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Survivor: China – the TV Guide Channel Previewby David Bloomberg -- 09/18/2007
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Survivor: China begins this week. But as has been the case for the recent seasons, TV Guide Channel has a special exclusive preview leading up to it. Let’s take a look and see what we can find out about the contestants.
We lead off with Mark Burnett telling us he’d been thinking about having the show in China for years, and they were finally able to pull it off. This time, it’s all about the art of war, as host Jeff Probst says Survivor is, in its own way, a war.
Our host this season is last season’s winner, Earl Cole. He notes that having the show in China is a change from recent seasons. Indeed, Probst says if they stayed in the South Pacific another season, they were going to lose their minds. Heh. He adds that Survivor is the first show to ever shoot an entire series in China, and it took a lot of negotiating to get it done. He adds that this show is going to be like those they did in past years, with a lot of history and culture.
The Survivors will be living in an area called the Lake of a Thousand Islands. And this season, they stripped out some of the stuff they’ve been adding, like Exile Island and additional players. So they’re back to 16 (though they still have hidden immunity idols, though they are “hidden in plain sight”).
Since they’re in China and, as Probst mentioned, Survivor is a war, each tribe was given a copy of The Art of War on a scroll for their reading pleasure.
The season will be started off at a Buddhist temple, and Probst tells us the opening will be dramatic. Indeed, the players have to leave behind all their worldly possessions – all their clothes they expected to wear are left behind other than what they’re wearing.
Probst says there are a lot of likeable people this season for us to root for, though Earl adds that there will be villains as well. That leads us to meeting the first contestant, Dave, a 37-year-old former model who wants to kill everybody sweetly. Earl talks about Dave being a “self-described funny-man.” Oh, he is so dead.
Probst seems to agree, saying Dave is a guy who could get on people’s nerves quickly. He needs to watch out that he doesn’t irritate people.
Sherea, an elementary school teacher, says it will be a difficult experience, but a good one. She wants to avoid coming off as the b*tchy black girl with attitude. Probst doesn’t think Sherea had any idea what she was getting into (how can you enter the 15th season of Survivor and not know what you’re getting into?!). He thinks she will be delighted to go home early – and predicts that is what will happen.
Amanda, a 23-year-old Montana cowgirl, tried out last season, is a huge fan of the show. Good! But she was Miss Montana 2005 and Miss Earth 2006 (Miss Earth??), which does not exactly speak to “winning Survivor contestant (yeah, yeah, I know, it happened once). She thinks beauty pageants give her a competitive edge because you have to play mind games in those.
She adds that she is playing to compete, not just get by on her looks. Good for her! Probst won’t bet against her – he even thinks she has a chance of winning!
Next up is Jean-Robert, a 36-year-old bad boy of poker. Yes, he’s been a professional poker player for about six years, but he’s still trying to figure out what he’s going to tell his tribemates. Will he admit to his real profession or make up a story like being a youth pastor. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Jean-Robert says his plan is to be kind of quiet for the first few days and not be the alpha male. Then he’s going to make “serious moves mid-game.” Uh huh. I’m sure it will work out just that way. Probst shares my skepticism, saying Jean-Robert thinks of Survivor as human poker, but he would be surprised if Jean-Robert lasts late into the game.
Chicken (aka Steve, but we’ll just call him Chicken from now on) is a 47-year-old chicken farmer. Probst says he’s a character and Earl says Chicken has gone through a lot in life even though he’d never left his home state.
Then we have the youngest player ever on Survivor, Frosti (aka Mike), from Chicago. Probst says Frosti does some kind of extreme sport where he leaps from wall to wall and over cars and stuff like that. Those skills might come in handy in challenges. He adds that Frosti might last a while and, if he makes it to the merge, he could become a threat.
Next up is Leslie, a 38-year-old from South Carolina. She is a mother and occasional fitness class teacher who has been applying for Survivor since the third season. Dang! At least we know she’s a fan!
She knows she will have a tough time being away from her family, but that’s one reason she’s here – to do something on her own. But wait, there’s more – she is a devout Christian who worries about how she will deal with the game. However, she’s prayed about it and God said, “Trust me.” Oy. Another Amber? I hope not.
Todd tells us he wants to come off as the guy who is smart and confident, but doesn’t know everything. He’s a 22-year-old flight attendant who has been a “Survivor super-fan since the very first episode.” He is thrilled to be there!
But he has his own issues as well. He was raised Mormon but came out as openly gay a few years ago. He still hasn’t lost his faith, though, even though the Mormon church disapproves of what he is. Probst says Todd is good at knowing when to get out of the way, and he expects Todd to stick around.
The next segment is about the Tribal Council set. Since a picture is worth a thousand words and I don’t want to write a thousand words about this, you’ll just have to wait to see the picture on Thursday. Suffice it to say they have cool torches and built a huge set for it. Indeed, it’s the tallest building in the area.1 2 Next-->
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