Being Jeff Probstovich is a fantasy column where soundbites from Survivor castaways are taken, warped, and misquoted into faux-interviews with the show's host, Jeff Probst.
So Jenna won. And I am still stunned. I've sulked. I've pouted. I've kvetched. And one week later, Jenna winning the game still doesn't provide proper closure to what was perhaps the best overall season of Survivor to date.
As has been eloquently argued by many others, Jenna did the things she needed to do in order to pull out the victory. And though some of the voting decisions of the jury are certainly questionable, and possibly egregious, that's all water under the burning canoe now.
And that's that.
In the vacuum created by Survivor's departure from the airwaves, it is now time to start speculating on who'll be cast for Survivor: Panama. But before we let go completely, let's dot the i's and cross the t's of this season by handing out the year-end Probstovich awards. This is one situation were everyone wins something, whether they like it or not. So without further ado, the awards for the Spring 2003 season of the biggest and still the best reality show on television, Survivor...
The "I'm Not Spoiled, I Just Always Get Want I Want" Award Jenna Morasca Jenna wasn't very nice to fellow tribemates like Christy. Jenna gave away all her tribe's secrets to Dave. Jenna called people in her own alliance 'fat pigs.' Jenna stripped for peanut butter. Jenna loaded up on coffee and pastries. Jenna refused to do anything in camp. Jenna sulked and cried when it looked like she would be voted out. And Jenna won. See? It's all about Jenna. She did anything she wanted to do, and still came out on top. Isn't that what Survivor is all about?
The "All Work And No Play" Award Matthew von Ertfelda Matt was perhaps the biggest survival badass the show has ever seen. The guy caught more fish than the castaways of all previous shows combined. He worked harder than anyone. And he was a quick study, learning important parts of the game from Rob without making it too obvious that he was really catching on. But in the game of Survivor somewhere along the way you have to prove to others that you have some emotions and indeed are a human being and not some kind of replicant from Blade Runner. Little things like that will endear you to your fellow tribesmates. We're still not that sure with Mateo.
The "Comic Strategist" Award Rob Cesternino Rob's performance goes down as one of the all-time greatest in the show's history. If he wasn't making key strategic moves in the game, he was cutting jokes about Heidi and Viagra, though not necessarily in that order. And if he wasn't fishing for laughs, he was thrilling tribemates with karaoke-inspired renditions of Everly Brothers songs. But in the end, the joke was on him because he didn't win. There's always the "All-Star" edition of Survivor, and Rob should definitely be invited to join that cast.
The "Mama Kim Memorial Hitchhiker" Award Butch Lockley Every season, there's one castaway who just gets carried along by the currents of the game, drifting from one Tribal Council to the next, like dust in the wind. Butch, for his part, did a little more than previous hitchhikers by burning down the camp. Now that's one way to get noticed. Still, the one good thing you can say about someone like Butch is that he maintained his integrity throughout the game... mostly because he didn't really get involved in the messy stuff called "outwitting, outlasting, and outplaying" the other players. Previous winners: Jan Gentry, Kim Johnson.
The "One Out Of Two Ain't Bad" Award Heidi Strobel During one Tribal Council, Heidi flatly stated that there were two qualities she brought to tribe: athleticism and intelligence, and at that moment, one of those qualities was missing. We're still trying to figure out that riddle. We thought she meant both.
The "Dripping with Irony" Award Christy Smith For swearing that she'd do everything in her power to keep her "evil stepsisters" Heidi and Jenna from winning the game, and then turning around and voting for Jenna. Most hardcore Survivor fans would have accepted a sour-grapes vote from Christy. While her vote may have been the mature thing to do, it also made her look like she was trying to gain acceptance from the "cool kids" like Jenna who rejected her so harshly. But then, she did say Matt was creepy... creepy.
The "Shii Ann Memorial Big Mouth" Award Alex Bell Alex blew his shot at a Final Three placing, or better, by trying to be "honest" with Rob. He said, "When we get to the Final Four, my vote's for you." If we were to deconstruct this one utterance, we'd discover some of the most flawed castaway thinking ever: 1) you never tell someone you're going to vote for them; 2) you never assume you know how things are going to turn out; 3) you never assume your alliance will remain true to you; 4) you never trust anyone who you know has already betrayed others; and 5) you never open your mouth and talk about strategy unless you really enjoy swallowing your own feet. Previous winner: Shii Ann Huang.
The "Power Corrupts, Absolutely" Award Deena Bennett From the moment Deena joined the "cuter, younger" girls alliance, she thought the game was hers. She chose the younger group because she felt she could control and influence them easier than so-called "older" women such as JoAnna, who's actually four years younger than Deena. Power-hungry people can only understand things when they're calling the shots. In retrospect, Deena may have gone farther if she had aligned with the other women and just learned how to cooperate and compromise.