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Was Final Survivor Challenge Unfair To Terry Deitz?

May 14, 2006 09:52 PM by Joe Blackmon

Terry_platformTerry Deitz was one of the greatest competitors to ever play the game of Survivor.  He seemed destined to join the likes of Tom Westman, who dominated the game on his way to becoming the ultimate survivor during Survivor Palau.  However, after winning five straight immunity challenges, Terry wound up losing the last two immunity challenges.  But was the final immunity challenge fair or did it put Terry at a huge disadvantage?

The final immunity challenges on Survivor are often balance challenges, which seem to favor female competitors.  The Survivor Panama Exile Island final immunity challenge seemed even more unfair than normal to male competitors.  The immunity challenge involved balancing on a series of ever diminishing in size floating platforms.  Heavier male contestants like Terry and Aras sank the platforms into the water, making it more difficult to balance on a wet platform. 

Even if the challenge was unfair though, Terry didn’t outlast Aras, who was at a similar disadvantage.  Plus, it is very difficult to create a challenge that isn’t unfair to some degree to at least some contestants.  For example, a very physical challenge would have been unfair to Danielle.  However, considering how Terry dominated the game, it did just seem wrong to put him in a final challenge, where the odds were heavily stacked against him.  Terry fans will likely not be happy by the results, and we wouldn’t be surprised if someone starts a petition. 

Reality TV Magazine is your source for Survivor news.  For other great Survivor Guatemala news, please also check out SirLinksALot: Survivor Panama Exile Island.

Topics: Survivor |

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34 Responses to “Was Final Survivor Challenge Unfair To Terry Deitz?”

  1. Sasha Cohen fan Says:
    May 14th, 2006 at 10:38 pm

    Captain America is the new Rupert. His fans will start a “Let’s give Terry the million” internet campaign or send hate mail to CBS. WAAAAAAAAA.

    He’s so bland that the reunion became the Cirie/Shane Show. I love it!

  2. ADam Says:
    May 14th, 2006 at 11:48 pm

    They had balanced a previous challenge due to weight differences. Why not this time?

  3. lisa Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 1:57 am

    I’m sure they think of these challenges waaay before they even compete on the show. It could have been all three males in the final three, the producers don’t know who will end up in the final three. I doubt they are sitting there with three days to go to the final challenge saying hmmm what are we going to do for the final challenge. Pu-leez, give Mark Burnett some credit, he’s not an idiot.

  4. Jim Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 3:17 am

    All the other immunities until last week were all built for a strong man, so no, I don’t think the challenges have been unfair.

    Tom managed to stay in the game even though he didn’t win every immunity. If Terry were a good player, he would have done the same.

  5. Anonymous Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 8:12 am

    Somebody call a Wambulance!!!

  6. suzanne Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 8:51 am

    It was definitely an unfair challenge. I’m a huge Terry fan and like shane, believe he was the true survivor. Danielle stabbed him in the back more than once. He could have voted her off at the final four and then just had Aras to contend with (Cyrie, as much as I liked her, would not have gotten past the first platform.).
    For as long as I’ve watched this program, I’ve never been more disappointed with a finale since Richard Hatch won.

  7. Jeremy Adams Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 9:29 am

    I think that the final challenge was fair, but I think that the producers of survivor should come up with a better way of determining who will be in the final two at the end of the series. Whenever there is a draw on any other vote before the final three, there is some kind of challenge to determine who will stay. Just like Daniel and Cyrie had to do with building a fire. The final vote shouldn’t be to the person who won the last immunity challenge, because the person that is chosen doesn’t mean that they were the one who deserves to be there. As in the case with Daniel picking Aris, she won ONE immunity challenge the whole game and gets to deside who’s gets second place. UNFAIR..UNFAIR..UNFAIR. She deserved to be in the final two because she did last up to the point of the immunity challenge, but I think that there should be a second challenge to determine who will the second runner up. That eliminates who deserves to be there and who dosen’t.

  8. Tyler Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 9:45 am

    Terry is lucky he even got to the final 3. All but one of the individual immunity challenges he won were all strength competitions and he was easily the strongest person of the entire group there. I’m actually suprised they didn’t have people fly and land a plane for the final immunity challenge. After Terry was left all alone with Casaya they didn’t have one single strategic immunity challenge. It was a complete setup to keep him in the game, which is why they were physical challenges every time. Terry should be thankful to Mark Burnett for getting him as far as he did.

  9. Steve Z. Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 11:15 am

    SURVIVOR – The LAST challenge was so unfair, it is rediculous. If CBS had wanted to select on skill, they had to make the thickness of the floats PROPORTIONAL to the weight of the person on the float. Otherwise, as soon as any edge goes under water, there is no leverage and no chance of regaining balance. Everyone who has played water games knows this intuitively and it can also be proven with basic physics.

