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Did My Tivo Reveal the Survivor: Fiji Final 3 Out of Spite?

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Don’t get me wrong. I love my Tivo. It allows me to record more programming than I can comfortably watch in a week. I can save multiple episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for my three-year-old so he always has age-appropriate viewing choices. The ability to pause live television and fast forward through commercials has generally made family life more enjoyable.

But my Tivo has been acting up lately. What was once a cooperative technological tool that left me with the distinct impression that I was in control, has turned against me with behavior usually reserved for my desktop PC. And now, with a regrettable glance ahead at upcoming descriptions of my favorite shows (which include Grey’s Anatomy and Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Inferno III), I realize that my Tivo may have just revealed the results of two weeks worth of highly anticipated position wrangling and an unlikely final three on Survivor: Fiji. But we’ll get back to that.

When I first plugged in my Tivo, it ran like a charm. I was able to set a “Season Pass” and record every episode of my favorite shows without having to remember what day of the week it was or what time it was on. It was like living in a time/space continuum where no matter what time it was, there was always something on that I wanted to watch. Sigh.

But then my Tivo started to have little hiccups. It would cut off before the end of an episode and display a “partial recording”. At first I blamed my husband for trying to foil my attempts to record a riveting Lifetime movie; naturally a bi-polar adopted child and Meredith Baxter Birney were involved. The problem continued to get worse, with the recording stuttering and skipping around, lots of pixilation and in some instances a need to reboot the whole system. What was once a mere annoyance has turned into a full blown case of Tivo-rage, the details of which are too ugly to put in print.

After some internet research, I’ve discovered that my Tivo is dying. It is worn out from all the pausing and recording and fast-forwarding and rewinding (at least ten rewinds wasted on Janet Jackson alone). Despite being in the midst of its final death gurgle, my Tivo has decided to have the last laugh. I should have guessed something was up a few weeks ago when the last few minutes of Top Design ran into the beginning of the encore presentation of the same episode.  During playback of the beginning/end of the episode played it revealed the final two designers were Carissa and Matt. Now the whole show was ruined because it was obvious that Andrea had created another drab, dungeon-esque room and was finally knocked out of the competition. “See ya later, decorator.” The only saving grace was not being subjected to another Andrea eyesore.

I realize this has nothing to do with the operation – or lack thereof – of my Tivo, and is more about the inability for Bravo to keep each of its scheduled programs within their respective time brackets. However, I could hear the snickers of delight coming from the Tivo motherboard and the whir of relief as I deleted the faulty episode of Top Design.

As this lackluster season of Survivor: Fiji has progressed, the last few weeks have developed into some of the most creative strategizing encounters and fumbles to ever occur on the “island”. In summary:

    • Yau-man found the hidden immunity idol and hid a fake immunity coconut in its place, complete with the initials “I.I.” so as not to be mistaken for a…well…coconut.
    • Lisi revealed the Exile Island clues to Edgardo and Alex, who found the other immunity idol by digging only a few feet away from the sleeping Lisi and Dreamz. Mookie pocketed the idol, which give him superhuman powers. Or so he thought.
    • Mookie tells Dreamz about the idol. And his superhuman powers diminish to near immeasurable levels. Dreamz fancies himself a brilliant mind, and while he has sparks of craftiness, overall forethought eludes him.
    • After the merge and a disastrous temporary reshuffle, Dreamz tells Mookie and Alex that Yau-man, Earl (who knows Yau-man has an immunity idol) and their alliance will be voting for Alex at tribal council. Mookie sneaks the idol to Alex so he will be safe at the vote. Dreamz tells Yau-man and his alliance that Alex now has the idol. After much discussion, Stacy, leader of the “drink coffee grinds or starve” Gestapo orders that Edgardo be voted off so they don’t have to worry about the idol bouncing back and forth between Alex and Mookie. They do not tell Dreamz. Confusing? Yes, I know. But this whole scenario and the speed at which the smile was wiped from Edgardo’s face when the vote at tribal council revealed he was the unlucky oustee has been one of my top five Survivor moments of all time.

Spoiler Alert: 

Thanks for sticking with me, as I’m sure the news will be as shocking to you as it was to me. The remaining Survivor: Fiji contestants after Mookie got the boot this week (with a vote from Alex, even!) are those in the Yau-man alliance (Earl, Boo, Stacy, Cassandra and Dreamz) and Alex. The description on my Tivo accompanying each week's Survivor episode usually contains a clever quip or funny quote in summary. Occasionally it can be a bit too revealing, but I do not recall a time when they mentioned a contestant by both first and last name.

 The description for this week’s episode to air on May 3, simply lists these three names: Alex Angarita, Kenward ‘Boo’ Bernis, Cassandra Franklin. Followed by the caption, “Nineteen castaways compete to win money”. Perhaps a disgruntled Tivo employee entered this caption in a few weeks early prior to walking off the job? Or perhaps my Tivo is not going down without a fight. Regardless of the explanation, if this is indeed the final three, there will need to be some mighty fine finagaling in order for Alex to save himself from the next vote. Is it even possible for these three to make it to the final three with the strength of the Yau-man/Earl alliance? And does anyone else think that Survivor:Fiji follows the exact same trajectory as this season of Lost (i.e. boring start, stellar finish).

One quick mention, my Tivo is of the Directv Tivo variety. Anyone out there with a different DVR or a stand-alone Tivo, pipe in with your episode descriptions so I can make a final determination whether or not my Tivo is out to get me. 

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About Kathy Scovill

  • Terry

    Very Interesting. My TiVo also added the name “Liliana Gomez” to the three you named. She was obviously voted out a long time ago, so I don’t think your TiVo has premonitions, just wishful thinking.

  • Brett Murray

    Hey there! Sorry to hear about your dying TiVo. It is *probably* your hard drive, and you can get a new one (fully loaded with the software that runs TiVo) at http://www.weaknees.com. Naturally you lose all your pre-recorded loot and your season passes, but that’s better than a dead TiVo!

    On where the show descriptions come from… They come from a listing service that TiVo subscribes to (as do other folks like tv.yahoo.com) and they in turn are fed by the networks. TiVo just publishes what is sent by the service. Bad in = bad out!

    Let’s hope it wasn’t a true spoiler… The last few weeks of a lackluster Survivor have indeed gotten interesting!

  • Endo Freespeech

    It’s not your TiVo, it’s the broadcasters. Bravo let the “Top Design” run over and sandwich with the second run…they want folks to watch it LIVE so they are punishing you for using TiVo.
    When the broadcasters wake up and move into the next evolution (IPTV and a la carte cable) they won’t be able to compete and they know it.
    Evolve or die out.

  • Amber

    Your tivo is not out to get you, it’s just listing the “cast” in alphabetical order as do other shows in their info descriptions. I’ve been fooled by this once or twice over the last seven wonderful tivo-filled years, and wouldn’t change a thing!

  • Kristi

    Is your tivo almost full? Mine did this once(not with survivor but it would delete shows, record invisible shows, freeze up etc.) When I called Direct Tv,they determined that my tivo’s memory was almost full and it was getting confused.They couldn’t believe I only had 2 or3 percent of available space. Anyway, they erased everything I had saved and it hasn’t happened since. Aparently most people they’ve heard from only keep 4 or 5 percent of their memory in use. What can I say I work for a living and me, my husband and 2 kids all like to record our favorite shows. Hope this helps.