Survivor: America's Tribal Council (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Survivor: America's Tribal Council was a special edition of the TV show Survivor: All-Stars, which followed the Survivor: All-Stars finale in which Amber Brkich won the million dollar prize. It was broadcast live on CBS on May 13, 2004 and resulted in Rupert Boneham being given a million dollar prize (the second million dollar prize to be awarded on Survivor: All-Stars).
The twist to Survivor: America's Tribal Council was that one All-Star player would be given a second million dollar prize which would depend on the public's votes. From May 9 to May 12, 2004, millions of people put their votes in on Cingular Wireless phones and at cbs.com. When the show aired, Tom Buchanan, Colby Donaldson, Rupert Boneham and Rob Mariano were placed in a special final 4 (the four Survivors that got the most votes). At the end of the show Jeff Probst revealed the winner and Rupert Boneham was given the million dollar check (Jeff Probst even wrote it on Rupert's back live on TV). While 38 million votes overall were cast, only about 25 percent of them were for the prize. Rupert received 10 million votes, more than four out of five, to win. During the program, Probst announced the next season would be played in Vanuatu.
On CBS.com, there were other smaller contests that were held. Here are the contestants that were broadcast live on TV. The winners are highlighted in bold:
All contestants participating in Survivor: All-Stars were nominated in this category. The four listed here were the announced top vote-getters.
Criticism and controversy
The event was criticized by many fans and writers as being unfair. They said it was a popularity contest that rewarded Boneham even though he had failed to win the game on two consecutive occasions.
Some fans feared that if the America's Tribal Council format, of giving a separate prize to the most popular contestant, was continued into later seasons of Survivor, it would change the way the game was played by encouraging contestants to behave differently to try to become a viewer favorite. In this scenario, contestants might give up on the normal prize and concentrate on the popularity prize, which might make the strategy aspects of the program less prominent and encourage contestants to act in their in-show interviews to make themselves seem nicer. However, these fears proved unfounded when the prize did not recur in later seasons, however, since Survivor: China, a $100,000 prize for the viewer-voted "Player of the Season" has been awarded.