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Reality High Test Results, February 26, 2003: The New Survivor Classby Brian James -- 02/26/2003
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Ah, yes. Another new semester!
Time to make one final check of my supplies.
New lesson planner? Check.
New attendance book? Check.
100 economy-sized bottles of extra strength Excedrin?
This semester was going to be a little different. Normally my class has 40 students - 16 from Survivor and 24 from The Amazing Race. However, CBS, in its infinite wisdom, decided that viewers would rather watch some reheated version of Star Search than The Amazing Race. To which I said, channeling one of the more memorable moments from this season's American Idol, "I beg to DIF-FUH!" CBS immediately changed their minds because I have so much clout over there and The Amazing Race will be back on starting next week!
Yeah, right. It was more like, "So DIF-FUH!" There's still no official word on when the fourth season of The Amazing Race starts, so I'll just deal with it when and if it happens. Until then, my class consists solely of the 16 Survivor: The Amazon contestants.
Incidentally, many of you wondered last semester why my class doesn't expand to cover all reality shows. Fair enough question. First of all, there are only so many hours in the day. Secondly, the quiz format really only works with shows with a game or strategy element. Not that people on dating-oriented shows don't make just as big of asses out of themselves on a regular basis, but as far as any pre-show teaching, what is there really to say beyond, "be yourself and use common sense?" And even then, most contestants throw one or both of those parts completely out the window. I've found that The Mole - the regular edition at least - while interesting, tends to have lower-key contestants who make less spectacular mistakes and thus isn't a great source of material for this format. And as far as I'm a Celebrity - Get Me Out Of Here!, if you can rouse yourself to have even a modicum of interest in a catfight between Alana Stewart and "Downtown" Julie Brown, hey, more power to you and I'm sure you can use it as credit for penance sometime down the road. I and most of America, however, can think of better uses for my time. Thus, the only shows I feel really work for this format are Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Big Brother, although we'll see what my coverage duties are at that point before I promise the latter will be covered here.
Anyway, I was looking forward to the change of a smaller student roster. More intimate setting, more focused lesson plans... I thought it would work well. I looked over the list of names. Hmm...we had our third Rob(b) in a row. An older guy named Roger who doesn't spell his name the same as the previous older guy named Rodger. Another Jenna, spelled exactly the same as the previous Jenna. Jenna would be joined by Jeanne, JoAnna, and Janet. Oh, that was going to be easy to keep track of. Thanks, Mark Burnett. Why not just have ALL "J" women in Jaburu? Were Jennifer, Joan, Jeannette, and Janna busy?
So it was with high hopes that I watched the new students shuffle in the first day of class. I introduced myself and expressed my hopes that this would be an informative yet relaxing, fun semester.
Well, THAT was completely shot to hell after only the first question:
1. True or False: Women can perform just as well as men on this show.
By 2003, I had just assumed it was a harmless no-brainer, but it wound up polarizing the men and the women to such an extent that they moved their desks to opposite sides of the room and screamed at each other across the divide. Before I could say anything, Jenna seized the masking tape off my desk and taped a line down the middle of the classroom. "This is No MAN's Land!" she declared.
"I'm surprised you didn't call your boyfriend on your cellphone to do that for you!" shouted Rob.
"Shut up, you Magic 8-Ball-toting freak!" shouted Shawna.
"Oh yeah? Let's see you untie a simple knot, you useless eye candy!" yelled Ryan.
Ah yes. The first Excedrin of the semester is always the sweetest. I swear, it was like watching a Brady Bunch episode written by David Mamet. At any moment I thought they were going to start marching around with picket signs reading "Boys' Clubhouse" and "Girls' Clubhouse." Or argue over whether the classroom needed a rowboat or a sewing machine. Because everything counts when you're building a house of cards. Then I pictured Heidi dressed as a Frontier Scout and Rob dressed as a Sunflower Girl solemnly saying, "I am a little sunflower..." and had to cover my mouth as I laughed.
I heard Ryan exclaim, "Oh my God, it's turned into a sausagefest!" I snapped out of my visions to notice that the guys were now arguing among themselves over... well, let's just say it's the first and hopefully last time I've had to seize all rulers and declare them contraband. Meanwhile, the women had let the class rabbits, Mason and Julia, out of their pens and they were hopping toward the men's side with "I HATE MEN" signs on their backs and "help me" expressions on their faces. It was complete and utter chaos.1 2 3 4 Next-->
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