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Survivor: Guatemala’s Episode 2 – More Questions and More Twists, Obvious and Otherwiseby Ken Kellam III -- 09/27/2005
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First of all, let me state that there’s a very good reason I didn’t write an article on the debut of Survivor: Guatemala. Mainly, I missed it. Yep, that’s not a typo. I’d known for a while that I would be out of town when the season debuted, so I set my VCR to record the episode. Or thought I did. When I got back, I found out the hard way it wasn’t set correctly. As a result, I feel like the kid who misses the first week of school due to illness or vacation and must try to catch up to the others. Well, at least there are the recaps to go by. But somehow it just isn’t the same. Well, almost the same. At least that’s what you say when your editor does the recapping.
Let’s ask the first question of the season: Was the twist of bringing back former players a good idea? My initial reaction was no. This is not about Stephenie or Bobby Jon, both of whom I really liked last season. However, only a handful of people ever get to experience something like Survivor, and I’m not sure that anyone should be able to do it twice, All-Stars notwithstanding.
But if you’re going to do it, I can’t think of anyone better to bring back. Bobby Jon, after all, never actually got voted out, having lost a fire challenge to Stephenie, and Stephenie proved her blue-collar, Philly-type toughness again and again. Now that I’ve had an episode to see them in action again, I’m glad they’re here and think they’ll make the season more interesting.
Bobby Jon seemed to be the consummate underachiever last season, never realizing his full Survivor potential because he was always going up against the best the other tribe had to offer. When he went first for his tribe in the reward challenge this time, I so hoped he’d finally get a chance to shine. But it wasn’t meant to be, as he lost a lot of time for Nakum. Fortunately, his teammates made it up and he got to partake in the reward.
Later on, when the immunity challenge ended in a draw, he was not one of those chosen to go for his team in overtime; this proved to be the right decision, as Judd pulled his team to victory. How ironic is it that the first time Bobby Jon’s on the winning side in an immunity challenge, someone else ends up winning it for him? Yes, I caught a glimpse of his intense face during the first go-round, and he tried as hard as anybody and deserved to finally miss a Tribal Council.
Does this season feature a twist in disguise? That is, putting a former pro quarterback on one team and a sports talk host on the other. Did the producers do that deliberately to see what sparks might fly? We may never know, but we do know it made for some interesting footage on Thursday night. The look on Gary’s face when Danni referenced his being a quarterback was absolutely priceless. It brought back memories of Scooby-Doo looking up and saying “Huh?” or whatever that sound he made was whenever he was surprised.
When you think about it, is it really surprising someone like Hogeboom would apply for Survivor? After all, the show is made up of A-type personalities, and quarterbacks certainly have to have at least a few of those traits, as do those who own their own businesses, landscaping included.
I still remember when Hogeboom called the signals for my beloved Dallas Cowboys, and to my recollection, he wasn’t exactly media-shy back then either. In fact, I remember a time when he actually co-hosted a radio show for a day, and instead of calling it the Smith and Johnson Show (that’s a made-up name, by the way), they called it the Johnson and Hogeboom Show. CBS must be glad to have him in the cast as well. Back in his playing days, the NFC was shown on CBS and the Cowboys were still one of the marquee teams in the league, so Hogeboom probably became very familiar to a lot of viewers.
Before Danni ratted him out, a friend of mine said that if he were Jeff Probst, he’d say to Hogeboom in Tribal Council, “So, much like a QB leads a football team, you’ve developed into a leader here. How do you feel about your position?” Of course, at this point, that comment would raise the eyebrows of Hogeboom’s teammates even more, so don’t expect it to happen.
Is Hogeboom smart to conceal, and now deny, his true identity? In my opinion, yes, because at some point his gridiron past will be seen as a threat to the other players. If this were a cartoon series, CBS could make him a superhero and promos could say, “It’s Super Survivor. Disguised as mild-mannered landscaper and family man Gary Hawkins, Gary Hogeboom tries to keep his teammates from finding out about his past. In the second episode, Gary’s secret is jeopardized when a player on the other team spills the beans. Will his teammates buy his denials? Will Gary get sacked at the next tribal council? Tune in next time to find out.”1 2 Next-->
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