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Survivor: The Amazon - Great Season, Horrible Ending, and Light at the End of the TunnelPage 4
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Take, for example, the way he spoke for a good part of America when he said to Jenna, "You acted like a selfish, spoiled, only child." To her credit (no, that's not a typo Rachel), Jenna said, "fair enough." She also admitted being young and having a lot to learn. She also admitted that after having watched the show, she realized she could be pretty annoying.
It's never easy to see yourself the way others see you, or to step outside of yourself and see how you come across, as she got to do when watching the show. Years ago, when I was in broadcasting, I would make pre-recorded announcements, and then had to go back and listen to them for quality. More than once I thought to myself, "I get PAID for this? How?" Nothing was harder than listening to the sound of my own voice on tape. This is probably what it was like for Jenna watching the show. She admitted to taking a lot of heat over the show, most of which, she conceded, was well-deserved. Rachel, you're not going to believe this, but her sudden display of humility made it harder for me to despise her.
Okay, back to Probst. Is there ANY issue he won't tackle? From Christy's shocking vote for Jenna, to Janet and "granola-bar gate," to Matthew's sanity, to Heidi's bonding with the other two so-called cute girls, he covered it all. He'd make a great district attorney, had he chosen the law, because he's not afraid to cross-examine someone on the spot. Nor does he allow anyone to ramble. When Alex started rambling about Matt's sanity, Probst bluntly told him to get to the point.
When he grills Heidi about her "three cutest girls" strategy, she says she came into the game as an athlete, which is believable, given she's a phys-ed teacher. She then stated she felt like the others saw her as "too little or too weak," a charge adamantly denied by Jeanne.
Heidi seems to forget she told the camera that Jeanne and JoAnna could do all that work if they wanted, but she'd probably get ahead of them in the game, which she obviously did. She also seems to conveniently forget that in that same confessional, she mentioned something about taking a nap. If the others saw her as weak, it's because she wasn't doing her fair share, not because of her looks or beauty, as Jeanne pointed out.
From there, the "Hobst with the Mobst" grills Christy on her shocking vote for Jenna to win, and we all watch the replay of her now-infamous "evil step-sisters" comment. He asks her what led to her ouster, and she points to Rob. But Probst isn't letting her off that easy. He asserts rather matter-of-factly, that indecision kept her out of the game." Even sweet, lovable, underdog Christy doesn't escape the Probst Probing.
Speaking of which, Rachel, I'm sure you can imagine that I love Christy to death. She went far in the game, despite her disability, and will serve as a role model for the hearing-impaired as well as others with disabilities. But having said that, her comment on why she voted Jenna defies explanation. She said she'd been in the game with Jenna longer, and met Matthew halfway into it. Uh, exactly why was that relevant to how Jenna played the game? All that means is that Jenna was meaner to Christy longer.
Okay, back to Probst. He asks Jenna and Heidi what their families thought of their basically holding up a sign that said, "Will strip for food." Jenna admits she can't say her folks were proud of her, and it wasn't a shining moment, but she loves food. As for Heidi Ho, she stated she did so strictly out of hunger, noting that she lost 20 pounds while in the game. In a shocking admission, she says she looked "absolutely disgusting" out there. After all her proclamations about her alleged cuteness, she gets props for admitting this.
Eventually, Probst drops a bombshell on us, Rachel: Turns out Heidi has the highest IQ of this group of 16, with Roger and Alex being next. Either she's been hiding something, or the others are incredibly dumb. She admits that she played "dumb" a lot of the time, because was afraid her athleticism and intelligence would scare people and she'd get voted out. Probst has one of the best lines of the show when he points out her IQ is higher than that of the rocket scientist, meaning Dave.
Rachel, I hope you're still with me. Don't worry: I'm about to wrap it up. In Marquesas, a great show was marred by a dismal finale. In Thailand, a somewhat lackluster edition benefited from an outstanding final. In the Amazon, one of the best editions of the series was tainted by the worst possible ending. But believe it or not, there is a saving grace here: At least Jenna seems to have learned from her experience, and hasn't gotten an even bigger head just because she won 6-1. I caught a little bit of her Early Show appearance the next morning, and she remained congenial and conciliatory. And while I didn't catch her appearance on Regis, I understand she remained in "image repair" mode there as well.
Is it all an act? Who knows? But if it is, there's a bit of Survivor irony here: Now that the show is over and done, she's following the rule about pretending to be nice, something she failed at miserably in the game, despite winning.
Okay Rachel. Thanks for you patience. And yes, I'll be back to write about Panama, hopefully.
Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com.
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