We knew production took a bit of a risk bringing back Turbo, but after episode 1 of Ride or Dies, we can all see his behavior is noticeably different than it was when we first met him.
The Turkish Survivor winner has only been on two prior seasons: War of the Worlds 1 and War of the Worlds 2. We saw a very different competitor on each season. The first time, he was more reserved and protective of Nany. At the beginning of the season, its almost felt like his goal was to help her and he was less focused on his own success. But this changed on War of the Worlds 2.
On that season, he was much more prideful. He entered the game after a win, and nobody was going to control him. But, the game was more numbers-driven than strength-driven, and Turbo was there to compete. But, we didn’t see anything too impressive from him. He couldn’t swim well and English served as a barrier, allowing all of his potential to fly under the radar.
This time, it seems like we’re getting a similar competitor to War of the Worlds 2, but he’s more prideful and intimidating. So, is this the person Turbo really is?
It seems like there are two major factors building his personality on the show. Firstly, it seems he intentionally played a much more reserved game on War of the Worlds 1. Turbo often talks about being a lion or a sheep. Well, WOTW1 seemed to be ruled by smaller feuds rather than majority alliances, so there were fewer “sheep” following the majority. And if we assume Turbo considers himself the lion, we know they don’t go straight for the kill. They watch their prey before the strike, and Turbo took a step back to observe rather than make waves on day 1.
But, we did see some intensity on the show. When Ninja wanted to use a different strategy, they disagreed and Turbo was quite stubborn. And that mentality guided most of his interactions on WOTW2 and Ride or Dies thus far.
But let’s not fool ourselves: Production knew who won WOTW1 before they edited the season. So, they gave Turbo a winner’s edit, meaning they highlighted his positive traits so viewers would see a likeable winner. Given the fact that the American audience didn’t know Turbo and production knew a rookie won WOTW1, they wanted to make the outcome as easy to swallow as possible. Then, they had him on WOTW2, but they knew he’d be leaving early. So, there was no protecting him.
If the prideful Turbo existed on WOTW1 — and it probably did— the footage was likely left on the cutting room floor. Now, we know Turbo’s true character. He takes no bullshit and he’s looking to be the winner. I wouldn’t expect him to tone it down in the future.