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S02.E14: The Reunion

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Everyone looks like they've gained their weight back.  Desmond looks thinner and sadly, Tracy looks heavier.

I thoroughly enjoyed Desmond's honesty and frankness.  He might've been interesting had he been able to get over his fear of bears.  

Jose bugged me. He seemed like he was entitled to win so he could live in the bush full time with Shauna. I really thought they'd question him about his laser-focus on that damn boat.

Especially since the host didn't pull any punches with Desmond or Larry.  

Speaking of which, I really, really liked Larry during the reunion.  He was funny, he was honest.  Though I wished they'd asked him what he thought when he first was told he came in second.  Probably !%!^%%^##*

Nicole was still happy and a delight.  She ate 28 different kinds of seafood?!  A-fricking-mazing!

Also amazing?  Mike said they didn't show but half of everything he made?  Wow!  Of course, he had to mention Barbara.  I think she is his touchstone.  With all the abandonment issues he's had in his life, I'm not surprised he has a human touchstone.

Justin = DAMN is he good looking!

Didn't miss Randy at all.  Tracy was kinda boring and disappointing, except her joke about Desmond.

And I wonder if Mary Kay will continue to have problems with her hand for the rest of her life, or if it just takes some therapy and time to completely heal.

Got teary eyed again watching Erin greet her dad.  Dave said he could stay out there until at least Day 80?!  Yeah, only Nicole even had the chance of beating him.

Patagonia looks good!  I will miss this show.

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The cynic in me thinks it's curious that the top ten talked about bits just happened to feature each of the also-rans.  I wonder what they would have done if Randy had showed up.  

I also wonder how long after the finale they filmed the reunion.  I'm guessing it was done before the show aired because I had the impression that the cast members were seeing the footage shown for the first time.

Why was Tracy barefoot?

I was struck by how much Justin looked like Leonardo Dicaprio.  I never noticed that until the reunion.

I enjoyed the reunion show but I wish they'd made it longer and allowed time for viewers' questions like "Why didn't Jose get out of the water?"  

All along I found David to be an attractive and intelligent man with kind eyes.  I'm glad he won and I wish him and his kids all the best.

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Speaking of which, I really, really liked Larry during the reunion.  He was funny, he was honest.  Though I wished they'd asked him what he thought when he first was told he came in second.  Probably !%!^%%^##*

I totally agree!! Knowing how Larry was always moaning and whining in the beginning, I wanted to know his thoughts on almost winning. 

I really don't like Jose now. At all. 

Why didn't Randy join everyone for the reunion? Honestly, I didn't notice he was missing.

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I actually like all the contestants still.  Even Jose, who everyone else seems to hate.  I just think he's one of those guys who find it hard to make connections with other people and explaining himself, which is fine by me.  If we were all the same, it'd be a boring old world.  He does have legit skills, and seems to really love Shauna.  I wish him a long and happy life.  I didn't expect to like Desmond so much in the reunion, but he was honest and took it in good humor.  Still think Tracey could use some good therapy - she did look larger, so I'm wondering if she's eating her feelings.  I like Larry a whole lot more when he's fed and loses the potty mouth and anger management issues.  LOL  Justin has always looked hot to me, and he seems to be a sweetheart.  I wish Mike and Barbara a good life.  Barbara - thank you for taking on the task of keeping Mike sane.  Good luck with that.  LOL  Nicole is still awesome in my book.  And David is a nice guy who really loves his kids, and they seem to really love him as well.  Glad he's got some money to help them get a good start in life.  Don't forget to pay your taxes on that winning though, David!  :)

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Good show, but really not exciting new tidbits. Good to see everyone looking clean and happy. I would have enjoyed a little more in depth type interviews, instead this turned into a puff piece.

I was down on Desmond about tapping without an actual bear sighting, but his story of a charging bear rang true. I thought having the host ask why he didn't have that on video was a good way to allow Desmond to answer that question without making him sound defensive. My first reaction to the charging bear story was why no video. The narrator's joke about a contract clause saying contestant's were required to film if being eaten was a good way to remind me that if a contestant is startled by a bear, his first thought would not be filming the encounter.

