Let me just put it out there, I am a fan of Shirin. I know, I know, there was the time she got super excited about monkeys having sex, and maybe you’re wondering if I’ve forgotten about her nude afternoons with Max (I have not, the lady likes to jam out with her clam out). I also cannot deny that she wouldn’t be on my ultimate dinner party list. But by the end of Worlds Apart I had carved out a wee corner in my heart for nutty, chatty Shirin. So, now, far too early in my opinion, let me justify why.
A little digression first regarding her exit from Second Chance. I know Jeff (and his team) are always keen to tease out the narratives for the season and for each cast member and they usually do a great job but to compare Abi’s experience to the disgusting behaviour that Shirin was subjected to last season was pretty off base as far as I can see. Shirin was personally targeted by a number of cast mates for the kind of verbal abuse that we fortunately don’t often see on survivor. Watching last week’s episode I really felt for Abi, I believe that she was genuinely hurt and felt victimised, and yeah it would have shown real character for Shirin (or one of her other alliance members, somehow Spencer and Kelly weren’t called out for that) to go and comfort her. However, Shirin was not the person who had a fight with Abi – that was PG – and nor was she the only person to have a mean giggle at Abi’s reaction, there were five or more people in that conversation. And Abi has been known to dish out some backstabbing and insults herself. I love watching Abi, I’m thinking of quitting my job to write a thesis on the impact of players like her in the game (or maybe just a blog post), but I think that to compare her ‘story’ to the bullying and brutal words that Shirin suffered, is silly. You can do better producers.
Back to Shirin, our latest victim of the torch snuffing. Here are the reasons I think she’s a great player to watch:
- Absolute top reason. She LOVES this game. Loves it. We’ve seen a few players like this, Cochran was one, Spencer is another, and I get so much joy out of watching them play. She even got a thrill from having Jeff snuff her torch the first time around. All the cast members, except maybe Keith, like Survivor, and many of them get the game but there’s a whole other level for the fanboys and fangirls who study the game, who obsess over it and who just cannot wait to be there and put their science into action. They’re not always good at it, but they enjoy every single moment. Shirin is on that level and we were just seeing her hit her stride.
- Tenacity. This woman holds on til that flame is out. Sure the attempt to woo Woo (couldn’t help it) was doomed to fail but I give her credit for fighting from the bottom.
- Smarts. I was really digging seeing Spencer and Shirin put their heads together and figure out all the connections each player had to each other. And last season Shirin pulled a few smart strings in amongst the craziness. She’s got brains. She made a mistake trying to tame the Brazilian Dragon but I doubt she’ll be the first person to fall into that one.
- Bravery. I couldn’t ever play Survivor, I wouldn’t last an hour, so all the cast members get cred from me on that. But to play through the season that Shirin did and not quit? And then to play AGAIN? Woman has guts.
So there you go, my tribute to a player who I think, in the right mix of people, could really go much further and be much stronger than we’ve seen from her so far.
Are you wondering why I haven’t posted a similar ode to Vytas? No, I didn’t think you were.