapboards and the nice porch is shown as Homer, AK, and that's where you see the little girl twirling in the swing, and there are houses in the background.  But then the next shot is her finishing her packing her backpack wearing the blue dress, and she's suddenly on the porch of the "log cabin" house. IIRC, in last week's introduction episode, they showed that as being in Montana, but they didn't identify the location here.

 

Other than the beach landings, they really did show only 4 people in this episode. Desmond's first shot was at 10:08 AM and the boat coming for him was at 4:47 PM. So not even 7 hours. I don't think of him as the season's obligatory "black man can't make it in the wilderness", but as the obligatory "military and/or law enforcement experience alone does not prepare you for this show because you will not have guns".  YMMV. But I have to say that although Josh tapping out in < 24 hours last season was a hoot, Desmond's tapping out even sooner does leave me uncomfortable. The producers may have had no clue about the skills and psychology that were required for success last season, but they sure as hell knew when they were picking this group of people. Was the braggadocio that we saw in Desmond's family clip enough for him to bluff his way onto the show? I don't know. 

 

How did I miss Season 1?  This is the kind of reality show that I absolutely adore!

Well, we were here waiting for you!

Edited by Quilt Fairy
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I'm really looking forward to seeing how the folks we HAVEN'T seen yet do before I try to do any more ranking. We haven't seen Justin, yet. Judging from his equipment choices, he's either going to go far, or go away quickly. I'm pretty sure he appears in a couple clips/pictures, that appears to be him practicing knife throwing in a clip, and since he's the only one with a hammock, that has to be him kicked back in shorts laying on a hammock in picture on history.com. So, I think he'll be around for awhile.

I can't wait to hear his reasoning for the unorthodox gear choices. I thought his hammock was a crazy choice, but then in the intro episode he explained the many things he was expecting to cannibalize from it and it started making sense. I think he's the first and only contestant ever to not bring a hunting knife. Instead he chose to bring a multifunction tool, which probably includes a couple knife blades. After last season, I expected everyone to show up with a gill net, fishing line and hooks. Not Justin, he explained he could use his hammock as a net, and that he was planning to use part of it for cordage - I suppose, depending on the type of climbing rope he's bringing, he can probably unravel some of it for cordage and fishing line. Cordage is one of those things which everyone brings, but people bring a wide range of choices. Most contestants chose fishing line. If they choose that, they get 300 yards, and a choice of what test they get to bring. I have always taken paracord. Stronger and easier to use around camp than fishing Iine, and if you need a thinner cord you can peel it back and get at the inner cords - viola perfect size cordage for tieing small bundles or making a snare. But, if they have to either leave fishing line or paracord behind, I can understand taking fish line - especially as they get mix and match different test lines. It will be interesting to see if Justin tries fishing with home made hooks and re-purposed cordage. Intellectually, I know a gouge hook is supposed to be easy to make and effective, but I've never tried. Like Nicole, Justin is not bringing the standard cook pot. I'm interested in seeing his pot. The list of permissible items says either a 2 quart pot with lid or a frying pan. Justin's choice is listed as a 5 quart pan, so I guess he has a frying pan like Nicole. Last strange item he's chosen to bring, is his sleeping bag. Ok, everybody brings a sleeping bag, but as usual, he has an odd choice. First off, it's a down bag, which I'm still unconvinced is a good choice for Vancouver, no matter how many hundreds of dollars you spend, of how water resistant they claim it is. Then his choice is a down bag with sleeves. I seen those bags, and they have always seemed like a gimmicks that sounds good but probably doesn't work.

Along with his rather unorthodox choices, I notice he's chosen to bring along a couple of the food ration packs. I suspect there is maximum number of rations packs they can bring, several people are bringing two packs, a couple 1 pack, and some skipped the extra food altogether. I'd like to know which packs people chose. If you look at the list, there are 9 different choices, some aimed at providing protein, some sugars or carbs, etc. Even see one choice is 5 lbs of chocolate and another is 5 lbs raisins, m&m's, and peanuts. Can they double up and take two of one pack? Who is it that makes the pack? One of the packs says 5 lbs pulses, legumes and lentils - does that mean a contestant could show up with ten pounds of dry pinto beans? If you can only take one of each pack, how about 5 pounds of beef jerky for protein and 5 pounds of pinto beans. (Yes, I like pinto beans.) I kind of like the idea of bringing a 5 lbs pack for protein (either the beef jerky or biltong) and 5 lbs pack of dried beans. With a little hunting/gathering of seaweed, fish, or what not to supplement the pot, I think a contestant could do a lot better than trying to live of the land.