    The men had NO chance of winning.

    Forcing Danielle to be the finalist is just disgusting.

    Sincerely, Steve Z.

  10. Alex Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 12:10 pm

    Eh.. the last immunity challenges are usually like that though.. Endurance favors small, young people.. like when Brian Heidik won that coin thing with the other two old people.. was that fair to the older people? Not really..
    Survivor All Stars with touching that middle while standing on poles. They didn’t make the poles proportional to the size of their feet. It’s all part of the game.

  11. Anonymous Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 1:00 pm

    Ah, come on! What is unfair is that all the ICs were made so physical (unlike Vanuatu for example where they had puzzles and that lame shuffle board) so that it is almost impossible for Cirie to win any of them.

    That’s what is unfair, letting Terry went far solely because he won ICs.

    Why does Joe Reality start almost every entry with a question now?

  12. Kris Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 3:29 pm

    I feel the last challenge was fair. But I agree with the other person above about letting the final 2-without immunity-do something like what Danielle and Cirie had to do. Just picking someone who doesn’t really deserve it doesn’t seem fair. I agree with Shane, Terry was the True Survivor up til the end.

  13. Michele Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 3:40 pm

    Terry should have definately won the game. He was by far the best player in the game and had a huge disadvantage going up against all of the others. They should not be able to discuss who they are voting off at all. It would make the game much more interesting. Way to go Terry – you should have won!

  14. Steve Z. Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 3:58 pm

    I guess you all don’t get it. It is only a challenge if the outcome is in doubt. Terry’s and Aras’s floats sank before they even stood up. It is not fair no matter who you are rooting for. As was said at the beginning “They had balanced a previous challenge due to weight differences. Why not this time?”
    They deliberately screwed both guys!!!!!

  15. Boobop Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 4:43 pm

    The challenge was fair in the sense that every challenge favors a certain type of competitor.
    The physical immunities always favor strong men like Terry or Aras, it is just the cards that are dealt.

    People should just stop caring so much and accept the fact that Terry lost. I was rooting for CIRIE all the way anyway, but you do not see me coming up with conspiracies that justify her loss.

  16. Katy Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 5:26 pm

    They already have a save terry fund. I am behind it.


  17. Steve Z. Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    YOU try it. Get a disk that only
    half sinks and learn to balance on it and then try it on a disk that sinks as soon as you get on it.

  18. Anonymous Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 6:16 pm

    It was fair since the rest of the challenges were a little unfair for the women. Don’t complain, just because this poll showed that Terry was most likely to win doesn’t mean he was going to anyway. Geez. -_-’

  19. Steve Z. Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 6:38 pm

    OK One last try. It was not fair. Somebody else posted the following. Maybe the he said it will help:

    The final Immunity challenge in last nights finale was so blatantly biased to ensure Danielle would win, that I could hardly believe what I was seeing. It’s plainly obvious that a 200lb man has no change of out-balancing a 105lb woman on planks such as those, and I’m struggling to figure out why they would create such a challenge. If you look at Terry as he’s trying to balance on his final plank, the board is firmly underwater as he tries to steady himself. The man’s literally sinking while Danielle’s board is still very much above water. I could understand if they left it at the 1 original board, where everyone was above water, and everyone had a reasonable chance. But forcing the male’s hands such that sheer physics prevent them from having a chance at all, is ludicrous. You know that some challenges throughout the game are physical to the extent that the strongest player physically has a decisive advantage. In that respect I understand how difficult it is for the producers to balance the challenges such that everyone, eventually, has a chance at winning. But for the final and most important challange of the game, you’ve gotta do better than that. Danielle is a player whom Probst himself admitted in an interview as being “one of the weakest survivor’s ever”, yet they hand the final 2 over to her on a platter.

  20. Janet Hamlin Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 7:32 pm

    Terry is still the winner in my eyes. He was the strongest mentally and physically, winning most of the challenges. The last challenge was unfair to the men. They should have had a better challenge and should the women have easier ones?…I think not!!!They are competing with everyone, not just their own sex.

  21. Rob Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 9:03 pm

    As some people have already mentioned, almost every immunity challenge was a strength challenge, which hugely favored Terry. Most of the immunity challenges favor men, so I don’t think it is unfair to have one or two that involve balance and favor a woman.

    I also don’t think Terry was a strong mental or strategic player. He was a dominant physical player and that is it. His attempts to persuade people and play a strategic game failed almost every time. His social game was also weak. He bragged and boasted and swaggered and spoke from on high and so on… Terry should have won only if you consider survival to be just about physical strength.

    Aras was the better all around player–physically strong, but also with a superior social and strategic game. Pretty satisfying conclusion, in my book.

