Posts filed under 'Survivor'

Survivor – Gabon: Finale wrap-up

I watch Survivor every season and watching the finale is probably my least favorite part. Even if my personal favorite wins (which has happened every once in a while), I can’t take the tension. While I realize that Survivor’s cultural relevance has dwindled to basically nothing, I still think it’s one of the most suspenseful and well-edited shows out there.

In some ways, I like it better when there’s no one I’m enamored with. It takes the stomach-churning tension out of the season finale (shut up — I get really worked up over these things), knowing that there’s no way I’ll be disappointed after a whole season of waiting. This was one of those seasons.

For the purposes of this post, the three finalists can be described thusly: Susie the Mom, Bob the Physics Teacher and Sugar the Blonde (just go with it). Bob won, although Sugar proved to be the more diabolical player. Everyone loved him and played the role of tribe work horse, wisely avoided the timeless trap of the elder players yelling about the young folks being lazy and playing with their abs.

corinneSo, I won’t do a breakdown here because the season’s over, but I did want to address the most noteworthy thing about this season: the abhorrent social behavior. While there were generally few people this season worth getting excited about, two contestants competed for the title of ‘worst person to ever be on the show.’ Corinne and Randy were two unique snowflakes of hideous behavior, each finding their own ways to alienate their fellow contestants and the viewing audience.

Randy was an out and out disaster — actively terrorizing anyone who he came into contact with. In particular, he clashed with Crystal, eventually making a pretty shocking racial comment a tribal council (referring to her and booted contestant GC’s “posse”). By the end of his game, his behavior had grown so cartoonish he (failingly) tried to use it as a strategy.

So, while Randy’s antisocial leanings are a function of his inherent misanthropy — he has no social skills and never has — Corinne can “pass” as a human being until you realize she’s mentally ill. During interviews on the finale she attempted to explain her behavior essentially by saying that it’s better to be hated and remembered (rather than liked and forgotten). And she certainly won’t be. The turning point came during the final tribal when she told Sugar basically to “stop crying about [her] dead father.” It was shocking, but she basically just proved that she’d rather have negative attention than none at all.

In the future, Survivor would do well to avoid casting people like Randy and Corinne.

People continually shit on the show, but I’ve stuck with it because I find the game play intriguing and the curveballs they constantly throw at the contestants keep things interesting. I think the social relationships are tremendously fun to watch. But casting such mean-spirited people can take the fun out out of the whole affair. These people may cause conflict, but I don’t really have any interest in watching exploitation (a trap shows like Big Brother repeatedly fall into).

So, the show goes to Brazil in February — let’s see if they can successfully cast a diverse set of alpha-personalities (Survivor doesn’t cast betas — that rules out most bloggers) that don’t have personality disorders.

4 comments December 15th, 2008

Survivor: I know none of you want to hear about this

I try to only bring Survivor up only once or twice a season.

And it’s primarily because I know you all don’t care. In fact, I feel like every time I bring up Survivor I re-explain the fact that I know you guys don’t watch it, but I can’t help but love it.

So, I’ll give you guys a quick briefing on one particular highlight of this current season, gimmickally themed “Fans vs. Favorites.” That is to say, “Nerds like me who watch this show for almost ten years Vs. People who have already played and lost and are determined to get it right this time or go back to their life of auditioning for KFC commercials.”

The biggest turn of events this season occurred the week before last with one of the biggest blindsides in history. It was positively glorious.

If there’s one feature of reality TV contestants that I revile it’s smugness. And if there’s one feature of reality TV contestants that I love, it’s a person’s status as an underdog. Psychoanalyze this as you see fit. In any case, two weeks ago we saw the Survivor demise of the show’s top dog Ozzy at the hands of perennial underdog Cirie. Ozzy was the strategic mastermind, tribal leader and physical powerhouse — and he knew it. He was pretty sure of himself during every interview, always comfortable that he had every tribe member curled around his finger.

Then Cirie, the unintimidating nurse wised up and this happened (watch it quick before the CBS narcs take it down):[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Other than jury member Eliza’s huge reactions, there’s not a lot to go on in this clip unless you watch the show. But you should know that it was a pretty colossal and satisfying moment in a pretty decent season.

Thanks for indulging me. I’ll try better to get you some sort of amusing chart or something tomorrow.

3 comments May 1st, 2008

Don’t I know you from somewhere? Wait a second!

ohjames.jpgYet another reality show contestant’s porn past has surfaced in the wake of his minor television stardom. This time it’s some dude named James from the new season of Big Brother. There’s a picture of him over to the right, making a terrifying and unsexy face. Reality Blurred reports that he has appeared in amateur porn and gay porn print ads. If you want to know the specifics (and how could you not?), click here.

It’s not uncommon for reality stars to indulge in the porns after their star has faded. Tons of people have done it, including Tonya from The Real World: Chicago (Cinemax), Survivor winner Jenna Morasca (Playboy) and a female Apprentice loser (Playboy). When the reality machine has chewed you up and spat you out, taking your clothes off for the camera is basically the equivalent of an acting career death rattle.

But sometimes porn is a stepping stone to reality TV stardom. Well, it isn’t necessarily helpful, but if you have the kind of personality to go out and do porn, you probably have the type of personality to go on some sort of reality show. Thusly, here’s a list of some reality TV folks who have had their tawdry pasts resurface.

I also just want to put it out there that the reason I know all this is because I’m a TV nerd, not a porn fiend. I’m serious.