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Was the braggadocio that we saw in Desmond's family clip enough for him to bluff his way onto the show?

Actually, that was 1 of the reasons I thought he would be an early tap out. He spent way too much time talking about how he wasn't afraid of any bear. In my mind, I was thinking "this guy is gone as soon as he sees a bear". Turned out he didn't need to see a bear, just scat and noises in the dark "eerie" woods and he was sitting on the beach as far as he could get from the woods, waiting for the boat.
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 But I have to say that although Josh tapping out in < 24 hours last season was a hoot, Desmond's tapping out even sooner does leave me uncomfortable. The producers may have had no clue about the skills and psychology that were required for success last season, but they sure as hell knew when they were picking this group of people. Was the braggadocio that we saw in Desmond's family clip enough for him to bluff his way onto the show? I don't know. 

 

 

Actually, that was 1 of the reasons I thought he would be an early tap out. He spent way too much time talking about how he wasn't afraid of any bear. In my mind, I was thinking "this guy is gone as soon as he sees a bear". Turned out he didn't need to see a bear, just scat and noises in the dark "eerie" woods and he was sitting on the beach as far as he could get from the woods, waiting for the boat.

When I saw the at home scene with Desmond, his bragging made me think that he was first boot. It had nothing to do with his skills or race, but the fact that the editing showed this. THAT was why. Maybe every single one of these people bragged to some degree, but the editors chose to show us his specific bragging. For me, that was part of their storytelling. Anyone who watches realty TV at all knows that little tidbits are given along the way to frame their story (edgic-how many people try to find the "million dollar quote" in Survivor? There is always one). Desmond's statement was a foreshadowing for the point (that is made all too obvious by most of the contestants not just Desmond) that no matter the skill set, training, and even amount of bragging, this is going to kick your ass, no doubt about it. Even some of our top guys from last season had days of struggle and feeling isolated and questioning why they were there.

 

Like many I am very interested in what Tracy will do. Can't wait to see Jose as well. I think Larry will be the next one out.

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I just rewatched the entire first episode in it's entirety and it turns out I was talking out of my ass here. She actually tied the grommets of her tarp together, which would create a tarp tube, basically. Then she put the edge with the grommets up along the ridge pole, and laid the solid side of the tarp on the ground, then put the blue tarp inside that. She's definitely created a barrier against water getting in from the ground (except for the ends, which gets no explanation)  but now I understand your comment about directing water into the inside of the tent. I don't know how tightly you can tie the edges of the tarp together, but unless she put something else over that edge, it certainly seems as if rain could come in that way.

 

I also caught something in Mary Kate's background scenes, similar to Desmond's family in the otherwise empty house. The house with the clapboards and the nice porch is shown as Homer, AK, and that's where you see the little girl twirling in the swing, and there are houses in the background.  But then the next shot is her finishing her packing her backpack wearing the blue dress, and she's suddenly on the porch of the "log cabin" house. IIRC, in last week's introduction episode, they showed that as being in Montana, but they didn't identify the location here.

 

Other than the beach landings, they really did show only 4 people in this episode. Desmond's first shot was at 10:08 AM and the boat coming for him was at 4:47 PM. So not even 7 hours. I don't think of him as the season's obligatory "black man can't make it in the wilderness", but as the obligatory "military and/or law enforcement experience alone does not prepare you for this show because you will not have guns".  YMMV. But I have to say that although Josh tapping out in < 24 hours last season was a hoot, Desmond's tapping out even sooner does leave me uncomfortable. The producers may have had no clue about the skills and psychology that were required for success last season, but they sure as hell knew when they were picking this group of people. Was the braggadocio that we saw in Desmond's family clip enough for him to bluff his way onto the show? I don't know. 

