After a two-week hiatus, your stool pigeon has returned to quench your voyeuristic thirsts for reality TV. Amazing how quickly the world can change since the last column the world lost a Beatle, Harry Potter broke box office records (even if the spell only lasted two weeks) and CBS won the coveted November sweeps. The one invariable was “Survivor: Africa” and its abiding downfall, not just in the ratings, but also in the program”s repetitious events.
Two weeks ago, while all of us were feasting on turkey and stuffing, the tribes finally merged into one ber tribe, dubbed “Moto Maji.” The transition was relatively painless, with little conflict between the old Boran and Samburu rivals.
The Immunity Challenge had them standing on a log for several hours in the extreme heat. The difficulty wasn”t so much standing rather than avoiding any kind of movement. Contestants were attached to a rope connected to a bucket of water move and the water spills on the eliminated contestant. It came down to Clarence and Teresa, with the flight attendant winning an all too important game of paper-rock-scissors for immunity. The two agreed while on the logs to not vote for one another. The promise did little to avoid Clarence”s demise as he was voted out 8-2. Lex received the other two votes at Tribal Council, fueling the lanky punk rocker to “smoke out” those who had voted for him.
The lone Michigan resident may have been ousted but you could be seeing more of him, a lot more of him. “Playgirl or underwear modeling or anything like that I would definitely consider it,” the Hillsdale grad said of his future. Please keep your clothes on big guy.
CBS decided once again to air an episode of rehashed clips with a promise of “new” footage. Viewers were treated to nothing more than a mind-numbing halftime show with little insight or ingenuity. Last year, CBS whipped up the recap episode to push the finale back to the first week of May sweeps, understandable. Why this time? Delaying the inevitable less than stellar conclusion to the lackluster third installment of the dying reality show I suppose.
Tonight the show will get back to work. I”m predicting contestants will fight, someone will win a reward challenge taking them to an African village, someone will win immunity and finally someone will be voted off.
This week the process of elimination and psychic abilities suggest a Samburu member will be asked to leave. At this juncture the old Boran tribe has five remaining competitors (Ethan, Tom, Lex, Kelly and Kim J) compared to old Samburu”s four-person roster (Frank, Teresa, Brandon and Kim P). It”s getting time where people will boot the most threatening person. That person is indisputably Frank.
Due to the impending holiday break, this column and its respective writer will miss out on the four episodes that will air during the allotted time frame. When we have all returned from our indulgent vacations, “Survivor” will be back for its finale.
It”s not March but it”s never too early to pick the final four. Ethan seems the obvious choice to make it to the last episode. He has kept rather quiet, yet can be an assertive leader when need be. Big Tom, goat farmer extraordinaire, might wobble to the closing stages simply because he poses the least threat physically of the nine remaining survivors. The strongest female at this point in the game is indubitably Kelly. The Duke grad is in an advantageous position with her Boran roots, plus she has been more than forthcoming to her fellow castaways the first 21 days. My shocker pick to reach the final four is Kim Powers. If one of the old Samburu members has a chance at the $1 million prize it”s her. Keeping a low profile and physical prowess make her more likely than Frank, Teresa or Brandon to reach the last episode.
“Survivor: Africa” is at the halfway point, but it isn”t too late to turn the show around. Executive producer Mark Burnett may have changes in the game to spice it up, but the reality program is in need of more human drama, not melodrama. Time will tell.