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Survivor 46 Has An Incredibly Annoying Trend Season 47 Must Avoid

"Survivor" has been running for an astonishing 46 seasons — and since it began all the way back in 2000, it makes sense that many of the show's contestants are major fans of the show. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; it's excellent that people who love "Survivor" get the full experience of living on a remote Fijian island for 26 days so that they can compete for the coveted title of "sole Survivor" and $1 million. Some of those superfans, though, are turning the experience into some sort of audition, and it's an issue that the modern era of "Survivor" needs to remedy before Season 47 rolls around.

Let us explain.

The current problem with "Survivor" superfans actually playing "Survivor" instead of cheering for contestants from their couch is this: they're trying way too hard to become iconic "Survivor" players, and as a result, they're not playing the game very well. In Season 46, two examples of this issue have already presented themselves and been voted off for being openly terrible at the game: David Jelinsky and Bhanu Gopal, who were the first and third players voted out, respectively. (Gopal, to be fair, didn't even get the dignity of a proper vote; everyone just knew that he was going home, and his fellow Yanu tribemates sent him packing.) Both of these guys are longtime "Survivor" fans who wanted to become huge names within the fandom — and not only did they fail at that goal, they failed at the overall game of "Survivor," proving that not every superfan actually has what it takes to join this massively difficult competition.

Modern Survivor players are all superfans — which means they only have one thing in mind

We'll begin with David Jelinsky — who marked his "Survivor" debut by referring to himself by his last name only and in the third person, clearly hoping to mimic "Survivor" greats like Jonathan Penner, Brad Culpepper, and John Cochran (all of whom host Jeff Probst called by their last names). Unfortunately for Jelinsky's hopes and dreams, the guy was definitely never meant to be a "Survivor" great. During his single episode on the show, he made it clear that he didn't have any strategy to speak of, that he wasn't good at challenges, and struggled with basic knowledge(he thought the word "several" always means "seven," for starters). Jelinsky was voted out unanimously by the Yanu tribe at their very first Tribal Council, proving that he's no "Survivor" legend ... but he is one of the dumbest people to ever play the game.

Then there's Bhanu Gopal, whose mission statement was that he wanted to win a "million hearts," not a million dollars. (That is, in fact, not how the game of "Survivor" works.) Like Jelinsky before him, Gopal let the Yanu tribe down time and time again ... and in between those failures, he was mugging for the camera during confessionals, referring to himself in the third person as well and proving that he also went into "Survivor" without any strategy whatsoever. By the time his castmates knew it was time to get rid of Gopal, his last strategy was ... begging them not to vote him out on his hands and knees, which isn't exactly a foolproof "Survivor" tactic. So why were both players so bad? They were performing, not actually playing.

True Survivor icons exist, but acting like one won't work — and it's tiring TV

Both David Jelinsky and Bhanu Gopal clearly hoped that they'd make it a lot further in the game — but it also really seems like they thought they'd be such identifiable characters that they'd become part of "Survivor" lore. By mean-mugging at the camera while forgetting that they're there to play a game, both Gopal and Jelinsky missed the point about what makes an iconic "Survivor" player, well, iconic.

Great "Survivor" players — the kind who are asked back to play future games and mentioned fondly by fans and host Jeff Probst — aren't made thanks to a clever performance. They're simply born. People like Parvati Shallow, Rob Mariano, Cirie Fields, Tony Vlachos, and even the villainous Jonny Fairplay earned their places in "Survivor" history thanks to their clever strategy, excellent gameplay, and unique skillsets. Other legends like Ozzy Lusth marked their time on the show with incredible physical feats (can anyone else who's ever played "Survivor" swim like him?!), while people like Vlachos and Shallow used either bizarre tactics (building "spy shacks" like Vlachos) or their innate abilities (Shallow was always known as "the flirt," and that worked well enough to help her win a season). Gopal and Jelinsky might be fans of "Survivor," but they don't understand the show well enough to know that simply cosplaying as a "'Survivor great'" couldn't possibly work. Perhaps some legitimate "Survivor" icons will emerge from the modern season, but if producers want that to happen, they'll choose their superfans more wisely ... and discourage them from performing when there's a game to be played.