The Safety Dance


What would you do?  Would you “save” or would you “send”? 

This eternal question is one that will be asked time and time again during this series, and as we’ve already seen, the consequences of this decision can significantly alter the course of events. Fundamentally though (if you really want to get philosophical), this very question fits into most aspects of life whether it be actual or hypothetical. From something as simple and logical as “should I ‘save’ this shirt, or ‘send’ it to the Salvation Army?” to the completely imaginary, “should I ‘save’ my boss, or ‘send’ him?”  I’m sure one could ponder that notion for quite some time.

As it is with most concepts in the world of television, the whole “save or send” concept has actually been discussed in one form or another for a couple years now. Its first “appearance” came in the form of a very pivotal decision made by David and Sally in the 5th episode of Big Break X: Michigan. For those who do not recall, David and Sally called out Rachel and Otis (who were already immune) to a head-to-head matchup in the Elimination Challenge with the losers being eliminated. David and Sally ended up winning the match, sending the very frustrated team of Otis and Rachel to a very bitter departure. The total shock and inherent drama of this moment definitely showed us that this could quite possibly be an excellent concept to expand upon. Although, the absolutely harsh nature of how the events unfolded got us thinking that this concept definitely needed some improvement before it was brought back in full.

Amidst the early show-plans of Big Break Prince Edward Island was another “save/send” concept that would make its appearance throughout the series. The initial concept was to let the winner of the Immunity Challenge choose one person to hit one shot. If they were successful, they would be safe and on to the next show. If they failed, they would head straight to the Elimination Challenge. Well, a few weeks before filming would begin, the lingering doubts about the way in which Rachel and Otis were cast off the previous series must have come to the surface, because we were asked to remove this concept from much of the series. Some may remember that this idea did make a lone appearance, in episode #7 of the season when Aaron called out Derek to hit the “one shot” (Derek failed and was off to the Elimination Challenge). Although this “one and done” type of challenge lived only once in the series, it was that idea which paved the way for the “make a 3 footer or go to Elimination” challenge concept which started PEI, and ultimately led to the “save/send” that we will be seeing a lot of in this series.

(*Producer’s note: the “save/send” will make an appearance in some very unexpected forms.*)

So, obviously the jury’s still out on whether this concept will work over the course of multiple episodes. Is it subjective? Absolutely. Is everyone going to like it? Absolutely not. But, what this does create is a whole new form of strategy. And that is really what this idea’s all about. Strategy. Ok…maybe some drama too. 

It’ll be a very difficult scenario to deal with, especially when you factor in the fact that they are all living under one roof. Do you save your friend; do you save a weaker player so you can beat them in a challenge further on down the road; or do you send a stronger player to the Elimination Challenge in hopes of knocking them out of the competition? Do you weigh in the consequences of the inevitable tension back at the house if someone is sent and then survives?  Lili may have put it best in last night’s episode when she said, “there are a lot of variables to this game…”

At its most basic definition, golf is a game. However, to these 11 ladies, this competition is no game. This is their job and their main goal is to succeed to their highest potential. So that brings me back to the hypothetical I presented earlier. Would you “save” your boss or “send” him? Or, maybe a better scenario to ponder is would you “save” another co-worker who you’re competing against for a promotion or “send” them? It would all depend upon certain factors, I suppose. Are they better, worse or equal to yourself? Would your move translate into future successes? Would you be able to face them if your decision backfires?

So, I guess the question still remains. Would you “save” or would you “send”?