TV & Showbiz

The Stupidest Tie Breaker Ever!

I’m really not a fan of Survivor.  But I caught the tail end of tonight’s episode and saw something truly ridiculous.

There were ten people at tribal council, the ending segment of each episode in which someone gets voted off the island.  Or continent.  Or wherever they are.

Anyway, there were 10 castaways at council, and through an odd coincidence, the vote ended in a 5-5 tie.  For those who are waiting to watch the episode later, there’s a partial spoiler after the jump. You’d think the producers would have a clever way of handling this.  Apparently, you’d think wrong.

Host Jeff Probst announces that in the event of a tie, everyone votes again, except for the castaways involved in the tie.  In this case, those two castaways were Laura and Natalie.

Wait a second, I think to myself: you’ve got ten people, five of whom voted for Laura and five of whom voted for Natalie.  We already know that Laura and Natalie didn’t vote for themselves.  (I don’t think you’re even allowed to vote for yourself.)

So unless someone suddenly changes their mind, you’d expect the results of the remaining eight votes to be the same.

In this case, oddly enough, one castaway actually voted differently the second time around, causing the result to be 5-3.  Basically, the producers got lucky.

What would have happened if there was a second tie?  Clearly the producers knew going in (since they see who’s getting voted for) that it wasn’t going to happen.

But you always need to have a good Plan B, and theirs should have been a lot better than that.


  1. Wil’s right. And besides, people do–clearly–change their votes. Had you watched the whole ep you’d’ve seen that, in fact, the tie-revote scenario was involved in the whole strategy of one or two people’s games.

    They used to make people start fires: the person whose fire got going fastest first and burned through a string a couple of feet above the flames won. Now that was stupid.

    I love this show–it makes me happy in so very many ways.

  2. As I understood it, if a second tie occurred, a likely scenario, then all ten would draw a rock – the one with the funny color would be “out”. Just a modification of drawing straws.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.