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Survivor Hype

Saturday, May 12, 2001

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

We thought we were done. We thought we'd fulfilled our duty to mock. But then we watched "Survivor: Back from the Outback," kicked around the empty Doritos bags and Mountain Dew cans in our own Outback shanty and discovered there was still ammunition remaining. Lock and load.

The show made fun of Nick's invisibility and Jerri's evilness and showed Kel thoughtfully devouring beef jerky. Amazingly, Jerri claimed to be "a kind, honest, straightforward, creative, artistic, vulnerable person." Colby followed with his own assessment: "Jerri is a b--. She is, but she's a b-- that will be laughing all the way to the bank."

The son of "Australian Outback" winner Tina explained how the show changed his mom's life: "She always dresses up now. She's got nice pants, a nice, good shirt. We used to be Tennessee hillbillies."

Elisabeth's fiance described the show's ability to simplify a person, saying, "Everyone thinks you're seeing a pretty girl with a pretty face, and that's not all she has." Oh yeah, we know.

AMBER, OUR AMBER: The Hometown Hottie was interviewed sitting atop her bed surrounded by stuffed animals. (She seems especially fond of pandas.) Viewers also got to see Amber walking in front of the Beaver 5&10, beneath a bridge, on a rope swing and with her mom, Cheryl.

AGAIN WITH THE TEARS: Debb cried again about how "Survivor" ruined her life. Let this be a lesson to all future "reality" show participants: If you have anything in your life -- say, a romance with your stepson -- that could be made fun of by the tabloids, online fans or smarty pants newspaper columnists, STAY HOME!

SURVIVING "LINK": In addition to CBS's one last desperate attempt to wring ratings out of the sequel, NBC brought six contestants from the first show together for a "celebrity" edition of "Weakest Link."

Ramona, Gretchen, Joel, Sean and Susan ganged up on $1 million winner Richard Hatch, voting him off "Link" first. "I'm tired of playing games with Richard," Sue said in a line that sounded scripted.

Richard did not go gently: "Susan will be the next to go. That hairdo has made her stupid." Hate to agree, but he was right. Sue looked as if she had sucked on a light socket.

Narcissistic Joel missed a question about Narcissus and was again voted off by an alliance of women, leaving Ramona and Gretchen to duke it out. Ramona won.

Host Anne Robinson got in her best "Survivor" themed jabs, including "Who's had no immunity against stupidity?" and "Who's several coconuts short of a palm tree?"

Ugh, talk about the weakest link. Goodbye.

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