Brian – Winner of Survivor: Thailand

Brian was probably one of the sleaziest winners of Survivor ever — gaining votes only because he was paired with an equally awful tribemate named Clay. He was billed as a used car salesman because, presumably, it was more flattering than his other profession: star of soft core porn on the Playboy Channel and Cinemax. His IMDB lists him as the star of gems like Passion Cove and The Pleasure Zone, while he assumed the role of “Rednick #1” in Chick Street Fighter. You may also remember him as the dude who shot a puppy with a bow and arrow.

militia.jpgMilitia – gladiator on the new version of American Gladiators

Fleshbot unveiled the dirt on Militia recently noting that before he became a professional jouster/hill knocker-offer, he had done some “modeling” for the gays at Colt Studios. Follow the link if you’re interested in seeing more of the scary fellow at left.

Ozzy – contestant on the Survivor (the Race War edition as well as the current season)

Ozzy was (and is) known as one of the best Survivor contestants in terms of sheer skill. He whupped butt in the challenges and secured his place by bringing home fish every night. But to pay the bills before the island, Ozzy had a stint on Playboy TV on a classy little show called “Foursome.”

Jonathan – contestant on Unan1mous

I don’t really remember this show either. But apparently it has to do with nine strangers in a bunker and they have to choose one person to get a large cash prize. One chap’s history in gay porn resurfaced soon after the show. His porn name was Tino. True story.

And now our traffic will double based on people Googling for porn. Huzzah!

5 comments February 21st, 2008

The More You Know: Veggie sushi edition

I totally had sushi last night with Glowy Box Liz.

January 31st, 2008

The More You Know: Puggle edition

I want one.  And not just because Jake Gyllenhaal has one.

January 28th, 2008

For what it’s worth…

I don’t have to tell you this, but it’s slim pickins out there. We have to take what we have to look forward to and make the best of it.

On that note, if you really feel like it, you can watch this YouTube clip of the new Survivor cast. It’s a special real life fans versus returning favorites season — so that should be kind of interesting. Right?

Anyways, even if you don’t give a rat’s ass, watch the first couple of seconds and answer this: doesn’t that first guy look like the bastard lovechild of Farrah Fawcett and SNL’s Andy Samberg?[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

January 23rd, 2008

Shaking hands, kissing babies, voting folks off the island

They say politics is show business for ugly people. I live in D.C. — it’s kind of true.

So, when you cross show business with politics, what do you get? Not The West Wing (we should be so lucky). We get reality TV contestants running for Congress. Although, generally, they’re hotter than your average Mark Souder (it’s okay to make fun of him — he’s awful).

yul.jpgThe latest person to throw their hat in the ring is Survivor winner Yul Kwon, who may run for a Congressional seat in California. Yul, who won the Race War season of Survivor, is also known as one of the smartest, nicest and most likable people to ever win the show. That’s saying a lot, given that it’s so easy to have your character flaws exploited on that show. But he’s not only smart, but decent — a real rarity. He’s also hot, but that’s neither here nor there.

This seems like a good opportunity to do a brief survey of reality TV stars who have launched bids for political office. Here goes:

Kevin from The Real World: New York

Kevin, originator of the “angry black man” reality show archetype, was a cast member on the very first season of The Real World. He’s actually made a respectable name for himself as a writer — notably for Vibe magazine. He ran, and withdrew himself, in 2006 for a Congressional seat in Brooklyn. Now he’s entered the race again. I can’t say whether I think he’ll win or not, but let me put it this way — the link to his site is broken.

Jim Morrison from The Mole

First of all, yes — it’s his real name. Second of all, you may remember Jim as the skinny, aviator shade-wearing gay dude from the very first season of The Mole. Morrison ran for the New Jersey State Senate a few years back and, dramatically, was asked to quit the race by his own party based on the fact that he had nude pictures circulating from when he was entered in a contest at an NYC gay bar. You can look at his campaign Web site here, which is (weirdly) being hosted by some t-shirt company. The real one is defunct.

Raj from The Apprentice

Raj is known to viewers of The Apprentice as the gross, bow tie-wearing, wannabe Anna Kournikova-dating guy. Voters in Pennsylvania know him as the psycho who accused his opponent of performing abortions on women without their permission. He ended up getting trounced, receiving less than a third of the votes in the election in 2006.

Sean from The Real World: Boston

Sean was one of the easiest-to-forget cast members on the Boston season of The Real World. The best he got was a brief screaming match with Southern blonde lesbian Genesis — I think over cleaning. Other than that, his only claims to fame were participating in those lumberjack games and pronouncing the word mouth “mowth.” He entertained, but ultimately dropped, the idea of a Congressional bid. He is currently the district attorney for Ashland County, Wisconsin. Fun fact: he’s married to Rachel from the San Francisco season of The Real World. They met on one of the battle of the seasons when it was more about extreme sports and less about body shots. Oooh, oooh, and Rachel was once considered for the “conservative psychopath” slot on The View that is now occupied by Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

2 comments January 18th, 2008

The More You Know: Spoiler edition

What’s the appropriate amount of time between the airing of an episode and discussing it openly on the internets. I’m going with a one-day buffer.

2 comments January 18th, 2008

The More You Know: Not getting sick edition

Willpower alone is enough to keep illness away, right?

January 11th, 2008

The More You Know: Nostalgic edition

Lots of shot-over-gauze retrospectives in this batch.

December 31st, 2007

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