I noticed after all the controversy about why Tracy tapped - reaction to bears wanting to share her shelter or because of medical advise - not one word about her shoulder surgery. (Yes, I wondered about her being barefoot, too.)

The additional footage of MK's injury/treatment was good, but I would have liked to see her reaction when she watched the tape. She told us she wanted to watch the tape to see if she was doing, but then her segment ended before heard her reaction. Hoping she continues to regain more strength and movement in her thumb.

Nothing new from Mike and Justin. Mike told us he did a lot of stuff not shown on the show, but that was pretty much a given as suddenly he was have several things to show us, and I always wondered if there wasn't more we never saw.

My opinion of Jose is, what a disappointment. The early episodes were all about why no Jose, then what an amazingly skilled guy, look at the kayak he's building, still building, still building, ah finally finished but no salmon. Then did he get really dunked (I thought no and was wrong). Don't think he's being honest about his tap, I think it was 90% hunger. Not happy that he's insisting it was all about being tipped, but think he might believe it because of his ego. So, guess I should say I question if he's being honest with himself.

Nicole was her normal happy self. Maybe it's because I've read the ads of her seminar, but my opinion of her has dipped. Impression is that it was hers to win, but she was never really motivated.

Larry is much more likable when he's not starving. He should be on one those commercials where someone is told to eat a Snickers. I like his explanation of just setting the camera and letting it all out without stopping to think about what viewers would think. I really don't think he would have a big problem with being #2. Oh, I think there would have been some cussing and wishing he held out a little longer, but I think he knew he was done. And, seeing David catching fish two days after Larry tapped, I think he would have accepted that David deserved the win (but he might want a rematch).

Didn't get much from David's segment. Obviously the moment when he saw his daughter and realized he had won was emotional, but really nothing new about the island.

Like I said at the beginning, a good show but nothing new, and leaves lots of unanswered question. I agree that I would have enjoyed a two hour reunion show, where more viewer questions were answered. Off hand I can only remember maybe two viewer questions, and the ones that were asked seemed to be picked so to allow individuals to say things they wanted to talk about. I don't know if I believe it was scripted, but I definitely think they knew what was going to be talked about before hand. I would have liked to see what would have come out if there had been no host. Well, as I recall they tried last season with just getting 3 or 4 guys onscreen who asked each other questions and sometimes got off topic. To me that was better, but needed more structure to keep things on track. So maybe assign the hosting to one of the contestants, probably the winner, David. He was pretty reserved and taciturn during the show, but with his background he should be able to handle the hosting duties. I'm thinking of more a moderator, holding a stack of 3x5 cards with viewer questions. It would need to be someone who could keep the discussion ontrack, and an ex-minister should have no trouble. I have no doubt Alan could do a good job, but they may not want to open the obvious comparison between seasons.

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I was hoping they would explain that shot of the wolf/dog running on someone's beach.  They showed all the other promo videos at one time or another during the series.  I was curious to know whose part of the island it was on, and where it came from and how it was dealt with.  If I had been one of the participants, lonely for human companionship, I would have tried like hell to make friends with that wolf/dog.

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Invisible wolf/dog might be the break out star of this season.

It reminds me of the director Ed Woods, who did not mind inserting stock footage into his movies, even though it might not make a lot of sense.

Edited by qtpye
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I like Larry but I wonder why we aren't talking about that tattoo. Have we blocked all memory of it from our traumatized brains? Also,  I wondered why he wanted this big honking tattoo with all the things that remind him about the island on his back. Where he can't see it. Is he going to whip off his shirt at parties and say "let me tell you about the time  I spent Alone."

So where was Randy? Was there an explanation about why he was missing?

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That tattoo was AWESOME!  And I don't blame him for wanting it.  I see it as a badge of honor for him.

I think what ticked me off most abt Jose is that he kept talking abt wanting to make a better life for Shauna.  And at the reunion, all he talked abt was winning, uprooting his family to live the hard life in the bush.  How's that making life easier for Shauna? 

