I have admitted on more than one occasion that among my shamefully large amount of pop culture addictions is that mother of all reality shows, Survivor. For the most part, I'm firmly in the "reality shows are crap" camp, with the lofty exceptions of Top Chef, The Amazing Race, and Survivor. The only reason I ever dally in The Bachelor is to enjoy the next day hilariousness of I Hate Green Beans, courtesy of the brilliantly witty Lincee Ray.
My affection for Survivor has waxed and waned a bit over the years. The best years were the first five or six, when it was still fresh and original. It's gotten progressively gimmicky in the past few seasons, with such atrocious and ridiculous features as Exile Island, where viewers are subjected to the whining and tears of what's usually the most unpopular contestant and hidden immunity idols that you have to use even before discovering whether or not you were voted for, rendering them virtually useless!
Despite these cheap measures, inevitably employed to generate better ratings, I have kept up, mostly because my beloved brother and I share in the Survivor love. We have spent endless hours discussing our favorite players and seasons (His faves are Borneo (S.1) and Fans vs. Favorites, and he thinks Richard Hatch is the best who's ever competed-I stick to my All-Stars, Australia, and Cook Islands and never fail to sing Boston Rob's praises). We have talked strategy and effectiveness, quickly identifying where we would go wrong should we ever make it on the show, and (of course) picking out the family member that would visit us (for him, our mom, for me, my SH). We know who Jeff Probst loathes and loves, and exactly what faults would push us over the edge as potential contestants. He would be tremendously popular, but might be torn over who should stay and who should go. I can't swim to save my life, and would probably perish at the first tribal council because of physical weakness and the fact that I literally cannot go on for more than a few hours without some sort of sustenance. We've talked strategy many times, and expressed disgust for the contestants that have not yet figured out the basic rules of the game. Yes, there are rules! DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BE A "TAKE CHARGE" SORT IN ANY WAY! DO NOT ASSUME A LEADERSHIP ROLE! DO NOT ELIMINATE A PHYSICALLY STRONG PLAYER PRIOR TO THE MERGE! DO NOT CALL YOURSELF A "PROVIDER"! DO NOT SAY "I'M GOOD AT PUZZLES"!
Long ago, we talked about how grand it would be if the producers of Survivor decided to gather the worst, most scheming and villainous of all and pit them against the Colby's, Ethan's and Stephanie's, the precious few that miraculously avoided scheming through the duration of their seasons, the proverbial "heroes." We picked our favorites, and then made our best guesses for who would be chosen should such a contest ever occur.
As you can see, we are modern-day oracles, harbingers of reality show future.
Even better, we have proof that it was OUR IDEA FIRST.
Now for my pick for the win. Go ahead, write the check.