Now I get the idea with MK's ground tarp.  I think I had it in my head that you want the middle of the floor to be up--like on a pillow of leaves etc.. I guess she made a little "boat" like she said so that the water will go around her and the high sides will keep water  from seeping in.   

 

I'm still not convinced any of that footage was Homer AK.  Forgive my obsession with this but I'm one of those who has to wait to the bitter end of the credits to see where a movie was filmed, and often spend the whole film analyzing the terrain.  i love to see if I can figure out where they are by the landscape.  I'm so thrilled if i can guess it.   I saw the clapboard house shots, and it still doesn't look like what I've seen of Alaska. (it almost looks like desert terrain)  There is Homer Spit which could possibly be a very treeless, sandy  jutt of land. ..so maybe.. but I still don't think so.    I'm going to have to let this go..as I may never know.

 

I didn't see Desmond's bear jokes so much as bragging, but as him not taking the whole bear thing very seriously and obviously not accepting the gravity of a bear attack.  I don't think there's any such thing as 'bear wrestling' or 'bear fighting'.  My guess is you get shaken by the neck like a rag doll and game over.  There's no exchanging punches or rolling around with the bear.  (maybe in a rare case--I dunno)  From what I have heard about the only animal that can take on a bear is a wolverine.  Apparently they can rip a bears face to shreds and .even blind them.  

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I'm still not convinced any of that footage was Homer AK.  

Ha, I need my glasses checked. I thought that it was AR, for Arkansas. I have been there and I even thought, wow that does not look like Arkansas at all! lol

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At Desmond's bon voyage party, he told a few male relatives that if he encounters a bear, it's the bear who will have the problem and need help getting away from Desmond. Right then and there I knew he was in trouble.  People who are trained in survival (not that I actually know any but what I gather from watching them on television) never trivialize creatures or situations that they may face.  Most of the bona fide survivalists have great respect for predators and also know that losing your head dooms you to failure.  

 

Desmond kept seeing bogeymen (bears) around every corner.  Did it not occur to him to find a place to camp where there wasn't an obvious bear highway?  It was like he simply gave up.  I got slightly pissed about it because he took someone else's spot in the competition, someone who might have had a fighting chance to succeed or at least stay a little longer!  Tracy's experience on the Appalachian Trail served her well; she's probably had a ton of experience with noisy nighttime forest creatures and she took it in stride.  

 

Mary Kate might have been filmed leaving from her mother's house, since her mom was going to take care of the kids while Mary Kate was away.  Don't know how she was able to leave those adorable daughters.  

 

My prediction is that the military sniper guy will have some problems; he might have a good military skill set but I don't think he has the ability to be zen with the forest and wildlife.  I was shocked that he would leave during divorce proceedings.  Who does that?

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Mary Kate might have been filmed leaving from her mother's house, since her mom was going to take care of the kids while Mary Kate was away. Don't know how she was able to leave those adorable daughters

I suppose it's very un-PC of me, but since they showed Mary Kate with such a young baby and no man around I assumed that woman was her partner. It wasn't until I went back today and watched the intro episode I skipped last week that I realized it was her mother.

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I'm still not convinced any of that footage was Homer AK.  Forgive my obsession with this but I'm one of those who has to wait to the bitter end of the credits to see where a movie was filmed, and often spend the whole film analyzing the terrain.  i love to see if I can figure out where they are by the landscape.  I'm so thrilled if i can guess it.   I saw the clapboard house shots, and it still doesn't look like what I've seen of Alaska. (it almost looks like desert terrain)  There is Homer Spit which could possibly be a very treeless, sandy  jutt of land. ..so maybe.. but I still don't think so.    I'm going to have to let this go..as I may never know.  

Well, all I can tell you for sure is that they blended 2 locations together for her going away scene and the location of the clapboard house was identified on screen as Homer, AK.

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Question

What was Desmond's plan for the wood he was sawing? It didn't seem as if they were large enough to help with a shelter but they looked too large for firewood. Was he just killing time? Making stools for the Bears! What were the mini logs for?

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What was Desmond's plan for the wood he was sawing? It didn't seem as if they were large enough to help with a shelter but they looked too large for firewood. Was he just killing time? Making stools for the Bears! What were the mini logs for?

