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Survivor Hype

Saturday, April 07, 2001

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

When it comes to watching people suffer for entertainment, falling into a fire trumps starvation.

In Thursday's sluggish episode, contestants sat around bemoaning their hunger. With no Evil Jerri to cause trouble, the worst moments were restricted to gross discussions of poor hygiene.

Lazy Nick, who followed in the footsteps of last summer's Lazy Gervase, prayed for relief from the outback and got it at tribal council when he was predictably voted off. (Why does executive producer Mark Burnett feed into stereotypes by depicting all black men on his shows as lazy layabouts?)

Hometown Hottie Amber felt left out that she wasn't included in last week's ouster of Jerri, but she seemed to get over it, judging by the orgasmic exhortations that accompanied her winning ranch dip in a reward challenge.

Burnett tried to set up Amber as "pivotal" in choosing whether to side with former Ogakors or Kuchas, but she took the boring route and joined the Ogakors, who continue to pick off Kuchas.

MY EYES, MY EYES! Did we really need to see close-ups of Rodger's and Keith's food-deprived bellies? Ewww. While on the subject, that shrew Jerri told Bryant Gumbel on "The Early Show" that she's willing to pose for Playboy.

OOPS: Producer Burnett, who often pats himself on the back for his environmental awareness, had to apologize on behalf of Colby, who violated Australian law by pilfering coral from the Great Barrier Reef on last week's episode. Penalties include fines up to $10,780 for individuals and $55,000 for corporations.

SURVIVOR IN TOWN: Exiled Kucha Jeff Varner will be at area Pontiac dealerships Tuesday as KDKA videotapes applicants for the third "Survivor."

Applicants should bring a passport-size, nonreturnable photo of themselves. They can download the application form from http://www.kdka.com/ or fill it out at the showroom.

Why is Varner appearing at Pontiac dealerships? Because Pontiac's Aztek is advertised during "Survivor," of course.

He'll visit each dealership for about 90 minutes, beginning with

#1 Cochran in Robinson at 11 a.m.

Wright Automotive in Wexford at 1 p.m.

Annette Ganassi on Route 8 at 3 p.m.

Smail in Greensburg at 5:15 p.m.

#1 Cochran in Monroeville at 7 p.m.

Varner will collect donations of coloring books and crayons for a charity that helps burned children.

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