  22. BanBan Says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 9:58 pm

    While Terry managed to Outplay the others, Cirie Outwitted many, Aras was the one who had components of both. He was not the best physically or in wits, but was probably 2nd or 3rd best in both.

  23. Lora Anne Says:
    May 16th, 2006 at 8:48 am

    I think the last challenge should be more of a brain teaser with some physical endurance. If they do half physical and half using your brain then it would be more fair regardless if it was a man or a woman. Like the one where they had to dig out the bags and then put the puzzle together – that would be more fair in my opinion.

  24. Kerry Porter Says:
    May 16th, 2006 at 9:49 am

    I told my son before the challenge even began that Danielle would win. Women typically have better balance, and with the weight issue it was a no brainer. I really wish Terry would have won, just like I wish Colby would have. Unfortunately this game is very rarely won by the person that actually deserves it.

  25. Marie Says:
    May 16th, 2006 at 1:57 pm

    I haven’t been this disappointed since sleazy Brian won Thailand. I didn’t like either finalist and didn’t care who won. I will not be buying this DVD set when it comes out.

  26. jack Says:
    May 16th, 2006 at 5:21 pm

    All of the survivor shows like to go back and forth with winners. Boy/girl/boy/girl, etc. A big breasted bimbo won last season, so a guy had to win this one. And I guarantee a girl will win next time. The show is rigged, and gives girls an unfair advantage. They knew Danielle wouldn’t win, but they wanted to make sure she was in the final two.

  27. Joe Says:
    May 16th, 2006 at 6:13 pm

    I felt this final challenge was unfair. Imagine if Cirie made the final 3 and then struggled to make *the first float*.

    And I’m not making jest at her – I’m glad to see her get to the final 4.

    How would look if one couldn’t even begin the final challenge? Producers should have saw this coming.

    The final challenge usually is about endurance – something that this was not primarily.

    This should had been Aras v Terry and an interesting vote that would have been.

    Terry and Aras didn’t have a chance.

  28. Steve Z. Says:
    May 17th, 2006 at 8:32 am



  29. suzie_q Says:
    May 17th, 2006 at 10:24 am

    I think the last challenge was difficult, but Aras was at a disadvantage 2. Terry kicked so much butt for so long, which was awesome! It’s hard to keep winning like that, but he rocked it! He was the most honorable and moral person to ever be on a Survivor series, which is usually about deception and back stabbing. It’s nice to see that “good guys” can do well too, and not just the people to lie/cheat/steal to get ahead. (in this game and in life) I agree whole-heartedly w/ Shane, that Terry derserved to win! I believe he played the toughest and most competitive game he or anyone could have. The statement he made to Aras about having to win the rest of the immunitities was GREAT. The odds were against him, he made a statment of determination, and he was amazing. I also agree w/ what Terry said to Danielle about always keeping your word. He made some mistakes & let his frustration get the better of him here and there, everyone did. But he was man enuf to admit that and apologize. He’s an honorable, upstanding man. I admire Terry for the stand he took to be a gentleman and do the right thing. Congrats to his wife for picking such a great guy! He will forever be my favorite Survivor!

  30. choon102 Says:
    May 20th, 2006 at 3:32 am

    i only have chance to watch the finale today in Malaysia and totally disappointed with the final result!! Danielle really piss me off and i don’t really enjoy Aras either. Terry lose the game but leave with fame and reputation. i really respect at terry who played the game so smart and fairly without deceiving anybody. he is the real man and strongest survivor in the whole series i ever seen.

  31. preppypunk Says:
    May 22nd, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    Casting info for next season can be here:
    You can find more by clicking on the “Casting Call” tag below the post.

  32. Mike Buck Says:
    June 17th, 2006 at 11:28 pm

    Hey We all know who the Real Survivor was so lets just make sure that Mark Brunett will Cast All Stars 2 corectly so we can give Terry the Title of Sole Survivor that he deserves!

  33. Leanne Says:
    June 20th, 2006 at 7:24 am

    We have just seen the final of Survivor: Exile Island here in Australia and I agree that the final challenge was stacked against the men. Not just Terry but Aras too. How could they let Danielle have such control.
    And I cannot believe the people who are saying that Terry was a terrible strategist. How on earth was he supposed to strategise when he was outnumbered by a tribe that stabbed each other in the back but when it came time for tribal council were all weak and stuck together.
    Terry was my favourite player ever! The La Mina tribe was my favourite ever too. They were all so nice and close and I wish they were the ones left with the numbers when it came time for the merge. I have never been so disappointed at the final two.

  34. Pat Says:
    June 20th, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    The last challenge was rigged. But if Terry had’ve given Danielle that hidden immunity idol like he should have he’d be a million dollars richer today. Terry was too conservative and too nice down the stretch. But I still wish he won. Aras and Danielle annoyed me.


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