Hmmm maybe killing time while waiting for the boat after his 6 hour picnic. LOL

I imagine just cutting a dry log, in preparation for splitting into firewood. It does beg the question of what he was planning to do with the split wood. Far as I know, he never set up a camp. Wouldn't it make more sense to decide where you are going to camp, then carry the dry wood to camp before cutting and splitting the wood - carry one three foot section of dry log in one trip instead of several armloads of splint wood. Maybe he found a camp site and it didn't make it on air. Sort of makes sense that he had found a spot and started setting up camp, then gave up because he heard/saw bears. That makes his attempts to throw fish line over a branch to hang his food makes more sense.

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I feel funny posting because last season I binge-watched the entire season and then read the thread here in its entirety knowing what was going to happen.  I might be a little different from some here in that I am not into survivalism nor even camping from a skills perspective, but I am curious about what motivates people and how they cope with stressful situations.  Last season I saw right away that Alan and Sam were the ones to watch just based on their positive attitudes alone.  I'm a little disappointed that we didn't get to see all the contestants on their first day and that we won't get to see the others' first days at all.  I don't remember how they handled this last season but I don't remember feeling this bothered by whatever they did.

 

One thing I did call so far was pretty obvious and that's that Desmond wasn't going to last - I just didn't ever imagine that he wouldn't at least make it through a single night there.  His bragging was a pretty clear sign to me that he had no idea what he was getting into and that he would be a big coward. While I realize that reality shows often slant the deck to create their own desired outcomes, I'm not so willing to believe they did that here to make some kind of racist point about African Americans. I don't think they can necessarily predict how long someone will last.   The toughest looking people are sometimes hiding weakness and the weakest looking people can often be tougher than nails.  Look at Sam from last season, he seemed so young and unprepared for the challenge and look how long he lasted.   I'll bet he left some producer's jaw on the floor when he lasted that long.  I'm a person that is regularly underestimated for all kinds of things so I'm acquainted with this phenomenon.  The strength of someone's will and a positive attitude is often more important than technical skills.  Perhaps TPTB thought Desmond would be another Sam.  Either that or he wouldn't last a day - And it turned out to be the second choice.  But I really don't think they cast him for any nefarious reasons.  I thought that for a minute last season when the tough-guy cop was the first (or one of the first, I forget) to go, but how could they have predicted that?  When someone like Sam can last to almost the very end it becomes obvious that some of this is unpredictable from TPTB's POV.

 

When I see people like Larry bitching like little wussies I think I see his end coming sooner rather than later.  And then there's Mary Kate with her constant "I'm screwed" mantra.  But she may actually not crap out that early because she showed resourcefulness and a no-quit attitude by finding a new strategy for her tent.  Of course, I think Tracy is one to watch.  That woman is as tough as nails.  She's seen a lot and been through a lot and that makes a person resilient to all kinds of danger and adversity.  Just being in the military is no indication that a person has been through the school of hard knocks, but I can tell that Tracy has been, and that is probably one of her biggest assets.  Adding to that her strong skill set for that kind of environment makes her a front runner so far.  The only thing I worry about with her and some of the others that said they had been through some tough times and wanted to find "peace" is that with that much time on their own their inner demons and negative emotions will have an opportunity to take over.  People often don't realize that being that alone for that amount of time forces them to face the issues in their lives that they'd rather not confront so head-on.  And it can be difficult for some people.  Just like the ones last season who didn't realize how being alone for an extended time away from family would affect them. 

 

Anyway, I've gone on long enough......

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I'm not going to judge Desmond. It's one thing to know that there are going to be bears, and another thing to be up to your ankles in bear shit facing your own mortality. "Fuck this, I have a family" is not an irrational response to that stimuli, in my opinion. It's just a game.

Yes, he took a better man or woman's spot, but that's casting's fault, not his.

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Derriere, I think that's a good point.  I remember last season the guys who saw (or thought they saw) the most evidence of predators in their immediate vicinity were the first to get spooked and go home. I have no doubt that the luck of the draw as far as location goes plays a role in how long they last.  I wonder how long Larry will last now because he seems to be in a rough area.  The fact that they only featured 4 people in the first episode makes me wonder if some of them are the first to go just based on that alone.  Obviously the people that weren't featured in the first episode lasted at least 3 days and probably more otherwise they'd already have given us some background on why they left or are leaving so soon.  I don't believe that Tracy will be one of them unless she's the one who gets that nasty cut on her hand and can't manage it.  I'm really rooting for her so far.  I'm thinking it's the Alaskan woman that might be the one who gets the cut plus she has wet boots so I'm wondering how long she'll last.

