ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Survivor: All-Star: same old yokels
There is some sort of a football contest this Sunday (go Man
U!) but the big news for Survivor fans is that after the game, CBS will air
the first episode of Survivor All-Star, the eighth installment of the trend-setting
It says something about the show’s popularity that in the era of flash-in-the-pan
reality shows, Survivor can not only run for eight seasons, but can also amass
so many interesting personalities the public is actually interested in seeing
The gimmick of this series is that instead of being introduced to a bunch
of average yokels, we’re going to be seeing 18 (up from the usual 16)
of the yokels we’ve seen before, this time playing for a $2 million prize.
Since the focus is on personality instead of achievement (only five of fourteen
former winners and runners-up are back), the cast list consists of...
• Ethan, the only truly likable winner in the show’s history (from
the season in Africa).
• Jenna Lewis, the yummy mommy from the first season.
• Jerri, one of the most hated “villains” in the show’s
• Rudy, the homophobic old crank from the first season.
• Rupert, the lovable wannabe pirate (Pearl Islands).
• Tina, the Machiavellian soccer mom who won the Australia season.
• Alicia, the buff and vaguely scary fitness trainer (Australia).
• Amber, Jerri’s sidekick from Australia who’s since gone on
to pose in Stuff magazine. Yowza.
• Rob Cesternino, the girl-ogling, alliance-breaking “best player
never to win” (Amazon).
• Rob Mariano, the would-be manipulator with the thick Bawsten accent (Marquesas).
• Sue, the truck driver from the first season whose über-bitter jury
speech is one of the all-time great Survivor moments.
• Tom, the lovable crude redneck (Africa).
• Colby, the mama’s boy Texan (Australia).
• Jenna Morascu, the snotty model who somehow won the Amazon season.
• Kathy, best known for being wacky and loud (Marquesas).
• Lex, the middle-aged rocker (Africa).
• Shii Ann, the one rep from the dull Thailand season.
• And last but not least, Richard Hatch, the first season winner and the
man who set the blueprint for victory.
Since everyone knows each other — whether it be from a past cast, media
events or just by watching past seasons — it creates a new dynamic rather
than a bunch of people meeting each other for the first time. Everyone already
has a “character,” so to speak, so it will be interesting to see
how they will adapt the second time around.
It’s now time for my bi-annual Survivor pick, which has resulted in
one correct pick (Brian in Thailand) and players who finished fourth, sixth
and 10th. Not too shabby.
It’s very unlikely that any of the former winners will win again, especially
Hatch, whose status as the game’s greatest mastermind will put a huge
bull’s-eye on his back. Look for a player who only had a decent finish
(maybe not even a jury finish) to fly under the radar and ride to victory.
My two picks are Tom, whose good ol’ boy persona masks a clever mind,
and Jenna Lewis, a strong player who was likely handicapped because like most
of the first season players, she had no idea how the game was played.
The bottom line is, Jeff Probst will continue to snark on the players. Huzzah!