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Bittersweet Motel

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Judging by the overwhelming distain a lot of you have voiced concerning the “Save/Send” during the early stages of the series (yes, we do read the comment boards and the Facebook posts), my guess is that the first couple minutes of this week’s episode did not exactly have you standing and applauding. On the other side of the coin though, those few who are fans of this highly subjective twist must have been grinning from ear to ear. This was by far the most random, luck-determined stunt that we’ve ever pulled in the history of Big Break, and even to this minute, I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Before delving into this matter even deeper, I’m going to let everybody into the inner production circle and give you a blow-by-blow of how this whole thing played out up to the point of Seema’s discovery.

Within the first couple days of our arrival on the island of Great Exuma (approximately 1 week before the competitors showed up), we pulled one of the chairs from around the breakfast table and had our props department fit the bottom of the chair with a small shelf that would hold the “Save/Send” sign. It was constructed in a way so that the only way it was visible was to literally get down on the floor and look underneath the chair. This chair was then put back around the breakfast table, where it would remain for the duration of the series.

Flash forward to the evening filming for the episode entitled, “You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat…” At around 11:30 p.m., the final interviews were being wrapped up, and the ladies were making their way into bed for some much deserved rest. Our contestant coordinator was keeping a close eye on the eight remaining competitors. Once they’re all sound asleep, the “Save/Send” will be placed underneath the appropriate seat. Now, of course, we’ve known for quite some time what chair contains that secret shelf. So naturally, the crew in charge of shooting breakfast had been keeping a close eye on who’d been sitting in that seat on a regular basis. The consensus from the crew was that Ryann had been sitting in that seat every morning.

The next morning, on my way to grab some breakfast, I passed by the crew that was shooting breakfast. “Some drama this morning!” One of the camera guys said to me as we crossed paths. 

“Who got the ‘Save/Send’?” I ask, fully expecting him to say that Ryann did. When I heard him say, “Seema,” I was shocked. Apparently, what had happened was that Ryann had been having a conversation with someone before sitting down, and while this was going on, Seema sat down in the “lucky” chair. Needless to say, Carling echoed the cast and crews sentiments best when she said, “Seema’s getting all the members bounces.”

Clearly, this whole twist did not sit well with the other ladies (especially Ryann), and even Seema was a little uncomfortable with the whole thing as well. Sure, she got immunity and is on her way to the next show, but Seema, being the lovable people-pleaser that she is, was not exactly feeling great about her housemates being so upset at something she was a part of. A bittersweet situation if I ever did see one.

So, is Seema still on the show because of pure luck? Depends on how you look at it. She did get let off the hook by Kelly in the second episode of the season. She did get “saved” by Greg Norman two weeks ago, and she did sit in the right seat at breakfast this week. By those accounts, Seema’s very existence on Big Break to this point is absolute luck. However, don’t be so quick to make that assumption before you look closely at so much of what happened in this week’s episode. A few others can attribute the reason they’re sticking around for another week due to a member’s bounce (or two).

Ryann missed going in the trees in the first challenge by a couple feet and then gets immunity by mere fractions of an inch in the second challenge. By most accounts, that’s pretty lucky. Lili’s second shot in the first stage of the Elimination Challenge rolled off the green, but then miraculously found its way back on. She gets 1 point and is on to the next show. Who knows what would have happened if she ended up in a three-way playoff with Chris and Stacey? And that is exactly what it all comes around to: The good ol’ “what if.” What if Ryann sat in the “lucky” seat instead of Seema? Does that automatically mean Seema gets eliminated? Of course it doesn’t. By all accounts, luck plays a starring role in the game of golf every time the ball is teed up, and Big Break is no different in that respect.

So, how do I feel about the “Save/Send” seat at breakfast? I feel like it lent itself to some interesting conversations and very emotional responses. Was it fair to the competition? I’ll leave that one up for debate.