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Survivor: Pearl Islands – First Impressions and Random Observationsby Ken Kellam III -- 09/04/2003
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Well, Mark Burnett has unleashed 16 fresh faces to vie for that big seven-figure check. In addition, the total number of Survivors from all the shows has now officially reached the triple digits, not unlike the thermometer in my home state of Texas. But who's most likely to cause the tribe to reach the boiling point? Let's take a look at the 16 people chosen to play an extended game of "Pirate" and see who might be likely to take home the, uh, booty, and who might soon find themselves taking a long walk off a short plank.
First, there's Burton Roberts. Although raised in St. Louis and currently residing in San Francisco, Roberts was born in Houston, holds degrees from Southern Methodist University, and his family has a ranch outside of Austin, so at least this edition of the series will have SOME Texas connection. Oh, for the days when almost half the cast was from the Lone Star State (i.e. Survivor: Thailand).
He believes his experiences as an Eagle Scout and adventure racer will serve him well, but we've already seen that survival skills alone won't get you through, and if I remember correctly, Matthew from the Amazon had a sense of adventure. Yes, he made the final two, but got smoked. Somehow, I don't see Burton lasting long enough to take home the prize, although he has a great shot at the jury.
Speaking of racing, Californian Christa Hastie is engaged to a race car driver. Will she be there at the end to receive the checkered flag? Well, she was a child model, and we all know models don't do well on Survivor (for those of you who are humor-impaired, that's called sarcasm). Seriously, I just hope she's nicer than Jenna from Amazon (like that would be hard to accomplish). Christa also mentions her cooking skills in relation to contributing to her tribe. Hopefully, she'll already know how to cook rice before the game starts. Also, Christa, take heed: No matter HOW good a cook you are, PUHHLLLEEEZZZEEE don't subject us to endless talk about recipes. Trust me, the guys won't like it.
Then there's Virginian John Dalton. At first glance, he looks like Gabriel from Marquesas with a do-rag, or whatever it is you call that thing on his head. He's proud to be the first one in his family to graduate college and leave his hometown. He's hoping NOT to be the first person to leave the game. He considers himself "Smarter than the average bear." Well, let's see if he makes any major "Boo-Boos."
Next is New Jersey native Michelle Tesauro. Like Dalton, she spent her college years at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, or "Virginia Tech," for short. She's also participated in a "Polar Bear" plunge, running into the Atlantic Ocean in February. Too bad that can't be an endurance challenge. Nevertheless, if she has ice water in her veins when things get tough, she might last awhile.
Now for a look at Rupert Boneham. Mitzie, my dearest online friend in the world, brought it to my attention that Boneham is from her home state of Indiana. I told her that it's a good thing, because he'll at least be used to the bathroom accommodations (I never shy away from a good-natured jab). She told me to just wait for the Hoosier e-mail to flow, and I told her, "E-mail? You Hoosiers have electricity now as well?" Before I get barraged with letters of protest, yes, I know full well the state has indoor plumbing AND electricity.
Anyway, back to Boneham. I can't help but wonder how long it'll be before that Grizzly Adams beard becomes uncomfortable for him to keep in the wild. Of course, Tom from Africa never shaved HIS either. Also, I thought Tom wouldn't make jury duty, thinking his size might be a liability in immunity challenges, but he made the final four, and Boneham might as well. In addition, his work as a mentor for troubled teens will serve him well in the game, because he'll see his share of difficult behavior. Expect him to last awhile.
What about Sandra Diaz-Twine? The 29-year-old mother of two intends to use her hunting skills to keep her in the game. However, Frank in Africa intended to do the same, but because the Kenyan government forbade it, that plan went out the window. If Diaz-Twine has no such restrictions, she could put her skills to use. But regardless, something tells me she could be gracing our sets for awhile once the show starts.
Then, it's Shawn Cohen. First of all, why does he need one million smackers? Didn't "Sunny Came Home," sell plenty of copies? Oops, sorry. I was thinking of Shawn COLVIN. Anyway, Cohen's family and friends call him "The Ultimate Salesman," or so he says. Well, staying in the game of Survivor, and then convincing the jury to vote for you might just be the "Ultimate Sales Job." It'll be interesting to see how he does when the product he's selling is himself.
While Cohen is a twin, the next castaway, Maryland native Trish Dunn, HAS twins. Like Teresa from Africa, Tina from Australia, and Jeanne from Amazon, she's a mom in her early 40s. Endurance shouldn't be a problem for Dunn, who has managed to finish 24 marathons, including Boston 10 times. Somehow, I get this vibe that she'll stick around awhile due in no small part to "aw shucks" niceness, possibly making the final four.1 2 Next-->
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