I was more surprised Desmond WAS there.  He's currently working on Guantanamo Bay.

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SRTouch pretty much said what I'm thinking.  It's funny, immediately after the final episode I went on a diet and it suddenly dawned on me that hunger must have done a number on Larry (and a lot of the others too).  And I did think about that Snickers commercial too, LOL.  I really like the not hungry Larry a lot.  I also thought Nicole was far more grounded and not as spacy as she was on the series, which also could have been from hunger.

I too wished this show could have lasted longer.  It was a kind of disappointing reunion.  No one got a chance to reflect on how they feel about the experience now that they've been back in their regular lives for a while.  These "most talked about moments" looked a bit manufactured to me since they all had one and it didn't really get them to open up about anything so it was basically worthless as a jumping off point for each of them.

I'm a little more cynical about Desmond and his story about being chased by a bear.  I would like to believe him but it does sound a bit too convenient like something one would think up after the fact to "save face" when they got home and had to tell everyone they left after only a few hours.  It's the ONLY thing that would get someone "off the hook" and shut people up from never letting them live it down - especially after all that bragging he did beforehand.  Why didn't he mention it in his voice over when they were picking him up?  One would think something that significant would have been mentioned.  Something doesn't feel right to me about that.

Word to Justin being handsome - To me he actually looks like a cross between DiCaprio and Matt Damon.  Kind of reminiscent of my husband when he was younger too. I liked Justin a lot more on this show than in the "bush".  He has a twinkle in his eyes, LOL.

Yeah, I was kind of traumatized by Larry's tattoo but I figure it's on his back so unless he undresses in front of everyone, not THAT many people are going to see it.  And I totally understand wanting to get it if not how large and scary it was.  I was LOL when the mouse was the biggest image on it aside from the map.  At least he honored the mouse!

José, yes, still a disappointment although looking a lot better.  I would have thought he'd have addressed why he capsized more but I think he probably wishes that image would just go away and hoped that if he ignored it maybe we would just erase it from our minds.  He definitely didn't turn out to be the interesting guy he seemed like he might be in the beginning.

I don't know if I think Tracy gained weight or if it was a function of that peasant top she was wearing.  I threw one in the trash last year after seeing photos of myself in it.  Damn thing made me look 20 lbs. heavier!

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I also don't believe Desmond's story of being charged by a bear.  He could have talked about it while waiting for the boat to pick him up,  or when he filmed himself on the beach sawing wood (for some reason) as he waited after his tap out, or as snarklepuss said, in his voiceover.    One would never omit that from their tap-out comments.  never. 

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Well, David was posting on Blade forum for a while and about the 5th or 6th week he said he had to go back to VI and film something, so that must have been when they did the reunion. I don't think they knew what our questions would have been back then. Nichole had indicated she thought we would not be satisfied and have our questions answered on the reunion and she was right. 

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Boring.

Host was bland.

Sad little fire.

Producers could have livened up the dull hour by:

  Aloners playing Mike's games together and interacting with each rather than being stuck on their log.

Frolicking with the wolf/dog playing fetch.

Paddling around in the S.S. Barbara and Jose's Folly, trying to dunk each other.

Catching and cooking a group meal together.

Give each Aloner a few minutes of camera time to correct any dubious editing of their time on VI

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11 minutes ago, humbleopinion said:

Give each Aloner a few minutes of camera time to correct any dubious editing of their time on VI

THAT was what they didn't want. Hence the tightly controlled reunion. 

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7 hours ago, holly4755 said:

Well, David was posting on Blade forum for a while and about the 5th or 6th week he said he had to go back to VI and film something, so that must have been when they did the reunion. I don't think they knew what our questions would have been back then. Nichole had indicated she thought we would not be satisfied and have our questions answered on the reunion and she was right. 

I suppose the timeline probably fits. It was nice seeing them all cleaned up and all, but overall, as humbleopinion said, kind of boring. ITA with riverheightnancy that the producers didn't want a sit-around-the-campfire bull session where contestants answered viewer questions and refuted the editing. Nah, they got what they wanted - lots of the viewers tuned in to watch their little puff piece and the ad for next season. (Yes I'm especially cynical this morning as I haven't had a second cup of coffee.)

