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Survivor spoilers

December 18, 2006

Yul won! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Sadly enough, none of the ethnic studies/media studies crowd at Claremont has been watching this season of Survivor, which is heartbreaking for me because some fascinating things have happened over the course of the show.

Of particular interest is the Aitutaki tribe, who all made it to the final four. Becky (Asian American), Yul (Asian American), Sundra (African American) and Ozzy (Mexican American), all people of color, managed to hold fast after Jonathan and Candice, the two white people on Aitutaki, took the opportunity to “mutiny” over to the opposing tribe and join their fellow whiteys. Admittedly, I missed out on a few episodes between the mutiny and the very end, but it seems like the game had a very intriguing racial undercurrent that was completely ignored by the actual material of the show. As soon as the mutiny happened, Aitutaki managed to dominate each challenge, forcing Rarotonga to go to tribal council and vote a member off over and over – and as it turns out, it generally ended up being the white majority voting out the non-white members of the tribe. Even once the tribes merged, it seemed to be fairly racially polarized, though it looks like infighting eventually sank Team Cracka.

Poor Becky, on the other hand, really had no chance. It’s nice to see an Asian American man and woman working together so well, but Yul and Ozzy outshined her.

Also, Yul and Ozzy both mentioned during the last tribal council that they wanted their appearance – and victory – on the show to alter the dominant images of Asian American and Latino American men, respectively. Props. Apparently Yul was even on a spread in People magazine or something. Time to put your money where your mouth is, Yul – we’ll see if we can’t get you to speak at a college event some time.

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