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Survivor Hype

Saturday, March 24, 2001

By Barbara Vancheri, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Staff Writer

CBS promised "never before seen footage" but delivered darn little of it. Who do we see about getting that hour of our lives back?

This week's episode of "Survivor" was a rehash of previous shows designed to help the network stretch out the series so the finale hits during the lucrative May sweeps. If you've been watching faithfully, you learned very little. Among the revelations: Colby's snoring was loud enough to keep his teammates awake ("Might explain why I don't have a girlfriend," he joked), Jerri provided her own theme song by crooning "I've been a bad, bad girl," and Rodger nearly lost his trunks in the makeshift Kucha Jacuzzi.

Oh, and Jerri has control issues, which must be the worst-kept secret in the Outback. On Day 11, after Tina had suggested everyone say positive things about each other, Jerri acknowledged: "It's hard because I can be a little bit of a control freak. And I know that. If I in any way have hurt your feelings, I'm truly sorry."

We also learned Mike was obsessed with the fish he caught, eating virtually everything (including the eyes) except the skull. Between nibbling almost every morsel of fish and tracking and killing the wild pig, it's no wonder this guy had bad karma and fell into the fire.

LOOKING BACK: Ousted player Jeff Varner proved himself as media-savvy as Julia Roberts or Tom Cruise during his recent appearance on Rosie O'Donnell's talk show. He arrived bearing flowers, kisses and a sack full of presents for the host, her children and items that can be sold for charity. He even called Jerri the "Alexis Carrington of Ogakor," a line that was clever enough to be repeated in the March 23 edition of Entertainment Weekly.

He clearly subscribes to our theory: Everything I need to know I learned on television. If you're going to make the rounds of the talk shows, come armed with gifts, one-liners, anecdotes and a fawning attitude for the host. Unless that host is David Letterman, who has made no effort to follow the show and barely tolerates the regular appearances of the losers on his program, a fact he acknowledges and makes light of.

LOOKING AHEAD: Next week (the show returns to Thursdays, by the way), the players are dealing with heavy storms, polluted water, scarce food -- the tribe is almost out of rice -- and exhaustion. It has become impossible to fish since the storms have caused flooding and muddied the river. The tribe hits rock bottom, but one winner will land in paradise -- apparently this round's version of the yacht respite won by Sean in the first show.

Sunday, March 25, 2001

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