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I thought it was a terribly boring reunion, the vast majority of it showing us film we already saw with a few new snippets showing us nothing new. The host seemed like someone groomed for a Ryan Seacrest gig. The questions were boringly generic. Why not have last year's winner as the host? All told each contestant got maybe 2-3 minutes to talk. The show seemed determined to follow more of a "reality competition show" format rather than a documentary format, and that is reflected in the handling of the reunion. A real shame.

Tracy's explanation seemed contradictory to me. At one point she said when she saw it was a mother and cubs, she was overwhelmed with regret. Then she says she was afraid for her life, that it freaked her out, and that's why she left. Something doesn't add up there. At the time, I had the impression that she was extremely distraught about the way she reacted to the incident. To me her reaction seemed 100% appropriate: yelling, sound horn, flare. I have the feeling she was disappointed that she'd reacted with aggression and fearfulness; she was not conflicted about her actions but by her emotional reaction. Maybe she thinks she's not supposed to get aggressive and fearful when threatened. Either way, I think there is something PTSD-related there.

I don't know whether Desmond was telling the truth or not, but I appreciated his being honest about being scared. Bears are scary!

I would have liked each person to have prepared ahead of time answers to some questions: How was the experience different from what you expected? In what ways did you find yourself unprepared for what you encountered? If you had to do it over again now, what would you do differently to prepare, or what other gear would you have taken? If you were giving advice to someone else signing up for this show, what would you say? Have you made any changes in your daily life as a result of this experience? What do you think you will remember about it most vividly ten years from now? THOUGHTFUL responses, not just some sound bites.

Edited by lidarose9
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23 hours ago, zibnchy said:

I like Larry but I wonder why we aren't talking about that tattoo. Have we blocked all memory of it from our traumatized brains? Also,  I wondered why he wanted this big honking tattoo with all the things that remind him about the island on his back. Where he can't see it. Is he going to whip off his shirt at parties and say "let me tell you about the time  I spent Alone."

So where was Randy? Was there an explanation about why he was missing?

That tattoo was atrocious. I cringed looking at it. We paused it to look at the various elements and OMG, I was appalled at the drawing ability of the artist, if that is the person who created it and it wasn't something Larry scribbled out with a stick in the dirt. The proportions of each item, the shading, there was just so much wrong with that on an artistic level, IMO. I wondered if he had the artist freehand it and just kept saying different things as they came to him..."oh yeah, and a fire starter...and a saw." ...five minutes later..."oooh, I just remembered, add a tent in too!"

I love good tattoo artistry, and this, to me, was most definitely NOT it. I get the spirit and intent, but damn, find a better artist.

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10 hours ago, lidarose9 said:

Tracy's explanation seemed contradictory to me. At one point she said when she saw it was a mother and cubs, she was overwhelmed with regret. Then she says she was afraid for her life, that it freaked her out, and that's why she left. Something doesn't add up there. At the time, I had the impression that she was extremely distraught about the way she reacted to the incident. To me her reaction seemed 100% appropriate: yelling, sound horn, flare. I have the feeling she was disappointed that she'd reacted with aggression and fearfulness; she was not conflicted about her actions but by her emotional reaction. Maybe she thinks she's not supposed to get aggressive and fearful when threatened. Either way, I think there is something PTSD-related there.

I had to watch this boring show again thanks to Mr. Snarkle not having seen it and me being too tired to get up and do something else.  I came here to post the same thing about Tracy.  The "being afraid for her life" explanation doesn't mesh with "being filled with regret" over her own reaction, plus when she tapped out the spin she put on it was more the latter and not the former.

I also thought that David looked a little uncomfortable for some reason.  He was quiet and stiff.  If I had to guess I'd say that he looked like he was uncomfortable either being in the spotlight, being the winner, or being on this particular show, and it came off like he didn't want to be there.  When he did try to joke around with the others about promising to get them all together again if he won it didn't come off so well either, even though they laughed.  I wonder what that was all about.

