‘Surviving Paradise’ Recap, Ending & Review: Is Linda The Winner Of Netflix’s Reality Show?

Surviving Paradise is a brand-new Netflix original reality television show that boasts of extreme luxury and lures 12 strangers towards money and opulence. The show has them going up against each other until a winner is announced. There is a lot to uncover about this reality show, so here’s a summary to help you understand.


Recap: What Is The Premise Of The Show?

The show begins with twelve people from different parts of America who have been flown into Greece. All of them assume the villa is for their stay during the entirety of the show. This residence is the epitome of luxury and beauty. All of them bond after reaching the villa, as they are now a part of this journey. The participants are unaware of what this show is all about, as they have been kept in the dark about the details of what it takes to be a winner on Surviving Paradise.

Sisco, Sarah Kate, Taylor, Aaron, Justin, Tabitha, Lellies, Shea, Alex, Linda, Copan, and Hayley are the initial contestants of the show. As the show progresses, three more participants; Kelso, Eva, and Gabe, join them just for the sake of drama and unsettling the existing participants. The show is about two groups of people created by the host. One group consists of participants who will live inside the villa, while the rest will stay in the wilderness.

Contestants who think they deserve to live in the villa must talk themselves up and build alliances with as many participants as possible. The one who gets voted is given the chance to live amongst all the luxuries this villa provides. Rest of the contestants claim that life in the wilderness is tough, and they will have to rely on rationed food. The insiders are the name of the group who live in the villa, while the outsiders, as the name suggests, live outdoors. The last person standing after all the eliminations will be the winner.

All the participants in the show go through various ups and downs as they fight for their right to stay in the villa. If not, they will be forced to live as outsiders. Forming alliances and key friendships to sustain is the essence of Surviving Paradise. The show is filled with tasks and games given to both groups separately and together. Tasks such as these will offer a conclusion on who should be eligible to live in the villa. These activities determine whether a person will stay in the villa for a long time, as each one of them will have to experience the wilderness. The tasks assigned to them are named survival drops, which both groups must complete to avoid elimination.

Some tasks involved convincing the outsiders to take possession of a casket from the insiders, which has strict instructions with regard to their living status. It is the persuasive power of the participants that will help them sustain till the end of the task. These tasks make or break insiders and outsiders because, at times, a task would involve one member taking the fall for the group and having to move into the outsiders’ camp. There are various permutations and combinations throughout the reality show through which participants are nominated and eliminated. The mixing of the groups allows the participants to seek new alliances for survival. It also helps them strategize according to the people they must deal with. The prize money the winner takes away is doubled halfway through the show. This improves each participant’s motivation to strive harder and work towards getting as many people as possible under their influence. Tabitha and Lellies were aggressively campaigning for themselves for the top spot in the villa and to be the winners until Gabe walked in with the same energy. Only one of them could make it till the end.


Who Wins In The End?

The last two episodes involved a mass elimination of the participants from the outsider’s group to pave the way for the final four contestants: Linda, Lellies, Shea, and Gabe. One of them will be the winner of Surviving Paradise based on the eliminated participants votes. The voting is also based on the bond the eliminated ones formed with the final four participants throughout the show. The finale showdown of Surviving Paradise happens at the villa, and Linda is declared the winner of this season.

Linda was the only one who was not aggressively campaigning for herself. She managed to find a good number of allies in both groups. Most of them had a good opinion of her as a person, and she stayed friends with everyone, including the new ones that joined the show later. Linda was not a threat to anyone, which made her an appealing person. Her affable, non-manipulative personality is the sole reason why most of the eliminated participants voted for her. Linda was given the choice of splitting her prize money with one of the participants in the show, or she could go home with an additional 50,000 dollars. Linda showcases her generous nature and decides to split her winnings with Lellies as they lead a oscillating journey as friends in the show. Linda showcased her benevolent side, one of the many reasons she was chosen amongst the fifteen scheming participants. 


Review: Netflix’s Reality Show Lacks Basic Awareness

Netflix original reality show, Surviving Paradise, is trying hard to place itself in a particular genre. The show trudges the line between adventure and drama-based shows where the makers have no clue what they want their final product to be. The entire opening premise is the epitome of cliche, as the viewers witness men and women chit-chat and small talk while whooping and screaming their way into the show and introducing themselves. Reality television show makers badly need to look for premises that are not tried and tested.

Surviving Paradise jumps straight into the game, as the makers of the show do not explain why is each contestant is competing. Apart from their names and nauseating enthusiasm, their background and job status are hardly discussed. The history of the participants is the core of any reality television show. Sympathetic vibes from the contestants will act as an added value if any of them intend to be the winner.

The structure of the show is nothing different from what many of the viewers have witnessed in other reality shows. The narrative is predictable because scheming and backstabbing have become the norm in such shows. Drama is required to get the engagement factor going, and its nonexistence only made Surviving Paradise dull. The entire basis of the show is forming alliances and building trust, which can only be formed by conversing with other participants. There is a lot of talking in this show, which might make the viewers wonder if Aaron Sorkin has written the screenplay. The conversation part, which covers 90% of Surviving Paradise, gets tedious after a point, and the makers go beating around the bush with it. The host, Jessimae Peluso, also could not keep the excitement going.

There are three cliched antagonists who seem to be at the forefront of the race. The character arc given to them is plain, the conflicts are dull, and it does not incite any drama. The makers presented the villa as bait, but the prize money and the finale had nothing to do with it. The makers also looked down on the idea of living in the wilderness. There is a judgmental tone used by the makers and the participants, which reflects negatively on people who enjoy living amongst the abundant nature.

The production design of the show is the biggest letdown. With the outsiders’ group who lives in the uncouth nature, the entire setup is tacky. There is no authenticity to the surroundings. The editing of the show is problematic, as each episode could have been 30 to 35 minutes long. The subject matter is such that the episodes do not require a 45-minute to 59-minute runtime. The long-drawn episodes exhaust the viewers after a point. The last episode of the show is badly written and executed. The makers of the show were in a hurry to wrap up the season after spending a fair amount of time building rivalries. The only positive aspect of the show would be the competition they created between the two main participants, Tabitha and Gabe. The winner is someone who was not in the race to win, and this twist in the tale narrative worked in favor of the show. Surviving Paradise eventually became the viewer’s attempt to survive the superficial drama. A big letdown from Netflix. 


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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Surviving Paradise eventually became the viewer's attempt to survive the superficial drama. A big letdown from Netflix. 'Surviving Paradise' Recap, Ending & Review: Is Linda The Winner Of Netflix's Reality Show?