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Thanks, Major Bigtime - I based my comment on what had been said earlier in the thread, so I was under the impression that they were going to pick up the next episode 3 days in.  I forgot how they handled it last season.

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 Obviously the people that weren't featured in the first episode lasted at least 3 days and probably more otherwise they'd already have given us some background on why they left or are leaving so s  I don't believe that Tracy will be one of them unless she's the one who gets that nasty cut on her hand and can't manage it.  I'm really rooting for her so far.  I'm thinking it's the Alaskan woman that might be the one who gets the cut plus she has wet boots so I'm wondering how long she'll last.

I paused that coming attraction of the cut hand because I thought I recognized MK's jacket.  Looking around the camp in that shot I saw Mk's iron cooking pot.. and said, yes that's her pot  sitting up on that white parsons table...   Um.. wait.  a table??   

 

I had her as likely tap-out within another day or two but she had lots of split wood and bundles of kindling ....and a 'table'??? I assume whatever it is it rolled up on shore unless it was part of the camera gear.  So I think she's going to be there for at least a little while,  The cut hand could be day  4 or 99 for all I know..  we'll see if she can go on from there.

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I'm not going to judge Desmond. It's one thing to know that there are going to be bears, and another thing to be up to your ankles in bear shit facing your own mortality. "Fuck this, I have a family" is not an irrational response to that stimuli, in my opinion. It's just a game.

Yes, he took a better man or woman's spot, but that's casting's fault, not his.

Could be right, poor Desmond found himself in an environment totally alien to his experience.

Course, that would never happen to me. I have had lots and lots of survival training in the Army ⛺, must have been over 20 hours in my 20 years active duty. I watched Cody and Dave, and all those guys who followed them on Dual Survivor, so I'm an expert survivalist, trained in all armchair survival techniques. I grew up watching Gentle Ben and Grizzly Adams on

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I'm not going to judge Desmond. It's one thing to know that there are going to be bears, and another thing to be up to your ankles in bear shit facing your own mortality. "Fuck this, I have a family" is not an irrational response to that stimuli, in my opinion. It's just a game.

Yes, he took a better man or woman's spot, but that's casting's fault, not his.

 

In thinking about this further, I think it's a matter of skill, confidence and the hand you're dealt.  The less of one you have the more of the others you need to make up for it.  If Desmond had been a die-hard. trained survivalist he may have had more skill and confidence to overcome the crappy hand he was dealt (ha, no pun intended).  I think there's a life lesson in there somewhere.

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I agree, but sometimes you have to make your own luck. I think he became so focused and spooked by the bears in the neighborhood that he couldn't even formulate a Plan B. In some situations, you really need to have a short memory. His fear paralyzed him.

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Yay! it's back! So excited. 

 

Well, I knew Desmond was going to be the first to go when he told his friends and family they'd have to drag him out of there, he wasn't going to be leaving on his own. Famous last words. I always wonder about people who get THAT scared by the animals. They do know beforehand what lives in that area. It's just so weird. I suppose it's much different to actually face it, but he didn't even last an entire day. I knew he was going to call them in before it got dark. If he was that scared in the daylight, no way he was going to sit there and listen to the noises when he couldn't even see anything. 

 

Is anyone going to make a cougar hat this year???

 

Larry. He was hard to watch. Bitch, bitch, bitch. I know life out there isn't easy, but he is way too uptight. If he's losing his cool so much on day one, he's not going to make it very long. I want to see people who can find some enjoyment in this process, and he's not going to be one of them. 

 

Mary Kate is another one who might lose her mind, but then she seemed to recover a bit better toward the end. It still freaks me out that she left such a young baby at home, though. 

 

Tracy is interesting. She seems tough, mentally and physically. I loved that she had a fire going outside her shelter night one.She don't mess around! 

 

I can't wait to meet more of the cast next week!

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