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16 hours ago, sunsheyen said:

I love good tattoo artistry, and this, to me, was most definitely NOT it. I get the spirit and intent, but damn, find a better artist.

OMG so much this.  If Larry wants a big ole tattoo, go for it dude, but that thing was not done well.  Nicole and Mary Kate were totally cracking up a the Larry/mouse footage, LOL.  

Desmond seemed pretty personable and honest and the host did ask him why they didn't have the bear on video, so that was OK. 

I would have liked more back and forth discussion between the contestants comparing their experiences. A good host can keep the conversation flowing, bring in questions and not let things get off track.  The straight Q&A wasn't as interesting because we've already seen that footage and listened to the basic blurbs.  I liked the new footage bits but a little more of that would have been good too.  Who knew that Nicole ate slugs?  It was all salmon and plants that we saw.   It was great that the show let Mary Kate go back to say goodbye to and pack up her camp.

On 7/22/2016 at 10:47 AM, Ocean Chick said:

I actually like all the contestants still.  Even Jose, who everyone else seems to hate. 

I pretty much liked everyone too; Jose apparently did film things other than the boat that they didn't show us; I don't mind him either.  I always thought Justin was good looking so that's not news to me :)  Justin I think more than anyone wanted to get his message out and never really planned to win. 

I thought we might get more discussion with David as the winner but he only got a couple of minutes. 

Overall an OK reunion.  Needed more new information.

Edited by raven
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On 7/23/2016 at 11:07 AM, Snarklepuss said:

I'm a little more cynical about Desmond and his story about being chased by a bear.  I would like to believe him but it does sound a bit too convenient like something one would think up after the fact to "save face" when they got home and had to tell everyone they left after only a few hours.  It's the ONLY thing that would get someone "off the hook" and shut people up from never letting them live it down - especially after all that bragging he did beforehand.  Why didn't he mention it in his voice over when they were picking him up?  One would think something that significant would have been mentioned.  Something doesn't feel right to me about that.

I didn't watch the reunion so I don't know exactly what Desmond said but from what I read here, I'm kinda skeptical too. I don't remember the name of the guy from last season that said bear charged at him. What we see from the clip was he spotted a bear and he ran back to camp. We didn't see the bear charging him. People tend to exaggerate or make up story when they're nervous or freaked out - so I think that's what happened to that guy...and maybe Desmond too. Who knows really. 

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On ‎7‎/‎23‎/‎2016 at 0:56 PM, lidarose9 said:

I would have liked each person to have prepared ahead of time answers to some questions: How was the experience different from what you expected? In what ways did you find yourself unprepared for what you encountered? If you had to do it over again now, what would you do differently to prepare, or what other gear would you have taken? If you were giving advice to someone else signing up for this show, what would you say? Have you made any changes in your daily life as a result of this experience? What do you think you will remember about it most vividly ten years from now? THOUGHTFUL responses, not just some sound bites.

These are the questions I'd ask, too--and this train of thought could have been broached without covering any tricky territory about the editing.  Without any of this sort of thoughtful reflection, it's more or less a clip show.  But geez, we watched each show, then we watched it again or caught the annotated version, so going heavy on the old footage for the "reunion" is such an anticlimax (and a poor reward for ye olde faithful viewers.)

 

I'll give Desmond a charitable pass on the pile of poop versus the gigantic charging predator.  My best friend and I used to get the giggles when one of us was telling a story to other people--we'd lean in close and whisper: "You embellished."

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ha I was telling someone they needed to watch alone because it was a great show, and they said they knew someone who did something like that . I went into more detail, and then we googled his name and it was the winner Dave! haha, she said he had told her that he was not quitting, it was never an option. Now after I told her more about it she wants to watch last year. ha. so funny.

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5 hours ago, holly4755 said:

ha I was telling someone they needed to watch alone because it was a great show, and they said they knew someone who did something like that . I went into more detail, and then we googled his name and it was the winner Dave! haha, she said he had told her that he was not quitting, it was never an option. Now after I told her more about it she wants to watch last year. ha. so funny.

Awesome!!!

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